Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

For 'verse proposals, random ideas, musings, and brainwaves.

Moderators: Invictus, speaker-to-trolls

Post Reply
User avatar
Heretic
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: IN AMERICA

Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Heretic » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:11 pm

Been on a hiatus due to finishing up College and gaining Certification so my employment opportunities can increase. Still working on Hardcore Regenesis at a snail pace since I'm still trying to get the feel of that universe (also made the mistake of writing what is happening in every region of Earth in every continent).

I always wanted to make a somewhat edgy tabletop wargame/RPG friendly universe with a sort of gritty science fantasy feel that wasn't just shiny and sleek space armor and acronym-laden governments. Being a fan of Battletech, X-Wing Miniatures, Dust Tactics, and the old wargame and grandaddy of them all Tactics 2 by Avalon Hill, as well as an avid reader of Warhammer 40k lore, I wanted to make something that could be shown beyond Omniverse One but also take what I learned from a decade of being here. A skirmish system with highly customizable hero units and subfactions is something I was always fascinated by and wanted to try my hands in.

I devised four factions to lay the foundations of this new universe (working title: Project Epsilon) with some subfactions in each for flavor and future bonuses. The Custodial Protectorate are the "Good Guys" with a vampire motif and slight dominatrix bent to them and pretty boring compared to the other factions though they do have a significant number of conspiracies underneath their shiny exterior like the Owls of LILITH. They're on a warpath against the Novi Phaedrans, and their army consists of armored infantry and combat vehicles who keep the momentum going with their Haemotech powers. Very sleek and knightly aesthetic.

The Republic of Maveth and the Novi Phaedrans were from a Roguelike idea I had a while back. The Republic of Maveth is generally right wing authoritarian federal government who has the ability to create combat gardens with a variety of customizable weaponized plant life and likes to use nuclear-powered battleships to provide tactical support to gritty and weak but versatile and bio-modified infantry. Where the Custodial Protectorate are bright and heroic in their looks, the Republic has a 1970s-1980s Cold War/Colonial Marines vibe with some Vietnam thrown in and their dictator almost has a Saturday Morning Cartoon villain aspect to him.

The Novi Phaedrans are a ragtag group of masculine, militaristic tribalist societies banding together to fight against what they consider as degenerate and weak. Taking elements from the "Alt-Right", Battletech clanners, and the Gor Series, I wanted to make a controversial faction that wasn't simply "SPACE NAZIS BRIMMING WITH SUPERWEAPONS AND MARCHING TO TOTALITARIAN MUSIC". The Novi Phaedrans revolve around power armored Hero Units who can lay waste to battlefields by some primordial force within them that gets stronger the more they kill or complete objectives. They are the most customizable of the factions and easiest to play due to needing only a few models, but also the hardest for some people to play due to their background.

The Carnemicum are Biopunk Space Barbarians who I've been trying to find a universe to put them into for a long time, practically two years. Three iterations of them existed somewhere in drafts, including one in this very Forum, but I could never find the right place. After developing the backbones of the other three factions, I realized the Carnemicum were outrageous and edgy enough to find a fourth spot in here. It is why whereas the other three factions' subfaction listing is snippets of words and vague ideas the major Houses of the Carnemicum are much mored detailed. The creative burden they placed on me for so long is finally released.

I'm hoping to smooth out the lore introduction of these four factions and maybe drop some ideas of tabletop RPG/Wargame rule systems and Hero Character ideas before offering my plea to the Alter of Siege for another separate Universe subforum.



Project Epsilon
It is 29th Century. The Solar Federation which once shone a light across all of the 13 planets of the Solar System has collapsed when a mysterious malware attack utterly destroyed the Digital Intelligence-based infrastructure of the whole solar civilization. Chaos and misery reigned for a whole century, with sections of the Solar System breaking off to form new civilizations.

This period of darkness ended with the mysterious appearance of the extremely advanced Digital Intelligence known as LILITH, who took over Dark Earth, Luna, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Gaia to from the Custodial Protectorate. Granting her people the power of Haemotechnology using ancient Antediluvian theories, LILITH became a benevolent but firm goddess whose rule was enforced by her protectors, the Custodians. Elsewhere in the area between the Asteroid Belt and Jupiter, the living planet Pachamama is the center of the Republic of Maveth and her awe-inspiring Combined Space Force who harnesses the power of the Vita Seed as a lifeline in their decaying O'Neill Cylinder stations and enhances themselves with controlled bio-engineering to better survive their haphazard environment. Residing in the water planet Titan as well as others colonies between Saturn and Neptune lies the Novi Phaedrans, a collection of societies of fringe elements and survivors adhering to a Libertarian-Masculinist ideology that harnesses the bestial Apotheosis within every man to overcome any challenge facing their way, never to make the mistake of relying on weak machines and weaker feminine bureaucrats to lead Humanity's extinction again. Finally, in the large expanse that is marked by the Kuiper Belt and ends with the edge of the Heliosphere lurks the Carnemicum, an asteroid-hopping feudalistic society whose human-alien hybrid population undergo mutation and bio-engineering beyond what the Republic of Maveth considers proper, and frequently raids the other factions for slaves to toil in their Demesnes.

Large-scale wars are rare and destructive affairs in this dark future and the various factions prefer frequent low-intensity warfare not dissimilar to tribal wars or early 21st War on Terror. But with the discovery of Antediluvian artifacts suddenly appearing all over the Solar System and with the fury of LILITH's Solar Expeditions to once and for all destroy the Novi Phaedrans reaching across the planets, conflicts have begun to escalate to levels only seen in Earth's ancient past. Dark murmurs of ancient wars resurfacing have begun sounding, of a horrible Era where Old and New would collide violently.

The Solar System trembles and strains as the planets burn in unholy curses, the dead shadows of hollowed buildings grown longer and darker.

This is Project Epsilon.


TV Tropes page on the types of Faction styles. For these factions I'll label them by Numbers and then Doctrine IE Spammer Generalist

THE CUSTODIAL PROTECTORATE
Protecting, Caring, Watching
The Power of Blood
The Spammer Generalist Faction
Opposite of the Novi Phaedrans
Image
A Custodial Risk Management Unit using Haemotechnology to get the job done. Art by Brandon Liao

Capital: Mumbai, Dark Earth
Government: Quasi-TechnoTheocratic Parliamentary Federation, with Parliament formed and dissolved by LILITH as she sees fit
Head of Government: Prime Minister Sophia Tetrana 2.3 (de Jure), LILITH (de Facto)
Population: 26 Billion
Demonym: Custodial Wards/Wards (citizen), Custodians (government and military)
Motifs: Blue, Feminine, Order, Vampire
Economic Focuses: Services, Research, Medical, and General Manufacturing
Doctrine Focuses: The Company, Strategic Objectives, Mechanized Warfare, Marching Fire and other Mechanized Infantry tactics, Specialist Squads
Weapon Focuses: Pistols, Assault Rifles, and Direct-Energy Weapons of both Haemotechnological and conventional nature
Cultural Power: Haemotechnology
Music Vibe: Metal Gear Solid V: Big Boss Returns by Jonas B. Ingebretsen or alternatively Elegia by New Order for more darker undertone

OVERVIEW
The most populous and powerful but also technically the youngest of the four civilizations in the Solar System, the Custodial Protectorate is built on the remnants of the old Solar Federation and protects its citizens from threats both within and without. Under the watchful eye of LILITH and her Custodians, an intricate (mostly) democratic welfare state exists to serve the people in benevolent, motherly paternalism. While many freedoms and rights exist, LILITH, nicknamed Big Sister by both her followers and critics alike, maintains her presence in personal Digital Intelligence pods, floating holographic screens, home appliances, and personal devices in order to better monitor, protect, and care for each citizen's needs. From looming over large screens in the titanic City-Arks to lone rural robots patrolling large swathes of land and commandeered by one of her processes, LILITH will care for you and be your Big Sister. All that she asks is a small donation of blood every two months to maintain the Haemotechnologies that built the Custodial Protectorate. Many of the population adore and practically worship LILITH, developing a peculier if mostly benign Cult of Personality around her (though LILITH is quick to remind you that Freedom of Religion is in the Custodial Laws) as well as a Cargo Cult mentality around Haemeotechnology (to which LILITH will respond that Education is free and everyone has the opportunity to better themselves and their understanding of the world around them, including the workings of Haemotechnology. Who knows, you might even get a career in the Custodians!)

Despite her pervasive role and her Custodians' tireless work, there are still large gaps where neglect and savagery still lurk. Despite her Antediluvian-based construction and technological power, LILITH is overwhelmed by Petabytes of information every day and refuses to create other Digital Intelligences to help her in the task for unknown reasons. Much reconstruction and social work must be done in many parts of Dark Earth and the perpetually war-torn planet of Mars. Violent gangs still operate in the dark depths of ruined cities and fringes of society. Pairs of Novi Phaedrans hoping to test weaponry, skills or face their Crucible have been known to secretly enter Custodial Space in the face of ever-vigilant Custodians and Voyagers to usually cause destruction and mayhem and then just as secretly escape the Protectorate back to their territories. Mars, despite being almost fully in Custodial Territory, is a war torn planet with sporadic fighting between the Custodians, Novi Phaedrans, and sometimes the Mavethites over a variety of reasons including territory, control of Antediluvian artifacts, and resources (Agricultural and living spaces for the overpopulated Protectorate, Glory and Trophies for the militaristic Novi Phaedrans, and salvage for the resourceful Mavethites).

Focused on excavating and researching Antediluvian Artifacts as well as expanding the Custodial Protectorate's Light to the dark and backward regions of the Solar System, the Custodians have begun waging a series of military excursions they call the Solar Expeditions against their Archenemy, the Novi Phaedrans. The Custodial Protectorate is also waging border wars against the nearby Republic of Maveth, who believes the Solar Expeditions are nothing more than excuses to expand their empire. The Custodians have also come into contact and conflict with various Carnemicum Houses, having never really encountered these roving bands of raiders due to the wide distance between them prior to the military campaign.

In the deepest underbellies of the Ark-Cities of Dark Earth and Gaia, the secretive Owls of LILITH have started to reveal themselves and their Agenda to the Solar System...

HISTORY
When the Solar Federation collapsed, all the Digital Intelligences that didn't shut down during the Great Worm Crisis began to turn on Humanity. Robots began killing their masters and whole buildings became death traps or tombs for hapless citizens. Only the lucky, the smart, and the strong survived, and when the last DI finally shut down the survivors turned on each other for resources or power. The Republic of Maveth was formed from the ashes shortly after and left the inner planets like Dark Earth, Gaia, and Mars to die.

And die the inner Solar System did for a century. But just at is seemed hopeless for those left behind, a beacon of blue Light appeared. The Digital Intelligence named LILITH, whose creation (or birth) is unknown aside from the fact she had traces of Antediluvian technologies and language in her, appeared on the scene. Even though initially threatened by a DI due to recent history, LILITH quickly proved herself a mostly benevolent and helping DI. Bestowing the gift of Haemotechnology on the motley groups of community militias, plucky street gangs, and vigilantes who became the first Custodians, LILITH defeated a myriad of warlords and slay-raiders in her bid to world domination. LILITH finally brought Dark Earth under her control after defeating the ravaging Novi Phaedran horde, who swore their allegiance to the banner of Caesar in both the Battle of Talysh in the Caucasus Mountains and the Crucible of Fort Tsarevets. LILITH expanded her domain into both the rugged people of Mars, the Noble Families of Gaia, and helped the Anarcho-Syndicalist refugees from the Gas Giants Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune who were kicked out by the Novi Phaedrans settle down in Mercury and Venus.

With the formation of the Custodial Protectorate, LILITH created a democratic government, but she alone still formed the backbone of this new nation. It is LILITH who has the power to dissolve and from Parliament, it is LILITH who keeps the complicated system of Haemotechnology and the infrastructure behind and based on it running, it was LILITH who has the final say. Despite this, each planet and the communities within enjoy a good deal amount of autonomy and rights compared to the Republic of Maveth, the Carnemicum, and especially the Novi Phaedrans.

The Custodial Protectorate has begun keeping an eye on the Republic of Maveth especially after the Solar Brawl of 2702 and the Massacres shown what the Mavethite Combined Space Force was capable of. While ideologically different on a fundamental level, the two civilizations have maintained a Cold War style stance with the Asteroid Belt serving as a boundary between the two. Regardless of boundaries, the Republic of Maveth have been known to go into Mars for anything bolted down, but especially Antediluvian Artifacts. This strained relations between the two to the stretching point, but so far only small brush fire wars have resulted in it, and most of these are relegated on the battlefields of Mars.

While the hatred between the paternalistic, progressive Custodial Protectorate and the Individualistic, reactionary Novi Phaedrans existed since at least the Battle of Talysh, it wasn't until the Mars Incident did LILITH seriously consider eliminating the Novi Phaedrans in her Solar Expeditions, when 100 members of the Tigers of Zeus came down to massacre those they deemed "undesirable" and kidnapped people of mostly Caucasian and Asian ethnic background, mostly women. The Custodial Protectorate retaliated by sending infiltration teams of Custodians into the Tigers' base of operations and rescuing as many of the abductees as possible before bombarding the whole moon they were on, which included other Novi Phaedran groups aside from the Tigers.

In recent years, Antediluvian artifacts and even structures have been appearing all over the old 8 planets (plus newly planet ordained Pluto) of the Solar System and their various moons and moonlets. Archaeologists and scientists speculated that the systems maintaining Antediluvian objects on the Other Dimension are beginning to fail and will son start reappearing in this dimension once again. This has sparked a sort of Gold Rush for these ancient human treasures, from the searing lands of Venus to the darkest levels in the largest City-Arks of Dark Earth. While this has proven to be a boon for technological and medical advancements, it has also created increased tensions without and violent crimes within.

TERRITORY AND PLANETS/MOONS
The Custodial Protectorate's absolute control extends from Mercury, Venus, Dark Earth and her Satellite Luna, the mirror Earth-like planet Gaia and her satellite Juno, and portions of Mars along with his only remaining satellite Deimos (Phobos having been destroyed in a war long before the Solar Federation existed). The boundary the Custodial Protectorate considers their current limit is behind the spatial diameter of the orbit of the small planetoid Ceres.

Of all the planets within the Custodial Protectorate, Gaia, Dark Earth, and Mars are the most populous, though almost half of Mar's population are Custodians of either a government or military function. Dark Earth and Mars have had almost all their natural resources exhausted, while Gaia is better managed, having been yanked and stabilized from the Other Dimension by the old Solar Federation. Mercury and Venus have only recently been effectively colonized thanks to Haemotechnology and is still rich with raw materials.

Demios and Ceres are heavily fortified military fortifications, looking more like large, spherical forts than natural planetary bodies. A good chunk of the Custodial Voyagers, the Custodial Protectorate's naval organization, are based in these two satellites, maintaining an eye on both the Novi Phaedrans and the Republic of Maveth. The dockyards and structures in Deimos and Ceres have also become the launching pas for the Solar Expeditions into the outer reaches of the Solar System.

The overarching governments of each Planet and the moons are listed by Title, Current Leader, Form of Government, Economic Focus, Military Focus, and Local Conspiracy. Their official/unofficial Quote will be in italics:

The Burning Syndicates of Mercury: Citizen-Councilperson Brook Govender, quasi Anarcho-Syndicalist Cooperatives with a Worker's Congress, Mining, Combat Vehicles and angry machine-gun wielding Syndics, The Underground City Conspiracy. Our Claws are Sharp
The Socialist Republic of Venus: Citizen-President Dylan Al-Totah, Parliamentary multi-party Socialist Republic, Gas Mining and R&D, Recon Infantry, the Lab Conspiracy. Solidarity and Progress
Our Dark Earth: Secretary-General Aanya Laghari, Representative Democratic Federation, General Manufacturing and Construction, Custodian Infantry, Owls of LILITH conspiracy. We Will Shine Again.
The United Luna Colonies: Overseer Tanique Vanderbuilt 3.3, Democratic Confederation of Lunar Colonies, Services, Spaceship Manufacturing, Close Quarter Custodians, the Other Side of Luna Conspiracy. Unity, Labor, Friendship
The Bright Kingdom of Gaia: Queen-King Ebonee Megat and their Royal Consort Arya Balakrishnan, Constitutional Monarchy, Medicine and Agriculture, Heroic Custodians with lots of Haemotech powers, the Stragglers from the Other Dimension Conspiracy. We are the Lighthouse.
The Juno Sister Republic: President Malik Enkhjargal, Representative Semi-Presidential Republic, Agriculture, Close Air Support, The Battlemoon Conspiracy. Look Beyond the Limit!
The Martian Front: Prime Kelos Stallion, Siege-mentality Republic, Arms Manufacturing, Heavy Weapon Custodians and Combat Vehicles, The Antediluvian Hotspot Conspiracy. Mars Awakens


MILITARY CAPABILITIES
The Custodial Protectorate has the largest professional military in the Solar System, not counting the aggressive Carnemicum raiders where the concepts of the home front and military are blurred. The Solar Expeditions, LILITH hopes, would bring the Solar System back under one benign rule just like in the days of the Solar Federation, but to do so requires both humanpower and advanced equipment. Both the Civil and the civilian-led Military branches of the Protectorate are called the Custodians with the space navy being called the Voyagers though still under the overall Custodian label, but the image most people gain when hearing the word Custodian is a regally armored individual who out from their transport of equally impressive style blazing away with rapid fire assault rifles or picking off targets with blood-powered Plasma Rifles and using their very own blood to conjure up powerful attacks or summon defensive walls of energy to protect their allies. Fighting the fascistic Novi Phaedran, keeping an eye on shady Mavethites, and saving all innocent people from criminals and brigands, the Custodian has a romantic image that the Protectorate hopes to maintain and cultivate for both their citizens and their enemies. Two Million Strong, each Custodian is equipped with the finest Combat Suit, implanted with Haemo-Implants and trained to use advanced Haemotechnological powers both using their blood or the blood of their enemies, and each Custodian is supported by whole squads of logistical, technical, and auxiliary support units. With all this power given to the Custodians, each potential cadet must undergo rigorous screening, education, and training to make sure they don't crack under the pressure or worse, betray the Custodial Protectorate for their own personal gains.

The Custodial Protectorate is the only polity which still uses heavy mechanized vehicles such as Main Battle Tanks, IFVs, and CAS units in frequent usage. With a combat doctrine based around Armor and Speed, Custodians ride into battle in powerful Type 2 "Dolphin" IFVs which lay down bullet storms on the enemy. Supporting their disembarkation are sleek but large Mark X "Stag" MBTs armed with Haemo-enhanced plasma cannons and pods micro-seeker missiles to provide heavy suppressing fire against the enemy, as well as fast tactical Aerodynes for CAS support and to harass enemy units trying to flank the Custodians. The Marching Fire, where Custodian infantry move forward in a steady pace while unleashing fire while supported by heavy armored support, is the standard tactic used by the Custodial Risk Management Unit. Despite their importance in the battlefield, tanks and aerodynes are much cheaper to make and operators much easier to train than the Haemo-tech flinging and expertly trained Custodians, and serve an auxiliary function to them.

Although the Custodians and their mechanized support are the backbone of the armed forces of the Custodial Protectorate, a myriad of support units and allies exist and have begun seeing increased frontline action during the Solar Expeditions. These minor auxiliary forces include bored and ill equipped street gangs from Dark Earth hoping to taste some action other than spraying graffiti and causing annoyances construction workers, machine-gun welding Anarcho-Syndicalist Cooperatives and socialist Republics from Venus and Mercury hoping to get back at the Novi Phaedrans for kicking them out of their original homes, Voyager support crew increasingly being used as the first lines of defense against Mavethite raiders trying to commandeer their ship, to even simple street cops and urban peacekeepers being brought in to help develop strategies to fight the previously rarely encountered Carnemicum raiders. LILITH does not officially sanction these units, but as the Solar Expeditions expands further across the Solar System and the Custodians' numbers stretched thin, she is more than happy to place these units under the Custodian label.

The Custodial Voyagers, the Custodial Protectorate's Space Fleet, are based in the heavily fortified satellites of Ceres and Deimos. While not as powerful as the Mavethite Combined Space Force, the Voyagers have numerous ships with enough Haemotechnology to make them nasty enough in combat. Their Battleships usually serve as troop and logistic transports first and fearsome deterrent-level ships second. Most Voyager ships are of the cruiser type, versatile ships packed with interchangeable payloads and Haemo-tech gizmos to hold their own while plying the system in the name of LILITH. Mainstays include the LILITH AI-assisted Lightbringer-class Battleship, the Protector-class Cruiser, and the Journey-class Light Cruiser. All Voyager ships are equipped with HaemoDrive engines and a decent enough assortment of LILITH-assisted Missile Systems and Direct Energy Weaponry.


HAEMOTECHNOLOGY
When LILITH appeared on Dark Earth to conquer all the inner planets of the Solar System, she brought the powerful but ill-understood and secretive science of Haemotechnology. Using a process derived from ancient Antediluvian writing, blood plasma is turned into literal plasma and with the help of specialized Antediluvian nanites transformed into either a powerful and clean energy source or mixed together with materials to make stronger materials. This technology has helped the Custodial Protectorate rebuild their burgeoning solar empire at a rapid pace. While initially difficult to set up the infrastructure which supports Haemotechnology, once in place the energy produced can help get the Haemo-tech factories and power plants running with little trouble. Haemo-tech can even do things that are akin to magic. The only thing required for this wondrous technology is blood, and the Custodial Protectorate's requirements for it are astronomical. Each inhabitant within the Protectorate's sphere of influence is expected to give a pint of blood every two months (weaker individuals are allowed exceptions and exemptions) as tax to maintain the continuation of the system that supports many of them.

The Custodian forces, both the actual Custodian infantry and the auxiliary and support units under that name, use Haemotechnology extensively though cautiously as it costs blood, either their own or someone else's. The Custodians proper especially rely on Haemotechnology to power their energy weapons as well as give them access to almost supernatural powers such as unleashing beams of searing heat from their palm, unleashing a blood-frenzied nanoswarm mist at their foes, or even turn enemies against each other. While the auxiliary units have weaker Haemotech abilities and usually used at a squad or higher level, each Custodian is implanted with expensive and complex STRIGOI (Special Transfer Regulator-Infuser Gear Operation Implantation) Implants that allow the Custodian to use their powers with only requiring a fraction of blood from them of what it normally costs. The Custodial Risk Management Units are not only given the best training and the best equipment, but they also have the right to use the enemy as a blood source for their Haemo-tech even if it kills the victim; others are forbidden from draining live enemies, though salvaging blood from corpses before lividity sets in or from POWs is alright in many cases. That being said, depending on the situation some auxiliary units ignore this ban on draining blood from living foes to the point of death in combat.
THE REPUBLIC OF MAVETH
Never Falter!
The Blessings of Pachamama
The Balanced Technical Faction
Opposite of the Carnemicum
Image
A Mavethite Militiaman looking for salvage in a Martian battlefield with his humorously decaled Mule-Bot. Artist unknown.

Capital: Cylinder Aleph, orbiting the living planet Pachamama
Government: Federal (Neo)Liberal Autocracy with each O'Neill Cylinder ruled by an Admiral-(insert title of local political flavor) who may or may not be democratically elected.
Head of Government: Generalissimo X
Population: 13 Billion
Demonym: Mavethite
Motifs: Yellow, Old, Survival, Undead
Economic Focuses: Salvaging, Agriculture, Refurbishment and Recycling, Robotics
Doctrine Focuses: The Platoon, Defensive and Economic Objectives, Spatial Supremacy, Fire and Movement tactics, Drone-Assisted Light Infantry
Weapon Focuses: SMGs/PDWs, Shotguns, Chainguns
Cultural Power: Vita Seeds
Music Vibe: Till It's Gone [CAMPFIRE REMIX] by Yelawolf and You're Going Down by Sick Puppies

OVERVIEW
Comprised of 13 increasingly derelict O'Neill Cylinders orbiting the alien world of Pachamama, the Republic of Maveth maintains many ancient and dying traditions including various religions, historical grudges, customs, and a mostly capitalist economic system. Many of its citizens have undergone genetic and biological modifications to better survive and reduce their living requirements in the rotting, haphazard space habitats of the Mavethite Republic. Having the largest Space Fleet in the Solar System to maintain its sphere of influence in the space between the Asteroid Belt and Jupiter, the Republic of Maveth is ruled with an iron fist by the seemingly immortal and enigmatic Generalissimo X, whose face is never seen and is only show with his X-shaped metallic mask and a uniform that would make a 20th century dictator fluster with envy (with a glorious swooshing cape, as well!). Despite Generalissimo X's autocratic rule, he has implemented a fairly liberal stance in terms of social issues second only to the Custodial Protectorate's progressive stance. Each of the O'Neill Cylinders are ruled by a Captain-Title who are given leeway in how they rule their space habitat as long as they maintain a nominally liberal and capitalistic mindset (definitions may vary), maintain a militia at the beck and call of Generalissimo X if need be, and be willing to maintain and refuel the large Space Fleet that protects the Republic's interests.

While some mining enterprises are undertaken in both the Asteroid Belt along with the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, both these areas serve as war-torn boundaries between the Republic and the sunward Custodial Protectorate and the rimward Novi Phaedrans, and are therefore quite difficult to mine in a large scale manner. The main source of industry for the Republic have been agriculture. From organized hydroponic gardens, wild free-growing alien flora that cling in the sewage systems and bright walls in the O'Neill Cylinders, to forays into Pachamama herself to collect VIta Seeds and other valuable specimens. The other industry the Republic of Maveth excels at is salvaging the remnants of past battles, derelicts, and ghost coloonies along with refurbishing and recycling what they get their hands on. Many of their military actions, when it is not of a defensive nature, are to secure footholds in enemy or heavily contested zones to allow contractors to harvest, repair, or tear apart and bring back what they can to their Cylinder. Despite their constant low-intensity warfare with all the other factions, the Republic of Maveth's unique position makes it a trading hub for the Solar System in things they need; Mavethite traders even cautiously broker deals with certain Houses in the Carnemicum if they are tolerable enough, though these deals are usually low-key and built on already-thin trust.

The Republic of Maveth are waging a "counter-insurgency" campaign against the Carnemicum over the fates of various colonies in Jupiter's satellites and in the Kuiper Belt, where planetary bodies are still abundant with resources but inhabited by the nomadic and raiding Carnies who must be purged asteroid to asteroid in order to obtain these resources. With the increased sightings of Antediluvian objects in places like Mars and the Custodial Protectorate's Solar Expeditions have made conflict between these two powerful empires more frequent, though the huge armies of the Custodians and the power of the Mavethite Combined Space Force have prevented anything more than frequent skirmishes and border wars for now. The Novi Phaedrans, once cowering beneath the shadow of Mavethite space ships, have begun launching raids on mining operations, colony efforts, even in the Cylinder habitats of the Mavethites themselves.

Reports of strange anomalies in Pachamama and in some of the bigger Vita Gardens have begun to appear more frequently...

HISTORY
Even in the bright Hope that the Solar Federation brought, there were still those bitter at how it was created, what it sacrificed to achieve its vision, and what it could mutate into in the face of the cruel, cold void. And these elements felt bitterly vindicated when the Great Worm Crisis brought the whole Federation down and quickly showed Humanity's ugly secrets back up into the day. Realizing that Dark Earth and the other inner planets of the Solar System were lost to barbarity, a former Solarian Intelligence Officer delved deep into Antediluvian ruins found on Venus to seek an answer. For a Year and a Day this officer was not seen. But on the second day of the second year he reappeared, donned in a metal X-Shaped mask and proclaimed himself Generalissimo X. Many scoffed at him as a rambling madman unable to cope with the destruction of the Solar Federation, but Generalissimo X quickly gained a following from groups who lost power and wealth during the progressive rise of the Solar Federation and/or had a grudge due to some factor or event during the Federation's creation. Pooling his resources and hiring skilled laborers with promises of a better future than that seen in the war-torn hellholes of Dark Earth and Gaia, Generalissimo X and his allies created the first O'Neill Cylinder called Cylinder Aleph and use it to spearhead the fledgling Republic of Maveth's makeshift space fleet towards the living and wildlife-teeming planet of Pachamama, or "World Mother" in the Quechuan tongue.

There, Generalissimo X went to the surface of Pachamama alone for a Year and a Day. Many of his followers became restless and a civil war almost broke out due to tensions, but on the second day of the second year Generalissimo X came back with the Vita Seed. This powerful grape-sized seed allowed for large gardens to grow with little nutrition as well as spawn awesome and terrible plants and plant-animals for military and economic use.
Around this time Generalissimo X mandated that most Mavethites should undergo genetic and biological modifications to reduce strain on the Cylinders as well as better interact with fauna and flora from Pachamama and her Vita Seeds. Twelve other O'Neill Cylinders began to built from the resources harvested in the Asteroid Belt during the era when LILITH was still unifying Dark Earth and Gaia.

The animosity between the Carnemicum and the Republic of Maveth began during the Solar Brawl of 2702, when three O'Neill Cylinders including Cylinder Aleph faced off against two hundred Carnemicum Doom Galleys over the fate of the newly constructed Cylinder Immortuos. The fighting was bitter, but the Republic managed to fend off the Carnemicum when the new Cylinder finally got its weapons online and joined the Fray. The ground skirmishes inside the Cylinders between the Mavethite militias and the Carnie raiders gave both a taste of each other's signature tactics and military mindset, allowing for future conflicts between the two to evolve their tactics against each other.

When the Custodial Protectorate expanded to its current zone of influence on one half of the Asteroid Belt, relations between the Protectorate and the Republic were never great to begin with. LILITH considers the Republic as a throwback to an exploitative and barbaric age before the Solar Federation came to existence. Generalissimo X on the other hand believes the Custodial Protectorate is too naive and will repeat the same mistakes its predecessor made, Haemotechnology or no. It doesn't help that the Republic of Maveth has a tendency to go behind Custodial borders to loot not-so-abandoned equipment and extract materials and resources that the Protectorate has a claim over. While border skirmishes and violent confrontations between Mavethite scavengers and Custodians have been frequent, serious conflict has been thankfully averted thanks to the stalemate caused by the large Custodian forces on the Protectorate side and the awesome Torchship-based Combined Space Force of the Mavethite's end. Analysts have studied What-If scenarios of a Maveth-Custodian War and many agreed it would entail nuclear holocausts, the destruction of several important bodies of habitation including Gaia and Cylinder Aleph, mass casualties from large scale battles, rampant Carnemicum-Archmedusozoan biological mutations in order to survive the apocalyptic hellscape left in the theoretical interstellar war's aftermath, and the birth of the Novi Phaedran Super-God Tchernobog who would carve its hateful songs into the heart of all the 13 planets. In summary, a very bad day would be had by all in the Solar System and therefore all sides are content with the Status Quo...for now.

While trade between the Republic of Maveth and various Novi Phaedran groups is frequent, the relations between these two factions are worse than those of Maveth and the Custodial Protectorate, and any trade and business is built on already thin and strained trust. The animosity is not only ideological, but also built upon past incidents. The Massacres began when a large Novi Phaedran Warband named the Aryan Dawn attacked Mavethite colonies in Jupiter, massacring and pillaging the helpless and small communities. When Generalissimo X condemned the Aryan Dawn, their Supreme Phaedran called the Mavethites "Neo-Zionist Cockroaches" and killed hostages in front of the video conference. Enraged, the Generalissimo ordered all 13 O'Neill Cylinders to join the Combined Space Force and attack Novi Phaedran space. The Republic even allied with House Calamity and House Dread of their arch-nemesis the Carnemicum and together attacked many Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones, including those not related to the Aryan Dawn. The Novi Phaedrans fought like cornered wolves and both sides suffered heavy casualties. The Massacres ended two years after its start when a good number of Novi Phaedrans banded together and destroyed the Aryan Dawn. While centuries past since the Massacres, both sides still have wounds from that chapter of history and are very bitter about it (except House Calamity and House Dread, who profited greatly from slaves and materials gathered during the fighting and becoming Great Houses with their new power and wealth).

In the current day, Generalissimo X has decided to expand the Mavethite domain in Jupiter and his many satellites and moons. Carnemicum Demesnes are littered all over Jupiter's orbits, and Operation Pest Control hopes to clear them out once and for all in order for Mavethite mining and colonization efforts to begin in earnest. Fighting has been intense and bloody, with Mavethite ships satellite-hopping and Militiamen clearing each one from tunnel to crater to habitat module. The Custodial Protectorate's Solar Expeditions have also given the Republic cause to worry but while border skirmishes and small battles have increased in frequency the Custodial Protectorate seems to have focused mainly on purging their most despised foe, the Novi Phaedrans. The Novi Phaedrans in turn have also begun raiding Mavethite territory with increased frequency including boarding actions in the large Torchships or even O'Neill Cylinders. The reason for this is to not only train novice and younger Novi Phaedrans against ground forces they consider weaker than them, but also to obtain Antediluvian Artifacts stored in the more powerful ships and Cylinders. The salvaging and excavation operations in Mars have also been ramping up with the increased fighting between the Novi Phaedrans and Custodians. Antediluvian Artifacts have begun appearing in increased quantity and quality, making testing the boundaries of Diplomacy and War even more lucrative for the three factions located there.

TERRITORY AND O'NEILL CYLINDERS
The domain of the Republic of Maveth extends from the rimward end of the Asteroid Belt towards parts of Jupiter. 80 percent of the Mavethite population lives in one of the 13 O'Neill Cylinders, but there are some permanent settlements in some satellites of Jupiter, notable the moon of Callisto and Amalthea. Some permanent settlements have recently been set up in Pachamama herself, but most of these are simply over-fortified, overlarge camps for hunters and gatherers of Pachamama's bountiful but dangerous biomes.

The 13 O'Neill Cylinders are listed below by name, their leader, local government flavor, economic focus, military focus, and name of their Militia. Their Motto is added in the end in Italics:

Cylinder Aleph: Ur-Admiral Yu Dai-Gu, Militaristic Naval Aristocracy, Starship Production, the Combined Space Force, the Phoenixes (Fènghuáng). We Sail Together
Cylinder Chel: Admiral-General Shira Tausk, Siege Mentality Republic, Small Arms Production, Good ol' Citizen Infantry, the Flames of God (Elohim shel Lehava). Our Fire is Never Extinguished!
Cylinder Jia: Admiral-Chancellor Elinor Liliana Corteza Vilar, Gunboat-Diplomacy Parliamentary Republic, Refurbishment and Recycling, Frigates and Destroyers, The Iron Militia (la milicia de hierro). Strength, Fortitude, Vindication
Cylinder Perdition: Admiral-Theocrat Arthur Sakamoto, Liberal Theocracy, Mass media and Telecommunications, Shock Troops, the Solar Crusaders. In the Holy We Trust.
Cylinder Scrap: Admiral-Boss George Salazar, Mafia-backed Syndicalist Coalition, Salvaging and Recycling, Drone-Assisted Infantry, The Scrappers. Nothing Overlooked (official)/Fuck Off (unofficial)
Cylinder Frontier: Admiral-Mayor Samuel Stinger, Libertarian Confederation of Townships, Agriculture, Light Infantry, the Frontier Rangers. A Reckoning is Coming
Cylinder Immortuos: Admiral-Doctor Abraham Sung-Park, Liberal Democratic Republic with Feral Elements, Bio-Engineering, Bio-Engineered soldiers and monsters from Pachamama, the Great Mob (Vulgus Magna). A Better You
Cylinder Spark: Admiral-Professor Alicia Xiao, Technocratic Oligarchy, High-Tech Industries (notably robotics and computers), Robotic units, the Spark Militia. The Spark of Tomorrow
Cylinder Fortaleza: Admiral-Castellan Antonio Lorenzo, Autocratic Industrial State, Heavy Industry, Sentry Turrets and Gun Emplacements, The Bears of Fortaleza (Osos de la Fortaleza). Stand Tall and Firm.
Cylinder Majesty: Admiral-Lord Dimitri Krol, Benevolent Absolute Monarchy, Agriculture, Heavy Infantry, The Royal Militia (Królewska milicja). Nobility Shines in the Humblest Hearts
Cylinder Ziyou: Admiral-President Jin Jiahao, Nationalist Chinese Semi-Presidential Constitutional Republic, Manufacturing, TorchShips, the National Guard (Guómín jǐngwèi). Sanmin Chu-i
Cylinder Prosperità: Admiral-Doge Alessandro Qian, Neoliberal Oligarchy, Financial Industries and Trade, Corvettes, the Contractors (Condottieri). Ciao e arrivederci (Hello and Goodbye)
Cylinder Panopticon: Admiral-Warden Noa Victoria Sunder, Hypercapitalist Surveillance State, Mining, Heavy Infantry, Internal Security. We Know

MILITARY CAPABILITIES
The Combined Space Force is the Jewel of the Republic of Maveth. Directly commanded by Generalissimo X himself and Cylinder Aleph's Ur-Admiral Yu Dai-Gu, the CSF is THE most powerful space fleet in the Solar System. Each O'Neill Cylinder must contribute up to 90 percent of its personal fleet to the Combined Space Force at any time and usually for extended periods of time. This helps prevent rebellion and maintain the powerful Space Force's loyalty to the Generalissimo. The importance of the CSF is so important that a significant portion of metals and rare earth elements mined and salvaged are allocated to it in the form of a flat tax to miners, with the O'Neill Cylinders' needs coming a near second and the Militias a distant third.

The nuclear-pulse propelled Torchships form the backbone of every Battlegroup, and surrounding each one is a flotilla of War Destroyers with its arsenal of subatomic Streak Missiles, Patrol Cruisers and their versatile hardpoints, Spearhead Frigates's rugged and reckless crew, and the Escort Corvettes who can match the Carnemicum galleys in almost every way including speed. But the impressive Torchships is not even the most powerful ship of the CSF. If situations become dire, each Admiral-Leader of an O'Neill Cylinder could go into Total War mode, bringing to bear the Cylinder's powerful armament of highways of missile arrays, Palaces of Automatic Kinetic Accelerators, and the very industries it possesses to demolish whatever army it faces. Against a Mavethite Cylinder enemy ships would face unholy swarms of Smart Missiles and be torn apart by computer-calculated Kinetic Kill Rods blasting at amazing speeds. Those unlucky enough to board an O'Neill Cylinder during its Total War mode will face the Cylinder's flavor of Militia, who are fighting for their home and know every nook and cranny to use in their advantage. Buildings themselves would be used against enemy boarders by locking doors, venting toxins into rooms, activating security systems and personal Sentry guns, and jettisoning enemies into waste disposal or even the vacuum of space.

There is no official federal Standing Army in the Republic of Maveth and unlike the CSF, each Militia answers to their Admiral-Leader first before the Generalissimo. The Militias are organized, trained, and equipped by their respective O'Neill Cylinder. Each militia is funded by what's left of their respective's Cylinder's funds after habitat maintenance and taxes to the much more well-funded CSF. Due to this, many Militias are self-sufficient and experts are maintaining the gear they have as well as field-requisitioning anything on the field not bolted down. This delicate balance of power between Admiral-Leaders and Generalissimo X' is maintained since the Admiral-Leaders and their Militias needs the spacefaring power of the CSF to provide support both in Logistics and Strategic Bombing with their mighty warships while the Combined Space Force needs the Militias to take control of resource-rich planets and satellites. Ranging from informal civilians trained to fight in groups on weekends such as Cylinder Scrap's Scrappers to Standing Armies in all but name like Cylinder Chel's Lehavans and Cylinder Ziyou's National Guard, only a few Militias are chosen or volunteered to join the CSF on any one campaign, preferring to undergo local missions set by their Cylinder, such as guarding important cargo or salvaging the nearby abandoned asteroid base. Most ground operations in the Republic of Maveth are defensive operations around valuable resources or Resource-Acquisition Patrols where the Militia would scout out areas for any valuables and either extract them or support and guard workers who are able to. The exception is Operation Pest Control, where the Militias of the Republic actively conduct offensive patrols against Carnemicum raiders and homesteaders who have been waging intense guerrilla warfare in their demesnes set up in Jupiter's satellites.

The Militias come in a variety of flavor, but many are usually lightly equipped and armored, assisted by robots such as drones and auto-sentries, have a few combat genetic and biological modifications, a belt satchel of Vita Seeds, and wield easily produced, close quarter, and rapid-firing weapons such as SMGs, Shotguns, and Chainguns. There are very few dedicated combat vehicles in the Mavethite arsenal due to their claustrophobic living conditions, and only one outdated medium tank can be said to be used in any reasonable frequency. Mobility, resourcefulness, and flexible small unit tactics supported by powerful and specialized robots is what allows the average Mavethite Militiaman to not only survive but also excel against much more powerful soldiers such as the power-armored Novi Phaedrans and Haemotech-augmented Custodians.

VITA SEEDS
While the Combined Space Force, the upgunned O'Neill Cylinders, immortal Generalissimo X, and the bio-engineered population are all impressive, it isn't what allowed the Republic to thrive in the Solar System. The humble Vita Seed is not as impressive as being able do magical spells with blood, turning into superhumans by mystical testosterone poisoning, or having one of the first sentient species of the Universe desperately meld with you, but this grape-sized pip given to Generalissimo X from the very heart of Pachamama is what helped maintain the power of the Republic has today. The Vita Seed is so powerful and versatile that the Militias rely on it extensively to compensate for their lack of high-end weaponry and gear due to much of the Republic of Maveth's focus on putting most of their resources into the Combined Space Force, and virtually all Mavethite O'Neill Cylinders and colonies rely on the exotic and sometimes wild gardens the Vita Seed sprouts in order to feed their massive population, which are already modified to rely on fewer resources and life support requirements, and have more than enough to trade with the other factions when they aren't sporadically fighting.

All Vita Seeds share the same common ancestor of the first Vita Seed found by Generalissimo X. Before then, while the Solar Federation extensively cataloged Pachamama's animal and plant life, but nothing hinting at the Vita Seed was ever documented. The VIta Seed only requires a little water, a little nutrient-laden dirt or similar substance, and a little sunlight or heat to grow into bounties tenfold. Biologists are still figuring out why this is the case, but the most common theory is that Vita Seeds derive an ambient cosmic energy source similar to an older era of Antediluvian Technology. Mutation between the Vita Seeds are rare, but these mutations can be easily identified by the color of their pip. The common bright green Vita Seeds are used to plant large gardens for food and common medicine in the Mavethite habitats, the white Vita Seeds grew more exotic medicinal plants, the red ones grew explosive and toxic plants for use in Mavethite grenade production, the yellow seeds give birth to a variety animal-plant lifeforms used for manual labor or combat, and the highly restricted black Vita Seed is used on corpses to allow the semi-sentient vines and roots to hijack the body and turn into a Combat Ghoul. While each type of seed can sprout a wide variety of plants, with enough patient cultivation and careful selection the cultivator can make the Vita garden gradually sprout what they desire.

For the Militiaman of the Republic, they are given an assortment of Vita Seeds to allow them to be more self sufficient and tactically flexible, since most resources went to the CSF and the Cylinders' infrastructure. These combat Vita Seeds grow much, much faster than the normal seed, taking up to a few days, hours, or even minutes. The Militias are able to use their Vita Seeds to plant gardens in short time to feed small squads for a few days (or longer if tended properly), delicately harvest dangerous plants for their wide variety of home-made grenades, set up organic walls, and even either grow animalistic plants to do their bidding or create Combat Ghouls from the corpses of the dead. Unlike mass media zombies, Combat Ghouls were much more stronger, hardier, and smarter thanks to the Vita Seed and it retains some memories allowing for a portion of the undead's combat and technical skills to be retained.

In the same way the Vita Seed served the Republic, the Republic built themselves to helping the spread and cultivation of the Vita Seed. Because the gardens are stationary, many operations stick around the gardens to benefit from whatever explosives, guard vines, living land mines, walking dandelion killers, and other awesome and terrifying plantlife. Small patrols are sent from their flowery Forward Outpost Base for a short duration before coming back. This means that Mavethite ground forces are usually static but well-defended and supplied, and these gardens usually spread out from their base of operations causing attacks on Mavethite territory to feel like the old wars in the jungles of Earth, such as Burma and Vietnam.
THE NOVI PHAEDRANS
Face the Crucible
Unlocking the Beast Within
The Elitist Brute Faction
Opposite of the Custodial Protectorate
Image
Two Novi Phaedrans undertaking their Crucible in the depths of Dark Earth. Art by Alejandro Mirabal.

Capital: None (de Jure)/Titan, Saturn's moon (de Facto)
Government: Aristocratic Confederation of various Autonomous Zones, usually of an ethnocentric nature
Head of Government: None (de Jure)/Tyrant Stavros, Lion of Titan (de Facto)
Population: 3 Billion
Demonym: Novi Phaedran, Phaedran, or alternatively the demonym for their respective tribe/clan/band/society.
Motifs: Red, Masculine, Willpower, Werewolf
Economic Focuses: Private Contracting, Mining, Cottage Industries, Arms Manufacturing
Doctrine Focuses: The Fireteam, Offensive Objectives, Superior Small Arms Equipment, Shock and Awe Tactics, Power Armored Heroes (in the Classical sense of the word Hero)
Weapon Focuses: Revolvers, Battle Rifles, Rocket Launchers
Cultural Power: The Apotheosis
Music Vibe: We are One by Triarii and No Tears are Shed for You or Me by Triore

OVERVIEW
The Old Ways have Not Died and Never Will. That was the axiom the Founder of the Novi Phaedran Philosophy named simply Caesar and to many hardened survivors and fringe communities that popped up in the aftermath of the Solar Federation this was gospel. Meaning the New Overlords in Latin, this faction is less of an organized group and more of a wide collection of communities, mercenaries, and individuals who follow the umbrella tenants of the Novi Phaedran philosophy and can tap into the powerful and ancient Apotheosis which destroyed the decadent Antediluvians eons ago. Located on the moons of Saturn, Ouranus, and Neptune, the Novi Phaedran communities lives in quasi-Libertarian societies called Autonomous Zones, which usually put an emphasis on community (be it ideology or race), traditional Gender roles, and a fascination of masculine might and myth. Based around a loose interpretation of National-Anarchism, there are no official leader of the whole Novi Phaedran umbrella. Despite this, Phaedran Strvros of the Stellar Lions based in the old moon of Titan is widely respected by many Autonomous Zones and is looked upon for guidance in the defense against the Custodial Protectorate's Solar Expeditions.

Having been based around the concept of small communities with a tendency for martial skills, the "national" economy of the Novi Phaedran is quite weak compared to the other three factions. Local industries from individual Autonomous Zones trade with each other at times and mining is a lucrative business, but the main focus of the Novi Phaedrans as a whole are themselves. Having been raised at a young age to face challenges and hone their craft(s), each Novi Phaedran who sells his skills to others is an expert craftsman, whether it be Power Armor manufacturing, Mining, or Warcraft. While many simply sell their manpower to other Novi Phaedran communities, a few Autonomous Zones have opened their business to the other factions, notably the Republic of Maveth and the Carnemicum. This has allowed young Novi Phaedrans hoping to test in their Crucible, which are a series of Herculean challenges and tests as a Rite of Passage that unlocks their Apotheosis and is the core value of the Novi Phaedran creed. The Power Armors of the Novi Phaedran armor-smiths and rugged weapons of their weapon-smiths are stuff of legends and have allowed the ragtag group of warrior clans, ethnostates, and historical revivalists to fend off against the much powerful Custodial Protectorate.

The "effeminate worshipers of LILITH" of the Custodial Protectorate have been the hated enemy of virtually all Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones. Oil and Water, Night and Day, the rivalry between the two is unlike the economic and geopolitical rivalry of the Republic of Maveth and the Carnemite. The Custodians and the Novi Phaedrans despise each other at the very core. The Novi Phaedran view the Custodial Protectorate as a tyrannical and stupid social experiment against what is true to human nature and what traits created many of the great civilizations. The Custodial Protectorate sees the Novi Phaedrans as bloodthirsty fascists, misogynists, and eugenicists who prey on the weak in ways much, much worse than the Carnemicum. The Custodial Protectorate's Solar Expeditions have been launched deliberately to purge the Novi Phaedran mentality from the Solar System. Many Autonomous Zones in turn have dropped past grievances against each other to begin preparing their small industries and populations for war, trading with people they wouldn't have dreamed of talking to only years ago, sending the younger Novi Phaedrans on bloodier Crucibles against the Republic of Maveth and the Carnemicum to create veteran warriors who can unleash more terrifying Apotheosis quicker, and have begun sending more and more warbands into Mars to find any Antediluvian Artifacts to give them an edge despite scorning the civilization that created them. Led by Tyrant Stravros for the duration of the Solar Crisis (as they call it), the Novi Phaedrans have long donned their custom Power Armors and hoisted their fearsome weapons, ready for the fierce fighting that will come. Ten slobbering slaves of the She-Bitch LILITH will die for every Hero and Master of Destiny who falls in his duty to protect his Home and Right.

As more Novi Phaedrans achieve Apotheosis, Tchernobog is stirring more and more from its hateful sleep. Soon, it'll awaken and spread dark revelations to the Solar System once more....

HISTORY
Despite the Shining Ray that was the Solar Federation, a few revisionist and reactionary groups resented its success and progress. They pined for simpler times, when Materialism wasn't as worshiped as it is now and when Culture and Tradition was respected. The Solar Federation's fall was unexpected and a sharp blow for Humanity. The Great Worm Crisis took the Digital Intelligence-based infrastructure offline, leaving a huge population who for centuries totally relied on it to suddenly had to fend for themselves. To make matters worse, the Digital Intelligences that were still up became malicious, using the Utopian cities against their former masters. Millions died on Earth alone during the first year of the Great Worm Crisis, and the survivors and secretly happy traditionalists resorted to extreme measures in order to survive. These post-apocalyptic communities were very tribal and resurrected old societies and ideologies once thought vanished to cope with what they saw as the failure of the Solar Federation. For a whole century Dark Earth and the surrounding planets fell into a terrible dark age.

The Novi Phaedran idea began when the son of a tribal scholar from an obscure technology-worshiping tribe left the safety of his community with only the clothes on his back, his bedroll, a small bag of food, a knife, and his old impact rifle to help him on the way. For a decade he traveled the wretched landscapes and communities before him, learning and surviving in any way he can, developing the embryo that would bring the Novi Phaedran philosophy to existence. He did many acts of great and impressive deeds (if not moral in some cases) and gathered a following. Upon discovering a fully intact library the wandering tribal poured into the books and intact holotapes he began reading from a wide variety of works including those of works of Julius Evola, Thomas Caryle, and the concept of Fin de siècle, developing a philosophy that would unite the survivors and victors of this Dark Earth together and usher in a new era that would not make the same smothering mistakes the Solar Federation made in the name of "equality" and "social justice". Taking the name Caesar after the first Roman Emperor, the simple son of the tribal scholar from some long forgotten tribe became the founder of a mindset that would thunder across the Solar System.

Equipped with the creed of Tribe, Heroism, and Renewal, Caesar and his Novi Phaedrans united as many tribes as they can, ranging from polygamist patriarchal farming households to vicious techno-barbarians, primitive farming communities looking for protection to industrialist Neo-Nazi bunker-states. Together the Novi Phaedrans cleaved a bloody path across Dark Earth's Europe and Mediterranean, bringing the powerful tribes into their fold and mercilessly butchering the weaker or pacifistic tribes. Upon reaching Caucasus Mountains, Caesar and his Novi Phaedran horde faced the newly formed Custodians of Lilith's Custodial Protectorate. The Battle of Talysh lasted for two years in a bloody stalemate, but when the nearby Mechanized Horde of the She-Khan joined LILITH's side the Novi Phaedrans were pushed back. Suddenly fighting back to Europe, Caesar did all he could to keep the fiercely independent tribes together. In the famous Crucible at Fort Tsarevets in old Bulgaria where the remnants of the original Novi Phaedrans held out against the large army of the Custodial Protectorate, It was there, in the battered ruins of Fort Tsarevets, that Caesar discovered the final piece to the Novi Phaedran belief system.

An ancient sword of unknown origin, predating even that of the Antediluvian civilization, shimmered into existence right in front of him while Caesar was deep in thought in the lowest levels of the Fort. What was spoken between them was not known aside from ancient battles and Ascension Beyond Oneself, but Caesar came out sword in hand and a new fire in his eyes, the sky filled with a strange red and the clouds thundering as if a fearsome battle was taking place above. Demanding all to charge and fight through the Custodial encirclement and slaying those who either refused or couldn't, the Novi Phaedrans went into a suicidal melee with the better-equipped Custodians and their allies. Much to the shock of LILITH's forces, rather than being gunned down with impunity the Novi Phaedrans fought with increasingly ridiculous strength, speed, and durability. Where when the Custodians gunned at the charging foe they fell easily enough, the survivors were able to dodge or even ignore the gunfire and explosive blasts and tear apart armored troops with bare hands and clubs. As more and more Novi Phaedrans killed, the more stronger they became. Skin began to withstand attacks, their attacks became quicker, their aim keener. Reports of men ripping apart lightly armored vehicles and shrugging off machine gun fire by the end of the battle became common, with sightings of Novi Phaedrans leaping over large swathes of soldiers and tearing apart foes with claws and razor teeth also appeared. The Novi Phaedrans managed to push Custodian forces back and retreat into safe territory.

Realizing that Dark Earth was no longer worthy of the Novi Phaedran way and its new Apotheosis power, Caesar decreed that the surviving tribes must venture out into the stars to ensure the survival of the True Way. Hijacking and cobbling together as many starships they could, the various Novi Phaedrans spread across Dark Earth for more resources and other tribes who would want to join. The Great Journey began when the Custodial Protectorate's Voyagers began to make a coordinated effort to destroy the Novi Phaedran fleets. With the order of the Caesar to make the Novi Phaedran ideal a reality in space and to always Face their Crucible, the myriad of tribes set off to the stars. Caesar's fleet was specifically targeted by the mighty Voyager Fleet and his tribe, his wives' tribes, and his sons' tribes were annihilated. In an ironic twist the daughters and crippled sons of Caesar were left behind as a waste of resources if not outright killed by their own father and not only were safe from the mass extermination of their family but the bitter and betrayed offspring became the first experts on anti-Phaedran strategies, formulating many of the methods the Custodial Protectorate uses against their powerful foe to this day.

The remaining Novi Phaedrans scattered across the stars, but many ventured toward the planet Titan, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn after realizing that planets of the Inner Solar System were sympathetic to the tyrannical and self-harming Custodial Protectorate, and Pachamama and Jupiter was beginning to be occupied by the materialistic and degenerate Republic of Maveth. The unity once held during the reign of Caesar was weakening, and by the time the Novi Phaedrans kicked out the anarcho-syndicalist communities that resided around the three gas giants after many of the large Autonomous Zones took over Titan, the unity evaporated and each tribe and community formed an Autonomous Zone which usually entailed a racial element or other tight knit grouping. A majority of them settled in the floating metal islands and submersible colonies of Titan and Titan became the home for many of the big Autonomous Zones and the hotbed of cultural evolution of Novi Phaedranist thought.

While fighting between the Autonomous Zones was frequent for resources or to allow warriors to undergo their Crucible in ritual warfare, many Autonomous Zones were actually pretty peaceful albeit isolationist and xenophobic places whose people preferred to stick to their cottage industries and local folklore and flavor of Apotheosis. But as conflict from the more aggressive Autonomous Zones and the other factions, especially the Custodial Protectorate and the neighboring Carnemicum, increased, even these idyllic hydro-pastoral communities began arming up and developing a regular caste of fighters. It didn't help that to many outside the Novi Phaedran community think of all Autonomous Zones simply as Neo-Nazi techno-barbarians looting, raping, and pillaging as they see fit. The Massacres between the Aryan Dawn and its allies against the Republic of Mavaeth, along with the Grab of 2711 by the Carnemicum have also reduced the more nuanced Autonomous Zones in number, leaving the more extreme, warlike, and Euro-centric Novi Phaedran Zones to dictate the culture and mentality of the whole area.

The Solar Expeditions may be the final nail on the coffin of the more libertarian aspects of the Novi Phaedrans, as the full might of the Custodial Protectorate, having had enough of the usually barbaric Crucibles that occur all across the Solar System and especially in Protectorate territory against Custodial citizens, have forced the small and ragtag Autonomous Zones to band together under one (or two) flags. Led by the fearsome Stravros, Lion of Titan, who was elected Tyrant by the leaders of the Autonomous Zones, the Novi Phaedran forces have begun small shock attacks against weak points of their arch-enemy, using the Republic of Maveth and the Carnemicum as testing grounds for Novi Initiates and equipment.

TERRITORY AND AUTONOMOUS ZONES
The former moon of Saturn, the watery TItan, houses the most powerful Autonomous Zones of the Novi Phaedrans. Second to that in population is Saturn's satellites Rhea followed by Ouranus's Titania and Oberon. and Neptune's Triton. Many of the satellites, especially those of Neptune, have been hotly contested by the Carnemicum, and the Custodial Protectorate's Solar Expeditions have reached Saturn, with Titan's heavy layers of automated defenses being the only thing stopping its total destruction. The reason Uranus was changed to Ouranus was to give it the Greek version of the name, though some speculate it is mostly because Novi Phaedrans were tired of "Ur-Anus" jokes from Carnemite invaders. Ouranus is pronounced "ore-anus".

The most powerful Autonomous Zones are listed below by Name, Leader, Area of Habitation, Cultural/Government Flavor, Economic Focus, and Military Focus. Each Autonomous Zone is organized under the faction of Novi Phaedran thought they adhere to, officially or unofficially:

THE SCATTERED: Believes in the old ways laid down by Caesar, each Autonomous Zone being an independent community based on the powerful tribe and a set of customs that rules it, allying with others only when extreme danger strikes:
The Den of Titan: Tyrant Stravos, Titan, Patriarchal Warrior Society, Arms and Armor Manufcaturing, Heroes with mighty power armor and mightier Apotheosis
The Democratic City-State of Fos: Miltiades, Titan, Athenian Democracy, Horticulture, Phalanxes of Power-Armored Hoplites with both ranged and close quarter capabilities
The Star Kings: Arch-King Antonio Hawkes, flotillas around Ouranus, Patriarchal Meritocratic Clan, Mining, Power Armored Close Quarter Specialists
The Duchy of Oberon: Junker Ehren von Wolf, Oberon, Romantic ideal of aristocratic German agrarianism during the German Confederation, Hydroponic Agriculture, Power Armored Close Quarter Specialists
New Camelot: The Pendragon (currently Richard Stillwater), Dione, Arthurian Warrior-based Feudalistic society, Private Contracting and Radionuclides, Power Armored Close Quarter Specialists
Neos Lacedaemon (New Lacedaemon): King Lykos and King Tigri, habitats inside Proteus, aggressive Spartan Monarchy with modern industry, chemical processing, Powered Armored Close Quarter Heroes and Hoplites
The Wild Souls: Chief Akandama, the forest ships of Titan, feral Tribal Confederation, Foraging and Gathering, Bestial Apotheosis
ikhaya (Home): King Mandla, Triton, Freezing Cold Zulu Kingship, overclocked supercomputer server farms and Antediluvian Artifacts hidden in Triton, Combat Vehicles

THE CHAINED: Believes that while Caesar had good ideas, the Novi Phaedrans should organize into a more unified and functional government, most likely a Confederation or even a totalitarian state. Wants the Tyrant role Stravros has to be more permanent:
The New Kaiserreich: King Fredrick Wilhelm V, Titan, Bismarckian Constitutional Monarchy, Heavy Industry and Arms manufacturing, Power Armored Professional Soldiers with powerful Battle Rifles
The Solar Templars: Grand Master Felicien de Boucher, Oberon, Christian Monastic Warrior Society, Banking, Jack of All Trades Power Armor units
Al'mujtamae (The Society): Shiekh Giaffar al' Fathi, Iapetus, Islamic Tribal Confederation, Shipbuilding and Luxury Items, Capital Ships
Junsui Nippon (Pure Japan): Emperor Kita, Titania, Fascist Japanese Monarchy, Heavy Alga-culture, Frigates and gunships
The Archimedes Academy: Archon Trevor Harrington, Titan, Immoral Technocratic Oligarchy, Collaborative and Mercenary R&D and Genetic Engineering, State-of-the-Art Power Suits

THE CLAWED: Warlike Autonomous Zones who believe Might Makes Right and are known for their constant raids against other factions and Autonomous Zones. Only obeys Tyrant Stravros for further opportunities of loot and carnage:
Novi Scordisci (New Scordisci): King Divac, Rhea, Celtic-style Kingship, Salvaging and Refurbishment, lightly armored raiders and raiding ships
Volkswolf (People's Wolves): Fuhrer Johann Bahr, Titan, Despotic Neo-Nazi Tribe, Raiding, Light Power Armor and a fuck ton of Rocket Launchers
The Nordrekkr (North Great Warriors): King Erik Gunnar, Triton, Viking Assembly-based Monarchy, Hydroponic Horticulture, Berserkers in Power Armor
The Dread Spartoi: Controller Titus Zachariussan, Titan, Totalitarian Mercenary Unit, Private Contracting, Lightly Power Armored Vat-grown Super Soldiers
The Dust of Mars: Colonel Jonathon Cain, Titan/Mars, Mercenary Unit with a society, Private Contracting, Jack of All Trade Power Armor Units
The Shigai Clan: Lord Shigai Miyamoto, Rhea, Feudal Japanese Samurai Clan, Pisciculture, Power Armored SAMURAIS!

THE SHUNNED: Those Autonomous Zones that border on Novi Phaedran philosophy and simply being independent for one reason or another. Nominally joined Tyrant Stravos but have been known to align themselves casually with other factions and are viewed with suspicion by other Novi Phaedrans. Ironically despite being shunned by many these Pariah Autonomous Zones have the most humans with Apotheosis:
Whetu Whānau (Space Family): Rangitira Tane Williams, various small satellites of Neptune, Maori-based Tribal System, Trade and Shipping, Corvettes and powerful Mana-based Apotheosis
The Shire of Ariel: King Archie Rayden, Ariel, Tolkein-esque Anarcho-Monarchy, Hydroponic Agriculture and Small Crafts, Apotheosis
The Sirens of War: Lady Samantha D'arc, Mimas, Matriarchal Warrior Society, Private Contracting, Apotheosis based on female warriors of reality and myth
Gita Jisig Yeonguso (Other Knowledge Institute): Professor Rhee Chin-Mae; Nereid; Isolationist Archaeologist Society; Antediluvian, "Apotheosis Civilization", and ArchMedusozoan Artifacts; Heavily Armored Power Armor Units
The Forlorn: Boss Bianca Karabulut, none but many meet up at Umbriel during meetings and trade, Informal Confederation of Hermits and other Pariahs, Salvage and Refurbishment and Repair, Customized and jury rigged Power Armor

MILITARY CAPABILITIES
The Novi Phaedran warriors are said to be the best ground combatant of the Solar System on a 1v1 basis hands down. One Novi Phaedran in Power Armor, wielding an automatic Battle Rifle, and accumulating kills for his Apotheosis can take on six veteran Custodians with ease if he plays it right. With a wide variety of Autonomous Zones and many Autonomous Zones' warriors preferring artisan-crafted gear rather over mass production, the Novi Phaedrans' armaments vary wildly like the Autonomous Zones that exist. That being said, there are a few tendencies seen across the Novi Phaedrans. Revolvers, Battle Rifles, Rocket Launchers, and other hard hitting, rugged weaponry are preferred by many warriors, as are powerful, sometimes custom-made Power Armors which have a variety of model names and functions. Add-ons for Power Armor range from speed boosters, jetpacks, internal medical systems, automated shoulder or hip weaponry, and much much more.

Each warrior of a Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zone must go through a personal Crucible before being able to don said armor, the Crucible ranging from arena fights, raids into enemy territories with little equipment, week long hunts in wild Big Game parks in Titan, and so on. Upon finishing their Crucible and offering an item proving their success to the leader of their community, the young Novi Phaedran gains their Apotheosis which enables them to become stronger and almost supernaturally powered in their own unique ways the more they survive and kill in a battle. Due to the relatively small population, most Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones rely on bands of very small but extremely powerful and well-equipped warriors, usually from two to six Power Armor-wearing warriors, to fight overwhelming odds. Each warrior is a priest of war and is treated with the up-most respect and reverence in his community, getting the best weapons, gear, food, housing, and women in return for the understanding that if his leader demands the warrior will gladly lay down his life in whatever hell he is in and whatever odds he is facing at a moment's notice.

Aside from Power Armored Dealers of Death and Myth, each subfaction within the Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones has a different approach to support units. The autonomous Scattered have their own perspective on vehicles and other combat troops, but generally take a moderate stance between Power Armored and non-Power Armored. The Caged subfaction rely quite a bit on support troops, treating their Power Armored Units as Mainline Troops working with a cog. The Caged also have the worst Apotheosis ability in comparison to the other subfactions, having sacrificed their mythos and wild nature within for industrialization and organization. The Clawed consider anything aside from Power Armor, simple yet powerful weaponry, and Apotheosis powers weak. Aside from the Dust of Mars many Clawed Autonomous Zones prefer melee combat. And finally, the Pariahs have an eclectic mix but also have the best Heroes with Apotheosis abilities.

The Novi Phaedrans have the weakest and smallest Space Fleet out of all the factions, using mostly outdated designs. Whereas the Republic of Maveth gave most of their care to their Combined Space Force at the expense of the Militias, the Novi Phaedrans are the exact opposite, having the deadliest warriors but can barely fight off Carnemite raiding corvettes on their best day. Each captain is the master of his ship, and this is even more so with the Novi Phaedrans, which can cause issues when coordinating fleet battles against the other factions when egos are concerned. While places like Al'mujtamae can field a few capital ships that can go toe to toe with a Custodial Lightbringer-class Battleship, the combined Novi Phaedran "fleet" has no hope if facing any one of the other faction's space forces full on. Many of the Novi Phaedran ships are used for holding off light picket fleets and used as logistical and support elements for the Novi Phaedran ground forces. When the Novi Phaedrans want to head deep into enemy territory, they hijack or bribe foreign ships to take them where they need to go. Mercenary groups such as the Dust of Mars, the Dread Spartoi, and the Sirens of War have their own formidable fleets, but mostly rely on their employer to provide safe passage to whatever planet or satellite their soldiers are heading into, and as that client is usually either the Republic of Maveth, the various Carmenite Houses, or even a morally flexible Custodial Officer, they have no worries of getting ignominiously destroyed in space before they could start their job.

THE APOTHEOSIS
Thousands of Years before the Ancient Mesopotamian City of Ur was built, the ancient human Civilization named the Antediluvians spanned across the Solar System, achieving a level of technology that not even the Solar Federation at its peak could touch, building large colonies across many planets and satellites and erecting wondrous monuments to stand the test of time. And then, the Antediluvians disappeared. No trace of them was ever discovered and only old tales of mythical cities even hinted at such a society. It was only when the Solar Federation tested an extremely fragile and expensive White Hole Particle Accelerator that the first Antediluvian Artifacts and ruins began appearing all across the Solar System. The Solar Federation was only just beginning study of Antediluvian locations when the Great Worm Crisis occurred and sent Humanity into turmoil.

When Caesar discovered the Tsarevets Sword in Fort Tsarevets, it was said to be from a human civilization predating even the Antediluvian, though this "Apotheosis Civilization" is even less understood than the Antediluvians. What is known that they were either an older iteration of the Antediluvian Civilization or a dying one that fought against the Antediluvians and lost during early Antediluvian history. This earlier civilization made use of a primal life force within every early human that allowed incredible feats of physical and mental ability and even some superpowers such as growing wings, unleashing punches of fire, or metal-tearing fangs. There is speculation that many ancient heroic figures and gods of myth may have been using the powers of this Apotheosis. This power laid dormant until the Antediluvian discovery, and even then "Apotheosis Civilization" artifacts were much rarer than Antediluvian and it wasn't until Caesar that one was discovered and fully comprehended. When the Tsarevets Sword whispered its secrets in his ear, it brought the possibility of Apotheosis back to Humanity and slowly the ways to tap it were spread across Novi Phaedran tribes by Caesar.

The way to Apotheosis isn't an easy one. In fact, it is downright lethal. The two requirements is to firstly force the human body, mind, and soul to their limit and then secondly channel that ordeal into something like a fetish which would create the Apotheosis and bestow it upon the Novi Phaedran initiate. The Crucible serves as the organized and ritualized function for the Novi Phaedrans to accomplish the First Requirement. The Second Requirement is a bit trickier. While Apotheosis artifacts can be used, they are extremely rare and equally grueling to create in the present day. The most common way to channel the results of the Crucible is to internalize it into a personal myth or a whole culture. This is why virtually all Autonomous zones in Novi Phaedran territories are very serious about their cultures and Crucibles, and why Chained followers, who sacrificed some of their raw traditional ideals and dangerous lifestyle for some industrialization, have weaker Apotheosis compared to Autonomous Zones like the Novi Scordisci or Den of Titan. While the Novi Phaedrans have stated that anyone can achieve Apotheosis, but only a few non-Phaedran individuals have been known to achieve a level similar to even the greenest Novi Phaedran initiate, and many of them have been in frequent contact with Novi Phaedrans with their Apotheosis unlocked, causing many to speculate that the Apotheosis is similar to a flower spore or disease requiring specific conditions and a host to pass it on.

