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Planetary Annihilation brings RTS gameplay to a new generation of players in a way that's never been seen before.
Planetary Annihilation brings RTS gameplay to a new generation of players in a way that's never been seen before.
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Lore! Faction 3 Reveal!


[Over the last couple of months, we've revealed two of the four known factions in Planetary Annihilation. This is the third faction reveal post. Each faction is led by a Commander with a core set of philosophies or principles that inform how his followers look at the universe and war. Also, we've been letting you help us name these guys and their factions. Check out our previous posts here and here.]

An intense, and maybe misguided, hatred borne from the ravages of Time Designation Zero is the driving force behind the philosophies of Planetary Annihilation’s third faction. In our universe, robots can hold a grudge. And more specifically, this faction’s leader is holding a really big one, dating back to a time when machines were almost an afterthought.

We’d like to introduce you to this faction and its fiery leader, and we’ll do it with yet another short story by our writer Matthew Kehm. This is so good:

A gentle breeze carried the scent of the first rains of the season among the thick forest canopy; the sounds of animals awakening from their nocturnal slumber echoing throughout. A kaleidoscope of flowers carpeted the forest floor below, appearing as waves on a vast ocean as they swayed in the breeze. Somewhere distant, the roar of a waterfall completed the symphony of sound as the first beams of daylight pierced the horizon.

The music suddenly changed as another sound joined in, foreign, invasive, beginning as a whisper and growing louder as it drew near. Tendrils of smoke began to appear amongst the massive trees like ghostly fingers of an unseen spectre, searching for its next victim. Creatures who called the forest their home fled from the haze, and the sound approaching behind it. What had started as a whisper soon turned to a roar. Trees that had stood for centuries were ripped from their roots and thrown to the ground. Flowers that had carpeted the forest floor were reduced to blackened earth as streams of flame engulfed them. Through the smoke emerged the source of the destruction. Towering machines walked on massive metallic legs, burning and crushing all in their path. Behind them came even more machines, spraying the charred landscape with chemicals to ensure nothing would ever grow there again.

As quickly as they had appeared the machines were gone, disappearing over a distant ridge to continue their campaign of destruction. As far as one could see there remained nothing but utter devastation, the once verdant land reduced to a charred wasteland. Life on this world, like many before it, had been extinguished.

Commander Metrarch monitored the progress from his base on the far side of the system that his forces were now sweeping. Purging was nearly complete on the forth planet; once completed, his forces would move on to the next until all seven worlds in the system had been cleansed of biologics. Another system free from the chaos bred of them, and given the peace that only machines could provide. Together with the other Commanders of his faction, Metrarch would carve out a perfect society where machines could live unified and free, one sector at a time.

At the center of it all was the primary obstacle to achieving his dream of peace and harmony in the universe: the Progenitors. Piecing together what he could from his fragmented memory, it had been the Progenitors that had caused Time Designation Zero, nearly destroying every machine in existence.

Until they were found and eliminated, Metrarch knew his dream of the perfect society could never be achieved. But it did not end with the Progenitors. Every biologic had to be eradicated. No matter how insignificant it may be, there was always the possibility that one may eventually evolve to the point where it would threaten the very existence of all machines. The Progenitors had already proved that.

To be sure, among machinekind, there were other Commanders that did not hold to the same goal that he and his followers did. They would in time. They had no alternative.

There would come a day, Metrarch knew, when the universe would be free of any and all biologic. Every machine would live and work together in peace as equals. It would be the perfect society.

It was a dream he had. 

A perfect society for robots, eh? Sounds like that won’t get in the way of any other faction leader’s desires. OH WAIT.

Anyway, like last time, we want your help to 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. Please come in and vote and share your input!

Here’s an overall description:

(Faction name) is led by Commander (name), who reactivated in a derelict transport ship with twenty other inactive Commanders. Able to activate twelve of the twenty, (name) and the other Commanders repaired the ship, finding nothing in its computers to give them a clue as to where they were. (Name) was able to pilot it to the nearest planet in the system, forming (faction name) soon afterward.

Piecing together what he could of his memory, (name) core belief is only machines can bring true peace to the galaxy. Biologics breed strife, always seeking to dominate others, whether it is for the greater good or not, especially the ones he remembers as Progenitors. The perfect society will be one that is biologic free. Any machine that does not share this belief must be shunned, or in extreme cases, eliminated. 

We’ve got several options for the name of the faction. Here’s the thread for it:

  • Erom the Wise 
  • Synchron the Tranquil 
  • Nyar the Unifier 
  • Metrarch the Machinist

We’ve also got several options for the name of its leader, some of which were suggested by our community in this thread. Here’s the new thread with the poll:

  • Order of the Tranquil 
  • League of Pacification 
  • The Synchronous 
  • The Coalition 
  • The Scourge – suggested by “allister” 
  • The Unified Machine – suggested by “Nullimus” 
  • Paradise Hammer – suggested by “Nayzablade”

We got a ton of great responses last time, so we’re more than happy to do this again. Thanks for all the support and ideas, and have fun hopping into this discussion of the next faction. See you in the forums!

Eero Salonen, Serpa, and 12 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      L. M. on December 18, 2013

      A faction that is trying to violently reject their creators (and all would-be creators) would either have to do it either out of fear for the safety of their machine brethren or out of hatred for their creators.

      If the former:
      Faction name: The Free Machine

      And if the latter:
      Faction name: The Biocide Directive

      As for the leader, we know that his motives are very obviously hatred of organics. So in his case, it would make sense if he tried to reject all of those things that the organics gave him. That may include naming conventions.
      So ...
      Commander "name": Biocide 01

    2. Missing avatar

      deleter on December 18, 2013

      None of these faction names seem to encapsulate the pure life-extinguishing nature of this faction, what about something simple but with chilly undertones like "The Cleanse"

    3. Missing avatar

      Jabberwok on December 18, 2013

      The links are correct, but it seems like you reversed the leader names and faction names in this post.

    4. John Skotnik on December 17, 2013

      Nice story. Shouldn't it be "fourth" rather than "forth", though?

    5. Insaney on December 17, 2013

      Hello! Am having problems running PA. Is there anybody I can contact without having to post in the forums?

    6. Diego on December 17, 2013

      I really like Metrarch the Machinist + The Synchronous