The area of the galaxy of Archeras has long been a dark and perhaps dangerous place. After the Gods abandoned the mortal realm, it fell to the citizens of the world of Exarch to organize society, and they did so quickly. At the center of this civilizing movement was the Core, an area of space closest to the Veile Nebula, an area of anomalies unexplainable by conventional science. From the Veile, energies 's powers in ways that broke the normal laws of physics.
In an amazingly short period of time, the races of Exarch spread out across Archeras. Contact was made with other races, including many who had once graced the pages of myth and legend. Colonies were established, nations rose in a relatively peaceful existence. Even the occasional strikes of demonic forces from dimensional rips barely fazed the galaxy. Life was going well.
Then a period of ambitious uncertainty came over the capital worlds of the Core. The inhabitants fell into debauchery and abandon. Blinded by greed and isolationist sympathies, they shut out the worlds beyond their insulated little area. Soon all communication between the Core and the outers worlds failed. No news came, whether via ship or via pulse communication.
None but for one tiny group, a moderately large armada of anything which could cross the stars. Members of the frontier world of Solwe received the drifting hulks of steel, gently guiding them into orbit. No messages came from their bridges. Nothing at all. The inhabitants sent a small expedition-to find a charnel house of rotting flesh; rotting flesh which attacked them with sudden and unholy fury. Only in perhaps ten to twenty vessels did they find anyone alive, perhaps twenty million refugees crammed inside of varying race. All had the haggard look of survivors of a great cataclysm.
Those few survivors formed the Alliance. The Core worlds had fallen prey to a sudden and completely annihilating strike. The center of galactic culture, Exarch, had fallen in days. With it's resources, the threat, known only as the Shadow, had taken Core world after Core world until nothing was left but planets of the dead. The Shadow was moving, and they were, as far as they knew, the only living survivors of an area formerly with a population of several trillion people.
Few responded to their cause. Few cared. Most were too busy fighting off their own problems to worry about a crusade to a hazardous and perhaps stripped area of the galaxy for almost certain defeat. They did not have to go to the Shadow, soon enough, though. The Shadow came to them.
The location in this rp is the world of Darion, slightly inside the Core, inside the former border of the Palsan Republic. The Alliance and the Palsan Republic have allied for the purposes of this mission. A Seraphim-class ship, laden with several VIPs, was diverted to Darion, where it was shot from the sky by Shadow defenders. It has crashed inside the ruined city of Ferlis, the former largest city of Darion. There may or may not be survivors, but a rescue mission has been organized. It is a small one by military standards. The objective, obviously, is to find the wreck, get any survivors out, and leave. The safety of these survivors is PARAMOUNT. They must be low on both food and medical supplies. Time is of the essence, so the task force organized-two Avenger-class Alliance walkers, armed with twin pulse repeaters and twin flamers, a Constrictor-class Palsan tank, and an APC containing fifteen men and women. The characters are also members of this force, and are traveling in the Constrictor.
That said, the Shadow has also grasped the significance of the survivors. It too has reinforced its position, and Ferlis was the site of some advanced testing with some new varieties of Shadow undead. It is determined to let neither the survivors, nor the rescuers, leave alive with combat knowledge of these new undead, known as Blood Angels (you canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t play one.).
And finally, in the shadows, a small band of yet another group, known as the Fallen, has crept towards Darion. The history of the Fallen is tragic, but suffice it to say that they are a mutant group of Alliance stragglers who have genetically engineered more of their kind. Lurking in small bands across the galaxy, their very existence is unknown to either the Alliance or Palsa, but they bear all other sentient creatures a fierce hatred and are determined to capture the VIPs, though whether to ransom them, question them, or merely kill them is unknown. Their forces and makeup are unknown, but no doubt equal to that of the Alliance/Palsa coalition.
Human: Humanity has expanded across most of the known galaxy-ancient Core colonies are discovered every now and then, isolated from their surroundings. However, humanity is extremely adaptable and various versions of basic humans are found depending on their ancestral homes. Examples include the pale, dark-haired, thin but tough and strong built Night-World humans, the powerfully built, enduring Jungle-World humans, or the agile, dark-skinned, unusually cunning Fire-World humans.
Aeryyn: Aeryyn are originally descended from a specific subspecies of human of Exarch. They lived in an area where resources were at a premium, and so, to counter their slighter builds, they went deeper into spirituality. Aeryyn tend to be darker skinned, and their bodies are on the whole somewhat less in density. They are very wise and intelligent, and they are, as a group, more possessed of patience then humans. They tend to be excellent arcanists and cunning warriors.
Mechalin: Mechalin separated from the completely ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“humanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ genome millennia ago, although like Aeryyn they can still interbreed with humans without abnormal risk of sterile offspring. These (generally) pale-skinned, generally dark haired humanoids are spiritually stunted as well as physically, as their bodies have, on average, slightly more difficulty accessing arcana (magic). However, to counter both their weaker bodies and arcane disadvantage, they invented a highly advanced form of cybernetics, one that grows and develops along with their bodies. Every mechalin can have built-in weaponry, armor, or sensors, pseudo-muscular enhancements, or even sophisticated systems such as heart re-starters, bio-synthesizing regenerators, or other bizarre equipment.
Velocine: Velocine are a young race descended from a planet on the Outer Rim. These saurians are fearsome in appearance (basically a semi-upright raptor) but intelligent and somewhat benevolent. They tend to have difficulty with more advanced technology systems, but are superb hunters, trackers, and close-combat warriors. Velocine are somewhat intriguing in their fast rate of evolution and somewhat ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“convenientÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ genetic code, raising questions about their true origins.