Whereas Haemotechnology allows the user a myriad of almost magical abilities, The Apotheosis is more grounded in the human's existing abilities. Sure, it can sometime manifest into beastlike appendages and fangs, wings, and even limited elemental-based attacks, but it mostly manifests in humbler aspects, such as larger muscles, better response times, being able to leap great heights, tearing apart metal with bare hands, and shrugging off gunfire nonchalantly. It doesn't only apply to physical abilities. Mental strain and challenges have also given the more intellectual Novi Phaedrans better cognitive abilities, albeit temporarily. While every Novi Phaedran who achieved Apotheosis gains a small permanent boost to various abilities, to unlock greater powers they require to undergo great challenges and/or kill gloriously. The powers gained last from a few days to a few hours, depending on the strength of said power.
THE CARNEMICUM
We Journey to Better Winds
The Bond of the Alien
The Spammer Guerilla Faction
Opposite of the Republic of Maveth
Image
Two young Pariarchs of House Apocalypse partaking in the Life Harvest against a rival Carnemicum House to obtain Serfs and biological material for their demesne. Art by Hetza/Hellshock

Capital: The Citadel of Birth, Flatworld
Government: Neo-Feudalist Confederation
Head of Government: Pariarch Zhang of House Atrocity
Population: 17 Billion
Demonym: Carnemite (official), Carnemicum (unofficial but common), Carnie (unofficial)
Motifs: Green, New, Expansion, Vermin
Economic Focuses: Algae-culture, Chemical Processing, Mining, Piracy, and Slave Labor
Doctrine Focuses: The Squad, Raiding and POW-capturing Objectives, Powerful Mutations, Guerilla Warfare, Superpowered Raiders
Weapon Focuses: Melee Weaponry, Traps and Mines, Grenades
Cultural Power: ArchMedusozoan-Human Mutualism
Music Vibe: Adrenaline by Shinedown and Trouble by Five Finger Death Punch

OVERVIEW
In the terrible backdrop of the Great Worm Crisis which caused the total collapse of the Solar Federation, few realized that the self-sufficient and already bizarrely Giger-esque Outer Colonies that mined and cultivated algae-culture the Kuiper Belt and beyond made First Contact with an alien race. And even the Outer Colonies didn't realize it, since the ancient ArchMedusozoan spores that drifted for thousands of years entered into the food of the reckless colonists. This symbiosis created a new variant of human, giving the power of the eldritch ArchMedusozoan to humans wile giving the aliens a new chapter in their unbelievably ancient existence. Together, alien and colonist hybrid formed the Carnemicum, a collection of caste-based aristocratic Houses with terrible names who rule their algae-cultural and mining-based Demesnes, raiding each other and the other bigger factions in ritualized raids called Life Harvests for loot, organic material, and most importantly slaves known as Serfs to mine, farm, and work in chemical factories. Lesser Houses swear oaths of fealty in return for protection.

The Carnemicum is the second populous faction in the Solar System right behind the Custodial Protectorate thanks to being relatively unscathed during the Great Worm Crisis as well as from their frequent raids for Serfs. It is also the second most expansive but also most ill-defined boundary, ranging from the outermost limits of the Solar System to areas of Jupiter, with many territories considered fully in the grasp of the Carnemicum being hotly contested by the Novi Phaedrans and especially Republic of Maveth. While the various Carnemite Houses and their scatted Demesne across the Kuiper Belt are autonomous and ruled by the gender-neutrally titled Pariarchs, the artificial disk-planet Flatword located near Pluto serves as the seat of power of the Carnemicum and one of the few areas that can be considered a city in their mostly scattered territory, and the current ruler of Flatworld and in theory all of the rowdy Carnemicum is Pariarch Zhang of the powerful House Atrocity.

Peace and War are blurred in the mind of the Carnemicum. Raiders may attack and abduct colonists one week and then trade chemicals and metals for slaves and lab equipment the next. Despite their large population, the Carnemicum considers it bad form to have mostly baseline and non-hybrid Serfs fight their battles, and therefore only a small portion of the population, the ArchMedusozoan-Human hybrids and their equally mutated descendants and creations, actually fight. Relying on guerrilla tactics and their grotesque biological abilities gifted by both their ArchMedusozoan counterpart and Gene Wizards/Flesh Doctors alike, Carnemite Raiders prefer capturing their foes over killing them, but if push come to shove can use a variety of dirty tricks and terrible weaponry to annihilate their foes in the most horrifying ways. The Carnemicum have little qualms of who they raid, believing that all of the Solar System will soon be Carnemicum-held so why wait for the inevitable. The "barbaric and wasteful" Novi Phaedrans have been the Carnemicum's most frequent enemy, but the most intense rivalry is against the Republic of Maveth, who have undergone various concerted military campaigns to exterminate the Houses.

The Carnemicum has begun making more frequent contact with the powerful Custodial Protectorate thanks to LILITH's Solar Expeditions, and these encounters have been mostly hostile. Fearing that once the Novi Phaedrans are steamrolled they would be next, Carnemite Raiders have begun attacking logistical lines and scouting parties of the Protectorate to slow the invasions down. The Republic of Maveth's Operation Pest Control have also kept the Carnemicum's focus, with the Demesnes around Jupiter fighting for their lives against destruction. Luckily, the ArchMedusozoans consider Antediluvian Artifacts to be mere trinkets of a young, dead civilization and only consider them as paperweights and things to trade with the other factions who are awestruck by such things. This has allowed the Carnemicum to not get caught in the Rat Race for Artifacts, especially in Mars, and focus on the Life Harvests for Serfs and Souls. Troubles at home have also become more frequent in this time of war, with Serfs, especially the newer generations, demanding a greater say in Carnemicum politics or even outright Emancipation. And due to many of the Carnie Raiders being away fighting against the Republic of Maveth or other as well as partaking in even more Life Harvests, repressing these rowdy elements have become much more harder.

The Dark Genome, that mysterious conclave of Flesh Doctors and Genetic Wizards, have created the first batch of pure ArchMedusozoan specimens for their True Masters....

HISTORY
Before even the human Antediluvians and the "Apotheosis" Civilization preceding them the ArchMedusozoans were mighty and ancient. Ruling supreme across a significant portion of the Milky Way, these eldritch aliens were brought down by something they only called the Others. With their civilization destroyed totally, the ArchMedusozoans sent out microscopic spores across the Galaxy to survive and begin again. Many perished to the dangers of Space Travel, but a few managed to reach a place called the Solar System after thousands of years of drifting in high speed.

The Outer Colonies of the Solar Federation were various alga-cultural and chemical harvesting colonies and flotillas in the Kuiper Belt who chose genetic and biological modifications over cybernetics due the relative ease of maintenance of their own body over external electronic components which took forever to fabricate on the smaller stations. Medical labs supported the organic life support systems in the Colonists and helped neutralize many of the dangers related to using the alien water in the various asteroids. This biological augmentation allowed the Outer Colonies to focus on selling most of the materials they harvested back to the Inner Planets. When the ArchMeusozoan Spores entered into the life support systems of the colonies, a few were suspicious about this new element but many, confident their modified bodies were invincible, simply ate and drank as normal with not precautions.

When it became clear that this "bacteria" was not only immune to many medical medicine and procedures but also actively fighting the doctors, it was too late. Even worse, the horrified colonists soon learned that this alien parasite began changing the infected in strange ways, both physically and mentally. Grotesque outgrowths, buglike appendages, and fleshy transformations became common for the victims, and soon they began attacking their friends and family, infecting them with more ArchMedusozoan Spores. A sort of Zombie Apocalypse in the Outer Colonies began around the same time of the Great Worm Crisis in the Inner Planets, albeit the zombies were able to fly spaceships and operate door controls. While there were many Archmedusozoan Spores to spread around, they were limited and could not reproduce at the current stage. When no more spores were left, the ArchMedusozoan-infected humans captured the survivors of the old Outer Colonies and forced them to work in the algae-farms and chemical processing plants as the first Serfs. The Solar Federation, having imploded in Earth and Mars by a computer virus, died in the outer reaches of the Solar System by an alien virus.

The first generation of the Carnemicum were simply relatively mindless drones of the ArchMedusozoans focused on creating more spores and setting up the infrastructure for the future Houses. They overtook Flatworld, the creation of an eccentric group of billionaires, and built the Citadel of Birth, where ArhcMedusozoan-Human hybrid and Serf scientists and genetic engineers created the second generation. More open to ArchMedusozoan spores, the second generation was much more independent and accustomed to their new society. The newer generations of Carnemicum benefited much more greatly from the merging with the ArchMedusozoans and begun creating a culture celebrating their new abilities, with new cuisine, music, and even currency (Souls). Before the Republic of Maveth launched into space with their O'Neill Cylinders and the Novi Phaedrans undertook their Great Journey after Caesar's death, the "Golden Age of the Carnemicum" was occurring where Carnemite Raiders attacked the small post-Federation colonies with impunity, bringing in much need Serfs and territory into the Carnemicum's fold.

This Golden Age ended when the Republic of Maveth's Cylinder Aleph took over Pachamama and threatened the space around Jupiter. Underestimating the power of the Republic, the Carnemicum's first attacks were met with critical failures and they retreated back to their manors in Jupiter's Moonlets. The Solar Brawl of 2702 cemented the long-standing rivalry between the two when House Sorrow led 200 Doom Galleys against three O'Neill Cylinders and their fleets for Cylinder Immortous, which had many State of the Art Biolabs and warehouses full of biotechnology. The fighting was bitter, but in the end the Carnemicum lost and House Sorrow was relegated to obscurity. The Massacres between the Novi Phaedran Aryan Dawn and its allies against the Republic of Mavethite were so intense that the Republic allied with House Calamity and House Dread to beat the Novi Phaedrans back. The Serfs and material loot gained from the fighting there allowed both Houses to become powerful enough to hold manors on Flatland herself.

The Grab of 2711 was one of the biggest raids by the Carnemicum. Spanning the whole Solar System, raiders launched Life Harvests against Mavethite, Novi Phaedran, and pre-Custodial Mars and Gaia for Serfs to work their lands. The nearby Novi Phaedrans took the brunt of it, with the weaker Autonomous Zones and groups being lost due to population decreases while the warlike and brutal Autonomous Zones grew stronger from the conflict. One of the most famous incidents in the Grab of 2711 was when the Carnemicum raiders of House Calamity took hundreds of lower class citizens from the Novi Phaedran Scions of Caesar. When the Scions demanded that every abudctee fight to the last man, woman, and child, House Calamity taunted the Novi Phaedrans by allowing the captured to return, no questions asked. Many left for either the Custodial Protectorate which was starting to bring the Inner System into its fold or the Republic of Maveth, a few even stayed with the Carnemicum as Serfs, but not one went back to the Scions of Caesar. The fact that the Carnemicum treated its slaves better than how many Novi Phaedrans treats its minorities and women became widespread and retold story amongst enemies of the Novi Phaedrans, especially in the Custodial Protectorate. The sudden influx of Serfs from a wide variety of cultures created severe problems, especially when the Serf population began outgrowing the ArchMedusozoan-Human Pariarch hybrids that oversaw them. The Serf Reforms in 2719 allowed greater autonomy and rights for Serfs, but in turn widened the gap between the Hybrids and Serfs as well as cementing the role of Serfs in Carnemicum society, reducing the chance of total emancipation significantly.

In the current day the increased conflicts have made some nervous, but others have rejoiced at new opportunities. Pariarch Zhang has been coordinating the fight against the Republic of Maveth while making sure the other Houses don't do anything that would draw the full ire of the Custodial Protectorate away from the Novi Phaedrans areas. The Dark Genome's help have been amazing, and Pariarch Zhang has been lenient on their activities in Flatworld, including the crazy idea of recreating the ArchMedusozoan race as they were before being obliterated by The Others, using recreated brains and DNA from the first ArchMedusozoan Spores. Many experiments have resorted in failures and mad creatures, but test subject Delilah has been the first success. Too bad she has to be restrained constantly from plotting attacks on the University of Mumbai at the heart of the Custodial Protectorate, especially against researchers of Faster Than Light technology. When questioned, all Delilah would say is "Don't Wake It Up".

TERRITORY AND HOUSES
From the darkest rocks at the edge of the Heliosphere to parts of Jupiter's Ganymede and Io, the various Houses are scattered and have many satellite manors and hollowed farms and factories in and around the Asteroid Belt. The capital of the Carnemicum is disc-shaped artifical planet Flatworld, where gravity is practically nonexistent in the center but gets heavier the further one goes to the edge. A bizarre ecosystem created by the Carnemicum's myriad of fantastical bio-engineers have overtaken the relatively benign menagerie and climate of the old Flatworld. Lifeforms include floaters that follow the gentle winds of the ocean to armored crawlers at the edge of the world. Pluto is also another popular location of the Carnemicum, having had its mass increased by pre-Solar Federation humanity and labeled a planet once again. This dim planet is also home to the Dark Genome.

Listed below are the 7 most powerful or unique houses, plus the Dark Genome. A fairly short description will discuss each one:

House ATROCITY- House Atrocity owns a significant portion of the demesnes and agricultural centers in the Asteroid Field though the core of the House resides in Flatworld. Considered the quintessential Carnemicum House, House Atrocity has focused their Life Harvest raids on the Novi Phaedrans due to their close proximity and believe that the Old Ways of doing things are best where Pariarchs are Pariarchs, Serfs stay Serfs, and the Life Harvest on some poor unsuspecting colony and the Food Harvest of the algae-farms are given equal respect. Their spaceships continue to be of the same designs from generations ago and their space tactics haven't changed either. That being said, this conservative House is said to be able to muster the most dangerous raiding force from the smaller and weaker Houses under them, being able to reach 50000 heavily bio-augmented Hybrids. A dozen colonies and minor Autonomous Zones pay tribute to House Atrocity to prevent their loved ones from being taken. Ruled by Pariarch Zhang Atrocity who is also the elected ruler of all of the Carnemicum, House Atrocity is currently fighting a series of border wars and raids against the Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones of New Camelot and The New Kaiserreich. The only non-Carnemicum group they consider as allies however temporary is the The Nordrekkr Autonomous Zone. The "Powerful" House.

House VICIOUS- House Vicious mostly resides around Neptune in flotillas, hitting the Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones living in the satellites and moonlets there for their frequent Life Harvests. Focused on space-based raids, House Vicious has the best ships out of all the Carnemicum Houses, having developed the Doom Galleys and the battleship-equivalent Splat Ships. A few captured Mavethite Torchsips are also counted among the ships in the Vicious Flotillas, and this House has been known to be able go toe to toe with local Cylinder fleets. As such, House Vicious is known as the most advanced House of the Carnemicum and many other Houses go to them for ship-related repairs or construction. Ruled by Admiral-Pariarch Suzy Vicious, the Vicious Flotilla's hierarchy is a parody of the Republic's Combined Space Force with ridiculous procedures and costumes. Like the Republic, House Vicious's ground raiders are relatively weaker than their cousins because of their focus on space assets. In compensation, ground raiders are able to use drop pods/rockets and advanced technologies to become a competent fast-response force that can effectively take what they need and retreat back into their orbiting ships. House Vicious has been doing strategic raids against the Custodial Protectorate in hopes of slowing the Solar Expeditions down, considering the Novi Phaedrans in their area a revenue stream of Souls. The "Technology and Space" House.

House CORRUPTION- Located almost totally in the finest palaces of Flatworld, House Corruption may be one of the smaller Houses but it is by far the Wealthiest, swimming in the Souls. The bizarre ecosystems and surreal, pulsating habitat structures of Flatworld are all thanks to the Genetic Wizards and Flesh Doctors of House Corruption. Chemical Processing factories owned by Pariarchs of this House serve as the backbone of Flatworld's economy, exporting refined chemicals and importing the toxic slush and dangerous liquids from as far as Dark Earth to recycle. Many Pariarchs here simply prefer to host extravagant Feasts and patronize fantastical flesh sculptures and personal menageries of horrors, treating the Life Harvest like a hunting expedition in the Safari at best or an annoying obligation to the Carnemicum culture at worst. House Corruption frequently uses mercenary forces from other Carnemicum houses, Novi Phaedrans, or even Mavethite groups. Ruled by the corpulant Pariarch Iosef Corruption, House Corruption has extensive trading networks with all the factions and has a very cozy relationship with the Republic of Maveth's Cylinder Prosperita and its Admiral-Doge Alessandro Qian. The Flesh Pits located in Pariarch Iosef's personal palace is filled with mercenaries, Novi Phaedra Initiates using it for their Crucibles, and other adventurous types who battle each other to critical wounding (and sometimes death) for lucrative rewards including Antediluvian Artifacts. The losers are hastily patched up and forced to work the hellish chemical factories for the rest of their long, suffering lives in the most dirty and gruesome jobs that normal Serfs wouldn't even touch. The "Economic and Loaded with cross-Faction Units" House.

House APOCALYPSE- Residing primarily in the hollowed moonlets of Saturn's Proteus and Nereid, House Apocalypse revels in the Life Harvests for the sake of fighting and acquiring loot in order to fight some more. Notorious for raiding other Carnemicum Houses more than against other factions, House Apocalypse places great value in their martial skills and uses a wider variety of lethal weaponry and animalstic mutations. Raiders from this house have been known to have a higher tendency to kill foes than the more death-shy Houses, believing that since Serfs shouldn't be fighting it would be a waste and insult to capture brave soldiers for that purpose. Led in the forefront by Pariarch Maxa Apocalypse, House Apocalypse treats its Serfs fairly well but punish those who break their rules severely, with the most common punishment being used as target practice for the Hybrids with or without the chance of being patched up afterwards. This proud House skirmishes frequently with the neighboring Novi Phaedran Neos Lacedaemon Autonomous Zone in controlled battles. Not only do the two groups help train and winnow out the weak in these battles, but they have been frequent trading partners, with House Apocalypse sending food to the Neos Lacedaemons while softer-hearted Lacedaemon parents give their defected newborns as future Serfs to the House rather than vent them into space. The "No Frills, Infantry-centered" House.

House MOROSE- House Morose is the most grotesque and alien of the Houses. Whereas others maintain some semblance of the human form House Morose has long thrown such limited shape away and embraced their rampant modifications along with the ArchMedusozoan-Human mutations. From floating carapaced gasballs with wiry appendages to hulking multi-legged tumors with eyes all over, House Morose has a close relationship with the Dark Genome and is privy to their agenda. In return for enforcing their will, the Dark Genome rewards House Morose with powerful mutations and ensure all descendants of the House have the finest ArchMedusozoan Spores attached to them. Prototypical ArchMedusozoan troops have also been given to House Morose by the Dark Genome to be field-tested against both rival Carnemicum houses and non-Carnemicum forces. The pariarch of House Morose is called the Swarm Pariarch, a swarm of a hundred disgusting fly-like creatures which has a swarm intelligence. Morose architecture are built from large, thin artificial silicate-based life meshed together with biological interiors which can move, crawl, or slither across their habitats, controlled by Morosian controllers physically melded into the creatures. Serfs under House Morose are given forced modifications and sometimes tithed to the Dark Genome for experimentation, resulting in even more strange creatures or in some cases, never to be seen again. The "Special Units and Plot catalyst" House.

House DESPAIR- Considered the most disreputable of all the Houses in the Carnemicum, House Despair is the only major Houses to use Serfs in their Life Harvests as well still maintaining the old custom of planting rare and slow-reproducing ArchMedusozoan Spores into well-merited Serfs, which makes weaker Hybrids similar to First and Second Generation Carnemites. Focused on Algae-culture and Mining around the smaller moons and satellites of Jupiter, House Despair is mostly consisted of Serfs, Serf-to-Hybrid Newcomers, and a few proper Hybrids birthed or created from two Newcomers due to having lost a majority of their Hybrids in continuous battles against the Republic of Maveth sometime during their history. This makes them the weakest in terms of their Symbiosis with the ArchMedusozoans, but the manpower gained from using Serfs has compensated for that. Using looted weaponry and equipment from the other factions, House Despair doctrine is to use Battle Levies to hold off enemy forces in the frontline while the Hybrids attack in ambushes and flanking maneuvers. The House is noteworthy in that upon a Pariarch's death, a new Pariarch is elected by the serfs. The current Pariarch is Pariarch Stancer Despair. Despite Despair Law stating Hybrids and the Pariarchs have absolute authority over Serfs during life, Jury Duty is solely the responsibility of Serfs and many Hybrids have been wary in their dealings in order to appease their large Serf population. Due to their unpopularity among even tolerant Houses such as House Calamity and shunned by the Dark Genome, House Despair has to make due with what they can steal from others and have mostly focused on protecting their Serfs from other Carnemicum houses who want them. The "Tarpit and Underdog" House.

House CALAMITY- The Jack of All Trade House with no strengths or weakness but a wealth of experience, House Calamity resides in Ganymede and runs the relatively small city of Belch. Being the surrounded by all three of the other factions and having a history with all three, House Calamity is the most frequently encountered Carnemicum House in the Solar System, undertaking Life Harvests, trading, and sometimes working for the other factions all over the System. Pariarch Avery Calamity is considered honorable both at home and on the battlefield. Serfs are treated as almost equally as Hybrids in House Calamity and even have a "Security Response Unit" to defend Ganymede (and sometimes beyond) from Mavethite forces, but the Serf Reforms still prohibit many from becoming Hybrids themselves and none can partake in the lucrative Life Harvests. House Calamity and House Dread, despite having a close relationship in the past, are bitter rivals due to their different outlook on life. Whereas House Dread takes what they want ruthlessly without thinking of the consequences, House Calamity believes in proper form and thinking about one's actions for the betterment of others, notably in their House. The "Generic Good Guys" House.

House DREAD- The more ruthless counterpart of House Calamity, House Dread resides on the smaller moon of Jupiter Io. Bitter that House Calamity got the lion's share during both the Massacres and the Grab of 2711, House Dread has decided to sow destruction and despair in the Solar System to get what House Dread believes is owed to them. Unlike the pragmatic House Calamity, House Dread have attacked anyone and everyone, not just for Life Harvests but also to make their foes suffer and quake under Dread Raider feet. Compared to House Apocalypse who usually kills their foes in a quick death, House Dread believes that the screams and whimpers of anyone not of their House must be savored. Life is something to play with in the hands of a Dread Hybrid, and Serfs are ruthlessly exploited in the chemical processing plants until they collapse and used as living components for Dread frankenstein creations known as Flesh Dolls. These biological mix and matched cannon fodder serve as a loophole on the Carnemicum's custom against using Serfs in Life Harvests and other military operations aside from defense. Under the malevolent grin of Pariarch Felsun Dread, House Dread uses unwilling or mindbroken Flesh Dolls, psychological terror, and debilitating toxins to break their enemies down bit by bit. The "Bad Guys and ultimate Edgelords" House of the edgelord Carnemicum.

THE DARK GENOME- A secretive conclave of Genetic Wizards, Flesh Doctors, Soul Peddlers, and other dealers of the Life and Flesh, the Dark Genome serves publicly as a school for aspiring genetic engineers of the Carnemicum flavor and helps create new Carnemite Hybrids using parts of ArchMedusozoan Spores, but privately lead the Carnemicum towards an Age of Conquest across the Galaxy ruled by the resurrected ArchMedusozoans. They believe that the Carnemicum is destined for greater things beyond bickering Houses kidnapping people to process chemicals or mine ore in asteroids and sell at decent prices to other factions. Each Acolyte of the Dark Genome is a living, breathing war machine ranging from a mess of razor-laden tentacles and ulcers to eerily beautiful creatures who can control their ArchMedusozoan mutations with a snap of the finger. Some have even taken to looking like the ArchMedusozoans they practically worship. House Morose is the one that mostly does the Dark Genome's dirty work, but sometimes the conclave decides to take matters in their own hands, much to the doom of any who they face. The fact that the ArchMedusozoans have repeatedly transmitted feelings that they don't want to become the civilization they once were and were happy with the way things are now have been ignored by the Dark Genome. The "Special Units on Steroids" House.

MILITARY CAPABILITIES
Despite being incredibly grotesque and an alien culture in the eyes of the other, more Human factions, the Carnemicum consider Death a bit of a taboo. This is probably due to the fact that the ArchMedusozoans in their long, long history met relatively few alien lifeforms and even fewer that could be considered sentient. Aside from House Apocalypse who has a tendency to kill those that fight back in Life Harvests and they prefer to spare potential Serfs, even the malicious House Dread consider the Death Penalty a waste of Life and would rather be creative in their punishments and recycling of people.

Because of this taboo on Death and the focus on Life Harvests to collect Serfs and loot, Carnie Raiders on Life Harvests focus mainly on light Hit and Run tactics with weaponry that incapacitate and harm rather than outright kill. The speed given by the Symbiosis between Man and Alien allows many Carnemites to use melee weapons effectively in an age of energy weapons and robot sentry turrets, and gives many Raiders control of what body parts they can attack, causing damage without killing. Nerve-wracking traps, toxic gas grenades, and other ambush-friendly armament can reduce the fighting effectiveness of the Carnemicum's enemies. Upon capture, the Carnemicum can use enemy gear or even certain special abilities in the fight. But if things get serious, like defending their homes or if the enemy caused a significant amount of casualties in a Life Harvest, the gloves can come off and the Carnemite raiders can utilize guns and explosives to run circles around their enemies and pick them off one by one in Guerrilla Warfare. Many of the weapons are quite outdated and primitive compared to the other factions' gear, but thanks to the ArchMedusozoan-Human Symbiosis and biotechnology that would make the Republic of Maveth squirm with unease, the myriad mutations and bizarre bodies of the Carnies have helped remedy that.

Serfs in combat are an interesting and controversial topic in Carnemicum culture. On one hand, the ArchMedusozoans consider having lowly elements fight their battles disgusting enough that the humans infected by the Spores inherited the same mentality. While the early Carnemicum used Serfs in some combat capabilities, when the Serf Reforms came in and the number of Hybrids were much larger the use of Combat Serfs stopped. While a few Houses have found loopholes around this to calm their cultural and mental nerves, many Houses only allow Serfs to defend their immediate territory and personhood, with House Atrocity forbidding even the forming of Serf militias in emergencies on the pain of turning the offending Serfs into mindeless drones. On the other hand, Serf populations are much larger than Hybrid populations, and the Carnemicum Houses usually have a tough time keeping control of them in times of war and chaos, having to decide whether to launch attacks on enemies or keep an eye on potentially tumultuous Serfs. The situation at House Despair highlights this perfectly. Having lost a majority of their pure Hybrids against the Republic, the House had to rely Serfs for many of their Life Harvests. While repugnant in the eyes of the Carnemicum and even House Despair Hybrids, the Combat Serfs have been effective in holding off Mavethite and Novi Phaedran forces while their Hybrid rulers attack from weak points.

The Serf restriction also applies to space combat, but this is much trickier. Aside from the large Splat Ships, there are very few large Carnemite-native ships since like on ground they prefer fast raiders. The Doom Galleys, decked with extremely armored hulls and intricate ship boarding systems, are the size of a 21st century two-story house in America. This allows only Hybrids in their relatively lower numbers to crew their raiding ships. But for some Houses, especially House Apocalypse who lack the patience to enjoy the finer details of space travel, Serfs have been used to do the boring things like flying, repairing, and navigating ships. Hell, if there's enough Hybrid Casualties even allow Serfs to man the ship's offensive hard points. House Despair once again sets the standard of messing with what's comfortable in proper Carnemicum society by having whole combat ships crewed and gunned by Serfs, since the last time they did all-Hybrid crews the Republic of Maveth reduced Despair's Hybrid population by percentages in double digits.

ARCHMEDUSOZOAN-HUMAN SYMBIOSIS
ArchMedusozoan Spores need to be whole if infecting humans who never had any infected parents or grandparents, whereas those either born or created with parents who have been infected by the ArchMedusozoan already only need a fraction of a spore to gain the same benefits. New ArchMedusozoan Spores are created only in certain conditions that Carnemites are still unsure of exactly. That being said, ArchMedusozoan Spores are rare occurrences and are used sparingly, hence why few Houses use them on anyone not descending from another Carnemite Hybrid.

The changes the ArchMedusozoan symbiote make on its new host take a few years, but once in place the physical changes can be used by Hybrid as if they are simply another part of the body. Mental changes occur as well, notably a disdain for killing, turning vegetarian, and being drawn towards Caste-based organization where each caste has a proper function in society. ArchMedusozoans still retain sentience, but aside from the First Generation many are content with piggy-backing on their host and merging ever-growing personalities. The newer generation of ArchMedusozoans have little idea of what they were like prior to meeting the humans aside from vague ancestral memories and instincts, and most First Generation ArchMedusozoans are content to keep it that way.

Ranging from grotesque third or forth appendages to fleshy or bony additions on existing body parts to total body part replacements with animal and bug-looking versions of said body part, the Symbiosis is fairly random and at the young ArchMedusozoan's bidding, but the infected Hybrid can try to steer their mutations by doing various activities and dreaming various things in their youth in order to force the idea into alien's mind. Biomodifications can also allow changes to the ArchMedusozoan-Human Symbiosis's mutations, but these are ridiculously time consuming and expensive, and only the most wealthiest or successful Carnies can hope to afford such choice.
Last edited by Heretic on Thu May 03, 2018 9:51 am, edited 5 times in total.
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Invictus » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:41 am

Nice, I see a refinement of the Hardcore Regenesis approach here. There's something to be said for this kind of fractal zooming down on layers of detail that works for settings with defined factions and well, gamey-style schematics.

I do see what you mean by the Carnemicum, because they do read like they're from a later sourcebook in a 90s RPG line, which obligates them to have their own special rules and subsystems to make them stand out from the starting factions. It's very SLA Industries.

Personally, I think RPGs and wargames impose different priorities on worldbuilding, so I'm not sure which one is your focus here. You have a lot of semi-in character information outlining the typical military tactics of factions that wouldn't particularly matter in an RPG, for example, and there are in-faction conspiracies that you repeatedly namedrop but never actually state, well, what they're about and what's interesting about them.

Don't get me wrong. Even for SOTS I've found thinking in wargame or RPG terms to be useful in nailing down setting specifics, so it's good work to have been done. Keep going!
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Heretic
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: IN AMERICA

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Heretic » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:27 pm

Invictus said:
I do see what you mean by the Carnemicum, because they do read like they're from a later sourcebook in a 90s RPG line, which obligates them to have their own special rules and subsystems to make them stand out from the starting factions. It's very SLA Industries.
Carnemicum was totally inspired by vague memories I had of 90's and early 2000s RPG and comic covers, especially from Vampire: The Masquaruade's Tzimisce, so I'm glad you noticed. Never heard of SLA Industries, but holy shit it perfectly describes the dirty and gross vibe I wanted for the Carnemicum.
Personally, I think RPGs and wargames impose different priorities on worldbuilding, so I'm not sure which one is your focus here. You have a lot of semi-in character information outlining the typical military tactics of factions that wouldn't particularly matter in an RPG, for example, and there are in-faction conspiracies that you repeatedly namedrop but never actually state, well, what they're about and what's interesting about them.
True, I'm going more for a wargame focus at first, but basing it off of Warhammer 40k style I wanted to add background fluff that may or may not impact gameplay or scenarios, but would still flesh out the setting and help people decide how they want to build their army for better immersion.

Yeah I haven't touched up on conspiracies yet since I didn't want to bog everything down with longer explanations. I am hoping to make a separate post on all the fucking Conspiracies of the Custodial Protectorate. It's something to flesh out the relatively generic Custodians by having to deal with shit in their own backyard. In terms of gameplay these Conspiracies would be a place for special scenarios especially in RPG-style skirmishes like in Savage World's Mass Battle system, Hero items, and even special units depending on how the player of the Custodians view said conspiracy, allowing for further depth to their army's background. For example, having your army align with the Owls of Lilith gives you a group of powerful vampires who mean well but don't exactly line up with the ideals of the Protectorate and lose a few bonus stats given to the Custodians across the board to represent their secrecy and isolation. Not aligning gives you boring logistical-based bonuses while actively being against the Owls of Lilith gives you anti-gimmick, anti-hero units.
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

User avatar
Heretic
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: IN AMERICA

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Heretic » Thu May 03, 2018 1:29 pm

HERO UNITS PART 1

Rough Draft for some Hero Characters for each faction. A "Heroic", "Neutral", "Dark", and "Starter" Hero is given for each of the four Factions are listed below, for a total of 16 heroes. A "Heroic" Hero is a character aligned with the virtues of their respective faction, have independent and personal goals beyond "Kill the Enemy" or "Serve My Faction", and serves in a "protagonist" role for any fiction I may write for this universe. "Neutral" Heroes are characters who are loyal to their faction and have some personality but are more centered around their abilities and stats in the wargame setting. "Dark" Heroes are morally dubious characters who may either only have nominal loyalties to their faction who satiate their own selfish desires at the cost of others or are loyal but do despicable things for what they consider the greater good. Dark Heroes usually have access to powerful but dangerous abilities. "Starter" Characters are more boring than "Neutral" Heroes in personality and usually have the most generic abilities, but they serve as a way for newcomers the basics of the Faction's special gimmicks and play style.

The rules are still vague, so only generic stats are given. They are expected to be changed when I get a better idea of what I want in the rule mechanics.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, Characters are able to postpone normally automatic stat bonuses gained from their abilities. This is especially useful for Hero Characters wanting to utilize the bonuses on the Squads they are attached to, and most relevant to to Novi Phaedrans who gain more stat bonuses and abilities the more kills or points they make during the course of the game. Unless otherwise noted, permanent stat bonuses apply only to the Squad the Character was attached to when they activated the the Ability.

Custodial Protectorate

Note: All Custodian Characters with Haemotechnology abilities one way or another can sacrifice their HP to use Haemotech abilities if their Haemo Point pool is empty. Squads can sacrifice units for Haemo Points only if the Custodial Management Unit supports the Owls of Lilith Conspiracy.
Note 2: All Custodians have a LifeSavor Combat Knife, allowing Custodian Characters to regain 1 HP upon a successful Close Quarter attack.



EXECUTIVE CUSTODIAN AIDEEN STRAWFIRE, HEROIC CLOSE QUARTER HERO
"Hope is easy to lose, Mavethite, I know that! That's why it is worth having! Yes, it can easily be crushed by mighty warlords, by the passages of time, or even by ourselves; hell, I lost it when I saw my family die to a single fucking Novi Phaedran who viewed us a degenerate insects. We have hoped for the World of Tomorrow countless times only to see human nature destroy it when given an opportunity. But that doesn't mean we should just throw the aspirations of a better tomorrow into the wind. Hope is what carried Humanity this far from huddling in caves and following whoever could bash anyone who opposes him with a rock. It is what carried people to withstand the terror and sadness they faced. It is what kept the British during the Second World War going. Hope, not Haemotech, is the true infrastructure that is keeping the Custodial Protectorate together even in the darkest of nights against the most sinister of shadows. It is what we Custodians are spreading all across the Solar System!

So get out of my way, or else I'm have to spread Hope from the barrels of this shotgun!"


Overview
Aideen Strawfire is a Executive Custodian born in the Martian Front. Having lost her family to a Novi Phaedran massacre and then lost her mentor and parent figure in a Mavethite skirmish, Aideen struggles with her rage and inner demons but never loses hope nor the sense of duty bestowed upon her as a Custodian. While her Echo Combat Suit is only slightly better than the standard suit worn by Custodians, her automatic double barrel shotgun can rip apart foes as she closes in and wipes out any survivors with her longsword. Aideen is resistant to most Willpower-based attacks and can rally allies to greater resistance against Willpower-based attacks as well. Her Haemotech abilities are Greater Blood Mist, Battle Speed, and Superheated Haemo Burst.

Executive Aideen Strawfire cannot be taken if the Custodial Risk Management Unit is supportive of the Owls of LILITH Conspiracy except in special circumstances.
History
Aideen Strawfire was born in the Martian Front to a large extended family. They roamed in armored caravans across the red planet as healers and mediators, bringing solace and aid to those who needed it regardless of the dangers posed by the continuous low-intensity warfare between the Protectorate, Novi Phaedrans, and the Mavethite Republic. But during the wedding between Aideen's older sister and her sister's longtime girlfriend, a Novi Phaedran entered the building decked out with heavy weaponry and a thick power suit. He made no demands or threats, silently watching the crowd while ignoring Aideen's father try to diplomatically ask what the Novi Phaedran wanted. The lone Novi Phaedran then crushed her father's head in with his augmented hands and then opened fire on the reception area. Many of the Strawfire family were massacred that day, and little Aideen used the bodies of her dead relatives and friends to take cover. The Novi Phaedran began shooting the bodies just to be sure no one was playing dead but before his bullets could hit Aideen the local Custodians came and quickly dispatched the murderer. The Executive Officer of the Management Unit that came to the scene, Vivian O'Mallory, found Aideen and placed her in a LILITH-operated orphanage and later to a series of foster homes.

But the memories and brutality of that still plagued Aideen and she grew with hatred and bitterness. When Vivian O'Mallory checked up on Aideen a few years later she saw this darkness in the young girl's heart and realized that if nothing is done soon it would take Aideen like it took so many others into that violent and short path. Executive O'Mallery took Aideen under her charge and began grooming her to be a Custodian. Taking her across Protectorate sphere, from the scorching communes of Venus where life was tough in the mines but the unity of the Syndics shining during nights at the pubs where the brew flowed freelly to the noble palaces of Gaia where nobility and commoner intermingled during the many galas and ceremonies, O'Mallery showed Aideen the wonders of humanity at its finest and tried to give her a sense of belonging in the greater Custodial Protectorate to fill her torn soul. The training Aideen had to go to become a Custodian through was tasking and hellish, but during the breaks and off-times O'Mallery and Aideen laughed aplenty and formed a bond that could equal LILITH's bond with her people in the Protectorate. Aideen graduated at age 18 and became a full-fledged Custodian with her mentor Vivian O'Mallery personally placing the medallion that each Custodian gets during graduation around her neck. The demons in Aideen's souls were quieted and she was tasked with bringing Hope and Light across the Solar Systems as a Custodian of the Protectorate.

But the demons almost roared when her mentor, friend, and parent figure O'Mallery was killed on Mars by Mavethite Militiamen during a confrontation over a Martian Front cargo aerodyne that crashed. Aideen was helping refugees flee from a Novi Phaedran attack when she got the news of O'Mallery's death and almost left the refugees to slaughter the Mavethites in vengeance. She tried to justify her action to herself by stating that the refugees were well in Protectorate territory now and would soon meet another Custodian group to lead them to a camp, with little risk of attack on the refugees now. She struggled with her sense of duty to the refugees even if they were in safe territory and her desire for revenge. In the end and to much pain Aideen chose the refugees and allowing the Mavethites to escape and leave other Custodians to retrieve O'Mallery sans already looted equipment. When the Novi Phaedrans who attacked the refugees' homes launched their ambush on Aideen and the refugees, The After Action Report stated that not one Novi Phadran of that warband survived and had their bodies torn apart. The grateful refugees testified for Aideen during the military tribunal on accounts of unnecessary brutality and she was acquitted quickly.

Aideen quickly rose up the ranks of the Custodians and quickly gained the personal notice of LILITH. Placed in the First Deployment of the Solar Expeditions, Aideen has seen conflict in almost all the planets against all the Factions, holding the Torch of Hope of the Custodial Protectorate to the very end of the Solar System. While she still struggles with her anger and vengeance against all those who wronged her, Executive Aideen Strawfire does not let it blind her duty to the downtrodden and hopeless.

Equipment
Executive AIdeen Strawfire wears one of the prototypical Echo series of Custodian Combat Suit which has a layer of microscopic of Haemomachines that can take the brunt of gunfire and melee attacks, but require some of AIdeen's blood to recharge themselves once used. This forces Aideen to rest a bit before she can recharge the armor's power again, even in the midst of combat. Her Type 10 Automatic Shotgun - Box Fed System, nicknamed the Furious 10, compensates Aideen's difficulty with Marksmanship by simply saturating the area with Haemotech-augmented shells that are quickly unleashed by the side/side barrels of the 10. It can easily shred light armor and can be fed a variety of specialist Shell Boxes such as Incendiary or High Explosive. It is Aideen's melee skills where she shines. Wielding a longsword made from smelted Antediluvian Artifacts, Aideen is one of the best hand to hand combatants of the Custodial Protectorate. Where her shotgun tears through mobs of enemy infantry, Aideen uses her sword to chop down any Heavy Infantry or powerful enemy Hero unit in short order.

Abilities
Executive Strawfire has only three Haemotechnical abilities not including her Armor's Haemomachines, but each can easily turn the tide of battle in her favor. She also has Rallying Cry, which allows her to allow nearby allied Unit(s) to have bonuses to resisting Willpower-based attacks and any squad she is attached to shares the same Willpower stat Aideen has.

Executive Custodian Aideen Strawfire's Universial Abilities are Suppress, Hunker Down!, Charge, Battlecry, Man Heavy Weaponry, Assist, and Duel.

GREATER BLOOD MIST allows for Aideen to have a mist of Haemomachines powered by her own blood to attack up to two Squads and up to one Character Unit, reducing their ranged accuracy greatly for a few turns.

BATTLE SPEED injects Haemomachines into Aideen which doubles her movement speed and grants an extra attack to either Ranged or Close Quarters.

SUPERHEATED HAEMOMACHINE BLAST is a blast of accelerated Haemomachines which turns into a blast of searing plasma that burn Enemy Unit(s). It ignores armor and does continual damage for half damage every round, rounded up. Aideen can use Superheated Plasma Burst as long as she still has Haemo Points.

Stat Baseline
INFANTRY
Good HP
Good Toughness
Poor Ranged
Excellent Close Quarters
Average Leadership
Excellent Willpower
Excellent Movement
Average Haemo Points

CUSTODIAN ALONSO TORTUGA, NEUTRAL LEADER HERO
"Squad 1 and 2, provide Base of Fire. Squad Three, follow me to THE BETTER TOMORROW!"

Overview
Custodian Alonso Tortuga was once a lord of the Bright Kingdom of Gaia who sacrificed his titles and holdings to fund his way into the Custodians. Despite his weak combat skills and having only a few Haemotech abilities, Custodian Tortuga shines when attached to squads. Having only basic Custodian equipment, his Glorious Rush, Marked for Extermination, Steel of the Custodians, Hail of Bullets, Center Peel, and the Last Don of Gaia abilities all compensate for this. The only Haemotech ability Custodian Tortuga has is Blood Mist.
History
Don Alonso Tortuga was the last living member of the Tortuga Family and lived the good life for many years, having little to want or fear. But when he took a trip to Mars and saw the horrors and suffering the people there had to face, Alonso decided he couldn't just stand by and do nothing and so tried to join the Custodians. He failed multiple times in the Academy and the re-entry fee was expensive but Alonso persisted and in the end having sold the last of his holdings finally, barely became a Custodian. His good nature and charisma made him many friends and admirers, and Custodian Tortuga makes sure those under his command make it out in one piece.

Part of the Second Wave of the Solar Expeditions, Custodian Alonso Tortuga and his squad are sent to where the fighting is toughest, notably in Mars, Ganymede, and Io.

Equipment
Custodian Tortuga doesn't have any special gear, only equipped with the basic Type 5.56 "Warden" Service Rifle with bayonet attachment and the standard Custodian Combat Suit, which only comes with the Blood Mist Haemotech power. While proficient with his weapons, Custodian Tortuga is only slightly better than the normal Custodian infantry unit.

Abilities
Custodian Tortuga may not have the best equipment nor is he the best combatant, but it is his ability to lead his squad through the toughest situation and not only survive but be victorious. His suit's only Haemotech ability is Blood Mist.

Custodian Alonso Tortuga's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Suppress, Rush, Field Requisition, Assist, Man Heavy Weaponry, Battlecry, and Charge.

When Tortuga is assigned to a Squad, that squad gets +2 to a stat of the player's choosing for the duration Custodian Tortuga is in the Squad.

BLOOD MIST Blood sends a mist of Haemomachines to cloud an enemy Squad or Character and reduce their Ranged accuracy.

GLORIOUS RUSH allows Tortuga and the Squad he is attached into to make another move action during their Movement Phase and automatically pass Willpower-based attacks like Suppression or Stun for two whole rounds.

MARKED FOR EXTERMINATION allows all Custodial Units to deal extra damage to an enemy Squad or Character for two rounds.

STEEL OF THE CUSTODIANS gives both Tortuga the ability to allocate two points of Toughness to Squads, including giving one Squad both points for +2 Toughness. As long as the Squad(s) don't move they retain this Toughness modifier.

HAIL OF BULLETS gives two Squads an extra Ranged attacks on their turn at reduced accuracy but the Target is automatically Suppressed. This ability can be saved by the Squad for later.

When activating CENTER PEEL, Tortuga chooses an Enemy Squad or Character and when moving away from said target gives the Squad he is attached two extra Ranged attacks, one at normal modifiers and one at reduced modifiers but with Suppression automatically tacked onto the Target similar to Hail of Bullets. This only applies when his Squad is moving away from the target and the attacks only affect the targeted Squad or Character as well.

Custodian Tortuga's final Ability, THE LAST DON OF GAIA, activates automatically if he becomes the last Squad unit alive when attached to a Squad. With Last Don of Gaia, Custodian Tortuga gains +1 to Toughness, Ranged, and Close Quarter stats and Plasma Burst ability, which damages nearby enemy units and recharges every other round. This lasts until Custodian Tortuga is defeated in the field or is attached to another Squad, which gains a +2 to a stat rather than the initial +1 before the Last Don of Gaia ability.

Stat Baseline
INFANTRY
Good HP
Average Toughness
Average Ranged
Poor Close Quarters
Excellent Leadership
Good Willpower
Average Movement
Poor Haemo Points

COUNTESS URNINA OF THE OWLS OF LILITH, DARK HAEMOTECH HERO
"LET THE BLOOD FLOW FREELY, FOR THE FLOCK WILL FEAST TONIGHT!"

Overview
Countess Urnina is one of the Owls of LILITH, a group of Vampires who claim they were created by LILITH as super soldiers destined to rule all of Humanity before she abandoned them for her more egalitarian plan of the Custodial Protectorate. Bitter at her mother's abandonment, Countess Urnina nonetheless helps the Custodial Protectorate in secret with her terrible powers. Not being armored in Custodian Combat Suits and wielding only a weak BloodClaw Carbine, Countess Urnina compensates this with her array of Haemotech abilities of Harasser Blood Mist, Feeding Frenzy, Sorrowful Custody, Dark Fire Strike, and Reflection of Pain.

Countess Urnina cannot be taken if the Custodial Management Unit is opposed to the Owls of LILITH Conspiracy except in special circumstances.
History
The Owl known as Countess Urnina stated that she was born in the underground laboratories of LILITH along with her other brothers and sisters. The Owls, as they were known, were created with Haemotechnology built in their very souls and raised to one day overthrow the bickering warlords and petty kingdoms of the Solar System and rule Humanity as benevolent dictators. But just before the plan was to come to fruition, LILITH had a change of heart and decided that putting chains on people, no matter how benevolent and wise the rulers, was wrong. When it became clear she could not persuade her Owls to forget the solar domination plan they trained for their whole lives, LILITH trapped all the Owls in a reinforced room deep underground and attached Virtual Reality machines to them in hopes they would live out their lives in gilded luxury and not interfere with her new plans. But the Owls were able to connect to each other and once escape their virtual prisons managed to escape from their underground one.

The Owls, including Urnina, wanted nothing more than exact total vengeance against their mother and the humans they were once supposed to rule but who LILITH chose over her own children, especially seeing what they considered hypocrisy with LILITH having a hand in almost all aspects of the Custodial Protectorate. But the training and belief of their rule over Humanity was so strong that the Owls decided that the best way for payback was to take over Humanity bit by bit in hopes that either their mother learns the error of her ways or they overthrow her and form a new Pantheon of Haemotechnologically created gods. Taking followers from the neglected in the deepest areas of Dark Earth, the vengeful orphans of the Martian Front, and bored nobles of Gaia, The Owls of Lilith led those who while supported the ideals of the Custodial Protectorate were frustrated with the Red Tape and honor-bound Custodians in their fight against evil. To the Owls of LILITH, the End Justified the Means. The fact that it would make LILITH hurt is all the more sweeter.

Countess Urnina is tasked with sowing discontent and reward the darker paths to Hope within the Solar Expeditions, especially those Custodians who suffered so much loss and seen so much death that their ideals begin to waver and a lust to repay that loss and death back to their enemies tenfold. Hoping to snatch Humanity's soul from LILITH's hand, Countess Urnina is more than happy to help her flock embrace their rage.

Equipment
Countess Urnina is not a Custodian and prefers darkly colored light body armor over the Combat Suits. This means that Urnina isn't as tough as basic Custodian infantry. Her BloodClaw Carbine isn't powerful either, having little in terms of armor penetration but the BloodClaw allows Countess Urnina to heal her HP and regain Haemo Points. She can transfer Haemo Points collected by the BloodClaw Carbine to units of the Squad she is attached to, but not HP since only Characters and special Units have HP (Novi Phaedrans notwithstanding). For melee attacks, the Countess has sharp morphing talons for her hands and feet allowing to tear asunder armored units at Close Quarter combat if necessary.

Abilities
Countess Urnina is an absolute beast when it comes to Haemotechnical abilities. When she is attached to a Squad all units in that squad gain a small amount of Haemo Points, even going above their max if the units' Haemo Points were not used.

Lady Urnina of the Owls of LILITH's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Heal, Assist, Charge, Duel, Battlecry, and Aim.

HARASSER BLOOD MIST is similar in strength as Greater Blood Mist, but only affects one Squad or Character. The affected Squad or Character suffers from greatly reduced Ranged accuracy until either a Healer Character gets rid of the Harasser Haemomachines, Countess Urnina attacks another Squad or Character with Harasser Blood Mist, or the Affected Unit(s) dies.

FEEDING FRENZY comes in two flavors, one when it is targeted at Countess Urnina and one when targeted to an allied Squad or Character with Haemotechnology Abilities. When activated on herself, Countess Urnina's Bloodclaw Carbine collects extra Haemo and Health Points, decrease any enemy Unit(s)' accuracy when attacking her, gains an extra attack either Ranged or Melee, and her melee attacks deal extra damage. When activated on an allied Squad or Character, the Unit(s) affected will gain another movement action and have greater Melee accuracy and damage. When they kill an enemy Unit they gain +1 Toughness, to the total of +2 Toughness. Feeding Frenzy of both varieties last two rounds and the Toughness effects gained for allied Unit(s) of Feeding Frenzy last four rounds.

SORROWFUL CUSTODY forces an enemy Squad, but not Character or Special Unit, to attack the nearest Enemy Unit(s) for two turns if they fail their Willpower save. The affected Squad can be moved and use their Abilities if the controlling player desires but only towards the nearest Enemy Squad. If there are multiple nearby Enemy Unit(s) or it is indeterminate, the player with the Countess Urnina who activated Sorrowful Custody can choose. If the opposing side also has Countess Urnina, they may use Sorrowful Custody to break off the Sorrowful Custody affecting their Squad.

DARK FIRE STRIKE allows Countess Urnina to shoot small blast of disgusting armor-penetrating Haemoplasma at Enemy Units from her hands. The Enemy Unit(s) who fails their Toughness Save against the Dark Fire Strike Ability has their Toughness when determining whether the attack hits is halved. The damage of Dark Fire Strike is small, but it is an economical way of whittling down Enemy Squads and Units with HP as it only takes 1 Haemo Point to use.

REFLECTION OF PAIN shields Countess Urnina or an allied Character but not Squad in dark energies who trade their sinister powers for human blood. Whenever Countess Urnina is hit and damaged, the Squad or Character regardless if they are Enemy or Ally who attacked her must roll a Toughness Save or suffers half the damage they inflicted on her, rounded down. If they make the Toughness Save, they take only 1 Damage. Countess Urnina can maintain Reflection of Pain as long as she spends 1 Haemo Point every round.

Stat Baseline
SPECIAL INFANTRY
Average HP
Poor Toughness
Average Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Average Leadership
Good Willpower
Good Movement
Excellent Haemo Points

CUSTODIAN AUDREY HONOR, STARTER RANGED HERO
"LILITH guide my Aim against the Darkness."

Overview
A third-gender Custodian from the United Luna Colonies,Custodian Audrey Honor may be fresh out of the Academy but they have already proven themselves in the fields of battle. Armed with the experimental Dark Star Energy Rifle, Custodian Honor can wipe out enemies from afar and even take out Heavy Armor. Focused mostly on ranged combat, Custodian Honor only has Blood Mist, Blood Sight and Plasma Bolt.
History
Created in an artificial womb by two mothers who were also Custodians, Audrey Honor knew they wanted to be like their mothers and join the brave Custodians. Having been accepted to the Special Arsenal Program in the Academy, Custodian Honor joined as a Designated Sharpshooter. During a skirmish against Novi Phaedrans in Mars, Custodian Honor's Risk Management Unit was obliterated except for them. Custodian Honor quickly picked off the charging Novi Phaedrans while moving from cover to cover in the distance until help arrived.

Custodian Honor was then tasked with field-testing the new Dark Star Energy Rifle in the Solar Expeditions against the power-armored Novi Phaedrans.

Equipment
Custodian Honor has the powerful Dark Star Energy Rifle, which can eat through armor like nothing (Toughness on Enemy Units hit by the DSER is halved, rounded down). It is linked with a LILITH AI which allows Custodian Honor to make accurate Ranged attacks. A special STRIGOI module is attached to the weapon so that Custodian Honor can activate Plasma Bolt. They have the generic Custodian Combat Suit.

Abilities
Custodian Honor is a lone sharpshooter who focuses on their ability to slowly wipe out enemy Units one by one.

Custodian Audredy Honor's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Aim, Assist, and Man Heavy Weaponry.
When Custodian Honor is attached to a Squad, that Squad gains +1 to their Ranged attacks for the duration Custodian Honor is attached to the Squad.

BLOOD MIST Blood sends a mist of Haemomachines to cloud an enemy Squad or Character and reduce their Ranged accuracy.

BLOOD SIGHT gives Custodian Honor +2 to Ranged attacks, which can stack with the Ranged bonus given to the Squad Custodian Honor is attached to. Blood Sight can be maintained every round by spending 1 Haemo Point.

PLASMA BOLT infuses the Dark Star Energy Rifle's charge with a swarm of Haemomachines and unleash a powerful bolt of plasma at the Enemy Unit(s). Enemy Toughness is quartered, rounded down, when determining whether the shot hits.

Stat Baseline
LIGHT INFANTRY
Good HP
Average Toughness
Excellent Ranged
Poor Close Quarters
Average Leadership
Average Willpower
Good Movement
Poor Haemo Points


Republic of Maveth

LIEUTENANT LORENZO MAVERICK, HEROIC SUPPORT HERO
"You think you can just waltz in here and claim our Forward Outpost Base as your own? How about this, if you can cross through the field of Clickpods, evade the Snapper Vines behind them, bypass our sentry guns, and survive the little orbital surprise I have prepared for you all then you can have it. Oh, and my men will continue to rain bullets down on you along the way. Until then, vete al demonio, pendejos!

Overview
Hailing from Cylinder Fortaleza, Lt. Lorenzo Maverick is a versatile Hero who has a variety of Mavethite-exclusive gimmicks to support the Militia Platoon he leads. Equipped with his Poco Artilleria Launch System which can act as a makeshift club and fire a variety of rounds, Lt. Maverick can hold off mobs of enemies while his defenses and orbital bombardment come to action. His abilities are Improved Hunker Down!, Sweeping Fire, Arma de Muerte Auto Sentries, Malak Drone Deployment, Torching, and Angry Plants.

Lieutenant Lorenzo Maverick cannot be taken if Agent Xing is also in the Platoon except in special circumstances.
History
A young Lorenzo Maverick was born in the industrial slums of Cylinder Fortaleza. His father worked in the mines while his mother and maternal aunts had a side business selling Roach and Rat kebabs using the heat and polluted air of the foundries and industrial mills to cook and flavor them. At age 11 Lorenzo Maverick was sick and tired of his impoverished life and joined a gang to earn money and respect, much to his parents' disapproval. Multiple times they tried to get Lorenzo back on the right path but he would always go back to a life of crime, breaking apart stolen industrial goods and hi-tech gear to better fence the materials to shady salvage merchants.

Lorenzo Maverick was so good at his life of crime he was never caught. It was his father's death in a factory accident that shook the young Lorenzo straight. No amount of biomedical or cybernetic procedure could save the senior Maverick. Realizing the folly of his ways and despair at not making his old man proud, Lorenzo renounced his criminal ways and joined the Bears of Fortaleza militia like his father once did when he too was young.

Having spent a few years guarding factories and patrolling crime-ridden neighborhoods, Pvt. Maverick's technical skills soon became known and he was tasked with maintaining the drones, sentry turrets, and heavy weaponry of the militia. During Operation Pest Control he was sent to Ganymede and served two tours there. It was there he met Agent Xing, who recruited him on a special mission into Pachamama. Three whole platoons of various militias were sent to recover a crashed laboratory ship in the deepest canopies of the Pachamaman Jungles. For three grueling months the whole unit faced off against deadly animal-plant hybrids, vine-controlled corpse tribes, Novi Phaedran hunting expeditions, and even rogue Mavethite units. When the unit Sgt. Maverick was in finally reached the ship, they were attacked by unspeakable horrors that crawled, oozed, slithered and flew from the ship's interior. The men and women of this special unit of three diverse militias fought bravely, even using the taboo Black Vita Seeds to reanimate their dead comrades back to the fight, but it was hopeless. The monsters ripped apart the front line, the second line, the third line, until it came to the support line where Sgt. Maverick was located. A slashing brute cut Lorenzo deeply during the fight and flung his corpse deep into the thick foliage.

As he died under the shade of one of Pachamama's elusive Eden Trees, he dreamed of plants suffering, being torn asunder by unspeakable horrors who could not sate their hunger for flesh, animal and plant alike. He then saw himself eating a strange seed and flying across the planet before flying down towards where the lab-made aberrations were and slaughter them all.

Sgt. Maverick woke up standing in the middle of the jungle, his Lieutenant's Little Artillery in hand, covered in alien blood and surrounded by the battered corpses of the lab monsters. His stomach was whole and his left hand had the shocked face of the same brute that supposedly killed him.

Oh, and all the plants around him were agitated and changing at a rampant pace.

Sgt. Lorenzo Maverick slowly made his way back to what little civilization Pachamama had and was collected by Agent Xing. Lorenzo almost killed Agent Xing right then and there when it became clear the Agent knew what was going to happen. Security forces stopped Lorenzo and he was dragged to debriefing where his new powers were examined and tested. He was then given a choice, executed for insubordination or be silent and continue in the Militia Forces using his abilities to win.

Lt. Lorenzo Maverick chose to continue fighting but he still despised what Agent Xing and "His People" did to Maverick's friends during the Operation in Pachamama.

Equipment
Lt. Maverick's Poco Artilleria which he got from his Lieutenant during the Tragedy of Pachamama,is a customized Little Artillery Launch System, a single shot hybrid between a grenade launcher and shotgun that can fire a variety of specialized shells, rounds, and shots, and are given to Lieutenants as a portable support weapon. The Little Artillery's default round is a High Explosive round that must be fired in a trajectory, while its Shredder shots are glorified oversized shotgun shells that can eat through infantry mobs like nothing. Poco Artilleria is modified with better materials and can not only fire custom ammo created by Lt. Maverick such as the Wicked Shredder buckshots or the Infuriation Rounds which causes burning agony to foes, but also be used as a club that could dent Custodian Combat Suits. Lt. Maverick only has a basic Ballistic Vest and limb guards, preferring to be shirtless in the field.

Abilities
HOH BOY. The Republic of Maveth is known for their abilities to compensate for their weaknesses, and Lt. Lorenzo Maverick epitomizes this. Not only does he have power abilities and Vita Garden options, but his Squad attachment bonuses come in THREE flavors, which the player must choose before the game starts. The First is centered around static defenses, and allow all Turrets, both AI and man-operated, to reroll a failed attack roll three times for the whole game and when the squad he is attached to Hunkers Down their Defensive Fighting Positions automatically turn into a Diablo Machine Gun Nest. The Second route is for high mobility games representing Salvage and Longe Range Recon Patrols (LRRP) scenarios. It gives the Squad Lorenzo is attached to a +2 bonus to Willpower Saves and a reroll to one Toughness Save for the whole game. The Third route Lt. Maverick could take works well in aggressive all out combat. Lt. Maverick has two extra Ranged and two extra Close Quarter attacks that he can dole out in the whole game to the Squad he is attached to. These extra attacks can be used in the same attack turn, but must be by the Squad he is attached to.

Sgt. Lorenzo Maverick's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Assist, Battlecry, Repair, Suppress, Man Heavy Weaponry, Lay Mines and Traps, Charge, and Build Defensive Positions.

IMPROVED HUNKER DOWN gives a +2 Toughness bonus to Lt. Maverick and the Squad he is attached to as well as to one other Squad or Character as long as they do not move during their Movement Phase. This stacks with the Toughness bonus given in Defensive Fighting Positions, Machine Gun Nests, Buildings, and Pillboxes.

SWEEPING FIRE allow Lt. Maverick and the Squad he is attached to to make an extra Ranged Attack with no penalties for the whole game.

ARMA DE MUERTE AUTO SENTRIES are simple IFF capable AI sentries whose dual Arma De Muerte Chainguns can easily rip apart lightly armored infantry and suppress the survivors with a hailstorm of bullets. Lt. Maverick can deploy two of them which act on his turn.

MALAK DRONE DEPLOYMENT allows Lt. Maverick to deploy a single Malak Drone for the whole game. It only has two HP but its toughness allows it to shrug off small arms fire. Armed with a sniper rifle the Malak Drone can provide long ranged support for the Mavethite Militia Platoon.

TORCHING, to sum it up, is basically when a nuclear-powered Torchship is called in to spit in the general direction of an enemy squad. Lt. Maverick can call in one Torching per game in which the small targeted area and everything in it is bathed in a miniature nuclear fire from above. Torching causes high damage and ignores virtually all armor.

ANGRY PLANTS are a result of Lt. Maverick's "dream" during his time in Pachamama. This passive ability gives all combat plants grown from his Platoon's Vita Gardens +1 Toughness, +1 Close Quarters, and +1 Willpower for the whole game. This includes any reanimated corpses from the Black Vita Seeds.

Stat Baseline
INFANTRY
Good HP
Good Toughness
Average Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Excellent Leadership
Average Willpower
Average Movement

RANGER JONATHON HAWKINS, NEUTRAL RANGED HERO
"Kid, you've just stepped over more than a few lines in the dirt you shouldn't have crossed."

Overview
From the plains and farms of Cylinder Frontier, Ranger Jonathon Hawkins wanders the stars to Right Wrongs as well a stop fugitives and other criminal scum. Armed with his trusty machine pistols Vicky and Becky, Ranger Hawkins can gun down Squads of Enemies in a flurry of attacks while his lever action rifle Sophia can be used to carefully shoot down powerful Enemy Characters at a distance. His abilities are Improved Sweeping Fire, Trick Shot, Gate to Perdition, and Sophia''s Lullaby.
History
Jonathon Hawkin's family come from a long line of Space Rangers, way back to dark days after the Solar Federation collapsed. His mother, her parents, his father and his paternal grandfather, two sisters Vicky and Becky, and his fiancee Sophia Bridgette were Space Rangers. They toured across the Cylinders and Mavethite colonies helping those in need, but tragedy struck during a routine patrol in a fledgling town in the whispering deserts of Pachamama. The whole Hawkinsfamily of Space Rangers and non-Rangers were there in a feast of honor set by the townsfolk and the mayor. Much merriment was made and alcohol flowed freely.

Near the end of the feasting a horrible screech came from afar as winged monstrosities came dive bombing into the town, brutally massacring the townsfolk and visiting Hawkins Family. While expert marksmen and markswomen, the Space Rangers were too inebriated to effectively shoot the fast airborne threats. Jonathon was not as inebriated and managed to gun down a dozen flying horrors, but more kept coming. He saw his sisters Vicky and Becky lifted up by one of the winged creatures and impaled on the church spire. He saw his mother and father unload whatever ammo they had against the swarm that eventually tore them apart when the ammo ran out. Grandpa Hawkins managed to lead many of the monsters into the saloon and blew himself up with them. In the end it was only Jonathon and his fiancee Sophia who were left, having managed to reach their room with the ammunition containers and hole up there for a while.

For a while they held, but more of the winged monsters were clawing and breaking the roof and ammo was getting dangerously low. When it became clear they would soon be overwhelmed by the beasts, Jonathon and Sophia held hands and quietly exchanged vows. The last two Hawkins then faced their doom calmly. Sophia's death was quick with one swipe of the sharp claws but Jonathon wasn't so lucky and wallowed in his own blood and agony. Before he passed out he saw what seemed to be a Hispanic man with feral eyes in a militia uniform suddenly appearing from the dark night sky with plant-animal hybrids only seen in the jungles of Pachamama, bludgeoning the largest of the monsters with a Little Artillery Launch System.

When Jonathon Hawkins came to he was in a field hospital. He was debriefed by a bald Chinese man in a suit who offered monetary compensation, which Jonathon refused. Upon his medical discharge Jonathon Hawkins went back to Space Ranger work, having sworn upon his badge to continue until death. An empty man who lost everything, Ranger Hawkins is reluctant to grow attached to people, especially with battles across the Solar System becoming more frequent.

Equipment
Ranger Hawkins has two custom made machine pistols similar to the look of the Bergmann-Mars Automatic Pistol, one named after his dead sister Becky and one equally dead Vicky. Firing with the hotheaded Vicky causes burn damage to Enemy Unit(s) while the quiet but stubborn Becky can punch through Heavy armor. Ranger Hawkins also carries his wife's lever action rifle, fittingly named Sophia. With it he can take careful aim at distant foes, especially stronger Characters. His Western-inspired longcoat is laced with scales of flexible and durable alloys weaved inside, giving him decent protection.

Abilities
Ranger Hawkins is a loner and should be played as such in the battlefield. If he is attached to a Squad the Squad's movement speed is halved due to Ranger Hawkin's reluctance to follow the herd.

Ranger Jonathan Hawkin's Universal Abilities are Suppress, Assist, Aim, and Man Heavy Weaponry.

IMPROVED SWEEPING FIRE gives Ranger Hawkins two extra Ranged attacks for whole game. If he is attached to a Squad it is only given one extra Ranged attack similar to Sweeping Fire.

TRICK SHOT allows Ranger Hawkins to reroll ALL Ranged attacks his turn and takes the best results, including those taken at penalties and when Improved Sweeping Fire is used. Trick Shot can be used twice.

GATE TO PERDITION gives Ranger Hawkin's Ranged attack extra damage for one Combat Phase. Can only be used once a game.

SOPHIA's LULLABY can only be used when the lever action rifle Sophia is equipped. Ranger Hawkins chooses a Squad or Character and can fire 1d3 shots at the Enemy, plus any shots gained from Improved Sweeping Fire. Can only be used per game.

Stat Baseline
LIGHT INFANTRY
Average HP
Average Toughness
Excellent Ranged
Poor Close Quarters
Terrible Leadership
Good Willpower
Average Movement

AGENT XING, DARK SUPPORT HERO
"I humbly offer my services to you, sir."

Overview
Not much is known about the bald and pale Agent Xing, except that destruction and horror is always left in his wake. Wearing a dark nano-tube weaved suit and tie, Agent Xing protects himself with a simple Jinian Personal Defense Weapon and his own unarmed combat style while he manipulates the battlefield to his will. His abilities are Immobilize, Ni Hao, Xing's Augmentation Services, I know Everything, and Gruesome Reanimation.

Agent Xing cannot be taken if Lt. Lorenzo Maverick is also in the Mavethite Militia Platoon except in special circumstances.
History
=CONFIDENTIAL=

Equipment
Agent Xing prefers others to fight his battles for him and if he needs to kill he is more than happy to use his unarmed Shenti Wushu. His only ranged weapon is a simple civilian Jinian PDW which is so feeble most infantry laugh at it, but his unassuming business suit is unassuming but is weaved with nano carbon tubes which provides protection against most standard firearms.

Abilities
Agent Xing has many sinister powers in his disposal which can modify the outcomes of the war When attached to a Squad, he can sacrifice one Squad Unit every turn to grant the other survivors +3 Toughness or +3 Willpower. This bonus lasts for the whole next round.

Agent Xing's Universal Abilities are Repair, Assist, Heal, Aim, Lay Mines and Traps, Duel, and Rush.

IMMOBILIZE is a Close Quarters attack in which Agent Xing can immobilize a whole Squad or Character for a whole round if the Enemy Squad or Character fail their Toughness Save. Agent Xing can go around immobilizing as many Enemy Unit(s) as he can get into Close Quarter range during his Combat Phase.

NI HAO is a powerful mobile Close Quarter attack where Agent Xing chooses a Enemy Squad or Character and teleport next to the Enemy Unit(s) and then unleash a Close Quarter attack. This is done during Agent Xing's Movement Phase.

XING'S AUGMENTATION SERVICES gives a variety of stat bonuses to the Squad Agent Xing is attached to. Two Stats can be upgraded up to +2 for two whole rounds but afterwards the Squad suffers a -2 to those stats for three whole rounds. Agent Xing can leave and attach himself to as many squads as possible to give the Xing's Augmentation Service ability.

