The People of the Lake
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The Deathless Elite
"Eerie on the wind, the craft floated toward the ground. At this speed, almost silent – but preceded by a pressure in the ears, and a twist in the gut. It was black and sleek; hard to recognise as anything but an ominous dart in the sky. If it had angles, the naked eye could not discern them. Light seemed to touch its hull and die.
To most in the Homeland, this was OLYMPUS. These shapes that flew with arcane purpose."
(The ravenous appetites of the Before's elite caused the Fall)
- Reach: -1
- Grasp: +1
- Sleight: +1
Doctrine: every Deathless character starts with an extra Move or +1 to a Stat, but they must choose one:
- Eternal Passion: name an object of their adoration - a person, a place, a treasure. You would rather die than see it harmed.
- Echoes of the Past: describe a set of actions from the past and repeat it in ritual fashion whenever possible.
- Predators of Dust: name one thing you must take from others for consumption.
(Lifestyle) Lords of the Domain: the Redoubt can always keep an internal threat imprisoned, or keep an external threat out.
- Progress: our databanks function, our specialists live. We are guardians of the past, and guides to the future.
- Engineering: automated factories, robotic assembly, materials of fiction made real. Yesterday builds tomorrow.
- Defences: too many slumber to reclaim what is ours; stretched thin and facing centuries of neglect.
- Leadership: blind to need, uninterested and beset by sloth - OLYMPUS still suffers from torpor.
- Rare materials: we must reignite the furnaces and reclaim our ancient factories. Rebuild the roads, reconstruct the pipes...feed our machines so that we may build anew.
- How do you fight? With rings of power (Precious, Melee, Brutal, Area)
- How are you defended? With state of the art upgrades (Precious, Mobile, Implanted, Comms)
- How do you travel? In Death on Wings (Precious, Air, Swift, Turret)
The Last Redoubt The endless sprawl of Terminus, the infinite inner-worlds of Elysium. Even godlike OLYMPUS cannot hope to know everything about these ancient places. More secrets have been lost in the dark spaces between the databanks than all the people of the Homeland can ever hope to know...
- (An amazing but unreliable feature) Its vanishing gardens provide solace: all manner of simulated realities exist within these spaces. Some, like Elysium, are home to a billion lives in ever deeper layers. Others - disconnected and lost - can be found in forgotten and forbidden places. Perhaps you will stumble upon them? A room that springs to life. A cafe that does not exist. A sunset from the time before...
- (An uncontrollable defence) Automated shells that kill with brutal precision: unauthorised access can never be allowed. The citizens of yesteryear have a right to life. But the warped and inhuman immigrants of the future are alien to the damaged eyes and fraying sensors of a hundred-million security systems. Tread lightly.
- (A lurking threat) A genius loci, guarding a key location: BALTHAZAR lurks and slumbers both. It was HE that ended the world. HIS crime. HIS sin. It was HIS fate to die. But HE was saved; spirited away by HIS creator, HIS mother, HIS partner in crime. BALTHAZAR lurks and slumbers. A terrible ghost from a terrible past with the keys to a dead world.
Parliament of Ghosts Those who consult the preserved remains of your ancestors roll Uncover Secrets and Unearth Forgotten Lore with advantage when following their advice - they know much about the past. Also, when The Age Turns, they reveal a previously unknown landmark or custom from the past.
Alliance Move When another Faction or Family realises your current character played a key role in their history, gain 1-Treaty on them.
OLYMPUS and the people of Elysium
"Heaven must not fall. For if it does, so too do all the works of man..."
The End, the Fall, was a roll of the dice. The threat had existed since the splitting of the atom. And time, and time again the end of everything had been avoided, dodged, miraculously sidestepped. Yet human fallibility meant, however slim, the chance existed. But human fear, and human love, and human hope had kept the clock from reaching midnight. No matter how close that clock came, not matter how ominous the ticking of its seconds, the witching hour stayed its hand. It stayed its hand until humanity was removed from the equation.
The signs were on the wall for those that cared to look. And then they were on the wall for those that didn't.