Ashsi: Ashsi are one of the most ancient races of the galaxy. Although humanoid and mammalian, they lack mouths or noses, are physically subpar, and have smooth, hairless skin except for their heads. The glossy appearance of their skin sometimes reminds humans of scales. However, Ashsi have little to no need of any of their deficiencies, as their arcane prowess is truly frightening. Some Ashsi have the ability to float at will, unleash terrible bolts of power without a spell, or absorb weak laser shots without even batting an eye, as they feed off of pure energy. They are wise, arrogant, and live much longer even then humans whose lifetimes have been extended by magic and/or medical technology.
Necridian: Necridians were once a nomadic race of hunter-gatherers, but corrupted by the Inquisitum most of them fell to evil long ago. The average Necridian is human in appearance, but hairless and with sharper facial features. Most singular in their appearance is their disembodied arms, of which they can have two to six, depending on power and age. These arms can float free, though in an area about their corresponding shoulder, and reach an impressive distance, or remain in a humanlike position. The energy currents holding the arms in place can be used like bungee cords to cause them to spring towards the arm after stretching its current of energy to the limit, allowing them to become very acrobatic. They live longer then humans and most of them are physically puny, but their arcane skill rivals that of an Ashsi. Necridians give off a natural field of chaos and death arcane energy, which is key to their technology and the Shadow NecridiansÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ dominion of their minions.
Arackin: The Arackin are the longest space-faring race of this galaxy and perhaps the oldest, and their primary concern is with peace and harmony between themselves and the rest of the galaxy. As humans and humanoid species began to become ever-more present in Archeras, the Arackin embarked on a massive transformative program (Arackin have some ability to consciously manipulate their own DNA and shape while alive, if slowly) to bring themselves to a form less alien to the newcomers. Their current form is of a strange cross between humanoid and arachnid, with the six lower legs of an arachnid, and an upper torso similar to that of a humanoid. However, their mouthparts are much less apparent, and they have binocular vision instead of compound eyes resulting in a non-arachnid eye that is somewhat comforting to most humans. Arackin also created a specialized breed of themselves, known as Aracne, to deal with humans, who through introduction of human DNA have a completely human upper body from the waist up. All Arackin can spray a silk-like substance in large quantities from their forearms and lower chest. Their natural exoskeleton and tough bodies make them very difficult to destroy, and due to their six legs many are capable of walking right up walls! Arackin fear fire and cold in extreme amounts.
Renegade Undead: As a Shadow-type undead creature matures in knowledge, they become increasingly dangerous-but also more likely to rebel. Occasionally exceptional individuals rise above their enslaved status and detach themselves from the ShadowÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s control. In addition, necromancy is old, far older then the Shadow itself, and it is not inherently evil-indeed, there are Alliance necromancers- resulting in some cases of independent undead unaligned with the Shadow at all.
Shadow creatures remain active through their innate field of Shadow energy, running in lines similar in position to arteries along their body. Aside from complete dismemberment or other separating-type injuries there is no way to kill an undead foe in one blow. Destroying one is achieved by severing enough 'flows' of the energy so as to cause the creature's duplicated life functions to fail and for it to die. Shock also aids this. In short, however, usually one-hit kill areas such as the heart or between the eyes will not be as effective and certainly not kill the undead creature outright. However, life magic and any sort of healing medication or process can harms undead creatures-the shadow energy inside them requires decay and death on which to feed, (thus their living state is only maintained through constant consumption of the potential corruption inside them), but without it they will cease to 'live.'
Subraces: These are some of the most common Shadow undead varieties.
Diriend: One step up from the basic, mindless Shadow warrior, Diriends are the vast majority of sentient undead. They appear, and are, quite like normal people in physical form, though they are a bit stronger then their builds would indicate. As a rule, they are extremely pale, looking rather bloodless, and often they have white hair. Diriends do not tire. They feel pain-indeed a great deal of physical sensation- only faintly. The extent of bodily function depends on the individual Diriend's will and understanding of their 'rules' of existence.
Vampire: One direction to go further then the Diriend, a vampire is a Diriend who has found a method of material substance-violence, embodied in blood and the flesh of those they destroy. They gain this powerful ability to steal life from the living in the form of blood, as their front teeth enlarge into almost wolf-like fangs. They function primarily as living people do in many respects. Vampires, however, have a single restriction. They may drink blood from any source, but the meat they consume must be from something they themselves kill. Often they eat it uncooked and still bloody so as to absorb the most life energy. Many other Vampires acquire other supernatural powers, though slowly.
Nightshade: These hulking undead grow in stature upon their ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“alterationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ from a Diriend, becoming perhaps seven, eight, or even nine feet tall! They are incredibly strong, agile, and tough, though lacking both in much dexterity of the fingers and much use of advanced arcana. A Nightshade' best friend is melee combat.
Wraith (Male only): An undead member of Order Direas. Wraiths are tortured victims, whose souls have fused with their phase armor-its effects now remain if it is on or not. As such, they are able to walk through solid objects for a short period of time at will. They also retain their powerful chaos magic. Wraiths are pitied and hated by true Direas, who will usually attack them on sight. They are wary even of friendly Wraiths, who, in turn, hate life but usually don't have the will to end it all.
Banshee (Female only): An undead member of Order Astrales. Forced by the Shadow to return to existence, Banshees retain their incredible astral powers, and furthermore, can channel their bitterness into a soul-chilling scream. They wear the armor they wore in life and generally appear as they did, but with bloodless, pale features and a despairing cast to their faces. They can cause incredible fear and battle with the finest soldiers. Like Wraiths, Banshees are on hostile to wary terms with their former Order.
The Alliance is composed of refugees from the Core and several other areas who willingly joined. It is a democratic, but militaristic organization devoted to the destruction of the Shadow and the liberation of the Core. Despite the Alliance being only about eight years old, it uses Core technology and military designs. It never has a shortage of troops due to every citizen being trained in arms, giving it a large body of highly trained, well-equipped militia that it can call up at any time it needs to, in addition to its hardened military. Another tradition the Alliance took from the Core has served it equally well, the powerful semi-religious Warrior Orders. The Alliance is also very practiced in matters arcane, the better to fight its unnatural foes.