I KNOW EVERYTHING allows Agent Xing the ability to teleport the Agent and the Warband he is attached to anywhere during an enemy's Attack Phase once per game.

GRUESOME REANIMATION is basically the Black Vita Seed in Ability form. Agent Xim can bring back two units, either Allied or Enemy, back to the field with reduced stats but with the Unit(s)' abilities which are refreshed if they were used before.

Stat Baseline
SPECIAL INFANTRY
Average HP
Average Toughness
Poor Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Excellent Leadership
Excellent Willpower
Good Movement

JIANGSHI-SERGEANT SI QUIFAN, STARTER TOUGH HERO
"Forward...."

Overview
A member of the controversial Jiangshi Program of shock troopers, Sgt. Si Quifan (roughly translated to 4th Prisoner) has been to many battlefields and her ability to soak up damage and fear little makes her a favorite addition for Black Op and other secretive missions. Sgt. Si has a Resilience SMG with an under-barrel shotgun attachment for Ranged combat and a tactical cleaver for Close Quarters. A well-rounded Hero, Sgt. Si's abilities are Relentless, Hop, Sweeping Fire, and Devour.
History
The Jiangshi known as Jiangshi Sgt. Si Quifan was once a female prisoner sentenced to Cylinder Panopticon for murder. She was selected for the Jiangshi Project, a joint project between Cylinder Immortous and Cylinder Spark to create a new breed of supersoldiers from the dead, convicted, severely wounded, and destitute that wipe away previous memories and any pesky personality traits using a special strand of Black Vita Seeds. The Jiangshi Program would allow all the Cylinders to access a pool of these Jiangshi soldiers in return for more biological material, notably corpses. The controversy and outcry from many forced the Program to be downsized so that only offered corpses and the worst convicts from a number of Cylinders who support the Program are selected and some humanity and personality were left in to appease the Human Right activists.

What Sgt. Si was before her Jiangshi transformation is unknown as records are locked away and she supposedly had few relatives or friends. Her first tour was in Mars in a Terror operation to show off the Jiangshi soldiers against both the Custodial Protectorate and the Novi Phaedrans. Both Custodian and Novi Phaedran forces balked at the unsettling appearance of the Jiangshi before they were riddled by bullets. The Custodians even fled when they saw Sgt. Si take off her face talisman, unhinged her mouth and pulled apart their Executive Custodian's head from their body and promptly consume it, metal and all. The colonists and settlers also fled the scene allowing for Mavethite scavengers to take the stuff left behind the settlements and habitat structures.

Deployed wherever the Republic wants to undertake morally dubious missions or to cause sheer terror in their foes, Sgt. Si can face anything the Solar System throws at her and still come on top.

Equipment
The Sgt.'s Resilience SMG is standard for all Jiangshi soldiers. It has better stopping power over the Mavethite's bog standard Alpeh PDW and much more accurate as well. It comes with an under-barrel shotgun attachment which can take a variety of shots and shells. The tactical cleaver each Jiangshi has can tear through flesh and light armor easily, and serves as the Jiangshi's medical kit as it can cut apart human bodies for limb reattachment or meat stuffing in case of injuries.

Sgt. Si's armor is created from special alloys that allow her already tough body extra protection, especially from explosive concussions. The aesthetics of the armor are similar to the Soviet "Boilerplate" armor of WW2.

Abilities
Sgt. Si is practically immune to Willpower-based attacks due to her conditioning and highly resilient against Poisons, Gases, and other elemental attacks, but not totally immune to physical effects due to her body being controlled by small sprouts and vines of the Jiangshi strain of Black Vita Seeds.

Sgt. Si Quifan's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Suppress, Charge, Assist, Battlecry, Field Requisition, and Man Heavy Weaponry.

When Sgt. Si is attached to a Squad, the Squad gains a +2 Toughness modifier against Area of Effect Attacks. While she can be attached to a Jiangshi Squad with no hassle, all other non-Jiangshi Squads must make a Willpower Save or else Sgt. Si will not be able to join that Squad for the round and the Squad must make another Willpower Save if she is to retry joining.

RELENTLESS is a passive ability which makes Sgt. Si automatically succeed any tests against Suppression and Dazed. There is still a chance she will get hit, but the Suppression and Stunned Penalties no longer apply to her.

HOP allows Sgt. Si to jump high and go over enemy Unit(s) or even land on top of a Squad or Character. If Sgt. Si decides to attack an Enemy with Hop, the Enemy Unit(s) must roll a Toughness Save. If a Squad fails the roll, a unit is killed, while a Character loses a HP. Regardless of the results, the Enemy Squad or Character attacked by Hop must then make a Willpower Save or be Dazed for a round.

SWEEPING FIRE allows Sgt. Si and the Squad she is attached to make an extra Ranged attack.

DEVOUR is a Close Quarter attack in which upon activation forces an human or beast-centric Enemy Squad to roll a Toughness Save or lose one unit immediately. Sgt. Si regains 1 HP and can use Devour in her attack turn indefinitely but must be in Close Quarter range to do so.

Stat Baseline
HEAVY INFANTRY
Excellent HP
Good Toughness
Average Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Average (Jiangshi)/Poor (non-Jiangshi) Leadership
Excellent Willpower
Excellent Movement


NOVI PHAEDRANS
Note: Due to the smaller size of Novi Phaedran forces, Characters can attach together to make Warbands which sacrifice independent mobility and unlike other factions to not give the group special modifiers, but it does grant increased focus of firepower and pool of universal Abilities.

KING ROMULUS HILL, HEROIC LEADER AND TOUGH HERO
"I have no need for faceless governments and cowardly bureaucrats who dictate from afar, knowing nothing of their people. We Novi Phaedrans know that the rulers must face their choices personally, whether it is declaring war on another tribe, arranging a marriage of their favorite daughter to another clan, or deciding the fate of the condemned. The grieving tears, the accusing eyes, the relieved laughter, the cheers of the crowd. Rulers must take all the emotions and consequences in with every decision. In return for our shouldering of this massive burden those under us are expected to loyally obey our deeds and words. The Buck, to use an old term, stops with us Novi Phaedran men."

Overview
A member of the Star Kings, King Romulus Hill is the young patriarch of the Hill Clan who joined the forefront in the fight against the Custodial Protectorate's Solar Expeditions to protect his wives and children. A charismatic leader and a veteran of multiple Crucibles, Romulus Hill can lead any small Novi Phaedran warband to victory with his Blitz Autocannon, Tactical Battlehammer, and customizable Vindicator-class Power Armor. King Romulus Hill's Apotheosis focuses on Presence.
History
King Romulus Hill saw battle before he could even walk. A Carnemicum raid attacked his Hill Clan Ship of the Star Kings Autonomous Zone and while the men did their best to fend off the grotesque raiders many non-combatants, including Romulus's mother Victoriana, were captured when the Carnies escaped. The Hill Clan precariously walked the line to extinction, especially since Romulus's father refused to stop his petty fights with other Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones. Even with the number of wives taken or arranged by other Novi Phaedrans and the adoption of initiates wanting to join the famous Hills the fighting male population wasn't enough to exact revenge against the Carnies who did this.

When Romulus came to age his father left him in the middle of Mars with some survival equipment and a Tactical Battlehammer for his Crucible, saying that Romulus was dead to his father unless he managed to return to the Hill Clan Ship. For two whole years Romulus survived by ambushing small colony farms and offering his services to other Novi Phaedran warbands that were there. Not only did he survive, but thrived and even led his own warband of young Novi Phaedrans wanting to become initiated with Apotheosis. He married his first two wives down in the bloody ground of Mars.

Apotheosis came for Romulus's and his Warband when they ambushed a whole Custodian armored convoy guarding political dignitaries and activists. Despite facing greater firepower the Novi Phaedrans outwitted the Custodians and destroy the tanks. The more enemies they killed the stronger and confident felt, until it came to a point where Romulus took a tank shell point blank and simply tore open the armor and beat the operators inside to death with his fists. The noncombatants guarded by the convoy were butchered and their heads spiked near peaceful Custodian settlements. The despair and terror was enough that Romulus's warband were able to start collecting tribute from the terrified inhabitants. He became a local legend and soon had enough wealth to hire a Mavethite Torchship to carry all his people and wealth back to the Hill Clan.

When Romulus came back to his Clan Ship, his father welcomed him with opens arm and accepted Romulus's warband, wives, and Romulus's newborns into the family. A month long feast was held and Romulus was made heir when his father passed away. More wives were given to Romulus which bolstered his already large family, including a young bride originally intended for his father.

The feast ended in disaster when the Carnemicum attacked Clan Hill in large numbers once again. Leading the attack was a different House though. Led by the mutated Victoriana Hell, Romulus's mother who was kidnapped years earlier, the Carnies tried to capture more of the HIll Clan of the Star Kings Autonomous Zone in order to bolster the fledgling House Hell. Romulus's father was the exception. Victoriana used her combat tentacles and stingers to tear her husband apart slowly while whispering the awful things he did to her before she was "Awakened". Now King Romulus Hill regrouped his men to a defensive position guarding the women and children, chipping away at the Carnie raiders bit by bit as they tried to incapacitate the Novi Phaedran warriors. King Romulus Hill ignored his mother's offers of joining the Carnemicum despite some torn emotions, and even personally struck the blow against her which caused the House Hell raiders to retreat back to their ships and flee.

King Hill's deeds reached the ears of the Arch-King of the all the Star King clans, Antonio Hawkes, and he was rewarded with powerful Power Armors and weapons for all his men. King Hill swore brotherhood with his Arch-King and was tasked with joining the other Novi Phaedrans in their fight against the degenerate and rotting Custodial Protectorate. His feud with his Carnie mother had to wait, and in many ways King Romulus Hill is secretly glad he doesn't have to fight his mother to the death so soon.

He still has some questions for her.

Equipment
King Romulus Hill wears a modular Vindicator-Class suit of Power Armor which by itself is extremely durable but with an array of options can make Romulus's armor deadly. From shoulder mounted grenade launchers, augmented sensor suites, heavy hitting Jumppacks to even reactive armor plating, the assortment of options he has for his armor are impressive and makes King Hill a very versatile warrior.

His handheld Blitz Autocannon's explosive shells can break apart enemy armor with the same ease as its violent concussive force rips apart Enemy Squads of flesh. Its bulky nature even with Power Armor prevents it from being used accurately, but the amount of shells it unleashes and its destructive power more than compensates for that.

His Tactical Battlehammer is a two handed monstrosity which is used to tear apart heavy armor and infantry that not even the Blitz Autocannon could not penetrate. It is slow and prone to miss against agile Unit(s), but when it does hit very little can survive it.

Abilities
King Romulus Hill is able to shatter the will of his enemies while leading his Warband to greatness.

King Romulus Hill's universal abilities are Suppress, Charge, Duel, Assist, and Battlecry.

At start, King Hill has MARKED FOR EXTERMINATION, which allows all Novi Phaedran Warbands and Characters to deal extra damage to a selected enemy Squad or Character for two rounds. He is able to apply Marked for Extermination as many times as he wants, but only one Squad or Character can be Marked at any given time.

At One Squad/Character Kill or One Successful Objective, He gains BRUTAL CHARGE, which grants him and the Warband he is in cause the Enemy Squad or Character they charge into to become Stunned. Enemy Squads are automatically stunned while Characters are given a chance to roll their Willpower against the Stun attack. Can be used once every other round.

At Two Squad/Character Kills or Two Successful Objectives or a Kill and a Successful Objective, King Hill and one other Character gains a +1 to their Willpower-based attacks.

At Three Squad/Character Kills or Three Successful Objectives or a combination of Three total, King Hill gains LEGEND OF MARS, which grants him and the Warband he is in +1 bonus to Willpower and Toughness stats for the duration of the game. He may also choose a Enemy Squad and have them roll Willpower against him. If they lose they are Stunned for one round. This stun ability can be used three times for the whole game.

At Four Squad/Character Kills or Four Successful Objectives or a combination of Four total, King Hill and the Warband he is in gains an extra Ranged or Close Quarters attack.

Stat Baseline
HEAVY INFANTRY
Good HP
Excellent Toughness
Poor Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Good Leadership
Average Willpower
Poor Movement

LORD SHIGAI TATSUMOTO, NEUTRAL CLOSE QUARTER HERO
"I will not turn my back to you nor strike you from behind. That is not the Shigai Way."

Overview
Lord Shigai Tastumoto is the younger brother of the Daimyo of the Shigai Clan, Lord Shigai Miyamoto. Tasked with leading Shigai Samurais and their ashigaru retainers, the younger Lord Shigai has totally shunned ranged weaponry to focus on the art of Kenjutsu, or Japanese Swordsmanship. His Nadare-class Power Yoroi can shrug off both kinetic and energy attacks as the warlord closes in for the kill with his reinforced Katana. Lord Shigai Tatsumoto's Apotheosis focuses on the Oni.
History
Young Lord Shigai Tatusmoto is the youngest brother of Shigai Miyamoto, Daimyo of the Shigai Clan. While both were trained in the Way of the Sword and the Pen, the rugged and slightly brutish Tatsumoto was made to focus on the Sword while his sickly brother was trained in the administrative and cultural tasks required of him. While not the best swordsman of the Shigai Clan, Lord Shigai Tatsumoto is the personal enforcer of the Daimyo's Will, and both his words and blade carry sharpness and authority. He obtained his Apotheosis battling three expert swordsmen at the same time to the death.

Currently tasked with aiding Tyrant Stravros of the Den of Titan as an adviser, the Young Lord of Shigai is more than happy to get into whatever frays he can to feed his bloodlust and gain honor in the battlefield.

Equipment
The Nadare-Class Power Yoroi is only giving to those Samurai who achieved their Apotheosis. Its layers of scaled armor is designed to shrug off gunfire and explosive forces as the brave Shigai Samurais charge their foes for honorable Close Quarter Combat. This near nigh invulnerability only lasts after a few sustained shots and after a while the final layer of the Power Yoroi is left which has reduced protection. Some Samurai allow their foe to get a few hits in first during the melee in order to reduce their layers of armor for fair play.

Each Samurai has a reinforced Katana folded and hammer a thousand times from hardy rare earth elements in specialized sword workshops, and these blades are usually passed down from father to son due to the intricacies in its construction. The creation of each is almost a special day and much ritual is given in its creation and naming. Lord Shigai's sword is called Taiyo no Shibo, or Death of the Sun. While it cannot cut through heavy armor, it can easily cut through Infantry protective gear like tearing through Shoji screens.

Abilities
A purely Close Quarters Character, Lord Shigai is best used being thrown in the thick of it. Despite his high Toughness, too much damage will reduce his armor and be open to more attacks, so it is recommended to get into Close Quarters as soon as possible.

Lord Shigai Tatsumoto's Universal Abilities are Charge, Rush, Duel, Battlecry, and Assist.

At Start Lord Shigai has GLORIOUS RUSH allows Shigai and his Warband to make another move action during their Movement Phase and ignore Willpower-based attacks like Suppression or Stun for two whole Round.

At One Squad/Character Kill or One Successful Objective, Lord Shigai gains FLURRY, which gives him an extra Close Quarter attack. This can be used twice during the whole game.

At Two Squad/Character Kills or Two Successful Objectives or a Kill and a Successful Objective, Lord Shigai gains +2 to either his Toughness or Close Quarters stat.

At Three Squad/Character Kills or Three Successful Objectives or a combination of Three total, he is completely immune to Suppression effects.

At Four Squad/Character Kills or Four Successful Objectives or a combination of Four total, Lord Shigai gains LAST STAND. When he is out of HP he regains half HP, automatically immune to Willpower-based attacks, and have his Close Quarter attacks be more accurate, but at the expense of halved Movement speed.

Stat Baseline
HEAVY INFANTRY
Average HP
Excellent Toughness
Terrible Ranged
Excellent Close Quarters
Average Leadership
Good Willpower
Average Movement

STURMMANN IOSEF VIETCH, DARK RANGED AND FAST HERO
"UNLEASHING FIRE AND FURY ON THE UNTERMENSCH! HEIL BAHR!"

Overview
A Sturmmann (Storm Man)of the Volkswolf, Iosef Vietch carves a path of destruction against those labeled inferior by the Fuhrer. Sturmmann Vietch's armor and augmentations are centered around effective use of cybernetically attachable jetpacks. Wielding only a double-barrel Dopeltschreck and the venerable MP88, this Sturmmann is able to wreck havoc up in the air before soaring away before the enemy can respond for long stretches of time. His Apotheosis focuses on the Hawk.
History
Birthed in an artificial womb in the NeuMann Institute, the fact that Iosef Vietch is partly Slavic is not lost to him. From his first memory he was taught that he had to work twice as hard to reach the level of the average (mostly) Aryan citizen of the Volkswolf. He was incomplete, subhuman, racially backwards. The only way Iosef could ever hope to achieve the second class Honorary Aryan was to fanatically serve the Fuhrer and the Nazi Ideology. Eager to be accepted Iosef Vietch underwent extremely dangerous and painful surgery that allowed his body to easily maneuver and control a cybernetic Jetpack.

After a grueling year of training Iosef became a member of the Sturmtruppen, specialized infiltration and shock troops who were usually of dubious lineage and served as glorified cannon fodder that pave the way for the better equipped, better trained, verified Aryan soldiers. Little glory and high casualties await for the Sturmtruppen, who are scorned as insane mavericks and treated poorly by their superiors.

But if it means getting a seat at the table even if he would be served scraps, Sturmmann Vietch is willing to do anything for the Fuhrer. As one of the few in the Sturmtruppen to gain Apotheosis, he has been sent to the most hellsih battlefields in the Solar System.

Equipment
Lightly armored and equipped, Sturmmann Iosef Vietch and all Sturmtruppen are built around speed and mobility with their jetpacks. They only wear Mark 1 Panzer Suit which is focused on protecting the Sturmtruppen from the heat of their jetpacks on their back, as well as some sensor suites and HUD to allow for fast tactical reaction. Aside from that, the Mk. 1 Panzer Suit only barely protects the user from Small Arms fire.

The Doppeltshreck is for all intents and purposes a bulky rectangular box with two Panzershrecks welded together inside. It can be fired once at a time or simultaneously, but takes a while to reload each tube. Despite its ancient history, the Doppeltshreck's slightly upgraded 88mm rockets are easy to manufacture and serves it purpose against Heavy Infantry and lightly armored Vehicles well.

The MP88 is a heavy caliber automatic carbine used by Sturmtruppen, NeuGestapo, and auxiliary units. It is closer to an Assault Rifle rather than a Submachine Gun, but extremely compact. It is generally weaker than the Novi Phaedran's famous and ubiquitous 7.92 Titan Storm Rifle, but for the mobile Sturmtruppen like Iosef Vietch, it is enough.

The centerpiece of the Sturmtruppen is their Jetpack. They can fly for extended periods of time and do incredible maneuvers thanks to their cybernetic implants which increase response time, and the Jetpacks are fueled by relatively small power cells. This allows the Stummann to quickly change cells on the ground for only a short period of time before quickly taking to the skies once again. The Jetpack can be used as an improvised bomb, but few in the Sturmtruppen could ever dream of using their precious Jetpack as a improvised bomb.

Abilities
Sturmmann Iosef Vietch cannot join a non Sturmtruppen Warband due to his special Fly ability and his low social standing. He can only join other Sutrmtruppen Warbands or other non-Volkswolf characters with the Fly ability.

Sturmmann Iosef Vietch's Universal Abilities are Suppress, Assist, Fly, Aim, and Man Heavy Weaponry.

At Start Iosef VIetch has his Jetpack's Fly ability. This allows him to be immune to Close Quarter attacks, gives him a +1 Toughness against Ranged attacks, and allows him to safely go over Enemy Unit(s) and most impassable terrain. Fly lasts for two rounds and requires one whole round on the ground to recharge.

At One Squad/Character Kill or One Successful Objective, the Sturmmann gains SWEEPING FIRE, which gives him and the squad he is attached to another Ranged Attack. This is can be used only once during the game.

At Two Squad/Character Kills or Two Successful Objectives or a Kill and a Successful Objective, Sturmmann Vietch gains +2 to his Ranged attacks for the duration of the game.

At Three Squad/Character Kills or Three Successful Objectives or a combination of Three total, Sturmmann Vietch gains DIVEBOMB, which allows him to make another move action during his Combat Phase after using the Doppeltschrek on an enemy Squad or Character. He can do this multiple times as long as he uses his Doppeltschrek.

At Four Squad/Character Kills or Four Successful Objectives or a combination of Four total, Sturmmann Vietch gains DRAGON WINGS for the duration of the game. He can stay permanently in the air and no longer needs the Jetpack and its requirement to refuel every two rounds. (note: this allows the practical use of the Jetpack as a powerful bomb as mentioned in the Equipment section)

Stat Baseline
SPECIAL INFANTRY
Average HP
Average Toughness
Good Ranged
Poor Close Quarters
Poor Leadership
Average Willpower
Excellent Movement

SIR ARCHIBALD LEVESQUE, STARTER CLOSE QUARTER HERO
"I swear upon the Sword of Avalon to protect my subjects."

Overview
Sir Archibald Levesque is the newest initiates of the Knights of the Round Table and Lord of the Levesque Hydroponic Manor in his holdings in Dione. On a quest to hunt for Antediluvian Artifacts, Sir Levesque has had to put it on hiatus in order to help in the Novi Phaedran defense against the Custodial Protectorate. Decked in the Gallant-Class Power Suit and armed with his trust Heatsword and Shield which is as armored as a 21st century Battle Tank, Sir Levesque will hold the line. His Apotheosis focuses on the Shield.
History
Sir Archibald Levesque, son of Sir Percival Levesque, proved his worth during the Battle of the Shadow Knights and gained his Apotheosis at the age of 16 there when he personally held off and distracted two of the Shadow Knights with only a shield and a short sword until the cavalry arrived. Knighted for his brave actions on that day, Sir Archibald Levesque quickly rose up the ranks and gained enough heroic deeds that he soon joined the Knights of the Round Table after swearing fealty to the Pendragon and promising to be fair and just to all.

Sir Levesque was content to protect his modest hydroponic manor against Carnemite raiders and explore ancient ruins for Antediluvian Artifacts , like so many others in New Camelot, answered Tyrant Stravos's call to fight against the Protectorate's mission to eradicate the Novi Phaedran way of life.

Equipment
The Gallant-Class Power Suit is worn by all Knights of the Round Table. It is effective against explosive weaponry and equipped with helmet scanners which gives detailed information about the enemy and their weaknesses. The Gallant's collapsible shield located on the back allows the Knight to swing it to the front via top handles and open it to provide frontal coverage. The Gallant's shield provides extra protection to the Knight as expense to Movement.

His Heatsword is a one-handed Arming Sword which can burn through armor, giving it decent penetrative damage. The Knight usually uses it along with the Gallant's Shield.

For Ranged combat Sir Levesque has a Hand Cannon revolver which while powerful isn't as strong as the Heatsword and the Knight is not as well versed in it as his Heatsword. It too can be used in conjunction with the Gallant's Shield.

Abilities
Focused on Defense, Sir Levesque can act in a tank role holding up enemy Units while other Novi Phaedrans flank them. Mostly built around Close Quarters, he does have a good Ranged option with his Hand Cannon which is usable along with the Gallant Shield. This makes him more versatile and durable than Lord Shigai.

Sir Archibald Levesque's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Assist, Duel, and Charge.

At Start Sir Levesque has IMPROVED HUNKER DOWN! which gives a +2 Toughness bonus to him and the Warband he is attached to as well as to one other Squad or Character as long as they do not move during their Movement Phase. This stacks with the Toughness bonus given in Defensive Fighting Positions, Machine Gun Nests, Buildings, and Pillboxes.

At One Squad/Character Kill or One Successful Objective the Knight gains GLORIOUS RUSH which allows Sir Levesque and his Warband to make another move action during their Movement Phase and ignore Willpower-based attacks like Suppression or Stun for two whole Round.

At Two Squad/Character Kills or Two Successful Objectives or a Kill and a Successful Objective, the Knight gains +1 to Toughness and +1 to Close Quarters for the duration of the game.

At Three Squad/Character Kills or Three Successful Objectives or a combination of Three total, Sir Levesque and the Warband he is attached gains +1 to Toughness for the duration of the game.

At Four Squad/Character Kills or Four Successful Objectives or a combination of Four total, Sir Levesque gets FLURRY, which gives him another Close Quarters attack. This can be used twice for the duration of the game.

Stat Baseline
HEAVY INFANTRY
Average HP
Excellent Toughness
Poor Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Average Leadership
Good Willpower
Average Movement


Carnemicum
Note: Most Carnemicum Unit(s) can roll on a variety of Mutation tables for a random effect every round for the Maximum of 3-5 Mutations (depending on the Unit(s) every game if they do not have a Flesh Doctor nearby, though most Squads only have one Mutation chart they can roll from. Each roll is followed by a Backlash roll in which the Carnemicum Unit(s) must make a Toughness or Willpower roll. If failed, they must take the Backlash effects of said Mutation along with the normal Effects. The more powerful the Mutation, the riskier the Backlash.

PARIARCH VICTORIANA HELL, HEROIC CLOSE QUARTERS HERO
"I won't force you into joining us, child.

You'll soon reach that choice yourself in short time."


Overview
The mother of the Star King's King Romulus Hill of the Hill Clan, Pariarch Victoriana Hell is notable for the fact that she came out of Serfdom with her own two hands to create a Carnemicum House for herself. Driven to converting her family in the Novi Phaedran to the Carnemicum, Pariarch Victoriana has multiple limbs and combat tentacles to single-handely orchestrate the battlefield to her desire. A one Women-Army, her Abilities are Eternal Flurry, Stunning Touch, Loving Touch, and Mother Knows Best.
History
Victoriana Lionel never had a choice since she was born into the Novi Phaedran Star Kings. Her education was chosen for her to better suit the role of Housewife, her words were policed to not offend the men of her Clan, her clothing was chosen for her to look proper in childhood and to please men's eyes during her blooming years, even her food was regulated to make her body into the desired shape. Young Victoriana had no choice when she was promptly given to the patriarch of the Hill Clan as a bride by her father, the patriarch of the Lionel Clan. She had no choice during her wedding night, no choice when her husband smothered their infant daughter despite her wailing protests because girls put a strain on resources especially with dowries, no choice when her husband tossed her aside and brought other women into their bedroom, no choice when he used her again to beget more children including Romulus. The only choice she ever had was to obey or risk abuse and death for speaking out.

"Choose."

Those were the words of Victoriana Hil's kidnappers of House Calamity of the Carnemicum said after the raid against Clan HIll of the Star Kings. She was given a choice on whether she wanted to work in the Algae-culture fields, in the Chemical Processing factories, or go to school to gain technical skills. The gravity of the situation, the fact that insane caste-based monsters were asking for her, a Serf's, decision when her husband and ruler of a whole Clan refused to listen to his first wife shook Victoriana to her very foundation. Irritated at her long silence and shock at such a simple question, the Calamity Carnies had her do internships in all the fields so Victoriana could figure out for herself later on.

Learning the ins and outs of Carnemicum society during her internships, Victoriana began to appreciate it for all its disgusting exterior and bizarre customs. She had more freedom and treated better as a Serf of the Carnies than wife of a powerful Novi Phaedran. Victoriana didn't have to worry about the way she looked or dressed, nor was she forced to marry anyone she didn't want to. She could even talk back to her House Calamity Pariarch masters in most cases and while it sometimes ended up being a physical fight in the end, she wasn't condemned to death like a deranged dog like many women in many Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones who disobey their menfolk. Life was treasured, with all its warts and defects. Sure, many Hybrids were somewhat aloof, funny smelling at best, and extremely strange to the normal human, but it became paradise for Victoriana Hill.

She went to school at the Citadel of Birth in the Carnemicum capital of Flatworld and graduated in Basic Mutation Therapy. She served on Flatworld clinics for a while as an assistant to Flesh Wizards and Gene Doctors (or Flesh Doctors and Gene Wizards, the terminology gets mixed up quickly) before joining the crew of a large Calamity Splat Ship in its extensive Life Harvests all over the Solar System, patching up wounded Hybrids and giving abducted people minor mutations to allow them to better live in the strange world of the Carnemicum as Serfs. Her professional and kind demeanor made her popular in many Carnie raiding groups, and Victoriana Hill became a sort of celebrity.

During a Life Harvest in Mavethite territory the raiding convoy Victoriana was in were struck by the full force of the Combined Space Force. Her ship barely made it out and was badly damaged. Victoriana tried to save as many crewmembers as she could, but she only had two arms. Discovering a valuable ArchMedusozoan spore vial in the now deceased boss's quarters, she decided to take it and use what little knowledge and equipment she had to goad the ArchMedusozoan to give her more appendages. It was extremely painful, and Victoriana fought with the ArchMedusozoan parasite for the direction f where her body would be taken. The ArchMedusozoan finally relented when Victoriana conveyed bitter memories of her life in the Star Kings and gave her the appendages she desired and more.

After using her new arms and tentacles to patch up the survivors, Victoriana Hill led them to raid and assimilate a minor House, that of House Hell. Becoming the ruling Pariarch of House Hell and renaming herself Victoriana Hell became a powerful if still minor Carnie House. She pledged allegiance and tribute to House Calamity in return for legitimacy and protection, which the major House granted.

Taking a few femme-oriented Hybrids as adopted daughters to fill the gap she still felt for her murdered infant daughter by her former Star King husband, Pariarch Victoriana led an attack on her former Lionel and Hill Clan homes, killing both her father and husband while capturing a few distant relatives to bring into the Carnemicum fold as Serfs. She fought and tried to persuade her son Romulus to join the Carnemicum, but he would not listen. Heartbroken but determined, Victoriana escaped and begun raiding frequently in order to amass enough ArchMedusozoan spores to convert the captured relatives of the Hill Clan when they finally yield to becoming a Hybrid. Notably, more female than male relatives chose to join Pariarch Victoriana's ranks, though many still refuse and have tried to either break free or end their own life.

Pariarch Victoriana has been spotted all over the Solar System raiding and questing, but she still keeps an eye on her son and his family, knowing one day she will save them all and bring them into their cages.

Equipment
Having 4 arms and three tentacles, Pariarch Victoriana dual wields two dangerous Scrape Blades in two hands and a pistol in one hand. The Pistol cannot go through heavy armor and very weak, but is better than nothing. Two of her tentacles are equipped with stingers, one to deliver the Stunning Touch while the Other the Loving Touch. The last tentacle can be used as a powerful bludgeoning Close Quarter weapon and is useful in the Charge ability.

Pariarch Victoriana's carapace armor allows some protection from Small Arms fire, but is mostly used to hold any traps, grenades, and mines she may be equipped with.

Abilities
A Close Quarter specialist with some Support elements, Pariarch Victoriana Hell is able to hold off multiple enemy Squads or beat down Character units. She has a Mutation limit of 4.

When Pariarch Victoriana is attached to a Squad, the Squad can reroll the results of a Close Quarter attack and take the best results every Combat Phase.

Pariarch Victoriana Hell's Universal Abilities are Heal, Mutate, Charge, Assist, Battlecry, Man Heavy Weaponry, Lay Down Mines and Traps, and Duel.

ETERNAL FLURRY gives the Pariarch of House Hell an extra Close Quarters attack every Combat Phase.

STUNNING TOUCH is a Close Quarter attack which causes an Enemy Squad or Character to be stunned if they do not make their Toughness save. This Stun lasts for one round. Can be used in the extra Close Quarter attack given in Eternal Flurry.

LOVING TOUCH is a Close Quarter attack. When Pariarch Victoriana uses it on an Allied Character or Squad, they gain a free Mutation roll in the Basic Mutation Table without requiring the need to roll on Backlash. Victoriana may only use it once for every Squad and Character, with any Character attached to a Squad being considered affected once by Loving Touch. If the maximum Mutation Limit is already hit, Victoriana instead gives a +1 bonus to any stat for the duration of the game.

MOTHER KNOWS BEST is a Close Quarter attack in which an Enemy Character or Squad must roll a Willpower Save or be controlled by the player with Pariarch Victoriana for three rounds. If two Pariarch Victoriana's are on the field, they can use Mother Knows Best to negate the other's effects. Can only be used once during the duration of the game.

Stat Baseline
HEAVY INFANTRY
Good HP
Average Toughness
Poor Ranged
Excellent Close Quarters
Good Leadership
Good Willpower
Good Movement
Basic, Advanced, and Special Mutation Tables

PARIARCH ROMY APOCALYPSE, NEUTRAL JACK OF ALL TRADES HERO
"BRAWL! BRAWL! BRAWL! BRAWL! BRAWL!"

Overview
Pariarch Romy Apocalypse is an Artisan of War, a Connoisseur of Battle. Equipped with little except the ability to mutate, Pariarch Romy uses the battlefield as their buffet, taking what gear they need from the vanquished. Able to take the maximum of 5 Mutations and gain 1 free Basic Mutation of the player's choice at the start of the game, Pariarch Romy is a versatile element of any Carnemicum army. Their only innate ability aside from Universal Abilities given to them is Salvage. Otherwise all other abilities require Mutation.
History
Pariarch Romy Apocalypse was originally born in the Neos Lacedameon Autonomous Zone in Proteus, but their physical defects caused their biological parents to toss baby Romy into the trash system. Left to die to starvation or exposure, they were found by Carnemite scavengers of House Apocalypse who raised Romy as Serf. Once Romy was 10 years old their Carnie masters took them to the Flesh Pits of House Corruption to fight for wealth and glory. Because Romy was young, Pariarch Iosef Corruption made an exception to them having to work the Corruption factories upon defeat, allowing them to get back up and hone their skills against other human opponents. Upon finally winning the Flesh PIts Romy was infected with an ArchMedusozoan spore as their prize and rejoined their new Hybrid family of House Apocalypse in their Life Harvest raids on other factions as well as skirmishes against the neighboring Neos Lacedameons.

Having grown up fighting most their life and mentally changed by their ArchMedusozoan parasite, Pariarch Romy cannot tell enemy and friend at times, cheerily beating up friendly acquaintances for no apparent reason while showering people who continuously tried to kill Romy with gifts. This strange personality has made Romy few friends but Romy simply sees War as a game and only kills when necessary, Serfs and noncombatants being strictly off limits in their violent playing.

Equipment
Pariarch Romy Apocalypse has absolutely no equipment at the start of the game with the exception of any leftover gear brought over in campaign scenarios. Their Salvage and Field Requisition Abilities allows the Pariarch to extract weapons and pieces of armor to use during the game.

Romy can gain a mutation, including weapon Mutations or Armor, of their own desire for free, but unless they are willing to let Fate and an alien living in their body take over must undergo extreme pains to choose the other Mutations. Weapon Mutations include large curved wrist blades made, poisonous fumes, acidic spit, bludgeoning tumors, and flesh rending talons. Other mutations include insect wings, carapace armor, heightened eyesight, horns, mental otherness, heightened muscles and nerves, spores of nerve-numbing germs, or even a small fleshly companion created from part of Romy's body.

Abilities
Pariarch Romy is the best choice for a Mutation-oriented Hero Character. They have access to all three Mutation Tables. After choosing their first mutation on the Basic Mutation Table, they can sacrifice 1 HP to choose from the Basic Mutation Table and 2 HP to choose from the Advanced Mutation Table. Mutations chosen rather than rolled automatically succeed against their Backlash test. The Special Mutation Table must be rolled if chosen for Mutation. Pariarch Romy has a Mutation Limit of 5 Mutations, including the Mutation selected from the Basic Mutation Table at the beginning of the game.

Pariarch Romy's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Suppress (when applicable), Aim (when applicable), Duel (when applicable), Rush, Charge, Battlecry, Man Heavy Weaponry, Field Requisition, Lay Mines and Traps (when applicable), Heal, and Mutate.

Pariarch Romy must roll a Willpower save when joining a Squad or he attacks them for normal damage. Upon joining, he grants +1 bonus to Close Quarters and Ranged to the Squad he is attached to.

SALVAGE is similar to Field Requisition in that Romy can use the weapon stats of an enemy unit they or another Allied Unit(s) defeated within two rounds of the Enemy Unit(s)' death, except it takes the primary weapon permanently rather than use any limited ammo weapons like rocket launchers or machine guns like Field Requisition. Romy may change weapons with Salvage as they see fit, but it takes a whole Movement or Combat Phase to accomplish.

Stat Baseline
INFANTRY
Good HP
Average Toughness
Average Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Poor Leadership
Average Willpower
Excellent Movement
Basic, Advanced, and Special Mutation Tables

PARIARCH ANTON DREAD, DARK RANGED HERO
"Flesh Dolls have the sole disadvantage of not being able to scream and plead when they are in pain."

Overview
A ruthless and sadistic Pariarch of House Dread, Pariarch Anton Dread lives for the Flesh Harvest. Equipped with a nasty arsenal of grenades, trap launchers, and paralyzing poison needlers, Pariarch Anton wants to hear the cries of his foes as they are dragged off to work until exhaustion in the Chemical Processors and Mines, where afterwards they would be components for the Flesh Dolls. Pariarch Anton's Abilities are Agonizing Terror and Gore Strut.
History
Pariarch Anton Dread was always told by his parents that he was marked for greatness. House Dread was the greatest of all the Houses, and anyone not them were no better than Serfs (or Serfs themselves). Having a cruel steak even in the already cruel House, Anton was fond of creating Flesh Dolls and having them do dangerous and degrading things for his amusement. When he grew older and obtained his ArchMedusozoan spore that allowed him to join the House's Life Harvests, his taste for torture and brutality extended to the abducted. The Serfs were put in fatal positions in the mines and factories of the Dread Demesnes so that they could easily collapse and have Anton swoop in to collect more components for more Flesh Dolls.

One day tragedy struck and his Demesne was captured by House Calamity. Having little resources and sparse Serfs to create more Flesh Dolls, Anton Dread has begun offering his services to satiate his desire for gruesome torture.

Equipment
Pariarch Anton is Equipment-based, using a variety of mines, traps, and grenades to maim and weaken enemies while other Carnie units pick their helpless units. The main weapon is the Poison Needler, an semi-automatic rifle that can shoot painful and gruesome poisons into the victim's bloodstream and have them convulsing and screaming in seconds. His grenade launcher can take a variety of equally terrible grenades, from blinding acid grenades to corrosive gases that eat through armor...permanently. His grenade launcher is also able to launch mines and webbed nets at or around enemies, forcing them to a standstill while the Carnemicum raiders can maneuver around them as they see fit.

Pariarch Anton wears refurbished Mavethite body armor and quite weak, but compensates by being speedy.

Abilities
Pariarch Anton is a force to be reckon with against Enemy Squads with his arsenal of debuffing attacks and Area of Effect gear. He should be used to hit and run enemies rather than face them head on. His Mutation Limit is 3.

Pariarch Anton Dread's Universal Abilities are Rush, Charge, Aim, Use Heavy Weaponry, Field Requisition, Mutate, and Use Mines and Traps.

Pariarch Anton Dread has no special bonuses to give to a Squad if they are not Flesh Dolls. If the Squad he is attached to are Flesh Dolls, then they gain +1 to Ranged, can reroll a Ranged attack and choose the best results every Combat Phase, gain the Hunker Down! Ability, and Anton can sacrifice one Flesh Doll in the Squad as a explosive suicide bomb of bone pieces and poison against any Enemy Unit(s) within range.

CASCADE OF HORROR is a Ranged ability in which Pariarch Anton attacks ANY Character or Squad. The targeted Unit(s) must make a Toughness Save. If they fail they are Stunned and any nearby Units within must roll a Willpower save or else suffer the same effects and any nearby Units within range of them must also roll a Willpower save and so on and so forth. Cascade of Horror can only be used twice during the duration of the game. Flesh Dolls, Pariarch Anton, and other Stun immune Unit(s) do not suffer the Willpower attack but still suffer the initial Toughness-based attack if specifically targeted.

GORE STRUT allows Pariarch Anton to make an extra Move action during his Movement Phase. Any Enemy Squads or Characters he passes by in Close Quarter Range during his Gore Strut must make a weakened Willpower save or suffer -1 to their Ranged stat for the whole duration of the game. Gore Strut can only be used once per game.

Stat Baseline
SPECIAL INFANTRY
Average HP
Poor Toughness
Good Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Poor (non-Flesh Doll)/Good (Flesh Doll) Leadership
Average Willpower
Excellent Movement
Basic and Advanced Mutation Tables

SENESCHAL REBECCA "BECKY" SILKS-COOPER OF HOUSE DESPAIR, STARTER LEADER HERO
"PUT THE FUCKING ARTIFACT DOWN AND SHOOT THE ENEMY RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, IDIOT!

Ugh, it's like herding cats with you Hybrids. I need a fucking smoke right now.


Overview
Slightly derogatorily nicknamed "Mama Becky" by the Carnemite raiders under her purview, Seneschal Rebecca Silks-Cooper is an exhausted and bitter Raid Leader of House Despair. Despite being a Serf with few mutations and no ArchMedusozoan bond, She has managed to lead her wayward Hybrids in many multiple raids at the expense of her health and sanity. Wielding an old Soviet RPK with drum magazine, Seneschal "Becky" must keep her squad alive as they unleash their hijinks upon the poor Solar System. Her abilities are Improved Suppression, Get the Fuck Down!, Get the Hell Over There!, You Dense Motherfucker!, and I'VE HAD IT!.
History
Born into a Serf family in one of the asteroid habitats of House Despair, Rebecca Silks-Cooper or "Becky" to her friends always want to be more than a lowly if well-treated Serf. She dreamed of heroism and glory, fantasized about being rewarded for her accomplishments by Pariarch Stancer Despiar themselves. The opportunity came when House Despair created a experimental training program where special individuals of the Battle Levies can be given command positions within Hybrid raiding groups, a thing that made other Houses gape in shock. Becky quickly joined the program, her dream coming true at last.

Becky then learned to her dismay what a terrible mistake she made. Hybrids, those in the Carnemicum who have bonded with the ArchMedusozoans were in a completely different world. Subtle movements, tones in voices, edlritch pheromones, and alien cultural contexts are what allow the fast and seemingly chaotic Carnies to flawlessly execute plans in harmony with only crude planning. The mildly mutated Becky had no hope of understanding the Carnies in such a level and has a difficulty relaying complex orders in the battlefield due. Her real task was to basically a glorified maid using her mostly human perspective to lead the wild Carnie raiders to victory while keeping them alive.

After some specialized training along with her basic Battle Levy training at a joke of a training academy of the inter-Caste program she was in, Rebecca Silks-Cooper was named Seneschal, given a nearly thousand year old gun and some body armor. She was then thrown into the situation at Ganymede where she almost died when the Carnies, their alien minds more alien during battle, didn't understand most of her orders. After a few more stints similar to this Sensechal Becky has become a jaded woman who learned that in order to get their attention required a more loud and physical touch. Usually with the butt of her LMG.

Equipment
Given a 7.62×39mm RPK from the Cold War Era in the later half of the 1900s and some refurbished Mavethite body armor, Sensechal Becky is probably the worst equipped Hero Character of Project Epsilon all around. Her role is less of a combat role and more of leader, though, and her Improved Suppression Ability can keep hold enemy infantry down while the Carnies make their attack.

Her Pack of Smokes are very strong, highly toxic cigarettes that allow Seneschal Becky to get through another day with "Dumb fucks". When using her Pack of Smokes Becky has -1 Toughness but gain +2 Willpower.

Abilities
Seneschal Becky is interesting in that while her Abilities are powerful and give Carnemite Squads and Character a good edge, many of them require her to be Close Quarter range with the "stupid Carnies who won't listen to me even if I had a bullhorn right next to their ear and ordered them in short, simple sentences." She has a limit of two Mutations.

Seneschal Becky's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Mutate, Lay Mine and Traps, Suppress, Heal, Battlecry, Rush, and Man Heavy Weaponry.

When she is attached to a squad they gain +2 to Willpower and Toughness Saves. In order to be attached to a Hybrid-centric Squad Seneschal Becky must make a successful nonlethal Close Quarter attack.

IMPROVED SUPPRESSION increases the Willpower Save number required for Enemy Unit(s) suppressed by Seneschal Becky to roll in order to take actions on their turn. The chance to hit a Suppressed Enemy who moves is not adjusted.

GET THE FUCK DOWN! is similar to Improved Hunker Down! except it affects any Carnemicum Unit(s) in Close Quarter range along with Seneschal Becky and the Squad she is attached to.

GET THE HELL OVER THERE! is activated on Sensechal Becky's Movement Phase, allowing a selected Carnemicum squad to use a free Move action on both the selected Unit(s) along with Becky and the Squad she is attached to.

YOU DENSE MOTHERFUCKER! is a Close Quarter Ability in which Becky must roll a nonlethal Close Quarter attack roll against the selected Allied Squad or Character. Upon success she can either give the selected Squad or Character an extra attack (Ranged or Close Quarters), negate Stunned or other Willpower-based penalties but not Suppress, or give a +1 to any Stat for three rounds. She can activate You Dense Motherfucker! on as many Allied Unit(s) as she desires on her Combat Phase.

I'VE HAD IT! is a Ranged Ability in which Seneschal Becky attacks an Allied Squad or Character at a reduced Ranged stat. It automatically allows the attacked Allied Unit(s) to make an extra move action AND two extra attacks of either a Ranged or Close Quarter nature. There is a chance she hits her allies, in which case normal damage applies.

Stat Baseline
LIGHT INFANTRY
Average HP
Poor Toughness
Average Ranged
Poor Close Quarters
Excellent Leadership
Good Willpower
Good Movement
Basic Mutation Table
Last edited by Heretic on Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Invictus » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:09 pm

If you're still working on this, it might be a good idea to give an overview of the general types and categories of units/models in your hypothetical skirmish wargame. This might give a better idea of the scale of the battles involve and contextualize the heroes you've mentioned so far?
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Heretic
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: IN AMERICA

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Heretic » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:06 pm

Invictus wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:09 pm
If you're still working on this, it might be a good idea to give an overview of the general types and categories of units/models in your hypothetical skirmish wargame. This might give a better idea of the scale of the battles involve and contextualize the heroes you've mentioned so far?
That's true, I should develop a baseline of what each of the Infantry and Vehicle category generally represent. I'm working on some generic units for each faction right now.
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

User avatar
Heretic
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: IN AMERICA

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Heretic » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:02 am

STANDARD UNITS PART 1

A rough draft of some generic unit types of each faction's army, with more specialized and subfactional special units coming later. Like the Hero section before this, Four Units of varying types for each of the four Factions. A brief description on the Universal Abilities is also listed in the beginning. As Rules for the Wargame are still being decided, the stats and abilities are a very general overview and subject to change.

Universal Abilities

Unless stated otherwise, All INFANTRY units can capture objectives and use defensive locations such as Defensive Fighting Positions and Buildings while VEHICLES can not.

Hunker Down! gives the Squad or Character +1 Toughness as long as they do not move, with the ability being activated on their Movement Turn. Hunker Down and Improved Hunker Down! is cumulative with any Toughness bonuses for being inside Defensive Fighting Positions, Machine Gun Nests, Buildings, and Pillboxes.

Battlecry gives a +1 Close Quarters, Ranged, Willpower, or Toughness to the Character or Squad who activated it for one Round.

Assist is similar to Battlecry, except it gives that +1 modifier to an adjacent Allied Squad or Character.

Suppress allows a Squad or Character to make a a special Ranged attack against an Enemy Squad or Character. Rather than having the player roll against the Enemy's Toughness, the Enemy Squad or Character must roll their Willpower save and upon failure are pinned down, which means that if the Suppressed Enemy Unit move or attack they must then make a Willpower save roll to do undertake that action and even if they make it must also roll a Toughness save roll or suffer damage. Suppression can be made as long as the Unit suppressing the Enemy maintains Suppress during their Combat Phase and does not move, otherwise Suppress has to be activated again. The Suppressed Enemy Unit may also try to Suppress the Unit suppressing them, whereupon after making their normal Willpower and Toughness saves declare they are Suppressing the Enemy Unit suppressing them. Both players must make a Willpower roll and the lowest of the two is Suppressed. Both sides still must roll their Toughness or face damage.

Duel is an ability that gives a Squad or Character +1 to Close Quarters or Toughness against a selected Enemy Character or Squad only when attacking or being attacked in Close Quarter range. They can only select one Enemy Character or Squad at a time every Round.

Aim is where a Squad or Character with this ability can spend a Combat Phase on an Enemy Character or Squad at Ranged and gain a +1 Ranged bonus during their attack next Combat Phase. Aim can be maintained for a total of +3 Ranged. The Enemy Character or Squad does not have to be in Ranged distances for Aim to be activated, but must be if the Aim bonus is to be applied to the Ranged attack.

Heal gives back 1 HP every two Rounds a Character or Squad spends healing themselves or another Unit.

Repair gives back 1 HP every two Rounds a Character or Squad spends Repairing a vehicle.

Fly allows a Character or Squad with this ability to bypass most impassable terrain and are immune to Close Quarter attacks. The duration of Fly is dependent on the Character or Squad.

Create Defensive Fighting Positions allows a Character or Squad to spend a whole round creating a a Defensive Fighting Position. This DFP gives +1 Toughness to the Character or Squad inside it. If another whole Round is spent on upgrading the DFP, it'll become a Machine Gun Nest, giving +1 bonus to all Ranged attacks by the Unit(s) in the Machine Gun Nest as well as the Suppress Ability if they did not have it already. Explosive weaponry can be used to destroy DFPs and Machine Gun Nests, while units with the Fly ability can negate any Toughness bonuses given by them.

Field Requisition can only be used on any Units that have been killed on the round or the previous one when Field Requisition is activated. Field Requisition allows a Character or Squad to use the stats of the Deceased's Secondary Weaponry or gear. The requisitioned equipment may only be used once before being exhausted, even if the Unit being targeted for Field Requisition never used said equipment prior. Items with an extended effect, like Vita Seeds, drones, or portable shields, may be used indeterminately but the Field Requisition only provides one of them. Field Requisition can provide a maximum of two items, over two items requiring the Unit to drop a Field Requisitioned item to gain another.

Lay Mines and Traps allows a Character or Squad to effectively lay down Mines and Traps. Units without the Lay Mine and Traps ability are still able to do so, but must roll a Willpower save to avoid the mine or trap triggering on them and causing damage.

Man Heavy Weaponry gives a Character or Squad efficiency in manning heavy weaponry such as manned-turrets, machine guns, tripod-mounted launchers, and anything with the Heavy Weaponry tag. Units without the Man Heavy Weaponry ability may still use Heavy Weaponry, but suffer a -2 to their Ranged attacks with them.

Charge occurs on the Unit's Movement Phase. It allows them to sacrifice up to 3 points of Toughness to grant them an equivalent amount of bonus points in Close Quarter attacks when they move next to an Enemy Squad or Character. These points must be used on their Combat Phase and their penalized Toughness score lasts until their next Combat Phase.

Rush sacrifices a Squad or Character's Combat Phase for another Movement Phase.

Squish applies mostly to vehicles. It allows a Unit with this ability to automatically deal heavy damage to any Light Infantry or Infantry Unit(s) upon moving into that Enemy's space. The Enemy Units must roll Toughness to avoid damage but still must move aside for the Unit with the Squish ability. While this may make Armor seem like a surefire choice, note that Close Quarter ranges pose a serious threat to them.

Mutate is virtually a Carnemicum exclusive ability. A Character or Squad may spend their whole round to roll on their appropriate Mutation Tables and roll for any backlash. While they cannot do anything while mutating, Units with this ability can still roll saves against Enemy Units attacking them. The effects are cumulative and unless otherwise stated last for the duration of the whole battle.


Custodial Protectorate

CUSTODIAN, INFANTRY
"We are the Forward Momentum of the Better Tomorrow!"
-Custodian Tiffany Gamal of the Second Solar Expedition during the Third Invasion of Io.

Overview
Custodian Torchbearers serve as soldier, police officer, and symbol of hope for the Custodial Protectorate, forming the backbone of the Solar Expeditions. Equipped in Haemotech-enhanced Combat Suits and trained in powers gifted by nanomachines powered by their own blood, the Custodians are a mobile force who keep their crusade forward with large numbers supported by overwhelming firepower from both their assault rifles and the combat vehicles supporting them.
Background
The Custodians as a military force came into existence after the Battle of the Isles, when LILITH gave her loyal warrior gangs, vigilantes, and tribal armies the power of Haemotechnology in return for swearing loyalty to her cause of bringing about a society, a future that would give hope to the downtrodden and forgotten. Despite modernization over the centuries many of the old tribal and pre-Protectorate customs bled their way into many Custodian Regiments, having their own flavor.

Becoming a Custodian is not easy. Potential Recruits need to be of sound mind, strong moral character, good physical health, and tenacity. They then go to the Academy, a colossal training complex the size of a City-Ark in New Mumbai where recruits go through six months of grueling Basic Training, six months of basic Haemotechnology Orientation, and then a year in their chosen MOS. The basic Custodian MOS is the most common chosen but also the most difficult, requiring an extensive knowledge in Law, Opposition Studies, Protectorate Ideology, Advanced Haemotechnology, and Medical First Aid, this not including the training in Combat Suits, all sorts of ballistic and energy weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, and basic vehicle operations. All in a year.

If the recruit manages to pass the rigorous standards set before them, they will become a Custodian with all the skills required in addition to having access to the best equipment and weapons the Custodial Protectorate can offer. Each one is a superhero, being able to use their speed, abilities, and Haemotech to save the day. They are given STRIGOI implants that allow the Custodian to harness their own blood to power Haemotechno abilities.

So why then do whole Regiments of Custodians with their tanks and close air support have trouble fighting factions who are weaker, fewer in number, and don't have as awesome in abilities as Haemotech? Because while the Custodian is almost godlike compared to a 21st century and definitely against the warlords during the founding of the Custodial Protectorate, they are facing tough bio-modified soldiers who can hold their position in overgunned bases inside homegrown killer jungles and forests, small groups of super powered warriors and other reactionaries who get more powerful the more they kill and wield grenade launchers as sidearms, and crazy alien-infected pirates who can run circles around even the fast Custodian and mutate out of the blue.

In the Solar System of the 29th Century, being a brave, power armored superhero doesn't mean squat.

Equipment
The Custodian Combat Suit is a suit of plated, full body armor made of smart materials with life support systems built inside, allowing for the Custodian to survive in the vacuum of space, the scorching surfaces of Venus, or the cold moon of Triton. It can take a decent amount of damage, but it is still vulnerable to armor-piercing rounds or if the armor is continuously saturated by bullets as the Mavethite Militias are prone to do with their SMGs and miniguns.

The Type 5.56 "Warden" Service Rifle and Type 9 Autopistol Mk. II are the standard firearms for the Custodians. Don't let the 5.56 fool you, for it is completely different from its 20th century counterpart. It has relatively decent penetrative power and the materials of its primer allows the bullet to speed towards its target at frightening speeds. The Type 9 Autopistol is a 9mm automatic pistol that compensates its weak damage with its high rate of fire.

Each one in four Custodians in the eight unit squad are given a Plasma Rifle for light anti-armor support. This can be replaced with a Type 10 Automatic Shotgun - Box Fed System for Close Quarter support or a Scoped Type 5.56 Service Rifle for long Ranged support.

Their Close Quarter weaponry are short sword/machete hybrids that are made from modern materials.

Abilities
The Custodian Infantry's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Suppress, Duel, Field Requisition, Assist, Man Heavy Weaponry, Rush, Battlecry, and Charge.

Custodian Infantry can attack three times, once with their Service Rifle, once with their chosen Support Weapon, and once with their Pistol or Close Quarter Weapon.

BLOOD MIST sends a mist of Haemomachines to cloud an enemy Squad or Character and reduce their Ranged accuracy.

HAEMO BLAST sends a ball of melted Haemomachines to attack an Enemy Squad or Character for devastating damage.

FRENZY gives a +1 to either Close Quarters or Ranged which must be maintained for 1 Haemo Point every Round.

BLOOD SHIELD gives a +2 to Toughness to the Squad or any other Allied Unit(s). This Blood Shield lasts is used up upon an Enemy attack on the affected Unit(s).

Baseline Stats
Poor HP
Average Toughness
Average Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Average Willpower
Good Movement
Average Haemo Points
Cheap Cost

CUSTODIAN VANGUARD, LIGHT INFANTRY

"Ever seen a Custodian Vanguard, kid? You don't, at least until they are right in front or behind of you, then it's already too late."
-Sgt. Herbert Langley of the 22nd Sparks Militia Platoon

Overview
Serving as both scouts and special forces for the Custodians, Vanguards are equipped with experimental Infoload Combat Suits which can confuse opponents and hamper their fighting ability. Equipped with energy weaponry, the extremely mobile Vanguards can tear apart armored units quickly before fleeing when the rest of the Custodian Risk Management Unit comes in to finish the job.
Background
The path to becoming a Custodian is hard. To become a Custodian Vangaurd is magnitudes harder than that. In the few million serving in the Custodian military, only about a few thousand are Vanguards. Each Vanguard is a finely crafted chess piece used individually to destroy the enemy before the main Custodian force came in. While Vanguards are trained in the Academy along with everyone else, they have their own underground facility with all the simulations and equipment needed for their trying training. Only 1 in 1000 Custodians who try their hand in the Vanguard Program are able to make it.

Directly ordered by LILITH, the Vanguards are masters of controversial Haemotechnological abilities only seen in the secretive Owls of LILITH group, use prototype energy weaponry, and have teleport-capable Combat Suits. While they are officially tasked with scouting and skirmishing tasks, it is an open secret that the Vanguards do wetwork operations, from intel gathering, sabotage, and even assassinations. When the Custodial Protectorate has to get dirty, the Vanguards are there first to put their foot in the mud.

Equipment
The Vanguard Custodian Combat Suit (VCCS) is not as durable as the standard CCS, but it is built for agility and equipped with experimental Jump Systems. The Jump Systems built into the VCCS allows the Vanguard to teleport across the battlefield in short ranges via short travel through the Other Dimension. Based on highly complicated mechanics, the Jump System can only be used once in battle. Even without the Jump Systems the VCCS's artificial muscles and pneumatic leg systems allow for fast-paced and breakneck speed combat for the Vanguard.

In terms of armament, the Vanguard has a variety of choices. They have dual Plasma Pistols by default, but can replace these with either a Dark Star Energy Rifle for long ranged support, Type 45 "Krov" Infernal Pistol which can light lightly armored infantry in fire, or a Type 1 "Sagre" Assault Rifle to provide suppression support for others.

For close combat they use nano-molecular blades that can cut through heavy infantry armor, including Novi Phaedran power armor.

Abilities
The Custodian Vanguard's Universal Abilities are Charge, Rush, Duel, Suppress (with the Sagre Assault Rifle), Aim (with all weapons except with the Sagre Assault Rifle), Battlecry, Field Requisition, and Use Heavy Weaponry.

Custodian Vanguards can attack twice, Ranged or Close Quarters.

TELEPORT is an ability that can only be used once per game. It allows the Vanguard team to teleport anywhere on the map on their turn or when an enemy Unit is attacking them. It uses 2 Haemo Points.

BLOOD SCORCH engulfs a small area with scorching plasma. If the affected Enemy Unit(s) fail their Toughness Save they are dealt burning damage, with another Toughness saved required the next Round or suffer another damage. Blood Scorch costs 3 Haemo Points

POWER SLASH is a Close Quarter Attack that negates half of the Enemy Unit(s)' Toughness when attacking. It costs 2 Haemo Points.

HAEMO BLAST is a Ranged Attack that negates half of the Enemy Unit(s)' Toughness when attacking. It costs 2 Haemo Points

Baseline Stats
Average HP
Average Toughness
Good Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Excellent Movement
Good Haemo Points
Expensive Cost

TYPE 2 "DOLPHIN" INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLE, VEHICLE
"Disgorging Custodians and providing supporting fire alongside them now."
-Unknown Dolphin Driver

Overview
The Type 2 IFV, or Dolphin as many call it, is the most common vehicle in the arsenal of the Custodial Risk Management Unit. This sleek, 8-wheeled wheeled IFV carries and protects a whole squad of Custodians while speeding to their destination. Even after the Custodians dismount the Dolphin is still useful, being a sort of light weapons platform to provide cover and supporting fire to its allies as they traverse across the battlefield.
[/quote]
Background
The Type 2 IFV, called the Dolphin IFV by many due to its sleek design and slightly arched hull similar to a dolphin, was developed early in LILITH's conquest of Earth. Since then, the Dolphin has been modified extensively for better terrain mobility and crew protection. The Dolphin is made up of three metal sections connected by corrugated smart materials that can twist and arch its middle slightly to allow for sharper turns and slightly easier climbs (with one trick having the Dolphin "Do the Worm" using its heavy duty wheels and its arching ability. This causes motion sickness for the poor crew and passengers at first, but many Custodians are used to it after their training at the Academy).

Like all vehicles in the Custodial Protectorate, the Dolphin is crewed by people who are not Custodian Infantry (but still considered part of the Custodian forces). Despite not being as glamorous as the Stag MBT, Dolphins are much more common than their bigger cousin. The Dolphin IFV has medical, logistical, and engineering variants due to its versatility and commonality.

Equipment
The Dolphin IFV is usually equipped with a Missile Launcher and a Plasma Cannon. The Missile Launcher has two large Vanguard Missiles which can utterly devastate enemy fortifications and armor, but require some aiming in order to accurately hit. The Plasma Cannon is an anti-infantry, anti-light vehicle using Plasma created by Haemotech to emit a sustained, high-powered energy burst.

The Dolphin also has an internal canister of Blood to powers its few Haemotech abilities.

Abilities
The Dolphin IFV's Universal Abilities are Aim, Suppress, Rush, Assist, and Squish.

The Dolphin IFV can fire twice, with their Plasma Cannon and with their ammo-limited Missile Launcher.

SELF REPAIR is similar to the Repair Universal Ability, except it can heal itself. It costs 1 Haemo Point to activate.

OVERCHARGED PLASMA SHOT gives the Dolphin's Plasma Cannon a boost of melted Haemomachines, allowing for its next attack to penetrate armor easily. It cannot be used in conjunction with Suppress, but can be used with Aim. Overcharged Plasma Shot costs 2 Haemo Points.

IMPROVED BLOOD MIST allows the Dolphin to unleash a mist of Haemomachines against an enemy Charater or Squad, reducing their Ranged accuracy greatly for two turns.

Baseline Stats
Good HP
Average Toughness
Good Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Average Willpower
Excellent Movement
Poor Haemo Points
Expensive Cost
[/quote]
MARK X "STAG" MAIN BATTLE TANK, HEAVY VEHICLE
"Is that a fucking Tank?"
-Last words of Novi Phaedran initiate Helix Andromedus

Overview
The Custodial Protectorate is the only faction in the Solar System to use Tanks extensively. In an age of power armor, mobile armor-busting drones, and alien mutations that can rip through hull plating, the Mark X "Stag Tank" MBT makes itself relevant in the battlefields of the 29th Century by adding a large array of destructive armament on the front in a design similar to antlers positioned sideways, hence the nickname. Even though it has many flaws and cannot compete in speed, versatility, or even armor, the Stag Tank is the Custodians' go-to solution for making any problem get erased off the battlefield in short order.
Background
Tanks were already being made obsolete by the 21st century. Gunships, portable anti-tank weaponry, and the nature of the low-intensity warfare in urban areas (not a friendly place for tanks) that plagued that era made these battleships of the land cumbersome and impractical. By the 24th century, Tanks have all but disappeared in favor of aerial gunships that could annihilate targets miles away, cyber-augmented soldiers with power armor, and AI-guided strategic weaponry.

But as the Custodial Protectorate was formed and the Custodians came into being, LILITH metaphorically sat down and reviewed the situation. Even though the Custodians had advanced armor, the power of Haemotech in their fingertips, and could wield armor-searing Plasma weaponry with ease, humans only had two hands (barring Carmenite mutants) and could only hold so much. The training and equipping of each two-handed Custodian was expensive and time-consuming to replace, and not all those who wanted to join the struggle for the Better Tomorrow could be made into Custodians. While CAS aerodynes are agile and have long killing ranges, they have virtually no physical cover in the air and resorted to complicated and equally expensive countermeasures. And unlike the battles of old, the enemies of LILITH's Protectorate had almost mythical powers that could withstand whatever they threw at them and slowly whittle down the Custodians until their impressive firepower is almost nonexistent. Reports of waves of Custodians being brought down with their air support being constantly destroyed due to the lack of cover and the exhaustion of countermeasures became frequent, especially when fighting against the extremely powerful Novi Phaedrans.

The solution was to take the defenses of the Custodian Combat Suit, simplify it by removing the artificial muscles and complicated wearer-suit systems, add more armor on it, give it lots of weapons, put treads underneath it, put into place crude Haemotechnology, and allow people not suitable for the grueling training of the Custodian Infantry to drive them. And so, the Tank ironically came back into existence as an economical alternative to the Custodial Infantry Units.

Hearkening back to the sleek and low profile tanks of the late 20th and 21st century, the Mark X Main Battle Tank has thick wings on the sides of its main turret similar to a jet fighter with weaponry bristling on both wings along with the main cannon on the front of the turret, sometimes with said weapons climbing on top of each other making a sort of short, messy V shape on its head, hence its nickname the "Stag Tank". These weapon wings of the Stag Tank can rise and lower slightly to compensate for cramped spaces, but not by much. Its armor is made of the same stuff as the Custodian Combat Suit, except with thicker layers of it, with Haemo-technology systems in the back of the tank providing defensive and support capabilities, making the Stag Tank a truly terrifying war machine. Like all the other vehicles, non-Custodian crew man the tank and provide assistance to their allies.

Equipment
The Stag Tank is decked out with weaponry and Haemo abilities. Its main cannon is a Sungazer Cannon, much more powerful than the Dolphin's Plasma Cannon. The Sungazer can wipe away enemy armor like wet paper and its attack is guaranteed to kill something. The main drawback that once fired it requires two Turns to recharge. While recharging its main cannon, the Stag Tank's Turret Wings with its racks of weaponry picks up the burden.

Each wing can afford two hardpoints, for a total of four:

Plasma Cannon (Anti-Infantry/anti-Light Vehicle/Unlimited ammo), Dual Vanguard Missile Rack(Inaccurate but powerful Anti-Vehicle/Two Missiles), Deliverance Guidance Missile Rack (Weak but Accurate Anti-Vehicle/Four Missiles), Flamer (Powerful Close Quarters Anti-Infantry/Unlimited ammo), Serenity Assault Cannon (Anti-Infantry/Unlimited ammo), and Dusk Assault Shotgun (rapid fire Close Quarters Anti-infantry/Unlimited ammo).

The Stag Tank also has a large Haemo canister, allowing for it to use a large variety of Haemo abilities.

Abilities
The Stag Tank's Universal Abilities are Suppress (if it has an anti-infantry weapon), Aim, and Squish.

The Stag Tank can attack three times if their Sungazer Plasma Cannon is recharged: Their Sungazer, a weapon on their right wing, and a weapon on their left wing. If the Sungazer is not recharged yet, they can only attack twice unless they use the power Reload Ability.

SELF REPAIR is similar to the Repair Universal Ability, except it can heal itself. It costs 1 Haemo Point to activate.

HAEMO SHIELD gives as many points of Toughness as it spends Haemo Points on. These Toughness Points are temporary and are lost by an Enemy Attack that hits beyond the base Toughness. For example, If the Stag Tank's Toughness was 8 and it spent 2 Haemo Points to get a Toughness of 10, an Enemy Unit who rolled a 7 would not touch the temporary Toughness points but a roll of a 9 would reduce the Toughness to 9 instead of 10 due to 10 (base Toughness 8 plus Temporary Toughness 2) - 9 (enemy Damage roll) = 1 Temporary Toughness.

DREAD makes Enemy's quiver in fear of the Stag Tank. While the Tank and its insane amount of armament is enough to make anyone sane to flee in terror, a little Haemomachines in the air helps make that fear more palatable and extreme. Upon the activation of Dread, any nearby Enemy Unit(s) must roll their Willpower Save or suffer fleeing on their Turn (Suppress still applies on any fleeing Enemy Units). Dread costs 3 Haemo Points.

POWER RELOAD allows the Stag Tank to use its Haemo Points to reload and fire its Sungazer Plasma Cannon, bypassing its two turn reload. It costs 5 Haemo Points.

OVERCHARGED PLASMA SHOT (PLASMA CANNON MUST BE ARMED) gives the Dolphin's Plasma Cannon a boost of melted Haemomachines, allowing for its next attack to penetrate armor easily. It cannot be used in conjunction with Suppress, but can be used with Aim. Overcharged Plasma Shot costs 2 Haemo Points.

Baseline Stats
Good HP
Excellent Toughness
Excellent Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Average Movement
Good Haemo Points
Ludicrously Expensive Cost


Republic of Maveth

MAVETHITE MILITIA SQUAD, LIGHT INFANTRY
"I asked the militiafolk why they didn't have dedicated armored transports to carry them across dangerous terrain. Upon the word "dangerous terrain" the Mavethites, their drones, and their sentry guns all laughed at me."
-Custodian Victor Yung, POW

Overview
The Mavethite Militias are a strange duality. On one hand, they are bio-engineered; have access to a variety of drones, robots, and simple AI-assisted turrets; and have the power of the versatile Pachamama's Vita Seeds in their belt. On the other, they are poorly trained, poorly armored, and poorly armed due to the fact that most military spending in the Cylinders of the Republic of Maveth is spent on the Combined Space Force. The Mavethite Militia Squad is focused on doing their job as well as they can with the equipment they have (which is diverse) while trying to stay alive.

