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ID: 5439

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March 26, 2009, 9:50 pm

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The Dark Crusaders

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Raging across the galaxy for a decade The Dark Crusaders have no equal in battle or number. So many planets have fallen and so many armies vanquished that nearly all have lost hope.

    
History    
"Few remember the origination of The Dark Crusaders. They have been around for a long time though no one is really certain, they were found a hundred years ago by some explorers scanning a far off sector. Originally they were a race of beings with no name. They were deemed ‘The Keerg’ (keerg) because they refused to give any information for eighty years.    
     
"Even after that they only traded knowledge, they gave a detailed map of an entire quadrant for a map of the positions of the stars and planets of the rest of the galaxy. It was found that the keerg had been without war for nearly one thousand years. A fact that brought the admiration of many to them. The keerg were always more than fair in their trades and soon became trusted by all.     
    
"As they traded more and more what they gave began to be abused as all things are. They gave the new technology of teraforming and it was reverse engineered to be a weapon that could do the equivalent of an hydrogen-bomb with out the radioactive side effects. That is only an example, a score of things were abused to the cost of life and they seemed not to notice.     
    
"During this time people from all over the galaxy came by the scores and lived with the keerg in their flying cities. After eighty nine years there was estimated to be over one billion humans living with them, upon hearing this estimation they informed those who had come up with this figure that there were in fact ten billion, three-hundred sixty million, four-hundred seventy nine thousand, two-hundred and eighty five humans currently living in their cities.     
    
"On that same day news arrived that a rebellion had started and had won a few battles. In the meantime a civil war had erupted and chaos ensued. Before the hour was up the keerg had received messages from all three opposing sides requesting either a war pact or threatening them if they joined any other side. They seemed disturbed by this and said that they were planning to remain neutral but then they scanned a record of crime, corruption, cruelty, and the amount that was known and left unopposed. It is usually very difficult to know for sure what keerg are feeling but after that report was scanned it could not have been mistaken by anyone, rage, anger, and disappointment were all sensed in such a powerful way as to bring the ambassadors to their knees with fear though the keerg had never shown a single act of violence. The ambassadors were told that they had two hours to leave to their homes or to stay and live with the keerg. A week later it was known why.    
    
"The keerg closed their borders and patrolled it with warships.They trained the humans living with them into soldiers. They allowed information to leak out and so it is known that all of the soldiers are volunteers. After a month the number of ships patrolling the border became one tenth of what it was originally and a fleet of immense size and strength went to every planet of the rebellion. At each planet they conveyed this message,    
    
    
                  ‘Humans, we are The Dark Crusaders, due to necessity we have come to invade, but we will only harm those who oppose us. However, we will take no prisoners and we will utterly destroy those who resist and no harm will come to all others.’     
    
    
  
"After the entire rebellion was stopped they continued unabated through the rest of the quadrant. it has taken them ten years but along the way countless millions have died trying to resist. A score of fleets have been destroyed with out a single life pod escaping. All non-military ships and personnel leave the planets unhindered but only from uncaptured star ports.     
    
"It is not known with absolute certainty why they call themselves ‘The Dark Crusaders’ but the most probable reason is that they know that they have impure work (‘Dark’) that must never-the-less be done for the good of all (‘Crusaders’). Many do not believe this. Instead they think that the keerg are evil and were just biding their time. Also if they were not evil then they would show a little more mercy or call themselves ‘The Crusaders of Light’ or some such nonsense. Having lived among them for much of my life and in all likeliness the most knowledgeable in there ways, I do not believe them to be evil in any large degree though it is hard to tell with such beings.  
  
Keerg Physiology    
"Keerg are like a sphere of flesh which levitates in the air and is five feet in diameter with a round mouth in the top. They have thirteen tentacles ranging from eight to twelve feet in length depending on age. Their flesh is slightly slimy and a reddish color ranging in shade from bright red to almost black. Their organs are like those of humans except they are held in a sack within the body. Keerg lack any bladder or accompanying organs and it is determined that the slime their skin produces is how the indigestible material is removed from the organism. It is believed that they have a telepathic ability ranging any where from a type of empathy to mind control. Keerg live for any length of time but as they age they slowly become more susceptible to diseases and viruses. Like reptiles they never stop growing but continue to get larger as their life goes on.  
    
Tactics  
"The Dark Crusaders do not harm those who do not resist but will go on total war with any who so much as fire a shot at them or hold them back. Total war does not mean ‘fight war at all times’ it means more of ‘fight war every where’ or to wage war on every thing that can help your enemy. Food is either taken or destroyed, no building is left standing, the people are killed, everything. On the ground they have the numbers and the will to overrun their enemies. This is a favored tactic, as well as planetary bombardment on heavily fortified positions. They are masterful at combat and choosing the best maneuvers for each battle.  
  
Motivation  
"The Dark Crusaders are driven by a sense of needing to stop corruption, as well as the belief that a thousand years with out war is a good reason to think that the keerg are more worthy to rule than corrupt humans. The soldiers are fanatical and would rather be doing few other things than grimly wage this ‘holy’ war with the rest of the galaxy. Though they do not enjoy their work and would much rather every one join them so there wouldn’t be as much death. They are not evil but they sometimes do evil acts, They justify these acts as most would justify massacring demons or other fiends.  
  