Pulse energy gun: The Pulse weapons system depends on bursts of coherent light and high pressure. A pulse weapon has impressive range and dependable power, and because of its lack of ammunition requirements, can be used in the field for a long period. Pulse weapons range from pistol to cannon size.
Example Personnel Weapons:
CP-Z5 Pulse Pistol
CSM-15r Pulse Repeater (SMG)
CP-25X Pulse Rifle
P-V1ND-20 Vindicator Pulse Sniper Rifle
PC-M5p Pulse Cannon (Personnel)
Alliance armor is primarily the mesh suit, a steely, flexible suit of personal armor sewn into their blue-and gray uniforms with heavier metal plates protecting vital areas such as the upper chest and thighs and sewn on top of the underlying mesh suit. Mesh armor provides a modicum of protection from most weapons. Sensors and muscular enhancements are incorporated into the suit, along with in some cases a light medical pack.
Alliance close combat weapons, in direct opposition to their ranged ones, are generally 'whatever you can hit someone with, grab it'. Alliance soldiers may go into battle carrying as sophisticated a CCW as a star-steel-alloy sword or one as simple as a metal baseball bat. Whatever works is used. Many seemingly innocuous weapons are in fact very deadly due to the desperation and fear supernaturally absorbed into the weapon itself, as a result of being carried during the Hegira, or as a result of an arcanist's enchantments.
Exorcist : Some veterans of the Alliance war effort study far further into the horrible, yet undeniably effective powers of their Shadow enemies. Through long and dangerous arcane experimentation, these brave-or some say crazed- souls gradually impart some of the powers of the undead upon themselves to better fight their foes. Exorcists are the Alliance's elite normal soldiers, gifted with such powers-or curses- as the unearthly toughness of a Nightshade, the teleportation of a spectre, the ability to conjure flames of Shadow energy about themselves, the ability to become temporarily ethereal, and other dark powers. Exorcist units are also a haven for many rogue Shadow. They are generally treated as slightly better Alliance normal infantry. Though Exorcists may or may not use arcana, all have access to minor or major undead powers with time and practice.
Signature Equipment: Shadow-bane Weaponry: At least one piece of an Exorcist's armament is specially enchanted with trapped Shadow energy so as to be further lethal to any of the undead. Such weapons are known as Shadow-bane weapons.
Machina Semideus : During the Hegira, the talents of the engineers of the fledgling Alliance were stretched to their absolute limit-indeed to the very scientific limit- to desperately keep their ships going and their weapons in good repair. It is not certain exactly when it happened, but eventually a select group of engineers achieved a knowledge of machines that seems to almost transcend mere natural science. These engineers can achieve an extraordinary and near-perfect balance with almost any machine. Their combat skills are at best average, but give them any sort of vehicle or machine, and they can push the device past its normal limits.
Signature Equipment: Nanogauntlet: This device, in additional to being a close combat weapon in a pinch, allows the Semideus to better manipulate machines. It can interface with computer systems, repair mechanics, and other useful functions.
Explorer : These specialist Alliance soldiers wear specialized light versions of normal Alliance gear. They are quick, acrobatic, and agile-generally the lightest soldiers become Explorers- and make excellent scouts. Explorers serve the role of point scout in an Alliance unit. Due to their specialized equipment and their powerful nul-grav units, the average Explorer can make it so gravity has little effect on them, leap much higher then normal, cling to walls, and other seemingly impossible feats.
Signature Equipment: EX-76 Explorer: This advanced powered suit weighs little more then twenty-five pounds, constructed of extra-light materials. Its sensors are superb. It also features a built-in jump pack, and a pair of skid boots, boots with attached hover-drives that can act almost as if they were hover-drives instead of boots. They also reduce the stress on the body's muscles, meaning Explorers can run faster and farther then normal. However, the most powerful feature of the EX-76 is the nul-grav unit. With this device, the Explorer can reduce or increase the force of gravity on themselves, in effect reducing or increasing their weight, jump heights, and so on. Finally, the EX-76 has an attached CP-17L lightweight pulse rifle.
Warrior Orders : These ancient chapters of warriors dedicate themselves to a specific elemental demigod. By channeling their spells through that demigod, they can protect themselves from arcanaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s mind-warping side effects, though their training is restricted to their elemental sphere. Warrior Order members are supreme close-combat fighters and talented Arcanists. There are eight known Warrior Orders that the Alliance has gathered, though there were once more.
Order Solaris : Warrior order of Fire. Generally quick-thinking and impulsive. Excellent warriors. Solaris members wear fiery versions of normal mesh armor that render them resistant to flame. Solaris magic tends to be highly destructive, as could be expected of the sphere of Fire. Solaris warriors tend to fight in an almost berserk fashion, ripping and shredding at almost anything that gets near them.
Signature Equipment: Flaming Close Combat Weapon, Fire-Heart Cuirass: A blade made of arcane fire from the hilt up, the Flaming CCW creates bursts of fire whenever it hits. Popular designs include katanas, scimitars, wakizashis, khopesh, falchions, and Lochaber axes. The Fire-Heart Cuirass is a powerful suit of mesh armor that burns with eternal flames that will sear an attacker, making too close contact dangerous in melee with a Solaris.
Order Aquarres : Warrior order of Water and ice. Aquarres is more pacifistic then other Orders and concentrates as much on healing magic as offensive magic. Aquarres members wear a suit of mesh armor that is colored a deep blue, and that seems to exude a comfortable, cool temperature. They are resistant to cold, and many can breathe underwater.