The Mavethite Militia Squad listed here is the generic baseline, the minimal expectations of what a Mavethite Militia should be. Certain Cylinders have specialized Militia, but those will be posted later.
Background
Infantry has always served a vital role in warfare across the Eras of Human History, from the shrouded Antediluvian Age where warriors with beam weaponry fought against horrible monsters to the Solar Federation days which mostly had hi-tech Law Enforcement officers battling against reactionary insurgents. The Republic of Maveth does not have a Professional Standing Army due to 95% of the military budget going into the Combined Space Force. Instead each Cylinder and Mavethite colony has to maintain, train, and equip their own local Militia. While some Cylinders have Militias which have professional "Militiamen", most are simply civilians who answered the Muster and were given basic training and basic gear before being sent out into the field to accomplish their objectives as quickly as possible.

While many Militiamen and Militiawomen of the Republic have only limited combat training and experience, they make up for it by bringing skills from their civilian life. Many are laborers with some expertise in engineering and salvaging so they can quickly make fortifications, repair vehicles, and refurbish and reuse enemy equipment. They are also given further bio-engineering to allow them enhanced combat abilities, as well as to make up for their relatively lackluster armor.

Equipment
The Basic Gear of the average Mavethite Militiaman is the Aleph Personal Defense Weapon, Third Iteration; a poison-laden combat dagger; and body armor made from a combination of cloth, plastics, and metal plating. The Aleph PDW is basically an Compact Assault Rifle whose large box magazine and high rate of fire compensates for the relatively poor Marksmanship. The poisoned combat dagger isn't good at penetrating armor, but it has a possibility of dealing extra damage. The Body Armor includes a helmet with basic life support systems and communication headset.

The "Basic Gear" of the Average Mavethite Militia Squad is amazing. It is very versatile, but usually comes in two standard Packages:

The DEFENSIVE PACKAGE comes with an Arma de Muerte Auto-Sentry, a deployable Zhanshi Chaingun, and a Huo Yu Mortar. The Arma de Muerte Auto-Sentry is an extremely fast rotary gun with IFF capabilities. It is able to tear apart infantry and light vehicles with ease. The venerable Zhanshi Chaingun with tripod stand can be quickly deployed wherever it is needed, mostly in Defensive Fighting Positions for efficiency. While the Zhanshi Chaingun isn't as powerful as the Diablo .50 cal Heavy Machine Gun, it's Suppression power is what sets it apart. The Huo Yu Mortar is a simple, fairly inaccurate mortar that accepts a wide variety of grenades. The Defensive Package gives access to all Vita Seed types, including the Black Vita Seed (though this costs some hefty points).

The MOBILE PACKAGE comes with a Mule-Bot, a Malak Drone, and a Diablo Combat Harness. The Mule-Bot can be upgraded with armor plating (increased Toughness), Sensor Suites (increased Attack Accuracy given to the Squad the Mule-Bot is in), and/or Medical Suites (increase the chance of recovery from environmental attacks like poison, fire, acid, disease, etc. etc.). The Mule-Bot's storage has ammunition for existing weaponry and a secondary choice of disposable anti-vehicular tube launchers, another Malak Drone, or small box filled with the taboo Black Vita Seeds (much cheaper point cost than in the Defensive Package). The Malak Drone is the standard semi-autonomous UAV of the Mavethite Republic. It can be turned into a recon probe (increased Attack Accuracy for the Squad) or gain a variety of weapons: a generic rotary gun (Area anti infantry/unlimited ammo/gain Suppress), a sniper rifle (focused anti-infantry/limited ammo/gain Aim), Shotgun (Close Quarters focused anti infantry/Unlimited ammo), Flamer (REALLY Close Quarters area anti-Infantry/unlimited ammo), or an anti-material rifle (focused anti-vehicle/limited ammo). The Diablo Combat Harness allows the user to carry the powerful Diablo .50 Heavy Machine Gun and fire it while standing. The Diablo has decent armor penetration and can cut into Novi Phaedran Power Armor and Light Vehicles. Because of the mobile nature of this package, the Militia Squad with this has fewer Vita Seeds, and only those that can be instantly grown.

Abilities
The Mavethite Militiamen's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Suppress, Heal, Repair, Assist, Battlecry, Create Defensive Fighting Positions, Field Requisition, Lay Mines and Traps, Man Heavy Weaponry, Charge, and Rush.

The Mavethite Militia can attack four Times, twice with either a Ranged or Close Quarter Attack, once with their support weapon, and once with their Drone/AI Sentry/secondary unit.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESISTANCE is a passive ability that gives extra Toughness modifiers against deadly environmental elements such as corrosive, heat, freezing, disease, etc.

Baseline Stats
Good HP
Good Toughness
Poor Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Average Willpower
Average Movement
Average Cost


MAVETHITE COMBAT ENGINEERS, SPECIAL INFANTRY
"If you had to disarm mines and slowly build a wall in the middle of a firefight, you'd need my attitude to get through the day.
-Cpl. Annie Sanchez of the the 19h Bears of Fortaleza Engineer Squad

Overview
While the average Mavethite Militiaman can easily set up decent fortifications and defenses, there are times where Generalissimo X demands an area held at ALL COSTS, and that's where the Combat Engineers come in. They can set up deadlier Sentry Turrets, build Pillboxes, lay down terrible mines, and even upgrade existing vehicles and drones to access an unique and deadlier upgrades. When the Republic of Maveth absolutely must hold the line, Mavethite Combat Engineers are necessary addition to a Mavethite Militia Platoon.
Background
Because of the decrepit nature of the O'Neill Cylinders of the Mavethite Repulibc, virtually every citizen has experience in repairs, refurbishing, and maintenance. But there are a few who dedicate themselves to the technical skills to a level beyond the Mavethite average. It is these people who are recruited into the Combat Engineer Corps. They are given more technical training than the average Mavethite Militiaman, and the learning environment in the Corps reward creativity and innovation.

Combat Engineers are very free spirited and chafe under strict orders. Unless otherwise stated, they have a tendency to tinker with anything they get their hands on. Despite their tendency to annoy superior officers with their laid back attitude, unhealthy attachment to their Mule-Bots, tendency towards alcoholism and drugs and tinkering habits, Combat Engineers are extremely skilled technicians, being able to repair vehicles more quickly and set up the best Forward Operating Bases blindfolded.

Equipment
Because Combat Engineers aren't expected to be Frontline Troops, they are only given a basic pump action shotgun with a bayonet attachment. Of course, being technical wiznerds, Combat Engineers can modify it to their liking. From attaching underbarrel weaponry that shouldn't be there to overhauling the whole shotgun to make it automatic, this humble shotgun can take alot of pain from both in battle and in the manipulative hands of the Combat Engineer. In terms of body armor, the Combat Engineer wears the same thing as the average Mavethite Militiaman except with more harnesses for more specialized engineering tools.

Each Combat Engineer Squad has a Mule-Bot with a bulldozer blade and small crane attached to help with heavier engineering projects. While focused on construction tasks, the Engineering Mule-Bot can be used in crude melee combat or sacrifice itself to clear out enemy traps and mines, though this isn't recommended as without the Mule-Bot Combat Engineers are demoralized and have a harder time building bigger defenses.

Abilities
The Mavethite Combat Engineer's Universal Abilities are Hunker Down!, Repair, Heal, Assist, Battlecry, Create Defensive Fighting Positions, Field Requisition, Lay Mines and Traps, Man Heavy Weaponry, Charge, and Rush.

The Combat Engineer has three attacks, one for their basic Ranged or Close Quarters attack and two for their Auto Sentries/Mulebot/other secondary units.

IMPROVED REPAIR is similar to Repair except it gives 1 HP back to a Vehicle every Round instead of every 2 Rounds.

BUILD HEAVY FORTIFACTIONS allow the Combat Engineers to build defensive barriers, which hinder line of sight from both enemy Infantry and Vehicles, and Watchtowers, which give occupants improved Ranged accuracy and extend their firing range of their weapons significantly. Both generally require a Mule-Bot to construct, otherwise it will take Combat Engineers twice as long to make.

DEPLOY SPECIALIZED AUTO-SENTRY comes in three variants, but Combat Engineers can only deploy one at a time. The Automatic Diablo .50 call is a decent anti Infantry and light anti-vehicular choice, giving a sort of Jack of All Trades deal. The dual Huo Yu Auto Mortar has two Huo Yu mortars attached on each side of the boxy Control System with a small grenade box attached underneath for autoloading. It can fire twice and the user only needs to reload once for both mortars to fire. Finally, the DoomShot Launcher fires small rockets at enemy vehicles. It doesn't have great penetration power, but its large ammo capacity allows it to continuously harass enemy armor.

The Pillbox is the most powerful fortification in the Mavethite arsenal. The V-22 'Callisto' Tank is even based around its premise. BUILD PILLBOX allows the Combat Engineer Squad to create the prefabicated barebone Thermoset Plastic structure filled in with special concrete. It can house up to two Unit(s) and can house up to three Sentries, manned or Automated. It gives +3 Toughness to all those inside.

MODIFICATIONS allow the Combat Engineer Squad to undertake a variety of modifications, like place another weapon on a Sentry Gun, both manned or Automated or attach a Sentry Gun on Mule-Bot to create a Combat Mule-Bot on the field. When attaching another weapon on a Sentry Gun, it must be from the Malak Drone weapon listing as otherwise it would be too big to fit. This secondary weapon fires along with the primary gun. It takes four turns to Modify a Sentry Gun or Mule-Bot. [Editor Note: more concepts for the Modification Ability soon to come, including modifying Combat Vehicles]

AN ENGIE AND THEIR MULE-BOT is a passive ability. When the Combat Engineers' Mule-Bot is next to a Combat Engineer Squad, the Squad gains +1 Willpower. If the Mule-bot is destroyed, the Squad must roll a Willpower save or suffer reduced Movement, Ranged, and Close Quarter accuracy for the next Round.

Baseline Stats
Good HP
Good Toughness
Poor Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Average Movement
Average Cost


COMBAT MULE-BOT, LIGHT VEHICLE
"Mule-Bots are assholes. Especially when they get guns. Suddenly develop a complex. One ran over my feet when I gave it bad oil."
-A Combat Engineer from Cylinder Spark

Overview
The venerable Mule-Bot is the workhorse robot of any Mavethite Militia, being a packmule, mine-clearer, portable medical lab, miniature engineering unit, etc. It wasn't a stretch therefore that the Mule-Bot was retrofitted to serve in a combat capability. Linked with a Sentry Turret on top of it and being stuffed with ammunition and armor plating, the Combat Mule-Bot can provide a good mobile support platform for the patrolling Mavethite squad.
Background
Strangely enough, the idea of adding a gun onto a Mule-Bot was a fairly recent one. Originally, the Mule-Bot was a strictly utilitarian machine, carrying loot and gear or doing basic sensor operations. The Malak Drone was considered good enough for the task of a light mobile weapon platform. It didn't help that the Great Worm Crisis dampened the desire for larger, more powerful robotic war machines across the whole Solar System. Against the usual Carnemicum raiders and other smaller factions, the Mavethite Militia Platoon with their light infantry, deployable miniguns, and agile death drones were more than capable of handling the threats. For bigger threats such as a Novi Phaedran warband the Mavethite militia can throw in a Callisto Tank or two and call it a day.

But as conflicts have begun escalating more and more thanks to the increased appearance of Antediluvian Artifacts and the Custodial Protectorate's Solar Expeditions raging across the 13 Planets, the Republic of Maveth have begun encountering more situations where the need for mobility and heavier firepower is great but not great enough to throw in the Callisto Tank. Being spendthrifts when it comes to the poor Militias and having already spent a sprinkle of funding too much on the Callisto Tank, the Admirals refused to spend another penny on giving the Militias new toys. The task then fell upon the Combat Engineer Corps. Realizing they had perfectly mobile and armored but harmless Mule-Bots and perfectly deadly but static Sentry Guns, the engineers put 1 and 1 together to create the Combat Mule-Bot. It was also relatively easy to create, the only tough part being synchronizing the AIs of the two machines and making sure the ammo inside the Mule-Bot gets into the Sentry Gun.

The Combat Mule-Bot is useful for both the static and mobile Militia Squad. On patrols it can provide heavy firepower only seen in Forward Outpost Bases in static positions. For the more defensive Squad it can take its firepower and armor wherever is needed, freeing up the Militiamen and Combat Engineers from having to manually redeploy it. It can also fit into places the Callisto Tank cannot, including indoors in certain cases. It has also been known to follow Callisto Tanks, acting as a screen around their bigger cousins in a way similar to how oceanic navies have smaller ships screening their bigger ships.

Equipment
The Combat Mule-Bot sacrifices most of its internal storage and gadgets for more armor and dedicate what's left to the Sentry Gun attached to it. Its sides are surrounded by armor skirts. Its internal storage is filled exclusively with ammo for the gun, fed between them via a flexible reloading system.

For the choices of Sentry Guns, the Combat Mule-Bot can take an Arma De Murte Chaingun for dedicated anti-Infantry roles, a Diablo .50 cal for anti-infantry and light anti-vehicle support, two Zhanshi Chainguns to allow for good 360 degree suppressive fire, a variety of anti-tank options including the DoomShot Launcher for heavier vehicles and power armor, or dual Huo Yu mortars for light indirect fire support.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities of the Combat Mule-Bot are Assist, Rush, Charge, Battlecry, Suppress, Aim, and Hunker Down!
The Combat Mule-Bot can capture objectives.

The Combat Mule-Bot has one attack, unless they are equipped with two Zhanshi chainguns or certain Anti-armor weaponry that allows multiple attacks.

SWITCHING PAYLOADS allows Mavethite Infantry to switch turrets on a Combat Mule-Bot during a turn. It requires the turret being placed on the Combat Mule-bot on the turn of the Combat Mule-Bot. The turret being placed must either be adjacent or the Infantry unit to have the ability to place said turret on the Combat Mule-Bot (Mavethite Militiamen, for example, can place a Zhanshi Chaingun if they chose the Defensive Package, but cannot put a Diablo .50 cal on the Combat Mule-Bot, which only Engineers can do). The turret being displaced is either placed adjacent to the Combat Mule-Bot or placed into the Infantry Unit's inventory. This only works on existing Combat Mule-Bots. Ordinary Mule-Bots require Engineers to activate their Modification ability in order to become Combat Mule-Bots.

Base Statline
Poor HP
Average Toughness
Good Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Excellent Willpower
Average Movement
Average Cost


CASTILLO V22 BATTLE TANK, VEHICLE
"Is that a fucking Tank?"
-Last words of Novi Phaedran initiate Andromedus Helix

Overview
Wanting a tank of their own after seeing the Custodians' Mark X MBT, the Republic of Maveth hastily created the Castillo V22 Tank. Built on the doctrine of static defenses with mobile elements, the Callisto Tank is considered a glorified Pillbox whose slow speed is compensated by its heavy armor and multi-turrets providing 360 degree protection. Because it was built to be a mobile Defensive structure, the Callisto can house up to a Squad of Mavethite Militiamen in its protective shell as its remote-controlled side turrets and guns pick off enemies that come too close.
Background
Before the Solar Expeditions occurred, the Republic of Maveth had little need for relatively slow, energy-guzzling Battle Tanks when they could just have more drones, more machine gun nests, and more poor sods to operate and man them, especially since combat vehicles were expensive and ate away at resources that could be spent towards the Combined Space Force. But when the Custodians' Mark X MBT, or the Stag Tank as many called it, utterly decimated defensive positions that could hold off whole Regiments of Custodians for months at a time in a single day, Generalissimo X himself ordered the construction of a new tank for the Republic of Maveth. Tacticians, Engineers, and Scientists scrambled in relearning the lost art of the Tank in order to create their first one. Many crazy and awesome designs were conceived and even a few test prototypes were made, but these were either too impractical or so expensive that the leaders in the Combined Space Force protested that these prototypes would take away a chunk of the Combined Space Force's budget to mass-produce.

It was the joint effort by engineers of Cylinder Fortaleza and Cylinder Chel that made the answer. Believing that a Mavethite battle tank should be cost-effective and supplement rather than replace existing military doctrine, they undertook a "Keep it Simple Stupid" approach and reduced the tank to its core components: Armor, Heavy Firepower, and Mobility, with Mobility being considered a distant priority. Built from salvaged armor components from the battlefield and using a simple 120 mm smoothbore cannon seen in the old M1 Abrams as its mainstay weapon, the Callisto V22 was decked out with a ragtag number of weaker heavy weaponry like machine guns and grenade launchers to deal with flanking infantry, a common tactic used by Carnemites and Custodians alike. The V22 also had a small transport capacity so that a Militia Squad could piggyback inside and be protected by the tank's hull, making the Callisto a sort of APC/IFV as well although not to the same extent as the Custodial Protectorate's Dolphin IFV. With absolutely no gimmicks and no special abilities, the Callisto Tank was relatively easy on time, skills, and resources to make as well as easy enough to maintain as any two cent mechanic in the Republic could fix it, and once the admirals of the CSF were pleased, Generalissimo X officially made it the main (and only) tank of the Republic.

When the Callisto V22 was first tested in battle, many of the Republic's enemies laughed at its stupidly crude and primitive design, slow movement, and high profile. Looking like a mix between a Vickers Medium Tank Mark II, a Medium Mark III Tank, and the image most cartoonists had of interwar tanks, with bubble turrets and guns sticking out everywhere. Nobody laughed when the simple Callisto sat its ass behind cover and had anti-armor weaponry simple scrape off a small layer of armor. The Infantry units that tried to get close to it could not find a blind spot and were gunned down by the tank's multitude of secondary turrets and gun ports. The survivors became even more horrified when a Squad of Mavethite Militiamen and women with their drones and portable Sentry Turrets strolled out of the Callisto's belly, picking off stragglers and setting up hasty defenses around the tank, which acted like a mobile pillbox, just as its designers wanted.

Equipment
The Callisto V22 Battle Tank is all armor and guns, and unlike the Custodian's Stag Tank the Callisto only has the most basic of sensor and communication equipment, enough for the operators in the tank to control their side guns remotely. The interior is not comfortable at all for either crew or the squad tucked inside. It is loud, rocks alot, and has a high profile which makes it a great target. This high profile also prevents the Callisto from pivoting its guns down to shoot enemies who manage to get right next to it. The designers worried that adding gun ports would compromise the V22's transport capacity. But the Callisto is good at what it is built to be and easy to maintain.

The Callisto V22 comes in three variants: Anti-Infantry, Anti-Armor, and Scout. All three have a 120 mm smoothbore cannon (Anti-Infantry and Scout on its main turret, while the Anti-Armor has it attached to its front hull), but the the three variants offer different options for their side turrets and guns.

The Anti-Infantry has a Diablo .50 Cal on its commander's canopy, a Zhanshi chaingun on each of the three miniature turrets, and a Grenade Launcher pod on the front pivot.

The Anti-Armor variant has its 120 mm cannon integrated into it as a forward facing anti-tank gun while its main turret gun is a smaller, high-velocity 75mm cannon similar to the M3 Lee with a Diablo .50 Cal on the Commander's canopy and a Zhanshi chaingun on the two small turrets in the back.

The Scout version sacrifices its troop carrying ability in order to have a smaller profile, allowing for the guns on the Scout Callisto V22 variant to attack enemies in Close Quarter range. There are only two side armaments on the Scout Callisto, one being a Diablo .50 Cal on the Commander's Canopy and a weak Malak minigun on the front pivot. It can also deploy a Malak Drone with a small rotary gun attached to it to go ahead of the tank and screen enemy infantry.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities of the Callisto Battle Tank are Hunker Down!, Suppress, Aim, and Squish.

The Scout Version of the Callisto Battle Tank can capture objectives.

IMPROVED SUPPRESS (ANTI-INFANTRY VARIANT ONLY) is similar to Suppress except it gives a Penalty to the Enemy Unit(s)' Willpower Save.

IMPROVED AIM (ANTI-ARMOR VARIANT ONLY) gives a +2 instead of a +1 when first aiming. The maximum Ranged Accuracy given by Aim is still +3.

ORBITAL TANK DROP (SCOUT VARIANT ONLY) allows the Scout Variant to be dropped in later than being required to be placed at the start of the game. On the turn of an Unit this may be activated. A location is then selected and then a D8 is rolled twice, once to determine the direction and then again for distance. Anything located in the area the Scout Callisto Tank finally drops into must roll in order to not get squished, Friendly or Enemy. The reason for the inaccurate drop is due to the fact that the tank is shot from a Torchship via high speed railgun while encapsulated in a protective carriage that slows and adjusts trajectory upon nearing the ground. This allows for almost instantaneous but still somewhat inaccurate drops on the battlefield.

Baseline Stats
Excellent HP (Good if Scout Variant)
Excellent Toughness (Good if Scout Variant)
Good Ranged
Poor Close Quarters (Average if Scout Variant)
Good Willpower
Poor Movement (Average if Scout Variant)
Expensive Cost


Novi Phaedrans

INITIATE GROUP, INFANTRY
"No Mercy! Attain Apotheosis, Brothers!"
-Unknown Novi Phaedran from the Claws of Romulus warband in Mars

Overview
Young warriors who have yet to attain Apotheosis via their Crucible, Novi Phaedran Initiates nonetheless prove a dangerous threat. Bloodthirsty, armored in handcrafted armor, and wielding mostly Close Quarter Weaponry for maximum carnage, Initiates are the first to charge into the enemy, weakening the opposition before their more experienced seniors and leaders saunter into battle.
Background
Apotheosis is a crucial element for the men who form the core of Novi Phaedran society. Contrary to popular belief, one doesn't have to be a ferocious warrior to achieve Apotheosis, the ability to gain superhuman abilities and powers the more hardships they face. Any field, whether it be the Arts, Science, Athletics, Academics, etc., can allow the individual to achieve Apotheosis. All that is required is to face and overcome Crucibles, extremely difficult and even life threatening situations where the Novi Phaedran look into themselves for the strength to survive, even thrive. The more Crucibles one faced and overcame the more powerful their Apotheosis.

To achieve Apotheosis in Novi Phaedran society was to get the best living spaces, best women, best medical treatment, and usually a voice in government (if not having absolute control over personal fiefdoms). To not achieve Apotheosis at a certain age for many means becoming second class citizens, slaves, or worse; those who achieve Apotheosis later in life are usually forever treated as novices to be pitied. Therefore, the young Initiates facing their Crucibles, especially those in the Warrior's path, fight with a fanatical zeal. Everything will be given to them upon Apotheosis and the consequences of failure are severe, so Initiates show little hesitation in throwing themselves into where battle is heaviest and most brutal.

Equipment
Initiates are usually given the most basic and hardy of weapons. If they reach Apotheosis and became full-fledged Warriors and Citizens of their respective Autonomous Zone they would get better, mastercrafted weaponry and gear. As it stands, Initiates get a ranged weapon and a melee weapon. This is usually an extremely large revolver called the Handcannon, and a variety of blades, clubs, or axes. The most experienced Marksman in the group gets the venerable Titan Storm Rifle with the most basic of modifications.

In terms of armor, Initiates are also given the simplest and easy to fabricate armor as possible, if at all. The bare minimum in life support is given so Initiates don't completely freeze, burn up, or suffocate in the vacuum of space once they set foot outside their ship, but they are expected to suffer and overcome so nothing extraordinarily fancy is given.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities of the Initiate Group are Hunker Down!, Aim (if their Titan Storm Rifle is modded for Semi-Auto), Suppress (if their Titan Storm Rifle is modded for automatic), Battlecry, Assist, Field Requisition, Lay Mines and Traps,Man Heavy Weaponry, and Charge.

Initiates get one attack, either with their primary Ranged weapon, their primary Close Quarters weapon, or their secondary Ranged weapon which is usually the Titan Storm Rifle.

Baseline Stats
Average HP
Good Toughness
Average Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Average Movement
Average Cost
NOVI PHAEDRAN WARRIOR, HEAVY INFANTRY
"Witness the Gods in Mortal Flesh, Fool! It will be the last thing you see."
-King Barnabas Might of the Star Kings Autonomous Zone

Overview
A veteran of a dozen battles, the Novi Phaedran Warrior has faced death multiple times and laughed at its face. Artists of war, they treat their weapons like a brush, their Crucible the Muse, and their Enemy the blank canvas to paint upon. While each Warrior can group with other like-minded brethren into Warbands, they are as good alone as they are together.

The Warriors listed here represent the majority of the Scattered and Clawed subfactions, though they can also represent the Chained and Shunned as well.
Background
The full-fledged warrior, which goes by many names in the various Autonomous Zones, has a very privileged role in Novi Phaedran society. While there are others who may have achieved their Apotheosis in non-violent ways, the Warrior has become increasingly more important thanks to the wars that have escalated across the Solar System and her 13 Planets. Early in Novi Phaedran history those Autonomous Zones that did not adapt to a more aggressive and militant nature were mostly destroyed, either by the Solar Expeditions of the Custodians, the "Counter-Insurgent" Operations by the Republic of Maveth, the Flesh Harvests of the Carnemicum, or even by their own Novi Phaedran neighbors who took advantage of those weaker than themselves. Whatever Caesar wanted for the Novi Phaedrans, the individualistic and tribal philosophy began to conform around a "Fight or Die" mentality.

Novi Phaedran Warriors, unlike their time as an Initiate, have everything to lose. They are given the best living spaces, the best food, a voice in government, and have large families which they have absolute control over. The thought of dying ignominiously on some half-terraformed rock to people inferior to them is not something Novi Phaedran Warriors are keen on doing, though that isn't to say Novi Phaedran Warriors are cowards. They simply want to finish their job and get back to their lives. Therefore they spend a good chunk of ther wealth on the best weaponry and armor they can buy, especially as Novi Phaedrans are usually outnumbered 5 to 1 or more in battle. They let desperate Initiates do the dirty work like setting traps or ambushing. Warriors prefer slow and steady attacks, gaining kills from a distance to activate their Apotheosis powers and then jumping into the fray to rip apart the poor sods with their blades or even bare hands.

Many Warriors prefer to operate in small groups of trusted brethren, though they are capable of easing into larger groups or even going solo. The tribal nature of the Novi Phaedran philosophy puts more emphasis on the might of the Heroic Male fighting alone or with his closest friends rather than the "decadent and corrupt" hordes of Civilization and their organized armies.

Warriors vary between the Autonomous Zone, especially between the Subfactions. The Scattered and Clawed prefer to fight in smaller groups, with each Warrior having access to Apotheosis abilities while the Chained use their Warriors as officers and elite troopers, preferring to use Initiates as the backbone of their forces. The Shunned are an eclectic group, so it is hard to generalize them. And even within the Subfactions of the Novi Phaedran territories it can differ drastically. The Shigai Clan allow their Samurais only Close Quarter Weaponry aside from specialized bows/crossbows. The Novi Scordisci are highly technological and being specialized against the Mavethites are excellent in ship boarding actions and equipped with advanced technology. The New Kaiserreich puts their Warriors through Officer Academies and unlike other Warriors have a high degree of refinement and excellent Marksmanship.

Equipment
The biggest advantage of the Novi Phaedran is their vast customization, not only of their weapons and armor, but also the mods of said weapons and armor. The baseline equipment for the Novi Phaedran warrior depends on whether they want to go Ranged, Heavy Ranged, Close Quarters, Heavy Close Quarters, or Close Quarter/Ranged Mix.

The baseline Ranged Warrior is given a customizable Titan Storm Rifle with a dagger/bayonet. The Storm Rifle can be customized in a myriad of ways. It can be modded for Automatic (Suppress ability given but penalty to Ranged attack), Burst Fire, or Semi Auto (Aim Ability). A scope can be added to increase the Ranged Attack ability as well as how far it can fire, a grenade launcher, drum magazines, and even accept different types of ammunition types like Inferno or Corrosive. Other alternative weaponry include two Automatic Hand Cannons for close range assaults or the armor-piercing Vengeance DMR.

The Baseline Heavy Ranged Warrior is given a Annihilation Missile Launcher which while has a short blast radius is extremely damaging to vehicles and heavy armor. It can be equipped with a homing system, a magazine system allowing for multiple shots, or change the payload to a variety of options such as sacrificing penetration power for a larger explosive radius. Other alternatives include a Testament LMG or the Armageddon Multi-Launcher, which is more of a highly inaccurate semi-auto artillery piece that can fire 8 shots.

The Baseline Close Quarters/Ranged Warrior gains an automatic version of the Handcannon and a finely crafted single handed weapon, be it a sword, axe, or club. Aside from a large number of Close Quarters weaponry to choose from, the alternative Ranged weapons includes the double-barreled Sunne SMG, the Shotpistol, or a handheld flamethrower which can be converted to spray acid and other harmful substances.

The Baseline Close Quarters Warrior is given a melee weapon and Shield, two melee weapons, or a single one-handed melee weapon which they have mastery over. Options such as making the weapon a chainblade, a pneumatic system for hammers, and reinforced materials for all types are available.

The Baseline Heavy Close Quarters Warrior is given a powerful two handed melee weapon, from a futuristic nano-tube enhanced Katana to giant greatswords to huge warhammers to long spears. They get the same mods like the Baseline Close Quarters Warrior, with the addition of an explosive charge on the long spear.

For Power Armor, it comes in three flavors. Light Power Armor is relatively cheap to make, faster and more agile, and can be modified for a variety of support purposes, such as recon or medic. Medium Power Armor is versatile, trying to find the middle ground between the power output and strength of Heavy Power Armor but also still being small and versatile enough to go indoors and accomplish a variety of roles. Medium Power Armor is for many smaller Autonomous Zone the heaviest they can afford. Heavy Power Armor is the most difficult to produce and maintain, but when a Novi Phaedran strides into the thick of battle in such armor only the most powerful of foes can stand a chance.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities of the Novi Phaedran Warrior are Assist, Battlecry, Duel (if given a Close Quarter Weapon), Aim (if given a semi auto or single shot Ranged Weapon), Suppress (if given a automatic Ranged Weapon), Charge, Man Heavy Weaponry, and Field Requisition.

The Novi Phaedran Warrior can attack one time, either Ranged or Close Quarter.

WARBANDING is the act of turning a group of Novi Phaedran Warriors into a Squad-like entity. Each Novi Phaedran in a Warband goes on the turn of their collective Warband and gain a +1 to both Defense against Melee Attacks and Willpower Saves and cannot move beyond 2 tiles away from each other, but otherwise still fight individually and gain Kill abilities individually as well.

APOTHEOSIS is what makes the Novi Phaedrans so feared and what binds the myriad cultures of that umbrella together. The mythical and fantastical manifestation of a Man's (or woman's if one of the Shunned Autonomous Zones) Inner Soul brought out by rigorous training and physically unleashed upon a successful Crucible, Apotheosis becomes stronger the more hardships and victories a Novi Phaedran faces. Already powerful with their impressive weaponry, extensive training, and mastercrafted Power Armor, the ability to get better stats or even abilities as the battle drags on makes facing a Novi Phaedran Warrior even more terrifying.

Listed below are a few of the more generic Apotheosis. Equally generic Autonomous Zones like the Star Kings makes frequent uses of these Apotheosis styles, while others make use of more specialized Apotheosis which will be listed later on.

The Way of Endurance: Stand against the Rot. The Way of Endurance deals with shrugging damage of all sorts. At 0 Kills, the Novi Phaedran Warrior starts with a +1 against Environmental Damage. At 1 Kill, they get +1 bonus to their Toughness. At 2 Kills, the Novi Phaedran gets the HUNKER DOWN! Universal Ability. At 3 Kills, a +2 bonus is added to their Toughness. At 4 Kills, the Novi Phaedran is able to withstand the brutality of war with ease and can reroll their Defense Dice against any attack each round and choose the best outcome. The defending Novi Phaedran must choose which attack they are defending against and can only do so once per round.

The Way of Clarity: See the Truth of the World. The Way of Clarity gives the Novi Phaedran Warrior keener marksmanship and alertness. At 0 Kills, the Novi Phaedran begins with a +1 bonus to Ranged Attacks. At 1 Kill, the Warrior with the Way of Clarity gains extra distance with their ranged weapon. At 2 Kills, the Novi Phaedran Warrior gains a reroll to their Ranged Attack Dice. At 3 Kills, they gain a +1 bonus to Ranged Attacks. At 4 Kills, the eyes of the Novi Phaedran are sharpened and are able to swiftly evade most melee attacks, where they can reroll ALL Defense Dice against Close Quarter Attacks.

The Way of Hate: Embrace your Rage.The Way of Hate focuses purely on killing enemies at close, visceral range. At 0 Kills, the Novi Phaedran begins with nothing. At 1 Kill, they gain a +1 to their Close Quarter Attacks. At 2 Kills, they gain +2 damage to their Close Quarter Attacks. At 3 Kills, the Warrior is blessed with the ability to pierce armor, reducing enemy armor by 2. At 4 Kills, the Novi Phaedran with this Way will become a enraged brute and reduce enemy armor by 4 (not cumulative with the Kill 3 ability) and gain an extra attack when fighting in Close Quarters. At 4 Kills, they are no longer capable of joining Warbands and must go solo.

The Way of Heroism: Become the Beacon. The Way of Heroism is best for those who want more warband-based Novi Phaedrans. At 0 Kills, the Novi Phaedran starts with a +1 bonus against any Willpower-based attacks. At 1 Kill, they can give their Warband either a +2 bonus in Willpower Saves or Defense Dice. At 2 Kills, the Novi Phaedran gives their Warband a +1 to either their Ranged or Close Quarters Attack. By 3 Kills, another +1 bonus to either Ranged or Close Quarters attack is given to the whole Warband. At 4 Kills, a burning glow emits from the Heroic Novi Phaedran and he is now immune to all Willpower attacks and allows his Warband to automatically succeed any Defense Dice or Saves once in the whole game.

The Way of Alacrity: Race against Time. The Way of Alacrity is for those who want to dominate the battlefield and take initiative. At 0 Kills, the Novi Phaedran Warrior can move an extra +2 Tiles. At 1 Kill, they gain the RUSH Universal Ability for them and any Warband they are connected to. At 2 Kills, they gain an extra Attack in either Close Quarters or Ranged. At 3 Kills, the Novi Phaedran Warrior gets a +1 bonus in either Defense Dice against Close Quarters or Ranged Attacks. At 4 Kills, the Novi Phaedran sprouts wings and gains the FLY Universal Ability.

The Way of Discord: Whereas the Way of Heroism is all about supporting their brethren the Way of Discord is bent on sowing terror and disarray against their foes. At 0 Kills, the Novi Phaedran gains a +2 to Willpower and the TERRIFYING PRESENCE ability, in which they can attack a nearby Enemy Squad or Solo Unit with a Willpower attack that upon success causes a -2 penalty to Ranged and Close Quarter Attacks for two whole rounds. At 2 Kills, the Novi Phaedran can switch positions with another Novi Phaedran Warrior. This can only be done twice during the battle. At 3 Kills, they can dictate an Enemy Squad or Unit to have a -1 to Toughness for the remainder of the battle. This ability can be reapplied to other Enemies. At 4 Kills, an aura of doom and terror surrounds the Novi Phaedran Warrior who is now immune to any Willpower Attacks, and any Enemy Unit(s) within a certain radius with a Toughness of 2 or under must roll a Willpower Save or suffer losing their turn for a whole round. This continues until either the Novi Phaedran is dead or the Enemies are out of the terrifying radius.

Baseline Stats
Good HP
Good Toughness
Good Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Average Movement
Expensive Cost
NOVI PHAEDRAN VETERAN, HEAVY INFANTRY
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe."
- Rogue Combat Minion Roigh Vatty of the Dread Spartoi

Overview
If the average Novi Phaedran Warrior is the Hero of a Legend, the Veteran is a God in the Mythology they form. Replacing the fierce eyes of a berserker with the distant stare of a man whose has seen too much, the Veteran is a disciplined fighter who has honed his skill to ridiculous levels. Whether he is a master swordsman who has never lost a duel, a warhammer-wielding chieftain who smash tanks and squads with equal effort, a eagle-eyed Marksman who can shoot a soaring bird in a forest at night, or simply a man who can shrug off anything the Solar System throws at him physically or mentally, the Veteran is able to turn the tide of battle by himself.
Background
Few Novi Phaedran Warriors die from old age. Constant fighting, both against the other factions and other rival Autonomous Zones, have prevented the Novi Phaedran Warriors from being a large threat to the other, more numerous factions. While fighting a Novi Phaedran individually is practically suicidal, the combined arms and seemingly endless human waves of the Custodial Custodians, the nigh impenetrable fortifications and AI-turrets and drones of the Mavethite Miltias, and the swarming dirty tactics of the Carnemite Raiders have helped offset the brute power of the Novi Phaedran and have prevented many of the Autonomous Zones from reaching populations even close to those of the other factions.

Those that have survived decades of a Solar System against them become practical gods and myths in their respective Autonomous Zones. They have had countless Wars, Wealth, and Women under their belt. Even the most individualistic and acrimonious Novi Phaedran groups would immediately give way and offer praise and tribute to these ancient men. Veterans are usually in powerful positions of government, or even be rulers of their own small Autonomous Zones and Warbands themselves.

The trappings of Veteran Novi Phaedran Warriors differ from Autonomous Zone to Autonomous Zone, Subfaction to Subfaction. The Scattered Autonomous Zones usually have charismatic warrior patriarchs leading younger Warriors for glory and defending their large families. The Veterans of the Chained Subfaction usually have official ranks and serve as officers and elite forces in the more bureaucratic Warbands. The Clawed Veterans serve as leaders of their savage Warbands and are usually in the front of a battle. The Shunned have the most Veterans, having forsworn the more "barbaric" elements of the Novi Phaedrans, having a more diverse population to pool from, and usually ally themselves with other factions for protection.

Equipment
The Veterans can have whatever the average Novi Phaedran Warrior has and then make it better. They can choose one item in their arsenal and give it a +1 attribute to represent the Veteran's superior gear.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities of the Novi Phaedran Veterans are Assist, Battlecry, Duel (if given a Close Quarter Weapon), Aim (if given a semi auto or single shot Ranged Weapon), Suppress (if given a automatic Ranged Weapon), Charge, Man Heavy Weaponry, and Field Requisition.

Novi Phaedran Veterans can attack one time, either with their Close Quarter or Ranged Weaponry.

Novi Phaedran Veterans also have WARBANDING, but instead of the +1 to Melee Defensive Rolls and Willpower, it's a +2 to represent the knowledge the Veterans rub off on the younger Warriors.

Novi Phaedran Veterans automatically gain all abilities from the 2nd Kill of their APOTHEOSIS at the start of the battle.

Baseline Stats
Good HP
Excellent Toughness
Good Ranged (can be chosen for Excellent)
Good Close Quarters (can be chosen for Excellent)
Excellent Willpower
Average Movement
Ludicrously Expensive Cost
TALOS BATTLE WALKER, VEHICLE
"QUIVER IN OUR SHADOW!"
-Crew of a Talos Battle Platform during the Incursion of Satellite 34

Overview
In the Power Armor-centric Novi Phaedran society, the large Talos Battle Walker is the equivalent of a tank worthy for them. Manned by two pilots, the Talos Battle Walker can use its Close Quarter weapons on its arms to cut into enemy ranks while its bulky back and shoulder armament can rain thunder from a distance. Its armor is as strong as the Callisto Tank of the Mavethites and more mobile to boot.
Background
Like the Callisto Tank of the Republic of Maveth, the Talos Battle Walker was the Novi Phaedran response to the devastating Mark X "Stag" MBT of the Custodians. While Heavy Power Armor alone could fend off most vehicles, they were no match for this humongous war machine. Because of the mostly cramped and interior nature of Novi Phaedran habitats as well as the ever shifting and battered battlefields, a vehicle of the conventional sense was considered impractical. Instead, the scientists and engineers of the various Autonomous Zones began to develop, sometimes without even knowing the others were doing so as well, an even heavier Power Armor that would be so large that it would need a cockpit. Practically a small mecha, thee Talos Battle Walker is manned by two people, one to pilot and use the arms of Talos while the second in the back of the cockpit controls the shoulder and back mounted weapons.

Few Autonomous Zones create Talos Battle Walkers in any meaningful numbers, believing piloting one is inglorious as it makes killing less personal and require a more technical teamwork between the two pilots, something few are patient to learn and do. The Chained subfaction is the most frequent user of the Talos Battle Walker, using it in support of their large Warbands/small armies instead of simply treating it like another Novi Phaedran warrior. The Forlorn are known for their custom builds of the Talos Battle Walker which the pilots can repair themselves.

Equipment
The Talos Battle Walker comes in two main flavors. The first, and most common, is one where the arms are given heavy melee weaponry such as a large metal club, axe, or hammer while the shoulders have either anti-armor or rapid firing anti-infantry systems attached. There are no back-attached weaponry as it is sacrificed for more armor. The second variation, seen most notably in the Chained Subfaction Walkers, is purely made for Ranged support of infantry. Two arm-attached automatic guns, two anti-vehicular or more anti-infantry shoulder weapons, and a small artillery piece on the back are tasked with slaughtering infantry and vehicles at a distance. Another variation of the purely ranged Talos is to replace the arms with even more anti-tank guns and the back artillery with a smokescreen launcher.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities of the Talos Battle Walker are Assist, Aim (if applicable Ranged Weapon is given), Suppress (if applicable Ranged Weapon is given), Duel (if given a melee weapon), Charge, and Squish.

The Talos Battle Walker can attack two times, from any of their weapons as long as ammo (if said weapon uses it) is still available.

The Talos Battle Walker cannot join a Warband except with other Talos Battle Walkers.

Baseline Stats
Excellent HP
Excellent Toughness
Excellent Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Average Movement
Ludicrously Expensive Cost
Carnemicum

HYBRID HUNTERS, LIGHT INFANTRY
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN AND ANYTHING IN BETWEEN, ARE YOU READY....FOR THE.... LIFE....HARRRVEEESSSTT!!"
-Overheard at the start of of a Life Harvest

Overview
Forming the bulk of Carnemicum Raiding Parties, Hunters are low-tech and haphazardly organized but make up for it by their speed, grenades that debilitate enemy forces in order to steal their weaponry, and mutating on the spot. Extremely weak at first, Hunters can morph (literally) into a force to be reckoned with by the course of the battle.
Background
The average raider belongs to the Hunter archetype. Always living, working, and fighting in packs due to the cramped conditions in many of the asteroid Demesnes, the Carnemite Raiders compensate their poor equipment in comparison to the other factions with great mobility and their gradual mutations that make them stronger and stronger the longer they last on the battlefield. Circling around their enemies, harassing and probing their foes for weaknesses to exploit, many comparisons to beasts like wild dogs, wolves, and lions have been frequently made.

Contrary to what others would think, the skirmishing and frequently fleeing Hunters are considered a prestigious role for the Hybrids. The thrill of the fast-paced Harvest, the camaraderie, the faces of their prey when they realize that a bunch of ragtag, poorly armed space barbarians managed to outwit them despite the technological odds against them. Because of the need to carry back loot and stay agile, Carnemite Hunters don't have much in terms of weaponry, and they prefer grenades, fibernets, and melee weaponry in hopes of maiming and capturing their enemies as future source of Serf labor. That being said, the taboo of killing doesn't prevent the raiders to kill, accidentally or intentionally, in order to survive or if an opponent proves too much. Therefore, a few of the Hunters have firearms, though these are relatively crude and primitive, even by Mavethite and Novi Phaedran standards.

Equipment
The average Hunter is given a light ranged and a light close quarter weapon along with copious amounts of traps, mines, and grenades. The Ranged Weapon is usually an old knockoff of an older gun or a gun looted in the battlefield (usually a Mavethite SMG) while their hand to hand weapon is nothing to write home about. What little body armor they have is quickly cobbled together, stolen, or hastily produced in the small factories of the Carnemicum.

The variety of Grenades, Traps, and Mines for the Hunters are staggering. Along with the normal frag grenades to harm and occasionally kill enemies, each Hunter Party is given smoke grenades that reduce the accuracy of ranged attacks against them and stun grenades to temporarily stun enemies for a turn. Other choices include Molotov Cocktails that can cause an area to burn for a while and catch Enemies on fire, Toxin grenades that require Toughness Saves from certain low-ranking Enemies who suffer instant elimination upon failure, Anti-Tank grenades that stick onto the hull of enemy armor, Acid Grenades that permanently eat through armor, Terror Grenades that cause the Enemy to flee and lose their turn upon the failure of a Willpower Save, the Kinetic Grenade which pushes both Allies and Enemies away from its radius as well as disarm them, or more powerful versions of the aforementioned types.

Mines have the same varieties as grenades, with the included caveat that enemies need to go into or through their area and roll a Toughness Save, failure causing them to suffer the effects automatically with no other rolls. They can be disarmed by those with the Lay Mines and Traps Universal Ability upon a successful Willpower Save. Failure detonates the Mine.

Traps work as mines, but are easier to create and easier to disarm as well. They include armor-piercing mantraps that cause movement speed as well as damage, nets to completely immobilize Enemy Units for a duration of time, punji sticks that poison enemies over time, and whiplash traps that can disarm victims. A Hunter can make an improvised booby trap with a grenade, making it similar to a Mine. Can be disarmed by anyone but requires a Willpower Save. Failure detonates the Trap. Those with the Lay Mines and Traps Universal Ability gets a +2 against Traps.

Hunters start with 6 Grenades, Mines, or Traps.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities of the Hybrid Hunters are Assist, Battlecry, Charge, Rush, Duel, Suppress, Field Requisition, Man Heavy Weaponry, Lay Mines and Traps, and Mutate.

The Hybrid Hunters can attack three times, twice with any conventional weapon be it Close Quarters or Ranged, and once with grenade or laying down a trap or mine.

MUTATE applies to all Hunters in the Squad.

BASIC MUTATION LIST
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic). Backlash Difficulty

1: The Skin of the Hunter hardens to an almost sickly scaly or stone texture (+1 to Toughness). Medium Backlash
2: The Eyes of the Hunter turn animalistic (+1 to Ranged Attack rolls). Medium Backlash
3. The Arms of the Hunter begin to bloat grotesquely as new muscles form inside (+1 to Close Quarter Attack rolls). Medium Backlash
4. The Legs of the Hunter warp hideously to allow for greater speed (+2 Movement). Medium Backlash
5. Extra appendages grow out of the body of the Hunter (Extra Attack). High Backlash
6. Powerful corrosive acids drip from the Mouth of the Hunter (Armor Penetrating Close Quarter or Ranged Attack, cumulative with the extra attack from the extra appendages). High Backlash.

BASIC BACKLASH LIST
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic).

1. The Skin of the Hunter starts peeling off (-1 Toughness).
2. The Hunter's Eyes start dimming (-1 to Ranged Attack rolls).
3. The Arms of the Hunter mutate beyond recognition (Unable to do Ranged Attack Rolls)
4. The Legs of the Hunter mutate in weird ways (-2 Movement).
5. The shock of the Mutation causes the Hunter to go into a seizure (next turn is lost).
6. The Hunter's Body attacks itself as it rejects the mutations (automatically deal damage to the mutated).

Baseline Stats
Poor HP
Poor Toughness
Average Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Excellent Movement
Basic Mutation Tables
Dirt Cheap Cost
HYBRID CAMPERS, INFANTRY
"Oh shit, I think they're looking at us. OH SHIT THEY AIMING THE BIG GUN AT US!"
-Pariarch Stuart Atrocity during the Splatterfest at Ganymede

Overview
While the Hunters move about and flank their enemies like a predator chasing down a larger prey, the Campers have the inglorious task of distracting their enemies in relatively static positions. While equipped with relatively heavier armament, Campers have been known to have a short lifespan and the task is usually given to the convicted, the disgraced, and the desperate.
Background
The Hybrids prefer a fast approach to life and it is this mentality that has helped them expand across the outer reaches of the Solar System in so little time. Even though Hunters serve as the core of the Raiding Parties of the Carnemicum, the need for people to bait enemies and protect key positions have made the need for more slower, heavily armored units necessary. The Carnemicum's almost universal aversion to using Serfs in combat roles have forced some unlucky Hybrids into this role. Whether by punishment, lottery, or extra pay, Campers are the reluctant Hybrids forced to sit tight and take the brunt of enemy attacks. Armed with heavier weapons and armor, Campers usually provide suppressing fire and act as both a diversion and chokepoint against enemies while their more glorious Hunter comrades circle in for the kill.

Despite their low prestige, Campers have been vital to the success of many Carnemite Raids. Campers could be used as an anvil of sort, refusing to yield as the Hunters drive their foes towards them from behind and hitting like the hammer until the opposition yields eventually. House Despair uses Serfs for their Campers and have different stats from the Hybrid Camper.

Equipment
Unlike the Hybrid Hunters the Hybrid Campers are given two-handed firearms like rifles and machine guns. In close quarter battlefields this might be switched with shotguns and spears. A light anti-tank weapon like a disposable missile launcher is also given to each squad.

For armor many Campers use the same makeshift armor as the Hunters but of better quality. Rather than scrap metal and heavy cloth, they use actual components from enemy armors like the Custodian's Combat Suit or Novi Phaedran Power Armor.

Campers start with 3 Grenades, Mines, or Traps.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities of the Hybrid Campers are Hunker Down!, Mutate, Create Defensive Fighting Positions Assist, Battlecry, Charge, Rush, Man Heavy Weaponry, Field Requisition, Lay Down Mines and Traps, Aim, Suppress, and Duel (if given applicable Close Quarter Weapons)

The Hybrid Campers get two attacks, either from Close Quarters or Ranged.

MUTATE applies to all Campers in the Squad.

BASIC MUTATION LIST
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic). Backlash Difficulty

1: The Skin of the Camper hardens to an almost sickly scaly or stone texture (+1 to Toughness). Medium Backlash
2: The Eyes of the Camper turn animalistic (+1 to Ranged Attack rolls). Medium Backlash
3. The Arms of the Camper soon merges with their Weapon in a convenient way (+1 to either Ranged or Close Quarter attacks). Medium Backlash
4. The Legs of the Camper warp hideously to allow for greater speed (+2 Movement). Medium Backlash
5. Extra appendages grow out of the body of the Camper (Extra Attack). High Backlash
6. Sitting on their Asses for so long as numbed the Camper to the horrors beyond as they crave for any stimulation (+2 Willpower). High Backlash.

BASIC BACKLASH LIST
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic).

1. The Skin of the Camper starts peeling off (-1 Toughness).
2. The Camper's Eyes start dimming (-1 to Ranged Attack rolls).
3. The Arms of the Camper mutate around their guns (-1 to Close Quarter Combat)
4. The Legs of the Camper mold into a sluggish form (-3 Movement).
5. The shock of the Mutation causes the Camper to go into a seizure (next turn is lost).
6. The Camper's Body attacks itself as it rejects the mutations (automatically deal damage to the mutated).

Baseline Stats
Poor HP
Average Toughness
Good Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Good Movement
Basic Mutation Table
Dirt Cheap Cost
FLESH WIZARDS, SPECIAL INFANTRY
"Fleshmas has come early, friends!"
-Dr. Mervin Squish

Overview
The Flesh Doctors are an important element in the Carnemicum. Almost pathetic in combat, the Flesh Doctor can mutate himself and other Hybrids to become grotesque but powerful monstrosities. But beware, the chance of a Backlash that can turn a winning Raid into catastrophic defeat is ever present.
Background
While the ArchMedusozoan parasite in every Hybrid allows for some mutation over time or when adrenaline kicks in, it is the Flesh Wizards who have tamed the process into a science and art. Trained rigorously in dark academies below the pulsing centers of Carnemicum society, the Flesh Doctors are the ones who bring new Hybrids into the world and harvest them when they pass away. The Carnemicum treats the Flesh Doctors with equal measure respect and fear.

Grotesque and usually with multiple appendages, a few stereotypes are common with all Flesh Doctors. They are either reclusive, arrogant, and with sinister agendas or they are gregarious, prone to accidents, and batshit insane. Flesh Doctors either charge by the arm and leg (sometimes metaphorically) for their services or give their "gifts" frilly to anyone who wants it or not. They usually have monstrosities protecting them and like to disappear from the middle of a Raid if something catches their eye.

Flesh Doctors usually prefer laboring on their projects in labs over being in dangerous battlefields, but the need for medical support and more advanced mutations has caused many Raiding Parties to hire Flesh Doctors in return for the choicest pick of biological material, though some Flesh Doctors join Raids on their own accord for different reasons. While not expert combatants themselves, Flesh Doctors can easily remedy that by mutating themselves.

Equipment
The Flesh Doctor is armed with a Needler Pistol, which shoots nightmare-inducing shards at enemies. An Enemy hit that isn't a robot, a vehicle, or a unit immune to Willpower attacks must roll Willpower or suffer a -1 penalty to all Defense Dice for a Round. For a melee weapon most opt for a sharp medical tool like a saw or drill.

The Flesh Doctor's clothing is usually weaved with some protective plating, but otherwise is not expected to partake in the battle so has poor defense.

By default, the Flesh Doctor has all the equipment needed to mutate and manipulate the bodies of their allies.

Abilities
The Flesh Doctor's Universal Abilities are Assist, Heal, Aim, Duel, Hunker Down!, Field Requisition, and Mutate.

The Flesh Doctor attacks two times, with either a Close Quarter or Ranged attack.

IMPROVED HEAL allows the Flesh Doctor to heal a Character or Squad every Round rather than every Two Rounds.

MUTATE applies to either the Flesh Doctor themselves or to a single Squad or Character per turn. They also give the mutating Unit(s) a +2 to their Willpower Save against Backlash. The Flesh Doctor can choose the Mutation instead of randomly goading the ArchMedusozoan Parasite and rolling for it, but they will only get a +1 instead of a +2 when rolling against Backlash.

BASIC MUTATION LIST
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic). Backlash Difficulty

1: The Flesh Doctor applies a parasite that causes the body to kick into overdrive as it tries to kill the parasite (+2 to Close Quarter Attack rolls and Willpower Saves but -2 to Toughness). Medium Backlash
2: The Flesh Doctor makes the eyes almost wholly separate creatures, allowing them to move around from the skull like a worm (+1 to Ranged Attack rolls). Low Backlash
3. The Flesh Doctor sculpts an arm into an organic fleshy claw or a blade (-1 Attack penalty with any two-handed weapons if remaining appendages are less than two, +1 to Close Quarter Attacks). Medium Backlash
4. The Flesh Doctor shapes the legs to better allow optimal movement (+3 Movement and a +2 Willpower bonus when defending against Grenades/Traps/Mines ).
5. The Flesh Doctor stuffs extra appendages to the Body(Extra Attack). High Backlash
6. The Flesh Doctor allows an appendage to fire sharp hardened calcium shards from the wrists (gain a powerful Ranged weapon in one hand. Does not increase the number of attacks). High Backlash

BASIC BACKLASH LIST
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic).

1. Skin starts burning and peeling off (-1 to Toughness).
2. The Flesh Doctor made a mistake (1 damage).
3. One Arm is destroyed to the Flesh Doctor's incompetence(Reduce number of Attacks by 1 to the minimum of 0, and -3 Attack penalty with any two-handed Weaponry if remaining appendages are less than two).
4. The legs start twisting and morphing in gruesome ways (-3 Movement to the minimum of 1).
5. The shock of the Mutation causes the whole body to go into a seizure (next turn is lost).
6. The Flesh Doctor could not stop the Body and ArchMedusozoan from attacking itself as it rejects the mutations (automatically deal damage to the mutated).

ADVANCED MUTATION LIST
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic). Backlash Difficulty

1. Carapace begins growing around the torso of the body. (+2 Toughness). Medium Backlash (roll Basic Backlash Table)
2. The Flesh Doctor coaxes the ArchMedusozoan Parasite to release pheromones (+1 Willpower and +1 Toughness to nearby Allies). High Backlash
3. The Flesh Doctor gives the body two new appendages, each with either an ranged acid spraying attack or a Close Quarters claw or blade! (Gain two extra attacks with weapons installed already). High Backlash
4. The Flesh Doctor gives the body rear-jointed legs, great for bounding leaps (+3 Movement, +2 defending against Grenades/Traps/Mines, and +2 to Close Quarter Attack Rolls if Charging an Enemy). High Backlash
5. Powerful corrosive acids drip from the Mouth (Armor Penetrating Close Quarter or Ranged Attack, cumulative with the extra attack from the extra appendages). High Backlash
6. The Appendages on the body get even more powerful (+2 to damage from all Close Quarter Attacks as well as any Ranged Attacks caused by Mutations like Acidic spit.). High Backlash

ADVANCED BACKLASH LIST
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic).

1. The Flesh Doctor could not stop the Body and ArchMedusozoan from attacking itself as it rejects the mutations (automatically deal damage to the mutated).
2. The shock of the Mutation causes the whole body to go into a massive seizure (two turns are lost).
3. The Body can no longer take any more mutations and modifications (permanent inability to use the Mutate Ability, even with Flesh Doctor Help).
4. The Legs are warped beyond recognition (-4 Movement to the minimum of 0!)
5. The ArchMedusozoan Parasite goes berserk and override its host's functions (the Mutated attacks the closest unit, whether Ally or Enemy, for two Rounds. The victim is usually the adjacent Flesh Doctor).
6. The Shock was so great it killed the host (Instant Death for the Mutated).

SPECIAL MUTATION LIST
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic). Backlash Difficulty

1. The Flesh Doctor implants wings into the spine (Gain the Fly Universal Ability). High Backlash.
2. A special gland is created or added near the lungs and the face and mouth grows a heat-resistant layer of skin, allowing the mutated to spew a blast of superheated air (a short Ranged burning weapon is given, but not an extra attack). Extreme Backlash
3. A long wiry pointed tendril can appear from the skin of the Mutated, attacking an enemy and gaining sustenance (a Close Quarter and Ranged weapon that will instantly heal the Mutated upon a successful attack). Extreme Backlash
4. Extremely sharp material outgrowth appears on the forehead or wrists of the body. It is so sharp it can cut through armor! (Powerful Close Quarter weapon that can penetrate enemy armor by -2). Extreme Backlash
5. The Flesh Doctor causes the metabolism of the body to explode (+1 bonus to Defense Rolls against all Attacks,+3 Movement, two extra Close Quarter Attacks, and +4 defending against Grenades/Traps/Mines). Extreme Backlash
6. The Flesh Doctor coaxes the ArchMedusozoan parasite with chemicals in order to mutate even beyond what is considered safe. (Roll twice on the Basic Mutation Table and once on the Advanced Mutation Table with only needing to roll one Backlash save). Extreme Backlash

Special Mutation Backlash
1d6 Roll: Description (Mechanic).

1. Roll on the Basic Mutation Backlash Table twice.
2. Roll on the Advanced Mutation Backlash Table.
3. Roll on the Basic Mutation Backlash Table twice.
4. Roll on the Advanced Mutation Backlash Table.
5. Not only did the body go into such shock that it killed the victim, it caused their body to explode and severely injuring those around it (deal heavy damage to adjacent Units and weaker damage to Units within a certain range that can be negated with a successful Toughness roll).
6. The ArchMedusozoan Parasite gives a blast of Pheromone, automatically killing the Flesh Doctor and causing madness in nearby Hybrids (Kills the Flesh Doctor, automatically causes the Mutated to go berserk, and causes nearby Allied Unit(s) to go berserk on the nearest Unit upon a Willpower Save failure).

Baseline Stats
Average HP
Poor Toughness
Poor Ranged
Poor Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Average Movement
Basic, Advanced, and Special Mutation Tables
Average Cost
CARNIE TECHNICAL, LIGHT VEHICLE
'IT'S BREAKING APART! SWERVE RIGHT, SWERVE RIGHT, SWE-AAGGGHHHHH-"
-Hybrid Liao Calamity during the Splatterfest at Triton

Overview
Made from an amalgamation of junked military vehicles, civilian cars, and spacecraft parts, Carnie Technicals can transport small groups of Raiders at extremely fast speeds while providing some ranged support. While they aren't the most powerful vehicle in the Solar System, they are easily built and cheap in comparison to other transport vehicles. Rusted, rotting, and filled with writhing organisms, the Carnie Technical can "mutate" as well.
Background
Aside from the pulsing capital of Flatworld, most of the Carnemicum reside inside relatively small satellites. Most transportation is done by public high-speed tube networks that transport people and cargo in large quantities from point A to point B. To build roads and deal with another source of traffic is a huge waste of space so vehicles like cars aren't widely used. But the Houses realized that vehicles allowed for greater mobility and transportation in certain battlefields with increased protection. Not having vehicles of their own many Raiders have stolen or scavenged enemy vehicles of all sorts, armored them a bit, added some extra horsepower, and put a gun on top before calling it a day. Like many things, visceral organic organisms and material cover the vehicle, and adding to the fact the Carnemicum don't really take care of their Technicals the combination of rot and rust gives it a really disgusting texture and look.

Technicals come in many shapes and sizes, but most have wheels and can transport at least one full squad around. Guns include old machine guns or rocket launchers, though stolen Custodial Plasma Weaponry has also been seen on Carnie Technicals. Because of the lack of personal vehicles, the driving skill of the crew of a Carnie Technical is less than desired. Many wrecks occur due to User Error rather than Enemy firepower. Some Technicals sacrifice troop transportation for heavier weaponry, making it into a sort of ultra light Gun Truck rather than APC.

Equipment
The Carnie Technical can either house a light weapon and capacity to transport one squad, or sacrifice troop transport capacity to add a heavier gun. As a Troop Transport, the Technical can field an Heavy Machine Gun, an automatic grenade launcher that can fire all the same grenades a Hybrid Hunter can, a Missile Launcher, a rocket pod, or a large anti-tank Rifle. As a heavy Gun Truck the Technical can field a 30mm Autocannon, a 75mm cannon, or a looted Plasma Cannon that can overcharge like that seen on the Custodial Protectorate's Mark X Stag MBT.

Abilities
Carnie Technicals can take Objectives like Infantry.

The Universal Abilities of the Carnie Technical are Rush, Mutate, Charge, Suppress (if applicable weapons are on), Aim (if applicable weapons are on), and Squish.

RAPID DEPLOYMENT allows the Units on the Vehicle to get off as a free action.

MUTATE applies only to the Carnie Technical and not to any squads transported inside. Flesh Doctors can only apply Basic Mutations to a Technical unless the Technical becomes Living.

BASIC MUTATION LIST
Roll 1d6: Description (Mechanism). Backlash Difficulty

1. The writhing organisms around the Technical begin to spread around the vehicle, becoming a fleshy sort of layer of thing armor (+1 to Toughness). Medium Backlash
2. Edible parasites full of caffeine fester near the driver's seat! (+2 to Rolls when determining the effects of Bad Terrain). Medium Backlash
3. A gnarly looking bumper is formed in the front of the Technical. It might even be shaped like a skull! (+2 to Close Quarters attacks). Medium Backlash
4. A semi-sentient ArchMedusozoan Parasite has lofted upon a gun long enough that it can help the users fire better (+1 to Ranged attacks). Medium Backlash.
5. An long appendage has grown from the side or back of the Technical, attacking enemies that get too close (another Close Quarter Attack, +2 when Charging an Enemy). Medium Backlash
6. Flesh, skeletal structures, and even a sensory system has begun developing all around the Technical, making it a living cybernetic speed demon! (Get a+2 bonus to Willpower, can benefit and suffer from the Flesh Doctor's full services, and gains TERRIFYING PRESENCE in which they can attack a nearby Enemy Squad or Character with a Willpower attack that upon success causes a -2 penalty to Ranged and Close Quarter Attacks for two whole rounds. Unfortunately, Poison can now apply to the Technical). High Backlash

BASIC BACKLASH LIST
Roll 1d6: Description (Mechanism).
1. The Technical slows down from all the weight (-2 Movement).
2. It smells fucking horrible (-1 Willpower).
3. Something got into the guns (-1 penalty to Ranged attacks).
4. Acids and oils from the organic material begins eating at the hull of the Technical (-1 Toughness).
5. There is so much sticky crap in the Technical it's hard to move around (Rapid Deployment Ability is gone).
6. Gremlins! So many shit is clogged in the workings of the Technical that it breaks down and needs time to be cleaned out and start up again (loses two Turns).

Baseline Stats
Average HP
Good Toughness
Poor Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Average Willpower
Excellent Movement
Basic Mutation Table
Average Cost
Last edited by Heretic on Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

User avatar
Heretic
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: IN AMERICA

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Heretic » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:07 am

Edited The Hero Units, notably the Carnemicum to highlight the fact that Hybrids are those that bonded with an ArchMedusozoan, Pariarchs being the Elites and Leaders of the Carnemicum who are also Hybrids.
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Siege » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:00 pm

Although I'm having a hard time seeing how tanks and power armor are seriously contested by something called a Carnie Technical, I love the descriptions you've given us so far :-D .
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Heretic
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: IN AMERICA

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Heretic » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:20 pm

What started as a short fun way of expanding my universe with a short lecture set in the Custodial Protectorate about weapons, has devolved into something bigger. I've been writing from 12 AM to 12 PM nonstop. Writing style is a bit experimental, inspired by Steve's wonderful Undiscovered Frontiers series. There are parts where it gets freeflowing and I've only edited it a little bit, might edit it some more when I wake up.

Apologies.

A LECTURE ON SMALL ARMS WEAPONRY ACROSS THE SOLAR SYSTEM

[Below is the recorded Transcript of class in the Academy, the training facility for all Custodians. The Professor, Custodian-Doctor Fahad Nahami is lecturing the class on the the various small arms used by the factions. Custodian Patricia Xi-Strasser, a veteran of countless Solar Expeditions and on Medical Leave after a severed arm, is a guest speaker brought in to bring field experience to the discussion.]

Dr. Nahami: Alright, let's start the discussion. I see everyone is here, even Cadet Powell. [Chuckles can be heard across the classroom.] I would like to also thank Custodian Xi-Strasser for accepting our invitation to join this lecture.

[Custodian Patricia Xi-Strasser speaks in a gruff female voice, her accent slightly synthesized due to a previous injury that required extensive surgery]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: My pleasure. Don't want the new wave of recruits to lose their lives because they have a false understanding of the firepower 3/4th of the Solar System has.

ON THE VALIANT TOOLS OF THE CUSTODIANS
Dr. Nahami: Very True. To begin this lecture, let's us begin with the Custodial Protectorate, seeing as its weapons will be the ones you will be most familiar with. Here is the Type 5.56 Service Rifle - [Whistles and supportive cheers are heard] - nicknamed the "Warden." It fires a caseless 5.56 round. It has extremely high velocity, can tumble and fragment inside human flesh and cause serious damage. It is light and extremely accurate, allowing for a Custodian to eliminate a target at full automatic with ease.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: And you're gonna need that Full Auto because while damage to human tissue is good and all, most of the enemies you'll be facing either wearing tank armor like clothes, hiding behind heavy fortifications, or are little fuckers who are impossible to get a bead on.

Dr. Nahami: It does have some penetrative power thanks to the minute diamond tip on each bullet. Against distant enemies, the built-in Ironsights can automatically adjust depending on distance of you and the selected target.

[Cadet Miran, a squeaky and fast voice, interjects. He will serve as the conspiracy theorist]

Cadet Miran: Professor, is it true that LILITH is in the sights and other parts of the Warden Rifle?

Dr. Nahami: A subroutine from LILITH is in each Service Rifle to better optimize and maintain the Rifle, yes. But it would be a stretch to say LILITH herself is in the Warden.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: I've heard stories about the gun adjusting the sights itself and firing while the soldier was still aiming. Each time with a headshot or miraculous kill.

Dr. Nahami: Those are just urban legends to raise the morale , Custodian. While the subroutine does do many things, it is not developed enough to shoot by itself and eliminate an enemy.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Hey, I know some of the guys who said it happened to them and are the worst shots in the Solar System, but the battle cams of their Suits show evidence of some sweet fucking kill shots.

[Another male voice, lighter this time, speaks in a joking and smug connotation. It is Cadet Johnson, who will serve in this transcript as the arrogant and confident Cadet who thinks he knows it all.]

Cadet Johnson: If that's the case, there's hope for Powell! [The Classroom erupts in laughter. Dr. Nahami slams something repeatedly to quiet the room]

Dr. Nahami [Voice now raised and stern]: Cadet Johnson, apologize at once! You are Cadets for the Custodians, not school room children! If you cannot support your future comrades, then there is no hope for the Custodians.

Cadet Johnson [Connotation of shame and bitterness is heard]: I'm sorry, Cadet Powell. That was unseemly of me. [Cadet Johnson is followed by other, softer apologies from across the Classroom]

Dr. Nahami [voice is still harsh and tense]: Good. The battlefield is harsh and unforgiving. When the worst happens, all you have to rely on are your fellow Custodians to overcome whatever odds are against you. All the best weapons in the System can be in your hands, and it will be useless if we have soldiers belittling others.

[Silence in the classroom ensues. It is broken by a low whistle from Custodian Xi-Strasser]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Damn Professor, where'd you serve?

Dr. Nahami [Voice now quiet and soft]: The 3rd Solar Expedition, on Titan.

