Soga was a largely peaceful world, its people were humanoid and intelligent. The Sogans had reached Technological Parity Level 2 when the culture was rocked by violence and war. A small sect of Sogan technosorcerers had unwittingly attracted the attention of a powerful cosmic horror, a being they would name Unt-pol-smiab, or the Devourer of Worlds. Unt corrupted and destroyed all of the Sogan colonies, physically consuming the space habitats with the tens of thousands of inhabitants screaming to their deaths. Unt-pol-smiab saved Soga itself for last and as the eldritch cosmic horror absorbed all the life from the planet, a number of Sogans attempted to escape in experimental ships. The cloud of monstrosities that swarmed around the vast corpus of Unt chased and destroyed these escaping ships. Stavarang and a small cadre of genetically modified Sogan constructs escaped successfully. Rather than dashing away at high velocity they boarded a slow drive ship, entered cryostasis and hoped for the best.
10,000 years later the ship decelerated into a stable orbit around a small moon, and Stavarang and her minions were awakened. The ship had no destination, but once it detected EM signals it homed in on them and 'parked' itself.
Queen Stavarang is short by human standards, barely reaching five feet tall. She has an olive tan complexion, black hair, and dresses in a style of fashion that can only be described as techno-baroque. She wears large hoop style dresses that are of a strange (classic Sogan) style, and heavily adorned with ruffles and frills, beadwork and jewels. The different colors and patterns have specific meanings in the Sogan culture, but it is something that she won't discuss due the emotional trauma of being the last survivor of her entire race. She also wears a variety of large mantle like collars, many of which are adorned with spikes, arcane heiroglyphics and strange symbols. These are arcanotech devices, that work in tandem with her Sogan Summoners Staff. She has a high pitched shrill voice, spews forth a constant stream of insults, verbal abuses and diatribes that either taper off into a stream of Sogan low speech or a rant about migraines and insomnia.
Idiots! Fools! Oo'ale! Simpletons! Obica! Hini! Ste'kol!
Stavarang is not, nor was ever a queen. Soga was a democratic world that never had a fuedal period, and never had the concept of an absolutist leader. On Soga, Stavarang was a docent of an arcano-tech academy where the precepts of 'magic' were taught to aspirants. She was involved with the Cult of the Unt-pol-smiab which at that time she thought was just an exclusive society of elite magi. As the rituals continued, she enjoyed the wealth and power that came from channeling the new seemingly endless power of Unt. Then the eldritch space god manifested after a massive ritual performed by the Cult, worked into a major social event across the Sogan star system. Pleased with such a bounty, Unt-pol-smiab devoured the entire race and culture. The event took six months, where the Sogans fought the god with all of their weapons. It was a bloody but noble effort. Many Sogans had the luxury of a normal death, explosive decompression, blunt force trauma, or radiation.
The Zyur is out of gas, the engines are fried, and the only part that still works is the computer. But it did it's job. It got us away from Soga, and the Beast of Ten Thousand Hungers. The last task the Zyur did was to sacrifice it's parts to build our new home on this desolate world. Once we take this inhabited world, the ship will be rebuilt, and New Soga will rise again, with Queen Stavarang to command it.
Stavarang commandeered a slow drive ship, a sublight capable ship equipped with stasis pods. Once the ship was stocked with supplies, her arcane library and wardrobe she picked out the best and brightest of her minions to accompany her on a desperate escape attempt. A month and a half before Unt-pol-smiab reached Soga she fled. The ship would have easily been caught by the Sogan fleet but all it's remaining ships were tied up fighting the space god while the sorcerers of Soga poured over ancient tomes and invoked potent magic to turn the god away, or to seal it up somehow. Stavarang knew there was no stopping the beast once it was summoned and their work was in vain.
- Sunglow: a leonine cyborg, Sunglow was born/assembled on one of the outer Sogan colonies. Being a tall and proud figure, his kind was intended to be manual laborers and to do jobs that required more physical presence than was possessed by the small and somewhat frail Sogans. He is very tough, and wears a suit of golden colored Sogan power armor. The suit gives him the ability to fly short distances, and he carries a rapid fire assault blaster. Sunglow is absolutely loyal to Stavarang and is both her prime general and bodyguard. Stavarang acquired Sunglow and clad him in gold as a status symbol of her success as Docent.
