The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

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The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Invictus »

Over the years, I’ve noticed the increasing effort it takes to design a proper universe around here. Dozens of settings have fallen by the wayside, scuttled by over-ambition, lack of interest, or just sheer complexity. And I think it’s fair to say that very few of our universes can even be called “completed”.

Because of this, I have a fun little challenge in mind. A break from the usual routine, as it were. It’s time to temporarily put aside our completism, sociological ruminations and metaphysical wrangling, and write like it’s 2002 or so!

The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Rules of the Challenge:
1. You must write a setting. It does not need to be science fiction. It can be of any genre.
2. The only things you are allowed to write about that setting are profiles of military units of one faction within the setting.
3. You are encouraged to write up more than ten but no more than twenty unit descriptions. Each profile cannot be more than 250 words long.
4. A 'unit' can mean a particular model or configuration, a particular military formation, or even a type of weapon. This is up to you.
5. All units must be from the same faction. However, you definition of ‘faction’ or ‘military unit’ can be flexible, depending on your setting.
6. You may write the unit description any way you want, with or without parts like technical specifications or operational histories. However, they must mainly be about the unit and not go on segues about world history. That’s cheating.
7. Don’t worry over making every detail perfect – this is for fun!

I have several reasons for starting this. One is just to exercise our creative muscles without straining them. Secondly, I sort of know that OZ’s worldbuilding efforts started off as unit lists that, but grew increasingly elaborate over time. I’m not saying that it was a bad thing, it I sometimes think that the sheer amount of text expected of a universe today has just made barriers of entry too high. Let’s see if we can go back to our roots and still outdo our former selves.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Ford Prefect »

This is a curious and potentially quite amusing idea. Let's hope that it gets plenty of attention. :)
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Mobius 1 »

I could totally do this. On another note, I think it's time to start up a thread for O1 Secret Santa '08.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Vagrant Orpheus »

This could actually be quite interesting. But damn, 250 words per unit is tiny. I'd totally try this except that I'd get angry at the limits imposed :P
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Malchus »

Hm, why not? It's an awesome idea, and maybe it'll help in regaining some of the creative energy sapped by my chronic laziness.
Mobius 1 wrote:I could totally do this. On another note, I think it's time to start up a thread for O1 Secret Santa '08.
I'm all for Secret Santa '08. Hopefully, it turns out better than last year's SecSan.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Heretic »

When you mean settings, can it be a general synopsis, and then the military units?
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Invictus »

Vagrant Orpheus wrote:This could actually be quite interesting. But damn, 250 words per unit is tiny. I'd totally try this except that I'd get angry at the limits imposed :P
That's totally for your own good, so you won't spend too much time on it!
Heretic wrote:When you mean settings, can it be a general synopsis, and then the military units?
No general synopsis allowed. You can give the name of your faction, but that's all.

EDIT: Actually, you are allowed to have a general synopsis of your faction. But it must be a quote, and written in universe/in character.
Last edited by Invictus on Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Heretic »

Alright, sounds good enough. Where and when do we start?
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Invictus »

Heretic wrote:Alright, sounds good enough. Where and when do we start?
Any time you like.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Heretic »

Alright! I will start then! I want to try some fantasy!


The Fortress States
The Sunblade have left humanity to die! The elves have ignored us, the dwarfs have sealed their doors against us, and the fairies no longer sing in our forests! Who will stand with us against these dark times?" -The wail of King Lumbert the Valiant.

The Horde: The main force of the Fortressians, the Horde is the blood that protects the most, but sheds the most. Humans, goblinoids, and demi-titans make up most of the soldiers. The Horde's ground force breaks up into three categories: The Defendants, who protect the borders of the Fortress Nations; the Warriors, who do the fighting in the battlefields; and various expeditionary forces that specialize in a thousand objectives.

Standard war equipment for a human soldier is a breech loading smoothbore, a bayonet, a short sword, and a simple iron chestplate and bascinet.

Equipment for goblinoids are random, as there are many types of species, with different cultures, especially concerning standardization. What is safe to say is that bigger goblinoids like Orcs, prefer close combat behemoths like greataxes, claymores, and flails, while smaller goblins have more cunning, using traps and hit and run tactics to give a big slaughter.

Demi-titans use archaic and bizarre technology, such as chain-wands, exploding clubs, and most of all, the infamous disintegrating tube, which shoots out a beam of atom-reducing energy. Being of Titan blood, they rarely use any armor, and decorate themselves with fancy uniforms and tattoos.


The Arachnid cavalry: Though horses and other assorted mounts are fine, fighting against elves, dwarfs, the fey, and other races aligned with the Sunblade is no easy feat, with super magic and zillions of artifact weapons being used in one single battle. The Fortressians needed a heavily advantaged, fast mount that reproduces in fast amounts, and can stand up on its own during a battle. Well, the Arachnids of Shulmd fit the description, and best of all, tamable. The Bikzard Scions, since time beginning, have had a bond with the Shulmd Arachnids. Since joining the Fortress States after the Battle of Betrayal, the Bikzard have been the armored corps of the Fortressians. The Bikzard themselves are a wonder, with their untouchable skills with the whip and their nearly endless stamina. Their mounts are have heavy armor above their already tough exoskeleton, though it surprisingly doesn't compromise the incredible speeds of the spiders. Filled with semi-liquid acid, the Shulmd Arachnids can shoot out massive globs of burning jello that can eat through the standard magic shields the Sunblade usually set up. An average Arachnid is about 3 meters tall and 4 meters wide. They produce about 20 babies a year, and most survive.


Human warfare: During the Demon Wars, humanity fought in huge rank and file battles with infantry, with cavalry flanking, and magicians giving support. Now, with the Sunblade betrayal, humanity focused less on individual heroism of the village messiah and magic, and focused more on small skirmishing and fortification. Nowadays, when humans want to go invading, they would send small expeditionary forces to hit infrastructure, supply lines, and assassinate vital figures. If they succeed, the main force would quickly come in and assault the weakened enemy forces, quickly assimilating the territory with little casualties. If failure is ensured, then they would try, try again. If there is a battle, humans try to gun down as many foes as they can behind cover, before charging with bayonets in a WWI manner.

Fortifications are a different factor. Huge stone bunkers with trenches zigzagging all over are dotted around Fortressian territory. Smaller ones exist, and used as watchtowers along the countryside. The human capital itself is a castle/bunker with cannons, magic wards, and other mini-bunkers attached to it, with the city carved into the behemoth trenches.

Goblinoid warfare:
When battling, large orcs will charge into the main enemy forces, and slaughter as much as they can, and the thing is, it works. Bristling with mixed armor, and wielding zillions of weapons, mixed with their badass attitude, a single orc can pummel a band of elven warriors. Despite their bruteness, orcs are not automatically stupid, and the best battle strategists are veterans who fought in many epic battles.

Smaller goblinoids, who lack the strength, rely on more subtle tactics. The scoped weapon, the trap, and camouflage are the doctrine of the non-orc goblins.