Signature Equipment: Cyro-weapon, Ice Mail: Aquarres members can create close-combat weapons and objects out of the moisture in the air, forging them into pure ice. Popular designs include broadswords, clubs, rods, and staves. Their armor suits provide protection, especially from cold and ice attacks.
Order Aetheris : Warrior order of the Air. Aetheris members receive a special jump-jet pack and a modified mesh suit, both colored either a sky blue or pale green. Aetheris members are expert flyers and very, very quick. They are somewhat more proficient in ranged combat then is normal for an Order, and a little less at close combat.
Signature Equipment: Jump Pack, Aetheris Lance: The Aetheris lance is an arcane polearm that has the ability to spray a powerful lightning bolt. The lance itself is also a formidable weapon. The Aetheris jump pack is extra-light and more powerful then a conventional jump pack, incorporated into the armor suit of an Aetheris.
Order Terralis : Warrior order of the Earth. Order Terralis warriors are tough, strong, and enduring. They are masters of defensive warfare and their armor is the best of any of the Orders. Terralis members wear an arcane suit of mesh armor created from unknown alloys.
Signature Equipment: Diamond Blade and Gem Mail: Terralis warriors carry weapons forged from arcane diamond. Popular designs include scythes, claws, pick-axes, battle-axes, zweihanders, and other heavy weapons. Their armor, likewise, is extremely strong, forged of similar arcane gemstones and flexible mesh.
Order Lucentis : Order of Light. Lucentis warriors take a particularly forceful role in combating the undead, and their holy weapons and spells cause exceptional damage to them. Lucentis warriors are not ones for subterfuge; they prefer to attack simply and forcibly. They are uncompromising in their holy fervor-they see no excuses for evil in any form. LucentisÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ warriors wear a peculiar cloak spun from pure light, and they carry weapons created likewise. Lucentis prefer to stand tall in front of the enemy, daunting them with their brilliant presence.
Signature Equipment: Lucent Blade and Cloak of Light: These close combat weapons, usually a sword of some type, are created of pure light. They are weightless, easily used, and cause extreme damage to undead foes. The Cloak gives off a soft white light that causes undead creatures to feel uneasy. When the Lucentis enters combat, the Cloak brightens to a near-blinding light in the eyes of the foe, blinding and confusing weaker enemies.
Order Enshrodei : Order of shadows and darkness. Enshrodei soldiers are as much assassins as they are soldiers, as when wearing their cloaks of shadow they can walk unseen to any but the most arcana-powerful or the most advanced sensors. They are excellent warriors, and their unearthly blades ignore walls or body armor due to their lack of momentum, which results in the only protection a target may receive being a parry. Enshrodei prefer to work in small groups, ahead of their allies, where they can ambush the foe to devastating effect.
Signature Equipment: Despair Blade and Cloak of Shadow: The Despair Blade is a potent blade enchanted with the essence of shadow; its surface seems to absorb light. It ignores all but the most arcane armor or force fields, and because of its relatively short length (two feet to two and a half) it is deft and quick to wield. The Cloak of Shadows, as long as the Enshrodei does not run or sprint, provides virtual invisibility.
Order Direas : This all-male order of Chaos and change was devastated by the Hegira. Perhaps a third at absolute best of the original Order remains. Direas survivors wear an arcane suit of mesh armor in red and black, known as phase armor, that allows them to pass through solid walls if necessary for a short period of time. They practice volatile chaos magic, and use weapons enchanted with its energies. Many Direas members have been somewhat mutated by Chaos energies, so they often look different from their normal race. Direas are exceptional assassins and reconnaissance soldiers.
Signature Equipment: Chaos CCW and Phase Armor: The Chaos-enchanted sword of a Direas is powerful and deft, generally a curved sword of some kind. A favorite is the katana. The Phase Armor a Direas wears allows them to walk through solid objects for a short period of time.
Order Astrales This all-female order of the spirit world was nearly exterminated by the Hegira. Like Direas, its companion order (relations between the two were especially close) it is reduced to a sad fragment of what it once was. Astrales warriors use astral naginatas in battle, and shield themselves with the energies of the spirit. They wear gray mesh suits that seem to shimmer oddly. Many Astrales have been somewhat altered by the flow of their dreams, changing in odd and obviously supernatural ways. Their astral magic allows them to manipulate their own souls and the souls of others.
Signature Equipment: Astral Naginata and Spirit Mail: The Astral Naginata of Order Astrales cuts a wound not only in the body of a victim, but also in their very soul. It is a deft, powerful, graceful weapon. The Spirit Mail of Astrales protects the Astrales from seemingly fatal wounds, bleeding off some of the damage and impact into the spirit realm.
Armed Forces of the Palsan Republic:
The Palsan Republic is the most visible hope of a future of normalcy in the Archeras galaxy. A progressive democracy, its military keeps the majority of its population almost unaware of the many threats poised at its heart every day. Through their efforts and the efforts of its covert agents, it survives and even thrives in an otherwise very dangerous age. Palsan's primary concern is with self-preservation, not an idealistic crusade, and thus some friendly friction has developed between it and the Alliance. Palsa's military is composed primarily of volunteers. Though arcana is not studied on a wide basis amongst its soldiers, the high-tech, rugged, dependable weapons they use can easily make up for this detriment.
Imperator solid-bore gun.
The Imperator weapon is a slug-throwing ranged weapon, firing charged bullets at high velocity. The electric charge of the bullet allows it to lose less speed to air resistance, and thusly arrive at the target with more stopping power. Varieties of the Imperator range from pistol to tank cannon size.