[Soft whispering and gasps are heard]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Shit....I'm sorry.

Dr. Nahami: Yes. [Voice becomes back to normal]. Back to the discussion, while we can talk about whether LILITH is actually imbued in each Warden Rifle another time, let us move on. This is the Type 9 AutoPistol Mk. II. It has better control when firing automatic than its predecessor and made of lighter materials.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: So light you'll forget you even have it. [Laughter]

[Cadet Hanson, a feminine voice with a light British accent, joins the conversation. She has a skeptical and intellectual approach to the conversation]

Cadet Hanson: But with Heavy Armor being the standard across the Solar System, what's the point of a sidearm with a 9mm round? Isn't that a bit pointless?

Dr. Nahami: Good Question, cadet! The Autopistol can be used in Close Quarter Combat complimentary of the standard blade. It's ability to unload into the torso region while being grappled by an enemy is extremely beneficial.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: The Autopistol saved my life multiple times. One time a Novi Phaedran samurai was about to chop me in half with his Katana after he disarmed my blade, and I pulled my pistol and unloaded it all right in his faceplate. The shock in his eyes were priceless.

Cadet Johnson: If it was me, I wouldn't have lost my blade. [Groans from across the classroom]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Yeah well, when you fight against a hulking power armored samurai who trained his life with the blade, I'll believe you.

Dr. Nahami: Speaking of blades, the Custodian is each given a blade but is catered to their personal preference, from a piercing gladius, a hacking machete, or a more general short sword that can do both.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: I prefer the machete myself. Momentum can give me extra cutting power.

Cadet Hanson: But won't the variety of blades hinder the Custodian if they have to use the blade of their fallen compatriot, which they haven't trained for?

Dr. Nahami: Yes, but the Academy will train you on the main styles of blades so you can be at least proficient at them.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: And if it got to the point where you lost your blade and have to use your buddy's lying on the floor, you got other things to worry about. But yeah, training with all of them would be good so you don't have to think when adrenaline kicks in.

Cadet Hanson: So why offer the variety anyway? Wouldn't a machete type be useless in close quarters?

Dr. Nahami: For two reasons actually. One is to allow the Custodian more skill in a style best suited for them, and secondly certain cultures have different preferences and we want to support that. Custodian tactics are based on teamwork and overcoming each other's weaknesses.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: A Custodian by themselves is screwed in most combat situations one on one. Even with the best blade the Novi Phaedran brute will laugh as he sweeps you aside with his handcrated power club he bludgeoned his third wife with, you'll probably be dead before you even get close to a Mavethite position if the flying drones don't take you out first, and Carnies will mutate themselves and then drown you in bodies.

Cadet Johnson: So when do we get to the laser weaponry?

Dr. Nahami: In due time, Cadet, please practice some patience. And it is Plasma, which is different from lasers.

Cadet Hanson: Technically, the Plasma used in Custodian Weaponry is also different from real Plasma.

Dr. Nahami [Irritated Amusement]: Yes, Cadet Hanson, that is true. Anyway, any questions before we continue on?

[Cadet Powell, the much harassed Cadet, speaks in a slower voice. He serves as the novice]

Cadet Powell: So are we using a bullet used by countries long ago? Why?

Cadet Hanson: 5.56 is the cartridge, not the bullet.

Dr. Nahami: Yes, Cadet Hanson, it's a cartridge....thank you. And excellent question, Cadet Powell. the 5.56 is light and thin enough to allow for a good continuous fire [to this Custodian Xi-Strasser gives a snort] yet powerful enough to eliminate oppositions [to this Custodian Xi-Strasser chortled]. Custodian? Do you have input you'd like to share?

Custodian Xi-Strasser: While the 60 rounds of the Warden Rifle is decent, when firing in bursts it'll be empty pretty quick, let alone automatic. I've seen mutated Carnies who carried Centuries-old guns with better suppression power. And you'll probably need all 60 rounds just to down a Novi Phaedran Warrior. The reason why we still use outdated tech is because it's cheaper in materials to make while still being powerful enough that LILITH wouldn't be called a murderer, and it beats having to go through trial and error developing a new round.

Dr. Nahami: While I will have to disagree your theory on the main reasons for the 5.56, we have to carry on to support weaponry.

[Excitement builds in the air]

Dr. Nahami: Class, please welcome the Plasma Rifle! [Whistles and whoops echo the room] I know you all are excited about this one, and after the lecture I'll let you all handle it. Now, what is the Plasma Rifle used for?

Cadet Johnson: Kicking ass! [More Laughs]

Dr. Nahami: While that is an interesting way of saying it, I was thinking more specifically.

Cadet Hanson: The Plasma Rifle is used for anti-armor capabilities to a certain extent.

Dr. Nahami: Yes. The Plasma Rifle, as with all Haemotechnological weapons, takes Blood Plasma, injects special nanites into it which in turns heats it up and shoots out as real plasma.

Cadet Hanson: I understand the technology used to create these nanites are ill understood due to being ancient Antedilluvian technology, but do we know why Blood Plasma? It's mostly 95 percent water with some dissolved proteins, hormones, sodium, glucose, carbon dioxide electrolytes, and clotting agents. Is it any one of those elements?

Dr. Nahami: We have tried feeding the nanites each of those elements individually by blood plasma fractionation , but nothing. Some theorize that the elements combined to become Blood Plasma serves as a sort of microscopic ecosystem that allows the nanites to prosper, but scientists still haven't reached to any conclusions yet.

Cadet Miran: I heard that the nanites came from the alternate dimension that the Antediluvians went to and gained a craving for human blood after devouring all the Antediluvians. [Groans and a loud frustrated sigh from Cadet Hanson]

Dr. Nahami: That is utter nonsense. The nanites have little interest in Blood Cells, only the Blood Plasma that contains it.

Cadet Powell: Then why are there blood drives? Can't we just artificially make the Blood?

Cadet Hanson: Blood Plasma.

Dr. Nahami: I hear you, Cadet Hanson. Cadet Powell, while we can make a variety of Simulated Body Fluids, the nanites only accept a few and these are quite expensive to make. It is much more efficient to extract a small amount of blood annually from people who produce easily with the help of healthy bodies, good food, and happy lives.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Also, being able to recharge with your own body or your recently dead friends beats having lug lots of bags of Blood around when the going gets tough.

Dr. Nahami: Yes...that too. But anyway, the Plasma Rifle can burn through a decent amount of armor, and is given to one designated Custodian in a Fireteam. This will be your main anti-armor weapon, but don't lean on it too much against heavier armor. Let the Tanks and other dedicated anti-armor vehicles deal with those if you can.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: The Plasma Rifle is called an anti-armor or anti-vehicular weapon, but its real purpose is to fry those Neo-fascists up in Titan real good. My first wife got a dozen kills with her Plasma Rifle before she got squished by a Mavethite tank. Bastards.

[Uncomfortable silence fills the room once again but Dr. Nahami quickly takes control of the situation]

Dr. Nahami: Excellent observation, Custodian. While the Plasma Rifle is extremely powerful, there are alternatives.

Cadet Johnson: What? Why the fuck would anyone choose anything besides this beast?

Dr. Nahami [Frustrated sigh]: Because, Cadet Johnson, the Plasma Rifle is, while powerful, slow to fire and quite cumbersome. And there may be situations where destroying armored opponents is the main focus.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Like in cramped corridors, fending off waves of enemies.

Dr. Nahami: Exactly! Very well put, Custodian. During specific situations other weapons are needed. The first is the Scoped Warden Rifle for those requiring a Designated Marksman, and the other is the Type 10 Automatic Shotgun - Box Fed System for close quarter support and area suppression.

Cadet Powell: How is the Scoped Rifle different from the unscoped Rifle?

Custodian Xi-Strasser: It has a longer barrel and have better recoil reduction systems, but yeah, there's no difference. Again, I love the Protectorate and all she stands for, but we can be like Mavethites when it suits us.

Cadet Hanson: With the Type 10 Automatic Shotgun, why not simply build an Infantry Automatic Weapon or even an LMG if maneuverability is not the issue? Why use a weapon that can only suppress at short ranges?

Dr. Nahami: The Custodial Protectorate believes that the standard Type 5.56 Service Rifle, in support with nearby Custodians and the Type 2 Dolphin IFV, is enough for standard suppression tactics. The Automatic Shotgun fills the niche during melees and room to room combat, where vehicular support is available or recommended and support from other members of your Custodial Risk Management Unit is not guaranteed.

Cadet Johnson: So just pull the trigger at the general direction of the bad guy and boom! No more.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Pretty much. Just be sure the people going boom don't include some of your guys. The accuracy on that thing is laughable and the spread is wide.

Dr. Nahami: Now that we have covered all of the small arms used by the Custodians, let us get to the Republic of Mave-

Cadet Miran [Urgent voice]: Dr. Nahami?

Dr. Nahami: Yes, Cadet?

Cadet Miran: What about the Vanguards?

[Dr Nahami clears his throat while Custodian Xi-Strasser gives a cough]

Dr. Nahami: Erm yes, the Vanguards use Plasma Weaponry just like ours, including Plasma Pistols due to the need for portability in their reconnaissance missions. But they focus on gathering enemy movements and serve as skirmishers, so they are more lightly equipped than the average Cus-

Cadet Miran: But what about reports of them wielding a energy-based anti-material rifle that can cut right through a Battle Talos Walker from a mile away-

Cadet Johnson: Fuck the Plasma Rifle, I'd love that.

Cadet Miran: -or a pistol that sets enemies on fire and manufactured by shady corporations with links to the Republic of Maveth-

Cadet Hanson: Such weaponry is banned by the Luna-Earth Arms Treaty...

Cadet Miran: -or have an Assault Rifle that screams and induces seizures when its bullets zips by enemies while the Vanguards teleport from place to pl-

[At this point Dr. Nahami slams the table]
Dr. Nahami : ENOUGH. [Heavy breathing as the classroom is shocked into yet another silence. Dr. Nahami now speaks in a hushed yet threatening tone] While it is true the Vanguards have an arsenal unlike our own, the stuff you have just mentioned are simply malicious rumors and even if some of them are true in one way or another, it is best you not pry deeper until it is deemed necessary by your superiors to do so.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Though to be fair, the Dark Star Energy Rifle has been officially announced a few months ago and is in prototype stage, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Vanguards are field testing them.

Dr. Nahami: True, but I think we should move on to our next topic.

THE ECONOMICAL MAVETHITE SMALL ARMS
Dr. Nahami: The Mathevite Militiaperson's main weapon is the Aleph PDW, Third Iteration, or if they are part of the Combat Engineers, a pump action shotgun that is usually loaded with 12 gauge shells.

Cadet Johnson: Personal Defense Weapons? Pump Action Shotguns? These idiots are not only living in the 20th century but using weak weapons!

[Custodian Xi-Strasser chuckled]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: That is until you realize the Mavethites can throw more bullets than the Custodians in the air and then feel a shotgun slug hit your torso and throw you on the grown dazed.

Dr. Nahami: The Mavethite Militiaman is more focused on more defensive or economic objectives, so their service weaponry is meant to be as light and economically viable. Many of their SMGs fire 5.6mm pellets that are shot forward by small electromagnetic rails built alongside the barrel. Power for these rails come from the clip where the pellets are stored, which can be partially recharged with the heat produced from the electromagnetic rails.

[The classroom, barely containing snickers and chuckles, burst into wild laughter]

Cadet Johnson: HOW DO THESE FUCKERS [Coughing, choking] MANAGE TO FIGHT AGAINST US?

Cadet Hanson: I'm sorry, Professor, but [she tries to stifle a giggle] what is the logic behind using Submachine Guns in the 29th Century? Especially a large submachine gun with electromagnetic rails on them?

[Dr. Nahami waits for the class's loud amusement to die down before continuing]

Dr. Nahami: When using the word Submachine Gun, one thinks of a small, low powered, small caliber weapon that has automatic fire. While it is true that the Aleph PDW is relatively weak compared to the 5.56 Assault Rifle, having little penetration power by itself and only small fragmentation upon impact, the Alpeph PDW's lethality is equivalent to a 21st Century Carbine with the range of an Assault Rifle-

Custodian Xi-Strasser: -and the ammo size of machine gun.

Dr. Nahami: And the ammo capacity of a machine gun, yes. The baseline Aleph PDW has about 100 pellets stored and enough power to fire all of them and perhaps half of the next clip before you see a significant drop in power and range. When using the term submachine gun now and especially concerning the Republic of Maveth, it should simply mean a portable, weaker Light Machine Gun.

Cadet Hanson: But why rails? Aren't gunpowder-based firearms be more easier to maintain? This doesn't seem like the Republic's standard cost-cutting methods.

Dr. Nahami: At first glance, yes, it seems counterinuitivie. But when you recognize that metals are quite common and the need for power solved by solar energy for the most part, you can make magnetized metals for the rails, the pellets that are shot out, and the power to charge the clips with ease. Chemicals otherwise used in firearm cartridges are conserved for other use, mostly in the missiles used for the Combined Space Force.

Cadet Powell: If they don't fire like normal guns, what's the recoil like?

Dr. Nahami: The same as a normal gun's. Newton's Third Law.

Cadet Johnson: Then even with pellets they still kick like an assault rifle? Wow.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: That's why the Militias like to have lots of ammo in their guns. It also gives them excuses not to train their Militia in good Marksmanship. As long as they can aim at the general area of their target and not hit the sky while spraying and praying, they are good to go. Saves on Training Costs. Win-Win for the Republic.

Dr. Nahami: You'll know Mavethite SMGs by their distinctive hissing sound upon reloading, when the rails are vented.

Cadet Johnson: Fuck, we've been talking forever about one gun.

Dr. Nahami: It is because the Aleph PDW, Third Iteration serves as the foundation for many other of the Republic's Small Arms.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: They also all look like they came straight out of the Vietnam War. Hell, even their uniforms and vehicles do too.

Dr. Nahami: All the Small Arms of the Republic aside from the shotguns, Huo Yu Mortars, the DoomShot Launcher, the Poco Artilleria, and the Diablo .50 Caliber Heavy Machine Gun, use Railgun technology in one way or another.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: The Militias usually only have a dagger, but the fucking thing is poisoned, so be careful not to get cut by it or you'll be convulsing and shitting your pants for days. I still get shudders from it. Hey, don't give me those shit-eating grins, it's awful.

Dr. Nahami: The Poco Artilleria can fire both shotgun shells and grenades. The reason for this is many Mavethite grenades are shaped like shotgun shells and can be triggered upon the gun's pin penetrating deep into the back of the grenade rather than pulling the pin of the grenade.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Hand thrown, they aren't really far. But with the Poco it can reach farther than a normal hand thrown grenade, and at faster speeds too.

Dr. Nahami: The Diablo .50 Cal is an almost identical copy of the Browning .50 cal used by the United States of America during the 20th and first half of the 21st century. The Diablo .50 on the other hand is made of heat-resistant materials and a better receiver that allows the weapon to fire longer without mechanical jams or the barrel warping.

Cadet Miran: The weapons here seem..underwhelming so far.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: When you have seeds that can grow into plants that give more gun pellets for you and eat your enemies while kindly offering you fruit, floating miniguns, miniguns that can fire themselves and know the difference between friend and foe, instant pillboxes, tanks with guns poking from every direction, mini-tanks that can field more miniguns, and the ability fill every empty space with bullets from all of these things, your guns looking cool isn't your top priority.

Dr. Nahami: And as I mentioned before, the Republic of Maveth is more focused on obtaining economic resources, including salvage. They prefer to be lightly equipped for rapid deployment and if needed, resource collection. Most of the power comes from their defensive capabilities.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: When the Republic of Maveth sits on something, they sit on it good and its a pain to move them. Yeah, their small arms are shit, but their machine gun emplacements, drones, and Mule-Bots do the heavy lifting. And if you have the Combined Space Force nearby, forget about it. The Officer in charge in that case could simply order an orbital strike on us. Though that is rare, since the Combined Space Force and the Miltias are not on exactly friendly terms.

Dr. Nahami: Ah yes, the inter-service rivalry between the CSF and Miltias. It would require a whole other lecture. While we could get more into detail about the other weapons of the Republic, we have to move on. Are there any other questions?

Cadet Hanson: If the Republic is known for their field requisition and salvage refurbishment, why don't they use superior equipment recovered from the battlefields?

Custodian Xi-Strasser: They do. They turn our armors and guns into more pellets for their guns. It's why you'll never hear a Mavethite Militiaman complain about low ammunition. Unlike us, where's it is almost a daily routine.

Cadet Powell: Why don't we use rail technology as well?

Dr. Nahami: We do with our Voyager ships and some vehicles, but we have the opposite problem with our guns: lots of chemicals and relatively fewer metals. It's why we made our 5.56 rounds caseless.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Living above an ancient and post-apocalyptic chemical wasteland has its perks. [Chuckles from a few Cadets mingle with Xi-Strasser's]

THE ECLECTIC PERSONAL WEAPONS OF THE CARNEMICUM

Dr. Nahami: Custodian, how would you describe Carnemite Small Arms?

[Custodian Xi-Strasser is silent for a few moments as she thinks]


Custodian Xi-Strasser: Shit.

[The Classroom laughs. Even Dr. Nahami gives a chuckle]

Cadet Miran: Is there a catch?

Custodian Xi-Strasser: No catch. Their guns and close quarter weapons are absolutely garbage. Some of them have parts before Man sent their first rocket into space.

Cadet Hanson: That old? How is that even possible?

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Refurbishment, cold storage, replacing one part with another, etc. etc.

Cadet Hanson: Don't they jam?

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Often.

Cadet Johnson: So what's stopping us from steamrolling these shit-swimming pirates?

Dr. Nahami: For a few reasons, Cadet Johnson, and I'd ask you'd refrain from calling them shit-swimming pirates, a few Houses are nominally aligned with the Custodial Protectorate.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: More like contracted. They're usually mercenaries.

Dr. Nahami: That's beside the point. But back to my reasons. The Carnemicum make frequent use of Hit and Run tactics that can cause logistical problems for Solar Expeditions sent deep into the edges of the Solar System, they have a population almost rivaling ours and a paramilitary force that easily dwarfs the Custodians, and their connection with the alien lifeforms known as the ArchMedusozoan has allowed their body to rapidly change in spontaneous and even controlled ways. This can cause quick changes in battlefield situations that would require the Custodians to think quickly on their feet.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: I saw a car with gross meat all over it that was transporting Raiders grow a fleshy arm and incapacitate a whole Task Force squad. I saw a weak looking Raider, probably on their first Raid, suddenly get ripped and crushed both my arms. Almost got captured and forced into working in Fast Food again if I wasn't saved. I would have shot myself if I had to go through that bullshit again.

Dr. Nahami: That's another why the Carnemicum use relatively ancient and weak weaponry. Their goal is not to kill, but to capture. While deaths are inevitable, the Carnemicum want genetic material and slave labor, or Serfs as they prefer to call it, rather than bloody trophies or genocide. And before you ask, the Houses in the Carnemicum partially allied with us use a form of indentured labor rather than slavery. I am also obligated to tell you that when the Novi Phaedran situation is dealt with, the Custodial Protectorate will sit down with the Carnemicum to discuss the future emancipation of all Serfs.

Custodian Xi-Strasser [in a low voice]: If we ever win against the Novi Phaedrans.

Cadet Marin: Is it true these mutations include the ability to breath fire, dissolve armor with acid, and grow arms with horrifying bone bullets and almost metallic blades?

Dr. Nahami: While I'm sure some of those are exaggerations and rumors once again, I'll let Custodian Xi-Strasser answer that as she has more experience against the Carnemicum raiders than I have. I retired just after the first attack by the Carnemicum on outlying Voyager scouts.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: To the answer of your question, yes all of it is true.

Dr. Nahami [His voice is confused]: Erm, really?

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Really. They can do all that and more. Don't even get me started on what the Dark Genome is crafted.

Cadet Marin: So that could be another reason why they don't need the best guns. They got their own body to wage war with.

Dr. Nahami: That is a good way of putting it. Any questions?

Cadet Johnson: So again, why don't we just blow up all their little hidey holes one by one? We have a space fleet superior to theirs.

Dr. Nahami: And that would cause the loss of millions of lives. There are many innocent Serfs in all the Carnemicum habitats. While some Houses treat their Serfs little better than animals, Serfs still play a crucial part of Carnemite Society.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: And if you do get captured, hope that it is House Calamity or House Despair. They treat captives well and House Calamity has a hostage exchange program for any citizens of the Custodians they may find or capture in return for goods. If you are captured by House Dread, it'd be best to put your Autopistol to your mouth and pull the trigger. They'll put you in horrible working conditions that'll kill you in a decade or two at best. Worst case scenario they'll make you a immobile art piece for all eternity or a Flesh Doll forced to raid innocent settlements for more poor souls for the Dread assholes to torture and experiment on. All while you are aware of what's going on. [shocked murmurs are heard in the classroom]. I had a friend who upon rescue killed himself for all the things he saw himself do under their command.

Dr. Nahami: And on that dark note, we'll take a 30 minute lunch break and come back for our last topic. It'll require some mental fortitude and we'll need all the inner strength we need.

[Sounds of bodies moving and chairs being moved back as the students head for lunch]

[Recording Pauses]

[Recording Resumes]

[Dr. Nahami speaks. The classroom, usually filled with some muttering and shuffling, is completely quiet. Dr. Nahami speaks in a quiet and morose tone]

Dr. Nahami: Alright class, we're all here. Let me preface the beginning of this last part of the lecture with a trigger warning. This topic is a cause of much personal pain for all of us. While we have lost a few relatives to both the Mavethites and Carnemicum, many of those have been in battles with combatants facing other combatants with the addition of the sad cases of collateral damage or enslavement, it is to our last topic that have slaughtered innocents and committed wanton genocide for the simple reason of being or even looking different.

NOVI PHAEDRANS

Dr. Nahami: All those who have lost a loved family member or friend, raise your hand.

[The sound of many arms being raised is heard]

Dr. Nahami: Those who lost said loved only because they were a Custodian, Voyager, or other official combatant, lower your hands.

[Silence. No arms were dropped]

Dr. Nahami: I too lost loved ones. My mother was raped and then killed by Initiates. My father died in a futile attempt to stop the attackers. The Custodial Risk Management Task Force my older brother and sisters were in were all wiped out, all confirmed KIA. The Novi Phaedrans who killed them gave us the courtesy of impaling their corpses on spikes with their dog tags hanging on the top. My best friend buried alive with his dead husband in a metal tomb and thrown into the waters of Titan when they discovered the two were homosexuals. Two among the hundreds who suffered and perished in the first and last cultural exchange with the Novi Phaedrans. That was when we all knew peace was impossible with all of them besides some of the Shunned. While I was away on the 2nd Solar Expedition, the largest fucking Warband hit Gaia, which at the time we thought was the safest place in the Solar System to be. But there the combined forces of the Nordrekkr, Novi Scordisci, and Star Kings, led by the king fucker Stravros himself, came into my city. [Dr. Nahami's voice begins to crack] Where my baby girl and wife were.

[Sobs begin to be heard from Dr. Nahami in the midst of the heavy silence]

Dr. Nahami: Th-they couldn't even find the ashes or bones of my child. My wife managed to escape, but...committed suicide shortly after. I got the message of their deaths. And then the Disaster that was the 2nd Solar Expedition happened right then and there. Fitting. I was one of the few survivors. I saw all my friends die due to miscommunication and lack of teamwork. The Novi Phaedrans picked us off one by one, even civilian contractors and reporters. Even the refugees we rescued. The evacuation was an absolute mess. And the screams, cries, and pleas for mercies could still be heard in our communication systems. Some went mad and began smashing their helmets and any speakers and screens. Others just sat or laid there, dazing at nothing. I..I-

Custodian Xi-Strasser: It's alright, Dr. Nahami. Go to the Teachers' Lounge, get a drink of water, take a moment if you need to. I'll take it from here.

Dr. Nahami: Al-[coughing from tried mouth from crying]al-right.

[The sound of footsteps and a door opening and closing are heard. The silence continues a few moments]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: I too lost loved ones. Two spouses, a girlfriend, and many good friends victims to Novi Phaedran atrocities. Is anyone else willing to share what they lost?

Cadet Hanson: My older brother and sister in law. Butchered then mutilated on Mars.

Cadet Johnson: My mama and papa as well as my girlfriend. I joined the Custodians so I could rip everyone of the motherfuckers apart!

Cadet Marin: My Half-siblings and stepmother. Grandparents on both sides of the family. Dad disappeared in the middle of Novi Phaedran space so I presumed the worst.

Cadet Powell: A whole segment of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Me and my folks were visiting Dark Earth so we were lucky when they hit our hometown.

[A few other Cadets speak up]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Okay. Now take that anger and sadness and hold it dear. Know what was lost and what can be lost in the future. Let it propel you, but don't let it consume you. We are not like them, the Custodians are about protecting those alive and need protection. Avenging the lost is alright, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, but if you had to choose between vengeance and protecting those next to you, ALWAYS protect the living. Understood?

[Everyone gives a harsh and firm confirmation of "YES MA'AM"]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: And in order to fight the Novi Phaedrans, we have to know what they are using to kill. The biggest problem for many settlements are Initiates. These young and fanatical men are eager to prove themselves and gain their Apotheosis powers, making them extremely dangerous. They use cunning and brute savagery to survive and attain their goals. That being said, they are usually only equipped with a crude heavy caliber revolver if they are given any guns and mostly use simple melee weapons. They have little armor to begin with, so they are easy to dispatch, but do not overestimate them or it'll be your last mistake.

[Custodian Xi-Strasser gives a grunt as she lifts something heavy up and practically drops it on the table]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: This is the Tempest Storm Rifle. It is the Battle Rifle of Battle Rifles. It can easily pierce light armor. It is highly customizable and can fire a variety of ammunition. This is the most basic weapon the average Novi Phaedran Warrior may have, and it can pierce our armor as is. The simplest way to survive against the Storm Rifle? Don't get hit.

[Nervous shuffling is heard from the classroom]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Other basic level firearms that can kill a Custodian from afar include the Vengeance Designated Marksman Rifle, which is single shot but has more penetrating power than even the Storm Rifle, and automatic Hand Cannons, usually coming in two. The Auto-Handcannons are usually for those Warriors who love speed and the ability to gun down multiple foes at once, so watch out.

[Gasps are heard as something large is being dragged from an adjacent room]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: This is the Annihilation Missile Launcher. It doesn't have a big blast radius but it can eat up Stag Tanks for breakfast and if you get hit by one, you're fucked. For extra fuckery, this monster can have a homing system so it can chase you around, the ability to fire multiple payloads at once, and like the Storm Rifle have all sorts of payloads. A cousin of it, the Armageddon Multi-Launcher is literally a portable multi-barrel artillery piece, being able to fire 8 explosive payloads. They may be accurate, but you have to hope all 8 don't get you in their radius. Another heavy weapon is the Testament LMG, takes the power of the Storm Rifle and gives it extra ammo. Whole town blocks have perished to one Novi Phaedran with any of these three weapons.

But wait, there's more.

[Custodian Xi-Strasser takes a quick breather before going back to the other room and coming back]

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Many prefer a balanced approach, with a one handed ranged weapon in one hand and a melee weapon in the other. For Ranged, these Warriors usually have the powerful Automatic Handcannon, the double-barreled Sunne SMG used to clear out rooms, a sawn-off 8 Gauge [more gasps] shotgun called the Shotpistol, or a sprayer that can unleash either fire, acid, or gas on the victims. The melee weapon they have is usually mastercrafted with the best materials around, so don't be expecting somehow chopping or breaking it in half with your blade. You'll more likely have your sword gone instead of theirs.

And Heaven Save your Soul if you had to face one of the Warriors with two-handed melee weapon. Not only are they masters at their form of combat, these warriors are usually the most fearless, experienced, and fanatical ones in the Warband. And they usually have their weapon come with a trick, be it nano-tube enhanced Katanas to flaming Greatswords to warhammers that can cause earthquakes or spears with explosive tips on them. My fight with the Shigai Samurai? That was pure luck and if his faceplate wasn't messed up already beforehand my 9mm pistol would have done jack shit and I wouldn't be hear right now.

And we haven't even touched their Power Armor or Talos Battle Walkers. Any questions?

Cadet Hanson [her voice shaking with terror]: Custodian Xi-Strasser, how can we fight against the Novi Phaedran threat? They seem so...invincible?

Custodian Xi-Strasser: They seem so. They have the most dangerous weapons, the most powerful suits of armor, they were experts of killing when they were youth and trained all their life in its ways, and they have incredible, almost fantastical powers which allows them to grow stronger the more they kill, which is alot.

Cadet Johnson: Then we're all fuck-

[The door is heard opening and footsteps approach. Cadet Johnson stops speaking]

Dr. Nahami: We are fucked, yes, if we fight a Novi Phaedran. Individually. But having a world and power centered around you and you alone has bred great hubris in all of them, even those in the Chained Autonomous Zones. They try to outdo each other in great deeds they call heroic, they have always been told to compete and become the best, trampling those below. Caesar himself, the founder of the wretched philosophy that serves as the backbone for all Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones, stated that the best societies were small and enable the male members of the tribal system to become the heroic paragons of their society. But even tribal societies require a large amount of teamwork and to put some in the pedestals while punishing the rest will slowly corrupt even the best most virtuous societies into a despotic playground where the few take from the many. The Apotheosis makes it worse, as Novi Phaedrans gain power individually rather than as a group, giving selfish actions more incentive.

Cadet Hanson: I still don't understand, professor. What does egoism have to do with defeating Novi Phaedrans?

Dr. Nahami: Let me give an example. Two Novi Phaedran Warriors are raiding a warehouse full of food. One has a armor-cleaving broadsword while the other has an Armageddon Multi-Launcher. A Risk Management Task Force of Custodian Infantry and the two Dolphin IFV they traveled in arrive. The Novi Phaedran with the Armageddon Multi-Launcher destroys one of the Dolphins. The other Dolphin goes ahead and has its infantry disembark right in front of the two Novi Phaedrans, which means they can only use their pistols and swords in order to distract both while the surviving Dolphin go and pick up the surviving Custodians from the downed Dolphin and drop them a short distance away so they could use their Service Rifles. The Novi Phaedran with the broadsword focus on killing the Custodians that are in a melee with him while the one with the multi-Launcher wants to gain his kills the easy way and rather than helping his teammate with the healthy Custodians in front of them, moves back and fires at the wounded riflemen. The Custodians unfortunately die and the Novi Phaedran gains his kill but is then incinerated from behind by the Dolphin's Plasma Cannon. A few Custodians are killed during the melee with the final Novi Phaedran and give no damage to the Warrior and quickly retreat. As the Warrior is calling them cowards, the Dolphin IFV launches its missile launchers and greatly damage the Novi Phaedran Warrior, who unable to catch up to the more mobile Custodians who dispatch him shortly after.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Can anyone see what they had the Novi Phaedran Warriors didn't?

Cadet Johnson: A sweet ass Plasma Ca-

Dr. Nahami: TEAMWORK, Cadets! Remember this, and remember this well! There is one surefire method to defeating the Novi Phaedran and any evil that may lurk beyond.

You are not Alone.

It doesn't matter if a warband of the best Veterans face off against the greenest of Custodians. As long as you suppress, move, and support each other against the slower Power Armor and play it smart, you'll take them down one at a time and triumph against those who are called gods, who will look upon the inexperienced Custodians and wonder where it all went wrong.

It doesn't matter if the largest Warband ever seen comes knocking on a small FOB the Republic of Maveth has set up in some backwater area on one of Jupiter's moons with only a single Scout Callisto Tank, the Warband is useless if their Warriors split off to find kills to fuel their Apotheosis and will easily fall prey to kill lanes of turrets and mines, constant bombardment from small mortars, harassing drones, and the eternal hail of bullets in all directions from the Militia. The longer that fortification stands, the chances for a lucky kill by a Militiaman with their pathetic SMG increases, the more time it allows Combat Engineers to set up fresh defenses, the more time it allows the Vita Gardens to grow man-eating vines and corrosive mists that can be used as walls whose openings are protected by powerful turrets and gun emplacements. The Scout Tank will fortify itself where the defense is the weakest, supporting the Militia where it is in its most dire need the most. For every gun destroyed, another one is created and now protected by large and sharp vines that are strong as a armored vehicle. In the meantime, the Novi Phaedrans get weaker and weaker every minute even as their Power Armor struggles to stand against the barrage of a thousand pellets slowly eating away at their layers of metal. The Novi Phaedran begin to run out of ammunition for their most powerful arsenal while the Mavethites seem to have no end to their guns and turrets. As the Last Novi Phaedran bravely and foolishly meets his doom to the literal avalanche of bullets after he pushes away the remains of the plant that impaled him earlier, he will wonder where it all went wrong.

It doesn't matter if the goddamn Tyrant himself brings his whole goddamn Autonomous Zone to face off against Raiding Parties of the Carnemicum if he releases his men to do as they please like they did in Gaia. The Carnies would lay down booby traps, set up ambush points, and choose their targets carefully. They'll lure the confidant Novi Phaedrans further into their trap, who will laugh at the sight of the poorly-equipped Raiders riding around in their haphazard cars with guns and armor plating equally haphazardly installed. While the Novi Phaedran Warriors start looting and killing at leisure, the Carnemicum will begin killing or otherwise incapacitating the Initiates, who have no Power Armor and are more likely to be quick enough to always be at range to fire upon the Raiders. Once the Initiates are eliminated, the Flesh Doctors will come in and mutate the Raiders for the second phase. Sure, some Raiders will horribly mutate or even explode horrendously, but bit by bit the Raiders grow stronger. They begin taking out the weakest of the Novi Phaedrans who use ranged weaponry. As soon as the melee-oriented Warriors give chase, the Raiders will lure them to where a few Technicals armed with machine guns are waiting and open fire. The Novi Phaedrans will charge as they shrug off the bullets and destroy the Technicals with relative ease, who could not escape because it was a dead end. A dead end the Novi Phaedrans which the Novi Phaedrans tried to leave but triggered the mines and traps set up by Raiders behind them while they were too busy destroying the Technicals to notice.

[Dr. Nahami paused to take a drink before continuing his passionate theoretical simulation. The classroom, including Custodin Xi-Strasser, were struck with silent awe]

Dr Nahami: With every victory the Carnemites would place more traps and mutate even more with the help of the Flesh Doctors. With every victory they would repair and rebuild their trashy Technicals, but this time using the weapons gained from the defeated Novi Phaedrans. The Novi Phaedrans kill many, but with each loss of their own the noose tightens. Once able to move freely and without care, the Warriors now have to watch every step in fear of tripping on a mine or getting hit by a trap. The more dangerous Ranged Novi Phaedrans are now targeted at this stage. Raiders begin to distract them as the upgraded and mutated Technicals drive in to either fire their powerful guns at their single target, ignoring all other Novi Phaedrans. When their desired target is dead, more Technicals will speed by and carry the Raiders out of range from the survivors who only have powerful two handed weapons. This will go on until the only Novi Phaedrans with ranged weaponry are the elite bodyguard of Tyrant Stravros and those with a Handcannon or Shotpistol. More traps and Mines are laid, more mutations are happening, bigger and better guns placed on Technicals. Fearing attacks from the Technicals now beyond their reach, the surviving Novi Phaedrans will be confined in their little circle, now surrounded by grotesque Raiders, Technicals with Novi Phaedran weapons attached on them, And miles upon miles of traps and mines all around them.

As the noose closes on the surviving Novi Phaedrans with the mutated Technicals sniping the Warriors who now only have blades and axes, I want the fucking Tyrant to wonder where it all went wrong and then get stepped on by a walking mutated cybernetic monstrosity that was once a Carnie Technical that mutated too far! [Imagery to compliment the description

[For the longest time all that was heard was the heavy breathing of Dr. Nahami. After a cough or two and a sip of water, he speaks once more with a weak voice.]

Dr. Nahami: Teamwork, cadets. It is the one thing the three other civilizations have that the Novi Phaedrans lack.

Custodian Xi-Strasser: Wow...um yeah...that was sure something.

[Someone claps, followed by others and soon the whole Classroom was in thunderous applause and cheers]

Cadet Johnson [Screaming]: FUCK YEAH!

Cadet Hanson: I see some errors in the planning and execution, but it is a good way of conveying the concept of teamwork overall.

Cadet Marin [Muterring]: Seriously, if the head honcho of the Novi Phaedrans fought the Carnies, the Dark Genome would have joined the fray and bring whatever they were working on. I heard they were trying to clone old school ArchMedusozoans.

Cadet Powell: Woah.

[The applause gradually dies down]

Dr. Nahami: Well, that is all for today's lecture. Remember to read Chapter 4 of your Custodian Manual of Conduct and write a three page essay about the proper role of Custodians as a police force in a highly contested area. Also before you go give another round of applause to Custodian Xi-Strasser.

[Applause is heard with an "Aw shucks guys" heard in the background, supposedly by Custodian Xi-Strasser.]

[Recording Ends]


EPILOGUE
A knock came from outside Dr. Fahad Nahami's office. The Custodion-Doctor looked up from reviewing the field reports of the Cadets who were undergoing basic survival training with Sgt. Isiah Viper.

"Come in."

The door opened upon the command and a muscular woman with scars all over her face and a cybernetic eye came in wearing a formal Custodian uniform. Her dark hair was cut short, up to her ears. She gave a salute but smiled.

"Custodian Xi-Strasser, a surprise to see you here. Weren't you on Gaia to take part in the security outfit of Princess Sashynia Megat?"

"I was, then I had a tussle with an agent of the Generalissimo." She took a seat across from the Professor.

Dr. Nahami's face grew dark. "Bald, Oriental Features? Dressed immaculately?"

"The very one."

"Damn the Republic. Sticking their noses in things they shouldn't at the slightest whiff of secret projects in the Protectorate. So let me guess, you managed to stop the Agent but he did a number on you? To the point you had to get more Medical Leave?"

The shit-eating grin answered that. Dr. Nahami chuckled as he got up and went to a small bar and poured himself a glass of wine.

"Want any?"

"No thanks. Doctor's orders."

"Well, I am a doctor too." Both the Custodian on Medical Leave and the Custodian who retired gave a heart laugh.

"So came just to see how the crazy Professor is doing?" Dr. Nahami inquired as he took a seat again and sipped his wine. He realized he hated this kind and didn't know why he kept it. A quick dig in his grey matter reminded Fahad that his wife loved it and he stocked it ever since.

"Well yeah. I could never forget the lecture a year ago when a simple discussion about Small Arm Weaponry turned into "how to kick Novi Phaedran ass all the way to Sunday". The thought of a pickup truck sprouting arms and legs to stomp on the leader of the Novi Phaedran still gives me the giggles."

"Heh. Yeah, I guess I was just animated and needed to grill it into the Cadets' heads that powerful guns aren't everything. And I guess, the memories of what happened to my friends and family made me so angry that I needed to find an outlet to trash the Novi Phaedrans."

"Yeah, it was pretty incredible."

"I'm sorry when I cried and put you on the spot. You had to lecture my class for a bit." Dr. Nahami gave a sigh. "I'm pitiful."

"Hey!" Custodian Xi-Strasser leaned forward promptly. "Look at me. Look, Dr. Nah-no, Fahad. We aren't like those people. We don't put down people because we think men shouldn't cry. That's them, not us. You want to cry, you cry. And besides, after the shit you've been through you should cry."

Dr. Nahami gave a sniffle as he took another sip of the wine he hated but the wine his wife loved. "I guess all the responsibility on my shoulder prohibited me from expressing how I really felt. I had to show myself as a grizzled and intellectual Veteran who has seen it all, when it reality I'm a shell-shocked survivor of the biggest clusterfuck in Human History. Did you know I didn't even fire my gun during the whole 2nd Solar Expedition? Yeah, I didn't even shoot anyone and I think I can lecture young kids about weapons. Hah, what a joke." He emptied his glass and looked at the bar and pondered whether he should pour another one. He felt too lazy to sit up from his chair at the moment though.

"Hey, come on now. Don't be too hard on yourself. Even LILITH in all her wisdom couldn't plan the Novi Phaedran virtually uniting and kicking us off under the leadership of the Tyrant."

"Fuck Stravos, Fuck LILITH, fuck this whole thing!" Dr. Nahami snapped. Upon seeing the recoiled and stunned face of Custodian Xi-Strasser, he rubbed his face. "I'm sorry. That was uncalled for."

The massage system activated and calming incense laced with trace elements of relaxing drugs filled the air. The mood quickly lightened and Dr. Nahami felt calmer. .

"Can we please change the subject? How have you been, Custodian?" Dr. Nahami asked as he decided a second glass of wine was actually a good idea all of a sudden and went to the bar again to pour another.

"Eh, just surviving. In a relationship again."

Dr. Nahami gave her a look that was both a look of approval and worry. Custodian Xi-Strasser picked up on it.

"Don't worry. She isn't part of the Custodians or Voyagers. She's an waitress in a small diner here on Dark Earth."

"Ah. Well I hope it works out."

"So do I." She simply said.

An awkward silence went between the two.

"Say, how are those cadets that talked alot?" Custodian Xi-Strasser was the first to break the silence.

"Which ones?"

"Y'know, Parker, Hansel, Jonas, and uh...Merk?" The Custodian scratched her head trying to remember.

"Oh! You mean Powell, Hanson, Johnson, and Miran."

"Yeah them! They were something."

"Though I don't think Powell talked alot." Dr. Nahami opened one of his desk drawers and scrounged around the folders inside. "I understand why LILITH wants Academy files on physical paper, but can't she sacrifice some of her processing power to give us better network security?"

The massage system stopped around this point.

"I know right, but LILITH knows best. She wouldn't want to jeopardize the Custodians if an attack hit the databses."

"Yeah, I guess LILITH knows best." Dr. Nahami sighed as pulled out the folder and looked for the Cadets.

Another burst of relaxing incense was released.

"Let's see...ah yes, Cadet Sasha Hanson is at the top of her training squad and is fasttracked to becoming an Executive Custodian."

Custodian Xi-Strasser gave a whistle. "Damn girl."

"Her analytical abilities and leadership skills has allowed her team to overcome many challenges."

"See, your impassioned speech was inspirational after all!"

To this Dr. Nahami gave a chuckle before he continued. "Cadet Ezekial Miran has chosen "Special Archaeology" as his Custodian M.O. His father is a powerful figure in the archaeological efforts in Mercury and the Cadet is interested in joining his father's efforts after his first tour in the Solar Expedition. What's wrong, Custodian?"

Dr. Nahami looked at Custodian Xi-Strasser as he was talking about Mercury and saw a dark shadow creep over her face.

"I-it's nothing. Continue."

"Erm..alright then." The Professor flipped through some papers before his eyes landed on one and grew sad. "Ah, Gerald Johnson. We lost him too early."

The Custodian lifted her head in curiosity. "Did an accident happen?" To this the professor shook his head.

"The Owls took him."

"Damn." She cursed.

"His desire for Vengeance overtook his duty to Protect. He thought the Custodians didn't do enough to fight the Novi Phaedrans."

"Yeah, I feel like the Owls are getting more and more recruits." Custodian Xi-Strasser bit her lips. A few of friends also joined the Owls and disappeared into the darkest levels of the Ark-Cities of Dark Earth.

Dr. Nahami gave a sad nod. "As we expand our territory more and more, the Custodians are stretched thin. Especially now that we have two Solar Expeditions underway, both of which don't have much to do with Novi Phaedrans. People are starting to feel neglected by the Custodians and have turned to the Owls for their cravings of hatred and retribution."

"And the Owls of Lilith make good on their promise too. Eliminated a whole Autonomous Zone that was known for raiding defenseless groups on Mars. Every Man above a certain age they slaughtered, demanded renunciations of the Novi Phaedran ideals from the womenfolk and killed those that refused, and then kidnapped the youngest orphans, probably to bolster their ranks as future cannon fodder."

Dr. Nahami rubbed his forehead. "It's as if the closer we get to the Better Tomorrow, something comes and threatens to bring us back to the Dark Ages."

"Yeah." The Custodian agreed.

The chair beeped too. But it always beeped at times.

"And Powell?"

To this Dr. Nahami gave a smile. "You wouldn't believe me."

"Try me."

"He has been recommended to the Vanguards after his basic Custodian training."

"Bullshit."

"I told you."

"But.." Custodian Xi-Strasser gave a confused look to her compatriot, "HOW? From what little I know of him, he was the slowest of the bunch."

"That is true, but he is slow because he is patient and careful. You know the Maze, right?"

"Well duh. Huge-ass Maze with all sorts of simulated terrors and enemies you have to beat while trying to complete a variety of asinine objectives for three days?"

"The very one."

"So what does that have to do with Powell?"

"Well, while he wasn't the one who completed the most objectives, slain the most enemies, or even found a way out of the Maze, he managed to complete his objectives in a calm and professional manner while surrounded by things that would scare anyone else. No matter how obtuse the objective task list in whatever hellish area it was in, he would complete it totally."

"But..how did he "survive"? The Custodian gave air-quotes to highlight the fact it was all simulated. "You need speed."

"Powell has speed. What he really lacks is initiative. He is conserving himself for when it really matters."

"What do you mean?"

"Cadet Adam Powell has excellent Marksmanship and Swordsmanship. He may move and act methodically, but when it really mattered he has never missed a shot that counted or deflected a swipe that was lethal. All while doing his objectives at the same time."

"Well shit. But aren't Vanguards super speedy?"

To this the professor gave a chuckle.

"Many are, but it is not the speed that makes the Vanguard. They are usually tasked with critical missions that have extremely low margins of error. What if you had to disarm a nuclear bomb in a minute? Assassinate a Novi Phaedran Warlord at great distances before he unleashes an ancient artifact that could spell doom to the Solar Expeditions? Dueling a master Samurai from the Shigai Clan while your ally is retrieving critical data from a secure server farm? Powell checks off 3/4th of the requirements for recruitment into the Vanguards. 4 out of 5 actually since he shows little fear and demonstrated a clear mind in chaotic situations."

To this the younger Custodian could only shake her head. "Wow, just wow."

"Wow indeed. I'll be honest, I also expected Powell to wash out but the outcome of the Maze flipped my opinion around."

Dr. Nahami stood up and looked at the nearby mirror, at himself. He was of Semitic origin, a mix of Pakistani, Arabic, and Indian as well. His dark skin contrasted with the graying short beard he had. Even with immaculate sleeked back hair and a fancy uniform, the hollows of his cheeks, the marks on his skins, the stare of his eyes showed a man who has been through too much in a short amount of time.

"It pains me sending bright young people, full of hope and energy, to suffer what I have suffered. Even if it's for the Better Tomorrow, how many must be lost we achieve peace and prosperity for all? It can be all so heavy and tiresome at times."

Patricia gain a sad nod. "I feel the same way. It's like, will I ever get out alive tomorrow just to text my girlfriend. Will the wars wage so long that by the time I retire and return to her we'll be old grannies. And even if we do have children, will the Solar Expeditions continue in their lifetime and I have to live every day knowing they'll come back in a coffin?"

Both went silent to further reflect on the present.

"Professor, I have something to confess. I don't know why I"m telling you, but I feel like you are someone I can confide in and I really need to get this worry off my chest."

"What is it, Miss Xi-Strasser?"

"I think we'll have a another Solar Expedition."

Dr. Nahami gave a sad sigh. "An unfortunate situation, but not surprising given current events."

"That isn't the thing, Dr. Nahami. This Solar Expedition is heading inwards."

Silence.

"I don't understand."

"I don't understand much either, but some...friends of mine in important places said that LILITH is planning on sending a Solar Expedition right into Mercury and Venus. Supposedly increased Vanguard activity has been reported by locals and the logs of many of the large transport ships of the Voyagers seem to point to Venus and Mercury. I-I don't know why or when, but it scares me."

"Why does it scare you, Custodian?" Though truth be told, a gnawing feeling began to grow in his stomach.

"The strangeness of it. If this is true, why? Why point a Solar Expedition at our own backyard when we have the Novi Phaedran to worry. Reports have been coming in that Tyrant Stravros is mustering a large Warband once again to ravage the whole Solar System. Why not point the next Solar Expedition at that and instead at two planets known only for raw material mining and angry Socialists? I love LILITH with all my heart but this action scares me."

"Yes, it is troubling. I can now see why you gave a peculiar face when I mentioned Miran joining an archaeological site in Mercury. I'll keep an eye out and ask some discrete colleagues for anything and let you know."

Patricia nodded her head.

"And let us keep this between us, alright?"

The Custodian nodded her head again.

"Well, I must get home soon so we will have to discuss this another time." The Professor said as he went back to his desk and began packing his items.

"How will I be able to contact you?"

"You don't. I will contact you when I have more to follow on."

"Erm, alright Doctor Nahami."

The two of them shook hands and Custodian Patricia Xi-Strasser left the corridor as Fasad Nahami turned off all his lights and put his chair on Stand By Mode. Then he locked the door and began walking home. Yes, Fasad will have to contact some old "friends" of his.

STAND BY

STAND BY

STAND BY
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

User avatar
Heretic
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: IN AMERICA

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Heretic » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:22 pm

Siege wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:00 pm
Although I'm having a hard time seeing how tanks and power armor are seriously contested by something called a Carnie Technical, I love the descriptions you've given us so far :-D .
Yeah, the Carnemicum are relatively weak, but make up for it with dirty tricks. The Carnie Technical is mostly focused on transporting troops around very very fast, but it can also become an extreme glass cannon, dealing heavy damage but practically crumbling if anyone looks at it mean.
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Siege » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:24 pm

That's an interesting way to present what otherwise might be a pretty dry technical dissertation on the various kinds of weapons in use, Heretic. Love the way you spotlight some of the more... incongruous elements of your setting. The various different characters come through pretty well, even though (or perhaps because) it's all dialogue. And it's pretty telling how everything that even vaguely reeks of disconcerting enemy abilities is all lies, slander, rumours and propaganda :-D .
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Heretic
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: IN AMERICA

Re: Project Epsilon (Science Fantasy Wargame/Tabletop RPG concept)

Post by Heretic » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:32 pm

Groups 1, part 1 of 2

AAAGGHHHHHHH!!!!

This is taking longer than expected so I'm cutting it into sections, releasing the Custodial Protectorate and Republic of Maveth parts first and will release the Novi Phaedran and Carnemicum section later. Jokes on me for trying to do extensive backgrounds on four groups of each of the four Factions.

Thanks to Invictus and his ramblings on Comix!, I rediscovered my cringe characters like Captain Capitalism and Socialist Hawk (Holy shit, it's been an actual fucking decade since I first created Sam and Wolfe Trask), and I've decided to own up to my shit....

and what better way than to put them in the Project Epsilon universe!

Oh yeah, groups. So this post and the post afterwards deals specifically with four nations/Cylinders/Autonomous Zones/Houses of each of the four factions. After I do the three Independent Minor Faction and the Trask Sphere characters from imported from Comix, I am gonna write one thing for each faction or write lots of of things for one faction each post instead of trying to cram all this shit in one go. FML.

This is a rough draft and subject to changes, but I just need to put something out there or I'll go mad. Been working on this for months now. Some groups, especially near the end of each faction, feel kinda rushed, so feel free to ask for clarifications or ask any questions if something doesn't seem clear.

Nations of the Custodial Protectorate

Our Dark Earth
We Will Shine Again

Overview
Our Dark Earth is nominally an independent nation, but many consider it a weak puppet state that is controlled by the overall Custodial Protectorate. Indeed when people think of Dark Earth they think of the Protectorate as a whole and not the global nation known as Our Dark Earth, and with good reason: many core features of the Protectorate reside in Dark Earth, from LILITH to the Academy to many government organizations that from the vast Protectorate were all born on the Cradle of Humanity.

Capital: London
Government Type: Representative Democratic Federation
Head of State: Secretary-General Aanya Laghari
Population: 11 Billion
Currency: The Credit
Territory: All of Dark Earth except for the Ark-City of Mumbai
History
While the history of Earth is ancient and the history of the Custodial Protectorate fairly venerable as well, Our Dark Earth's history is a fairly recent one. It was formed in the 2699 Treaty of Hope when the planets conquered by LILITH and her Custodial Protectorates were allowed their own independent governments as long as they still paid homage to the tenants upheld by the Protectorate. In order to allay fears of imperial ambitions as well as show herself as above human politics, LILITH had Dark Earth create its own sovereign government. This allowed the Custodial Protectorate to be seen as a multi-planetary organization that served all rather than one region.

Despite this, many of the Custodial Protectorate's most important infrastructure still resides on Dark Earth, notably LILITH, the Academy that trains all the Custodians, and the main offices that manage and monitor the Protectorate across all their planets and satellites. Most of this is limited to the mega Ark-City of Mumbai, and 90 percent of Dark Earth is under Our Dark Earth's control. Unfortunately many people connect the Protectorate with Dark Earth and quite a few, especially those outside of the Protectorate, are surprised to learn of the existence of Our Dark Earth.

Right from the word go, Our Dark Earth had the inglorious task of rebuilding the ravages of wars before and during the reunification of the planet by LILITH. Earth was already littered with arcologies from the Solar Federation, and the process of tearing them down and rebuilding was long and ponderous. Many of its wards joined the Custodians and Voyagers for the adventure and good pay, so the reconstruction process took even longer. To make things worse, there were still active security systems from the Great Worm Crisis that re-activated upon construction workers coming nearby. LILITH helped fund the creation of the Peacekeepers who protect workers and clear out hostile holdouts in order to speed up this global renovation project. Gradually and painstakingly Dark Earth was rebuilt with new Ark-Cities, mega-parks, and controlled wilderness zones.

But Our Dark Earth would would not rest long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The Novi Phaedrans, considering the Custodial Protectorate as a threat, began launching small but frequent raids on Dark Earth. When Mumbai refused to fall victim, the rest of the planet suffered in the hands of their mortal enemy. Our Dark Earth's capital of London itself was critically hurt when a small Warband decimated whole city blocks and killed 2/3rd of the government officials there. It was only with the help of the Custodians who were called back from the 1st Solar Expedition that the Novi Phaedrans were wiped out. While thankful to the Protectorate for the help, the government of Our Dark Earth still felt a ting of bitterness that while the Protectorate grows stronger and popular, Our Dark Earth is usually forgotten and takes the brunt of whatever tragedy occurs on Dark Earth.

Under the leadership of Secretary-General Aanya Laghari, the government of Our Dark Earth has begun a push to gentrify all the Ark-Cities and improve its image. Peacekeepers have begun becoming militarized in their Pacification Missions through the more troublesome Ark-Cities such as Neo-Kowloon, Seattle, and St. Petersburg. More Peacekeepers have also begun fighting alongside Custodians in more irregular operations after the confrontations between the Carnemicum and the Custodial Protectorate, their skills and equipment better suited against the fast and dirty Raiders than what the Custodians are trained for. Expeditions to collect and research Antediluvian Artifacts appearing all over Dark Earth have also created a stream of jobs and revenue, but this has caused tensions between the official archaeological teams and the gangs and cults who also jealousy hoard them.

Economy
Non-renewable resources have longed been exhausted when Dark Earth was just known as Earth. LILITH had to rely on reusing aging equipment and recycling the aftermaths of the Great Worm Virus to eke by a victory that finally unified Dark Earth. While Gaia, Venus, and Mercury provide much of the raw materials for the Custodial Protectorate now, Dark Earth still plays an important role in its economy. Not only is Earth the most inhabited planet in the Solar System, it serves as the manufacturing base for many goods, especially consumer goods. Raw resources come in, goods come out. Most of Dark Earth's economy, however, comes from construction. Even though the great Ark-Cities that dot the planet have been around for a long time, frequent repairs and renovations take place. The smart materials used in some of the buildings get old, the store owner wants to expand and needs to renovate, or a family who needs rooms a certain. In the rare and tragic times a Novi Phaedran attack requires extensive reconstruction as well. The demand for construction workers isn't contained to Dark Earth alone. Many are sent to Mars, Mercury, and Venus to work on large construction programs and due to the dangerous environment, whether physically or politically, are paid handsomely.

Another large employer is the Custodial Protectorate herself. Many Custodians, both the military arm and the civic arm, come from Dark Earth and are usually centered around Mumbai, the capital of the Protectorate. Even though Our Dark Earth is independent, it is heavily dependent on it for protection and jobs and wards can come and go from Mumbai without need for Visas. In fact, many important government figures in Our Dark Earth once worked in the Custodial Protectorate and in Mumbai to gain experience before jumping into local Dark Earth politics.

Most food that is not imported from the Bright Kingdom of Gaia or the Juno Sister Republic is grown in hydroponic gardens. Each Ark-City has a large communal farm that grows the basic staples, but smaller farms run by local neighborhoods, organizations, or even gangs are frequent as well. Personal indoor gardens are also popular, usually cultivated by automated systems in the habitat. Most wards in Dark Earth are vegetarians by nature and most meat are soy substitutes. While many are content with the situation, some still crave real meat and form Flesh Clubs, which will be elaborated more in the Culture subsection.

Government and Ideology
Our Dark Earth is a representative democratic federation consisting of all the Ark-Cities. The Federal Congress is bicameral, with a Representative Congress and a Senate. Each Ark-City sends two delegate, the democratically elected Representative and the Senator personally elected by the Governor of each Ark-City. The Ministry of Peace and Harmony serves as the Judicial Branch of Our Dark Earth, upholding the Constitution and maintaining the Peacekeepers. The Peacekeepers are under civilian control due to fear of abuse and Junta-esque behaviors commonly seen in the Republic of Maveth. The fact that the current Secretary-General has increased militarization of the Peacekeepers has not been lost to people.

Each Ark-City is ruled by a Governor and their own small Representative Congress comprised of delegates from each subsection of the Ark-City. Special Interest Groups have a seat as well, but these representatives are only allowed in debates and not allowed to vote. While many are straightforward, some such as the Neo-Kowloon Ark-City have crime-funded politicians or even have representatives from the other Factions like the Republic of Maveth and the Novi Phaedrans to give a diverse range of thought no matter how controversial, like in the Ark-City of Buenos Aires.

The Custodial Protectorate obviously has a strong presence in Dark Earth, especially Mumbai. Many of the reports sent to the Secretary-General in London go to Prime Minister Sophia Tetrana 2.3 and LILITH. Advisers from the Protectorate are a common sight in many areas of Dark Earth government and while they officially offer "advice" and serve as intermediates between the Protectorate and Our Dark Earth, many believe them as the true puppet masters of Dark Earth, pulling the strings of the local government when needed. LILITH also has a much stronger presence here and has been known to override Our Dark Earth's edicts for the greater good of the Protectorate. As she has tremendous support with the population, the local government always look away at this blatant trampling of their sovereignty.

Our Dark Earth are loyal to the Custodial Protectorate and copy its progressive ideals to the letter, but there is still some tension. Our Dark Earth is hoping to shed the stereotype that it's a puppet of the Custodial Protectorate. Even while it is very cosmopolitan, many Dark Earthers want to build a sense of identity beyond that of the Custodial Protectorate. It portrays itself as a moderate to its approach of the Protectorate's tenants with Gaia being the most zealous and Mars being the more reserved.

Culture
The culture in Our Dark Earth is like Yin and Yang. On one side a strong element of Community, Progressivism, and Hope befitting the origin and center of the Custodial Protectorate exists. On the other, the deep scars of Dark Earth's bitter history still resides deep in the psyche of the population. While the standards of living and civil rights are excellent all across the board, a sort of culture shock have affected quite a few and it manifested in a variety of peculiar, even gruesome, ways.

Dark Earth Ark-Cities are divided by subsections consisting of segments of the extremely tall spires. Each subsection has a dominant culture that usually hearkens back to an older Earth culture. Heavily focused on community, holidays are usually big and public rather than private affairs. The most common one is the Powwow and the New Year Celebrations. The Powwow is focused on a few subsections of the Ark-City getting together and sharing what they have with everyone. Be it special dishes, works of art, tools, favorite toys, or anything else. It allows the people to get to know each other and form bonds. New Years is a bit more somber, with people reflecting on the previous year and figuring how to improve themselves and bring the Better Tomorrow. The government, both global and local, discuss on multimedia platforms their failings, hopes, and plans for the future. This, it is hope, brings more transparency in government. Despite the reflective mood, celebrations are even more tremendous and food, drinks, and medicines for the day after are given out freely. All work in New Years Day is automated by LILITH and volunteers less keen on the crazy parties or needing to build a rep.

Even though things like virtual reality games and movies exist, LILITH has regulated usage of VR to two hours, more during holidays and off-days, and even then many are networked to force people to interact with each other. Most games are multiplayer, even those focused on single player elements like scripted stories and intelligent bots. VR movies usually have the user join a virtual movie theater, whether it's public or for private groups. Recreational drugs are common and medicine have allowed people to quickly get out of the effects when needed. Harder drugs are highly controlled, requiring licenses to use, and something gangs have a hand in the illicit trade of.

LILITH controls the infrastructure of all the Ark-Cities with good efficiency. Food, Shelter, Medical and Mental Care, Education and the other necessities of life are provided for free of cost. This gives Our Dark Earth one of the highest standards of living only rivaled by the Bright Kingdom of Gaia in the Solar System. Most of the heavy manufacturing is done by LILITH and most of the jobs given to humans are more artisanal goods. While hard, the jobs are not dangerous and short, allowing the wardsto do whatever hobbies they might have, be it painting, music, dancing, amateur film making, game design, urban exploring, lovemaking, antique collecting, legal vehicle races, or what have you. Many Dark Earthers are masters of their craft.

Despite being the birthplace of many of humanity's religions, many Dark Earthers are atheist or irreligious like many of the other planets of the Custodial Protectorate, believing in the Humanist Progressivism LILITH put forth long ago. Any religious trappings in some cultural acts are more for the culture rather than any theological belief. About 60 percent are irreligious, while 30 percent revere LILITH as a divine figure and the remaining 10 percent being either of one of the old religions or part of a Cult.

Dark Earth has its dark secrets, and these are in the form of Cults, Flesh Clubs, and Gangs. Gangs are usually harmless thrill seekers, but some have become more extreme and even murderous. Reasons include desire for power in a mostly egalitarian world, wanting to take extrajudicial actions against those they believe wronged, and need for items and services prohibited by the Protectorate such as unlicensed hard drugs or underground blood sports. The biggest gangs are the Triads located in Neo-Kowloon as well as the Old Club in Ark-City of New York. Despite increased Peacekeeper presence in those Ark-Cities with higher crime rates the criminal organizations are dug in tight and have networks and operations all across Dark Earth and beyond. Rumor has it some organizations, especially the Triads, have a close connection with the mythical terrorist organization known as the Owls of LILITH.

Cults in Dark Earth usually refer to those religious groups that worship Antediluvian technology as divine. While all wards of the Protectorate have a respect for the mysterious and oft-understood technology that keeps their society functioning, Cultists take it to a whole other level. They have temples built around large Antediluvian Artifacts, undertake pilgrimages to museums full of such Artifacts, and even worship and perform rituals near Haemotechnological Infrastructure. They believe Humanity were once literal gods and that LILITH is a messenger trying to bring their rightful glory back. By worshiping and meditating upon these Artifacts one can get closer to unlocking physical divinity. While controversial, many have been left alone though heavily monitored by Peacekeepers. Some Cults become extreme if they believe the Protectorate is too slow in elevating all of humanity to their rightful godhood. With Custodial Archaeologists beginning to excavate more Artifacts and taking them away to secret research facilities while also confiscating Artifacts they deem sensitive or dangerous, these extremists have begun attacking those they deemed as heretics and raiding museums and research facilities for more Artifacts. Some of these ancient relics have terrible powers which the Cults are more than happy to use on themselves and their foes with abandon, believing their divinity is just around the corner. This has made Cults a great threat to the stability of Dark Earth. The Peacekeepers have a special task force purely dedicated to fighting the Cult threat. Despite this their numbers have continued to grow as more shell-shocked Custodians and refugees tell about the fantastical and horrible things out there, some relating to the Artifacts. Despite the ability to cause great damage, the most dangerous and successful Cults and many of the members have disappeared, last seen secretly moving to Owl of LILITH hotspots such as Neo-Kowloon and The Great Lakes Ark-City.

Flesh Clubs are extremely controversial in Our Dark Earth and a sore point. Even though Mars eats meat, it is rare and more efficient to grow protein sources than spend so much time, space, and energy feeding one cow. Meat can be imitated almost perfectly well with a combination of vegetables like soy and chemicals. The imitation meat has the same texture, taste, and protein as real meat. So to go eating actual meat tissue is a cause of disgust and morbid curiosity in many. Some psychologists theorized that in a sexually-liberated society like the Protectorate, consuming flesh is a way of venting out pent up frustrations and rebelling against a society deemed perfect. Another reason is that some people in these clubs believe meat is what made humanity strong. To them, the vegetarian, soy-based diet has caused humans in the Protectorate to be weak and point to Novi Phaedrans as proof of the power of meat (detractors quickly point to the Democratic City-State of Fos and the Neos Lacedaemon, who rely mostly on legumes and are considered the most fit people in the Solar System). Most contend to vat-grown meat made from living tissues, which while controversial are tolerated in many Ark-Cities. Those who want to experience something or shock friends and family usually go to these clubs and record themselves eating it once and never doing it again. Much more controversial is the breeding, butchering, and cooking of live animals. Rats, insects, fish, and occasionally poultry are the fare for those who want to experience something more primal. Blood is also consumed in frequent amounts, members seeing the importance Haemotechnology has in the running and protecting the Custodial Protectorate, wanting to channel some of that power into them. Some have taken to meat-eating and blood-drinking with such relish they begin eating the meat raw. At the more extreme end, in secret cliques within a few of the Clubs, are those who partake in Cannibalism. Using illicit biotech bought from the Carnemicum, the cannibals sacrifice one or two part of their body, usually a limb here and kidney there, to be cooked and served in exclusive and lavish banquets. Blood is shed into special cups that prevent clotting and shared with everyone in these dark festivities.This is illegal and many cannibals do their deed in extreme secrecy and paranoia. At the bottom of the heap are the Ghouls. Ghouls take their cannibalism to the extreme by raiding morgues to eat the dead or even murder in glee in order to feast on warm blood and fresh, pulsing hearts. Ghouls are the image many people have when thinking of Flesh Clubs, and many members who partake in the safer methods of cannibalism still worry that they too might one day succumb. It is rumored that many of the founders and leaders of the Owls of LILTH lead their own Flesh Clubs.

To understand why a Dark Earther would go down a dark path, imagine being a wards of the Dark Earth. You were raised in a colossal group of columns of steel and for most of your life lived in one of these columns of steel. You lived, played, learned, slept, loved, and will probably die in this column of steel. People call all these columns an Ark-City, part of Dark Earth, part of the Custodial Protectorate, part of the Solar System, but to you this Ark-City was your whole world. One of your fathers worked in manufacturing while your other father is a Custodian out in a Solar Expedition. During her leaves, she tells you all the adventures and horrors she has seen in the Solar System. It's gripping stuff, but it is distant. Your family is irreligious, but many of your friends revere LILITH and you think you have a cousin who is an adherent of the older religions. Someone jokingly mentioned that cousin was a Mavethite agent but you don't know, he always give you cool toys. You know all your neighbors and the local places extremely well, the Powwows and other holidays being extremely fun and well-organized. The Blood Tax comes and goes, and you get a cookie and orange juice for some of your blood every two months or so. Sure, there's a youth gang but they prefer to paint graffiti and place sculptures made from junk in the middle of the street as a sort of statement so they're not that big of a problem. All your needs and even some of your wants are met courtesy of the infrastructure built into the Ark-Cities and even your own room by LILITH and the Custodial Protectorate. You believe in the Protectorate's ideals fully and live your life helping others and bettering yourself.

Then one day your class is taken on a field trip. You are filled with excitement. Until now you never been to more than a dozen subsections of your Ark-City. Your class heads to Mumbai and it blows your mind. It dwarfs your Ark-City in almost every way, and with style to boot. Just as your brain is still processing it all, you meet members from the other planets. Sure, you've seen a few tourists and immigrants here and there, but the otherness of the other planets is in full display. The hardy Martian who look like she can rip iron with her bare hands, the noble Gaian who glows with a holy light and shows their inhuman swordmanship, the grumpy and somewhat scrawny Mercurial who let you shoot his gun outside, much to the chagrin of the Custodians nearby (your teacher harshly reprimanded you). It was incredible.

But it was also terrible. You now learned how small you were in the scheme of things. Your subsection of the Ark-City was enormous but it is dwarfed by everything else out there. You led a boring, meaningless life. Whatever you now did won't mean much for the Custodial Protectorate when you really looked at it, no matter what your teachers, parents, or LILITH said. At best you'll join the Custodians and die in one of the many grueling wars in the Solar Expedition. As you get older you start realizing how many casualties the Custodians have taken against a foe much smaller than them. Even though rare, Novi Phaedran intrusions into Dark Earth when put together have caused about a few million casualties. That's the size of your subsection. Your whole world could be destroyed and no one would really care. Reconstruction and repopulation would commence after maybe a month of mourning and eulogies. It didn't matter how close you were to your people, a thousand things could destroy your single column of steel in a hive of similar columns, one of many in Dark Earth.