*will add more later.*
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Ford Prefect »

Heretic, you seem to have missed the point. The idea is to produce a unit list; specifically it should be on a roughly small scale - stuffl ike individual tanks, or famous individual cavalry units or specialised combat robots. You don't talk about how they fight, you talk about what they use to fight. Essentially a it is an exercise in worldbuilding using threads that deal almost entirely with military units. To keep in spirit it should honestly be quite specific.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Heretic »

I thought it was just a generic talk about units (specific corps are units in my view). Are heroes and famous squads specific? First time I'm doing this, so Inviticus' rules are different in my mind.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Ford Prefect »

No, you're completely missing the point. It's not general talk about armies, it is about specific elements of the army in question. You really should wait for an example, which Invictus is putting together. It is difficult to explain what it's asking for, given you weren't actually present when the elements the challenge is asking us to recreate were the norm.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Mobius 1 »

Damn, is there a word count limit? I would have enjoyed to slog-through articles on armor and starfighters and dreadnaughts and stuff.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Invictus »

Mobius 1 wrote:Damn, is there a word count limit? I would have enjoyed to slog-through articles on armor and starfighters and dreadnaughts and stuff.
As I said in the OP, 20 unit entries maximum with 250 max words per entry. This doesn't count the opening quote, although quoting entire encyclopedias is obviously cheating. Nothing stops you from mentioning or implying other units in your unit entries, of course. If you feel that your faction has more than 20 units, then write the most representative ones. As I mentioned, this is a challenge of how much you can convey with a limited word count.

If you have already written one unit list and want to do another one, you can set it in the same universe but it must be for another faction.
Last edited by Invictus on Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Magister Militum »

Invictus wrote:
Mobius 1 wrote:Damn, is there a word count limit? I would have enjoyed to slog-through articles on armor and starfighters and dreadnaughts and stuff.
As I said in the OP, 20 unit entries maximum with 250 max words per entry. This doesn't count the opening quote, although quoting entire encyclopedias is obviously cheating. Nothing stops you from mentioning or implying other units in your unit entries, of course. If you feel that your faction has more than 20 units, then write the most representative ones.

If you have already written one unit list and want to do another one, you can set it in the same universe but it must be for another faction.
Can we write up and post the list in incriments, or do you want it all in one big chunk?
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Invictus »

Magister Militum wrote:Can we write up and post the list in incriments, or do you want it all in one big chunk?
Whichever you like, although the latter is preferred. This isn't meant to take up too much of your time.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Invictus »

Just to clear up any confusion, here is an example list:

The Horizon Empire
“The history of the Cyclopes is the history of pride. They walked and held dominion over the earth alongside the other First Ones, their mighty tread shaping much of everything we know. For us Latter Ones who were raised under the shelter of the Gods who have come to regard the nobility of man to be as immutable as the mountains, this revelation could be a bitter drought to swallow. Yet every time we gaze upon the works of the Cyclopes, their great baleful eye gazes back across the mists of history, daring us to challenge their hubris.”

- Xadolf of Areto


Lowborn Infantry
Every Cyclopes is born with a spell nestled in its single eye. The spell gifted to each individual can vary greatly. The greatest among them can reshape creation with but a glance, and they rightly claim their positions as kings over their kind. But on the other end of the spectrum are those Cyclopes whose gaze-spells are judged weak and inconsequential and whose social standing is accordingly low. They have little choice but to fashion themselves into the footsoldiers of the Horizon Empire, contributing to the Cyclopean taming of the world with their sweat and sinew. Although every Cyclopes is already as a king among the lower races, the Lowborn see their bloody work with distaste and eye the authority of the Warlords and Seer-Kings with envy. Thus they vent their petty authority on everyone less than a Cyclopes – the vast and fearful ranks of two-eyes that the Horizon Empire has already brought into its fold. Nevertheless, every Lowborn soldier is nine feet of muscle and enchanted bronze, their equipment imbued full of minor blessings and cantrips by the Smith caste. A single one of them can cut a bloody swathe through whole warbands of inferior savages with axe and javelin, or exert their command over a whole slave-company. When employed in numbers, very little in the world can stand against them in a direct contest of arms. When mounted on the mastradons of the north or the thunder lizards of the south, they become even more unstoppable.

Lowborn Longbowmen
A Highborn Cyclopes would never dirty its hands with something as crude as a bow, not when they can maim, geas or slay with a mere gaze. Thus it was up to the Lowborn to develop the rude playthings they first encountered among the lesser races to their full potential. A Cyclopes longbow is as tall as its wielder, constructed variously from the wood of entire trees or the horns of gargantuan creatures. Nothing less than a Cyclopes is strong enough to even draw such a weapon, let alone replicate the terrifying range and power of a regiment of Cyclopes archers. A volley from them can decimate an enemy line, each ensorcelled shaft piercing several men. Similar to the minor blessings that their brethren bind into their arms and armor, the longbowmen substitute true gaze-curses with enchantments bound to their bronze arrowheads. They hold themselves slightly superior to their axe and spear-armed kin, for at least they mimic the far-reaching and high-handed power of their Highborn betters; and because their discipline involves the eye as much as the hand, and those archers whose gaze-spells grant them minor degrees of farsight and prophecy can still gain enough fame to distinguish themselves from their peers. The Highborn look upon longbowmen with condescension at best, but the Highborn are few and the Lowborn are many, so they begrudgingly recognize their utility on the battlefield in preserving Cyclopes lives against the legions of the Starry Hosts.

Highborn Warlord
The Smith and the Seer castes each have their ways of extracting obedience from their subjects, but the Warlords are the only ones who can do so through sheer force of will. Given the vanity and intransigence of the average Cyclopes, the power of the Warlords both make them indispensible warleaders and feared tyrants within the Horizon Empire. Warlords invariably possess powerful gaze-spells that allow them to bend and break the will of other beings, compelling compliance from all those they gaze upon. It is only through this ability that armies with more than one Cyclopes can function with a modicum of discipline, and its possessors have used this advantage to work themselves to the top of the Horizon Empire’s hierarchy. Perhaps it is a mark of their unnatural influence compared to the simple respect that Smiths and Seers evoke, for Warlords always view their own positions with insecurity and jockey incessantly in politics. Warlord lineages breed carefully amongst themselves, jealously guarding their power to ensure their Highborn status. Those Warlords who through secret or accident are born outside the Highborn inevitably find themselves killed or inducted. In battle, Cyclopes Warlords are armed and armored with the finest enchanted artifacts that the Smith Caste can produce, imbued with the mightiest gaze-spells among their kind. Their statue and finery distinguishes them above their soldiers, which when combined with their regal bearing and military learning makes them outstanding generals. However, nothing in their breeding intrinsically makes them more formidable warriors.

Mirror Priests
The Cyclopes are one of the elder races, and in consequence the gods have no power over their souls. Furthermore, Cyclopes are by nature vain and megalomaniacal and would more likely worship their own reflections. In this area, the Mirror Priests of the Smith Caste hold something of a monopoly. Only this secretive group possesses the skill to work bronze and silver and later glass to an alluring shine, not to mention the trade secret of making the image inside the mirror truly copy the original. Through them, the unique gaze-spells of the Cyclopes can be deflected, boosted, replicated or even trapped ever-bouncing between silvered panes. Their creations line the walls of the Highborn palaces and adorn the more modest swelling of the Lowborn; Cyclopean cities use massive versions for communication and even soldiers commission mirror-bright breastplates for luck in battle. No king can rule without courting the Mirror Priests, and expect to survive the glares of its restive subjects without the latter’s charms and defenses. While the Mirror Priests rarely take to battle, the services they provide to the Cyclopean general can be just as vital. With a fine mirror they can pluck copies of soldiers from its mysterious depths, doubling the size of an army. A Seer can extend his prophetic vision to places it has never witnessed, magnifying its power many-fold. While a major civil war among the Cyclopes has yet to happen, in such a circumstance the power of the Mirror Priests become even more vital.