- Splinter 36744-8C: a vaguely canine genetic construct, the Splinters were made as servants to the Soga. They were dour and hardy, resilient and creative. Splinter 8C is now in it's older years, looking at possibly it's last century of life. 8C is a brilliant chemist and alchemist, geneticist and arcanotechnician. Splinter had been a possession of the Stavarang family for many decades, and Stavarang couldnt bear the thought of leaving it behind.
- Pellick: tall, pale, and clad all in black Pellick is a Sogan sycophant. The sycophants were created to personal attendents to the Sogans, tending to their physical deisres and needs. He is neither particularly smart, nor particularly strong. He is also not very alive either. The Sogan sycophants are for lack of a better term, Techno-zombies. Pellick died a century before Stavarang was born, and is likely to still exist long after she is dead, provided that he isn't destroyed. Pellick was a criminal in life, and once he died, his remaining sentence was such that he was cranially modified and underwent necrocybernetic augmentation. He was purchased as a attendant to the Docent, and Stavarang wasn't going to leave him behind.
- Sorrek: Another genetic construct, Sorrek is a living garbage disposal and walking tank. Where Sunglow is a general, a paragon of an officer, Sorrek is a battering ram. Short and warty, Sorrek is horrible to look at, with tusks and appaling hygiene.
- Zake: the Zake were a rare sight on Soga, until the last weeks. The Zake are created via techo-magic where they are animated mechanical shells. They are not robots, but non organic lifeforms. The Zake were footsoldiers for the last bit of the Sogan expanse and Stavarang took one with her. She created a small army of Zake to facilitate the construction of her lunar base, as well as to run operations of mines, power collection stations and the like. When Stavarang decided she had enough power to attack the inhabited planet, the assault was led by Zake soldiers.
Sogan Summoning Staff: This staff is part symbol of the office of Docent, but has been repeatedly infused with cosmic powers so that it's original might has been multiplied a dozen times over. Creatures summoned with the staff can appear at a massive size, easily the same size as a standard issue mecha or as much as 50% larger. Said creatures have their attibutes properly inflated to match their physical size.
Sogan Ornamental Mantle: a series of metallic dress collars of large size, each of these have different enhancement bonuses. They are low level abilities, with the most common being increasing the effective level of a spellcaster, or increasing their magical potency a step. Enhancements to appearance, diplomacy skill, and intellect are also possible.
Cyclopsis Admetix: the last Sogan mecha, the Cyclopsis Admetix was a powerful war machine, armed with multiple powerblades, force cannons and arcanotech gear. The machine is in poor shape after being unused for ten thousand years. The power core has bled out, and the weapon systems are badly corroded. If the Admetix could be repaired and refueled, Sunglow could walk the machine straight through any defences short of an eldritch manifestation.
Queen Stavarang was not content to sit idle in a lunar mansion staffed by a small army of zakes while Pellick lavished praise on her. On Soga she was a woman of importance and had the admiration, and fear of many. She desired to have that power again. With her teleporters functional and the zakes ready she launched her attack on the planet. It was supposed to be a short easy fight, after which she would assume rightful leadership of the primitive world. The inhabitants instead were heavily armed and prepared for her. They had mecha and variable tech aerofighters, power armor troopers, and energy weapons. The Zake invasion did cause a good deal of damage, but it was beaten back and destroyed. Stavarang would need a year to replace to lost synthetic soldiers.
She would eventually explore the creation of Magnagogs. The magnagogs were mega scale summonings, and required enough power that she could only maintain one at a time. The magnagog monster would be summoned, armored and armed and sent to the world with a group of zake warriors in either captured local mecha, or in Sogan style mecha that were beign produced on the moon. This conflict has caused a good deal of damage to the civilization on the planet, decimating cities and at times causing massive black outs, tsunamis, and the like.
