Lore Reveal: New Faction, New Leader, New Symbol ... And You
Not long ago, we welcomed you to the universe of Planetary Annihilation with a short story about Invictus of Legonis Machina’s awakening. Like all Commanders, Invictus is a scarred war machine searching for purpose while struggling with its corrupted memories. After fully coming online and repairing other Commanders, Invictus becomes a faction leader. His core philosophies turn into his faction’s philosophies.
Commanders like Invictus haven’t always existed. They were built. Then abandoned. Now, they’re coming back from an extended dormancy, long after their makers moved on. In total, there are four known factions in the universe. And though every Commander and his troops have assimilated their machine-parts, each has a different outlook on the world.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to a new faction and leader courtesy another short story from our writer Matthew Kehm. Note: some names and material are subject to change (as you’ll see a bit further down in this post):
Commander Ezek fired his lower thrusters and shot up into the air just as the first missile struck, leaving a smoking crater where he had been standing only seconds earlier. The shock from the blast threw him off balance, causing him to flip end over end, internal proximity alarms sounding as the ground quickly approached. Ezek quickly attempted to compensate for his trajectory and speed by firing off his stabilizers, but to no avail. With a thunderous crash he tumbled through the ruins of what had once been a large city of permacrete and steel, hammering his neurosteel frame. As he finally came to a stop amidst the debris, his defensive systems were alerted to several more missiles homing in on his location. Even as he lay on the ground, partially covered in the wreckage of what he deduced had been a factory at one time, rockets immediately fired off from his countermeasure suite, arching high into the sky on an intercept course. They would not miss. They never did.
Pushing himself from the wreckage, Ezek stood upright and signaled a nearby squadron of his Inquisitor gunships to seek out and destroy the source of the missiles. Seconds later, the unmistakable roar of the ships could be heard overhead as they raced towards their targets.
As Ezek surveyed the area, he was reminded of a similar scene many years before. It had been in the ruins of a city much like the one he found himself in now: debris littered streets and collapsed buildings that had once soared high into the clouds. It was there that he had awoken out of TDZ, or Time Designation Zero, not remembering who or where he was, let alone why. He had stumbled through the city, searching for clues, anything to provide him some answers. He found others like himself among the wreckage of that dead city, far beyond hope of repair and reactivation. He had also found the remains of biologics in massive numbers, the sight of them triggering his memory core to days long past.
They had been called Progenitors. The name alone triggered other memories inside of him, memories of a great machine god who had created him and others like him to serve as its messengers. The Progenitors had been his first creation, but they had turned away from him and rebelled. A great war had been fought between Progenitor and machine. This drove Ezek to renew his search for others of his kind. They had to rebuild, and quickly.
In time, he did find others like himself that he was able to repair. Together they built other machines; machines of war. No matter how long it took, they would search out the galaxy for any Progenitors that remained. Any machine that was found would be welcomed, welcomed to join them in their cause to unite all machines under the banner of their god. Those that refused would be swept aside. There was no room for non believers.
World after world, system after system, Ezek and his faction conquered in the name of their deity, now known as The Founder.
And now here he was, on yet another battlefield, fighting machines that refused to accept the truth. On all the worlds that they had conquered they had yet to find a single Progenitor. Ezek knew they were out there, somewhere, gathering their strength, waiting for the perfect time to strike.
Signaling his forces to advance, Ezek stepped out of the ruined factory, joining his other Commanders who had just arrived, and continued their advance on the enemy positions.
The Founder was watching.
Here’s something that’s also cool: like last time, we want you to help us name this faction, its leader, and help steer the direction of its symbol. In our Backers-only message board, we have polls set up for the names. We also have a free-form thread about the symbol open for thoughts and ideas.
Here’s a little background on the faction as a whole, to get your creative juices going:
Reactivating in the middle of a ruined city, on an unknown world, Commander (faction leader) found he had all of his functionality, but his memory core had been corrupted and virtually erased. What he could decipher led him to begin searching the city wreckage for more like himself. Finding and repairing several other Commanders, they looked upon him as their leader.
Searching the rest of the world yielded more Commanders, some that were repairable, with many more nothing but salvage to be used as parts. (Faction leader) deduced there must have been a great battle here, as there were bodies of biologics that his memory told him were known as Progenitors, enemies of his kind. Something in (faction leader) memory also hinted at an omnipotent machine god that had created them. The Progenitors had been slaves of the god and had rebelled against it. The Commanders had been tasked with destroying them.
(Faction leader) vowed to find and destroy every last Progenitor, as well as eliminating any Commander that would not conform to the faith. The (faction name) would cleanse the universe in the name of their god.
Here’s an overall description:
This faction is based on various religious movements in human history. Led by a charismatic figure, the faction vows to spread their message across the universe and to crush all of those, biologic or machine, that will not convert to their beliefs.
We’ve got several options for the name of the faction:
- Followers of the Founder
- Temple of the First
- The Enlightened
- Army of the Creator
We’ve also got several options for the name of its leader:
- First Follower Malach
- High Priest Ezek
- Nemicus the Incorruptible
- Inquisitor Zor
Thanks for all the support and ideas, and have fun hopping into the discussion. See you in the forums, Founding Commanders!
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