Basilisk Pack
The gaze of a basilisk can paralyze a subject. Because of this property, the Cyclopes see a curious bond between themselves and this reptilian beast. Skilled Lowborn huntsmen are sent into the Stonebone Mountains to bring back Basilisk eggs so they can be raised within familiar sight of their future masters, ensuring that the young Basilisks don’t turn their power on them. Generations of breeding have produced tame Basilisks that are fleet of foot and eager to please, making them excellent hunting companions and beasts of war. On the battlefield, they scuttle around the flanks of the enemy to cause havoc in their ranks, before closing in to finish victims and stragglers with their fangs. While their scaly hides are not quite proof against sling and spear, the unearthly power of their gaze make them extraordinarily difficult to harm while alert. The huntsmen who direct the beasts to battle are a similarly alert breed, for only the swift-eyed survive the expeditions to the Stonebone Mountains. Typically lesser Warlords and Seers with potent gaze-spells of their own, the power under their command mean that they are chosen only amongst the loyal, and that they are well-equipped and richly rewarded for their services. While a properly tame Basilisk will never naturally turn their power against a Cyclopes, the loss of their handler on the battlefield essentially destroys the pack as a responsive fighting unit.

Stonespawn Footmen
The Stonespawn hold a unique and favored position amidst the myriad slave races of the Horizon Empire. Instead of being conquered and civilized like the Esuturi or wrested from the bosom of the Night like the Mantis-men, the Stonespawn were entirely a creation of the Cyclopes themselves. The first Stonepawn were hewn out of warm stone mined from the roots of mountains by Bev-Oa, the greatest and most talented Smith since the Awakening of the Cyclopes, who then entered an eternal sleep to bring its creations to awakening. The significance of Bev-Oa’s sacrifice is still hotly debated among the Seers, but no one can deny the immense value of the servitors it created. Although two-eyed and stunted in statue, the Stonespawn are a strong and tireless race, possessing both furthermore a passion for craft (perhaps in unconsciousness tribute to their creator) and a fierce loyalty that makes them ideal servants. While not as quick-breeding as the Cyclopes have hoped, they already exist in enough numbers to form the unyielding backbone of the Horizon Empire’s slave armies. This is just as well, because the Cyclopes’ less reliable servitors tend to fare disastrously against the glamours employed by the Starry Hosts’ own servants. In battle the Stonespawn fight at the front in their orderly ranks, equipped with impressive imitations of Cyclopean gear. The chieftains among them are sometimes armed with gifts from the Cyclopean forges, an honor that no other servitor race can boast of.

Stonespawn Sentinels
The stars of the First Age may be brighter, but even they provided at best a half-light to see the world by. At that time the earth was a changeless twilight where the only true brightness, as the Cyclopes saw it, came from the fires of their creation and the occasional burst of lightning. This irritated the one-eyed giants, for they discovered early on that the brighter the environment was, the further their gaze-spells could reach. Even worse, the Starry Hosts drew much of their power from darkness, and their servants excelled at slipping about the gloom to raid and pillage the Horizon Empire’s outposts. How were the Cyclopes supposed to rule their empire properly if they were forced to stumble about half-blind all the time? Eventually, the Smith caste erected great artificial fires upon topless towers, each illuminating miles upon miles of land. Only under the light of these watchfires could the Cyclopes and their slaves dwell in peace, but it also meant that the Starry Hosts constantly sought to sabotage these towers, for the fall of a single watchfire can expose an entire province to their dusky armies. Therefore, the Cyclopes selected the elite among the most trusted of the servants, the Stonespawn, and set them to guard and maintain the watchfires. Clad in fine bronze plate inscribed with eye-sigils and led by a Cyclopes captain, they are tenacious even for their kind. While sufficient for now, the greatest Smiths are ever working on a more permanent solution…

Mantis-men Warriors
The Horizon Empire is engaged in an endless proxy war with the Starry Hosts, fielding armies of lesser races for the mutual fear of casualties amongst their own. Countless tribes are wiped out or changed beyond recognition on the battlefield, and expeditionary armies constantly scrounge for more. The most extraordinary of these acquisitions are from the other side: the Mantis-men, who love darkness over light and trickery over ferocity. Before their capitulation they were one of the Empire’s most bothersome foes, falling upon slave settlements with forearm blades and obsidian-tipped javelins and vanishing into the twilight sky before the Cyclopean masters can respond. It was so until the legendary Warlord Thana led an expedition beyond the watchfires, returning with the brood queen over his shoulder and the entire race behind his heels. The Mantis Queen was duly forged into the Great Chain, and her children have served the Cyclopes ever since. Seven feet tall but spindly, the Mantis-men have translucent but sturdy wings that let them fly over long distances, and their mimetic shells have a strange glamour that makes their forms difficult to see. They seem so perfectly suited to the gloom beyond the watchfires that the Seers suspect them to be outright creations of the Starry Hosts, although the insectoid creatures themselves do not know. They still fight under the Empire with their old ways, fast and potent skirmishers who smoothly melt away when faced with resistance.

Treants
While Highborn Warlords rule all that they can survey, a large realm calls for more permanent forms of command and subservience. To this Cyclopean kings turn to the Smiths, a caste of Cyclopes with the skill to rework all under fire and chisel, capturing the power of fleeting gaze-spells in their creations as magical enchantments. The Horizon Empire itself was founded by the Three Brothers, who combined their powers to forge the Great Chain that circled space and time to bind their everlasting dominion in place. The laws of the Horizon Empire treat dissent harshly, but the same laws make executing Cyclopes an abhorrent act. Therefore the most unrepentant Cyclopes find themselves sent to the Smiths’ forges, so their essence can be remade into something more useful. There, their flesh and thoughts are chipped of and their bones and memories melted away, until only the Cyclopes’ raw, lusty will to life remains. These sparks are then buried in the ground, where they grow into gigantic plants whose statue reflects their former lives. But more interestingly, they retain a shadow of vision and volition that allows them to move slowly and follow rudimentary commands. The Horizon Empire uses forests of these animated “trees” to guard the approaches to their cities. Their enormous strength, tough skin and lack of pain make them deadly foes, but they retain a fear of the heat of the forge.

Esuturi Archers
Poor are the peoples that neither come under the protection of a god nor possess the cruel power of the First Ones. The diminutive Esuturi were content to settle in the warmer climes of the young world, forming tribes and petty kingdoms with no particular destiny or purpose. The Cyclopes almost felt obliged to take a guiding hand to them, and today they are the most numerous and entrenched of the slave races. The Esuturi do not make good soldiers. On the battlefield they naturally form large milling throngs that must be prodded into action, and even then they are slow to anger and quick to retreat. The only redeeming factor of the Esuturi as slaves is they become curiously enervated in heat, acting somewhat more quick-witted and producing record clutches of eggs under the light of the watchfires. Therefore the Cyclopes can afford to lose Esuturi soldiers in large numbers, but even so the exacting Warlords sought a way to increase their usefulness. The current solution is to encourage them to make and experiment with those little bows of theirs, so they can stay at the back of the battlefield and send vast but uncoordinated storms of arrows at the enemy. Esuturi marksmanship is uninspired and their arrows only have flint heads, but they are generally sharp enough to harm the Esuturi’s counterparts on the other side of the battlefield who lack their scaly skin.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Heretic »

Ah, so specific, specific units (like Marine Engineers, Army Paratroopers, and such for an modern simile)? Was Arachnid Cavalry specific enough?
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Invictus »

Heretic wrote:Ah, so specific, specific units (like Marine Engineers, Army Paratroopers, and such for an modern simile)? Was Arachnid Cavalry specific enough?
It was the only entry that was within the rules.

