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  • Locked thread
Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

I presume the idea is to support brick-and-mortar stores.

To me "this new and more convenient technology is replacing the older one; let's slow that down by making the other technology less convenient" is awful, but I guess some people have different priorities?

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Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

So is there any possibility that the cyberassassins sent to kill the cyberpope weren't just a plant by the cyberpapacy?

Trying to cyberkill the cyberpope is right up there with trying to drown Poseidon.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Glazius posted:

So is there any possibility that the cyberassassins sent to kill the cyberpope weren't just a plant by the cyberpapacy?

Trying to cyberkill the cyberpope is right up there with trying to drown Poseidon.

Are you talking about the St. Peter's Square thing? They were sent by the cyberpope to kill John Paul II (Pope Classic).

secretly best girl
Mar 27, 2007

I see you choosing that other route. How dare you.

Winson_Paine posted:

Also it is probably time to restart this, because this thread is just too huge and ponderous and has all the weird old baggage.

Fair enough, boss. Y'all have until midnight PST to get things posted and then I lock this/toss up thread #3.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Glazius posted:

So is there any possibility that the cyberassassins sent to kill the cyberpope weren't just a plant by the cyberpapacy?
The cyberassassins went to kill the Roman Catholic pope, not Malraux. So, yeah, they were working for the Cyberpapacy.

quote:

Trying to cyberkill the cyberpope is right up there with trying to drown Poseidon.
You'd pretty much have to cyberhack the Darkness Device away from Malraux to have a chance of killing him flatline-dead.

(If you think this slang is bad, wait until the next chapter where we finally see Torg cyber-slang; it's right up there with the Marvel 2099 stuff. I'll probably be posting it later tonight; for some reason my favorite piece of art in the book isn't in the PDF, and I need to scan it it when I get home.)

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Midjack posted:

Are you talking about the St. Peter's Square thing? They were sent by the cyberpope to kill John Paul II (Pope Classic).

JP2's Faith score is so powerful it'll cause False Pope minions' cyberhearts to E-X-P-L-O-D-E.

:catholic: "Dominus, dominus, you're already dead."

Evil Mastermind posted:

If you think this slang is bad, wait until the next chapter where we finally see Torg cyber-slang; it's right up there with the Marvel 2099 stuff.

I'm jazzed for it.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 20:25 on Jan 6, 2014

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Syrg Sapphire posted:

I lock this/toss up thread #3.
Please do those in the other order so you can put a link to the new on in this one.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Alright guys, looks like this is going to be my final post on the thread then!




Chapter 5: History

The world of Praemal is nearly 11,000 years old. Mountains, oceans, and other natural features are the results of the Elder Gods, Praemus, and the Galchutt's battles against each other in the forgotten times. Written history goes back only about 8,000 years. Beyond that things are unknown. The most common calendar is the one used by the Empire, with the common date of measure being before and after it was formed: BE stands Before Empire, while IA stands for Imperial Age. The current year is 721 IA.

So the events of the previous chapter, with Praemus and the Galchutt and the Vallis Moon, occurred from 10,000 BE to 9,000 BE.

Dawn of History, and the Dread One



In 8,000 BE, the scales are tipping against the Galchutt and their minions. Goblins, the undead, and other such creatures were forced underground, new ascended mortals who became deities filled the hole left by the Elder Gods, and civilizations began to form. This all changed when a well-intentioned Cleric named Danar Rotansin set upon a plan to gather up all the evil artifacts, chaositech, containers of imprisoned fiends, and other bad majo to be gathered up and sealed away. Danar theorized that these "banes," as he called them, would only spread their evil if he attempted to destroy them, so instead he buried beneath his tower, Mosul Pearl, in a series of vast catacombs warded with powerful magic. Unfortunately, gathering so much evil in one concentrated place exacted a terrible toll on the land, which thrust the tower of Mosul Pearl away from itself in that 3,000 foot Spire we all know and love. The Galchutt also manipulated events so that Danar would come across the Book of Inverted Darkness, a tome penned by gods and demons which corrupts anyone who so much as reads it. Danar lingered over it a little too long, and he could not bring himself to seal it away in the catacombs now known as the Banewarrens. And thus began his descent into evil.

Danar retreated from his friends and family, forgetting his duties and spending all his time in that tower atop the spire, now renamed Jabel Shammar. His old life forgotten, he now called himself The Dread One, Eslathagos Malkith. A few years later he used the resources of the Banewarrens to create and summon a dread horde which he used to conquer the land. Only the efforts of a band of legendary heroes could stop him, who took the war all the way to Jabel Shammar's throne room. Malkith perished, but so did the heroes. His forces repelled by an alliance of the world's races and kingdoms. To this day, the tower and the Banewarrens remain places of great evil.

We also have a short entry on the Age of the Elder Titans, but there is not much to tell. Basically the race of titans came to the shores of Ptolus in massive ships of wood and stone. They settled there and traded with the Elder Elves, but after sensing great evil in the land most of them departed. The ones who stayed behind eventually turned evil. There are hardly any titans left today in Praemal.



Ghul the Half-God



A half-demon sorcerer from the land of Kem ventured the world in search of ways to enhance his already-great magical power. When he came to the land around the Spire, he knew his search was over. He told people that he was the Dread One's Son and a half-deity, and claimed the Spire as his birthright. These were all lies, but that did not stop him from living up to the dread legacy. He discovered the Entropy Sphere, a virtually limitless power source located inside the Spire, and built his fortress, Goth Gulgamel, at an access point halfway up the unnatural stone formation. He then created hordes of monstrous servants, taught them the Abyssal language, and ordered them to carve out vast caverns as living spaces which now comprise a good portion of the dungeons below Ptolus today. He used the Sphere's power to bring two centuries of darkness into the world and sent his Squirming Horde out into the world to annihilate those who resisted his rule.