Teleportation and Warfare
The Magnagogs and zake mecha don't arrive on earth in dropships or combat vessels. Rather they are teleported from the surface of the moon to the surface of the earth. This path is limited to line of sight, so the attacks only occur when the moon is in the sky and when the weather is clear. Overcast conditions are able to block the view of the teleportation system so the raids only occur in well lit days, and only very rarely at night. Stavarang has made no effort to adjust her teleporting system to compensate for poor weather conditions and normally a Sogan arcanotech would be able to make these modifications in a matter of hours. This scattered rapid assault mode of warfare has made almost every spot on the surface of the planet a viable target, and large scale defences are largely unable to respond fast enough to stop a raid. Targets of potential interest are guarded by a small contigent of mecha and armored vehicles with an emphasis not on combat endurance but maximum amount of damage that can be inflicted at a time.
Given the limited resources on the lunar base, Stavarang will recall her troops to the moon if they are faring poorly in the field. Usually destroying or crippling the lead magnagog or destroying a significant number of zake mecha will cause a withdrawal. (50% lost has a 25% chance of recall. 75% lost has a 50% chance of recall. Each unit lost after this has the chance of incurring an emergency recall.) The teleportation system takes 22 minutes to recharge enough to pull back a single command unit, and 45 minutes to recall the entire force (forced charging usually means its 10-50% longer time until the next raid).
Objectives of Tele-Raids
Objective Raid: The forces arrive with the intent to occupy a certain space, usually to take a specific object. The most common raids involve zake power armor troopers smash and grabbing food supplies, water, and the like. Conditions on the lunar surface are far from ideal. These raids are small scale and the forces might teleport in over a matter of several hours before converging on a target and then once it is secured mass teleport out with the objective. Mecha can be sent on these raids to steal heavy gear, raid supply depots or to steal native mecha to bolster depleted forces.
Diversonary Raid: Usually led by a magnagog, this raid has the intent to seek and destroy something, with infrastructure being popular targets like power plants, factory units, hydroelectric dams and military bases. These are the most visible attacks and are the most likely to met with equal or greater force. Most units sent on diversionary raids are considered expendable, aside from the magnagog.
Terror Raid: The worst of the worst attacks, terror raids involve a large number of mecha and sometimes two or three magnagogs with the full intent of wreaking as much havoc as possible. These raids involve the attackers teleporting into the heart of a major city and causing as much damage and as many casualties as possible. A raid into a major city can cause tens of thousands of deaths and enough damage to send a local economy into a nose dive.
Occupation Actions: these actions are no longer performed. A large force of mecha and foot soldiers would teleport into an area with the intent to spread out and hold the terrain. The initial actions against the planet were occupation actions, but these were battered back with heavy losses. Considering how long it takes to replace lost zakes, these actions were soon cancelled as being entirely too costly.
What Madness is This?
For a long time I've been considering the potential evolution of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Instead of a monster of the week Sentai show, it is easy to draw out themes of loss, personal suffering, and the devastation of war. The magnagogs are the monster of the week (I can draw lines between them and the Engels from CthulhuTech, which are more powerful and durable than most mecha, and require a five to one ratio to be beaten) while zords are mecha that are just heavily stylized and massively themed to each show. Drop the combiner team motif, and the zords can be regular mecha, and give the putty patrollers (who named some of these things?) their own foot soldier-esque mecha and it's a war story against invading aliens who are just barely beat back each time they attack. Rather than mounting massive assaults intended to conquer continents or nations, the aliens launch terrorist attacks to demoralize or destabilize the residence civilization. Some nations clamor that if they would surrender the attacks would stop, while others are making ambitious plans to find the alien's lunar base and take the fight to them.
Mighty Mecha Warriors: The PCs are mechwarriors attached to defending a certain location, and the intel department has pinpointed their area as the next most likely area for an alien attack. They are on high alert, and then the magnagog and it's retinue of zake-bots. The PCs are thrown into a pitched firefight against aliens, and while they must destroy the invaders, they also have to protect whatever their objective is (power station, science lab, dingus of the week) and minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage.
Infiltrators: While the war rages on the PCs are involved in the intelligence department, looking for humans who are alien sympathizers, informants and the like. Instead of giant robots and guns, they have to deal with negotiations, diplomacy, subterfuge and the like.