If it helps, think RTSes.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Destructionator »

As a brief example (i think this is wat u want right)

The Protoss:

Zealot: Fanatical warriors who tear through threats to Aiur with their power psi-blades as their plasma shields protect them. While the psi-blade is a short range weapon, the absurdly fast speed the Zealot's cybernetic legs give him makes this irrelevant.

Dragoon: While the Zealot is a powerful unit, he is not invincible. However, his death is not the end of his devotion to defending Aiur. Fallen Zealots can be recovered from the battlefield and put into a new robot body: the four legged Dragoon. A long range cannon is built into its back to support the armies and attack air forces.

Templar: After a long career as a Zealot, the finest warriors may become senior templars, using their psychic energy to disrupt whole groups of Aiur's enemies and other supporting tasks.

Carrier: The Protoss kicks ass in the air with their robotic interceptors, carried and constructed in massive carriers capable of destroying smaller faction's entire air forces single handedly.

Jim "Jim Fucking Raynor!" Raynor: The Protoss' ace-in-the-hole against their enemies....
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Destructionator »

I guess I have a few minutes before work still. Some of the old ase-verse stuff, before it turned to hard-sf would apply here. And the coolest part is they even star in an RTS! (I dunno if I've posted it here yet. Let me consult my co-authors on it then I probably will.) In fact, I'll just do the RTS' units here and maybe copy paste this stuff to the game's manual for fun fluff.

Type-A Fighter
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A one manned pure space fighter equipped with an armour-piercing laser cannon in its nose and a rapid acceleration engine in the tail. The fighter is small, fast maneuverable, and deadly against unshielded targets.

(And against asteroids! I'll post some games starring it in that capacity later when I'm not so rushed.)


Type-E Fighter
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The type-e was originally meant to be a replacement for the old type-A, but instead ended up supplimenting the new type-A's instead. Equipped with twin pulsar cannons, the type e fighter is better balanced than the type-a, equally capable of blasting shields and armor. It has superior sensor capabilities and can carry a second man to better operate them. However, this adds to the mass of the fighter, reducing its speed.

Star cruiser
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A small, lightly armored and lightly armed warship equipped with an FTL drive. Cheap to produce, able to operate on its own, and capable of jumping into and out of a mess instantly, a fleet of Star Cruisers can spell deadly suprise for an unsuspecting fleet, and be gone before they know what hit them. Even against enemy fighters, the Star Cruiser's speed makes it capable of defending itself better than most other warships.

Frigate
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The frigate trades the Star Cruiser's FTL drive for additional weapons and armour, allowing it to stand longer in a fight. Makes great escort for battleships - the frigate's maneuverability allows it to target fighters while its armor protects from their counterattack.

Battlecrusier
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What do you get when you pack a battleship's guns, a star cruisers FTL, and a frigate's armor on the same ship? The battle cruiser. It may be expensive, but imagine the terror in your foe's eyes when they see a fleet of battle cruisers jump into their midst. Imagine it for them - they won't have a chance to before the bc's big guns paste them.

Battleship
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The Terror of the Stars, the Battleship is the most heavily armed, heavily armoured, and heavily shielded craft in the Fleet, and has great linear speed too! Nothing can stand toe to toe or face to face against one, but its poor maneuverability and arc of fire leaves lone battleships vulnerable to packs of smaller, faster ships.

Ore extraction vehicle
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No warfleet can operate without supplies, and those supplies have to come from somewhere. The Ore Extraction Vehicle might not do glamorous work, but it does do important work. It drills asteroids with its mining laser and brings raw materials back to supply ships and bases for processing. In a pinch, it can defend itself with its laser, but without an escort the OEV is soft, tempting target for enemy fighters.

Supply distribution ship
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Warships and fighters are expensive beasts to maintain, a cost that only rises when they leave the base on a mission. When a ship's internal supply stores run low, they need a close distributor to stock back up. That's where the Supply Distribution Ship comes in. It tags along with warfleets in the back lines keeping the fighting starships in fighting condition. The SDS is a very tempting target for enemy fire, and while armored, won't last long if undefended. And a fleet won't last long without supplies. A fleet is never seen without a SDS, and a SDS is never seen without a fleet to protect it.

Attack Carrier
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The Attack Carrier serves a dual role - a mobile base for fighters, capable of storing, supplying, maintaining, and even constructing fighters, and as a well armed attack platform in its own right. While slow and no match for a battleship on its own, the fighters it carries can easily turn the tide against an otherwise superior fleet.


Tug
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A tug is a common sight in former zones of battle, dragging the wrecks of crippled ships back home for repair. Also an invaluable addition to the fleet for when a commander sends a ship too far away from a supply ship on its own. Some daring commanders have also been known to use tugs in preemptive strikes to interesting results...

Science ship
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The science ship may look out of place in a warzone, but its powerful sensor array and robotic arm equipment make these versatile peacetime explorers into wartime recon platforms and makeshift mobile repair yards.

Legionnaire
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The newest technology to roll out of R&D, the Legionnaire is a heavily armed long range attack fighter, decked out with all the latest toys. While very expensive to build and maintain, FTL, cloaking devices, and nuclear missiles make for a devastating combination to unleash on a closely packed enemy fleet or base.

Mobile Generator Ship
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Waging a war takes huge amounts of energy. The mobile generator ship provides such energy both for war and peace. Again, a slow, soft, tempting target - don't leave them undefended!


Special thanks to the guys who helped me make the game and the excellent artwork above.
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Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

I will make the Super Sovereignty of Shroomania.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Malchus »

Well, here's my attempt. It's for a setting I've been playing with in my head for a while now. Since the rules state that "unit" can mean what we basically decided it to mean, I put in basic descriptions of militay equipment. Most of it is based on real life equipment, some of it from mashed-together ideas. For example, the Mk 27 medium tank is basically just a T-34 with a turret shaped like that of the BMP-1's.

"'Peacekeeping missions', they said. Heh, everyone knew that was full of shit. The Feddies just wanted a foot in Iarashk so they wouldn't have to deal with the Craglands. Dammed guerillas all to willing too give it to 'em, too."

--Maj. Falvus Gavan, Unified Imperial Army

Tech level:

Equivalent to late 40s to early 50s in the OTL, minus jet engine technology.

Unified Imperial Army – Empire of Ten Kingdoms

IRA-5 – standard infantry rifle of the Unified Imperial Army. A gas-operated, rotating bolt design, the Imperial Rifle (Automatic) Model 5 has only recently been introduced into UIA service. Already it has proven itself a very rugged and reliable design, easily operating in conditions where the IRA-4—an earlier blowback design—would be rendered inoperable. The 7.62 Imperial Short cartridge also gives the IRA-5 greater control at full automatic fire than the 7.62 Imperial long ammunition of its predecessor, although at the expense of accuracy beyond the range of 350 meters. Finally, its low production cost and ease of use surpass that of most contemporary designs has enabled the UIA to quickly distribute the rifle to its troops, familiarizing them with its use in short order.

IMP-13 – even though the advent of automatic assault rifles have replaced submachine guns in regular infantry service, Imperial Machine Pistol Model 13 is still a rather popular design and remains in use with police, armor crews, and special forces alike. Though it may look rather fragile due to its simple metal-stamping construction and long ribbed barrel, which ends in a compensator and muzzle break, it is a rather rugged design. A standard magazine can be loaded with up to thirty 9mil Imperial rounds, its blowback operation capable of firing at a decent 550 rounds per minute. A silenced version, with a suppressor designed to wrap around the thin barrel, is the standard SMG of the Imperial special forces. The IMP-13 features a simple wire stock which may be adjusted to suit the personal dimensions of the user.