It was by the efforts of an elven wizard-priest and 7 heroes that Ghul's armies were pushed back. The Brightfather's Day Pact was an alliance of humans, dwarves, elves, centaurs, and pretty much anyone and everyone Ghul fought. The two-hundred year spell of darkness was lifted, Ghul's forces were scattered, and the Half-God was chased out of his fort and slain in the Seven Jewels of Parnaith, the mini-planes which Praemus set up for would-be Gods to ascend. To ensure that no evil entity takes advantage of what has been left, the dwarves built the mighty fortress of Dalengard, ensuring that Goth Gulgamel lay vacant for centuries.

The Rise of the Empire

The last 700 years are the most well-documented, and thus the one most schoolchildren know. The Prust and Grailwarden dwarves had a strong alliance even before the Empire's formation. Their influence spreads northward into Tarsis, reputedly the oldest and largest city in the world. The Prust and dwarves believe that the city had always been there (the Eternal City), and that it was destiny that they should come upon it and plant the seeds for an eternal Empire. With the Brightfathers' Day Pact, they knew that day had come. Delian Von Tessel, the human signer of the Pact united the squabbling nobles under his domain and became the first Emperor of Tarsis.

Due to the widespread devastation of war with Ghul's Horde, and the wealth, organization, and technology brought by Tarsis, most lands welcomed the Empire's assistance to help rebuild society. By 100 IA, the Empire claimed all the lands in the known world. And for a time, all was good.

But all good things must come to an end. There is much disagreement on when and why, but most everyone acknowledges that Tarsis' glory days are fading. By 560 IA, the Emperor passed the Edict of Deviltry with heavy Lothianite influence, declaring all arcane magic illegal. The Church gained wide-sweeping powers to incarcerate, punish, and execute people believed of violating Church doctrine. The clergy abused its power and the two Inquisitions it spawned are looked back on with shame and regret. So many people were killed that the era became known as the Days of Blood. By 641 IA the Edict of Deviltry was overturned once public opinion turned against it and more Imperial regions stopped enforcing it. During this time many arcane spellcasters fled to Ptolus, paving the way for the creation of the Inverted Pyramid, the strongest bastion of magicians in the world. People's faith in the goodness of the Empire and Church had been shaken, vast stores of knowledge were lost, including the creation and maintenance of advanced technology.


By 706 IA, the current Empress died with no heirs. A cousin of hers in Dohrinthas claimed legitimacy and named herself Addares XXXIV. Many opposed her rule, including Imperial advisor Segaci Fellisti, who felt that only his political acumen could save the Empire. And then the Holy Emperor Rehoboth Ylestos claimed his right to the throne, figuring that he's the only person with the name "Emperor" in his official title. If successful, he'd rule the Empire with both secular and religious authority, like the first Emperor did in days of old. Citizens of the Empire itself were split, along with armies and taxes to the 3 separate figureheads. This devastated the Empire, which King Oulgas and his barbarian horde took advantage of in 710 IA.

Barbarian Invader:



We get a write-up on the personalities of the 3 would-be Emperors, along with potential futures should any of them come to power.

Addares XXXIV is more interested in the novelties of office than actually ruling, and never set foot in Tarsis. If she becomes Emperor she'll declare Dohrinthas the new capital, to much anger and resentment. Various lands would declare their independence, and she might well hasten the Empire's collapse within the next 10 years.

Segaci Fellisti feels that the Imperial bloodline has come to an end, and that he must rule in their stead. He has a lot of skill in political and bureaucratic affairs, and dedicated to restoring the technological glory days. However, his single-minded determination to this progress caused him to make some unfortunate alliances, including with Ptolus crime lord Kevris Killraven and the Shuul. If he takes the throne, Ptolus' technological knowledge will be put to use strengthening the Empire's infrastructure, and vast sections of the army will benefit from firearms. Eventually he'll declare war on the Eastern barbarians and wipe them out once and for all.

Rehoboth Ylestos fled Tarsis when it fell to barbarians, and has extended his "visit" to Ptolus for 11 years. This has earned him a poor reputation among Imperial politicians, and his eventual plans to declare Ptolus the seat of the Empire will earn widespread outrage. If he gains the throne, the separation between church and state will vanish under his rule, but he'll forbid the rise of new Inquisitions. He is not a reactionary zealot, and he does not want to lose the support of the people by bringing those dark days back. In his obsession to become a beloved Emperor and restore the Church's good name, he'll make great political concessions which will weaken the Empire.

Thoughts so far: As you can tell, much of the interesting bits of history center around Ptolus. This is intentional, as the place's magic draws all manner of people there. I sort of feel that Malkith and Ghul's reigns are a bit too similar, even if the latter is living off the legacy of the former: evil overlord, forms a fortress and army of evil, the other races band together to turn the tide and the bad guy's slain by legendary heroes. Some more variety in the story-telling would have been nice.

Barring the whole barbarian genocide thing, Fellisti is overall the best choice in terms of Imperial stability, with Addares clearly being the weakest choice. The options feel a little too cut and dry, as PCs who gain enough knowledge of Imperial politics will likely choose Fellisti or Rehoboth depending upon their background. Addares doesn't really have much going for her at all.