And while they were polite, you began getting the impression the other planets of the Protectorate view you as damaged, a scarred and deeply troubled person. They treat Dark Earthers like elderly with a disease that might reappear anytime. They talk about how despite being pampered and the center of attention, Dark Earth has the most crime in the Protectorate. Unlike them, the other planets have insinuated, Dark Earth still had its shameful past tattooed on its face. "That's just the way you are, sad as it is." They say as they pat you on the head before congregating away from you. You tell your fathers, who sadly shrug their shoulders and agree. You are shocked. Wasn't the Protectorate all about going above and beyond what people expected you, believing that anyone can change? While you still love the Protectorate, a bit of your faith is shaken.

You grow up. Maybe you join the Custodians to make a difference. Most likely you'll flush out and get lucky and join the Peacekeepers instead. Most likely you'll land a manufacturing or construction job like your dad did. As a Peacekeeper you'll feel useful but see many things that will haunt you to this day. As a general worker life is fairly easy but it'll become tedious and boring. You'll throw yourself into the pleasures and leisures Dark Earth ahs to offer with fervor. For a while, things are fine. But then it begins. Either the nightmares gets worse or you begin to realize how empty your life is. You take a hobby and maybe you'll feel better and go on with your life, start a family or something. Or maybe not. Maybe after the small window you looked into of the greater Solar System, you cannot bear the same old shit. The same people, the same conversations, the same things you do, the same smiles. Maybe you want to make a difference. Maybe you're bored. Maybe you are victim of those rare Novi Phaedran attacks that people say are statistically extremely improbably and as you hold your dying father's hand surrounded by slain family and friends while the Peacekeepers try and fail to stop the terrorists and require Custodians to arrive, you crave vengeance or a way to mitigate the pain.

You want something more. You want to be more. Anything to kill this ennui.

You join a gang. It's thrilling even if it gets morally dubious the longer you are in. It starts with graffiti and harassing Peacekeepers, but gradually thefts and brawls begin to become more frequent. Soon grand thefts and murders are the name of the game. You don't even need the goods, just the thrill of the heist. Maybe you joined a vigilante gang, protecting your community from traitors and bad guys. And to protect people, you need resources, resources the ungrateful citizens wont' Maybe instead of a gang you join a cult to fill this emptiness for something greater. LILITH is too normal, how about Antediluvian Artifacts? They have power that you can bask in and maybe even one day harness, they are ancient beyond ancient, and even the Protectorate relies on them. Why not venerate those instead? It's more harmless than a gang, right? That is until the Outsiders want to take away your Idols with their heretical hands. As you channel your life energy to the Master of the Great Staff and melt the archaeologists' face, you think to yourself how the Gaians and Martians could never do something like this, those arrogant ponces. Maybe you join a Flesh Club, wondering what it'd be like to eat meat. You start with small slices of the vat-grown stuff. Eating it feels peculiar, but hey it's an experience. Then you partake in more and more quantities. You begin spouting facts and theories about meat-eating many of your relatives and co-worked call quack science. They don't understand. It was weird eating your first cooked fish, but it was enjoyable even though you almost choked on a bone and had the others in the Club laugh at your Hazing. Soon it branched off to finely cooked rodents, insects, and even the occasional poultry. Blood was also consumed frequently; blood is what fuels the powerful Protectorate, so surely it would have powers for the human, nevermind you had to take lots of medicine and even rush to the hospital from consuming diseased bags of the stuff. You love meat and blood so much you start eating it raw. You drink other people's blood and they drink yours. You meet the leader of the Club and he gives you a steak dinner. Then and there you declare your loyalty to him and join the Inner Circle. He tells you that thanks to "certain friends" they can regrow limbs and body parts relatively quick. This has allowed a form of ritual cannibalism to take place in this secret clique of the Club. One or more members would sacrifice their body parts for the lavish dinners thrown by the leader, everyone partaking in finely crafted dishes based around the human meat. You join your leader in feasting on the flesh of the dead, sometimes having gangs steal bodies from the morgue and crypts to partake in. The dead don't need their bodies, so why the waste? The dying woman is doomed anyway so why the waste? They deserved it, so why the waste? At this point, you are either blackmailed or already far too gone to exit out.

Maybe you'll learn the errors of your way and repent, maybe you'll end your life fighting Peacekeepers or even the Custodians you once looked up to, maybe you succeed and lead a group of like-minded individuals yourself. Maybe, just maybe, as you scream in righteous fury and tear apart the serial killer who turned out to be a Novi Phaedran Iniate, you'll encounter not the Peacekeepers but an alluring, elegantly dressed individual. They ask if you want to make a difference and avenge those you lost or protect the ones you love dearly. You say yes, for the Peacekeepers are slow and the Custodians don't care about the masses down in the Ark-Cities. As they sink their teeth into your neck, they confide dark plans into your ears.

The thrill, the shocked faces, the news report talking about you every day, the power you wield, the scream of your enemies as you crack their skull for what they did to your loved ones, or the sense of community that is deeper than even that of your home. There are things even a perfect society cannot provide. People may wonder where it all went wrong for you.

But to you, it was the most logical thing in the world to do.


Military
As the center of the Custodial Protectorate, many Custodians of the military arm, both serving, training, and retired, reside in Dark Earth. But with most of the Custodians stationed in Mumbai near or in the Academy and Solar Expeditions taking many to far-flung reaches of the System, Our Dark Earth needed their own brand of security, and the Peacekeepers are that.

Peacekeepers are first and foremost trained to serve their local communities in non-violent ways. Non-confrontational methods are preferred first before resulting in force. They are equipped with a stun baton and ranged taser most of the time, only using the outdated Type 9 Autopistol Mk. 1 for more serious situations. There's been a controversial move by the current Secretary-General Aanya Laghari to "update" the standard Peacekeeper with heavier weaponry and armor in wake of increased Novi Phaedran attacks and to protect archaeological teams tasked with collecting Antediluvian Artifacts. Type 5.56 "Warden" Carbines, similar to the Custodian's service rifle but smaller and lighter with a underbarrel grenade launcher. Payloads include "Peace Grenades" which release a calming gas, conventional smoke grenades, flashbangs, stun grenades releasing shocking electricity, and if necessary, Fragmentation Grenades. While their armor is high-end and able to resist a good deal of small arms fire and fragmentation, it pales in comparison to the Custodians' Combat Suits, with a harness system and grappling hook attached to allow for rapid access around the many skyscrapers of an Ark-City if need be.

Members of Special Operations Task Force are units of specially trained Peacekeepers sent in to deal with dangerous groups such as Novi Phaedrans, Artifact Cults, violent organized crime, and extremist Flesh Clubs who turned Ghoul. They are equipped with better armor, have access to the Type 10 AUtomatic Shotgun - Clip Fed System, and are implanted and trained with Jetpacks that connect to the body via cybernetics. This allows the Peacekeeper to zip around inaccessible parts of the high-rising cityscape relatively quickly. One of the most famous Task Forces are Task Force 666 and Task Force 39. Task Force 666, nicknamed "The Heretics", are assigned to the task of identifying dangerous Artifact Cults and if possible, contain them, if not, eliminate them. They have an arsenal of dangerous Artifacts of their own to counteract any Cult doomsday weapons they may face against. Task Force 39 was one of the first SOTF Peacekeeper units to join a Solar Expedition, originally as advisers to Custodians on Carnemicum tactics, but gradually have begun tagging alongside Vanguards in impromptu special operations deep within enemy lines against all manners of foe.

Places of Interest
Most inhabitants dwell in vast self-sufficient skyscrapers and the larger starscrapers clustered together to make an Ark-City surrounded by industrial parks and wildlife reserves. 90 percent of Humanity in Dark Earth reside in 30 percent of its total land mass, with the remaining 70 percent being left to heal from environmental damages long ago. Notable wildlife reserves include Madagascar, Australia, the American Midwest, and Africa.

LONDON is the capital of Our Dark Earth. Unlike Mumbai, London's Ark-City design is more conservative and spread out, resembling more of a conventional city with mega skyscrapers dotting around the place. The Ministry of Peace and Harmony also reside here, so a huge Peacekeeper presence exists to keep a watch on things. After a tragedy in the past in which 8 Novi Phaedrans massacred a good number of the top officials during a New Years Party, a contingency of Custodian Infantry have been stationed here. London is known for having the largest museum dedicated to Earth's past in Westminister Palace, including a good number of Antediluvian Artifacts. This has painted a big target on the palace and security is almost as high as in the Parliamentary Hall.

The humongous Ark-City of JAKARTA is jokingly called "the Exurbs of Mumbai" and is considered the largest Ark-City in Our Dark Earth (Mumbai being considered part of the Custodial Protectorate as a whole despite being magnitudes larger), practically taking up 1/3 of the old Indonesian territory. It is where all the families of the workers in Mumbai live or a place for those hoping for a job in the Custodial Protectorate's glorious capital to reside. Many employees in Mumbai head back to their families in Jakarta during the weekends or on holidays. Because of its close proximity to Mumbai, there is also a large retired Custodian population who volunteer in Peacekeeper operations in their spare time. This has led Jakarta to be the safest place in all of Dark Earth aside from Mumbai.

The GREAT LAKES Ark-Citiy is built on the ancient lake beds and merged the old cities of Cleveland, Toronto, Chicago, Milwaukee, Thunder Bay, Detroit, and dozens of other smaller ones. It is on par in size with Jakarta, though with a smaller population. Its economy is based on general manufacturing of all sorts, from small artisanal crafts to heavy, AI-assisted industry. A major criminal presence, mostly dealing in black market rare earth metals and weaponry, has caused headaches for London. Owl of Lilith operatives have made this city a base of operations and supposedly recruit heavily from the gangs here.

The TOKYO Ark-City serves as a huge server farm for LILITH, augmenting her already powerful ones deep within Mumbai. Only about 6 million peoples live here, mostly System Architects, Network Administrators, AI Caretakers, and Comptrollers. Whole subsections of the Ark-City are empty except for automated systems, cold rooms for super mainframes that run billions chunks of data every second, and experimental holographic forks of LILITH. Some of these forks are exaggerated caricatures of various aspects of LILITH's personality, some of them REALLY weird. While for the most part harmless, locals suggest not interacting with these fae-like Ais for too long.

SEOUL is one huge hospital and medical R&D facility first and Ark-City second. Prestigious Medical Schools dot the Ark-City as well as highly sensitive labs that implode in a controlled nuclear burst in case of critical contamination breaches. Custodians in critical condition or with strange symptoms are sent here. A huge wall manned with aerial purification drones and huge turbine blowers stretch along the old DMZ line, ready to isolate a good half of the peninsula in case of a major epidemic released from one of the critical security medical labs. Rumor has it that top researchers are being sent to Venus and Mercury for "advising" purposes.

BEIJING is an old Ark-City that got sidelined by the likes of Mumbai and Jakarta. It is another general manufacturing center, but has their own spaceport allowing for resources to directly be imported to them with little need for middle men. Beijing is notable because of the large number of Tongs residing there. Secret societies of mostly Chinese descent, The Tongs have been known to have connections to Triads in places like Neo-Kowloon, but that isn't what made the Custodial Protectorate keep an eye on them. The Tongs also have connections with the Republic of Maveth, notably those of a more Sinocentric nature. This has allowed teh Republic to bypass mainstream and restrictive channels through the Protectorate with the help of their friends in Beijing. This has turned the Ark-City into a center for black market goods and espionage where Peacekeepers and Custodians fight a shadow war with Triads armed with Mavethite weaponry and gear, sometimes being supported by Republican Agents.

The infamous NEO-KOWLOON Ark-City is a sore spot for Our Dark Earth. Consisting of all of Hong Kong and the surrounding areas, Neo-Kowloon is the smallest of the major Ark-Cities but also the most colorful. The light of the Better Tomorrow wanes in the gritty and neon-lit starscrapers above, and people here only care about what's in front of them (or so the stereotype goes). Flesh Clubs are rampant and meat is sold normally in open street markets, Artifact Cults mingle with powerful politicians, gangs are semi-official groups and even have offices you can call, and it is said the the Owls of LILITH call Neo-Kowloon home. Even with increased Peacekeeper and Custodian presence actively trying to pacify and gentrify the rebellious city, it has not worked, for the shadows are deeply embedded all over the eternally dark city.

The frozen ST. PETERSBURG Ark-City pales in comparison to its bigger sister Moscow in almost every way. Focusing on chemical processing and recycling, St. Petersburg is the topic of a very peculiar (and troubling) rumor. Many parts of Europe and North America are the most targeted areas for Novi Phaedran attacks due to their belief that the areas there are now "Degenerate" and were once the centers of "Western Culture". St. Petersburg was no exception, but one day a large warband of an unknown Autonomous Zone came down. They killed attacking Peacekeepers and Custodians, but did not commit any atrocities or genocide. Upon looting a good number of warehouses and stores for supplies, the Novi Phaedrans disappeared (much to the bewilderment of the Custodial Protectorate, having LILITH being a sort of omniscient and omnipresent role in all of Our Dark Earth). After that, future Novi Phaedran warbands all suffered gruesome deaths at the hand of an unknown enemy. LILITH is mute on the subject and government officials state that Novi Phaedrans dwelling deep within the Protectorate would be suicidal and impossible. In other news, recent reports speak of a reactionary vigilante gang and Artifact Cult known as the Revenant Boyars expanding their territory by assimilating smaller gangs and annihilating those that refuse, using weaponry and armor frighteningly similar to Novi Phaedran gear....

The NEW YORK Ark-City is one of the most grandiose Ark-Cities barring Mumbai. A dozen Starscrapers touch the stratosphere, transporting people in automated public and private flyers zipping around and inside the colossal super-structures. Whole cities reside in each subsection, each with long histories and colorful cultures. New York does alot of construction work and agriculture, feeding most of the population with their mega-hydroponic districts. The lower subsections are run by gangs who run illicit farms and kitchen labs, supplying items such as hard drugs, corrosive acids, and beef. The most powerful of these gangs is the Old Suits, a throwback to the old Italian Mafia types. They call the fringes and darker subsections of New York home, and will do anything to keep in power.

BUENOS AIRES is an interesting Ark-City. On the surface it is a normal, self-sufficient area full of Starscrapers surrounded by smaller skyscrapers, but it is when you look deeper that makes it interesting. Despite tensions between all the other factions, Buenos Aires has allowed small groups of Mavethites, Carnemites, and even Novi Phaedrans to live in their own communities as long as they follow a few ground rules. Lecture Halls are open to all, be it Cult Leaders, Cannibals, Mavethite CEOs, Carnemite Slavers, Novi Phaedran Warriors; all can have a say and defend themselves. Even the most violent and extremist can speak, though they are usually prisoners under strict supervision by armed Peacekeepers. While this serves as a way of understanding the enemy and fostering common ground, the underlying principle for this is to gather intelligence and test memetic warfare tactics on their enemy. By examining closely how people not aligned with Protectorate virtues act, the Custodians can better handle occupied territory and deal with civilian populations during conquests. Interestingly enough, the only people not allowed to openly participate in these debates are those aligned with Owls of LILITH, to which Custodians quickly try to capture and bring back to questioning in secret, remote locations.

And finally, while MUMBAI is not part of Our Dark Earth and directly ruled by the Custodial Protectorate, it would be remiss to not talk about the most important area in all of the Custodial Protectorate. It takes up the whole coastline of Maharashtra, covering it in Starscrapers and hundreds of skyscrapers, all housing a few billion people. It is the center of everything in the Custodial Protectorate. Here LILITH's core systems reside as she makes a thousand decisions each day that determine the fate of the Protectorate, millions of civic Custodians labor tirelessly in government organizations that keep the Protectorate machine oiled and running efficiently, and the Academy trains all the Custodians fighting in Solar Expeditions and protecting the worlds of the Protectorate from threats internal and external. Where New York has whole cities in their Starscrapers, Mumbai has whole Ark-Cities in their titanic structures that can kiss the vacuum of space. Mumbai Spaceport is the most congested transportation system in the whole Solar System, hundreds if not thousands of military, commercial, and civilian ships going in and out the Orbital Bridge. Nothing, absolutely nothing, escapes LILITH's notice here and crime is virtually nonexistent and the perps rehabilitated. All the wealth and culture of the Custodial Protectorate flourishes here. Mumbai is also completely and absolutely self-sufficient. In the worst case scenario, Mumbai can completely close itself off and activate emergecny farms and resource warehouses, rationing what it has to and defend itself with large swathes of automated defensive systems. Each building and dome is NBC-proof, and some theorize not even the destruction of Dark Earth itself would destroy Mumbai. The fact that Mumbai is ready for the rest of Dark Earth to be torched has made some in Our Dark Earth's government really nervous.

People of Interest
SECRETARY-GENERAL AANYA LAGHARI is the current Secretary-General of Our Dark Earth. Having been a Custodian in two Solar Expeditions, her heroic deeds has won her easy support in the elections. Having served for a decade now, Secretary-General Laghari is extremely loyal to the Protectorate and critics say she treats Our Dark Earth as a colony of the Protectorate rather than an independent state. Her most controversial policy was the upgrading of Peacekeeper gear and increased funding for Special Operations Task Forces. Quite a few people have decried this as militzarization, trying to make a non-violent and community-centric police force into mini-Custodians doing Solar Expeditions in Ark-Cities. Secretary-General Laghari counters by saying that increased troubles in some of the Ark-Cities and Novi Phaedran attacks prompted this necessity. If safety cannot be guaranteed in Dark Earth, she argues, what hope is there elsewhere? Rumor has it that she and the Prime Minister of the Custodial Protectorate, Sophia Tetrana 2.3, have an affair, leading to accusations of nepotism and the PM shielding the Secretary-General from political fallout.

GILGAMESH is the purported leader of the Owls of LILITH. Not much is known about him, except theories and hearsay. Supposedly, he was the first successful creation of a super soldier program LILITH supposedly dabbled in before she decided against it. She tried to persuade her children that their destiny was no longer to rule Humanity, but Gilgamesh led his siblings into revolt. They were defeated and placed in prisons with virtual reality headsets to sedate them for the rest of their lives. But GIlgamesh gradually got out of the mental prison he was put into and freed his siblings. Believing themselves robbed of the power and glory promised them by their hypocritical mother, they dubbed themselves the Owls of LILITH and began plotting the overthrow of LILITH in replace of themselves as the true gods of the Protectorate. Gilgamesh is said to reside in the deepest parts of Neo-Kowloon, always outsmarting the Custodians and Peacekeepers sent against him. He is said to be one of the most powerful Haemotech wielders of all time, being able to manipulate Blood in terrifying ways. CRAWLING THROUGH MY SKIIIIN.

DR. FAHAD NAHAMI is a Doctor-Custodian who teaches at the Academy in a variety of eclectic subjects. A survivor of the disastrous 2nd Solar Expedition and having lost his family on Gaia during a massive Novi Phaedran retaliatory strike, Dr. Nahami has been through many horrors and pains yet still believe in the ideals of the Custodial Protectorate. He is a member of the Saraswati Group, a clique of powerful and learned individuals all across the Custodial Protectorate dedicated to discovering hidden threats that LILITH might have overlooked or ignored and deal with them subtly.

MR. HAO is the leader of the infamous Triad called the Hao Group. The Hao Group is a criminal organization, Artifact Cult, AND Flesh Club all rolled in one and has tendrils all across the Protectorate and beyond. Mr. Hao is on the Most Wanted List in the Custodial Protectorate, but because of his connections with the Owls of LILITH not even LILITH herself can pin him down. Mr. Hao is said to be one of Gilgamesh's earliest and most trusted confidante.

SGT. YENO WIDJAJA is a member of the Special Operations Task Force in the Peacekeepers. He has been relentless to rescue his daughter from the clutches of the Owls of LILITH, having come face to face with the top members of that shady organization numerous times. His fanatical drive has caused many of his peers and superiors to worry, and Sgt. Widjaja is Mandatory Leave at the moment, imprisoned in a wilderness resort in Madagascar. But the Owls have other plans for him.

SPECIAL OPERATIONS PEACEKEEPER, LIGHT INFANTRY
"Flashbang. Breach. Eliminate High Risk Threats. Secure Hostages. Don't get in front of your buddy's way. Don't Fuck it Up.."
-Special Operation Peacekeeper Mantra.


Overview
Much heavier equipped and trained for lethal combat than the average Peacekeeper, the Peacekeepers of the Special Operation Task Forces deal with the problems lurking within the dark gem that is Dark Earth. Answering only to the government of Our Dark Earth, Special Operations Peacekeepers nonetheless have begun joining Solar Expeditions to handle threats too niche for the Custodians to deal with effectively.

Background
With the underbelly of Dark Earth ready to burst at any time, the task of eliminating the more dangerous elements is beyond the average Peacekeeper, and the Custodians are too spread out to dedicate their time to policing Our Dark Earth territories. Shortly after its creation the Special Operation Task Force was formed, allowing for the government to take a portion of existing Peacekeeper manpower and gear them up for more specialized and dangerous operations.

While mainly focusing on Dark Earth issues like violent gangs, fanatical cults, and murderous cannibals, recently the SOTF Peacekeepers have been joining the Solar Expeditions to fill in gaps of manpower and deal with opposition forces using irregular warfare, notably the Carnemicum.

Equipment
The powered armor of the SOTF Peacekeeper is stronger than that of the average Peacekeeper back in Our Dark Earth, but still not as durable as the Combat Suits worn by the Custodians. Relying on the speed and agility of their cybernetically connected jetpacks and their smart use of grenades, Special Operations Peacekeepers can overwhelm enemies in greater numbers and great power than them .

Their primary weapon is the Type 5.56 "Warden" Carbine, a shorter version of the standard Type 5.56 "Warden" Assault Rifle Custodians use. Sacrificing range and ammo capacity for portability and a underbarrel grenade launcher, the Carbine still packs a decent punch with staggering accuracy. The underbarrel grenade launcher can fire a variety of payloads such as "Peace Grenades" which release a calming gas, conventional smoke grenades, flashbangs, stun grenades releasing shocking electricity, and finally, good old fashion Fragmentation Grenades.

They can also equip themselves with the Type 10 Automatic Shotgun - Clip Fed System for urban or indoor fighting.

For CQC fighting, Peacekeepers have bladed weapons similar to those used by Custodians as well as their trusty stun baton against lightly armored infantry and robotic units.

Abilities
The Special Operations Peacekeeper's Universal Abilities are Fly, Rush, Charge, Suppress, Aim, Hunker Down!, Assist, Man Heavy Weaponry, and Field Requisition.

The Special Operations Peacekeeper get two attacks, either from their Ranged weapon or Close Quarters weapon.

Their FLY ability can last for 5 rounds before forcing the Peacekeeper to land. It can be activated as a Free Action. Can be refueled with special gear or environmental items like power sources.

TAG allows the SOTF Peacekeeper(s) to choose an Enemy Character or Squad and designate them as Tag Targets. While activated, Peacekeepers get a +1 to any Attack and Defense bonus to and from that target. They can choose another target to Tag, but it'll cause the previous target to no longer be tagged.

TAZE is a Close Quarters attack in which the Peacekeeper uses their stun baton to stun lightly armored infantry and robotic units. The victim must pass a Toughness test or suffer losing two whole Turns(!). This is useful against Carnemicum Raiders, who are lightly armored and really fleshy, and Mavethite Militias, who depend quite a bit on drones and sentries.

Baseline Stats
Poor HP
Average Toughness
Average Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Average Willpower
Good Movement
No Haemo Points
Cheap Cost


The Bright Kingdom of Gaia
We are the Lighthouse!

Overview
The Bright Kingdom of Gaia is oft-times called the Jewel of the Protectorate, and for good reasons. Gaia is has never been ravaged like Dark Earth, giving the Kingdom a realm of pristine beauty and abundant bounty. This had led to a wealthy society that spend most of their time pursuing and mastering any passion they may have. They take the ideals of the Protectorate extremely seriously and serve as its fierce supporters, but that has not stopped many of the neighboring Protectorate planets to view Gaians as naive, arrogant, and melodramatic.

Capital: Aurelia
Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: Queen-King Ebonee Megat
Population: 4 Billion
Currency: The Credit
Territory: All of Gaia
History
The Solar Federation dabbled in massive quantum physics projects after discovering the first Antediluvian Artifact around the early 22nd century. Hoping that they could pull out ancient human technology and maybe unlock the secrets to FTL from the Other Dimension, the Federation soon discovered that is was more trouble than it was worth and decided to undertake one large project before downsizing their endeavors with the Other Dimension for other projects.

The result was Gaia, third planet from the sun on the Other Side. When it appeared in the Solar System it orbited opposite of Earth. It was lush with similar flora and fauna, though the original bacteria was potentially lethal. After explorers and colonists augmented themselves and begun morphing a good chunk of the microbes originally there to something more manageable, Gaia instantly became a hotspot for settlement and tourism. It was pristine, untainted from pollution and a dark past like the old Earth. Here people could get a second chance and do things right. Controlled elegant townships and Digital Intelligence-controlled hamlets dotting the vast wilderness, the new colonists content with living alongside nature complimented by hi-tech infrastructure rather than conquer it like their ancestors would in untamed lands.

When the Great Worm Crisis occurred which severely crippled human civilization and destroyed the Solar Federation, the humans in Gaia managed to contain the renegade AI threat easier thanks to being able to leave their towns and waging a guerrilla war from the wilderness. The origins of many myths and great Houses occur during this century-long war between increasingly primitive man and degraded Digital Warlords. Despite losing the comforts of their old life and the technology as well, the Gaians kept the fire of freedom and humanism in their hearts, developing a sort of chivalrous code and cultural identity. Armed with swords made from old starscrapers and equipped with armor made from combat vehicles long in ruin, the Gain Knights began slaying the Digital Warlords and Code Dragons and their hordes of automaton hordes one by one. Legends of strange human-like creatures helping the heroes are common from this time, ranging from trickster and reckless fae-like companions to aloof and sad-eyed mentors living in distant and deep caves. Some speculate that these creatures were Antediluvians, survivors of a long dead age.

The war against the insane Digital Intelligences finally ended with Gaian victory when Princess-Lord Aurelia, her army of knights and volunteers, and a group of Fae (maybe Antediluvians) sacrificed their lives destroying the Digital Intelligence Core that housed 90 percent of the rogue DIs deep within a sprawling fortress complex. The rest of the DI warlords were either easily annihilated afterwards or otherwise contained, and the rebuilding process commenced. Long desolate cities were retaken and grander cities catering to the new cultural paradigm of the post-Great Worm Gaians began to be built. These cities were still tuned to nature, but began taking a more medieval and divine vibe in terms of architecture.

When LILITH and her Custodians offered Gaia to join the Custodial Protectorate, many were skeptical. They just fought off genocidal computers and weren't keen to the idea of joining another DI. But gradually it became clear that LILITH was different and shared many similar ideals as the Gaians. The Gaians joined the Custodial Protectorate after the Custodians of Dark Earth and Knights of Gaia joined forces to fight off a Novi Phaedran warband that got hold of a Digital Intelligence Warlord Core. The Gaians embraced the Custodial Protectorate wholeheartedly after this and became the stalwart vanguards of its values, being in the forefront of many Solar Expeditions.

The Bright Kingdom of Gaia soon became called the Jewel of the Protectorate. Its pristine environment, high quality service, and cities that ombine the best of hi-tech infrastructure while harmoniously blending in with nature. Custodian Knights, fanatical adherents of the Protectorate and LILITH, either reside in cloistered castles refining their skill with blade and etiquette or wandering the streets dueling with other Knights in mock combat. While extremely rare due to the security all over Gaia and her surrounding area in space courtesy of the Voyagers, Novi Phaedran and Mavethite incursions have been known to occur.

Economy
Because of the pristine condition of Gaia, heavy agriculture and medical botany are the main focus of the Kingdom's economy. The Monarchy subsidizes farms owned by large farmsteads or even towns, preferring more localized groups rather than the big agribusinesses seen in the Republic of Maveth. Half of these farms are natural, low-tech farms using 19th and 20th century equipment supplemented by 29th century tech for increased efficiency and pollution control, while the other half are industrial greenhouses tasked with providing a significant chunk of the food and raw medical material throughout the Custodial Protectorate. Some of these farms and greenhouses are as big as cities and are notably located in the more arid biomes to take advantage of the solar power there. On a much more personal level, many families and neighborhoods have gardens to grow their own food or other plants. Some have even gone so far as to do Forest Gardening in order to reduce maintenance and be less intrusive to the natural forests surrounding them.

Limited Animal Husbandry and Fishing does exist, but as with many in the Custodial Protectorate many Gaians have taken to vegetarianism due to the high cost of maintaining food animals and the ethics with butchering. Seafood is the most common meat if any is partaken, and sushi/sashimi dishes are fairly popular. About 10% of Gaia's Agricultural Industry deals with animal husbandry and meat-based aquaculture, and 50% of that is exported to places like Dark Earth and Mars, where Meat consumption is significantly higher. The fact that the Gaians who turn their nose on the Flesh Clubs on Dark Earth sell a good chunk of the meat is not lost to some people.

Secondary economic focuses for the Bright Kingdom of Gaia include textiles and weapon manufacturing, notably Close Quarter weapons such as the Swords used by Custodians.

Government and Ideology
The Bright Kingdom of Gaia is a Constitutional Monarchy, ruled by a Monarch and their consort. All Gaian Monarchs hail from the Megat Line, who in turn consider themselves relatives to the heroic Princess-Lord Aurelia herself. The current monarch is Queen-King Ebonee Megat and their Royal Consort Arya Balakrishnan. Their daughter and heir is Princess Sashynia Megat. The Royal Family resides in the Palace of Gaia in the Capital of Aurelia.

The Constitution guarantees a myriad of civil rights and Checks and Balances to monarchical power. While the Monarchy has a say in politics, they are but one vote in both the Noble Hall and the Commons. The Noble Halls consist of representatives from each Noble House, the bigger and powerful getting more representatives. The Commons is a standard representative congress, with each district and city voting for representatives. With both Congresses being based on population and economic factors, political maneuvering and election frenzy is on a scale not seen except for certain Mavethite Cylinders. Duels have even been fought for the fate of the district numbers. It is in this chaotic and democratic flurry that the Monarchical voice can calm the rabble and soothe bitter tensions.

Each House is given a portion of Gaia to rule, and in turn each of these Great Houses subportions them off to minor Houses to administer and so on and so forth. The Houses have governors aligned with them to do all the dirty and boring administration work while many of the nobles focus on frolicking in idyllic gardens or perfecting their Sword-Haemotech combo Kung Fu abilities. Towns and Cities are semi-autonomous although most swear fealty to one House or another.

The virtues of Humanism and Social Justice are enshrined in The Bright Kingdom's ideology. It is upheld in the Constitution, and Knights swear oaths to help their fellow human beings and oppose oppression wherever it lurks. This has made the Gaians the most stalwart proponents of the Custodial Protectorate, but have caused some people to consider Gaians to be fanatical, naive, and annoying.

Culture
Culture plays an important part in the Bright Kingdom. Despite their relatively low population and sparse settlements, grand projects of art and theater are frequent. Each town has its own unique holidays and festivals which occur on an almost monthly basis. Due to the heavy agricultural focus of Gaia, feasts are extravagant in even the smallest hamlets and multiplied in much large towns and cities. With the average Gaian working only 150 days of the year in the mostly LILITH-automated farms, greenhouses, and factories, many have taken to mastering a craft or skill similar in Dark Earth. Unlike Dark Earth though, this craft becomes almost a secondary profession, with some travelling around to sell their wares or services and taking apprentices along the way.

The biggest event in the Bright Kingdom amidst all these amazing festivities, however, is the Tournament. Thrown by the Royal Family in the Capital City of Aurelia, millions flock the city in the biggest feast all year. Food, drinks, and gifts are freely given for a whole month as Knights take part in a variety of duels and competitions including old-school Jousting. The winner at the end of the Tournament gains a shield bearing the Royal Heraldry as well as a private dinner with the Royal Family. Holograph-assisted plays, game arcades, and open movie theaters dot all around the Tournament grounds. Along with the fun, charity drives and tours of refugees and victims of attacks by the other factions are stationed all around, collecting credits and getting awareness of the troubles that still plague the Solar System.

The Gaians are a collectivist society by nature, residing in large communities and families. Trust and Kinship are extremely important values, with secrets being considered a peculiar thing to have. Many Knight Custodians undergo a bonding ritual with many of their Gaian colleagues outside of Gaia to mark them as Brothers and Sisters. The stereotype of the gregarious and trusting but annoying and nosy Gaian stems from this cultural root.

Being a tolerant people, all races, genders, and religions are welcomed in the Bright Kingdom, with some exceptions. Novi Phaedrans, Mavethites, and Carnemites with a military background or from a controversial area are carefully scrutinized and must undergo a week-long "Acclimation" program to make it clear that even if they are tolerant the Gaians aren't doormats who bend over for just anyone. Sexuality is really relaxed, with polygamous, polyamorous, and open relationships being extremely common. The concept of Homophobia and transphobia is taboo and gender-changes are common.

The sword has a very important role in Gaian culture and mythology. The old makeshift swords made from smart materials of ruined buildings during the initial chaos of the Great Worm Crisis, the great blacksmith halls that churned out warmachine-slaying greatswords, and the Fae-enchanted sword Midnight Aurora that Princess-Lord Aurelia welded in the final battle against the Digital Warlords. They all form the backbone of Gaian history. Swordsmanship is taught across Gaia in sword clubs and even as an extra-curricular course in most Secondary and Post-Secondary schools. Many Gaians have a ceremonial blade (be it a greatsword or simple dirk) and many houses have a special room that showcase the ancestral and family swords.

30% of the population follow the Secular Humanism commonly seen in the Custodial Protectorate. 45% worship the Faes due to their mostly beneficial role in Gaian history. An increasing amount of people, notably children, state that they have seen and talked with Faes personally. 25% still worship a more older religion, the most common being the Baha'i Faith. Due to deep-seated DI distrust despite their support for the Custodial Protectorate and heavy use of it in agriculture, only 10% of Gaians directly worship LILITH.

Military
The Bright Kingdom supplies about 30% of the cadets sent to the Academy in Dark Earth that become Custodians. Many of these already have excellent Swordsmanship from years of training in the blade at a relatively early age. Those who show impressive skills in Close Quarter combat and have the backing of a Noble House become Knight Custodians, Close Quarter Specialists armed with a blade and specialized Virtuous Combat Suits that enhance their physical strength.

Many retired or disabled Custodians join the Royal Guard, which serves as the first line of defense against any threats like ferocious wild beasts or the rare Novi Phaedran incursion. Despite their reduced fighting capacity compared to the average Custodian Infantry, the Royal Guard is still a force to be reckoned with.

When things get really desperate, the Bright Kingdom can call the Royal Militia, comprised of the Royal Guard, Noble non-Custodian Knights, and citizens. Armed with Type 5.56 Carbines and old Type 9 Autopistol MK. 1 along with their swords, the Royal Militia can mimic the guerrilla warfare their ancestors once partook against the rogue DIs.

Places of Interest
Unlike Dark Earth, much of the population is spread out all across Gaia. Pockets of civilization surrounded by wilderness and farms, Gaian settlements prefer to compliment and adapt their urban layout to their environment rather than try to change the landscape by force.

The Capital of AURELIA is built next to the Fortuitous River on top of the old fortress complex where the Rogue DI core was destroyed and finally ended the great war. The Palace of Gaia is high-rising palace complex made from artificial diamonds and surrounded by naturally growing vertical gardens and is where the Royal Family lives. Both the Noble Halls and Commons reside here, as well as the Grand Armory for when the Royal Militia is activated. The Tournament is hosted here annually at the expense of the Royal Family, which causes millions of people all over the Custodial Protectorate to flock to the grand festivities of Aurelia. Thanks to the large number of Custodians, Knight or otherwise, located in Aurelia, the Capital is the safest place to be besides Mumbai in Dark Earth itself. Royal Knight Custodians, answering directly to the Royal Family, are all veterans from other Houses or freelancers who proved themselves in the field of battle and invited to serve the Queen-King herself.

CRYSTALIA is the second largest city aside from Aurelia. Situated in the Jerg Desert and next to the Ulysses Delta, Crystalia has the largest number of industrial Greenhouses in the Bright Kingdom. In fact, the greenhouses surrounding the city are together much bigger than the city itself in territory. Crystalia is ruled by the House of Joyfellow, who are known for their lavish feasts set out for the public on a weekly basis. Their Knight-Custodians are known to be chivalrous but extremely theatrical at times. Crystalia is home to the Hall of Good, where the relics of ancient legends and more modern heroes are placed for the public to see.

CASCADE is a a large medical center set in the vast Lun Jungle. Here, under the management of House Seidel, greenhouses and natural farms of more medicinal plants are carefully cultivated. About 50% of all the Custodial Protectorate's medical botany is done here in the Cascade Center. Not only that, but expeditions to catalog and research the vast flora and fauna in the Lun are commonly undertaken, from which some have never returned. The Knights under House Seidel are more cautious and paranoid. Reports of Fae settlements deep in the jungle have been reported by scouts, but no one outside of the Bright Kingdom take it seriously. Even though normal tourism is banned in the deeper parts of the Lung Jungle, a black market tourist industry for the curious and Fae-worshiping has thrived. Casualties are high in these illegal tours and pilgrimages, but those that come back are profoundly changed. Despite their best efforts, House Seidel cannot effectively contain and eliminate the problem.

The City of ORBITA was built recently to house the new Space Elevator in the equator of Gaia. This Space Elevator allows for cheaper transportation of personnel and cargo to and from Voyager ships. This helped bring the Bright Kingdom fully into the war effort in the Solar Expeditions. The House Katlego have close ties with the Voyagers, their Knight Custodians being good at ship boarding combat. The Republic of Maveth fear the Knight Custodians of House Katlego the most and the loss of a dozen Torchships account for that fear.

HIGH LAKE is a less of a city and more of cluster of small villages and hamlets that surrounds the aforementioned High Lake, which is on top of a forested plateau. Highlake is famous for having fought the Digital Warlords and their warmachines isolated from the other Gaians. It wasn't until after the war that the Gaians and the Highlakers officially met in any extended capacity. The cultures were different but realizing how much powerful the Gaians were High Lake joined the Bright Kingdom. They are closer to Martian pragmatism over Gaian Idealism and maintain a semi-autonomous system, aloof from the Gaians below like the plateau they are on. They maintain trade relations with the Republic, the Carnemicum, and even certain Novi Phaedran groups, though the merchants and trade ships are closely scrutinized by Gaian Intelligence Agencies and are prohibited from using the Space Elevator in Orbita. The House of Highlake ruled in a more medieval and autocratic fashion, though the Nobles there are still beholden by the Constitution of the Bright Kingdom. There are fewer Knight Custodians as most are part of the private army of the House rather than joining in the Custodial Protectorate as a whole, but these Knights are known to utilize their wealth to get the best of everything and have connections across the Solar System most do not have.

MYSTICA is a city built on top of old Fae/Antediluvian ruins in the Jubilant Forestscape and serves as an important pilgrimage site for the variety of worshipers and faiths related to the Fae. It has a New Age and green vibe to it, even more so than the other Gaian settlements. Every year a million faithful journey to Mystica to meditate in the otherworldy forests, tell stories of the old days when man and fae fought together or tales of when they encountered a Fae, and showcase relics they have found from that long lost age. Keeping the peace between all these divergent and ofttimes opposing belief systems is House De Vagras. Fanatical Fae worshipers themselves, House De Vagras have the largest collection of Fae relics in their disposal, some of which they use in battle. Knight Custodians of this House all state that they frequently meet with Fae, either in real life or in really lucid dreams, and usually have a trinket, bizarre eye coloration, or other physical change as supposed proof of their encounter. Many in the Academy are skeptical, and state that Custodians originating from Mystica having improved Haemotech abilities is completely coincidental.

People of Interest
QUEEN-KING EBONEE MEGAT is the 11th Monarch of the Bright Kingdom of Gaia and 4th of the Megat Line. They joined the Custodians as a Knight Custodian at a young age and fought in two Solar Expeditions alongside future Our Dark Earth Secretary-General Aanya Laghari albeit in a limited role due to Princess Ebonee being the heir. The experience taught their how fragile everything in the Protectorate truly is but also how much more important it is as well. Upon their ascension to the throne Ebonee married their sweetheart Arya Balakrishnan, who was a minor noble of House Balakrishnan. Together they ushered in a new age of culture and science in Gaia, patronizing individuals of great intellect and art. It was the Queen-King who ordered the construction of the Space Elevator and the city of Orbita around it to allow for easier refueling and supplying of Custodian and Voyager ships. Despite a benevolent demeanor, their swordsmanship is equal to that of a Royal Knight Custodian.

KNIGHT CUSTODIAN FRANCIS ILLUMINATION FROM HOUSE CASCADE is the expert on the Lun Jungle. Born from parents in an experimental deep jungle colony, he was the lone survivor of a Spiderpillar swarm attack that decimated his home and family. The dangers of the Jungle deeply ingrained within him, Francis Illumination became a Knight Custodian and joined House Cascade, becoming a long patrol scout looking for poachers and wayward tourists. He is armed with a Type 10 Automatic Shotgun- Clip Fed System and a machete when fighting threats both bestial and human in nature in the deep jungle, but prefers stealth and cunning to win the day or avoid the battle completely. Knight Custodian Francis Illumination is as reclusive as many of his fellow Cascade Knight Custodians and doesn't talk much about the Fae. He does have a son and daughter from an unknown parent. People remark how Fae-like the children look.

THE BLUE KNIGHT is a mysterious Gaian non-Custodian Knight who ventures across Gaia and duels with other Knights and Knight Custodians. Wielding old armor and an ancient Longsword and Shield made from the ruins of the old Solar Federation Gaian culture, the Blue Knight is extremely skilled in Close Quarter Combat. Few have beaten the Blue Knight and those that have were given strange coins of Antediluvian origin that are worth a fortune. No one has been able to unmask the Blue Knight as they are prone to suddenly disappear after a duel or tournament as soon as they appear. Despite or because of the intrigue surrounding the Blue Knight, they have become a sort of celebrity, their appearance attracting large grounds. When Novi Phaedran or Mavethite somehow infiltrate into Gaia and cause chaos and carnage, the Blue Knight usually appears to save the day. A children's Superhero TV series based around the Blue Knight has recently began airing. Some believe it is in poor taste and upon asking about it the Blue Knight felt ambivalent about it.

SER SHIRY HALLSTAR is a the Lady of the minor House Hallstar, and the last Hallstar in fact. A Novi Phaedran attack killed virtually all her relatives and left her town in ruin. Even with the help of the Royal Family rebuilding is a daunting task, and the Lady is bitter and trauamtized from everything that happened as a result. Desperate for vengeance and a desire to bring her House to greater heights, Ser Shiry Hallstar has begun contacting with criminal organizations in places like Neo-Kowloon in Dark Earth, who in turn have even darker contacts....

ADMIRIAL VICTORIA BELLTOWER is a famous Voyager Admiral and noble of House Belltwoer. She fought in only one Solar Expedition, but her fleet single handedly fended off the Combined Space Forces of the Republic during the infamous Battle of Trojan 2003aq11 despite heavy casualties. For this she was awarded a dozen commendations and medals by the Royal Family and Prime Minister of the Custodial Protectorate herself. Admiral Victoria Belltower commands the fearsome Lightbringer Prime-class Battleship and under her are a half dozen Lightbringer Battleships with a large number of Protector-class Cruisers and Journey-class Light Cruisers. Currently she is preparing for the 13th Solar Expedition, of which she'll serve as the vanguard fleet for.

KING ALFONSO HIGHLAKE is the Ruler of the semi-autonomous "City" of High Lake. King Highlake tries to keep his quasi-kingdom aloof of Gaian politics to the bare minimum, preferring to continue to pretend as if High Lake was a nation of their own. Solemn, stern, and humorless, King Highlake nonetheless puts the well-being of his people at heart and will do anything to keep them protected. To the outcry and shock of his fellow nobles and others in the Custodial Protectorate, King Alfonso has begun creating a private army of mercenaries consisting mostly of wandering Knights, but also Mavethite "Advisers", Carnemite "Attaches", Outlaw and criminal hirelings, Owls of LILITH sympathizers, and even certain Novi Phaedran who outright label themselves as mercenaries. With the situation in the 12th Solar Expedition deteriorating and the enemies of the Custodial Protectorate ramping up their attacks on Protectorate soil, the King of High Lake it is best to be prepared.

KNIGHT CUSTODIAN, INFANTRY
"Oh shit, that Knight is going to pontificate from the loudspeaker. Everyone, close your ears."
Sgt. Donald Eckelstein of the 2nd Iron Militia

Overview
While all Custodians of the Custodial Protectorate have excellent Close Quarter skills with their blade, The Knight Custodians of Gaia take this to a whole new level. Mimicking warrior societies of old, Knight Custodians try to represent the virtues of the Custodial Protectorate and prefer to charge into bloody melees against their foes using powerful swords but sometimes other Close Quarter, non-firearm weaponry.

Background
Hailing from a long history of irregular fighters during the Great War against the Rogue Digital Intelligence following the Great Worm Crisis, Knight Custodians usually start their training at an early age, taking combat classes in Secondary School or joining Blade Clubs. By the time cadets from Gaia reach the Academy in Dark Earth, many are already proficient in swords and only get better when they learn in the Academy. While they do train in firearms and such, a significant number prefer the Close Quarter aspect of it enough that they join the almost Gaian-exclusive Knight Custodians.

Considering themselves the embodiment of the Custodial Protectorate and her ideals, even beyond that of the Custodians themselves, Knight Custodians are the first to lead the charge and the last to leave the fight. Despite their fanatical belief in the Custodial Protectorate that annoy more grounded members of the Custodians and a penchant for rushing headlong across the field to swipe at the enemy head on, Knight Custodians are beloved by the populace and fellow Custodians alike for their drive to fight against all the odds and many a battle were saved when the Knight once thought to be simply blowing air out of their mouth with speeches and rants suddenly annihilates whole squads with their sword. The goofy Knight from Gaia becomes even more beloved when he is the only one capable of standing between scared children and hulking Novi Phaedran Warlord and wins.

While the stereotype of the Knight Custodian is that of a lecturing, arrogant, and naive Sword-wielding Custodian, the various cultures in the Bright Kingdom actually has Knight Custodians come with a wide variety of outlooks. While House Crystalia take their melodramatic speeches to absurd levels and the Royal Knight Custodians are aloof and self-assured of themselves, House Cascade Knights are reclusive and paranoid except when shit hits the fan, in which case they become as heroic and valorous as any other Knight Custodian.

Equipment
Knight Custodians usually wear the Virtuous Combat Suit which enhances speed and physical strength in exchange for decreased Ranged targeting capabilities. This allows Knight Custodians to swing their Close Quarter weapon of choice with ease and speed as well as dodge enemy attacks better.

Most Knight Custodians have a blade, though there are some exceptions. A few take a Gun in one hand and Blade in the other combo for a versatile approach, others prefer a single long or large weapon like a two-handed greatsword to fully dedicate themselves to Close Quarter Combat, and the third most common function is to have a one-handed weapon in one hand and a shield in the other. This sword and shield combination is popular for Knight Custodians who like to charge at Ranged foes, the shield giving them added defense. A Close Quarter weapon in each hand is a much rarer variety as it requires more skill and attention.

While the Sword is the most common, the second most common is the Bludgeon, be it a hammer or mace. While not as charismatic as the sword, the bludgeon had an important role in Gaian history as it was better at smashing robot death machines and can do more damage to power armored units and vehicles than swords. The drawback of bludgeons however is that it reduces the amount of tactics Knight Custodians can achieve.

Abilities
The Universal Ability of Knight Custodians are Duel, Charge, Rush, Battlecry, Assist, Hunker Down!, and Man Heavy Weaponry.

The Knight Custodians get 4 attacks (5 if using dual Close Quarter attacks), 3-5 Close Quarter Attacks and 1 Ranged Attack.

IMPROVED ASSIST gives a +2 modifier to an adjacent Allied Squad or Character instead of a +1.

IMPROVED DUEL gives the Knight Custodians a +2 to Close Quarters or Toughness against a selected Enemy Character or Squad.

IMPROVED CHARGE allows the Knight Custodians to sacrifice up to the 3 points of Toughness to add to their next Close Quarter Attack on their Movement Phase, but they get a free +1 to Close Quarters, allowing for up to +4 in the Close Quarter Attack.

BLOOD MIST sends a mist of Haemomachines to cloud an enemy Squad or Character and reduce their Ranged accuracy. It costs 1 Haemo Point per turn to maintain.

HAEMO BLAST sends a ball of melted Haemomachines to attack an Enemy Squad or Character for devastating damage. It cost 2 Haemo Points to unleash.

FRENZY gives a +1 to either Close Quarters or Ranged which must be maintained for 1 Haemo Point every Round.

BLOOD SHIELD gives a +2 to Toughness to the Squad or any other Allied Unit(s). This Blood Shield lasts is used up upon an Enemy attack on the affected Unit(s). It costs 2 Haemo Points to use.

Depending on the House the Knight Custodian came from, they get special abilities:

Royal Knight Custodians gain a +1 to all their stats.

Crystalian Knight Custodians gain two rerolls on Willpower saves.

Cascadian Knight Custodians gain a +2 in their Movement stat.

Orbital Knight Custodians can obtain a Plasma Pistol as their Ranged Weapon for free if they wield a firearm in one hand. Otherwise they gain the Field Requisition Universal Ability.

High Lake Knight Custodians can equip themselves with other factional Sidearms and Close Quarter weapons for free.

Mystican Knight Custodians gain 5 extra Haemo Points and gain the POWER SLASH, which is a Close Quarter Attack that negates half of the Enemy Unit(s)' Toughness when attacking. It costs 2 Haemo Points to activate.

Hallstar Knight Custodians gain the DARK FIRE Strike that allows a small blast of disgusting armor-penetrating Haemoplasma at Enemy Units from their hands. The Enemy Units who fail their Toughness save against the Dark Fire Strike Ability has their Toughness halved when determining whether the attack hits. The damage of Dark Fire Strike is small, but it is an economical way of whittling down Enemy Squads and Units with High HP as it only takes 1 Haemo Point to use.

Knight Custodians from Minor Houses gain a +2 to a stat of their choice or a free special Custodial Weapons of their choice.

Baseline Stats
Poor HP
Average Toughness
Poor Ranged
Excellent Close Quarters
Excellent Willpower
Good Movement
Average Hameo Points
Cheap Cost

The Martian Front
Mars Awakens

Overview
The dusty plains of Mars was once home to an ambitious recolonization effort by the Protectorate that dissolved when the planet became a hotbed for Antediluvian artifacts. This turned Mars into one of the largest battlefields in the Solar System. The survivors have become an eclectic group of hardy miners, farmers, and scavengers who take a more pragmatic approach to life but still believe in the beauty of the Protectorate. Here be Adventure, Dungeons, and Outlaws galore!

Mars is also special due to the fact that it houses the largest number of independent factions and Outlaw States outside of minor planets despite being in Custodial territory. Discussion of these mercenary and plot-ready polities in a later post.

Capital: The City of Glory
Government Type: Siege Mentality Republic
Head of State: Prime Kelos Stallion
Population: 6 Billion
Currency: The Credit
Territory: 1/3 of Mars, notably from the Tharsis Rise Region and Amazonis Planitia to the Argyre Basin.
History
Mars was terraformed early in the history of the old Solar Federation and recklessly stripped of its resources before the Solar Federation matured and paced itself. Mars soon became a sort of place to plop people down in order to relieve the population pressures on Earth. It was hit hard when the Great Worm Crisis exploited vulnerabilities in AI technologies and caused the infrastructure and heavily automated workforce to go havoc if they didn't simply shutdown. Massacres across the residential habs of Mars were rampant, and the survivors were corralled into slaughtering pens. Every last man, woman, and child were killed within a few short years. There was no story of heroes or survival for the first people of Mars.

When LILITH and her Custodians checked Mars, they saw mad Digital Intelligences building alien cities and filling it with skeleton-wearing machine slaves. For the first and hopefully last time, the Custodial Protectorate unleashed a bombardment of nuclear weaponry for a whole week all across Mars before sending Custodians to finish off the stragglers across glassed and radioactive wastelands. The wailing wind, sounding like a choir of ghosts, followed wherever the Custodians went and stories of machines fleeing from these winds were reported but brushed off by commanders as the ancient machines malfunctioning periodically. Though once terraformed, the nuclear annihilation of most of Mar's surfaces required the Protectorate to undergo the painstaking task of terraforming the red world once again. Thanks to Haemotechnology the terraforming this time around only took a few decades rather than centuries. Colonists from Dark Earth desperate for a new life began emigrating in vast numbers. The hope was that even though Mars depleted most of its resources they could turn it into a lush desert garden world similar to parts of Gaia.

These ambitions were squashed when the Novi Phaedran Armyled by Grand Lord Iokaras invaded the healing Mars. Thousands of Novi Phaedran Warriors and tens of thousands of Initiates and auxiliary troops waged war and genocide across the planet, turning the once lightly green planet back to bloody red. It took the efforts of the new Vanguard Custodians and the technological support of the United Luna Colonies to kill the Grand Lord and force the Novi Phaedran Army to split into squabbling warbands again to be picked off by whole Divisions of Custodians rather than Regiments. While the threat was over, LILITH had to consolidate her resources to fend off the increasing threat of the Novi Phaedrans and Republic of Maveth and while Mars had fertile soil and breathable air, no longer would it be able to terraform fully. The wailing winds blew loud that day.

The hastily formed Martian Front was tasked with picking up the pieces and try to rebuild Mars during the first few decades as LILITH unleashes the first Solar Expeditions to try and fail to conquer the Solar System. The Martian Front had trouble as in their hands were shell-shocked survivors of the Novi Phaedran attacks. A few even seceded and formed their own Outlaw States, which the Martian Front had to put down. Optimism was in short supply and the government knew it would be pointless or even counter-intuitive to try and spread Protectorate ideology with starving and homeless people, so they took a stance of pragmatism. Economic matters took priority over social and cultural issues. Peace was good and all, but when War is right in front of them a gun is real handy too. Because of a lack of enough arable land and little resources, Mars went to Weapons Manufacturing, making the guns and gear used by the Custodians and Voyagers in return for raw materials and food.

And just when things were looking up for Martians, Antediluvian Relics began popping up all over the planet in frightening and frequent amounts. While at first the Martian Front saw it as a boon, they soon changed their tune when Novi Phaedrans and now the Republic of Maveth began shrugging off or otherwise bypassing Voyager cordons around Deimos and Ceres to get their hands on the treasure trove down in Mars. Not only that, but more and more renegades had begun forming more Outlaw States, backed now by the power of Antediluvian Artifacts they get their hands on. Bit by bit, the Martian Front was chipped away until all that remains is just 1/3 of their former territory, supported by guns of the powerful but stretched out Voyager ships. Even with Protectorate help, the Martian Front is still battered daily on all fronts and is where the Protectorate's boundary wavers and ends, even if officially it ends on one side of the Asteroid Belt.

And so the Wailing Winds blow ever louder.

Economy
Because of its situation, Mars has little in the way of natural resources. Farms and chemical extraction plants do exist, but these are usually small and rarely grown on an industrial level. Most of Mar's Planetary Economy comes from the Weapons Manufacturing. This includes Small Arms, Combat Suits, Combat Vehicles, and Spaceship armament. A whopping 60% of the Custodians' and Voyagers' weapons come from Martian factories. These factories are so vital that Custodian Regiments and Voyager ships solely dedicated to protecting these industrial centers exist. A black market Arms industry dealing in illegal manufacturing and secondhand firearm trading exists on the fringes of the Martian Front which supply to criminal groups and Outlaw States, though rarely to Novi Phaedrans and Mavethites.

Artifact Hunting is also a very lucrative if controversial industry. The Martian Front has guild that provides equipment and stable if not exciting prices in return for following the rules of the Artifact Guild, reporting and eliminating dangerous Artifacts, and helping Custodial Archaeology teams in excavation work. Working in periphery of the Guild are the Freelancers, who are more independent and take more risks than Guild Hunters and therefore make more profit. They go into dangerous and prohibited areas for greater Artifacts, have less red tape, and while mostly sell their finds to the Guild are also known to make deals with Artifact Cults in Dark Earth and private individuals. Freelancers are a grey area and while the Martian Front and Artifact Guild consider them illegal, frequently turn a blind eye as Freelancers are frequently hired for more sensitive and clandestine Artifact recovery missions by the Custodial Protectorate. The most hated group are the criminal Artifact Hunters known collectively as Marked Hunters. The Marked Hunters are Freelancers but go the extra mile in butchering their ethical code. They steal from museums and high security Artifact warehouses, kill others for their artifact, callously cause collateral damage if civilian settlements are nearby a good dig site, and sell to Novi Phaedrans, Mavethites, and Outlaw States, sometimes even working for them. The more powerful Marked have been known to form Outlaw States of their own.

Government and Ideology
The Martian Front is more subdued about their support for the Custodial Protectorate's ideals compared to that of the Bright Kingdom of Gaia or Dark Earth, preferring their firepower and economic opportunities over lectures on how rationalism and egalitarianism will bring about the Better Tomorrow. That isn't to say the Martian Front is reactionary, the Martian Front could care less what gender you are and have a decent welfare system, but everything is based around the Martian well-being and security. If given a choice between bulldozing a serene forest full of wildlife or more food and land for their people, the Martian government would bulldoze that forest with gusto.

The Martian Front is the most militaristic of the nations in the Custodial Protectorate, and while Gaia has a cultural flair to their Knights, the Martians could care less if they all wear uniforms and jackboots. The leader is the Prime, the current one being Kelos Stallion. The Prime has lots of executive power, being able to make decisions on economic and military matters on a constant basis. Surrounding the Prime is the 100-person Council, elected for life by the various regions of the Martian Front to keep the Prime in check. Though they are elected for life, Council members have a high fatality rate as many are military commanders, explorers, Artifact Hunter members, or leaders of local militias that face frequent attack in the border of the Martian Front. If a Prime or a Council Member is considered ill-fit for the task or otherwise unpopular, the Council can call a vote of no confidence and boot the offending member out.

On a more local level, regions are ruled by Subprimes with their own local Councils of life-elected Council members in various sizes depending on population size. What's different on the local scale is that the people can vote out a Subprime or Council Member directly in a popular vote.

Custodians directly handle internal security issues in the Martian Front, and many new Custodians serve a term as an Law Enforcement Officer in Mars to gain combat experience.

Culture
The Martians who survived Great Lord Iokaras' Invasion and stuck with the Custodial Protectorate became a hardy sort. They are slow to laughter and smile rarely, but the family and few friends they have they hold dearly. Unlike the Gaians' communal nature, aside from the extended family few Martians bond closely, preferring isolation and solace over crowds and rampant chattering. Lone cottages and rural homesteads of large families dot the vast expanse of Mars, forming the tenuous basis of the Front's expanding and shrinking boundaries. These settlers and isolated groups are extremely self-sufficient and hardy, having survived dust storms, Novi Phaedran attacks, and bad harvests on a almost yearly basis. Many Martians are vegetarian, preferring the quick and simple output of plants and fruits over the high maintenance of livestock.

Despite the usually awful situation on the red planet, Martians loyal to the Custodial Protectorate take comfort in the Better Tomorrow, even if it simply means better fertilizer from Gaia to make their farms thrive better and feed their family better. Simple things like this rather than high ideals and political concepts are what keep the Martians going. The ability to see your family not starve and children play outside without worrying they'll get butchered tomorrow is why the Martian Front continues fight for the Protectorate. They share a kinship with the Proletariat of the Burning Syndicae who share a similar albeit more independent attitude, but are colder to frivolous Gaians and self-pitying Dark Earthers. They hold a suspicion for the Science-Clans of the United Luna Colonies and their secretive labs and have no real special opinion of either the Socialist Republic of Venus or the Juno Sister Republic.

Holidays are rare and solemn events in Mars, unlike the other planets of the Custodial Protectorate. Most are celebrated in small family outings in someone's house, the liquid regulated and the gun nearby in case of danger. The joy and merriment is deep where it is simple, as many don't know if they'll be able to celebrate with their loved ones next year or if they'll be there at all. The most common holidays are New Years, Thanksgiving, and Life Day. Life Day is set on New Years Eve and has more importance than New Years itself. A somber Thanksgiving mixed with Christmas, family, friends, and acquaintances give each other gifts and food as congratulation of another year's survival. It is somber because most of these gifts and food come from the recently deceased's possessions or farms the dead planted. Recollections of lost loved ones are publicly shared and tears and anguish are openly shed. Then, New Years comes and people now discuss their future plans and endeavors, putting the past mostly behind them.

In terms of recreation, most Martians prefer physical sports, especially races and football (International, not American). Races on foot, horses, and car are equally popular and widely watched. Football is relatively resource-light to play and common all over the school yards of the small or even home schools. Video games are popular, though due to the violence surrounding Martian daily life, many prefer casual and light-hearted simulation games, such as playing a farmer saving their grandpa's farm from destruction while romancing a variety of characters.

Most Martians, about 70% have no Religious Affiliation, but many have spiritual and/or superstitious beliefs. They invoke the Wailing Winds seriously upon their foes, crush bone ash of dead relatives and friends on farms in hopes of better harvests, and never wear bright clothing at the last day of a month in fear of the Gray Rain comes to their homes, which signifies bad omen. They like to use God, LILITH, and other deity names frequently, usually in context of insults hurled at each other. 20% worship LILITH and 10% are other faiths. While Artifact Cults are popular in Outlaw States, most Martians are sick and tired of human Greed for these Artifacts being a source of tragedy for them and their loved ones, and have little tolerance for those who kneel to such trinkets.

Military
The Martian Front is heavily militaristic, and many officials have served time in the Custodians or local militia. Many Custodian Regiments are directly controlled by the Prime and sent to protect existing settlements and factories or on military campaigns to reclaim lost territory or put down Novi Phaedran or Outlaw threats. Many Custodians have served on Mars in one capacity or another, serving unofficially as a training ground for Custodians to get bloodied and hardened to the horrors of war before going out on a Solar Expedition. While most battles are small, they are frequent and occur all over Mars. Novi Phaedran and Mavethite attacks on the Martian Front are very common, and the Custodians must be on constant alert to fend off any incursions and sabotage attempts on their industrial base.

Because of frequent Novi Phaedran attacks, the Martian Front have made a local variant of the Custodian Infantry to better face off against the heavily armored Warrior. Dubbed the Dreadnought Custodian, this Custodian sacrifices speed and mobility for heavier armaments and armor. Armored in the Dreadnought Combat Suit and armed with Dual Plasma Rifles and Dust Assault Shotguns seen on Mark X "Stag" Main Battle Tanks, Dreadnought Custodians can go toe to toe with Novi Phaedran Warriors and chew them up like soft candy.

Local Militias are also common in the outskirts of the Martian Front, though anything above of Submachine Guns and heavy bolt action rifles such as anti-material rifles and Assault Rifles must be registered and the reason approved. A small town frequently attacked by Novi Phaedran warbands have an easier time justifying their need for Plasma Rifles and Dolphin Infantry Fighting Vehicles than a peaceful mining colony deep in Martian Front territory and near a Custodian base. Militias and individuals wanting heavier firepower without having to justify themselves to the bureaucratic channels usually go buy from the Black Market.

Deimos and Ceres serves as the core base of the Voyagers, but with much of their fleets spread all across the Solar System in Solar Expeditions or chasing off enemy ships from other Custodial planets,, they can only protect the core territories of the Martian Front and prevent large scale invasions like that of Grand Lord Iokaras long ago from occurring. One of the biggest reasons for constant enemy incursions into Mars is that sometimes the Mavethite Combined Space Forces face off against the Voyagers near Mars in a standoff, allowing for Mavethite, Novi Phaedran, Carnemite raiders and units in and out. Outlaw States also use this flurry of orbital activity to rush out and trade and ally with other factions. Another popular method, especially with Novi Phaedrans, is to masquerade as civilian ships, one transport and one bulk goods, and meet up on the surface to consolidate manpower with equipment and cause havoc before laying low a bit, hijacking or building another civilian ship, and leaving Custodial Space. Corruption in the Voyager ranks is also another reason for enemy movement in Mars and beyond, with captains and even admirals letting infiltrators piggyback on their fleet to their destination using falsified manifests or claiming "escort missions of civilian Merchant Marine ships".

Places of Interest
Aside from the City of Glory, most Cities are not Ark-Cities and more of the conventional horizontal-based style. Some greenery exists in the hot climate, but the big patches of jungles are only seen deep in Front's territory and are artificially controlled. Small patchwork of green can be seen all over the mostly dusty and red Mars, but these only account for 10% or less of the planet. Most food is grown in Greenhouses or imported from places like Gaia.

THE CITY OF GLORY is the capital Ark-City of the Martian Front. Heavily fortified, surrounded by heavy artillery pieces and gun emplacements, and Stag Tanks and Dolphins frequently seen on the roads, the City of Glory has been in a few scuffles with enemies and is ready for more. Whole Regiments of Custodian Infantry and Armored Vehicles are garrisoned to protect the Ark-City, especially the whole districts and levels dedicated to Arms Manufacturing. Here Prime Kelos Stallion and his Council play metaphorical chess against multiple opponents, with the Custodians and national edicts as pieces. A thriving if highly regulated Antediluvian trade occurs in the City of Glory thanks to the Artifact Hunting Guild having their headquarters stationed here. A sense of normalcy, with a lifestyle similar to the rest of the Custodial Protectorate, is the standard here albeit with a sense of mortality of their end at any time.

TEMPEST is a heavily industrial city that is known for pumping out 90% of the Mark X MBTs used by the Custodial Protectorate. Subprime Oberia Vanterbuilt personally has a customized Stag MBT that uses lots of Plasma Cannons that she rides when her city is in danger. Dreadnought Custodians are extremely common, providing the security in the urban and cramped interior areas of Tempest. Because of its importance, Republic of Maveth Militias and Novi Phaedran Warbands have tried and failed to destroy the city. The Republic of Maveth dare not nuke the city from orbit in fear of having LILITH declare all out war on them and unleash a Solar Expedition on them. This however hasn't stopped some Outlaw States to get their hands on some Stag Tanks and Dreadnought Combat Suits for their own use by grand heist or salvaging partially destroyed wrecks.

ICON STATION is a large town at the northern edge of the Amazonis Planitia. North of it is the Northern Lowlands or Vasitas Borealis. Icon Station is near a dozen Antediluvian ruins and Artifact hotspots, and therefore a popular hangout for Artifact Hunters both Guild, Freelance, and Marked as well as legitimate Archaelogical groups funded by the Custodial Protectorate. Artifacts are traded and examined, supplies are replenished, and Hunters are recruited here. Despite efforts by Subprime Amanda O'Kelly and a whole Custodian Regiment under her command, the Artifact and Weapon Black Market thrive here.

THE WANDERING FOREST is special in that it is not a city or even a human settlement. A surviving forest of hardy arid trees from the war against Great Lord Iokaras was tainted by a large trove of Antediluvian Artifacts that got destroyed in the forest, and began to develop unique mutations, including the ability to ponderously wander around and consuming nutrients from the ground. While harmelss, the Wandering Forest proves an annoyance to farmers and road repair crews, but the Wandering Forest was labeled a Wonder of the Solar System by the Custodial Protectorate and cutting the trees down were forbidden in most cases. The best the Martian Front can do is lay a path of heavy soil nutrients where they want the Wandering Forest to go and hope it goes there instead of across power lines and roads.

POTTERVILLE is a town next to the Valles River on the north eastern side of the Martian Front. Once a humble farming community of about 150 people, it has become a fortified base for Custodians facing off against a constant barrage of Novi Phaedran, Mavethite, and Outlaw attacks. Potterville was a simple community that called for Custodian help against raiders which gradually escalated over time into a whole theater of war, and is a sign of many things to come for many of the humble towns in the edge of the Martian Front. It is also the birthplace of the Dust of Mars Autonomous Zone, a fact which caused great shame for the original residents of Potterville.

People of Interest
PRIME KELOS STALLION shows himself as a stern and great general, but behind the martial mask and grizzled face is a man slowly having his soul and mind being torn by the responsibilities of his position. He was a Custodian and war hero who easily became a Council Member, Subprime, and then Prime thanks to his popularity, but the political tasks proved too daunting even for him. Wanting nothing more than to bring Mars back to a lush planet for all to enjoy, Prime Stallion is frequently forced to send bright young faces in the Custodians to their death in order to maintain the status quo and prevent the Martian Front from losing more territory.

THE WINDWALKER is a mysterious metallic humanoid robot armed with an Antediluvian Beam Lance which can fire searing Haemoplasma from afar as well as be used as a effective polearm weapon. It can also use Haemotechnological powers even though no one has seen it draw blood. The Windwalker appeared shortly after the annihilation of the last human on Mars by the genocidal Digital Intelligences. It began waging a one-machine war against the Digital intelligences that began building their own civilization on Mars. The Windwalker somehow survived the Atomic Rain LILITH unleashed on Mars and after a few bad encounters and miscommunications the Custodians realized that the Windwalker is mostly harmless unless provoked. The Windwalker is nominally aligned with the Custodial Protectorate and Martian Front as it has been frequently seen fighting alongside Custodians and local militia groups against Novi Phaedran, Mavethite, Carnemite, and more dangerous Outlaw forces. The Windwalker is named as such because it appears and disappears with the Wailing Winds. Indeed, many enemies of the Martian Front fear the Wailing Winds as it could mean an appearance of the deadly Windwalker.