IMG-7 – while its predecessor, the IMG-6, was a superb machinegun, its intricate and expensive design made it prohibitive for adequately equipping the massive number of troops fielded by the UIA. The IMG-7 emerged from this need for a cheaper, more easily produced machinegun whose performance would match that of its predecessor. The Model 7’s production advantage was that it used the process of metal stamping and welding instead of machining on the receiver and barrel housing, dramatically increasing production output. A superb new locking system was also introduced, using two locking rollers which crammed outwards to recesses on the receiver walls, allowing for the facility of a quick change of barrels. Like its predecessor, it fed disintegrating-link ammunition belts of 7.62 Imperial Long rounds which it can fire off at a rate of 1200 rounds per minute. All in all, it is a light, accurate, and functional machinegun.

IP-15 – the standard sidearm of the UIA. There is little exceptional about it, the weapon is surely a solid performer regardless of the environment. It is a double-action trigger-pull blowback design with a locking/unlocking catch. Its detachable box magazine can hold eight 9mil Imperial pistol rounds, which the gun can fire with decent accuracy within the effective range of 40 meters.

ISR-9 – the Imperial Sniper Rifle Model 9 is in actuality a variant of the IR-3, the semiautomatic predecessor of the IRA-4. The only difference with the two weapons being a slightly longer barrel and a score mount for the ISR-9. As with most Imperial rifle designs it is loaded with 7.62 Imperial Long ammunition, with a feed system that comes primarily in the form of 10-, 15-, or 20-round detachable box magazines. The rifle has a muzzle velocity of 800mps with an effective range of 800-1000 meters.

IG Type43 – the standard fragmentation grenade of the Imperial Armed Forces. The grenade is egg-shaped with no external ribbing, except for a lateral ridge where the two halves of the grenade join. Because of this shape, its common nickname among Imperial troops is the “Bad Egg.” An internal fragmentation liner generates approximately 300 or so fragments upon detonation. The grenade is usually lethal within a radius of 3 meters, and it can inflict injuries out to 15 meters from the site of detonation. The grenade can be fitted with fuse delays of up to 15 seconds to as little as 0 (for booby traps). The standard fuse, however, is set to a 5 second delay.

IM-57 – while designated as an “Imperial Mortar” the IM-57 is actually a single-shot, shoulder-fired, break open grenade launcher. It was designed in an attempt to increase firepower for the infantryman by having an explosive projectile more accurate with further range than rifle grenades, but more portable than a mortar. While its IG Type79 40mil x 50mil grenades may not pack as much punch as the standard 60mil mortars, they can still be quite devastating to enemy infantry if put to proper use.

Mk 19 “Ranger” – A simple scout vehicle armored to withstand smallerr-caliber small arms fire. It is armed with an IMG-7 gun operated from the seat beside the driver and a turret mounted 12.7mil IMG-5. The vehicle, carrying the same engine as the larger Mk12 Flakbed, can travel up to speeds of 65-70mils per hour. It is referred to derisively as the “Cheesebox” due its boxy shape and because its crews tend to end up looking like certain varieties of cheese if caught in a heavy fire fight—full of holes.

Mk 6 “Reliant” half-track – the standard troop transport of the UIA. It can hold up to 8 troops in its enclosed passenger area and can travel at a maximum speed of 55 klicks per hour. Its armor is capable of stopping small arms fire, although 12.7mil rounds will penetrate it quite easily. It is lightly armed with a roof-mounted IMG-7 over the “shotgun” seat, although there are firing slits on the sides of the passenger section to allow troops within to fire their weapons from a reasonably protected position at outside targets.

Mk 27 “Royal” Medium Armor – the latest armor design of the UIA. While a medium armor, the 30 degree slope of its surfaces virtually doubles the thickness of its 55mil-thick armor plate. Fully loaded, it weighs up to 30000 kilos, while its engines provide a power to weight ratio of 20hp/ton. This, coupled with its excellent suspension, allows it to travel at a velocity of over 50 klicks per hour. Its squat body is topped by a truncated cone cast turret where the 75mil high-velocity gun is mounted. This gives the turret shape similar to that of a reversed frying pan, which is the source of its nickname of “Pantop” from Imperial troops. It is rugged and easily assembled.

Mk 12 “Flakbed” – The primary anti-air vehicle of the UIA. It is, quite simply, a twin 40mm anti-aircraft artillery system mounted on the back of a flatbed truck. The gun mounts faces backward, and it can turn to 60 degrees in either direction. This is one of the vehicles weaknesses in that it virtually has to back into position. Another weakness is its virtual lack of armor, which means that the vehicle can be easily disabled or destroyed. The simplicity of its design, however, makes it very cheap and easy to produce. This ease in production means that Imperial armored divisions are usually well-defended against air attacks due to the large numbers of Flakbed trucks the UIR has at its disposal. Their threat has even made the Federation of Free Republic's Federation Air Corps dedicate entire squadrons of Albatross dive bombers whose primary role is to target Flakbeds, clearing out the air defenses for the slower and larger Warhorse anti-armor attack planes.
Last edited by Malchus on Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Oldschool Worldbuilding Challenge

Post by Vagrant Orpheus »

The Imperium Necromatica

"Whilst the other kingdoms may quiver in fear at the prospect of death, we do not. Whilst the other kingdoms may dwindle as their heroes and soldiers die in this horrific war, we do not. Whilst the other kingdoms accept that they are bound to fail, we do not! We understand the cycle of life and death, the great circle of Being, the very web of life that we are all caught by. It is for this reason that the Imperium Necromatica will continue to defend its territory with unrelenting intent and it is for this reason that we will not lose!" - The Black Widow, Necromantic Queen of the Imperium

The Undead


Dome: Created from the skeletal remains left by the Necromatica’s assaults, domes are warriors created to serve the Necrid Warlord that breathed unlife into them. Generally humanoid, domes are unthinking, and mechanically obey the commands of their Warlord exactly as told to. Because they follow simple commands unthinkingly they are unskilled and not overly difficult to deal with individually. However, their unthinking nature and magical simplicity to create means that domes are used to form large armies, often using the bodies of the conscripted soldiers who served their warlord in life, locking them into a perverse eternal servitude. Because of their unchanging nature and lack of logistical needs such as rest or food, domes are used to press long battlemarches, to engage in sieges and other actions that would wear down living soldiers. Since domes are essentially controlled by simple commands from their Warlord masters, if they are separated from their masters’ control, either through magic, distance or the death of that Warlord, domes will continue to mindlessly follow the final order they had received relentlessly until their own destruction. Amongst the enemies of the Necromatica the domes are feared not for their fighting skill, but for this unquenchable relentlessness and for the sheer numbers that can be called to serve. For where there is a single dome, there is invariably a hundred more. Domes make up the primary forces of the archer and cavalry units within the Necromatica army, but a large number of them also serve as basic infantry.