Next time, Chapter 6: Organizations of Ptolus!

Hipster Occultist
Aug 16, 2008

He's an ancient, obscure god. You probably haven't heard of him.




Mors Rattus posted:

That's right! A new book! The Contested Isle is the latest Ars Magica book to be published. It focuses on the Hibernian Tribunal - that is, Ireland. (For those interested, the next book on the publishing schedule is Transforming Mythic Europe, which will be about wizards advancing the social and technological status of the world and how it might happen, as well as the potential consequences. How many other settings give you a book on how to utterly destroy the setting?)



Yessss

I've always thought that it was kinda weird that a bunch potentially immortal (or at least long-lived) people with the ability to flip the laws of physics the bird never really enact great change upon the world.

MadDogMike
Apr 9, 2008

Can I come out and play?

Libertad! posted:

Barring the whole barbarian genocide thing, Fellisti is overall the best choice in terms of Imperial stability, with Addares clearly being the weakest choice. The options feel a little too cut and dry, as PCs who gain enough knowledge of Imperial politics will likely choose Fellisti or Rehoboth depending upon their background. Addares doesn't really have much going for her at all.

Apart from being easier to manipulate and/or supplant than the other two probably. There are a lot of PCs who faced with the question of "who is the best ruler for the realm?" will reply "why, ME of course" after all.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



In before the lock!

The storm has a name... - Let's Read TORG


Part 9d: Paris

This is a surprisingly short chapter, especially after the last one. And again, it's a bit of an artifact of an earlier time where you didn't have the ability to just go onto Google or Wikipedia and get basic information about a country like population breakdown or the layout of the metro system.

Of course, I'm not going to cover that stuff. Instead, I'm going to talk about the changes the invasion has had on the city.

As stated previously, Paris (to be specific, the Eiffel Tower) is a Core Earth hardpoint. Core Earth's axioms still hold sway in the city, and have since the initial invasion.

That's not to say that Paris weathered the Collapse without a problem. When Malraux dropped his bridge, all of France except Paris dropped off the grid. There was no way to contact people outside the city to see what was going on, world communication was cut off, and it wasn't long before people started to panic. Many people fled the city out of fear or to find out what happened to loved ones in the outlying areas, only to find castles, manor houses, and carts where suburban areas once stood.

It didn't take long for people to find out that Paris wasn't changing like the rest of the country, and thousands headed there to seek shelter from the changing reality. Papal forces managed to inflitrate the city by coming in with the waves of refugees.

Not that they needed to do much to destabalize the city. Core services collapsed due to the lack of technological or financial support. Supplied dwindled rapidly, and it was impossible to get resources from outside the city. Gang warfare became common over such important locations as gas stations and food warehouses. The Hands of God did their part, too, egging on conflict and just flat-out wrecking poo poo.

Things went from bad to worse when the food supplies started running out. Rationing was instituted for all the good it did. It wasn't long before people started fighting to the death over food, then pet food, then pets, then any animal you could catch and cook.

By the time the Tech Surge came around, the damage was done. Still cut off from the rest of the world, the citizens of Paris eek out a tenuous existence surrounded by the enemy.

That's the Paris of the Near Now: once one of the most spectacular cities in the world, now reduced to a post-apocalyptic wreck.

With the fall of the French government, Paris has had to set up its own government. In responce to the insanely right-wing forces taking over the rest of the country, a body of liberals, communists, and socialists was elected into office. The leadership of Paris is called "The Commune", and they wasted no time organizing people to fight back against the HOGs and Church forces. It took a lot of fighting, but eventually the Church's forces were driven out of the city. Despite the victory over Malraux, things are still pretty shaky for the Commune. Basic supplies are still hard to come by, refugees still pour into the city, Cyberpapal forces still attack the outlaying areas.

The peacekeeping force in Paris is the "Paris Liberté Militia" (PLM), and is a militia in the traditional sense: citizens who are willing to take up arms in defense of what's theirs. If these folks have their own guns, so much the better. PLM "troops" patrol the streets in small groups searching for Cyberchurch agents or keeping the numerous gangs at bay.

The PLM has no standard uniform or gear. They identify themselves by wearing red armbands on their left arm and using whatever weapons or defensive gear they can scrounge. They're headquartered just outside the Eiffel Tower.

It should be pointed out that while not well-equiped for the most part, the PLM do have access to twelve tanks (two of which are mobile), four functioning Apache helecopters, and sixteen missile sites. Obviously, none of these see any regular use; they're pretty much all for emergency use only. Despite all that, Paris's best defense is still the reality storm raging around the city.

The population of post-invasion Paris is just over 13 million people. Which doesn't seem so bad until you realize that the population just before the invasion was 10.5 million. Needless to say, there's not a lot of free space in Paris right now. Refugee camps are set up anywhere you can stick three tents together, and the strain is being felt on basic human services.

Life in Paris is pretty nasty, brutish, and short. Street gangs and leftover HOG forces roam the streets battling for territory and supplies, not caring who gets caught in the crossfire. The Metro no longer runs due to being too expensive to operate, and the tunnels have been taken over by punks and nutbags too dangerous to live on the streets. Any building large enough to hold people is used as shelter, even if that wasn't the original purpose. Landmarks like the Louvre and Le Pantheon have become overcrowded shelters. Outside the borders of the City, Church Police forces keep anyone from leaving the city, while at the same time ushering refugees into Paris, putting further strain on a city that's one bad day away from collapse already. The overcrowding has also put a strain on everyone's general health; lack of medical supplies combined with forced close quarters means that disease runs rampant, with cholera and typhoid making big comebacks.