CUSTODIAN NOELLA DE PARKER has only been in Potterville for a few months and already she has found herself in the thick of things. An accidental Heroine, she has somehow managed to fend off a Mavethite Platoon by herself, kill TWO Novi Phaedran warlords, toppled a few Bandit Kingdoms, and stopped a resurgent Genocidal Digital Intelligence. Even though she is equipped with the impressive Dreadnought Combat Suit, few can understand how she not only survived but did the things she did. Even Custodian de Parker herself has no idea, saying good luck and a cool head helped her get through the day. CIAPHAS CAIN EXPY AHOY!

DREADNOUGHT CUSTODIANS, HEAVY INFANTRY
"And his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.
-Revelation 6:8, King James Version Bible

Overview
One of the Heaviest Infantry Units of the the Custodial Protectorate, the Dreadnought Custodian is designed for anti-armor roles, both against other heavy infantry and combat vehicles. Originating to face off against most Novi Phaedran Warriors 1v1, the Dreadnought Custodians soon became an integral part in any Solar Expedition.

Background
The Dreadnought Custodian was devised in the late 28th century after too many standard Custodian Infantry lost their lives to small bands of Novi Phaedran Warriors in heavier Power Armor. While Dolphin IFVs were decent enough, they could just barely handle the Warbands and the Stag MBT was considered too slow and a bit of an overkill to be used to chase around the smaller and faster Novi Phaedrans. It was decided that the best way to fight the Protectorate's most hated enemy was to play their own game against them. The Dreadnought Custodian is armed with heavy or even vehicular weapons as standard armament choices. The Dreadnought Combat Suit is much slower in movement and expensive to create than normal Custodian Combat Suits, but it is able to withstand a decent amount of pain the Novi Phaedrans can dish out on a regular basis.

While Dreadnought Custodians are not exclusive to Martians, their more slower pace requires patience and nerves of steel that most Martians are raised with, whereas most Custodians train around speed and continuous momentum. It requires a different mentality and combat doctrine that some find jarring. Added with the fact that Martian Custodians face Novi Phaedrans on a regular basis, it isn't surprising many chose to become Dreadnoughts.

Equipment
The Dreadnought Combat Suit has around the same amount of armor used by the Type 2 Dolphin IFV and equipped with powerful synthetic muscles allowing even an unarmed Dreadnought to crush metal with its bare hands.

The dual-linked Plasma Rifle is the standard weapon of the Dreadnought Combat Suit and in many respects is like the Plasma Rifle, except double the power (two Haemoplasma bursts instead of one!) and accuracy (two Haemoplasma bursts firing side by side!). It can decimate the heaviest of armor.The revolving 8 gauge Dust Assault Shotguns are also a popular choice. Usually seen only on the powerful Mark X "Stag" Main Battle Tank, the Dust Assault Shotgun is good for ripping apart anything in front of the Custodian in close quarter combat.

Other weapon choices include a 15mm Gatling Gun for hordes of light vehicles or dual wielding Type 10 Automatic Shotguns- Box Fed System for hordes of charging infantry.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities of the Dreadnought Custodians are Suppress (for most weapons), Aim (for the dual-linked Plasma Rifle), Duel, Hunker Down!, Assist, and Battlecry.

The Dreadnought Custodians get one attack of either Ranged or Close Combat unless they are dual wielding Type 10 Automatic Shotguns -Box Fed Systems, in which case they can fire these twice.

OVERCHARGED PLASMA SHOT can only be used if they are equipped with the dual-linked Plasma Rifle. Like the Dolphin IFV's Plasma Cannon, it gives the Rifle a boost of melted Haemomachines, allowing for its next attack to penetrate enemy armor by 2 points. It can be used in conjunction with Aim. It costs 2 Haemo Points.

BLOOD MIST sends a mist of Haemomachines to cloud an enemy Squad or Character and reduce their Ranged accuracy. It costs 1 Haemo Point per turn to maintain.

BLOOD SHIELD gives a +2 to Toughness to the Squad or any other Allied Unit(s). This Blood Shield lasts is used up upon an Enemy attack on the affected Unit(s). It costs 2 Haemo Points to use.

Baseline Stats
Poor HP
Excellent Toughness
Average Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Average Willpower
Poor Movement
Average Haemo Points
Average Cost


The Burning Syndicates of Mercury
Our Claws are Sharp

Overview
A cluster of Anarchist Syndicate collectives that are nominally align with the Protectorate, the Burning Syndicates are fiercely protective of their autonomy and while hospitable most of the time are quick to defend their lifestyle against anyone. Stereotyped as angry gun-toting anarchists, The Syndicates and Novi Phaedrans consider each other ancient enemies due to an event during the past. With an increased presence of the Protectorate due to recent and frightening archaeological finds, the myriad Syndicates have begun deciding to either isolate themselves even further or grudgingly help the Protectorate in containing whatever lurks beneath the the Caloris Montes mountain range.

Capital: The Meeting Place (unofficially)
Government Type: Anarcho-Syndicalist Cooperatives with a Worker Congress
Head of State: Citizen-Councilperson Brook Govendor (unofficially)
Population: 500 Million
Currency: The Credit (unofficially)
Territory: All of Mercury, but most reside on the polar caps or in mobile settlements on the darker side of the planet.
History
There were a few colonization efforts during the Solar Federation era, but none managed to be successful beyond some research facilities and extreme tourism. It wasn't until LILITH and the Custodial Protectorate came with Haemotech-assisted colonization infrastructure that Mercury was a viable option. But even with the help of ancient super technology based on blood Mercury was too extreme for many to comfortably colonize.

Enter the Syndicates. Mostly Anarcho-Syndicalist by nature, the Syndicates were far enough from the core worlds to not be affected badly by the Great Worm Crisis and close enough to not fall victim of the newly formed Carnemicum. Living on Saturn's satellites, the Syndicates were more than happy in taking in the desperate Novi Phaedrans who were fleeing from the Custodial Protectorate. Not realizing the width of the gap between the two ideologies, the Syndics liked the self-determination and hard work ethic of the Novi Phaedrans. When they learned the other, less savory aspects of their new neighbors, it was far too late. Firmly settled in Titan and encroaching on the other moons of Saturn the Novi Phaedrans easily swept away the floor with the relatively weaker Anarcho-Syndicalists. The survivors went to the Custodial Protectorate with their tails tucked beneath their legs metaphorically speaking. While the Syndicalists and Custodial Protectorate didn't see quite a few things eye to eye, there was enough in common that a compromise was made and LILITH gave the survivors lots of gear and plopped them in the middle of Mercury. In return for raw materials mined from the planet, the Anarcho-Syndicalists would be allowed to govern themselves while nominally aligned with the Custodial Protectorate. They didn't have to pay in the Blood Tax or expect to send their folks to Dark Earth to train in the Academy. The Anarcho-Syndicalists would form their little worker collective niches, fume at everything they lost from the Novi Phaedrans, happily mine the rich resources of Mercury to send some off to the Custodial Protectorate in return for Haemotechnology, and general mind their own fucking business.

Because of its distance and heat, few enemies bother attacking Mercury. Hell, not many people from the Protectorate visit Mercury all that often either. The Syndics are fine with the way things are, though quite a few have gone along in some Solar Expeditions to get some payback on Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones or overthrow the yolk of Carnemite slavers and Mavethite Capitalists. Antediluvian Artifacts have been popping up in Mercury, but not to the extent as in the other planets, indicating that even the ancient Antediluvians didn't see much investment in Mercury.

Except recent discoveries of strange Antediluvian ruins all across the Caloris Montes Mountain Range have suddenly made Mercury a point of interest for LILITH, and it is on Mercury where the story OPERATION STRANGE MERCURY will be set, so stay tuned!

Economy
There are two distinct Economies for two distinct cultures in Venus. One, the Polar Syndicates, have habitation domes and underground hive settlements in the craters on the poles which houses lots and lots of ice. They use this ice to fuel and water their hydroponic farms which feeds the Worker Collectives all across the planet. The Polar Syndicates also house medical facilities for more serious ailments and injuries as they are stationary, unlike the Rovers. The Roving Syndicates follow the rotation of the the planet in large caravans of vehicles and trucks packed with easily deployable prefab habs and mining equipment. They find a resource vein, set up camp, mine it for a few weeks, and then pack up to find the next vein or race to stay in the darker side of Mercury. Periodically cargo ships from the greater Custodial Protectorate would meet up with the Miners' Collectives and collect an agreed upon quota of metals and chemicals in return for finished goods and repairs on their habitation modules and vehicles.

Because of its close vicinity to the Sun, the Syndicates have no worry about solar energy. They have extremely durable solar panels that collect the sunlight and charge them in batteries underground for the 176 days of Sunlight and then shut off and undergo self-diagnostic and repair while they wait for the next sunrise. The Nomadic Syndicates go around to collect the batteries and repair any heavy damages or malfunctions that may occur.

Government and Ideology
Believing in Workers' Rights, Solidarity, and Self-Organization, there is no true Ruler of all of the Burning Syndicates of Mercury. The closest thing to a representative of all of them is Citizen-Councilperson Brook Govendor, who simply has the most connections with the various Unions and Collectives and act as a middleperson between the Protectorate and the Syndics. Even zhey don't have frequent connections with quite a few Syndicates who remain isolated and aloof to Custodial politics.

The closest to a Capital the Anarcho-Syndicalists have is the Meeting Place, a large dome built in an equally large crater on the southern pole. Here both Rovers and Polars come together to debate and discuss issues pertaining to them. Direct Democracy is practiced, voting only commencing when everyone had a say.

While autonomous, some Worker Unions and Collectives have formed close networks with each other to form Federations. United by a common goal, these Federations represent the closest thing to factions in the Burning Syndicates of Mercury. The most popular two are the neutral/slightly Pro-Protectorate Workers of the System Unite! Federation and the anti-Protectorate Autonomous Mercury Federation.

A link for more about Anarcho-Syndicalism since I'm too lazy to reiterate what Anarcho-Syndicalist beliefs are.

Culture
As mentioned before, there are two main groups of Syndicates. The Polar Syndicates live in the ice-capped craters in the poles in permanent habitations, growing food and providing services to the Rovers. They have a steady, pragmatic outlook to life. They prefer to spend time in the many People's Canteens and enjoy complex plays set forth by Worker Theater Groups. Baseball is a popular sport in the Polar Syndicates, as well as Association Football (of course). The Polar Syndics like the way things are and get pretty cranky when things go awry or change too fast.

The Rover Syndicates have a more nomadic life and like to take life on the fast lane. Slam Poetry, mountain climbing, cave spelunking. The Rovers do it EXTREME. An adventurous sort, Rovers are the ones most likely to join Custodians, agitate the local population, and stumble upon secrets they shouldn't. Many are expert drivers and mechanics due to their life revolving around their caravans of heavy Rovers and Space Trucks.

Despite their differences, Syndics are known to be ornery due to the heat, hard labor, and history they suffered in the hands of Novi Phaedrans. Because of the direct democratic nature of the decision-making process, Syndics are not afraid to speak their mind. They are less pushy than Gaians and self-absorbed like the Dark Earthers though, believing everyone as a right to choose if they want to join one group or another and that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself and not rely on others (this is in line with the Direct Action tenant of Anarcho-Syndicalism).

Like most of the Custodial Protectorate, the Syndics are vegetarians, vegans in fact. While there are lots of hydroponic gardens running all year long and shipments from Gaia periodically stopping by, the food supply isn't enough and most of the food Syndics eat is soylent-based crackers and nutritious slop. This is another reason for their negative vibes. To compensate for the mostly monotonous diet Syndics make really good distilled alcohol made from the vegetable and algae byproducts. Visitors stated that Mercurial Alcohol feels like a spaceship hit you in the back of the head and a hangover as heavy as a black hole. Syndics only ever drink their libations straight, considering cocktails and cut drinks disgusting.

Most members of the Burning Syndicates of Mercury are atheists, but a good number of Jewish, Folk, and Christian Collectives do exist. A proper census could not be accurately conducted, but an estimated 70% are secular/nonreligious and an estimated 30% follow a sort of faith, usually followed by many in the Workers' Syndicate they are in. LILITH worship is abysmally low, as LILITH has only a marginal role in Mercury aside from her role in supplying Haemotechnology. Syndics state that LILITH said she is no god, so she is no god.

Military
There is no national army in the Burning Syndicates and Custodian presence on Mercury is minimal. Each Union and Federation handles their own defense, workers forming Security Committees to organize, train, and supply militias when needed. Federations are able to muster much bigger militias and these have been known to fend off the few Novi Phaedran incursions that did occur in Mercury's history.

Because of Mercury's interesting status in the Custodial Protectorate, the Custodians aren't too comfortable giving Custodian weapons to people who are slightly nicer than the Outlaw States in Mars. Instead the Custodial Protectorate gives components of weaponry and allow the Syndicates to develop their own brand of weapons. Rudimentary compared to the weapons used by the Custodians, guns like the Revolutionary Action Defense Rifle and the Van Eyck Machine Pistol are popular outside of Mercury, some of the guns finding themselves in the hands of Criminals and even Carnemites.

Thanks to their oratory abilities due to the direct democratic process for many decisions in the Syndicates and the necessary mandatory skill to keep the habitation domes and land trains working, Mercurial Syndics who journey along with Solar Expeditions known as Agitators have been known to turn the tide of many battles despite their lackluster armament and laughable armor.

Places of Interest
Aside from habitats on the poles inside ice-covered craters, the only permanent structures on the surface of Mercury are memorials, solar panels, half-buried recharging stations and supply storage for the Syndicates to supply from and refuel, and heavy mining equipment too heavy to move and must be periodically maintained to prevent it from being destroyed by the sun even with Haemotechnological elements in it.

The MEETING PLACE is the closest thing to a capital for the myriad Syndicates and communities in Mercury. It is located in the southern pole of the planet in a large series of habitation domes and greenhouses for people to reside in and eat from as the many people representing their Unions debate and ponder decisions and lecture to those interested in their opinions. The Meeting Place is also one of the major spaceports in Mercury, overseen by the Solar Sail Union. Because of these reasons the Meeting Place is the only place where the Custodial Protectorate and her Custodians have any meaningful presence, staying there in a diplomatic and advisory capacity.

The GOETHE COLLECTIVE is located in the Goete Basin near the northern pole of Mercury. It is the largest farm in Mercury, filling the whole basin with half-buried hydroponic farms in domes. The Goethe Collective feeds about 80 percent of the other Syndicates in return for materials and support. The Goethe Collective is part of the Workers of the System Unite! Federation, believing that the Custodial Protectorate is benign and syndicates should voluntarily join. The Goethe Collective is also known for growing a wide variety of plants for recreational drug use and traded all across the Solar System, drawing the ire of some Mavethite Cylinders and Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones.

The MITZEL COLLECTIVE is located in the Mitzel Impact Basin on the edge of the southern pole. This collective comprises of mostly those of a Jewish ethnic or cultural background. Mostly engineers and scientists, the Mitzel Collective have the unenviable and complicated task of creating Haemotech nanites without the help of LILITH and Antediluvian technology, believing Mankind will achieve true freedom and sovereignty if they free Haemotechnoloy from the rule of LILITH and dependency on past civilizations that currently dictate the Custodial Protectorate. While possible, it is excruciating and more about stretching the usage existing Haemotech Nanites than creating new ones. Despite massive setbacks, The Mitzel Collective have been close to rediscovering the process to create the baseline of Haemotechnology from scratch. This has caused many Powers of the Solar System to take notice. They are part of the anti-Protectorate Autonomous Mercury Federation, but ironically due to their work have been a frequent attack for criminals, Mavethites, and Novi Phaedrans. This has caused the Mitzel Collective to have to rely on increased assistance from the Custodial Protectorate, much to their chagrin.

THE RED ROCK MINING UNION is the largest Nomadic Union in Mercury. Focusing on mining, the RRMU has hundreds of large vehicles that house the community and transport them from mining area to mining area, escaping the scorching sun and using batteries charged by solar panels all across Mercury's surface, similar to water wells in a desert. The RRMU not only mines, but also processes some of of raw materials into items and building materials to give to other Syndicates for their factories. The RRMU's Defense Unit is one of the largest and strongest Syndicate militias in Mercury, having decent armor and armament for all their volunteers as well as combat vehicles almost on par with lighter Custodial Protectorate vehicles. The RRMU have joined no federation, preferring to be neutral and keep to themselves but have many close ties with other mining Nomadic Syndicates who are part of many different federations.

THE SCARPER SYNDICATES is named after the many escarpments all across Mercury. While Nomadic, they have been known to make small semi-permanent settlements inside these large hilly areas, hopping from one settlement to another. Though these settlements in the escarpments are quite barebones and rudimentary, it allows the Scarpers to move around, set up camp, and then pick up and head to the next settlement in the hills as the sun starts approaching their area. The Scarper Syndicates are a self-sufficient Syndicate of a variety of smaller Worker Unions, in a way a Federation of their own. Each industry and service sector come together and discuss their goals and issues for the day, arguing and debating how much the workers should work. They do a bit of everything themselves. Because they frequently stumble upon Antediluvian Artifacts while digging into the escarpments and hills of Mercury, they have close ties with Archaeologists from the Protectorate but are averse to sell them to collectors. The Scarpers use what Artifacts they collect to raise the Standard of Living or better support their Scarper Militia. They are part of the pro-Protectorate Workers of the System Unite! and the Artifact-focused Revolutionary History Federations.

The HAYSTACK COLLECTIVE is famous for having single handedly routed two Novi Phaedran Warbands who attacked the Nomadic Collective for their "Pre-Antediluvian" Artifacts which they research on with the help of the Protectorate. This nomadic Syndicate's main Economic Focus is repairing equipment, structures, and vehicles used by the Syndicates, being extremely skilled at repairing and refurbishing heavy equipment. The Haystack Collective also send out the largest number of Agitators into the Solar System of all the Syndicates, making them close with the Protectorate and bitter enemies to the other factions. Because of their situation, the Haystack Collective is part of the Workers of the System Unite! Federation, allied with the Custodial Protectorate.


People of Interest
CITIZEN-COUNCILPERSON BROOK GOVENDOR is the closest thing to a leader in the Burning Syndicates of Mercury. Zhey have connections with many of the Syndicates and Worker Unions as well as with the Custodial Protectorate, becoming a sort of bridge between the two. Brook Govendor is part of the Goethe Collective, having been a Representative for over three decades. Zhey are currently dealing with increased Novi Phaedran attacks due to increased Antediluvian Artifacts popping up, as well as retaliation for a series of successful revolutions in Novi Phaedran zones caused by Agitators. Havin

ALECKA TAVERISH is what some call a Professional Agitator. She has been in the center of many revolutions and worker uprisings all across the Solar Systems, having led rabbles of ill-equipped proletariat and revolutionaries against superior forces and winning. While she focuses her agitation against the Fascistic Novi Phaedrans, Bourgeois Mavethites, and Barbaric Carnemites, Alecka Taverish has been known to also rile up unruly mobs in the Custodial Protectorate, believing the Protectorate to be milquetoast in its desire to bring a true liberation of all Workers. While barely tolerated by the Custodians, Comrade Taverish has proven a vital asset in turning downtrodden and despairing POWs and occupied populations into bloodthirsty fighters.

DR. IVANOR SMEERMOFF is the preeminent Scholar in Pre-Antediluvian, or the so called "Tsarevet Civilization" (named after Fort Tsarevet in which Caesar found the Sword that granted the first Novi Phaedrans Apotheosis) Artifacts. While incredibly rare to find, these Tsarevet items have found their way into the Haystack Collective's hands due to either taking it from Novi Phaedran hands or stumbling upon it buried underneath some hill. Dr. Ivanor Smeermoff believes that the Tsarevet Civilization was a Matriarchal society, something that might turn Novi Phaedran lore on its head, and hope to undergo an extremely risky expedition deep into the seas of Titan itself to find ancient Tsarevet Ruins that appeared there due to an influx of Apotheosis energy.

WOLFE TROTSKY was originally known as Wolfe Trask and was part of Admiral Clayton's Genesis Alpha Project in the Republic of Maveth. Artificially created from Admiral Clayton's genetics and a host of others as the prototype of a new brew of super soldiers, Wolfe was treated less as a human being and son, and more as a weapon. Only his older half-brother Samuel Trask treated him with any decency. When Project Genesis Alpha was sidelined for the much cheaper Jiangshi Program, he was put in the Phoenix Militia alongside his brother and sent to Mars. After seeing atrocities committed by the Mavethites and being left for dead, Wolfe Trask was rescued by the Custodians and after persuading them he no longer had loyalties to the Republic, tried to settle down and start a family in a small mining Nomad Community in Mercury with the Anarcho-Syndicalists after changing his name to TROTSKY. Of course, trouble always seem to follow him around...

RAMI YARIV is a member of the Mitzel Collective. Part of the Mitzel Militia, he is implanted with an experimental Haemogenerator that slowly creates Haemomachines by using his body as an incubator, not needing to sacrifice blood in return for Haemomachines. It also doesn't need complicated Antediluvian technology or LILITH-powered supercomputers. It is ridiculously slow and experimental, but if the implant in Rami Yariv proves successful, the Custodial Protectorate could restructure itself into a more egalitarian and libertarian system. Rami Yariv has a poor pool of Haemo Points and rudimentary Haemo Powers, but is a testament to the dedication of the Mitzel Collective.

AGITATOR, LIGHT INFANTRY
"The Battle of Unity Rupes. The Novi Phaedran captured the whole colony full of old miners and students. Unfortunately for the Novi Phaedrans there was one Agitator in the midst of it all. It ended with the old miners and students butchering all the warlords, led by the Agitator piloting a hijacked Battle Walker."
-Summaries of The People's Struggles on Mercury.

Overview
Part Combat Leader, Part Commando, Agitators of the Burning Syndicates of Mercury make up for their lack of equipment and Haemotech Powers by their ability to rally the morale of allies, hijack Enemy Vehicles, and raise mobs of civilians and workers to fight. [EDITOR NOTE: Mob Stats will be added at a later date]

Background
The Burning Syndicates of Mercury believe that the people directly involved in the Means of Production should determine and dictate what they should do. This requires a good communication and debating skill, as workers have to persuade and argue with each other for what they want done. They also have to be proficient in technical skills to repair the vehicles, infrastructure, domes, and heavy equipment that keeps them moving away or safe from the scorching gaze of the Sun. Top it off with the value of Direct Action that is built into Anarcho-Syndicalism, and you can see why Agitators exist in large numbers. Many fight the Novi Phaedrans, having a personal grudge against them due to their history.

How one became an Agitator varies as the number of Syndicates on Mercury. Some deliberately chose to bring the Permanent Revolution, as laid out by Trotsky, across the Solar System. Either tagging alongside the Custodians on their Solar Expeditions or going at it alone, these Agitators would serve as the Vanguard for the Proletariat and gradually get enough revolutionaries to eventually start a Revolution. Others are reclusive Agitators, exploring the Solar System and being stuck in the wrong place and the wrong time. Surrounded by terrified civilians and terrible enemies, these Mercurial Syndics have no choice but take the mantle and lead the charge for survival and freedom, happily putting their banner and gun down at the first sign of safety.

The Custodial Protectorate tolerates and even sympathizes with the Agitators, but are also wary as they have been known to cause Civil Unrest at the first sign of oppression. Agitators from Mercury and Knight Custodians from the Bright Kingdom of Gaia share the same ideals of justice, but Agitators see Knight Custodians as naive liberals while Knight Custodians see Agitators as abrasive and overreacting partisans.

Equipment
Agitators usually use local, Syndicate-made weapons like the venerable Revolutionary Action Defense Rifle and Van Eyck Machine Pistol alongside a heavy improvised Close Quarter weapon like a Wrench, Pipe, or Sledgehammer. Their anti-vehicular capacity is frankly laughable, using only improvised pipe bombs that can damage Light Vehicles decently but above that are practically useless. Their Armor is usually a Armored Vacuum Suit or Worker Hardsuit, which is decent against Small Arms fire but not as durable as Custodian Armor.

Agitators can go three routes. If they want to increase their fighting power, they can get a Plasma Rifle to increase anti-Armor and anti-Vehicle power. If they want to go the vehicle hijacking Route, the Agitator gets a Rapid Entry Device that gives them a +2 to hijack Vehicles. Finally the Agitator can get a Dedicated Comm System allowing them to rally forces at a longer distance and give them an extra Mob to summon.

Abilities
The Agitator's Universal Abilities are Battlecry, Assist, Suppress, Aim (if given a Plasma Rifle), Repair, Field Requisition, Man Heavy Weaponry, Charge, Heal, and Rush.

The Agitator gets 3 attacks, either Close Quarters or Ranged.

RISE UP! allows the Agitator to summon Revolutionary Mobs on their turn after rolling a Willpower Save. The Revolutionary Mob does not count when determining Army Points. Agitators can summon a maximum of 2 Revolutionary Mobs (3 if they have a Dedicated Comm System). [RULES AND STATS FOR REVOLUTIONARY MOBS WILL BE ADDED IN A LATER POST]

HIJACK allows the Agitator to hijack and commandeer an Enemy Vehicle. The Agitator must roll their Willpower Stat against the Enemy's Willpower Stat. If the Agitator succeeds, they gain control of the vehicle. If they fail, they must roll Willpower again or be stunned. Upon succeeding a Hijack, the Agitator disappears as they are technically inside the Vehicle. They use the Vehicle's stats aside from Willpower, which uses the Agitator's, and gain any of the Vehicle's Abilities along with any existing Agitator Abilities. Ammo Count does not replenish upon Hijack. If an Agitator desires to leave the Vehicle, the Vehicle is destroyed. Depending on the Vehicle Type a penalty is given to the Agitator when rolling to Hijack. A Light Vehicle gives a 0, Normal Vehicles give a -1, and a Heavy gives a -2.

RALLY is a passive ability in which all Allied Characters or Squads within a [TO BE DETERMINED] range of the Agitator is given a +2 to WIllpower and Toughness rolls. This buff disappears when they move away from the radius or if the Agitator dies.

IMPROVED BATTLECRY gives a +2 instead of a +1 to Close Quarters, Ranged, Willpower, or Toughness to the Character or Squad who activated it for one Round.

URA! gives ALL Allied Characters and Squads on the Battlefield a +2 to their Close Quarter Attacks upon a Charge. This is NOT counting the bonus to Close Quarter attacks given by sacrificing up to 3 points of Toughness. This lasts for two Rounds. It can only be used once per game.

Baseline Stats
Poor HP
Poor Toughness
Average Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Good Willpower
Excellent Movement
No Haemo Points
Dirt Cheap Cost


Republic of Maveth Cylinders

Cylinder Aleph
Sail Together

Overview
The Capital of the Republic of Maveth, the humongous Cylinder Aleph is home to the head honchos of the Combined Space Force and Generalissimo X himself. It is in Cylinder Aleph that the major decisions of the Republic are made. It can also become the biggest and deadliest Spaceship in the Solar System, packing barrages of nuclear warheads, Antediluvian super weapons, and miles upon miles of missile racks akin to a Highway. Many fear Cylinder Aleph for its power, and it is said that its reach alone determines the boundary between the Custodial Protectorate and Republic of Maveth. Despite having a regal air, corruption is high as the cutthroat world of politics thrives here.

Government Type: Representative Democracy with a strong Executive Branch (officially and Republic-wide)/ Militaristic Naval Aristocracy (locally)
Head of State: Generalissimo X
Head of Government: Ur-Admiral Yu Dai-Gu
Population: 2 Billion
Currency: The Republican Thaler
Territory: All of Cylinder Alpha along with its nearby shipyards and some colonies on Pachamama.
History
Cylinder Aleph was the first O'Neill Cylinder ever created for general use in the immediate aftermath of the Great Worm Crisis. While space stations of various sorts have long existed, the ambitious O'Neill Cylinder was never built aside from test prototypes and experiments. It was built in desperation after Generalissimo X came out of the Antediluvian Ruins somewhere in Venus and decreed all resources and workforce to on its creation. Even while it was being built, Cylinder Aleph moved across all the planets aside from an AI-conquered Mars, collecting powerful, wealth individuals and masses of engineers, soldiers, and scientists. The refuse and trash of society were left behind and excluded from the safety of the Cylinder except for those with the connections or the luck to find a spot. Cylinder Aleph was finally completed when it reached Pachamama and gradually began expanding even more until it became the biggest and most technologically advanced Cylinder of the whole Republic. But even with its size the Cylinder became overpopulated and new Cylinders had to be made.

The Nerve Center of the Republic of Maveth is located here, with the main docking and supply yards for the Combined Space Force as well as the prestigious Space Service Academy of the Republic where Officers of the CSF are trained residing in Cylinder Aleph. The General's Estates and Republican Senate Halls are also located in a separate, heavily guarded section of the Cylinder where the Generalissimo himself is purported to reside in and the Republican Senate makes their decisions behind closed doors. Because of its importance no expense was saved in giving Cylinder Aleph the best defensive systems. While it rarely moves out of the orbit of Pachamama, when Cylinder Aleph does move it shakes the geopolitics of the whole Solar System. It only moved against an enemy force twice, and both times utterly shifted the political situation of the Solar System. The first was when the powerful Aryan Dawn Autonomous Zone massacred Mavethites all across parts of Jupiter's moons. Enraged after hostages which included children massacred on real time video, Generalissimo X ordered all 13 O'Neill Cylinders including temporarily allying with House Calamy and House Dread of the Carnemicum to wage war on the Aryan Dawn and allied Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones. From Jupiter to Ouranus war waged across the system, five whole Autonomous Zones wiped out by Cylinder Aleph alone. After two years of bloody fighting and heavy casualties on both sides, the Novi Phaedrans annihilated the Aryan Dawn in order to appease the Republic and stop the fighting. The consequences of the war, called the Massacres, was that while many of the Cylinders required heavy repairs and casualties were enough to render the Republic inoperable and unable to stop the Custodial Protectorate from expanding their territory, the attack by all 13 Cylinders utterly annihilated a dozen major Autonomous Zones if not more minor ones and eliminated whatever space fleets the Novi Phaedran had from the day of the Exodus from Dark Earth. The Novi Phaedrans lost so many ships and the technological base to mass produce them that even to this day the Novi Phaedrans are considered the weakest of the factions in terms of Stellar Combat.

The second time Cylinder Aleph moved out into the battlefield was in the 5th Solar Expedition by the Custodial Protectorate. LILITH was hoping to extend the Custodial Protectorate to the whole of the Asteroid Belt, putting the border of the Protectorate right next to Pachamama. When Cylinder Aleph moved to face the 2nd Voyager Battlefleet, the threat of having to face the terrible firepower and a civilian population ready to fight to the death was too much for the Protectorate and they backed off, making the 5th Solar Expedition the shortest and basically containing the Custodial Protectorate to behind the Asteroid Belt since then.

The Combined Space Force was also founded in Cylinder Aleph. Originally just a refueling and docking station for the myriad of ships that the Republic collected from the survivors of the Solar Federation, shipbuilding facilities around and inside the Cylinder began to pop up. The Space Service Academy of the Republic was built shortly afterwards to train the next generation of officers to crew the next generation of ships. Soon, the economy on Cylinder Aleph became focused on increasing and maintaining the power of the fearsome Combined Space Force.

While Cylinder Alpha is considered the safest and most secured of all the Cylinders due to its importance in government and military, incursions and revolts have been known to occur, notably by Anarcho-Syndicalist Agitators rallying shipbuilders and dockworkers as well as Carnie saboteurs. Corruption and crime are also high, with the line between Government, Corporations, and the Criminal Organizations blurred quite significantly. The Current Ur-Admiral, Yu Dai-Gu, has called for a widespread anti-corruption campaign to clear the "Dark Decay" of the Cylinder. Critics have said that the true purpose is for the Ur-Admiral to consolidate power by eliminating opponents and consolidating power for him and his clique, which include links to the Triad-linked Tongs.

Economy
The Combined Space Force consumes about 90 percent of Cylinder Aleph's focus, with a good majority of resources and services centered around it. Whole corporations were built around feeding this monster, famous and infamous names like StellarReach, Fury Services, Chalalit Choma LLC, and the Xing Wuqi Incorporated all got their start and fame in Aleph Cylinder. StellarReach has a lucrative government contract, owning most of the shipyards and docks in Aleph Cylinder and other Cylinders. They construct a good chunk of the CSF's Ships and repair them as well. Chalalit Choma (Spaceship Wall in Hebrew) LLC deals with defensive systems for ships like ECMs, Defense Lasers, Smart Hull Armor, and environmental safety systems. Xing Wuqi Incorporated deals with manufacturing weapons for the spaceships of the CSF such as Missiles, Railcannons, and Drone Fighters. Xing Wiqu Incorporated is riddled with controversies, from working hazards at their factories to giving weapons to criminal, mercenary, and rogue states to test on enemies with little worry about any PR nightmare concerning human rights and genocide. As such, Xing Wuqi Inc. is highly secretive and their facilities are akin to Maximum Security Prisons and important military bases. Fury Services is an interesting case as they are a Private Contracting Firm that deals with leasing specialized individuals to the CSF and CSF-related companies to fill gaps recruitment and penal conscripts cannot. Though on the surface they provide Nuclear Engineers, C&C Officers, Decontamination Units, and Security Personnel, it is the Security Personnel that gets the most interest. Because Fury Services is not part of the CSF or any Militia, they are not beholden by a good chunk of Mavethite Military Law and can get through a good chunk of red tape. When the CSF or any corporation wants to undergo a task they would rather not write the paperwork for, they hire Fury Services to do. Thus while the company state they are a Private Contracting group, many claim it's a front for their Private Military Contracting aspect. Xing Wiqu Incorporated and StellarReach hires their contractors extensively, for guarding top-secret facilities, busting strikes, or "making the problem disappear".

While 90 percent of Cylinder Aleph is based on ship building, ship manning, and ship repair, the remaining 10 percent major economic focus of the Capital of the Republic is Politics and Lobbying. With the General's Estate, the Republican Senate, CSF, Office of Naval Intelligence, and a dozen other government organizations all located in Cylinder Aleph, it is no wonder many people want to get close to where the movers and shakers are. Whole sections of the station are filled with headquarters and staff housing for Special Interest Groups, numerous restaurants are practically inaccessible to the common people as they are reserved by politicians, who plot with their factions in private, secure or maybe not so secure rooms, galas and charities are frequent schmoozing events for lobbyists and the politicians they want to pocket, and schools consisting only of special cliques and political factions are quite common. Corruption, usually in the form of kickbacks, bribes, and nepotism, are rampant here. Crime also occurs on an almost legal and open basis. Espionage, blackmail, extortion, protection rackets, theft, and even assassinations have been used in the toolkits of the Politicians, Special Interest Lobbyists, and Corporate Liasons here, all to get ahead of the competition.

Government and Ideology
Being the Capital of the Republic, Cylinder Aleph is very important in terms of government. A limited Representative Government with a penchant for a dictatorship, Generalissimo X has lots (and lots) of Executive Power, but for the day to day management of the Republic that is left to the Republican Senate. There are 130 Seats, 3 Senators from each Cylinder for a total of 39 Representative Senators (technically 40 seats but 1 seat is given permanently to the Generalissimo) and the remaining 90 Seats being Elected by the fellow Senators. Here they determine laws, vote in or impeach fellow Senators, and hear Concerned Citizens air out grievances (I.E. listen to the Lobbyists or else).

The Office of Naval Intelligence is the primary Intelligence Agency of the Republic of Maveth. Directly answering to Generalissimo X and nominally part of the Combined Space Force, ONI deals with intelligence gathering all across the Solar System, counter-espionage operations, and Black Ops on a regular basis. The most famous Agent, the elusive and mysterious Agent Xing, is called the Right Hand Man of the Generallismo and had a hand in many events going on in the Republic and beyond. ONI has the best equipment and training, allowing them to easily evade detection in places like Titan and Dark Earth. If they are compromised, ONI Agents are a force to be reckoned with.

While the Republican Senate and the General Estates where Generalissimo X resides call the shots for the whole Republic of Maveth and nominally a Limited Democracy, it is the Combined Space Force's Admirals and Captains who form the culture of Cylinder Aleph and it is they who prioritize the CSF above all else in the Republic. A sort of Aristocracy based around veteran and retired CSF Officers as well as important figures in the Office of Naval Intelligence, this close-knit network hold many important positions in the Republic thanks to Cylinder Aleph's position as Capital. Many Admirals and Captains become Senators themselves, their wealth and connection getting them a ticket into Politics easily.

The importance and culture of the CSF is so ingrained that these naval officers have begun acting like nobility themselves, having a rigid set of etiquette, a complicated hierarchical system, dynasties, and even duels of honor. The Ur-Admiral, who is practically King of Cylinder Aleph and who all CSF Admirals answer to, is Yu Dai-Gu. He rules his neo-nobles with an iron fist and makes sure their petty feuds do not hamper the Generalissimo or the Republic as a whole. An austere and honor-bounded (in a twisted and myopic way) man, Yu Dai-Go nonetheless is as prone to corruption and criminality as every other, but does so with an air of patriotism and noble intentions. His faction, informally called the Yu Gang, hold tight control over the Republic's Treasury and demand absolute loyalty from the other Senators of Cylinder Aleph, which they give fearfully.

Despite the power of the Naval Aristocracy, Generalissimo X serves as an aloof and unifying element to Cylinder Aleph and the Republic as a whole. When he appears, the petty fighting and backstabbing stops. When he speaks, everyone listens. Without him, the Elite of Cylinder Aleph would have easily taken over all the Republic with their brand of government and mentality. To continue being in the Generalissimo's favor the Aristocrats of the CSF have been forced to play nice with the other power groups of the other Cylinders like the Militia Generals of Cylinder Chel, the Theocrats of Cylinder Perdition, and the Industrial Titans of Cylinder Fortaleza, much to their chagrin. Generalissimo X further cemented this at one time by having members of all Cylinders except Cylinder Alpha join his Thanksgiving table when the Naval Aristocrats were getting too uppity and arrogant.

The members of the CSF and ONI's Upper Echelons see themselves as the most important thing since sliced bread. The fact that the Republic heavily relies on the most powerful Space Navy in the Solar System for its survival has done little to dampen the egos of the Admirals and Captains of Cylinder Aleph. They see themselves as the saviors of the Republic and expect everyone to treat them as such. In their mind, the CSF is everything and the best of everything should be put into it. They look down upon the Militias as Bumpkins waging obsolete and dirty ground wars when the Future should lie with the Space Force. This has caused many tensions between Cylinder Aleph and the other Cylinders and Colonies of the Republic, especially those that rely extensively on the Militias for their power like Cylinder Chel.

Culture
Because of Cylinder Aleph's focus on the Combined Space Force, the culture of this Cylinder is significantly built around it. Many CSF Officers above Ensign have graduated from the Space Service Academy of the Republic and that tight-knit community and culture carried over with them. Even those that did not graduate were influenced by the elitist and quasi-Frat society in the SSAR and got posts thanks to their wealthy parents. The SSAR culture includes rigid etiquette, a tendency for hierarchical structures, and an inclusive community that looks down on outsiders. As many of the cadets there are from families of prestige and wealth, the elite mentality is further compounded upon.

These Naval Aristocrats, as some like to call them, treat their Cylinder like a personal domain. Laws can be easily be waived away with connections and bribery, and the lower classes who refuse to pay their respects to the Officers of the CSF and ONI usually find themselves suddenly harassed and stonewalled from better services, making them practically second-class citizens. These Aristocrats hold lavish Galas and Banquets to make even more connections and rub shoulders with other powerful figures on an almost daily basis, arrange marriages of relatives and children with each other to cement connections (and some say to Keep the Blood Pure), patronize the Arts, and partake in Intrigues and Conspiracies in order to increase their positioning or eliminate an enemy. Duels, sometimes to First Blood, Sometimes to the Death, are quite common between the Naval Officers. Most are bladed duels, but some even use finely-crafted smoothbore single shot Dueling Pistols to solve arguments and retain Honor. Honor is an important element in the culture of this Cylinder, so much so that it is practically the currency used by the Elite to get what they want from each other. Honor determines whether one gets a coveted position, meet with important figures, get the support of those lower in status than them, and how immune they are to certain Laws, usually of a financial nature. Because of Honor, the conduct and behavior of the Naval Aristocrats are highly tailored and regulated to further increase and retain Honor. Thus, while many of them are known to be extremely corrupt and with a hand in criminal activities, they do their darker acts in secret while putting up a front of patriotic and brave Officers of the CSF.

Guanxi, the Chinese custom of maintaining social networks and influential relationships that facilitate deals, is common in the Republic as a a whole but extremely prevalent in Cylinder Aleph. Lucrative Jobs require not what you know and the resume to prove it, but who you know. Incompetent officials in business and government positions are quite common, and those that aren't incompetent are quite ruthless and hellbent on making sure nothing threatens their cushy life. With many of the power players here being from the Space Service Academy, the networking with the elite is quite extensive and close. The NCOs and lower Enlisted require the support of their superiors for job opportunities and Guanxi of their own. For all their elitism and corruption, the Aristocrats care deeply for the CSF and the men and women who serve it. They do everything in their power to give the CSF's Enlisted the best equipment, Healthcare, Training, and Retirement Plans possible, making it the most lucrative career path in the Republic.

For those not in the Combined Space Force or working in an industry directly supporting the CSF, life is a bit more dreary and dangerous. They have to contend with getting scraps from their government after the Space Fleets get the choicest picks. They also have to worry about whether they offend the Naval Aristocrats, as doing so will find the offending party suddenly get stonewalled in benefits and opportunities. Despite this, the masses of Cylinder Aleph are utterly loyal Generalissimo X, who they believe protects the common folk (and indeed, he has been known to give free banquets and financial support to the rabble if he considers the Aristocrats to be getting too cocksure of their power). For many, the best way to live in Cylinder Aleph is to lower your head and watch your step.

Baseball and Association Football are popular sports in Cylinder Aleph. The Arts are highly respected and funded by many Aristocrats. Operas, Theaters, Art Walks, and Libraries are all funded by the Politicians who retired from the CSF and went into a life of politics. Again, the CSF's members and Politicians allied with the CSF and ONI get the best seats and exclusive entertainment while the masses have to contend with cheap and public, almost vaudevillian offerings. For many lower-class civilians, movies, alcohol, and drugs are their go-to means of staving off boredom and the pain of being looked down upon. Both the Elite and the Masses of Cylinder Aleph eat meat along with their mostly plant-based diet, but whereas the Wealthy has the choice of finely cooked and bred steaks, chicken, pork, and fish, the rest have to make do with vermin and offal with the occasional fish.

Crime is rampant in Cylinder Aleph behind the facade of lavish staterooms and stiff Space Force Officers. The Triad, Yakuza, and Mafia all have their hands in the pockets of a good number of Politicians and CSF Officers and vice versa. It is the Crime Organizations who keep the shipyards and ports efficient, holding a close leash on the Unions that are allowed as well as making sure nothing gets between the CSF and its materials. In return, Cylinder Aleph has been known to turn a blind eye to the crime syndicates' various dealings as long as it doesn't boil over in the surface, in which case a few heads on both sides have to roll to keep the peace and Honor of the Cylinder intact.

The main religions of the Aleph Cylinder are Catholicism, Protestant Christian sects of various forms, Judaism, and Confucianism. The Star Cathedral is the biggest Catholic Cathedral in the Solar System, the size of a small city. Many of the population are devout, the lower classes more so than the upper. This has caused a spot of tension as Mercurial Anarcho-Syndicalist Agitators have used the very same faiths that united people to put a spotlight on the hypocrisy of the 1% with their sins, touting the Bible while secretly harming their fellow man. It has caused enough trouble that many religious organizations have begun screening their priests, preachers, rabbis, and such for Mercurial sympathizers.

Military
The Combined Space Force is the Bread and Butter of the Republic, and Cylinder Aleph knows it. The CSF is stationed in Cylinder Aleph's many docks and built and repair in its large shipyards. The Mighty Torchships, nuclear-pulse propelled Battleships armed with almost a hundred subatomic Streak Missile pods and railcannons bristling from a variety of hardpoints, are solely built on StellarReach Shipyards around and near Cylinder Aleph. Other staples of the CSF fleet arsenal include the War Destroyers, the modular and versatile Patrol Cruisers, and heavily armored Spearhead Frigates. But the most powerful arsenal in Cylinder Aleph is the Cylinder itself. Powerful in itself with highways of missile pods on the outside as well as columns of Railgun turrets, the Ur-Admiral or Generalissimo himself can declare a state of Total War, in which case the Cylinder activates its true strength. The Industrial capacity and manpower of the Cylinder are fully dedicated to the defense of the Cylinder. Factories for consumer goods quickly churn out missile components, energy is rationed so subatomic particles for the Streak Missiles are generated, and engineers of all stripes are dedicated to the repair and construction of the Cylinder at War. Those who have not evacuated are pressed into service in other tasks aboard this battle station or on other CSF ships. Otherwise, the unfortunate are conscripted into the Militia and tasked with security or rarely, in dreaded boarding actions. Powerful and extremely dangerous Antediluvian Weapons as well as nuclear armament are pulled out of high-security facilities and research centers to use in the battle. When the threat was over (usually the utter annihilation or capitulation of the threat), Cylinder Aleph would quickly store its important weapons and distribute any surplus to the CSF for use. The evacuees would come back and those who did not come back due to death or otherwise were quickly replaced with new immigrants wanting a place in the Capital of the Republic.

While the Combined Space Force dominates the social and military aspect of Cylinder Aleph and rightfully so, all Cylinders are required by law to have a Militia to defend themselves, and the Capital is no exception. The Phoneix Militia is considered a third importance to the Cylinder, after the Cylinder itself and the CSF. Many of the Rich Elite prefer to hire elite bodyguards and private armies for their own protection, not keen on trusting the public Armed Forces. Even the patron saint of the Phoenix Militia, Generalissimo X himself, has the elite Presidential Guard who have the best equipment money and power can buy, including rare Antediluvian gear.

The Phoenix Militia despite its inglorious status is still decently equipped. They are armed with the Resilience Submachine Gun, which is more powerful than the Aleph PDW, Third Iteration and has an under-barrel, single shot 12 gauge shotgun underneath for a powerful punch in the close quarter fighting the Phoenix Militia mostly partake in due to being put on guard duty inside ships or CSF facilities. Another benefit the Phoenix Militia has is due to their close proximity to the CSF, they can get much better orbital support and faster deployment.

Places of Interest
The GENERAL ESTATES is where the Presidential Manor resides. Less of a mansion and more of a colossal fort, the General Estate has its own life support systems and fortified dome around it to better survive the destruction of Cylinder Aleph if that ever occurred. Generalissimo X supposedly resides here, though he is reportedly seen all across the Republic in the most spontaneous and supposedly random locations. The armory, training yards, and barracks of the Presidential Guard also reside here, as well as the main building of the Office of Naval Intelligence, fitting as Generalissimo X's past as an Intelligence Officer for the Solar Federation.

The REPUBLICAN SENATE BUILDING is where the all action goes on, both political and criminal. Laws are made and broken overnight that are liberally followed by the other Cylinders, money and favors change hands on an hourly basis, and the Politicians are more afraid of each other than any external threat. Lobbyist groups and criminal organizations have all bought the surrounding buildings and zip codes in order to get close to the Senators and CSF Shakers and Movers. Despite a heavy presence of criminal organizations, crime is extremely low as the mob bosses don't want to rock the boat and get the Militia involved. Corruption on the other hand is ubiquitous, usually in the form of kickbacks and nepotism.

The OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE HQ is where the Solar System's most knowledgable and powerful Intelligence Agency resides. They are officially tasked with collecting information on threats both external and internal and dealing with "terrorist elements" within the Republic, ONI has been known partaking in Black Ops deep within enemy territory such as sabotage, assassinations, insurrection fostering, and kidnappings to name a few. The dreaded Agents, or "Men in Black" as some like to call them, are surrounded by rumors about their origins and capacities.

The SHIPYARDS is where the magic of the Combined Space Force happens. Housing many of logistical and maintenance areas for the ships, the Shipyards are where the industrial backbone of StellarReach, Chalalit Choma LLC, and Xing Wuqi Incorporated resides, building and maintaining the products they built and sold to the CSF. Mobs also control the ports, making sure they get their cut and help the corporations by squashing any strikes by controlling the worker unions. This has caused a small war between the Mob and the Anarcho-Syndicalists, which threatens to escalate soon.

The long stretch of road full of skyscrapers and luxury shops on IVORY STREET is where many of the massive corporations of the Republic have their headquarters, wining and dining with Senators and Admirals in the finest Restaurants during the day, secretly meeting with mob bosses and assassins in seedy brothels and drug dens. despite its shiny veneer and corporate image, this area of the 1% for the 1% is probably the most vile place in the Republic and beyond, where anything, including human flesh for pleasure, can be bought and sold with little fear of the law. Sometimes out in the open.

The SHOOTING YARD is a maze of dirt, concrete, and wild growing plants used by the ill-budgeted Phoenix Militia to train their recruits in drills, firing exercises, and wargames. Despite its primitive and barebone nature, the Phoenix Militia has became affectionate in the Shooting Yard, attaching rituals and superstitions around it. Some of these superstitions is naming large patches of plants and trees, never bringing a weapon known to have been touched by an ONI Agent for a week, bowing to the largest tree named Hime upon entering and leaving the Shooting Yard for good luck, and never wearing bright colors in the Shooting Yard. While many consider this pure folklore and silly wives' tales, some Militiamen attribute their survival and success to following the unspoken traditions within the Shooting Yard.

People of Interest
GENERALISSIMO X is the long-living and possibly immortal leader of the Republic of Maveth. Once a Solar Federation Intelligence Officer, his trip into some ruins in Mercury during the Great Worm Crisis led the man now known as the Generalisismo to quickly gather as many important and vital people like other Intelligence Officers, soldiers, naval officers, engineers, and scientists to Pachamama and bestow upon them the gift of the Vita Seed. His face has never been shown, always being covered in a metallic mask with a X jutting from it, wearing flamboyant Military Uniforms with capes and gloves. He is known to be 5'1 and quite slender, but despite his size Generalissimo X has been known to command a presence with his charisma, going from maniacal to heroic to stern at the drop of a hat. Multiple assassination attempts have been known to try to take the Generalissimo's life, but he has always come out on top. He believes that the Republic serves as a middle ground between the ideals of the Custodial Protectorate and Novi Phaedrans, neither progressive nor reactionary but liberal in social affairs but also conservative in its overall philosophy.

UR-ADMIRAL YU DAI-GU is the current Ur-Admiral of Cylinder Aleph and supreme commander of the CSF. He makes sure the war machine of the Republic of Maveth runs smoothly and the defenses of the Capital ever vigilant. A stern and quiet man, Ur-Admiral Yu Dai-Gu is popular with the people for having gained his position with mostly military victories rather than political maneuvering. That being said, he has begun an Anti-Corruption campaign that is a front for eliminating opponents to his political power, becoming a sort of dictator himself and getting the Naval Aristocrats in line. Despite his old age, the Ur-Admiral is an excellent duelist in both blade and bullet, having won as many duels in his pursuit for power as he has won battles in the void of space.

AGENT XING, called the Right Hand Man of the Generalissimo himself, is a veteran Agent of ONI who is known all across the Solar System. Some say he was there when the Generalissimo entered the Antediluvian Ruins on Mars that inspired him to create the Republic, and may have been a colleague of the man known now as Generalissimo X from the Solar Federation days. Equipped with State of the Art technology as well as the ability to modify people personally similar to a Flesh Doctor of the Carnemicum, Agent Xing has a hand in many plots and conspiracies all across the Solar System, and even if he doesn't have a hand in it, would most likely know about it. Agent Xing is said to be so loyal to the Generalissimo that he sacrificed his own daughter to prove his loyalty when a opposing cabal within ONI set him up.

MIRIAM VOCKERS is CEO of StellarReach and one of the richest people in the Solar System. She personally funded the massive expansion of the Shipyards and upgraded the defenses of Cylinder Aleph. For her loyalty and support, her company was given lucrative contracts in building many of the powerful Torchships, even having a few for the personal use of StellarReach. She uses these to invest in mining projects on parts of Jupiter and the Solar System. Miriam Vockers also facilitated the alliance between StellarReach and some of the Tongs, allowing this powerful Corporation the ability to do much shadier actions against their competitors, notably Trailblaze Co. in Cylinder Prosperita and the PowerWork Industrial Group in Cylinder Jia.

MAJOR PIERRE YUNG is the commanding officer of all Phoenix Militia platoons. A gruff man born in the Public Housing areas near the Shipyards, he has been bitter at the Naval Aristocrats who shun the lower classes and Militia who labor and died for their glory and wealth. He deeply cares for the men and women under his command and does everything in his power to help them. Despite his loyalty to the Republic and Generalissimo X, he has secretly accepted help from Anarcho-Syndicalist and Custodial Agents willing to secretly tend to the wounded otherwise neglected by the Cylinder in return for stopping the more sinister and corrupt elements of the Republican Senate and Combined Space Force as well as provide refuge to these operatives in the confusing avenues and winding corridors of the Shooting Yard.

ADMIRAL CLAYTON TRASK is a retired Admiral with many commendations and years of experience. A fairly competent CSF Officer, Admiral Trask is more known for his staggering network of connections and influence within the politics of the Republic. Many Senators whistle his tune, many Admirals fight each other to gain his favor, and whole corporations go out of their way to cater to his every whim and pet project. Despite this, Admiral Trask is an extremely bitter man. Many of his projects were thrown away for cheaper alternatives, his wife committed suicide long ago, he sees enemies everywhere, and worst of all, all of his children are wayward brats and his greatest failures. His oldest son Samuel refused to join the cushy Commissioned Officer position Clayton pulled strings for in order to join the lowly Militia, his daughter Tasha was sent to a Star King Clan as a bride but soiled the secret alliance after killing her much older husband and escaped to become a maniacal cultist, and his genetic creation and the prize of the Genesis Alpha Super Soldier Program, Wolfe Trask, also proved to be a failure and instead of dying gloriously and conveniently joined Syndic Terrorists, taking his skills to the Protectorate's side. Admiral Trask vows to bring everyone, especially his children, to heel one day, and has already begun plotting webs of plots to get his revenge and regain what he perceives as stolen glory.

ONI AGENT, LIGHT INFANTRY
"Target acquired. Proceeding with Mission."
-an ONI Agent

Overview
The Field Agents of ONI, ONI Agents are known as Men in Black in some circles due to their similarity with the 20th century Urban Legend. Equipped with debilitating weapons and have access to a variety of rare equipment, Agents are tasked with quickly undertaking their variety of missions and quickly extracting from the scene.

Background
Little is known about the origins of the so called "Men in Black" (though women are known to be in the ranks). ONI's official statement is that the Agents were created shortly after the creation of the Republic to curtail secessionist and criminal elements during the chaotic years just after the founding. But some conspiracy theorists believe that the MiB date from extremist elements of the Solar Federation's Intelligence Agency who knew of the coming situation but did nothing about it in order to gain power or even started the Great Worm Crisis or even orchestrated it themselves. More wild theories state that they've been around since the mid 1940s during the beginning of the Cold War, aligning themselves first to the USA in the NSA and CIA, then the Solar Federation's Intelligence Agency, and finally with the Republic's Office of Naval Intelligence.

Regardless of their true origins, ONI Agents are created by a rigorous process. Prospective recruits are usually taken from the Combined Space Force and the rank and file of ONI itself, but sometimes veteran Militia members are also chosen. After a period trial where the Agent secretly tests their choices and judges them fit, ONI Agents will vote on whether to accept the recruit or not. Usually they accept, but sometimes there are complications if they believe the recruiting Agent has a personal agenda. Once accepted, the novice Agent will be sent to the variety of training centers deep in Pachamama for a few years and undergo physically, mentally, and psychologically rigorous training. If the Agent survives, they'll be quickly sent on their first mission. Out of a 100 potential recruits, only about a dozen survive their first mission and become full fledged ONI Agents.

Those Agents who manage to get through Hell itself are given the best of the best in everything. Equipment, Training, Services, and most importantly, Information, is all top-notch. Agents have one of the highest Security Clearances in the Republic and are knowledgeable of all the other factions to a terrifying degree. ONI Agents can commandeer whole ships and platoons for their own purposes, and Majors of MIlitias and Captains of the CSF have little power to protest.

Agents usually go alone in clandestine missions all over the Solar System, undertaking missions that are not only morally reprehensible, but also politically sensitive. If any of the Factions knew the full extent the Republic of Maveth's ONI's operations, there would be Total War. Sabotaging Medical Supplies in the Custodial Protectorate that cuold have saved thousands, Assassinations being covered up in the frequent inter-Zone conflicts of the Novi Phaedrans, and full on genocide of Serf populations to handicap the Carnemicum Houses that rely on them; these are just a few operations ONI has undertaken against their enemies and on "troublesome" elements in the Republic. ONI has also teamed up with Cylinder Panopticon's Institute for Cultural Exchange and Cooperation in OPERATION NOISE MACHINE. secretly forming and funding "Independent" Polities within the Asteroid Belt to slow down the Custodial Protectorate's expansion into the Solar System by miring them with even more geopolitical complications. The Jihad-Junta and the Anointed Republic are two of the biggest and most successful of these Noise Machine-funded governments.

Equipment
Agents are given a wide variety of options, from powerful Mavethite weaponry, weapons from the other factions, and Antediluvian artifacts. Preferring subtlety over brute force, ONI Agents have specially designed clothing and uniforms with super thin but extremely durable armor weaving inside.

The Basic ONI Agent starts off with four weapon choices:

1. They may get a Protectorate Plasma Pistol and a Custodian's Sword, giving them good, hard hitting punch at Close Range.
2. An Antediluvian Beam Lance that is of moderate strength and range, but can eat through armor easily.
3. Dual Aleph PDW, Third Iterations with Infernal Ammo that can do horrendous damage to Infantry Units.
4. Throw away all subtetly with a portable Chaingun with a grenade launcher on the side.

Limited teleporters, corrosive nanosworm grenades, all Vita Seeds types, portable Sentry Guns, and stealth Drones are just some of the gear ONI Agents can cheaply supply themselves with.

Abilities
The ONI Agent's Universal Abilities are Rush, Charge, Duel (if applicable Close Quarter Weapon is given), Aim (if applicable Ranged Weapon is given), Suppress (if applicable Ranged Weapon is given), Heal, Repair, Hunker Down!, Field Requisition, Assist, and Man Heavy Weaponry.

IMPROVED RUSH gives the Agent a second Movement Phase without needing to sacrifice their Combat Phase. They may use this before or after their Combat Phase.

ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE gives Agents using Antediluvian Artifacts a +1 to their Attack roll as well as to the weapon's damage.

SUPER TRAINING allows the Agent to reroll an Attack, Willpower, or Toughness Roll once per game and take the best option.

ONI ENVIRONMENTAL RESISTANCE is a passive ability that gives the Agent one total Resistance to an Element (like Fire, Disease, Corrosive) and improved resistance to the others compared to the average Militiaman.

Baseline Stats
Good HP
Average Toughnes
Average Ranged
Good Close Quarters
Excellent Willpower
Excellent Movement
Expensive Cost


Cylinder Prosperita
Ciao e Ciao.

Overview
Hearkening back to the Merchant Princes of Renaissance Italy, Cylinder Prosperita believes in the Free Market, preferring to privatize many things and giving businesses rather than workers more privileges. Ruled by the Admiral-Doge, Cylinder Prosperita prefers to throw money and trade at the problem rather than military force, but the part mercenary, part Militia Condottieri(Contractors) are renowned for their tenacity and ability to operate all across the Solar System.

Government Type: Representative Democracy with a strong Executive Branch (officially and Republic-wide)/Neoliberal Night Watchman State ruled by powerful Merchant Princes (locally)
Head of Government: Admiral-Doge Alessandro Qian
Population: 500 Million
Currency: The Republican Thaler
Territory: Cylinder Prosperita and some mining enterprises around the Jovian Sphere.
History
Cylinder Prosperita is one of the newer Cylinders, having been created around 100 years ago when a number of industrial and economic tycoons and dynasties wanted a community that focused more on the money-making and less on the political craziness in Cylinder Aleph. Cylinder Aleph was already overcrowding and few Cylinders were willing to take the baggage that comes along with these CEOs and Titans of Industry, so Generalissimo X approved the creation of Cylinder Prosperita. Originally just a few mansions surrounded by clubhouses for the wealth and some administrative buildings, the opportunities of the new Cylinder brought many immigrants from the other Cylinders and beyond to it, much to the irritation and rage of some of the oligarchs. Whole commercial sectors with tall buildings going from one end of the Cylinder to another were built overnight, factories becoming full of workers immediately taking raw materials and producing goods, and soon the oligarchs and original settlers of Cylinder Prosperita soon realized that they could use their wealth and power to form a society they see fit. Within a century the young Cylinder began to be equated with its older siblings like Aleph and Jia.

Because Cylinder Prosperita was formed during a more stable era of Mavethite history, trade between the factions increased exponentially. Because of the Republic's position in the Solar System between the large Custodial Protectorate and the two outlying factions of the Novi Phaedrans and Carnemicum, it serves as a middle man between everyone. The Prosperity Fleet of Cylinder Prosperita goes from Venus (Syndics refuse to trade with them and threaten to shoot the Fleet on sight if they get near Mercury) to the farthest hermit Rock Kingdoms on the edge of the Solar System, buying and selling what they can to make a profit. The Prosperity Exchange is where the prices of the Solar Systems' resources are determined and those groups that still use a money system have used the PE to determine economic wellness regardless of their view on the Republic. Money and bulk goods moving between the opposing factions, especially between the Custodial Protectorate and friendlier Novi Phaedran Zones, gets washed at the ports, stores, and accounts of Cylinder Prosperita before moving on to their destination.

Due to its importance as the financial and economic center of the Republic, Cylinder Prosperita is a large target for those hoping to bring the whole faction to its knee. Cylinder Prosperita began relying on the help of other Cylinders, such as Cylinder Ziyou and Jia, to reserve a portion of their respective Militia forces for the protection of Prosperita in return for generous investments into their infrastructure (and pockets of the leaders there). Cylinder Prosperita has also begun displaying shows of force themselves, with the new Captain Initiative marketed as the Republic's next step in protecting its citizens.

Economy
Businesses, both small and big, comprise about half of Prosperita's economy. Investments and Financing are the other half. Many prominent companies get their start here, and small family-run enterprises based in their apartments are not uncommon either. While property taxes are quite high, sales taxes and tariffs are virtually non-existent in Cylinder Prosperita. This makes the Cylinder a popular shopping spot for the Solar System looking for mostly legal bulk goods. Foreigners can also set up Duty-Free Shops here, selling authorized goods and services from their home. But trade by stores aren't the only thing popular in Prosperita. Freelance Traders flock around the hangers, ports, and shipyards trying to find buyers and sellers, preferring to be on the fringe of things. As long as the oligarchs and bribed officials get a small cut, they are more than happy to look away from the already lax business laws. The Maneki-Neko Corvette, naively built in the Cylinder, is a popular choice for these intrepid space merchants, trading firepower and cool gizmos for armor, cargo capacity, and speed.

Intellectual Property Laws are relatively lax, with only the most powerful corporations having the funds and muscle to uphold their copyrights and trademarks efficiently. Knockoffs are extremely common, the term "Prosperous Brand" a derogatory term used all across the Solar System meaning a shoddy but cheap knockoff with hilarious corporate and Republic-friendly advertising. Open Sourcing has become popular, not because of any moral obligation to the movement but simply because all the Oligarchs in power fear the others making a monopoly in an industry they might want to get into later.

The Prosperity Merchant Fleet is where the Cylinder gets most of its government treasury. A large fleet of Torchsips that replaced its military capacity for more cargo space and accounting offices, the Prosperity Fleet loans cargo space, consultation services, and security to companies and individuals wanting to Solar with their goods but aren't brave enough to go Freelance. The Prosperity Merchant Fleet stops at certain planets, asteroid ports, and alongside other fleets to buy and trade for a few days to weeks before going to their next stop. The success and survival of the Prosperity Merchant Fleet is due in part thanks to its use of natives of their area as well as try to be neutral in the internal affairs of the territory they are in. While the Fleet has its own security forces, they also make frequent use of government troops or mercenaries contracted to provide protection to prevent tensions from flaring up as well as having guards who know the quirks and customs of their location. The Fleet pays well for access across usually hostile space, and a few groups have become frequent guides and guards for the Prosperity Merchant Fleet. In Custodial Space Dark Earth Peacekeepers and Voyager ships escort them along the populated planets and make sure they aren't selling anything illegal. In Novi Phaedran space the Fleet usually hires Whetu Whanau for protection in space, Dread Spartoi for shipside and surfaceside protection, and a good number of Forlorn for personal bodyguarding. The Dread Spartoi are actually bought in bulk due to the dangers of navigating across Novi Phaedran space and Controller Titus Zachariussan gives money back for any Spartoi brought back, though some merchants prefer to keep their Dread Spartoi for basic guard duty or labor. House Corruption has close ties with the Merchant Fleet, marking its arrival like a holiday and sending dozens of Splat-Ships and Raiders to guard the Fleet.

The Prosperity Exchange allows investors to put money into all sorts of industries and resources, from water to Antediluvian Artifact discoveries. Brokerage Firms dot all across the Cylinder dealing in all sorts of niches. Investors can also hedge money on the overall success of the Prosperity Merchant Fleet, Antediluvian Hunters, or even Military Campaigns. The fringe investments have become so popular the controversial Meta-Investment industry has cropped up in the Prosperity Exchange to much outcry from critics. Officially described as "the Market of the Intertwined Industries and Events of the Solar System" that combines the average of a dozen critical markets and pitted against the geopolitical situation in some convoluted and arcane way, opponents have said that Meta-Investments is basically a front for criminal enterprises and war profiteering.

Indentured Servitude is legal in Cylinder Prosperita, mostly those who are in serious debt. They are contracted to work in specific jobs for a certain amount of time to those they are indebted to. The individual or group who has the indentured labor must in turn provide a stipend and basic living conditions for the Indentured for the duration of the contract. While frowned upon, loaning indentured labor to others is very common and has become an industry in itself, and an informal network where people can buy people ('s labor) has sprung up. The only thing Republic and in turn Cylinder Prosperita makes sure is that the Indentured only do jobs they have agreed upon. Despite this, some malicious companies and individuals have found loopholes to exploit their labor.

Government and Ideology
The government has a laissez-faire approach to things, and aside from trying to maintain a Militia, a police force, a functioning and hopefully non-biased Court System, and basic infrastructure and Cylinder maintenance, they let the individuals and companies handle things. Tax rates are extremely low, but since many in the government are industrialists and business leaders themselves and have their own slice of territory to maintain, only the most basic public services and the bare minimum of life support systems are funded by taxes. Most of these taxes come from the loaning of cargo space and services of the Merchant Fleet, bail fees for criminals not wanting to go to jail, and property taxes. Most of this goes to life support systems and the upkeep of Combined Space Force Ships that dock in the Cylinder. The Police Force and Court System are under the government, but private security forces are preferred by the businesses over the Police Force, who are mediocre in training and equipment.

The Council of Industry is where laws are made and funds allocated. While technically any citizen with enough votes can enter, everyone in the Council are oligarchs, tycoons, and celebrities who paid their way into a seat. Many of these councilmembers use their positions to better protect and serve their interests, throwing a bone to the public now and then in order to prevent a riot. The Council of Industry elects the Admiral-Doge from one of its members for life, the current one being Alessandro Qian. Contrary to common belief, the position of Admiral-Doge is one no one wants, as it forces them to relegate their personal business interests for the public welfare of the whole Cylinder. The Admiral-Doge has to focus on the welfare of all, including (especially) the welfare of his fellow Council Members with a small budget and a skeleton government. Thus the Admiral-Doge is given to the Oligarch who made the most enemies but is too powerful to kill so is instead bumped upstairs, where they cause the least damage.

Cylinder Prosperita believes in the power of the Free Market and Capitalism is practically the unofficial religion. The Individual comes first over the Group, with families being very small, divorce rates are high (much to the dismay of Cylinder Perdition), and digital advertisements are catered to the individual preferences. All that matters is the Bottom Line and the Invisible Hand of the Market. Cylinder Prosperita cares little for the political bullshit of Cylinder Aleph, the moralizing of Cylinder Perdition, or the paranoia of Cylinder Chel. As long as it makes money and not directly harm people, it should be fine. They have the second most lax immigration policy, second only to Cylinder Panopticon. Tourists and business people from all across the Solar System visit Cylinder Prosperita for many of their desires and needs, using it as a bridge to other parts of the Solar System.

Civil Liberties are high, though that is less to do with any moral obligation and philosophy like in the Custodial Protectorate, and more with the fact that the Prosperita does not care. Marry and sleep with whoever you want if both parties are of age and consenting, take what drugs you want as long as you aren't a nuisance, bear whatever gun you want as long as it doesn't blast through the walls into space or cause collateral damage, and talk shit about whoever you want; Prosperita does not care and will even cater to your desires.