"Their insignia consists of a sable charge in the shape of a cross on a field of white. This insignia is on every last uniform and, when seen, inspires an almost perceivable increase in determination. 
 
Weaponry  
"The ships are above average in all respects: shielding, weapons, engines, hull plating, and so on. The ground troops number in the billions and are armed with laser rifles; many are also armed with small submachine guns, also laser. They are outfitted with medium battle armor that is a perfect cross between flexibility, weight, and strength while insulating them fifty-percent toward a comfortable temperature from what it is on the outside.  
 
"We captured a few men and tried to study all we could from them. We took off their armor and studied it, hoping to gain some information to derive a tactic or locate a weak spot. There was no apparent weak spot but we did learn a lot about their equipment. We found that there was a type of gas that existed on the inner part of the suit. This gas was found to do little aside from slightly numbing the wearer of the armor. This numbing was not much but it reduced most irritation and made hard ground seem softer to sleep on. Interrogation got us no where and when we resorted to torture on one of them as soon as he saw our plans for him he struggled with his guards so hard he broke his own neck. When we tried with another he threw his guards down and purposefully broke his neck. After that the others were held as prisoners of war. 
 
"Their tanks are low-profile, only perhaps five feet high by eight feet across, circular, and rolling on a balanced, metal sphere. They have two guns: one is fixed, the other is lighter and rotates on top. The tanks have been deemed ‘Saucers’ due to their shape. The saucers are capable of some impressive speed considering that they’re tanks; up to eighty miles an hour in ideal conditions. There are also armored vehicles of sorts. They move as the saucers but are longer, higher, and have two spheres instead of one. There are no weapons of any kind but they can carry a dozen men at a time and are incredibly fast. 
 
"The Dark Crusaders have ‘fighters’ of sorts; small ships with guns on them, no warp speed, and the ability to go from the starship to the planet and back again. But they are different. They are called Devils. Slightly larger than normal fighters they house two pilots and a small number of drones. One of the pilots flies the ship, fires the main weapon, and shoots the light smart missiles. The other pilot sends out the drones, one at a time, and remotely controls them. These drones, deemed ‘Hornets’, are armed with laser machine guns and light armor that only holds up to strong winds and dust particles. When the energy is depleted or the fuel runs low (a good five minuets of ammo, ten of fuel) the drones are sent directly at the nearest, heavily armored target; be it a tank, artillery, bunker, side of a spaceship, or large cluster of men. On impact they detonate in an extremely heavy explosion. About a thirty-foot lethal shock, plus shrapnel. There are at least six of these drones in each devil. 

Recent Years
   "Now the civil war has ended and the humans united once more. Those that serve the keerg are no longer considered human and there for don’t count with this statement. Our government has enlisted the help of all the engineers and scientist to improve the design of the ships and weaponry. All of the preparations for war that could be made are being done. In the last few months we have sent larger fleets against smaller sections of the enemy and have won quite a few of the engagements, but nothing large yet. On the ground we’re holding our own most of the time but it’s a losing battle. Who knows maybe a few brave men are all that’s needed to stop these invaders but as yet none have stepped forward. The draft has begun even though many were against it. Hopefully we shall prevail."    
    
     -Norman Oswald, Eighth Ambassador
  
For Fantasy  
Many of the readers of this submission may prefer to play a fantasy game (ie: no ships, no guns, etc.). Due to this I have rewritten The Dark Crusaders for such context. Simply replace topics of the same heading with those below. The only other change is that the influence is world wide instead of trans world.  
  
History    
"Few remember the origination of The Dark Crusaders. They have been around for a long time though no one is really certain, their originators were found a hundred years ago by some explorers mapping far off lands. Originally they were a race of beings with no name. They were deemed ‘The Keerg’ (k’ee’rg) because they refused to give any information for a solstice.  
     
"After that they only traded knowledge, they gave a detailed map of an entire continent for a map of the positions of the kingdoms of the rest of the known world. It was found that the keerg had been with out war for nearly one thousand years but before that is unknown. The keerg were always more than fair in their trades and soon became trusted by all those who traded with them.    
    
"As they traded more and more what they gave began to be abused as all things are. They gave new engineering for an aqueduct and it was copied for a way to kill great numbers with rolling stones from far away. That is only an example, a score of things were abused to the cost of life and they seemed not to notice.     
    
"During this time people of all the races in the world came by the scores and lived with the keerg in their flying cities. After eighty nine years there was estimated to be over one million humans living with them, upon hearing this estimation they informed those who had come up with this figure that there were in fact ten million, three-hundred sixty thousand, four-hundred seventy nine humans.     
    
"On that same day news arrived that a three-way war had broken out among several kingdoms. Before the tenday was up the keerg had received messages from all three opposing sides requesting either a war pact or threatening them if they joined any other side. They seemed disturbed by this and said that they were planning to remain neutral but then they looked at a record of crime, corruption, cruelty, and the amount that was known and left unopposed in those kingdoms. It is usually very difficult to know for sure what keerg are feeling but after that report was seen it could not have been mistaken by anyone; rage, anger, and disappointment were all sensed in such a powerful way as to bring the ambassadors to their knees with fear though the keerg had never shown a single act of violence. The ambassadors were told that they had two days to leave to their homes or to stay and live with the keerg. Seven days later it was known why.    
    