Despite all this, Paris remains free. Yes, it's overcrowded and starving, but the people of Paris have a unique viewpoint on it: they may be trapped, staving, and surrounded by the enemy, but their souls are still theirs. The people of Paris refuse to give in to hopelessness or despair. They're not going to let some monster who thinks he's the mouthpiece of God control their souls. The Marseille is played on public address systems throughout the city, and the French flag still flies from the top of the Eiffel Tower. They may be trapped and beset on all sides by an insane tyrant, but the people of Paris aren't going down without a fight.

Viva Liberté indeed.


The Eiffel Tower is the hardpoint that keeps Paris working as a Core Earth zone. Everything within about 100 meters is a pure zone, and beyond that it's Core Earth dominant to about 4 kilometers. Sometimes the reality storms shift, and the effect can go out as far as 6 km. Reality storms rage around Paris 24/7, and on occasion they ground themselves out as electrical storms on the Eiffel Tower. When this happens, the storms have been known to blow the tops off the larger buildings in the city.

The reality storms in and around Paris are a little different than most. While most reality storms strike with impunity and without direction, the ones around Paris seem to target the invading forces rather than Core Earthers. Nobody knows why this is (the top theories are that the storms are reacting to the population's desire for freedom, or that it's a sign from God), but every little bit helps, right? This actually has a mechanical effect in that anyone from Core Earth who gets involved in one of these storms has a +3 bonus to their reality total, and folks from the Cyberpapacy have any damage value caused by the storm increased by 3.

Because most of Paris is a dominant zone, cybernetics and related technologies still work there. Cyberleggers have begun setting up shop on the outskirts of the city, getting "supplies" from captured or killed Cyberpapal agents and dealing mainly with the street gangs. Most cyberware in Paris is subdermal; nobody wants to look like they work for Malraux if they can help it. Still, in the rougher areas of Paris it's nice to have a set of cyberclaws or a skinweave to give yourself a bit of an edge. And, of course, the gangs like to go full chrome anyway.

Now, the next few pages are just general info about Paris, but it's nothing you couldn't look up on Wikipedia or Google Maps. So I'm going to skip them and get to the part you really want to know about : Cybergangs of Paris!


Cyberpunks in their native habitat, cyberpunking it up

Oh come on, like you didn't know that was coming at some point.

Any major city has gangs. But when the city is hit by a sudden spike in technology and a downturn in overall quality, the street gangs upgrade to cyberpunks. And these are totally 90's RPG cyberpunks, with the weird outfits and gimmicks and everything. This is street trash mixed with Generic 90's Cyberpunk then dumped into The Warriors. Seriously, the Baseball Furies would not be that out of place here. Just give them, like cyberbats or something.

One thing I haven't mentioned yet about the Cyberpapacy is West End's attempt at coming up with cyberslang.

I did not change a word of this posted:

Crimes against the citizens of Paris began with the normal theft and muggings. Then came drugs. Then came zipyanks, murders in which the victim’s organs or cyberware were removed for sale; fry-bys, where punks drive by citizens and attack them with energy weapons modified so as to ignite the victim; grabaways, where the victims, usually entire families, are kidnapped and assaulted.

The PLM cannot stop the gangs, and so prioritizes its response. Muggings and thefts are ignored, and zipyanks are tolerated as long as an unofficial “quota” is not exceeded. However they, and Paris at large, draw the line at grabaways and fry-bys. These crimes provoke a considerable response. Most PLM members consider such crimes reprehensible enough to dispose of any legal niceties they are supposed to observe as law enforcement officers. Mob justice has been invoked, and at least one gang, the NazBoys, was hunted to extinction after a rash of grabaways.

Anyway. We get the down-low (as it were) on six of Paris's biggest cyberstreetgangs. Street cybergangs? Whatever, let's just enjoy this glimpse back to an earlier age.

First up are The Sun Kings and Queens, who, AND I QUOTE, "are streetwise posers who dress in the style of Ancièn France with pomaded wigs, chalked faces (complete with beauty spots) and elegant clothing."


Pictured: A Cyberpunk

Regardless of how they dress, Sun Kings and Queens are usually pretty cyber-ed up and are good fighters. They control the docks of Paris, and anyone dumb enough to enter their territory while possessing cyberware will quickly find themselves swarmed by gangers and dragged to the local cyberlegger to be stripped for parts. Their normal activities boil down to protection rackets and "sin-palaces". They also have a small presence in the GodNet, and their data base (yes, that's what it's called) is a virtual recreation of the Palace of Versailles.

The leader of the Sun Kings and Queens is Louis XIV; the leader of the gang is always called Louis or Marie. They're nothing if not unoriginal. For some reason, the "number" of the leader always counts down, not up. Also for some reason a map for the Sun King and Queens' HQ is provided.

Next up are the Carrion Dogs. As I'm sure you can all guess, these guys are all street-wolf-ish, dressing in dirty rags and living it up on the streets. Every member has fangs, and most have either slicers (finger- or toe-blades) or slashers (forearm blades). They'd be considered a pretty bad joke if it weren't for two factors: one, they're pretty much all cannibals and like pack-hunting innocent people, and two, they all have modified their fangs to inject victims with rabies. Yes, rabies. Unfortunately for the Dogs, most of their cyberware is so low-quality that the disease holders leak and the majority of the gang members have rabies themselves. If it wasn't for the secret backing of the Cyberpapacy, these guys probably would have died out on their own a long time ago.