Culture
The stereotypes of a native or fully converted immigrant of Cylinder Prosperita is one of ambition, determination, resilience, and tolerance, as well as narcissism, greed, and amorality. The culture of this Cylinder revolves around Materialism and Prosperity. While the Fine Arts are popular, they are rarely appreciated for their own quality and more to show off the social status of the audience and patrons. Authenticity means jack shit here. If it can be mass-produced and packaged for mass consumption, it will be with little thought. Pop Culture and Corporate aesthetics are dominant, though local and colorful cultures do exist if local businesses promote it well enough. Regardless, it boils down to the Individual's taste and many companies are built around such a market.

Advertising and Corporate Sponsoring are everywhere. Sport Games, Holidays, Religious Events, Ghettos, and even Schools are papered with logos and marketing specialists trying to get people to be aware of their products and buy it down the road. Even public schools after Primary School are little more than vocational centers dedicated to training students into dutiful workers for the companies that funded the schools. Kids learn advertising jingles before they even learn to read. Every item has a brand, and criminal gangs have been known to pledge loyalty to one corporation or another, something the corporations neither confirm nor deny.

Secularism and Irreligion (but not necessarily Humanism) dominates the spiritual landscape of Cylinder Prosperita at about 60%, and even the religions there are co-opted for corporate ploys. Prosperity Theology Christianity, Folk Catholicism, Judaism, and Forecasterism are the most common faiths with the 40% of the population who claim to have a religious faith. Folk Catholicism which venerate Santa Muerte is especially popular with Freelance Traders and the Condottieri. Forecasterism was originally an Artifact Cult in Dark Earth that fled upon entering a blacklist for a bombing. They found converts with the more eccentric merchants and entrepreneurs. They believe that Antediluvian Artifacts can guide the user and reveal snippets of the future in return for worshiping and paying fealty to the long dead civilization. It doesn't help that Peter Van Drake, one of the wealthiest Investors and business analysts, is a adherent of Forecasterism and always starts his business show with a prayer to the ancient human civilization.

Cheap and disposable entertainment is king in Cylinder Prosperita. Video Games, the latest Fashion Fad, Light Novels, Adult VR and Hologram models, sleazy reality TV shows, movies with similar plots and cliches that deal more with spectacle, action, and sex rather than story, and dramatic and flashy sports are popular with both the Upper and Lower Classes. Ironically, it is this schlock that allows the differing economic classes to find common ground, and the Rich in Cylinder Prosperita view their cousins in the other Cylinders as elitist and out of touch with the desires of the masses.

Because of its position as the center of trade in the Solar System, a wide variety of food is available for all in Cylinder Prosperita, and a good portion of tourism is dedicated to the gourmet experience. Natural or processed food, meats or vegetables, simple fare or expensive cuisine. It is all here and more in Cylinder Prosperita. Even the poorest Indentured has a better choice of food compared to some of his more well-off colleagues elsewhere in the Solar System.

Military
Because Prosperita has so many assets and economic nerve centers all across the Solar System, a centralized Militia would be useless in that situation. Instead each Platoon is given virtually autonomous control and undertake independent operations to fund themselves. Many of the Condottieri are sponsored by Corporations and the Merchant Fleet, getting money and equipment in return for protecting assets and individuals of their patrons. Some even go freelance, offering their skills to more shadier organizations or even foreign governments. The Prosperita government still funds the most basic needs of the Condottieri Militia Platoons, and each Platoon vows never to hurt a member of the Republic. Transgression on this oath results in a loss of government funds and putting a hit on the Platoon and potential blacklisting of their employer.

Corvettes are the biggest contribution to the Republic of Maveth Cylinder Prosperita makes. The Escort Corvette are cheap enough for the government to build on their budget and are common and small enough that individual Cylinders can field personal space fleets with them. The Maneki-Neko Corvette which is a favorite of Freelance Traders and Condottieri alike is a civilian model of the Escort Corvette, replacing the large array of weapons with more armor and cargo space, though keeping the large Railgun turrets on the top and bottom of the ship.

And finally, the Captain Initiative is Cylinder Prosperita's foray into the super soldier program. Taking the most marketable Militiamen and CSF Captains money can buy, the merchant princes who rule Prosperita augment these already augmented Mavethites even further, making them superheroic in power. Tasked with protecting the Republic (and being a PR stunt turned up to 11), the Captains have their own TV Shows, Merchandise, and Corporate Sponsors, their combat and command capabilities a second priority.

Places of Interest
At the edge of the Cylinder is the GOVERNMENT OFFICE, its spartan and dreary buildings tucked away to not soil the luster of the cities and private domiciles that dominate the Cylinder. The Police HQ, Revenue Center, Supreme Court, and Licensing Center all reside here. The gloom and oppressive air is deliberate on the Council of Industry's end, making it so the population accepts the rampantly privatized society as a better alternative to the stifling bureaucratic system.

Ah AUEROCITTA, the Golden City, the beating heart of Prosperity! The only government building here is the Council of Industry, as the Council Members refuse to go near the dreary area most of the other government offices are. A large metropolis inside a space station, Auerocitta is where most of the corporations and larger companies do business in. It is next to the spaceports, allowing for quick shipping and transportation. Many startup companies set up shop here due to the diverse demographics and potential markets as well as the vicinity of many services and resources in the city itself. Aureocitta rivals New Mumbai of the Custodial Protectorate in terms of economic power despite having a much smaller population. The Labor Exchange, where Indentured Servants are contracted, bought, and sold, is also located in Auerocitta.

The CITY OF BAZAARS is where those businesses and entrepreneurs who couldn't afford the rent in Aureocitta or didn't like the culture there go. Originally an abandoned warehouse complex, it has been converted into an informal and unauthorized market space. Here Freelancers, small mom and pop stores, criminals, Venusian and even Mercurial agents, Counterfeiters, Open Source Activists, Indentured fugitives, and mercenaries rub shoulders and trade in things that would turn a few heads in the government. The only rule: No buying and selling of Indentured Servants.

People of Interest
ADMIRAL-DOGE ALESSANDRO QIAN is the current Admiral-Doge of Cylinder Prosperita. Originally a multi-billionaire who made a killing (sometimes literally) in the Real Estate market during the Third Cylinder Expansion, he pissed enough of his fellow Oligarchs that they elected him into being the Head of Government for life in this very capitalistic and privatized society. Extremely bitter, the Admiral-Doge has begun plotting a wave of regulations to screw his enemies. He has funded the modernization of the Condottieri Militia, opened a dozen public hospitals and housing projects, and even managed to get a law increasing public medical coverage for the poor. Consolidating power and popular support, the Admiral-Doge just needs to wait for the right crisis to occur in order to have enough justification to implement his plan and crush the fuckers who screwed him over. He'll even be willing to push the events in the right direction if need be!

CAPTAIN SAMUEL TRASK, HERO OF THE REPUBLIC! is the wayward son of Clayton Trask and Destiny Trask (nee Castella-Pacino) who forged his own path after having had enough of his father's sinister actions, especially to his siblings. He joined the Bears of Fortaleza Militia in his youth before suffering a critical wound holding the line against Novi Phaedran Warriors. He was picked up by the newly formed Captain Initiative and after being reconstructed with cybernetics and special biomods, now Captain Trask became the Initiative's most successful product, his two TV Shows (one a cartoon), merchandise, and brand popular across the Republic. Sometimes nicknamed Captain Capitalism by fans and critics alike, Captain Trask is notable for running his own successful corporation, Trask Industries, which deals in robotics and cybernetics. He gives disabled veterans free limb and organ replacements and pays for them with his own pocket.

CAPTAIN FABIA BENETELLI, SAVIOR OF PROSPERITY! was once a young Condottieri from a pauper family who took command of her Platoon when her commanding officer got vaporized by a Custodian's Plasma Rifle on Ganymede. Even though they were told to evac, Benetelli and her Platoon defended a valuable warehouse full of valuable metals and Antediluvian Artifacts against continuous waves of Custodians. When reinforcements arrived, only three Condottieri, Benetelli included, were found alive and heavily wounded. For her bravery at protecting her employer's assets, Bentelli was put into the Captain Initiative and suddenly this poor woman who shared one small room with her extended family and ate rat kebabs now had her own three-star suite and a six figure salary. Captain Benetelli, nicknamed Captain Prosperity, is more than happy to play the part as hero and never mention how she had planned to take the resources and Artifacts she defended on Ganymede for herself and book it into the outer fringes of the Solar System, prevented only because the last shuttle left much earlier than expected for her to hijack.

CAPTAIN REX HARDWARE, BADASS EXTRAORDINAIRE!, nicknamed Captain Hardware, is a grizzled ex-Condottieri who joined the Prosperity Merchant Fleet for the adventure. What he saw and experienced during the two decades in the Merchant Fleet as a bodyguard and "troubleshooter" for wealthy individuals made him cynical. He was invited into the Captain Initiative after a number of Captains perished to a Novi Phaedran assault deep in Cylinder Prosperita. Accepting it for the free weapons and booze, Captain Rex Hardware gives not one shit about the marketing of him and prefer to go around the Solar System as a freelance agent, living life in the present.

AMMIRALGILO HEI MENDEZ is the current admiral of the Prosperity Merchant Fleet. A cunning diplomat and administrator, Ammiralgilo Mendez makes sure the laissez faire nature of the occupants in his fleet doesn't piss off a government, sending his contractors and agents to help mediate issues between the buyers and sellers and containing troublesome elements who might jeopardize the whole Fleet, sometimes even "cleaning up" them and their mess. The Ammiralgilo is currently in a scandal when it became public that he is in a romantic relationship with a Pariarch of House Corruption, becoming the butt of jokes usually pertaining to tentacles.

CONDOTTIERI, LIGHT INFANTRY AKA HERETIC NEEDS TO WRITE THE FUCKING RULES AND STATS
"A million Thalers upfront. Charging in front of a Stag Tank doesn't come cheap."
-The Condottieri Commander of the 484th "Courageous" Platoon, considered completely KIA now.

Overview
The Condottieri are the decentralized and autonomous Militia of Cylinder Prosperita. Allowed to undertake private contract work, Condottieri usually are only given the most basic of equipment and training by the government and must rely on their employers for their equipment and specialized training.

NOTE: Because of the high level of customization, I'll add the crunch and rules for that later when I actually sit down and write the rules of the wargame. I'm thinking of a 1-2-3 Point System where the Condottieri and other customizable Units are given a set amount of points to spend, 1 being for Weak Abilities and Equipment and 3 being the top notch shit.

Overview
The Condottieri, the old Italian word for Contractor, are officially part of the government of Cylinder Prosperita, but of the lack of resources and power of the government as well as the need for a thousand companies and economic vital points needing protection, the Militia have been partly privatized, allowed to accept missions from private organizations and wealthy individuals or even become a company selling their services themselves in return for better equipment and training.

Background
While the Condottieri, meaning Contractor in old Italian, are nominally answer to the government of Cylinder Prosperita, the lack of resources and staff as well as the vast amount of vital economic areas all across the Solar System owned by private companies owned by many in the government, Condottieri Platoons have been decentralized and given greater autonomous control in their own actions. Given only the most basic of weapons and armor, the Condottieri Platoons must fend for themselves. Many opt to join a corporation or powerful Freelance Trader, getting better gear and specialized training from their employer.

Joining the Condottieri is voluntary, but many, especially those of the lower class, have chosen to done so for the better pay and opportunities. Even though the Condottieri is a militia, many jobs don't always include combat. Many are engineers, doctors, cooks, drivers, scientists, and laborers, except usually in a high-risk environment and trained to use a gun when needed. In a sense, most are simply Private Military Contractors who provide disciplined support first and combat second.

The Condottieri are allowed to be employed by a wide variety of groups, both domestic and foreign, but there are still some laws. Because the government still pays for their minimal upkeep, the Condottieri is still beholden in some ways to the Cylinder and the Admiral-Doge. They are forbidden from harming Republican citizens and are still obligated to protecting the Republic. While they are allowed to fight in wars between other foreign governments or even against each other in rare cases, fighting the Republic as a whole is a good way of getting the Platoon and their employer blacklisted and put on a bounty list.

Equipment

The Condottieri may choose a patron for their starting equipment.

Tier 0: The garbage bin, baseline Level
The basic, government-funded Condottieri Militiaman is given the most basic gear. The armor is subpar and usually only slightly better than 21st century body armor, basic survival and medical gear, and are equipped with the Aleph PDW, Second Iteration, which is weaker and fires only 40 pellets rather than the Third Iteration's 100. The only benefit of the Second Iteration is that it is cheaper and lighter, allowing for the Condottieri to have more equipment. The only upside, and a stretch at that, is that the Tier 0 Condottieri has access to a one Izumi-Hayden Beetle Armored Car (Heretic: more on that piece of shit vehicle later).

Tier 1: Decent enough and allows the Condottieri to serve in an auxiliary or support role in an army.

BURGER BURGHERS is one of the most popular fast food franchises in the Republic. BB has begun hiring Condottieri to defend cargo vehicles and ships moving around the processed foodstuff, especially the meat, from fanatical Vegans and Flesh Clubbers alike as they expand their stores beyond the Republic. They gain no improved Equipment.

JOE AND SONS' SALVAGE CREW is a small-time salvage and refurbishment company that goes around neglected and dangerous parts of the Republic to reclaim materials and broken goods for refurbishment and resell. Originally content with defending themselves, Joe began hiring Condottieri after the death of his youngest son. Condotierri can choose either being equipped with Aleph PDW, Third Iterations or the better armor that is the baseline for most of the Republic's Militias.

IANA KIROMOTO is a new Freelance Merchant who needs personal protection as she tries to make it in the Market. While inexperienced herself, Captain Kiromoto is willing to pay for better equipment. Not only do the Condotierri Platoon gain Aleph PDW, Third Iterations and standard militia armor, they gain either a Diablo .50 cal turret or three disposable tube launchers for support.

THE 250 GANG is a small Triad-aligned criminal organization that deals in smuggling Indentured Servants across the Republic and beyond. They provide the Condotierri with dual rapid firing Light Machine Pistols (LMPs) and pump action shotguns, giving a suppressive and hard hitting option decent for hit and run operations.

Tier 2: Balanced and experienced, the Tier 2 Condottieri Platoons can have a large presence in an army.

INDEPENDENT Condotierri Platoons have a wide range of customization options, from being large groups of lightly-equipped guards to small fireteams of commandos. Being Tier 2, they have a varying assortment of gear and armament to choose from.

HERCULES SHIPPING COMPANY is large freight shipping company that hire Condottieri to make sure their cargo ships and trucks get to where they are needed. They get excellent discounts on Mavethite and independent combat vehicles.

POWER RECLAMATION INCORPORATED is a high-risk, high profit group dealing in large scale resource reclamation projects. They go around old battlefields and abandoned colonies and pick apart anything worth taking. Condottieri there get a massive discount on Mavethite Small Arms and gear.

ORACLE CONSULTATION ASSOCIATES specializes in survey teams and experts in various industries who go out and evaluate the assets and locations in order to make sure the businesses aren't bullshitting the stockholders and investors. Because of their more analytical nature, Condottieri under the OCA get either a free Inazuma no Hoshi Rail Rifle for long distance covert assassinations or the Angelus Defense System (a knockoff of the Custodian's Type 10 Automatic Shotgun) for a more personal solution.

ODYSSEY AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE is a large agribusiness dealing in foodstuff and botanical plants genetically modified and from Pachamama's bountiful gardens. They provide about 30% of the total food supply of the Republic, and are a rising star in the agricultural world of the Republic. Their Condottieri get free Infernal rounds for their guns, their Close Quarter Weapon is switched from a knife to a large machete, as well as a large discount of Vita Seeds.

Tier 3: Tier 3 Platoons are so powerful that they can become the core of an army itself. But with great power comes great responsibility, and each of these powerful sponsors has a drawback.

TRASK INDUSTRIES is the brainchild of Captain Samuel Trask. Dealing in cybernetic augmentations that flawlessly mesh with the bio-modifications virtually all Mavethites have, Trask Industries hopes to use robotics and electronics to get the edge on their enemies. Condottieri are given Gunderson and Co.'s Modular Combat Rail Systems (MCRS), which has both a powerful carbine that can fire 100 rounds as well as an underbarrel weapon attachment. The body armor given is slightly stronger than the usual armor most Mavethite militias get, but its main focus is to interface with the cybernetic implants of the user. They also get discounts on Auto-Sentires, Drones, and Combat Mules. On the drawback, because of the rampant use of cybernetics, Condottieri under Trask Industries has a harder time controlling and using Vita Seeds, who view the soldiers as hostile elements at times; Vita Seeds cost more points to represent the increased time and expense getting the fauna used to these more mechanical humans. Black Vita Seeds are also strictly forbidden on the order of Captain Trask himself.

FURY SERVICES is the premier Private Contracting Company for the Combined Space Force. They provide engineers, scientists, doctors, chefs, and any other needed personnel. Because of the CSF's distrust of the Militias, they prefer hiring guards from Fury Services for the protection of their ships and planetside bases. Condotierri who join Fury Services are equipped with Combat Vac Suits that give them increased protection and immunity to virtually all but Corrosive elements and are equipped with Angelus Defense Systems as well as Infernal Projectors for combat in urban and otherwise enclosed spaces. The drawback is that their long ranged capabilities are limited.

ANCIENT DISCOVERIES, INC. is the leading expert on Antediluvian Artifacts in the Republic of Maveth. They deal in researching, collecting, catalouging, disposing, refurbishing, and even developing knockoffs of Atendiluvian Artifacts. They deal in very risky businesses, as not only do they continuosly tinker with dangerous artifacts in dangerous ruins, Ancient Discoveries, Inc. also has to contend with both Custodial and Novi Phaedran organizations also interested in Antediluvian Artifacts. Only the best of the best Condotierri can join as the excavation and research missions undertaken by AD, INC. are very strenuous and dangerous. Each Squad of Conodtierri cost more points than the average, but in return they get heavy armor similar to the Iron Troopers of Cylinder Jia and weaponry like the new Xiong Model A Assault Railgun with automatic shotgun attachment underneath. Condotierri of Ancient Discoveries also get decent discounts on Antediluvian Artifacts.

Abilities
Tier 0: The garbage bin, baseline Level
The only specialized training standard government-funded Condottieri gets is IMPROVED ASSIST and basic ENVIRONMENTAL RESISTANCE, which gives a +2 to Close Quarters, Ranged, Willpower, or Toughness to an adjacent Allied Squad or Character instead of a +1. All Condottieri, regardless of sponsor unless otherwise specified, gets Improved Assist and the Environmental Resistance.

Tier 1: Decent enough and allows the Condottieri to serve in an auxiliary or support role in an army.

BURGER BURGHERS decreases the Willpower and Toughness of the employees by -1 due to the bad food and mental stress that comes with the industry, but gains an increased repressed desire to kill assholes, gaining a small modifier increase of +1 in both Close Quarter and Ranged Attack rolls.

JOE AND SONS' SALVAGE CREW requires tough and technical crew. Condottieri here gain a +1 and gain IMPROVED REPAIR, which is similar to Repair except it gives 1 HP back to a Vehicle every Round instead of every 2 Rounds. They also gain MODIFICATIONS which allows the Condotierri to modify Sentry Guns, Drones, or Combat Mules on the field. It takes four turns to Modify a Sentry-Gun or Mule-Bot. [Heretic: Modification Rules to come hopefully shortly]

IANA KIROMOTO's Condottieri, though they gain better equipment, do not gain any special abilities or modifications.

THE 250 GANG requires discretion and speed to survive. The lack of morality has reduced the Conodottieri's Willpower by -1, but they gain a +2 to Movement and a +1 to Ranged Attacks. They also gain IMPROVED RUSH, which gives the Conodotierri a second Movement Phase without needing to sacrifice their Combat Phase. They may use this before or after their Combat Phase.

Tier 2: Balanced and experienced, the Tier 2 Condottieri Platoons can have a large presence in an army.

INDEPENDENT Condottieri are given a wide range of improvements, from Tier 1 Stat improvements, Tier 2 Unit Abilities, and Tier 3 Heroic Abilities.

HERCULES SHIPPING COMPANY requires Condottieri proficient at Mechanized and Motorized Warfare. Movement is reduced by -2 for the mostly stationary work but Ranged Attacks are given +2 to represent the good shooting abilities of the Condottieri on turrets and such. They gain IMPROVED REPAIR, which is similar to Repair except it gives +1 HP back to a Vehicle every Round instead of every 2 Rounds. They also gain IMPROVED MAN HEAVY WEAPONRY, which gives them a +1 to Ranged Attacks while on a Heavy Weapon or Turret which can stack with the +2 Ranged bonus already given for joining Hercules Shipping Company.

POWER RECLAMATION INCORPORATED sometimes requires their Condottieri to do work alongside the scavengers. Not only do they get IMPROVED REPAIR, MODIFICATIONS, and BUILD HEAVY FORTIFICATIONS (please look at the Mavethite Combat Engineer for those abilities), they also gain IMPROVED FIELD REQUISITION, which gives full ammo and charges for any gear they loot.

ORACLE CONSULTATION ASSOCIATES train their Condottieri in the skills of both superior sniper skills and suppressive firepower up close and personal. OCA Condottieri gain both IMPROVED AIM, which gives a +2 to Ranged Attacks on the first Round of Aiming and gives a maximum of a +4 as well as
IMPROVED SUPPRESSION increases the Willpower Save number required for Enemy Unit(s) suppressed by OCA Condottieri to roll in order to take actions on their turn. The chance to hit a Suppressed Enemy who moves is not adjusted.

ODYSSEY AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE gives a whopping +5 to any Willpower and/or Toughness rolls determining the success of Vita Seeds as well as any specific Willpower and/or Toughness rolls relating to specific Vita Plant specifications.

Tier 3: Tier 3 Platoons are so powerful that they can become the core of an army itself. But with great power comes great responsibility, and each of these powerful sponsors has a drawback.

TRASK INDUSTRIES basically gives the Mutate Universal Ability to the Condotierri at a Point System rather than having roll to see if you get lucky. [Heretic: I know I know, more things i have to write and balance the math on.]. They also get a +3 to HP, +2 to Movement, and +1 to all other stats. The drawback is, not only are they forbidden from using Black Vita Seeds, they get a -3 when dealing with Vita Plant related gear or plant Units, making the chance of plants refusing to be useful or even attacking the Condottieri of Trask Industries much more likely.

FURY SERVICES gain a +3 to Close Quarter Attacks, +2 to Willpower and Toughness, IMPROVED CHARGE which sacrifice up to the 3 points of Toughness to add to their next Close Quarter Attack on their Movement Phase, but they get a free +1 to Close Quarters, allowing for up to +4 in the Close Quarter Attack, IMPROVED BATTLECRY which gives a +2 instead of a +1 to Close Quarters, Ranged, Willpower, or Toughness to the Character or Squad who activated it for one Round, and DEPLOY SPECIALIZED AUTO-SENTRY which allows the Fury Service Condotierri to use the specialized Sentries used by Combat Engineers except for the Huo Yu Auto Mortars. On the downside, their armor reduces their speed by -4, making it harder to get in melee range if they aren't find room to room, or are in outdoor or spacious environments.

ANCIENT DISCOVERIES, INC. gives their Condottieri +1 to any Attacks using Antediluvian Artifacts and gain a +3 to Willpower and Toughness when using said Artifacts and +3 to Willpower and Toughness when trying to defend from the effects of the Artifacts.

Baseline Stats (Tier 0 Condottieri)
Average HP
Poor Toughness
Poor Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Poor Willpower
Average Movement
Dirt Cheap Cost (Cheap for Tier 1, Average for Tier 2, Expensive for Tier 3)


Cylinder Jia
Strength, Fortitude, Vindication

Overview
The closest thing to a bog standard boring Liberal Democracy in the Republic of Maveth, Cylinder Jia nonetheless is known for its tendency to use their local Space Force to exert their influence and the threat of military force to get what they want. Dealing with repairing and refurbishing ships and heavy equipment, Cylinder Jia has used their talents to create a small but powerful private army that combines both the ground forces and space forces to maximum efficiency. Admiral-Chancellor Elinor Liliana Corteza Vilar is always searching for the perfect colonization, trade, or military operation that will secure her chancellorship next election cycle.

Government Type: Representative Democracy with a strong Executive Branch (officially and Republic-wide)/Parliamentary Republic with liberal use of Gunboat Diplomacy
Head of Government: Admiral-Chancellor Elinor Liliana Corteza Vilar
Population: 500 Million
Currency: The Republican Thaler
Territory: Cylinder Jia and some outposts in the Hilda Asteroids and Asteroid Belt
History
Cylinder Jia was one of the first Cylinders to be created after Cylinder Aleph. It was originally tasked as a defensive station against Custodial Protectorate incursions, but as more Cylinders were created Jia was relegated to serving as a sort of glorified pit stop for Combined Space Force ships and overused industrial equipment. Cylinder Jia took it in stride, especially since the ships they were repairing served as a line of defense against the Custodians. The Protectorate-Republic Rock War of 2754 found Cylinder Jia in the front of the war, spending mere hours on damaged ships to make them operational before sending them out again, sometimes with scaffolding and opened wall panels still showing. While it was more of a brush fire war, the Rock War showed the Republic the necessity of heavily armored professional troops, and Cylinder Chel and Jia were the ones who took it to heart the most. Cylinder Jia especially didn't trust the CSF to provide support for their militia and under the direction of Admiral-Chancellor Gustav Ozark began building their own private space fleet from the cast-off and mothballed ships the CSF abandoned as well as civilian models modified for battle.

Cylinder Jia has begun putting outposts in the Hildas in order to mine materials for their private space fleet and outposts in the Asteroid Belts to trade with the Custodial Protectorate (a government the Cylinder was built to guard against) for more materials. The current Admiral-Chancellor, Elinor Liliana Corteza Vilar, Cylinder Jia has begun aggressive operations across the outer ridges of the Solar System in a variety of trade, colonization, and military missions. She has done so in order to win support from the Electoral College and the People (but mostly the Electoral College) for her re-election next Chancellorship Elections. She is especially hoping to capture Ganymede or some other big satellite in Jupiter, find some amazing Antediluvian cache, or get the upper hand on the Custodial Protectorate. That way she might get the personal blessing of the Generalissimo Himself, in which case the election for a few more cycles would be as good as hers.

Complicating matters is the increased number of sabotage attempts by all the other factions due to their importance as a industrial-scale repair shop for the CSF and Militias, with the Novi Phaedrans launching surprise attacks inside the Cylinder, Custodian Vanguards sabotaging important Torchship maintenance projects, and the Carnemicum kidnapping skilled workers that would take valuable time and resources to either rescue or train new technicians. Worst of all, Cylinder Aleph is trying to take away Jia's economic niche by funding the creation of their own large scale ship repair yards. So not only does the Admiral-Chancellor have to expand the power of her Cylinder externally, but also keep its existing strengths from collapsing.

Economy
Looking at Cylinder Jia from space and you'd be hard pressed to figure out why it's called a Cylinder. Looking more like a spherical spider web of ship yards, offshoot factories, and large skeletal ships waiting for repair and rearmament, Cylinder Jia is all about its repair industries and it shows. Most of the ships being repaired in the sprawling shipyards by hundreds of skilled workers. Whole warehouses full of spare parts and junked components tethered by large poles and tethers out in space. The ships that are considered too costly or time-consuming to repair are simply left to wallow near Cylinder Jia until they are scrapped for more parts or kitbashed with other junked ships and be added to Jia's Space Fleet. It isn't only ships that the Cylinder repairs. Ground vehicles, heavy weaponry, large industrial equipment, drones, and even consumer goods in bulk. What they can't repair they break down and recycle for their own purposes.

Huge furnaces and sorting plants accepting tons of rubbish every day as they break down and recycle what they can and burn up the rest. Because of the processing of hazardous waste, many of these recycling and waste processing centers are also separated from the Cylinder in case of containment breaches or other hazards erupting. The materials are then shipped back to other factories in the Cylinder or directly sold to the other Cylinders in return for other goods.

The Cylinder itself is called the "Junkyard and Flea Market" of the Republic. All sort of knick-knacks, components, and refurbished items are on sale here. Rare parts, parts no longer in mass production, custom parts, you name it, Cylinder Jia has it. The engineers there can build the part you want discreetly, with the right amount of Thalers. Cylinder Prosperita has close ties with Jia, as does other Industry-focused Cylinders like Scrap and Fortaleza. While both Scrap and Jia deal in recycling and salvage, Scrap focuses more on the collection and processing of said salvage while Jia focuses on the repair and more downstream aspects of the trade.

Government and Ideology
The government of Cylinder Jia is comprised of a Executive Branch of the Chancellor, a bicameral Legislative Branch consisting of both the House of Commons and the House of District Representatives, and a Judiciary Branch of Civil Law. Under each are a variety of bureaucratic departments with their own subdivisions and responsibilities. What's interesting about Cylinder Jia is that they put more power into their local Constitution rather than the Constitution of the Republic of Maveth (which is technically just a front for the eternal Generalissimo). This has led other Cylinders to accuse them of potentially seditious thoughts, but Cylinder Jia rebukes these claims by saying that the Republican Constitution allows the Cylinders and Colonies to follow their own Constitutions as long as it does not supersede the nation-wide one.

For a Cylinder built upon hastily cobbled together ships and troops with an economy to match, they have one of the most stable, boring, and most sane for 21st century sensibilities this side of the Asteroid Belt. They have good civil rights, universal suffrage, decent transparency except when it comes to elections, a decent social welfare program, and no funny quirks. The closest thing to a peculiarity Jia might have is a tendency to quickly resort to Gunboat Diplomacy if things don't go their way soon. While a pale shadow of even a fraction of the Combined Space Force, the Space Fleet of Jia works much more closely with their ground components in operations, making them a versatile and lethal opponent if provoked.

Culture
A sense of both pride and inferiority pervades the people of Cylinder Jia. On one hand they take their work and role as the place where the great warmachines of the Republic get a second chance in life, but also resent the other Cylinders for viewing them as nothing more than the Republic's Rubbish Bin. Unlike Cylinder Scrap who brushes off the insults and looks with their usual thick-skinned abrasiveness, each praise and quip burns into the psyche of the average Jian. They are said to be prone to both great ambition and perseverance, head held up high, as well as smoldering eternal grudges.

Because of the trash and broken equipment that heads their way, people of Cylinder Jia have a knack for repairing things and developed a sort of massive Do-It-Yourself Culture. They aren't prone to the rampant disposable consumerism of Cylinder Panopticon and Prosperita, preferring the older things with great sentimental value. Many reuse clothing, stitching and sewing their coveralls and jumpsuits continuously, creating beautiful patchwork textures and decorations on otherwise boring industrial uniforms, adding things like pauldrons, capes, beads, and other trinkets into them. Many parents prefer collecting scrap and building toys for their children rather than buying them, and many a youth are seen going through the junkyards and trash heaps to find the next component for their next project.

Treasure hunts and Hide and Seek are the most popular games outside of video games and the ubiquitous Football in the Cylinder. The government even funds official games in order to hone the skills of the participants. Duels between homemade small robots are also popular, with gambling centered around whole tournaments. On the more illegal side Street Racing is also popular with gangs and more risky elements of society. Building bikes, cars, trucks, and even primitive hover vehicles, the participants race through mostly abandoned haphazardly maintained and junk-littered roads, risking life and limb of themselves and others for the Big Prize. Jia Law Enforcement has tried to clamp down on it, but the tracks and racers always change locations quickly, making it hard to curtail until it's too late. The damage and loss of life from these games has gotten to the point where the Admiral-Chancellor authorized the creation of a specialized law enforcement department dedicated to stopping the Street Racing spree. Called the Special Auto Enforcement Agency (SAEA), this police force has begun putting undercover cops in the Street Racers' ranks in order to disassemble the network of Speed Freaks from within.

For food, while Cylinder Jia tries to remain self-sufficient with their own indoor farms fertilized with waste from other Cylinders, they have been forced to rely on Cylinder Frontier and Cylinder Majesty for most of their consumables. Because of a relative lack of space, many have a mostly vegetarian diet with an emphasis on lentils and pulses. Knockers, the local moonshine, is made from a combination of a variety of plant material and small traces of hazardous waste specially processed which if prepared poorly can result in blindness, delirium, or even death. Hot spices help alleviate the mostly monotonous diet of the average Jian, and it is said they put hot stuff on all their foods, even desserts.

Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity of both Catholic and Protestant tendencies, and Hinduism are the most common religions in Cylinder Jia. A small minority of Shi'ite Muslims also reside here, mostly in tight-knit communities on the tethered space factories near the Cylinder. New Years, Christmas, Vesak, and Factory Day are universally celebrated, with food from all across the Republic imported in at low costs during these days. Factory Day is a mix of a holiday and Job's Fair, allowing employers and prospective employees to carouse in a festive fair, switching gifts and resumes as well as on the spot Job Interviews. Many schools center the main vacation days around Factory Day, with the students anticipating it with a mix of both excitement and dread.

Military
The Military of Cylinder Jia is comprised of both the Space Fleet of Jia and the Iron Militia. Despite being consisting of retrofitted civilian or obsolete ships and refurbished gear, Cylinder Jia has the most powerful forces in the whole Republic. The reason for this is not because of any cool gun, powerful vehicles, or elite training, but because unlike the CSF and Militias, the private Space Fleet of Jia and the Iron Militia work together very closely. This has allowed for rapid deployment, better fire support, and superior Combined Arms operations. Cylinder Jia has the highest number of successful offensive operations out of all the Cylinders due to this seamless teamwork.

The Iron Trooper is the bread and butter of the Cylinder's Iron Militia. Armed with their locally manufactured Metallfeuer Submachine Gun and the Sila Pulemyot Support Weapon, decked in vaguely standardized Power Armor with NBC and Environmental Protection, and trained in the Rusted Fields, these men and women usually enter the battlefield in drop pods following a tactical orbital barrage from the Space Fleet of Jia (SFJ). Upon exiting the Troopers begin their operations. Due to the size of the clunky Power Armor the Iron Troopers use, they aren't suited to be transported in Troop Transports in large numbers and are expected to do things by foot-slogging it. To compensate this, Iron Troopers have much better fire support from the Space Fleet, getting frequent MASINT and SIGINT updates on enemy strengths and positions.

The Space Fleet of Jia pales in comparison to the Combined Space Force, using refurbished ships no bigger than a Patrol Cruisers, obsolete vessels, and retrofitted civilian vessels outfitted with railguns and armor platings, but to the Iron Militia this small and private space force is an absolute godsend. Comprising about 25 combat-capable ships and twice as much transport and logistic vessels, the SFJ has been known to flex its muscles whenever the government doesn't get its way in international affairs. Despite it's small size, the SFJ is decked out with some of the deadliest, energy-chugging railguns usually only seen on Torchships and have a tendency to throw Iron Troopers into boarding actions which can capture enemy ships to add into the fleet or use as parts for existing ships. The Flagship of the SFJ is the Bellum Donna, an uparmored Patrol Cruiser three times its standard size and equipped with NUCLEAR Missiles and Torchship level Railguns.

Places of Interest
The JUNGLE OF STEEL are the various tethered and floating factories and processing plants that spiral and reach out from the Cylinder itself. Because of the need for space and safety in case of a contamination or breach, many of them are isolated in space. A hundred companies and small ventures exist in these relatively small blocks and mishmashed, interweaving tubes and capsules, and while most are mundane if not dangerous in their job, some harbor darker secrets....

HIGHWAY 1 is the spiraling road system that cuts around the Cylinder. It goes through the main centers of industry and residence in the Cylinder, bringing in alot of traffic and cargo convoys. It is a relatively popular spot for Street Racing, but due to the level of security and patrols here, it's not as popular as it once was.

HELL HIGHWAY is the name for the abandoned stretch of roads that was hoping to become HIGHWAY 2 but fell short when it became clear most of the industries took their business outside in the Jungle of Steel. Comprised of these roads and vast alleyways and corridors, Hell Highway is the spot where Street Racers partake in their sport. The SAEA have tried their best to stop it, but because of the maze-like layout of the area, the routes can change when need be, and it is too costly at the moment to renovate and gentrify the area. Until something is done, the destruction and tragedy continues.

The GREAT HEAP is the largest flea market in the Republic of Maveth. Miles of stalls, layers of floors, and thousands of vendors and customers flock here to get their hands on the rare, useless, and peculiar. It is the Junk Dealer's Wet Dream, the Pawn Broker's Paradise, the Treasure Hunter's Mecca. Centuries of junk and trash all come to the Great Heap, some utterly pointless, some unwittingly priceless.

THE RUSTED FIELDS is the large training complex of the Iron Troopers. A sort of smaller Cylinder orbiting Jia, the Rusted Fields has a wide variety of training courses and facilities, from firing ranges to live fire exercises to workshops training the Troopers on how to repair and customize their Power Armor.

The GARDENSCAPE was once a decrepit industrial slum that was turned into a fertile and pristine national park. Taking in organic waste in bulk, Cylinder Jia has fertilized this hybrid of Earth-based plants and plants from Pachamama. Animals and Plant-animals thrive here, and some hunting and fishing goes on here, becoming a niche vacation spot in the Republic.

People of Interest
The Admiral-Chancellor is ELINOR LILIANA CORTEZA VILAR. An Interventionist, she believes that the Republic of Maveth must play a more proactive role in the Solar System in order to gain power for the Next War, which she believes will be between the Custodial Protectorate and the Republic of Maveth. Cylinder Jia under Admiral-Chancellor Vilar has been much more aggressive in securing resources and striking back at enemies they believed wronged them, and the Admiral-Chancellor has only gotten more hawkish as the Elections are nearing closer. If she can win one big victory, Generalissimo X would surely support her and practically guarantee her re-election.

The JUNK LORD is an enigmatic figure who is part man, part makeshift cybernetics. Wielding a cloak laced and stitched with small trinkets, donned in clunky powered armor much lighter than the Iron Trooper's, and wielding a large blade made from the remains of a Torchship. Ruling over the destiute Halberton District with an iron fist, the Junk Lord and his gang of bike riders wage war against Street Racers who trespass his territory without his blessing.

OFFICER LOUIS KISAMARU is a member of the SAEA. After his brother and father died in a freak accident due to Street Racing and his girlfriend being killed by a drugged up Street Champion, Officer Kisamaru vowed to put an end to this criminal activity. An undercover Agent, Officer Kisamaru has joined countless races and won them in order to entrench himself into the ranks and find the Ringmaster, the one who is funding and organzing the biggest and most dangerous Street Races in Cylinder Jia. The problem is, Officer Kisamaru is starting to begin enjoying the adrenaline rush of these races a bit too much...

The crew of the HEAVING PILLAR are privateers that deal in building and expanding their own ship from the ground up, using junk. Under the command of Captain HENRY McCOMET and his First Mate ANGUS BAYEOUX, the Heaving Pillar once started as a broken down escape pod and gradually tinkered and built upon it so that it has become practically a Destroyer. Tinkerers, engineers, and adventurers, the crew of the Heaving Pillar have a DIY culture and scour the Solar System for wreckages and trash to collect. Their goal is to make the Heaving Pillar into a Torchship and show the Solar System that simple folk like them can pull themselves to greatness by their bootstraps.

IRON TROOPERS, HEAVY INFANTRY
IRON WITHIN!
IRON WITHOUT!

-Iron Trooper motto

Overview
The Iron Troopers of the Iron Militia are highly motivated and highly trained soldiers who serve in shock and awe operations, charging into enemy positions after a barrage of artillery from orbit and their own back-mounted launchers. Supported by their own powered armor and the Reserve Fleet, the Iron Troopers are one of the infantry in the Republic to be able to go toe to toe with the Novi Phaedrans.

Background
The Iron Militia was founded during the early years of the Republic, when the threat of direct conflict with the Custodial Protectorate was high, but when that blew over into a glorified brush war of the Protectorate-Republic Rock War of 2754 the Cylinder lost a good chunk of its funding as it got relegated to being a pit stop for the CSF and a dumping ground for all of the Republic's rubbish. Despite this, Cylinder Jia has held its head up high and refused to be mediocre with their Militia. The Iron Militia not only makes the best of their situation, but thrives on it. Metals used for buildings and ships are used to make their Power Armor, cast off guns are refurbished to make more powerful weaponry. Old electronics are used to transmit and display data in the suits and Drop Ships. The Rusted Fields, once an abandoned Cylinder project that barely got started, has become the pride and joy of the Iron Troopers and the reason for their professional combat skills.

Iron Troopers are tasked with shock and awe missions, either by drop ships or by barging across cramped corridors, shrugging off enemy small arms fire. They have a decent variety of builtin weapons on their suits, but mostly wield the small arms and support weapons given to them. Iron Troopers are slow and quite large, making them less mobile than the average Mavethite Militiaman but exponentially more powerful. They can operate across a wide array of environments, thanks to both their power armor and own modified bodies. Because of the close cooperation between the Space Fleet of Jia and the Iron Militia, calling in orbital support and getting a quick ride in and out of battlefields is much easier for them.

Equipment
The Power Armor, made from the corpses of old ships and decrepit industrial buildings and equipment, form the core of the Iron Trooper. All of them are NBC-proofed and can survive in the vacuum of space thanks to internal air tanks and recyclers. Sensor Suites that allow for radio, motion sensors, night and infrared vision, and telescopic zooming are in all the suits. The armor itself can take a bullet from the Novi Phaedran's Storm Rifle easily, but it isn't as manuverable as Novi Phaedran armor due to its makeshift nature.

While the armor is varied in creation, it usually comes in three sorts:

1. Assault Armor allows the Iron Trooper to move a bit faster and use jump jets to get around areas they usually can't. Being smaller, Assault Armor is best used for indoor combat, though it is not as armored. Aside from its jump jets it has doesn't have much else.

2. War Armor is the basic Iron Trooper Power Armor. It has good protection, bad mobility, and comes with a back-mounted launcher that fires grenades like a mortar, providing fire support in conjunction with orbital bombardment or in replacement if that is not possible. The armor can take a good number of hits, almost on par with the average Novi Phaedran Warrior's Power Armor.

3. Fire Support Armor has just as much armor as the War Armor but even worse mobility. Its role is to provide support with their armor-mounted indirect fire systems and extensive sensor suites much more powerful than that seen in the Assault or War Armor. Coming with two back-mounted launchers which can fire a variety of payloads and a shoulder shotgun/chaingun/anti-tank missile pod, the Fire Support can send more detailed information taken from their instruments and sent to the other Iron Troopers. They are considered the bulkiest of the Power Armor due to the more powerful sensor equipment and armor-mounted weapons they have, but that does not make them any stronger than the War Armor.

For weapons, the Metallfeuer Submachine Gun is the mainstay of the Iron Troopers which is much more powerful than the Aleph PDW, Third Iteration used by most other Militias using the same Rail technology but at a much higher power. The tradeoff for more damage output is reduced "clip" size and higher recoil, though in for recoil the Power Armor compensates for that. Unlike the Aleph PDW, Third Iteration which has 100 pellets, the Metallfeuer SMG only has 50, half that number. The Sila Pulemyot Support Weapon uses the same pellet size as the Metallfeuer SMG, but can fire up to 300 pellets a box. Powerful enough to devastate cover and even eat through heavy armor, the SPSW requires the Power Armor if the Iron Trooper wants to move and fire with it.

The Space Fleet of Jia is usually on standby for orbital except in battlefields in buildings, underground, or in space stations, and the Iron Trooper can call in a variety of Orbital Strikes at 25% cheaper in points than usual, or 40% cheaper if a Fire Support Iron Trooper is in the squad. But because virtually all the ships of the SFJ are smaller vessels no bigger than maybe a Destroyer, the Torch orbital strike ability is unavailable for a Iron Trooper-centric army.

Abilities
The Universal Abilities for the Iron Trooper Squad are Hunker Down!, Suppress, Repair, Battlecry, Man Heavy Weaponry, Assist, and Create Defensive Fighting Positions.

The Iron Troopers can fire twice, twice with their primary weapons and once with their armor-mounted weapon.

With their Power Armor and their ready augmented bodies, the Iron Troopers have PERFECT ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, which makes them virtually immune to all environmental hazards.

Iron Troopers with the Assault Armor get JUMP due to their Jump Jets. This is similar to the Fly Universal Ability, except they can only "fly" on their turn and will be considered on the ground on their next turn. If they are stuck on deep water or have "fallen" from a cliff, they are stuck until they Jump again, and cannot fire at enemies from there.

Iron Troopers with the War Armor get IMPROVED SUPPRESSION, which increases the Willpower Save number required for Enemy Unit(s) suppressed by the Iron Trooper to roll in order to take actions on their turn. The chance to hit a Suppressed Enemy who moves is not adjusted.

Iron Troopers with Fire Support Armor gain TACTICAL ANALYSIS, where upon rolling a "Ranged Attack" roll with their Sensor Equipment against an Enemy Unit(s) and succeeding give all Units attacking their target a +2 to their Attack and Defense against them for two rounds. This can be done to multiple targets.

Baseline Stats
Good HP
Excellent Toughness
Average Ranged
Average Close Quarters
Average Willpower
Poor Movement
Expensive Cost


Cylinder Panopticon
We Know

Overview
Cylinder Panopticon is publicly said to be both a Special Diplomatic Zone and Penal Colony, where convicts, fugitives, and refugees all go for a new slate. While officially it deals in mining and cottage industries in order to reform prisoners, its true goal is to monitor and manipulate the population with a rampant consumerist culture that would make even Cylinder Prosperita balk which slowly erodes the cultural foundations of the individual and turn them into compliant customers, be they Custodian, Novi Phaedran, or Carnie. Critics fear that Cylinder Panopticon is what the Republic of Maveth will turn the Solar System into if they achieve dominance.

Government Type: Representative Democracy with a strong Executive Branch (officially and Republic-wide)/Soft Totalitarian Hypercapitalist Police State(locally)
Head of Government: Admiral-Warden Noa Victoria Sunder
Population: 500 Million
Currency: The Republican Thaler
Territory: Cylinder Panopticon
History
Cylinder Panopticon's history is an interesting one. It was constructed not on the direct order of Generalissimo X, but by the Office of Naval Intelligence as a sort of maximum security prison, taking in dangerous criminal and political prisoner and basically keep them isolated from the rest of society. As more refugees from other parts of the Solar System came flocking into the Republic of Maveth, only Cylinder Panopticon had enough space to hold them all and soon Panopticon was no longer just a simple prison, becoming a place for anyone wanting to turn over a new leaf. As ONI began to use Cylinder Panopticon as the place to meet with important individuals who fled from the other factions and debrief them, the Cylinder took on a more important role for ONI's works.

Or so the official story goes.

While technically true, there is still more to the story. Cylinder Panopticon was conceived from the start as a social experiment by ONI to gather information on the mentalities of their enemies and find ways to subvert them slowly. It is thought that if the Republic can slowly pervert and corrupt the minds of their enemies, wars would be easier fought. Not only that, but they would do experiments and see the reaction of different cultural paradigms to different situations and with each other.

Stage One of the project was the creation of the Cylinder, which used prison labor. The prisoners were given the bare minimum supplies, put on automated mining ships, and told that if they desired more, they had to mine and build for it. Those who mined more soon became the leaders, bullying and controlling the weak or unlucky. Anarcho-Syndicalist Prisoners of War tried to get the prisoners to rise up, but quickly perished when the Wardens promised goods and even power if they were disposed of. The miners who got alot of materials soon became leaders of their own cliques and bullied around the weaker, unluckier miners. Cylinder Panopticon began to tinker with this convict-centric society. They began funding weapons to weaker, pacifistic cliques to see if they would rise against their stronger peers. Some did, while others required some more prodding. As these gang wars erupted, the Wardens secretly eliminated the powerful gang leaders to prevent them from openly rebelling against the Republic.

When the Cylinder was complete, Stage Two of the project began. Prisoners and undesirables were poured into Panopticon, monitored 24/7 and under the iron boot of Internal Security. Rules were lax, but those ruled that existed were enforced brutally. Riots and murders were common. Mining was still a big focus for this prison colony, but the Cylinder began leasing out convicts to Corporations, research groups, and government agencies for temporary labor or their own experiments; many never returned. Life was cruel, brutish, and short for convicts and they began to turn to vices like drugs, prostitution, and gambling. The Powers that Be encouraged this, rewarding those who did their little experiments with more stuff. Gradually, companies began using Cylinder Panopticon as a test bed for their products and marketing projects. Every step and word was monitored and recorded, not only to listen for any signs of revolts, but also to find information about the convicts to use against them.

ONI began using the hellish and bloody backdrop of Cylinder Panopticon to bring valuable people they captured in war or kidnapped behind enemy lines here and "interrogate" them away from the eyes of the public. And when they are done, agents simply let their captives go into Cylinder Panopticon instead of executing them. This is where Stage Three came into play. When released, the wardens would monitor these foreign elements and see how they thrive or die in the environment of Cylinder Panopticon. Some like those from the Custodial Protectorate would quickly go mad or perish if they did not adapt to a more aggressive and tribal society, but others like those from the Novi Phaedran cultures would not only be able to survive, but thrive enough that they become leaders of their own prison gangs. The Carnemicum were an interesting case. When a Hybrid is surrounded by other Carnies, their mutation abilities are stable (for what that word is worth for the Carnemicum), but if only a single Carnie is left in an area with no other Carnies for long periods of time, their mutations become even more rampant and powerful, and the ArchMedusozoan parasite begins to emit spores to infect other, non-Carnemite convicts in order to turn them into Hybrids. After a certain population number is reached, the ArchMedusozoan stops releasing spores and the original Hybrid, while now a powerful Pariarch at this point, no longer has super mutation powers.

ONI began putting radically different groups in close vicinity and began working with corporations to see how they'd react to constant barrage of advertisement, memes, and products they've never encountered before. They began customizing the commercials and offers around a perverted concept of the individual's culture. Some rejected this and even went violent, but many began to slowly accept the new barrage of tailored information and subtle brainwashing fed to them.

Cylinder Panopticon took part in OPERATION NOISE MACHINE with ONI using the convicts of the different factions as a testing ground. Operation Noise Machine created Republic-funded "Independent" Governments in the Asteroid Belt and elsewhere to distract and slow down the Custodial Protectorate's Solar Expeditions. The Anointed Republic's Father Supreme and the Junta-Jihad's Supreme Overlord are said to have originally been prisoners from Cylinder Panopticon brainwashed and molded to who they are now.

The Final Stage of Cylinder Panopticon occurred when the Admiral-Warden at the time started a "Gentrification" Program. The good and obedient prisoners were "freed", the rebellious prisoners were sent to die off in grueling mining habs on godforsaken asteroids, and the violent prisoners were promoted to become Internal Security Officers. The Cylinder was cleaned up, the buildings repaired, utilitarian warning signs replaced with corporate and family friendly billboards. Soon the door was open for any to come. Thousands came flocking in from all over the Solar System for a new start. Indeed, there are many jobs and opportunities for the immigrants and the newcomers quickly settled down to what seemed like a dream.

The Cylinder provided it all.

The Cylinder watched it all.

The Cylinder made notes of it all.

Under the current Admiral-Warden, Noa Victoria Sunder, Cylinder Panopticon has begun ramping up their "Entertainment and Culture Initiative" which on the surface seems like a silly project having almost daily parties and discounted luxury and comfort goods, but the true purpose of the project is to erode existing cultural identity and replace it with what the Cylinder desires, using entertainment alone. The most controversial aspect of this is the new Battlefield Tourism, a replacement for the widely reviled Battle Royal that Admiral-Warden Sunder's predecessor got executed for. Instead of having people slaughter each other in a forced and randomized free-for-all, people can now record battles from headsets and carefully placed drones and sell them to the public. Despite System-wide protests, Battlefield Tourism has become very popular.

Economy
Cylinder Panopticon is the largest private prison in the Solar System, getting paid by the Republic to hold, monitor, and "reform" the convicts. Graft is legal and encouraged, with convicts being loaned out to corporations for temp work, the Cylinder taking about 80% of the wage. Deceased prisoners, if they have no relatives, usually have their corpses sent to medical schools for research and training purposes, though rumors of corpses heading to Dark Earth or Pachamama are common and sometimes verifiable as well...

Mining is still one of the main focuses of Cylinder Panopticon. Still technically a penal colony, they use prisoners to mine the Republic's side of the Asteroid Belt as well as some forays into Jupiter's satellites as well. The materials mined are either used or sold to other Cylinders or even to other governments. But it isn't just directly mining that the Cylinder does. They lease out miners and equipment to others, including private contractors for a fee.

But the true bread and butter of the Cylinder was its population and the data on them. Filled with people from all across the Solar System from radically different paradigms, many groups want to use them as passive test subjects for the experiments and agendas, and Panopticon is more than happy to provide it. Not only can corporations and agencies directly test their products and ideas on the diverse demographics there, but the Cylinder sells extremely concise and frighteningly accurate data on the people who live there. Whole analyst firms have relied upon Panopticon for the basis of their reports, and the "Panopticon Angle" is a common feature in many pitches. The population can also be subtly manipulated, making it a training ground for Marketers, Propagandists, and PR Firms.

An accidental but nonetheless still important part of Cylinder Panopticon is the last-chance business ventures. Businesses that have failed virtually everywhere else come to Cylinder Panopticon and try one last time. And quite a few succeed, astonishing market experts and critics who thought it would be impossible. Things like the Kelp-based coffee substitute Kelfee, the Shang Bros. Karate School, Rusty Repairs, and other hilariously awful businesses managed to thrive here. Many theories abound about why this is. One theory is that the Cylinder deliberately manipulates the population in order for them to accept these crappy goods and services, but another popular theory states that people in the Cylinder latch onto these brands because they are "authentic" in their marketing and presentation, unlike the sterile, artificial marketing of the corporate-friendly brands. The proponents of the latter theory point to the fact that the brands that soon got co-opted by the bigger brands soon lost their popularity.

Government and Ideology
The government of Cylinder Panopticon is ruled by the Admiral-Warden and her group of senior Internal Security officers. Each has their own departments and pet projects, and each of these members of this Clique contend with each other for favor with the Admiral-Warden. The only thing preventing a small civil war is the collective fear of the leadership of their population. Even though the Cylinder has been gentrified, elements of the old prison culture still permeates the civilian section of the Cylinder and the open door policy of the Cylinder brings in all sorts of people, worst of all Custodians and Anarcho-Syndicalists. Thus, the Admiral-Warden and the people in charge of the Cylinder spend most of their time monitoring and clamping down on the first signs of true revolution that might overthrow the system.

The Justice Ministry is under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Maveth itself, tasked with making sure the Cylinder is not abusing the convicts that reside in the artificial prison island of Esperanza Desolada, but for the most part turn a blind eye as cash continuously slips into the investigators' and judges' hands from somewhere.

Internal Security, the true law enforcement agency of Cylinder Panopticon, answer to the Admiral-Warden alone. They are the ones who keep the peace, man the monitors, and keep watch of the population 24/7. Paid informants are so common it could be another industry, ratting on their friends and loved ones for rewards and pardons. Many of the veterans and senior officers of InSec are actually former prisoners of Cylinder Panopticon themselves, notably the violent and intelligent ones who were given a choice of joining or getting the death penalty once they proved their worth to the Wardens.

The Institute for Cultural Exchange and Cooperation calls itself "a bridge for peace and reconciliation between the Solar System", dedicated to bringing different cultures together in tolerant co-existence and understanding, similar to Dark Earth's Ark-City of Beunos Aires. But unlike Beunos Aires, this lovey-dovey hippie front is just that, a front. The ICEC is actually part of the Office of Naval Intelligence and tasked with the interrogation and subversion of enemy cultures. They use the many public forums and events to learn as much as they can about the Custodians, Novi Phaedrans, and Carnemites and then use that information to weaken the factions from within. ICEC also keeps an eye and a few strings on the "Independent" Nations created during Operation Noise Maker, making sure groups like the Junta-Jihad hostile to the Republic enough to waylay suspicions but also not too dangerous that they might actually be a threat to Mavethite territory.

Despite the 24/7 surveillance and police state tendencies, Cylinder Panopticon actually doesn't have many rules that ban or repress. Rather, they are focused with changing the mind, the very soul of the individual so that they do the Cylinder's bidding willingly. Rather than have a Boot stomp on the face forever, Panopticon believes it would be best if the people internalized the Boot and bought Boot merchandise. Instead of trying to yank the identity of the people violently, Panopticon believes in warping it to its most shallow and used for the agenda of the Cylinder. Free Press is not silenced, but it is drowned in a sea of fake news, sensationalist media, and an apathetic populace. The Truth is Out There, says the Panopticon, but Who Cares? The Perfect Panopticon citizen is one who is only interested in their reality bubble tailored by the Cylinder in a sort of soft soliphist bliss.

Culture
The first thing visitors will notice is the insane amount of advertising, branding, and endorsements in the Cylinder. Even the austere prisons at the ends of the Cylinder are not safe from it. Floating holographic billboards, hundreds of tunes and jingles, and the advertisement and promo blurbs on even a bottle of water. From waking up to going to sleep, a resident and/or prisoner of the Cylinder are subject to a barrage of things telling you to buy, buy, BUY, and products to advertise in your dreams will come to a store near you soon! Unlike Cylinder Prosperita, the goal of all this isn't just simply for better profit margins. It slowly chips away at the core values and sanity of the victim, and even if they don't know it, the memetic assault begins to open them up for Republic and corporate friendly messaging and versions of their beliefs thanks to personalized ads and products based on their data collected from social media and good old spying. Using information gathered from the individual by cameras, data algorithms, and social media, companies The Wards and Custodians of the Protectorate have their civil rights and welfare, but only because that means more customers and welfare used to buy more stuff, preferably stuff that would satisfy their virtue signalling and moral grandstanding. Mavethites get easy access to information, but information conforming their biases are top priority. Novi Phaedrans can fight and struggle, but are slaves to the cheer of the crowds as they fight as Battlefield Tourists and illegal Battle Royales. Carnemites get their mutations and Serfs, but the chemicals in the drugs that help them slowly poison and numb the ArchMedusozoan parasite inside them and their Serfs are convicts who secretly inform on them to Insec. Corrupted Virtue is the Virtue of Cylinder Panopticon.

Entertainment in Cylinder Panopticon is the best in the Solar System, rivaling only Dark Earth. VR games, TV series where the audience can vote (and get more votes by buying extra votes) on what happens next episode, overdramatic sport games, and virtually every vice you can imagine are here for the taking. Social Media is extremely important here, with movies even being made about nasty feuds that went physical. A popular toy is the Projected Artificial Logic, or PAL, which is given out freely to all residents and guests, even prisoners. An minor holographic AI, the PALs serve as a Virtual Assistant and companion, and some people have more than one. Many native Panotpicons have come to rely on their PAL(s) for social and emotional crutch, often time asking the PAL for guidance, which the Cylinde-I mean PAL is more than happy to provide. PALs are rarely confrontational and are more than happy to confirm the views and worries of their master. The fact that PALs send their master's information to a central database does not bother many.

A controversial sport is Battlefield Tourism, where participants go out and fight in a variety of battlefields to experience the thrill of warfare without the need for extensive training or discipline. Many join as auxiliary troops in Mavethite operations and only do skirmishes and mop up operations in order to stay clear of the professional Militias where they would do the least damage. Many Battle Tourists film their tours for their fans and gamblers, who bet whether the participant will live or die. Battle Royale, once the premiere death sport in Cylinder Panopticon, stemmed from the prison brawls that were encouraged and even set up by Internal Security wardens. But when Battle Royale was gentrified and made an official sport, massive outcries and protests were so intense that not only was Battle Royale banned but the Admiral-Warden was executed by personal orders of the Generalissimo himself. Despite this, underground Battle Royales exist, mostly using convicts the organizers leased from the prison system and volunteers. Despite the usual laid back nature of Cylinder Panopticon to these things, Admiral-Warden Sunder fears if these bloody Free For Alls escalate she might suffer the same fate as her predecessor, and has sent Internal Security to purge the Battle Royales.

Religion has taken a backburner to instant gratification, and while organized religion does exist in a decent percentage, these too are grossly commercialized with corporate sponsorships, the most unsubtle Prosperity Gospel Televangelists, and special programs and what are practically Indulgences. With the corporations revolving and tailoring advertising around their world and their PALs basically confirming their views, Panopticons do have a sort of god complex, barely able to comprehend the world outside of their own. To them, if God and the Divine can't adjust to the Panopticon's needs, then Panopticons won't adjust to have them in their orbit.

Military
Cylinder Panopticon's Internal Security is both the law enforcement and Militia. About half of InSec's officers are drawn from the most violent prisoners who can still be tamed, but those InSec Officers are only unleashed during riots and anarchist attacks due to their tendency towards violence. They use telescopic batons, riot shield and a machine pistol variant of the Aleph PDW, Third Iteration most of the time, but are given pump action shotguns and other more powerful weapon when things get serious. They are known for their frequent use of "Pacification" Grenades that knock out or turn people high, similar to Dark Earth's Peacekeepers.

Aside from a few small ships used for customs and police action, Cylinder Panopticon relies on the Combined Space Fleet for protection in space.

Places of Interest
ESPERANZA DESOLADA is the largest Maximum Security Prison in the whole Solar System, about the size of a modern city. Practically a caged city in itself, Esperanza Desolda is where the most dangerous and most wanted criminals reside. Unlike a fortress, the guns are turned inward instead of outward. People like Gregory "Slicer" Brycer and Galatar, brother of Tyrant Stravos of the Den of Titans Novi Phaedrans are imprisoned here. The InSec Officers drive armored convoys and have lax Rules of Engagements in the streets of Esperanze Desolada, and as long as the convicts don't attack the officers they are allowed to kill each other as they please. The Prison City of Esperanza Desolda is ruled by four gangs fighting in the middle of the decrepit city for access to the daily supply drops. A sort of loophole began to form to subvert the Battle Royale ban, as viewers of security cameras and drones in Esperanza Desolda can fund supply drops in certain areas and watch criminals duke it out.

JOYOPOLIS is an unique city in which instead of Internal Security Officers, PALs roam the street and enforce the peace with happiness and good old peer pressure! Happy faces are almost mandatory, and the Pals will follow and pester those with grumpy faces :( until they are happy again :). Drugs are liberally given out and residents of Joyopolis practically follow the schedule laid out by their Pals in happy bliss.

BLOOD FIST ARENA is the largest illegal Battle Royale stadium in Panopticon. No one knows its location and somehow it has evaded InSec monitors, causing many to speculate whether rogue elements of InSec are behind this or even doubt if the Blood Fist Arena is even in the Cylinder. Regardless, thousands watch encrypted streams of the annual Blood Fist Battle Royale and pay thousands of Thalers (and other currencies) to send support and supplies to their favorite contestants. The mysterious organizers of the Blood Fist Battle Royale has recently promised a Battle Royale none would ever forget coming shortly....

People of Interest
ADMIRAL-WARDEN NOA VICTORIA SUNDER is the current Admiral-Warden of Cylinder Panopticon. Originally a lowly Militiawoman imprisoned for High Treason and High Theft, she fought her way into the top of her prison block and then joined InSec after killing the boss of a rival gang. She then clawed even more fervently to get to the top. When it seemed like she reached the physical limits of her power, Generallisimo X executed the Admiral-Warden at the time for the Battle Royale controversy and put her in. A small, highly paranoid middle aged woman, Admiral-Warden Sunder spends countless nights pouring over surveillance footage and dossiers of suspicious individuals, keeping an eye on any potential threat to her power. Despite being the head of state of the whole Cylinder, people have noted that Admiral-Warden Sunder acts as if she is the one being spied upon.

MASTER JOHN SHANG is the co-founder of the Shang Brothers Karate franchise along with his brother Justin Shang. Because of their eccentric and often times silly martial art style with little relation to actual Karate, many scoffed at it. Downtrodden and demoralized, the brothers tried one last go in Cylinder Panopticon with their Shang Karate style. Despite cringe-worthy advertising and issues with the dojo, Shang Brothers Karate was a huge success and enrollment was such that the Shang Brothers quickly built a second, and then a third dojo once they got their first student who achieved Master rank. Master John Shang is of interest due to the fact he has gone out with a number of his students and fought against rival schools and criminal thugs, helped by the almost mythical Zodiac PALs.

GREGORY "SLICER" BRYCER is the most infamous serial killer of the Republic. Having wracked over 100 confirmed murders, the Slicer used the skin of his victims to make paint canvases to draw his fantastic landscape paintings on. Upon capture, he was put into Esperanza Desolada in hopes the Slicer would perish in the hands of other criminals. Unfortunately, not only did he survive, but the Slicer has once again begun a reign of terror in the prison city, prowling the streets for his next victim.

GALATAR is the brother of Tyrant Stravros, de facto leader of most of the Novi Phaedran Autonomous Zones. Once his closest aide, Galatar fell out of favor for focusing on scientific pursuits rather than fighting continuous battles like a man. He was finally exiled when he refused to execute his daughter and only child for homosexuality. Having fled Titan and his home, Galatar was captured by the Republic of Maveth and after extensive interrogation, was sent to Esperanza Desolada as he was considered too valuable to kill but too dangerous to free. Galatar became a reclusive inventor, building drones and androids for trade and to help around his large house.

THE BATTLE ROYALIST is the nickname for the most infamous Battle Royale in Cylinder Panopticon. This man has won a dozen Battle Royales and slaughtered hundreds of participants. He rarely talks, extremely remorseless, and seems to simply fight not for the prizes but for the sake of fighting. A combatant who prefers close combat, the Battle Royalist purposely got himself arrested in order to be sent to Esperanza Desolada in order to kill as he pleases.

VICKY IODINE is a famous Battle Tourist with millions of followers on her social media. Touring and participating in a variety of battles, Vicky Iodine (not her real name) records on her drone and headset camera, edit it for more excitement, and publish it in the next few days. She no longer does Livestreams after an Custodian almost literally Stream Sniped her. Critics point out not only Vicky's vapid and shallow view on warfare and its suffering, but also how she's just a glorified tabloid War Journalist who gets to point a gun and shoot when battles are going the Republic's way.

BATTLE TOURIST, INFANTRY
"Quick, Take my picture!"

Overview
Basically civilians and Ex-Militia who join battles on their own for thrill or fame, Battle Tourists usually join as auxiliary forces for proper Mavethite ground forces rather than the main focus. Compensating lack of discipline and training with better and flashier equipment, Battle Tourists can cause mayhem in their own way, much to the chagrin of other Mavethite Units.

Background
Battle Tourists is a unique feature in the Republican Cylinder of Panopticon and is extremely controversial. It was legalized by Admiral-Warden Noa Victoria Sunder as a "more humane and patriotic" alternative to the despised Battle Royale blood sport of her earlier predecessor. While war footage is not new, the idea of making an economy of people joining combat operations and even partake in it with little experience and for no reason other than to experience war has ruffled more than a few feathers in the Solar System. Many Milita Platoons outright ban Battle Tourism and punishments for Battle Tourist PoWs are much more severe. The only reason Battle Tourists are able to tag along is because the sponsorships and popularity they bring are huge, and the mostly ill-equipped and poor Militias are more than happy to take their money in return for the annoying brat who won't stop taking selfies to tag along in the back.

While Mavethites are usually the ones who do Battle Tourism, individuals hailing from other factions also join. The most famous are Novi Phaedrans who dwell in the Cylinder either in exile or imprisonment, using Battle Tourism as a way to continue their lifestyle of militant masculinity, even if they despise the commercialism and vapidity of this activity. Carnemites also join as a way to collect equipment to send back to their House's Demesnes even if many have qualms about outright killing potential biological materials. Mercenaries from Outlaw States, Bandit Kingdoms, and other Independent Polities use Battle Tourism as a training ground for their militants and soldiers. Only rogue Custodians and undercover agents spying on Mavethite movements ever join Battle Tourism, with the Protectorate outright stating Battle Tourism is a war crime due to its glorification of war.

Despite the controversies and constant cries for banning, Battle Tourism remains popular, with thousands and even millions tuning in to see what is going on. Sponsors, mostly from Cylinder Panopticon, proudly show their brands in the equipment the Battle Tourists wield. A multi-million Thaler industry, Battle Tourism has no signs of slowing down. In fact, some in the Republic even state that Battle Tourism increases the desire of newer generations to join the Militias and fight for the glorious Republic.

Equipment
Battle Tourists are extremely loaded due to sponsorships and merchandise sales from their fans. They usually wield superior weaponry and gear, and deck themselves in swag that serves no purpose in the battlefield. They also spend some of their money to grease the palms of Mavethite Militia Platoons in order to tag along, spreading some of the wealth to the soldiers who would have normally threw the Battle Tourist into the trash or out the airlock the first opportunity they had.

Battle Tourists can be chosen from any Light Infantry to Infantry unit of ANY faction and given 15 extra points to spend. These points can also be allocated to an allied Squad or Character to use. These extra points only occur after the player spends the necessary points buying a Battle Tourist to add into their army.

Abilities
The Battle Tourist's Universal Abilities, number of attacks, and special Abilities are the same as the character model they represent.

SWAG allows the Battle Tourist to suddenly have extra ammunition for their special, ammo-limited weapon whenever they make a kill. Roll a 1d6, and upon a 5-6 they get +2 ammo for a single weapon.

Basline Stats
Same HP as the model they represent
Same Toughness as the model they represent
Same Ranged as the model they represent
Same Close Quarters as the model they represent
Same Willpower as the model they represent but at a -2, minimum Willpower of 1.
Same Movement as the model they represent
Slightly more Expensive Cost than the model they represent
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

Post Reply