Hymn To Armageddon #1: War
War. The word seems so petty to us here. The war started before anyone can remember, and the historians don't even bother tracking the events of it. Some say it started over a woman, others say it was a skirmish over political boundaries, but nobody is certain. Violence begets violence, that's why the war doesn't stop. If a sliver of peace begins to appear, there is always a small battle that shatters our frigid hopes. War does have its advantages, though.
Welcome to the first of an emerging series of contributory world building. We set up an idea and an environment, you contribute your ideas, and we'll incorporate them in future Hymn To Armageddon articles, along with game ideas and hooks for even further expansion. Open sourced world-building, anyone?
War. The word seems so petty to us here. The war started before anyone can remember, and the historians don't even bother tracking the events of it. Some say it started over a woman, others say it was a skirmish over political boundaries, but nobody is certain. Violence begets violence, that's why the war doesn't stop. If a sliver of peace begins to appear, there is always a small battle that shatters our frigid hopes.
War does have its advantages, though.
Technology seems to advance at an alarming rate due to perpetual need for advancement over the enemy. We have vast cities, built out of the water, since all livable land has been destroyed. The cities rise thousands of stories high, though the civilized world only lives on the top few hundred floors. The crippled, diseased, and unwanted reside down below. Flying machines of all shapes and sizes dominate the skies; most of them armed to the teeth in preparation for the next attack.
Down below, submarines are incorporated due to the altitude limitations of class D and lower citizens. Crime is dealt with swiftly and lethally. The "government" doesn't have time to build prisons or feed the inmates, they simply kill lower class citizens and fine the upper class.
North versus South, as it has been for ages. Originally there were governments and alliances, now it is the way of life. When hell becomes home, mankind will always find a way to profit and become happy. Somebody started making money off the war, and then the war turned into a business venture instead of a political affair. Weapons contracts were made, and governments fell, but the corporate powerhouses and wealthy crime syndicates remained, taking up arms to keep the fighting alive. Moroxi versus Delliaph, forever and ever.
The Moroxi was the original government in the North that became engaged in the war. Nobody knows why, but all from the North are on the Moroxi side, even though the government fell almost 300 years ago. Some of the major corporations in the Moroxi territories are:
- Pandarus Technologies, makers of the most advanced supercomputers used for strategy and weapons guidance systems, also a leader in home electronics.
- Jacob McMasterson Enterprises, owning most of the shares in restaurants in Moroxi, also holding nearly a third of all grocery stock.
- Dorialus United Grocers, owners of the remaining grocery and restaurant stocks in Moroxi, Dorialus and McMasterson are usually at corporate war.
They are all "led" by Keil and Keil Manufacturers, sole weapons manufacturer and driving force in the war. Several hundred smaller corporations attempt to make a living in Moroxi, but none pose any threat to these four superpowers.
There are rumors of at least three major crime syndicates in Moroxi: Forjiak, Orus, and Demon Nayl. Little is known of the inner working of these syndicates other than Forjiak and Orus are hereditary and Demon Nayl was a band of thugs who made a few big scores with the help of a genius leader. Most class C and higher citizens work for one of these major corporation and/or secretly belong to a syndicate, those trying to open new businesses are usually bribed out of it with threats and job offers. Class D citizens are lucky to be alive, and the only chance they have to become something better is to join a corporate military or become a Justice (police officer) or Insurer (firefighter).
The Delliaph are named after a great general that rose after the fall of the last true government in the South. He drove back the Moroxi forces to nearly divide the world perfectly in half. He had an "accident" in a street due to a mugger. A powerful general with nearly unrivaled fighting skill falling to a lucky thief? Doubtful. Rumors fly that the major corporations assassinated him because he gave too much power to the citizens. The corporations then named the Southern forces after him in order to appease the masses.
The leaders of the major corporate superpowers in Delliaph are Malinex Industries and Forlance Enterprises. They share a nearly 50/50 balance of the weapons manufacturing in Delliaph. The two companies are highly rumored to control crime syndicates in order to equalize each other. Each one would like to gain control, but the risks involved are too high for either to make a formal move.
There is a large entertainment contingency that contributes to the military by buying shares in Forlance and Malinex; they also insert political messages into their entertainment to divert the thoughts of the population. The three companies are Maxwell Studios, Porfinello Entertainment Industries, and RE Digi Inc. Unbeknownst to the Moroxi, Pandarus Technologies is based out of Delliaph, and has been the major card in Delliaph's hand, keeping Moroxi at a technological disadvantage. Moroxi's strength, however, lies in the single weapons producer. Unlike Moroxi, there are no major corporate grocers; several hundred smaller companies handle food control with investments from Forlance and Malinex.
The crime syndicates of the South are more complex as well. There are seven major syndicates, divided into two alliances of three and the Volsites standing solo as the single most powerful. The first alliance consists of Mordin, Zill, and The Darklings. The second alliance is Trundus, Warlords, and Ophenr. The first alliance is known to have a vested interest in Malinex, while the second works with Forlance. The Volsites ambitions are unknown and therefore somewhat unpredictable. They usually work alone, but have sided with each alliance on occasion.
Life Amidst War
Most people seem to think that God has abandoned us all. Mankind, however, always finds a way to be happy in the most hellish conditions. Those who are class C or higher usually live in comfortable, automated apartments. Machines and sensors take care of all our needs in these. Those high in power live in the top floors and have servants they pay and live in the absolute lap of luxury. D class citizens and below live in filth and destitution. They live from one meal to the next, always running from Justices for fear of their lives. Most steal to eat, and noncitizens are to be shot on site. The poor get poorer, whilst the rich get richer.
There are stories of the internet, a connection between people that ceased to exist more than one hundred years ago. Pandarus Technologies controlled the internet with "The Box", a giant supercomputer which housed all websites and information on the web. It was key to the success of Pandarus Technologies during the era and has made Pandarus the reigning superpower in the world still today.
There is also hope given to people by the legends of peaceful islands that lie between the North and South. Most forces of Delliaph and Moroxi lie very close to the poles; therefore much of what is in between is uncharted wargrounds. Islands may be here one day and gone the next, but people on both sides of the war tell tales of villages of people who do not participate in the war, and know true peace.
It would seem the people of this nameless world live by the adage "When it seems you haven't a prayer in the world, a prayer for something better is the one thing we all have."
Humans, humans, and more humans live here. GMs can always use genetic engineering as a way around this, but there are no ancient races or otherwise here. Highly advanced war technology is always fun to use in character development, but the absence of an internet force players to be more creative. Cybernetics will probably be a common choice for players as well. This world is designed for The Window, due to the freeform creative nature of the system.
Storylines revolving around conspiracy would fit best in this world; syndicate heads owning major corporations, moles within the party, etc. There is room for both infiltration campaigns and epic battles. Above all else, have fun and make this world your own.
Something happened the other day. During a minor skirmish in the urbanlands of Moira Minor, a large purple explosion was seen, and all but one unit was wiped out. Half the district was leveled and 300 citizens were killed instantly. The returning unit was a single soldier, and he was completely unharmed. The entire upworld has been buzzing with the news, then the soldier was found dead in his home, execution style. There wasn't a shred of evidence left. The man was employed by a powerful weapons corporation call Infiniknights. The company has had nothing to say in the matters whatsoever. In the area of the blast, the water's pollution rate has dropped heavily since and the marine life has started to replenish eight times faster than expected. The smog seems to have been chased away from this area as well.
Syndicates and large corporations alike are taking a particular interest in this area. Rumors are flying as much as the money being thrown around by all sides.