Like all true cyberpunks, the Crucifaces have large brightly-colored hairdos and tattered leathers. They also paint crosses on their faces with the crosspiece going across their eyes. They also favor slicers/slashers, or just normal knives if they can't get the tech, and perform what can be best described as "basic level" street crimes. You know, muggings and shakedowns. And that's pretty much it for these guys. No idea why they're here.

And we move into Obvious Pun territory with the Warewolves. The Warewolves are obsessed with cyberware, installing as much as their bodies (and souls, but we'll get to that later) can handle and then tagging on a few extra parts just to be on the safe side. They get most of their cyberware through theft or (ugh) zipyanking. Their "emblem" is a side view of a howling wolf's head stiched out in metallic thread, and they hang out around the edge of the dominant zone because I guess they like the thrill of knowing that if they disconnect they'll probably die? :shrug:

Next, there's The Tri's. And yes, the apostrophe is there; it's because they wear the French tricolor on their jackets as their "gang symbol", as a representation of their defiance of Malraux. Not that they're allied with Paris; a full 95% of their crimes are commited against the Parisean public. It's more the idea of their leader Anne Druillard. She figures that with everything going on, Paris is going to focus on the more serious threats. So she sets her gang up as "Robin Hood" style bandits, working with the PLM to fight other gangs, organizing very public attacks against the Cyberpapacy, and so on. So far it seems to be working in her favor, even though her tactics tend to get a lot of her own people killed. But hey, plenty more where they came from.

We close out the chapter with the last "gang": Spacers and Crazies. Well, they're not really a gang, just a convienent category for the various nutjobs and burnouts that litter the streets. Spacers are people who've fried their brains out on drugs or who've succumbed to cyberpsychosis. These are the ones who live on diets of drugs to ease the pain of life, and will kill whoever they need to to get the money to buy said drugs. Crazies are people whose minds snapped after the reality change and reality shift, or who can't handle the joy that is life in modern-day Paris. A lot of crazies have dangerous cyberware (somehow), and more and more appear on the streets thanks to the Cyberpope funneling them into the city.

So yeah, there's cybershit all over the streets now. And I just have to say I love the fact that Paris itself gets less book time than the rest of France, even though it's a pretty important place in the scheme of things.

At this point, though, we're pretty much done with the setting stuff so it's time to start getting into the mechanical side! I can't wait!

NEXT TIME: Axiomatic!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Hipster Occultist posted:

Yessss

I've always thought that it was kinda weird that a bunch potentially immortal (or at least long-lived) people with the ability to flip the laws of physics the bird never really enact great change upon the world.

One of the big reasons is that many wizards have no reason to change the status quo. They're basically selfish - they can do whatever they want, so why spend effort making the rest of the world change?

But for everyone else, there will be that book.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Evil Mastermind posted:

Any major city has gangs. But when the city is hit by a sudden spike in technology and a downturn in overall quality, the street gangs upgrade to cyberpunks. And these are totally 90's RPG cyberpunks, with the weird outfits and gimmicks and everything. This is street trash mixed with Generic 90's Cyberpunk then dumped into The Warriors. Seriously, the Baseball Furies would not be that out of place here. Just give them, like cyberbats or something.

You know, this is an oxymoron, right? The '90s RPG cyberpunk gangs, as in the ones outlined in R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk, were pretty much ripped off from The Warriors (and, to a lesser extent, Italian ripoff trash like 1990 The Bronx Warriors and Escape From The Bronx). I think Mike Pondsmith even came out and said so in interviews.

I'd imagine if someone wrote those gangs today, they'd be less The Warriors and more something out of Saints Row.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Young Freud posted:

You know, this is an oxymoron, right? The '90s RPG cyberpunk gangs, as in the ones outlined in R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk, were pretty much ripped off from The Warriors (and, to a lesser extent, Italian ripoff trash like 1990 The Bronx Warriors and Escape From The Bronx). I think Mike Pondsmith even came out and said so in interviews.

I honestly never made that connection; I remember the dumb stuff like posergangs but I don't remember ever seeing "themed" gangs outside of that, at least to that degree of "We have a common theme and facepaint style".

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Evil Mastermind posted:

I honestly never made that connection; I remember the dumb stuff like posergangs but I don't remember ever seeing "themed" gangs outside of that, at least to that degree of "We have a common theme and facepaint style".

Night City Sourcebook features a lot more gangs that fall into those lines, not just the Posergangs.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


Young Freud posted:

I'd imagine if someone wrote those gangs today, they'd be less The Warriors and more something out of Saints Row.

I'm pretty sure the gangs in Saints Row are at least 50% inspired by The Warriors already. I mean SR 3 had a howling mob of Luchadores, for god's sakes.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Ars Magica: The Contested Isle

The first Christians to come to Ireland were not people you've probably heard of. Everyone knows Patrick, but he was not the first. The first was Palladius, who came with his assistants, Auxilius and Secondinus. He brought the teachings of Ambrose and Augustine, but when he landed in Clonard, the Irish did not welcome him. No one knows what happened to him in Ulster, but he did not succeed in his goal of conversion. Patrick came later, in the fifth century, though the date is unclear. He was a slave, captured by Irish pirates raiding the English, but his guardian angel, Victor, helped him escape. Still, Patrick heard a divine message telling him to convert the Irish, and as an adult he returned to preach. He made a circuit of the island, from Leinster to Connacht to Ulster to Meath to Munster. He performed miracles, casting out the snakes and defeating and exiling druids after a magic contest. He used a three-leaf clover to explain the Trinity, and he was overwhelmingly succesful, becoming the 'Apostle of Ireland' and cementing Christianity in the hearts of the people. He is now interred in Down Cathedral.