Gast: Gasts are created from the residual emotions that departed souls leave upon the physical plane, and the ones used by the Necromatica are invariably created from the violent shades left behind in the constant battles. Taking the form of brooding and wispy shadows, gasts usually flicker in and out of the edges of living creatures’ peripheral vision and attack with brutal mental assaults that often leave the victim gibbering in horror, stunned and dazed or collapsed from the terror that such malevolent emotions can bring about. Gasts are an important part of any Necrid Warlord’s plans, as their ability to induce paralyzing mental effects and their incorporeal nature make them excellent vanguards. However, unlike domes gasts are composed almost entirely of aspects of the departed’s being, and as such are some of the most willful and vicious of the Necromatic Minions. It is not uncommon for a gast to attack anybody near the area of the gast’s death, or simply to attack anyone around it in a malevolent, hateful rage. Because of this it is usually more powerful Warlords who utilize gasts, as well as Psychopomp Artesians, who control and manipulate gasts through knowledge of psychology and gast behaviour, rather than through magic. Uncooperative gasts are often used to fuel the spirit magic that the Necromantic Arcanists utilize, so even if an arcanist does not believe he can control a gast he will often extract one alongside a dome or njambii and store it for later magical applications.

Njambii: Njambii are flesh creatures, raised bodies that serve as thralls to a magical master. Njambii must be raised through rituals utilizing recently dead bodies, and bear the basest of animal instincts, to feed and mate. Because they are little more than stupid beasts njambii are easily enslaved by the Necrid Warlords who commonly raise them, tying them to their master by powerful magic. Unlike domes though njambii cannot be completely manipulated so easily. Rather, they are more like feral dogs restrained on magical leashes, prevented by magic from harming their masters or allies for the most part. If their master is killed or control is severed then the njambii are released from their magical bonds, free to roam and fulfill their instincts to the best of their capacity. Njambii are quick, strong and agile creatures, not held back in their actions by fear of personal injury like the men and women they once were. They have a tendency to move in packs and hunger only for living flesh. Given that njambii were once humans they are not ideally suited for hunting, but the vestiges of human intellect that exist give njambii a form of slow and animalistic cunning that can be far more deadly that any claws or fangs. These creatures are often used in the front lines of war, a monstrous horde supported by the paralyzing gasts and the supporting cover fire of dome archers. Directed against enemy units, the njambii are a terrible plague of war.

Mumiyyah: Mumiyyah are preserved creatures, hardened to stonelike flesh through advanced embalming techniques. These creatures are similar to njambii in that they have an instinctual desire to kill and destroy, however this instinct is not for sustenance but simply because the mumiyyah enjoy destruction. The mumiyyah generally prowl about in the shrouds or bandages they were embalmed in, the material fused to their rocky flesh. This stiffening of the flesh means that mumiyyah cannot move quickly or with any form of agility, being forced to shamble around drunkenly. However, the lack of agility does not mean that the mumiyyah is any less dangerous than an njambii. Whilst njambii cannot be killed except by severing the connection between the brain and the body or having certain vital organs overwhelmingly destroyed the mumiyyah does not suffer this weakness, as all of its organs are removed from the body prior to embalming and stored in phylacteries. Their bodies are also incredibly hard to destroy, and warriors have been known to break their weapons on the skin of a mumiyyah, so they cannot be disabled by the removal of limbs either. All mumiyyah carry plague in their touch and in their bite, and the Necromatica utilize the mumiyyah as catapult fodder, launching them into fortified villages, that they may wander around and spread the plague within the contained environment. The most assured way to kill a mumiyyah is to destroy its phylacteries, which must be kept within relatively close range of the mumiyyah for it to function.

Upir: The upir are some of the most horrific undead creations of the Necromatica, the spark of unlife reanimating them fully. To create an upir requires a living being to be cultivated by another upir, or for a recently dead and non-decayed body to be baptized in blood and mystic oil before being buried in natural earth. When upir are born they retain all the memories of their previous life and all their previous intellect but are twisted by death, their bodies becoming bloated and ruddy, with bulging eyes and all pretenses of civility stripped away. Upir are strong in body, evil in mind and coarse in language and in intent, primarily concerned with sexual pleasure and feeding, consuming the blood of their victims to reinvigorate themselves. However, most upir are fanatically loyal to the Black Widow as she provides them with the choicest morsels to consume and pervert. Upir are sadists and like njambii and domes have endurance far beyond regular humans, making them excellent soldiers. However, of all the undead that the Necromatica create the upir, being the closest to life, have the greatest number of weaknesses. Perceiving the world through the veil of darkness, strong light of any form is a bane to them, stunning and disorienting them. They are also highly vulnerable to heat of any kind, the mystic oil that imbues them being highly flammable. Finally, their existence revolving around collection of blood means that damage to the main blood-controlling organ, the heart, is invariably fatal.

Dhampir: Dhampir are perverse beings, not alive but also not undead. Dhampir are not created, rather they are grown, the offspring of an upir and a living prana arcanist. Dhampir are bred by the Necromatia as some of their most elite troops, possessing superhuman strength, speed, stamina and durability beyond even that of an upir. A combination of undead and living magic flows through their veins, imbuing them with some of the best traits of both the living and the undead. They possess incredible eyesight and a honed sense of smell that makes them excellent trackers and interrogators, as they are able to smell emotions. However, this same keen sense of smell can temporarily leave them dazed if suddenly exposed to particularly strong or pungent smells, such as that of garlic. The dhampir also possess a magical talent for shapeshifting, able to change their form to an almost incorporeal mist, as well as shifting their bodies into more warlike forms with vicious fangs, natural scale armor and terrible fangs. However, unlike their upir parents, dhampir are still predominantly alive and as such do drink blood to sustain themselves, eating, drinking and resting as any regular person may, though they require smaller amounts of all of these things. Also, they do not inherit some of the weaknesses of the upir, though they still sport a minor aversion to strong light. Dhampir compose the personal guard of the Black Widow, and are trained in basic spellcasting as well as their bladed longarms.

Revenant: Though the njambii is considered to be the primary ‘fleshly’ undead of the Necromatica the revenant is far more deadly and vicious. A revenant is born when a person is killed in a violent manner, yet the body remains almost entirely intact. Formed from the hateful anger at the injustice of the person’s death, the revenant that inhabits the body is fixated by the vengeance that fills its decaying soul. For the revenant is unique amongst the undead minions, being the only minion that retains its soul in death, much like the Lich Arcanists or the Heartless Sages, and as such is the most versatile of the undead minions once swayed to the service of the Necromatica. Revenants look almost as they did in life, and generally are equipped for service in the area of their previous expertise, as they retain all their memories and skills. However, their eyes are deeply bloodshot and the decomposition process sets in, as they are not alive in any form. Because of this revenants degrade over a period of months, but their body is held together at all times by their irresistible urge to avenge their deaths. Once a revenant has completed its vengeance it collapses and the unlife flees from it, its soul finally able to lay at rest. Revenants are the rarest of the ‘common’ undead due to their single-mindedness and willingness to attack the Necromatica if it was in any way responsible for the revenants’ deaths.

Deathly Champion: The deathly champion is the pinnacle of the Necromatica’s undead warriors, a hero so great that the will of the people sustains them after death. In the constant warring state of the Necromatica both internally and against external forces the need for legendary heroes can become so great that the simple people lock onto any hero that can represent hope or success for them, resulting in a continuing cycle of death and resurrection. These heroes grow to hate the adoration of their communities, as they feel the pain of each death and the bliss of deathly repose each time, only to be sundered from it and thrown back into the war. This changes the heroes, making them cruller, harder, less human. These deathly champions are invaluable to the Necromatica, as each time they die and rise again hope and morale is boosted, and their skills are undeniably effective. However, each deathly champion reacts differently to their resurrections, despite all bearing the pall of death in their eyes. Some use the community’s hope to fuel them, some abandon their community entirely and some seek atonement for their past actions, having seen what lies beyond death. Each resurrection makes a champion more inhumane in body and in mind, but as long as the common people believe in them these heroes will be forced to rise again and again. When a champion dies it is usually a public burial or death seen by the people that forces them back to unlife once more.