"The keerg closed their borders and patrolled it with bands of mercenaries. They trained the humans living with them into soldiers. They allowed information to leak out and so it is known that all of the soldiers are volunteers. After a month the number of mercenaries patrolling the border became one tenth of what it was originally, all new soldiers, and an army of immense size and strength went to every city of one of the kingdoms. At each city they conveyed this message,    
    
    
                  ‘We are The Dark Crusaders, due to necessity we have come to invade, but we will only harm those who oppose us. However, we will take no prisoners and we will utterly destroy those who resist, but only those who resist.’     
    
    
"After the entire kingdom was conquered they continued unabated through the next kingdom. It has taken them ten years but along the way countless thousands have died trying to resist. A score of armies have been destroyed with out a single man escaping. All non-military wagons and horses and people leave the cities unhindered but only from uncaptured places.     
    
"Now the war has ended and one of the kingdoms has come out victorious. Our king has enlisted the help of all the mages and scholars to improve the design of the siege engines and weaponry. All of the preparations for war that could be made are being done. In the last few months we have sent larger armies against smaller sections of the enemy and have won quite a few of the engagements, but nothing big yet. In the larger battles we’re holding our own most of the time but it’s a losing war. Who knows maybe a few brave men are all that’s needed to stop these invaders though none have stepped forward yet. The draft has begun even though many were against it. Hopefully we shall prevail.  
  
"It is not known with absolute certainty why they call themselves ‘The Dark Crusaders’ but the most popular idea is that they know that they have impure work (‘Dark’) that must never-the-less be done for the good of all (‘Crusaders’). Many do not believe this. Instead they think that the keerg are evil and were just biding their time. Also if they were not evil then they would show a little more mercy or call themselves ‘The Crusaders of Light’ or some such nonsense. Having lived among them for much of my life and in all likeliness the most knowledgeable in there ways, I do not believe them to be evil in any large degree though it is hard to tell with such beings.  
  
Motivation  
"The Dark Crusaders are driven by a sense of needing to stop corruption, as well as the belief that a thousand years with out war is a good reason to think that the keerg are more worthy to rule than corrupt humans. The soldiers are fanatical and would rather be doing few other things than grimly wage this ‘holy’ war with the rest of the world. Though they do not enjoy their work and would much rather every one join them so there wouldn’t be as much death. They are not evil but they sometimes do evil acts, They justify these acts as most would justify massacring demons or other fiends. They have the numbers and the will to overrun their enemies and it is a favored tactic. They are masterful at combat and choosing the best maneuvers for each battle.  
  
Weaponry  
"The soldiers are above average in all respects: armor, weapons, supplies, healing, and magic. They number in the high thousands and are armed with mighty swords and spears of a strong, hard metal that is better than steel. Many are also armed with magic weapons. They are outfitted with medium armor that is a perfect cross between flexibility, weight, and strength while keeping them warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. 
 
"We captured a few men once. Interrogation got us no where and when we resorted to torture on one of them no sooner had he seen our intents then he struggled with his guards so hard he broke his own neck. When we tried with another he threw his guards down and purposefully broke his neck. After that the others were held as prisoners of war." 

  
  
               -Norman Oswald, Ambassador of the King



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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted CaptainPenguin
November 21, 2008, 17:53
0xp
Interesting, interesting. It has a lot of potential, and I like the bizarre description of the creatures themselves and their justifications for their actions. However, it reads very awkwardly and some parts are confusing. Also, why do they call themselves the "Dark Crusaders"? Do they culturally associate darkness with good or law or whatever?
Murometz
November 21, 2008, 21:46
0xp
Well, pretty much what Cap said. There are some very interesting concepts in here and I like the format you used, but yes, some parts are somwehat confusing.
Hrofgar
November 22, 2008, 16:41
0xp
Updated: Added the explanation for the name. I will get to the unclear parts when I have the chance
Hrofgar
December 1, 2008, 17:53
0xp
Updated: Cleared up a few things and added some stuff that I realized I had forgotten.
Voted Maggot
December 3, 2008, 8:43
0xp
I actually like this sub quite a bit. It's bizzare and haunting on so many levels.
Murometz
December 3, 2008, 16:26
0xp
To me, not so much haunting, but definitely bizarre! (in a good way)

The Keerg are a pretty fascinating species. Lots of interesting details. I think maybe you could have shortened this a bit. While the 2 seperate primers, one for fantasy and one for guns/ships game is kinda cool, from an aesthetic standpoint, I'd squeeze that into a more general primer, allowing people to populate their distinctive worlds with these beings, by adapting them as they see fit.

After rereading this though, I do find that I like it better the second time around. Lots of good work put in here. Good job, hrofgar.

Interesting mythology for sure!
Voted Murometz
December 3, 2008, 16:28
0xp
updated vote.

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