A few centuries later, in 778, two Tytalus and two Merinita magi came to the isle, seeking the legendary treasures of the Tuatha De Danann. With the help of a local ward-maker, they discovered the Dagda's cauldron buried in the mounds of the Bru na Boinne. However, the high king noticed their grave robbing and sent a druid and warband to confront them. The magi find a barrow they could defend, and the ward-maker protected it with his magic. They sent the first attack away, but the druid swore to them that the king's men would come again by morning. The lead Tytalus replied to him: We will defend this mound for a year if need be! They repelled the morning's attack, and two more attempts over the next three days. Keeping to their boast, they remained at the mound a full year.

After that, they decided to stay, and relocated to the western shore of Munster, again saying they'd defend their location for a year to prove themselves. They named the plce Circulus Ruber after the wards of their local assistant, and in two years it was a full covenant, the first of Ireland. Thirteen years later, Diedne came, hoping to recruit the druids of Ireland. They rejected her, and she spent the next seventeen years murdering every druid she could find. Cuin-dallan of Ulster, known to the Order as Quendalon, returned from Germany to save what he could of the older magical traditions. Aided by his House, he brought some into Merinita and hid others in Connacht. Meanwhile, House Diedne formed covenants in Ireland. By the early 9th century, there were still many native traditions, some hidden, some protected by kings or Hermetic allies and some strong enough to fend for themselves. Some of them joined Pralix in her war against Damhan-Allaidh, and the survivors eventually became the core of House Ex Miscellanea.

In the meantime, Norwegian and Danish Vikings began to raid Ireland in the late eighth century, focusing on the wealthy monasteries. They were named Ostmen by the Irish, meaning 'Eastmen', for they came from the east without warning. At first, they came only by spring and summer, but by the turn of the century they decided to stay for good. They seized and converted Irish coastal ports into permanent settlements. Every major Irish city, including Dublin, Waterford, Wexford, Cork and Limerick, was made by the Ostmen. They brought their rune wizards with them. The Order, having been in Ireland but 20 years, were not prepared for the Scandinavian aggression. At the Grand Tribunal of 832, the magi of Hibernia called the Ostmen wizards 'the Order of Odin,' and uncertain of their strength, they sought peace. Mael-tuili of Merinita met with the rune wizards of Dublin, promising tribute, but he was attacked and slain, along with most of his group.

Still, the Vikings were worse in other areas, and most of the Order stopped paying attention to Ireland. Many Hibernian magi had hoped the Ostmen threat would unite the Order in Ireland, especially the quarreling Ex Miscellanea and Diedne, who had never gotten along. (Diedne and Pralix, in fact, tried to kill each other at least once.) The tensions did not resolve at all - in fact, more tensions arose, between Hermetics and native wizards. Battles against the rune wizards, raids against druids and certamen duels were common. While individually weaker than magi, the Irish native wizards were members of the existing tuatha and could call on kings for aid. Border disputes and skirmishes over resources were a constant problem. To end this, the Irish magi agreed to acknowledge the Coill Tri, a confederation of hedge wizards that had earned the title of druid, and to make peace with them. House Diedne refused to join in this agreement, but on the verge of what seemed to be open war, they retreated from Hibernian politics. In 851, the Primus of Diedne, Obregon, announced that Diedne magi would no longer protect their "undeserving sodales", and the Diedne of Ireland retreated to their covenants. In their absence, the Trey of Cnoc Maol Reidh was signed. More on that later.

Still, House Diedne had a dominant position in Ireland. They refused to recognize the Treaty and entered Connacht regularly. As a result, hedge wizards made treaties with individual magi for protection. Adapting the concept of amici, with the moral duty to support and wage Wizard's War for each other, some magi became protectors of the natives, though always in a one-to-one relationship. These agreements stopped some Diedne raids, but were ineffective against raiders from England and Scotland. In 865, the Hibernian magi raised this point at the Grand Tribunal, but were told that their treaty was illegal, and that since Ireland was part of the new Britannian Tribunal with England and Scotland, they had to obey the Britannian Peripheral Code. Already upset, the Irish magi explained the importance of the Treaty of Cnoc Maol Reidh, saying that given the choice of joining or dying, the Irish hedge wizards preferred greatly to fight and die - a course that would destroy their traditions. The treaty would allow them to continue, perhaps to be explored and incorporated into Hermetic theory. Invading magi, they said, threatened the accord...but to no avail. The Grand Tribunal would not recognize it.

Thirty three years later, after the Tytalus showed that a Tribunal could secede, the Irish magi left the Britannian Tribunal, forming the new Hibernian Tribunal, which immediately ratified the Treaty of Cnoc Maol Reidh. Every individual treaty between hedge wizard and magus was made binding, and those who had ignored such treaties were brought to helel. With the external raiders stopped, Hibernia focused on internal conflict. The intrinsic rebelliousness and aggression of the Irish gave rise to several foundational cases of the Hibernian Peripheral Code. Local rulings on treaties, trophies and legal raiding were a safety valve for Irish violence - allowing contained conflict, it was thought, would prevent greater war.