Example Personnel Weapons:
IP-5 Imperator Pistol
IPn-7 Imperator Needle Pistol
Ipm-9 Imperator Magnum
ISM-27 Imperator Submachine Gun
IRF-19 Imperator Semiautomatic Rifle
IAR-10 Imperator Assault Rifle
ILS-3s Long-Shot Imperator Sniper Rifle
Palsan personal armor for the average soldier is a light powered suit of flak armor. Usually muscular enhancements and basic sensors are incorporated into the suit, though not as sophisticated as Alliance combat uniforms or true powered armor. Flak suits provide some protection from bullets and some melee weapons. They are often colored in a desert camouflage scheme.
Palsan close combat weapons, like their ranged ones, are generally highly standardized. Soldiers in a unit are issued a uniform close combat weapon of medium quality, such as a machete or short sword, and though they might modify or tamper with it, most rarely replace them.
Gunfighter : These agile individuals are lightly armored and carry twin pistols into combat, as well as generally favoring double short or long blades for up-close work. They take specialized training so as to enhance their abilities with two weapons to formidable levels. In the arcane spectrum, like many Palsan soldiers, they are at best average, though some Gunfighters like to use levitation and haste spells to increase their combat agility and speed.
Signature Equipment: Exotic Pistols: Gunfighters use customized Imperator and occasionally energy pistols, tinkered with to provide unusual and effective abilities. These include increased range and stopping power, a variety of special ammunitions, and automatic firing modes. Almost inevitably one of the upgrades is a vastly increased clip size.
Marine : Palsa's heavy infantry corps wears heavily armed and armored suits of powered armor. Though this armor hinders them somewhat, it is incredibly tough and relatively quick for such a large thing. The most popular of these suits is the BH-6 Behemoth, a humanoid suit standing about 8ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬? tall. Marines take little magical training but are expert soldiers.
Signature Equipment: BH-6 Behemoth: This is armed with either a Gattling Imperator Cannon or a laser cannon on the left arm, and a built-in close combat weapon in the right. Occasionally a heavier weapon such as a flamethrower, missile launcher, or antitank rifle is added, but other times advanced sensor gear, TAB targeting gear, or shield generators take the shoulders slot.
Seeker : Occasionally foes arise that threaten the Republic in ways that a simple soldier could not counter. Palsa's answer to this is the Seekers, a sort of self-sufficient, heavily armed agent of the government. The Seekers are primarily used to suppress evil cults of the Inquisitum, but lately they have been deployed against the Shadow as well. Seekers wear their own customized armor, carry advanced weaponry enchanted to destroy evil creatures, and are trained in religion and life arcana. They are actually quite proficient at this. Seekers are above the law. They may commandeer any body of troops, and re-deploy them as needed. Thusly, one wishing to become a Seeker must pass the highest of scrutiny.
Signature Equipment: MS-4 Messenger: This customized suit of armor is equipped with a Rift Cannon on its left shoulder. This energy weapon's dark purple beams are meant to destroy negative arcana, such as warlock magic or Shadow energy, as well as enemies. The close combat weapon carried by a Seeker is inevitably magical in some way. The armored suit is also highly resistant to negative arcana attacks, and usually incorporates advanced sensors. It has slightly less armor then the Behemoth, but is a bit quicker and smaller.
Agent : Palsa's armies alone would stand little chance against their enemies without the might of their specialized Agents. Agents are covert operatives also trained in combat and leadership. There are four academies of agents in the Republic.
Rythe Academy Agent : Rythe Academy is the least-understood of all Palsan covert ops schools. Training its students in deep undercover operations, it is no surprise they are the most feared and hated of all Academies. Although they do not necessarily enjoy deception, they are willing to overcome such problems for their state. This is made much easier by use of the shape-changing drug Metamorphysine, otherwise considered a controlled substance in much of the Republic. Rythe agents are also masters of psychology, false friendship and seduction. Their magical skills are primarily devoted to astral magic, which can aid in their deception and manipulation, but many also take other fields of magic, and generally they are able enough combatants.
Signature Equipment: Metamorphysine: This drug allows the Rythe agent to alter his or her physical shape in an astonishingly quick time to a great extent. Though it can only be used in combat with extreme difficulty, it can change one's apparent species, appearance, physique, and up to 50% of their height can be increased or reduced. Metamorphysine is both rare and excruciatingly expensive, meaning this drug is rarely used, even though it can potentially be permanent if desired. It is also physically harmful to take, and causes severe side effects including nausea, agonizing pain, and illness or unconsciousness. It is no surprise that it is generally taken out of sight and in a stable situation.
Corive Academy Agent : Corive Academy is one of general espionage skills, although sabotage and theft factor highly on the graduate's list of training. Corive agents are masters of stealthy movement and, armed with their deadly Oritsu rifle, can fire a multitude of ammunition types, along with a possible deployable sensor array or drone turret and C10 charges. Most Agents in the field are Corive graduates. Corive graduates are medium in their combat and arcane skills as well.
Signature Equipment: Oritsu Rifle: This rifle is designed for modular payloads and can fire anything from a high-explosive shell to tranquillizer darts to a camera pod. The Oritsu normally fires imperator bullets, but it can also be muzzle-loaded in a pinch and will fire anything that can be blasted along. The Oritsu itself is also heavily modular and can be easily modified in such ways as different methods of firing-railgun versions of Oritsu rifles are common.
Nerisi Academy Agent : Nerisi Academy is the academy of assassins, and Nerisi agents are trained to kill with astonishing ease. Seemingly appearing from nowhere to strike with their lethal Hyperion Dart pistol or Darkmatter close combat weapons, they are masters of the quick kill and of melee and ranged combat. Because their unearthly grace and speed are an arcane reaction, they are rather weak in matters of arcana-a great deal of their power is used merely to maintain their skills. Nerisi also rarely wear heavy body armor of any kind.