The Necromancers


Bloodhoney Queen:
The Bloodhoney Queen is one of the strangest practitioners of necromantic magic, a woman who presides over the obscure art of creating bloodhoney. Bloodhoney is made of the dying essence and the life blood of intelligent beings, crafted by swarms of undead bees that live inside necromantically-charged hives of tainted wood. Blood red in coloration, bloodhoney is deliciously sweet and invigorating, being a panacea for disease and a source of extended youthfulness. However, the substance is also quite addictive and more importantly is also very difficult to create, taking a great amount of time and care. Bloodhoney queens exchange their wares for dark favors from the elite, and to meet the demand they do insidious things, such as fighting other Queens to take over the hives and corner the market on bloodhoney supply. They also serve in the Necromatica military, commanding enormous swarms of undead bees to fight for them. The queens are capable of communicating with their bees as well as other insects, and share a hive mind with their swarms, all creatures perceiving what all others in the swarm perceive. Once a swarm has mortally wounded a being, it settles upon the being, extracting the life essence for bloodhoney and swelling the supplies of the magical ambrosia. Truly skilled queens keep swarms within their own body that create royal bloodjelly, a far more potent form of bloodhoney that provides regenerative talents and eternal youth.

Skindancer: Perhaps the most shamanistic of the Imperium’s necromancers, the skindancer learns the art of removing a being’s skin in a single piece and treating it through a ritual so that they can then wear the skin and masquerade as the flayed individual. They can swiftly and easily infiltrate targeted communities, shedding skins and identities as easily as a normal person might shed clothes. They are beyond shapeshifting, their dark souls sowing seeds of chaos, distrust and discord wherever they go. For this reason the skindancers are prized as the greatest of spies and saboteurs. Their shamanistic necromancy allows them to draw on the vestiges of magic and knowledge contained in the skins, so they can temporarily wield magicks of many forms, making them highly versatile. Skindancers are cannibalistic, consuming entire flayed bodies rapidly to dispose of evidence, gorge on any latent magicks and heal their own wounds and stamina. Master Skindancers slide into skins as naturally as clothes, able to wear skins from creatures of different sizes and shapes to themselves, and even draw upon the latent magical remnants in the skins to emulate any magical auras or identifying spells that existed on the flayed being, and the truest masters of Skindancing learn how to reincarnate their souls into skins preserved in brine, and utilize spare skins as puppets, controlled by magical strings that spread from the twisted mind of the Skindancer himself. Unsurprisingly, skindancers are the boogeymen of many horror tales, both within the Imperium and outside of it.

Boneblade Reaper: Skilled hand-to-hand combatants, the Reapers have used their necromantic arts to learn martial combat styles utilized by and against the dead. The reapers are known to be some of the most enthusiastic studiers of death, embracing it not simply as an inevitability but as something more, intertwined with life at every stage, and come to love death. Not simply dealing death, but rather death in its entirety. The Boneblade Reapers shun the undead used by the majority of the Imperium’s necromancers, preferring to act as an avatar of Death itself through the crafting of enchanted boneblades and the carving of deathly runes into their own skin, which serves to protect the Reapers from physical harm in much the same way as armour would, as well as anchoring their souls permanently into their bodies. Because of these runes Reapers wear nothing but loincloths, belts and simple enchanted jewelry, and the ever-raw runes and black eyes give the Boneblade Reapers a wild, fearsome look. The Necromatica employ Reapers as assassins, utilizing their ability to transfer death with a mere touch and their storage of necromantic magic inside their scribed boneblades to slip through magic-dampening barriers. Reapers utilize the speed of death to enhance their own speed and agility, and are by far the most agile of the Necromatica’s troops, weaving through battles, dealing swift death as they go. When a Reaper dies they must engage in martial combat with an otherworldy psychopomp, and victory allows them to once more inhabit their bodies.

Bone Rider: The elite cavalry of the Necromatica, the Bone Riders are necromancers who animate skeletal beasts, steeds that are untiring and never balk from their tasks. Bone Riders spend long years learning to summon steeds, beasts that are imbued with an intelligence far beyond what they would naturally possess. Through their study the Bone Riders learn how to become immune to hexes, curses or natural effects that may eventuate from touching such deathly creatures, and how to channel negative energies to harm the living and heal and soothe their undead mounts. Bone Riders are trained in the use of lances, spears and greatswords whilst mounted, as well as crossbows and even scythes, carving their way through enemies with dread ease. They wear full-bodied armour, and the dragon lance is their official weapon of war. Bone Riders learn how to temporarily bind their souls to their steeds, so that they can attain the same natural abilities as their undead mounts, and can live on within their steeds should they die on the battlefield. These armoured necromancers are often also seen as the commanders of coaches pulled by undead creatures, and serve as the trainers of many creatures, both undead and living, for war. It is a common sight to see a Bone Rider trampling through a battlefield on a Skeletal Warg or Warhorse, but to see a band of Bone Riders sweeping down upon you from the sky on fearsome White Zombie Dragons is truly a sight fearsome enough for legends.

Deadlight Whisperer: Through a life lived in swamps or marshes, the Deadlight Whisperers have learnt that the horrible stench, the rotting plants, the stagnant water and the disease that lingers in such places are aspects of nature, though few would like to admit it. These places of decay teem with incorporeal spirits such as will- o-wisps and corpse candles, flickering lights that many dismiss as tricks of the marsh gases. However the Whisperer knows better, having lived amongst them for long enough to learn the languages of the dead. Whisperers know many secrets of the dead that other necromancers do not, and are viewed by many other necromancers not to be necromancers at all. On the battlefield Whisperers talk with the spirits of the dead soldiers, learning useful information and temporarily melding with the spirits to gain the skills of the dead. For this reason Whisperers are invaluable as spies and infiltrators, as well as interrogators of deceased targets. Additionally, the Whisperer has the ability to conjure up deadlights to fight for them, which can act much like gasts. A whisperer can call many different types of deadlights to fight, and some of the most powerful have been known to be able to become incorporeal deadlights themselves, making them the most powerful and skilled of infiltrators. They have been known to utilize spiritfire, to feed on the terror people experience from the deadlights and even to reincarnate as deadlights in their marshy homes, able to be eventually form a physical body again.

Soul Thief: The soul thief is a curiosity within the army of the Necromatica, for though they are not official units they are tolerated and sometimes even encouraged by commanders and other warriors, but loathed by other necromancers and commoners. They are hated by necromancers because they steal away valuable souls that could be used for magical investment, and even worse, the soul thief consumes souls to enhance his own power, forever destroying the soul and damaging the circle of Being. Amongst commoners soul thieves are despised because, quite frankly, nobody really wants their soul stolen, and a lurking soul thief has a tendency to unnerve most people. However, this is somewhat offset by the fact that soul thieves are inherently charming beings, and as such they serve as entertainers, bards, helpful jack-of-all-trades and charismatic speakers. Field commanders like soul thieves because they often provide entertainment and relaxation for the other warriors in times of rest and by consuming enemy souls prevent fallen foes from being properly resurrected. Soul thieves generally carry unobtrusive soulforged weapons that drain a being’s soul with a killing blow, to transfer either into a soul gem or within themselves, if they are willing to face the madness. The soul thief uses the souls to power his necromantic magic or create lethal blasts of undead energy, or to create spectral apparitions such as a phantom steed or blade. A thief with a large cache of spare souls can become one of the most lethal enemies in combat.