The 10th century was a violent one, Irish and Ostmen fighting each other and themselves. The Hibernian magi, prohibited from getting involved in royal conflicts, followed their own interests. The Diedne magi were plentiful, but stayed behind closed doors, while the Coill Tri stayed in Connacht. The threat of war with the Ostmen wizards never happened, though skirmishes were frequent. The Irish clans kept the interior, the Ostmen kept the coast. As the Ostmen converted to Christianity, the two groups began to merge and cooperate, mixing OStmen mercantile efforts and Scandinavian mercenaries with Irish beef and leather. In the meantime, the Irish magi igored the growing skirmishes in Normandy and Provence. They were rather more concerned with the Munster kin Brian Boramha, known to the English as Brian Boru, who was making a bid for the high kingship. He lead thousands of men, aided by Munster druids and hedge wiards, and many believed that he could unite Ireland. Thus, the Schism War took the Hibernians by surprise.

The Tribunal contained six Diedne covenants. Some magi were reluctant to attack them, for they had not been a problem in ages, but others were swift to act. To their shock, three of the six covenants were empty when attacked, their members fled to other covenants, either on Ireland or elsewhere. Overeager, the Hibernian magi split their forces and attacked each of the three that remained at once. But the Diedne had made alliance with the supernatural powers of Ireland in anticipation of these assaults. Suil Braddin, the covenant Salmon's Eye, was a Diedne group in Munster that joined forces with Donn, Tuathe De god of death. Scornach Baintri, the Widow's Throat in Ulster, had enlisted a fleet of Fomoir warships. Five of these ships sailed up the River Shannon, while five attacked the coastal covenant of Circulus Ruber. The third Diedne covenant, Culraid Logha (Lugh's Retreat) was in the Hollow of Shannon, a remote spring in the Dartry Mountains that fed the River Shannon. The split force regrouped to relieve Circulus Ruber, defeating the Fomoir fleet there...but that left the other ships free to reach Culraid Logha.

With Circulus Ruber secured, the Hibernians attacked and destroyed Scornach Baintri. Twom onths later, they tried to do the same to Culraid Logha, but failed. Almost a yer after that, the Munster Diedne and Donn's forces destroy Cosan Crolaire (Warbler's Way), a covenant near Lough Leane. The Hibernians united to defeat the Munster Diedne, razing Suil Braddin and forcing Donn to return to his island. With their forces weakened, they still gathered one last time to attack Culraid Logha. As the day of the attack grew near, two years to the day since the first assault, the druids and hedge wizards of Connacht came to join the fight, informed of it by Mercere messengers. The combined force destroyed Culraid Logha, killing the Diedne and the Fomorach defending it. This battle is known to poets as the Third Battle of Moytirra. The Hibernians believed Ireland to be free of the Diedne, but they were wrong.

Brian Boramha continued to move across Ireland, having taken Ulster and Connacht. He went next for the Ostmen of Dublin, but as they marched east, Boramha's druid, the dwarf Muircheartach mac Lia, told the Flambeau magi of Lambaird that Boramha had druids with him who named themselves 'sons of Diedne.' The Lambaird magi realized that some Diedne magi must have survived, and they headed to the battle. The Irish and Ostmen clashed at Clontarf on Good Friday of 1014. As they battled, the Flambeau traveled the field, hunting the Diedne. Their battle was brief, flamboyant and deadly. By the end of it, no Diedne magi lived on Irish soil. The Irish defeated the Ostmen, ending their threat forever...but Boramha died in the battle. His army returned to Munster, to weak to conquer the island.

The war of Brian Boramha upset the balance of power. By destroying the Ui Neill control of the high kingship, he showed that whoever had most power could become high king - and that it was worth fighting for. Many tried, and the next two centuries saw high kings from all provinces. Not all ruled unopposed - some were known as the ri co frasabra, the high king with opposition, as some clans would not acknowledge them. No high king was able to keep the title long enough to pass it to an heir, and violent power grabs became routine, as did raiding, destruction and mutilation of rivals. The pattern went on without end, and many think the English are just continuing it now.

In the meantime, the Irish Church had its own problems. The laity were lax, tithes went unpaid, violence against clergy was commonplace and many sacraments were ignored. Priests married and passed benefices to their children. The archbishop of Amnragh, Mael Maedoc (remembered by Europe as Saint Malachy) went to great lengths to reform the Church. Due to his efforts, ratified in 1152 at the Synod of Kells, many of the worst excesses ended. Ireland was split into 36 sees, with four archbishoprics at ARmagh, Cashel, Dublin and Tuam. Despite this, the Irish Church remains notably different from that of Rome. More on that later.

Despite all the violence and tumult, the 12th century was a time of great art, too. Books were made in greater number than any past era, driven by the desire to record and remember the old ways. Several monasteries became expert with vellum, while others became famous schools for illuminators. Hermetic magi added to the demand, and it's a rare Irish grimoire that isn't highly decorated. Gold and silverwork was common, but all these fine arts are hidden by the half-deserved reputation of Ireland as a barbaric, violent and lawless domain.