Signature Equipment: Hyperion Dart and Darkmatter CCW: All Nerisi carry these two weapons. A Darkmatter CCW is any close combat weapon forged of a specialized alloy and charged with special arcane energy, and the Hyperion Dart is a lethal particle pistol. Though it has limited range and slow rate of fire, it packs an incredible punch in fact exceeding that of a standard rifle.
Xeire Academy Agent : Xeire Academy is the least espionage-related Academy of the Palsan intelligence service, specializing in survival behind enemy lines, guerilla warfare, and other strategies designed for wars of attrition. Xeire Agents are also the most popular of the Academies, as they are probably the least likely to betray you. They are expert snipers and fighters. Xeire soldiers are likely to use utilitarian arcana-generally of the life sphere- to keep themselves and their allies going as long as possible.
Signature Equipment: Hawkeye 7 Rifle: This powerful sniper rifle has a slow rate of fire but an incredible range and punch.
This hideous force of undead swarms across the galaxy, destroying anything living that comes in its path. Headed by its Necridian masters, it aims to dominate or destroy all living things. It has few concerns, morals, or taboos-the only thing that matters to it is victory.
Shadow society is dominated by the powerful Necridian race, of the Shadow Necridians faction. All undead are considered below a Necridian, and must accept any order without question. The one exception to this is the ravenous Blood Drinkers, Necridian vampires who are among the highest in rank. All Necridians plot against their equals, if not their betters, and familial ties or friendship is valued little- or at least in theory. Necridians obviously are as capable of love as any other race. However, their vicious god and goddess demand the sacrifice of any known lovers who transcend much beyond physical lust.
Shadow Necridians sacrifice any child at birth that shows any major flaw-from lack of physical attractiveness to lacking skill with magic. They shun physical combat and esteem arcana as the highest of arts. To them the dead are merely assets, and they would gladly raise their own kind if they could-Necridian corpses combust in unnatural flames soon after death, meaning that Blood-Drinkers must be created while the recipient is still alive.
Shadow- gun: Shadow technology is powered by an arcane necromantic energy field all undead and Necridians give off to some extent, colloquially called unholy energy or Shadow energy but scientifically known as E-571. This energy causes a minor to intense psychological reaction in most living things, wildness of the mind and such, when in low, widely dispersed regions-such as a Shadow-held ship- but can be adapted to cause devastating burns and wounds in high enough concentrations-thus Shadow guns.
Close combat weapons and armor have no uniform composition in the Shadow. Many are made of strange black steel or even of hardened human bone. Some are in excellent repair, others rusty and battered. All, however, are infused with Shadow energy and perform at full or nearly full efficiency.
Necridian Classes: Shadow Necridians have specific classes. Only Shadow Necridians can gain access to these classes.
Forsaken : The downtrodden Forsaken are those Necridians who have barely enough magical potential to save themselves from being sacrificed at birth-in other words a roughly human average. They turn to the arena of physical combat. Although their strength is only somewhat above the average NecridianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s, they are incredibly fast and agile, and their disembodied arms allow them to have an incredible reach, making them very, very deadly warriors. They occupy the very lowest rung of Necridian society and often serve as bodyguards.
Signature Equipment: Necridian Warrior Garb: This suit of light armor is durable and light, often engraved with arcane runes to speed its wearer further. It imparts incredible stamina and speed.
Master : These powerful Necridian arcanists are not impressive in physical combat. However, they are mighty users of the dark arts of chaos arcana and the grim schools of necromancy. Masters are far more powerful then their average human equivalent, but their dominance of necromancy is truly incredible. Among other powers is included a powerful form of telepathy Masters use to command bodies of the mindless versions of undead, and force the sentient ones to do their bidding.
Signature Ability: One of their most dire and powerful abilities is known as Simulacra. The Master selects a mindless undead creature under its control-rogue and free undead are immune- and possesses it. They then transform the thing into a duplicate of themselves. They may only control one body at a time and some of their arcane skill is lost, but the advantages of having a second body are obvious.
Blood-Drinker : These horrifying vampiric Necridian undead are the only members of their kind. Necridian Blood-Drinkers are generally old enough and powerful enough to have four to six arms. They are masters of dark arcana-chaos and death arcana are their forte, with some even experimenting in multi-sphere spells- and excellent close combatants. Blood-Drinkers are above Necridian law, and can accuse, try, and execute-or accuse and try posthumously as they desire. All Necridians fear and despise them because among their other faults, like many other vampires, they are cannibalistic. Most are nobles.
Signature Equipment: Kukris: These medium-length blades curve front-wards like a scythe, and are weighed for slashing attacks. They are of the finest metals, often embossed with necromantic runes, and most Blood-Drinkers carry four of them. The Kukri is an incredibly potent weapon and can often cut through armor with its razor-sharp edge and perfect weight. However, they are designed for the Necridian fighting style and few non-Necridians show much proficiency with these exotic blades.
Shadow Archon : These powerful Necridian wizards specialize in the use of arcana to perform or assist with nearly all physical tasks. They lose access to most worked arcana, but their physical frailty becomes mostly irrelevant. They become a creature totally of magic, able to project beams of dark arcana, deliver arcana-charged blows, and defend against attacks with fields of arcane force. Though none are as powerful as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“trueÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ spells, and they lack the shaping or refinement of a worked arcane function, performing them is a function of their being and requires little exertion or draining of a magical reserve.
Signature Ability: Archon Arcane Functions: The ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“physicalÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ attributes of an archon are somewhat unpredictable. Because they cannot be shaped or trained they can be extremely powerful one moment and not nearly as much so the next. In most cases, however, the arcane functions are reliable enough to exceed normal Necridian physical functions.
Shadow Classes: Shadow undead that are not of Necridian descent have no specific classes. They simply take a Generic class.