The battlefields of the past had become ever quicker, ever more deadly. Decisions made faster, with more information. Humanity was made monstrous, and then replaced. First by weapons of unfeeling steel, and then by intellects of peace that would only act if they had no other choice. It was terrorism, then, that proved the unseen fault. An intellect responded to the horrific act of an irrational few. HE had no choice. Showed no hesitation. Acted as HE had been built to act with a speed that no one could stop. And as MAD predicted so many, many years before HE would not be the last. Not the only one without a choice.
It was called the Seven Days of Fire. Because after seven days, no one else would make it to Elysium...
- Populace: the people of 10,000 cultures live in Elysium on 100,000 worlds and more. They they laugh, they love, and some even thrive in this place of precious little hardship. But the people of OLYMPUS are a different lot. Driven and chosen, specialist and experienced: they are sworn to the preservation of Elysium. They choose to leave Heaven for Earth; trading immortal ease for a higher purpose.
- Style: Elysium is a riot of colour and style. Classic designs and the latest fads mix and mingle. The impractical and impossible made real for those with the memory-allowance to flaunt their excess! OLYMPUS wear strange-blacks that seem to eat the light; suits built to protect them in a hostile world.
- Governance: they make a show, they do, of being governed in Elysium - democracy, representation, voting! But OLYMPUS holds true power over the architecture of their reality. They are a self-styled council draped in the trappings of Gods; arrogant and towering. Statues with booming voices that can shift to bodies of radiant divinity.
Virtual existence. The human-mind is a special thing, but not so special as to be inscrutable. It can be scanned, understood, copied - uploaded. And this was the fate of millions during civilisation's waning days: before the week of fire. Refugees who abandoned their bodies for safety, and gained an immortal existence aboard Settlement. Countless millions live in Elysium's many worlds: digital and undying. Most do not give base reality a second thought. Content to socialise, create, endeavour and lead their lives in any way they wish.
Society in Elysium is not perfect. Not limitless. The servers of Settlement are not infinite - memory and processing power are apportioned. The more deserving, the more worthy, get a larger share: live grander lives. But for most, they live lives that are good enough: lacking hardship or an end.
No generalisations can be made of Elysium. They have many cultures, many societies - some that mimic cultures of the past, some new, and some stranger still. In theory, they are masters of their own destiny, and OLYMPUS is accountable to the elected representatives of Elysium's many polities. In practice...
As the horrors of the Fall began to fade, many turned inward. But some did not - and of those that didn't, some craved power. Those who attained it would go on to call themselves OLYMPUS: administrators turned ruling council; styled like Gods, mysterious and aloof.
Petty and insular, the ruling pantheon of OLYMPUS could do so much more. There are people in Elysium, or sleeping in Hades, with the skills, the knowledge, the plans to help set things right. There are processes, and protocols - strategies and contingencies - all designed for this. But to enact them would jeopardise their power. Immortality does not grant wisdom.
But as supplies run low, and the world again begins to turn, OLYMPUS must once more turn outward. They have been recruiting in ever greater numbers. Scientists and soldiers, specialists and engineers pulled from the databanks: decanted into new bodies and sent to the surface...
- Olympus (AKA Settlement): an impressive O'Neil cylinder situated at the L-1 point between the Earth and the Sun. A repurposed space-habitat turned fortress / digital civilisation.
- Elysium: the digital landscape inside Olympus. While not truly post-scarcity (memory and processing power are somewhat apportioned), it is a thriving society - blissfully unaware of their precarious situation.
- Hades: personality storage-matrix. An archived databank of as many people as Settlement's founders could save. It was always the plan to restore them. A plan that was never enacted.
- Tartarus: too valuable to erase, too dangerous to live. Tartarus is a server buried at the heart of Olympus. It contains generals who ordered the Fall, scientists who made it possible, and political prisoners too ambitious, divisive or threatening to ever see the light of day again. It would take a crisis for OLYMPUS to even consider releasing those within...
- Terminus: perhaps the last or only megacity arcology that acts under OLYMPUS' (notional?) control. This centre of the Pan-Colorado urban sprawl, by miraculous chance, survived the fall. Its automated systems still function; tired and ageing routines ordered for reasons lost to time. It has been OLYMPUS' conduit to the surface and back. Now it is to be their beachhead.