The English were soon to change the Tribunal forever. In 1152, Diarmait Mac Murchada, King of Leinster, abducted Derbforgaill, the wife of the King of Briefne, Tighearnan Ua Ruairc. This was the catalyst for great tragedy, and to this day, Derbforgaill is remembered as the Irish Helen. She herself was quite happy with things, settling in with Diarmait, but Tighearnan invaded Leinster in 1166, and the men of Ossory rose to rebel against Diarmait. He lost his throne and fled to English exile. There, he sought aid from Henry II to recover his lands. The new High King, Ruaidri Ua Conchobair, had taken Leinster, and Diarmait was unable to persuade Henry to invade. Instead, he gathered mercenaries to do the task himself. When this failed, he turned to the Marcher Lord Strongbow of Wales, EArl of Pembroke. Strongbow agreed to help, invading Leinster and placing Diarmait back upon his throne. Diarmait's rage at his old foes was infamous, and after one battle against the men of Ossory, he had his English allies make a pile of two hundred severed heads, searching through them for one particular foe whom he hated especially. He chewed the lips and ears off that one. Strongbow married Diarmait's daughter Aoife, and on Diarmait's death, he took the throne of Leinster. This, according to many Irish, was agaisnt the Brehon Laws, but the power of his mercenaries was too much for anyone to act against.

The success of Strongbow worried Henry II, who headed for Ireland to bring the man to heel. Strongbow immediately surrendered, and once in Ireland, Henry demanded vassalage from the Irish kings as well, who gave him tribute. In 1185, seeing his barons carving out land in Ireland, he sent his John to be Lord of Ireland. Prince John set off to receive homage, accompanied by the Welsh priest Gerald of Wales. Gerald went on to pen two popular books on his experiences, the Topography of Ireland and the Conquest of Ireland, which showed the Irish as savage and exotic. Few in England and Wales knew anything of Ireland, and Gerald became popular for giving public readings of his book to massive crowds. Prince John was much less successful. He was only 17, and his tactlessness was already legendary. (It would lead to the English Baron's Revolt later.) When the Irish kings came to do him homage, he openly mocked them and tugged at their beards.

For many magi of the Stonehenge Tribunal, Gerald's texts were a wake-up call. Some had visited or met Irish magi, but the ORder in Ireland was insular and little-known to others. Many had heard of the marvels of Hibernia and heard stories of vis so plentiful that it was left unharvested, tales of a quarter of the isle left untouched by Hermetic magi, where druids still ruled. Hibernia was suddenly the talk of Stonehenge Tribunal, a place of mystery, wealth and danger. Some feared Connacht - what if the Coill Tri were the secret heirs of Llewellyn, last Primus of Diedne? What if the Order of Odin had a foothold in the Ostmen? Henry's conquest of Ireland was justified with a reference to the Papal Bull of Loudabuiliter, in 1155, which could be read as giving him the right to conquer Ireland and reform its Church. The reforms of the past century had made it moire like that of England and the continent, and in the same way, the Order of Hermes in Stonehenge were becoming disturbed by the customs of Hibernia and began to talk of a need to reform it. A few Stonehenge magi attended the next Hibernian Tribunal, and were shocked by what they saw.

Next Time: The English expand.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

The best part is that Paris being core earth dominant means that, even though your cyberware stuff -can- still work, the first time you roll a one, you disconnect and it stops working- basically a 5 percent chance of it shutting down every time you use it. And if you're an ord, it's probably not gonna come back on any time soon. Good luck with that, faceless mook gangsters.

unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 00:33 on Jan 7, 2014

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



unseenlibrarian posted:

The best part is that Paris being core earth dominant means that, even though your cyberware stuff -can- still work, the first time you roll a one, you disconnect and it stops working- basically a 5 percent chance of it shutting down every time you use it. And if you're an ord, it's probably not gonna come back on any time soon. Good luck with that, faceless mook gangsters.

I believe that most of the cybergangs hang out in the Paris suburbs where the Core Earth dominance zone ends. Paris is a huge place and the dominance zone only extends some 4 kilometers.

Edit: yeah, Paris quarters under Core Earth dominant zone would be 7th (naturally), 1-6th, 8th and 9th, and 14-17th. Eastern Paris is outside of that and Metropolitan Paris also includes Seine-Saint Denis, Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine, and parts of Essonne, Seine-et-Marne,Yvelines and Val-d'Oise. Paris is loving huge.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 01:05 on Jan 7, 2014

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Yeah, the Warewolves are the only gang listed that is specifically stated hangs out near the pure zone, even though there's no reason why they should.

Ords disconnecting is always problematic, because they either transform and stick that way (since they don't have the reality skill they can't reconnect and have to spend their one Possibility to survive the disconnection), or explode if they've already transformed once already (since they've already used their one Possibility).

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



Evil Mastermind posted:

Next, there's The Tri's. And yes, the apostrophe is there; it's because they wear the French tricolor on their jackets as their "gang symbol", as a representation of their defiance of Malraux. Not that they're allied with Paris; a full 95% of their crimes are commited against the Parisean public. It's more the idea of their leader Anne Druillard. She figures that with everything going on, Paris is going to focus on the more serious threats. So she sets her gang up as "Robin Hood" style bandits, working with the PLM to fight other gangs, organizing very public attacks against the Cyberpapacy, and so on. So far it seems to be working in her favor, even though her tactics tend to get a lot of her own people killed. But hey, plenty more where they came from.

I'm gonna go ahead and guess that "Anne Druillard" is a swipe from Anne Parillaud, the star of the original La Femme Nikita, which was out about the time this book was published.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Selachian posted:

I'm gonna go ahead and guess that "Anne Druillard" is a swipe from Anne Parillaud, the star of the original La Femme Nikita, which was out about the time this book was published.

And you'd be right about that. There's a lot of names like that through out TORG.

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secretly best girl
Mar 27, 2007

I see you choosing that other route. How dare you.

I will never be free.

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