Not all survivors of the Core went the same direction. One group wandered far into the ghost stars past the known Outer Rim, unbeknownst to them the same area from which the Necridians came. Eventually they were so badly pressed that they were forced to create children in test tubes and speed up their maturity-basically they were born as teenagers. However, combined with the dark arcana permeating the region, the new children's genes, as well as those of their creators, became horribly corrupted, resulting in bizarre mutations, and strange enzymes and chemicals that could cause unpredictable capability fluctuations and sometimes even more horrendous temporary mutations. Fallen despise normal humans and other races for their 'normalcy' and resent their genetic stability. However, they are extremely powerful, often sporting minor, hard-to notice natural armor such as mottled areas of scales, or such natural weapons as claws and horns, spikes, or even wings.
The Fallen are against all other factions normally, but their existence is as of yet unknown.
(Note: the race 'Fallen'also applies to persons suffering from arcane overdose for long periods of time without any treatment or cessation, though such a condition is so rare as to be almost unknown.)
Primary Equipment: Same as Alliance.
(Note: Fallen classes are really more like breeds then classes.)
Shredder : The incredibly powerfully built Smashers lumber across the battlefield, tearing anything in their way apart. The battle mutations of Smashers are especially inhuman; grim spines protruding from shoulders and knees, incredibly powerful, terrible limbs spiked, scaled, and studded, ghastly, inhuman grins on their gaunt faces. It's no surprise that they can drive blows and weapons into tank armor. Smashers are close-combat specialists. Their battle mutation is time-consuming and extremely painful even by the standards of Fallen, but once they can undergo it they are a force to be feared. Smashers cannot wear normal armor or use standard ranged weapons when in their monstrous form-they are simply too huge.
Signature Weapon: Smasher CCW: A variety of natural and enormous manufactured weapons, Smasher close combat weapons are always incredibly powerful and usually rather brutal, leaving trails of groaning, maimed wounded and torn-apart dead in their wake. They are, after all, powerful enough to force their way between the gaps in heavy armor!
Daemons : The strongest of will and determined of the Fallen gather in small groups before a battle, honing their obsession for vengeance and vindication to such an edge that it warps the fabric of arcana about them. The result is these soldiers, known as Daemons for their obsessive hatred and bitterness, warp the very trails of arcana about them, giving supernatural aspects to the cruelly edged, exotic weapons they carry and making them particularly deadly against spell-casters. Spells bounce off them or are greatly weakened when used against them-the maelstrom of emotion is simply too chaotic. In addition, it only increases their rate of mutation, making more of their mutations major in scope instead of minor. Daemons are especially psychotic and often unpredictable, preferring a bloody fray to anything else.
Signature Equipment: Combi-Weapon: Daemons use exotic close combat weapons with ranged guns set in their bodies. The most common example is a one-handed sword, with no tip per se, that when used in a thrust unleashes a pulse pistol shot from the hole at the end. As a result Daemons are always ready for either ranged or close combat. Combi-weapons are often exotic and vary from person to person.
Sphinx : Sphinx are yet another variety of Fallen super-mutation. These quadruped, partially leonine lower-bodied Arcanists have evolved an intense sensitivity to arcana in any form. They can see and feel it at all times, and they are adept enough to attempt to sense and counter spells at a much quicker rate then normal. In addition to this Sphinx receive quite a bit of arcane training. Though the shape of a Sphinx complicates their use of equipment, despite their leonine fur and some difference of build they are still relatively human in anatomy down to the ribs and they are still capable of humanlike movement and stance, with some difficulty, so the problem is not insurmountable. All the same, many Sphinxes wear gear more reminiscent of creature barding then modern armor. They carry weapons strapped to their backs, but most Sphinx utilize them only rarely, preferring their incredible arcane prowess. Also, Sphinx have a felineÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s agility and are quite fast.
Signature Ability: Sphinx Arcane Sensitivity: Sphinx can literally ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“seeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ arcana as easily as breathing. This has a variety of effects, but foremost among them is that they can easily sense spells being cast, or their effects, even in cases of illusions, magical deception, and other enchantments. They can also instinctively grasp at the forces of arcana to create temporary close combat weapons, much like a traditional arcanist.
Fleshdancer : Through careful meditation and iron-hard discipline and control over both mind and matter, some Fallen gain a modicum of control over their racial instability. By using this they can manipulate parts of their body at will through use of special disciplines, meaning that while they can look quite inhuman, Fleshdancers are also the ones who are best equipped emotionally to deal with 'normal' people. Fleshdancers have no consistent uniform or loyalty. All, however, are mystics. The Fleshdancers choose one of two signs-yin or yang- and this sign is key to what disciplines they practice. Examples of yin techniques are regeneration, emitting a healing balm, or a deceptive aura of helplessness, while examples of yang techniques are causing razored spines to form from bones and erupt from points on one's body in a piercing attack (obviously with a healing discipline to ensure you don't kill or injure yourself!), enlarging one's size to increase muscular power, spraying corrosive fluids, powders, or poisons, or other offensive attacks. As a rule, there are few Fleshdancers who are proficient in true arcana-most simply must concentrate on their own abilities!
Signature Ability: Fleshdancing: Based on the attributes of 'yin' and 'yang', positivity and negativity respectively, these powers have a variety of paranormal but biological effects. They are not to be underestimated! Fleshdancing is called such because the disciplines involved often actually look like dance-a routine of physical motions engrains the necessary steps into muscle memory.
Gene Scribe : These Fallen scientists are geniuses in the field of genetic manipulation. They often serve as counselors and teachers in addition to techs. However, despite their roles as comfort to Fallen soldiers, they are also capable of being quite callous, and often will experiment upon other soldiers. Despite this, most Fallen would die for their Gene Scribe gladly. Gene Scribes carry a variety of exotic biology equipment, usually able to experiment with soldiers on the battlefield. They are adequate combatants but excellent medics.