Trafficker of Quintessence: The quintessence trafficker varies from the soul thief in that he realizes that each soul has an inherent value. Whether it be by selling the soul to necromancers for magic, aetheric beings to consume or even to psychopomps who are obliged to lead the souls to new planes of existence, the trafficker is always out to make some money by the laundering of souls. The trafficker is a middle-man, a supplier, not a combatant, and as such prefers to hang back during battles, striking at opportune moments by acquiring the souls of dead or dying people, whether it be by purchase, mutual contract or simply taking them. Because they draft contracts with dying people who need to live to fulfill them, quintessence traffickers are skilled healers and are employed in the military as such. Quintessence traffickers utilize the souls they have to call rare spiritual guides to lead them to Empyrean, an otherworldly city of the psychopomps that traffickers set up shop in. Here they can sell on the souls to psychopomps for hard cash or in exchange for services rendered, often leaving the traffickers either protected by angelic auras or able to summon demons to fight for them. Traffickers are often known to have a line of credit kept open with powerful necromancers or citizens of Empryean, in order that they may be resurrected when killed. Traffickers often also command Soulless, beings who’ve defaulted on a soul contract, and sell these sentient servants on to the Necromatica for profit.

Prana Arcanist: Prana arcanists are rare necromancers, those born with a gift of powerful magic imbued into their very beings. These necromancers contain a lifeforce other than the soul, known as prana. Prana can be expended to create magical effects simply though visualization and understanding, but expending prana shortens the lifespan of a prana arcanist, which burns away at a far faster rate than regular lifespans do anyway. Because of this you tend to find prana arcanists are either highly conservative with their magic, attempting to save the life they have left, or are incredibly reckless with it, feeling that since their lives are already shortened they may as well have as much effect on the world as they can before they die. These are the sorts of prana arcanists found in the Necromatica military. The most powerful of the field mages, these arcanists generate incredible magical effects, powerful attacks and impenetrable barriers. As a prana arcanist expends their prana their hair turns progressively from blonde to pure black and their bodies become gaunt and pale. Prana arcanists are incredible healers as well, able to fix the most severe of wounds, but tend to be highly selfish with their magic, going so far as to become highly skilled physical combatants so they don’t have to rely so much on their magic. Some take a step further though, becoming prana upir that steal the minimal prana that exists in everybody, becoming more and more monstrous as they subsist on stolen prana.

Lichbound: The lichbound are generally the commanding mages on the battlefield, mages who are skilled enough to have learned how to become an undeaed lich, preserving their life forever. By carving out their own heart and storing it in a magical phylactery, a lichbound ensures that he will live forever, but at the cost of horrific emotional stasis. Cursed by (or freed by) complete emotional sterility, the lichbound focus completely on learning the arcane ways, studying necromancy in all its forms. As such, lichbound are incredibly wise and powerful mages who can control legions of the undead with ease, their own emotionally void minds serving as clear commanding sources. As the lichbound lives for longer and longer without a heart they take on a more and more cadaverous look, becoming desiccated and vicious. Lichbound and psychopomp artesians usually serve in commanding pairs, one providing the tactics, strategy and control of the mechanical hordes whilst the other is the emotional being who inspires morale amongst the sentient soldiers. Lichbound are the most consistent commanders of the Necromatica army because even if their bodies are destroyed their souls will return to their hidden phylacteries, allowing their bodies to regenerate back into the form they held at the time of removing their heart. The only way to kill a lichbound is to destroy the heart contained with the phylactery, but such knowledge can make for a powerful bargaining chip if anybody should obtain and be able to open a lichbound’s phylactery.

Psychopomp Artesian: The psychopomp artesian is an outright sadist. He engineers undead not through magic but through science. He creates chimeras, horrid beings made of mismatched bodyparts that are restored to life through electricity and science, but also he creates revenants and upir and dhampir and even gasts through science, by exploiting his vast knowledge of the creation process and psychology of many different undead beings. Revenants are their favoured being to create, however. Since revenants naturally occur from particularly unjust deaths where the dead may want vengeance, he creates them through engineering situations where such a death takes place. He creates the blood/oil mix to create prime upirs, and forcefully interbreeds upir with prana arcanists to get dhampir for the elite forces. He knows how to resurrect domes and njambii by engineering the correct circumstances of death and environment, and controls them through psychology and training rather than through the magical thrall that most necromancers use. In this way, the psychopomp artesian views the undead more like beasts or animals than magical thralls, and trains them in such a way, using techniques of starvation and fear, as well as more esoteric techniques to train creatures that feel neither. On the battlefield psychopomp artesians lead their trained forces from aboard large armoured war creatures, sometimes living, sometime dead, wielding enormous barbed whips and flaming torches with which to incite their troops to attack. They are also equipped with voicecasters that allow them to issue loud commands all the way across the battlefield.

Black Widow: The queen ruler of the Imperium Necromatica, the Black Widow is a corpulent necromancer, bloated by magical energies and life fluids harvested from countless lesser beings. A terrible witch, she is the paragon of upir life stealing, who collects the mystical threads of life from each individual being, and uses them to weave a web of life and death that she nestles in and cocoons captured enemies in so she can drain their blood and their prana and convert them into her specialised undead minions. These minions are fanatically loyal to her and vary from the subtle and sentient to the willingly sacrificial hordes. Her morbid feeding keeps her young and healthy, and she can easily regenerate almost any wound she receives. Additionally, her eyes are filled with the true deadlights, paralysing those who gaze into them so she can creep up and cocoon them in strands of eternity. The Black Widow is the ultimate commander of the Necromatica’s undead forces, utilising scrying to keep track of her minions and watch over her entire kingdom.Though she is usually transported by ten Broken Ones in a giant litter she can move very swiftly unaided, as her countless years of feasting have mutated her in profane ways, granting her a terrible black-haired spider-like body. It is said that should the Black Widow ever die, the Necromantic Intelligence will bind all her undead minions into a united task of finding a thousand pure souls to sacrifice in order to resurrect her grotesque body.

Necromantic Intelligence: A necromantic intelligence is not a single being. Rather, it is a malignant force that emerges within an area where a crime of truly terrible proportions has been committed. The dead rise up and form a basic linked intelligence with a single goal in mind, sustained by a physical focal point to that particular necromantic intelligence. Within a necromantic intelligence the environment shifts, plants withering and dying, water becoming stagnant and brackish and obscuring mists drifting across the entire area. Within a necromantic intelligence’s area of effect any being that dies will become an undead of some sort when the sun sets on the land, becoming enslaved to the intelligence’s single-minded hive goal. The most terrifying aspect of a necromantic intelligence is that it possesses both purpose and will, and subtly plays at the minds of all who are within its boundaries to further its purpose. Additionally, the necromantic intelligence perceives everything that its resident undead see, and coordinates its minions with clever tactics. Necromantic intelligences often spring up on battlefields, and powerful necromancers learn how to create mobile intelligences that, though small, traverse the land in pursuit of their purposes, tainting all that they pass. An intelligence dissipates once its purpose is achieved or a consecration ritual is performed at its focus, though it will sense the ritual and defend itself. The most powerful necromantic intelligence of all is the Imperium Necromatica itself, which whispers to the Black Widow, fueling its purpose to conquer all of life and death.

Excluding the title for each unit I come in at 27 words under the 5000 word limit. Hell yeah. With the titles it becomes 5 over. But I'm sure you guys will cope with that :P
Last edited by Vagrant Orpheus on Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:35 am, edited 4 times in total.
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