Signature Equipment: Volatile Concoction: This somewhat unstable chemical immediately induces a massive mutation to any Fallen's systems. Some are random, while others temporarily change a Fallen into a targeted form. Such a change is, as one might imagine, unbelievably painful, but Fallen soldiers will rarely refuse. It lasts approximately two hours. Preparing the Concoction takes time in a lab; generally a Scribe carries about fifteen doses of it on their person.
Ironmaster : This class is roughly the equivalent of the Alliance Machina Semideus. Like them, they are amazingly good with machinery, and like them, they possess a powerful tool to work with machines. The Ironmaster, however, has that ability due to genetics. They have amazing senses of sight, touch, and smell. Their forearms and hands are actually an extremely malleable substance instead of actual flesh and bone, meaning that they can simply form an uplink to a computer, a tool to work with a machine, or a close combat weapon, as needed. They are adequate combatants, if bad at arcana.
Signature Equipment: Ironmaster 'Hands'. These organs, in additional to being a close combat weapon in a pinch, allows the Ironmaster to better manipulate machines. It can form an interface with computer systems, repair mechanics, and other useful functions.
Independent: These individuals follow no specific faction, or at least none of the ones listed here. Examples include members of various Pirate bands, free traders, adventurers, and other oddball groups. Being unattached to any faction is a risky proposition. They have no especial training based on military programs, and their resources are only what they personally can provide-meaning that while their weapons, armor, and assets are much more conceptually varied, in truth they are far more limited due to simple lack of resources. Purchasing a military-grade weapon, for example, is quite difficult if one wants to get anything better then a basic slug rifle such as any civilian might own, or at best a laser rifle used by mercenaries-if you get anything better then be prepared to pay a pretty penny for it. Finally, if you are an Independent, count out having any sort of military support-support you will badly need.
In short, Independent characters may only choose from Generic classes. They will not be members of the Alliance/Palsan task force except possibly as mercenaries and will have no standing with them-they are civilians.
Typical Ranged Weapons Available to Independent Characters:
Slug (hunting, assault rifles, shotguns, etc&...reliable power and common ammunition, legal to carry)
Laser (Laser weapons have acceptable power and are legal to carry. They have excellent range.)
Pulse (Common Alliance system. Average power and excellent range, fires in bursts. No ammunition. Illegal to be carried by a civilian.)
Imperator (Charged-bullet system of the Palsan Defense Forces. Good power, good rate of fire. Illegal to be carried by civilians.)
Shredder Crystal-Particle (Inquisitum weapons style. Ownership is illegal of civilians and questionable for soldiers-special permits must be carried so as to ensure the owner is not a member of the Inquisitum his or herself. The SCP uses blocks of crystals as its ammunition, pulverizing them with pressure, sound, or arcana waves. It then sprays the tiny bits out in a tight line, shredding things like sandpaper. Very bloody and painful, but very effective as well. Rifles are Screamers, SMGs Fleshtearers, and pistols Agonizers.)
Fireweb (Arackin weapons system, fires bolts of argent plasma. Very effective against vehicles. Illegal.)
Shadow-Gun (See the Shadow faction description. Only rogue Shadow or Necridians can use these weapons effectively without some other source of Shadow energy. Illegal.)
FNG (Various Star Raptor customized weapons. FNG stands for F-cking Nasty Gun. They tend to be huge, unreliable, but devastating, but those are the only common factors. Illegal to own.)
Generic Classes: Classes usable by all factions
Medic: Medics are common in both Palsa and the Alliance. These brave men and women rush into battle without a great deal of combat training to treat the injured. The capabilities of a medic are mediocre in both arcana and physical combat, but they are proficient in natural, non-arcane methods of healing.
Signature Equipment: Trauma Gauntlet: All medics wear this expensive piece of equipment. This gauntlet is a treatment, diagnosis, and curative tool all in one, capable of curing minor wounds, treating moderate ones, and slowing critical wounds. It has a vast database of diseases, poisons, and afflictions, both magical and natural, and a variety of curative operations on its memory. The gauntlet works by emitting a beam that stimulates a healing reaction-in short merely project the beam and let the gauntlet do its work. It also has a diagnostic scanning beam. However, in addition to its other drawbacks, the Gauntlet requires a heavy power source and thus must be used sparingly, giving its reactor time to recharge.
Soldier: The vast majority of soldiers are of this class. Soldiers are medium in all areas-physical combat, arcana, etc... They are generally capable in most areas not related to combat as well. Soldiers use non-magical weapons more often then not.
Signature Equipment: Heavy Weapon: Many soldiers carry a heavy weapon into battle besides their rifle and close combat weapon, such as a flamethrower, rocket launcher, etc...
Arcanist: These individuals are professional users of arcana. They study primarily in arcane methods of battle and performance of tasks, though they are not necessarily bad at physical combat. An Arcanist's skills depend entirely on their specialization-some arcanists prefer explosive magic such as fireballs while others enhance their natural combat skills with arcana before charging into battle. The methods of a typical Arcanist involve a use of ritualistic, personalized phrases known as keys. Using these keys, they bend the forces of wild arcana to their will, refine it, and shape it into a spell. However, as with all shaped arcana, this is easy to detect and predict.
Signature Equipment: Arcane Focus: This object may be practically anything, but inevitably the Arcanist uses it to draw upon the forces of arcana a bit better.
Espionage Specialist : Primarily composed of professional thieves and spies, the members of this class perform acts of espionage. Military examples include generic scouts and spies. While their skills are somewhat limited in a conventional military action, sometimes the ability to circumvent security as these professionals do can come in handy.
Signature Equipment: Thief's gear: This includes lock-picks, small holdout weaponry, occasional Stealthsuits, and other odds and ends useful for a thief or spy.