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Environmental Storytelling: Factions

Mood pieces meant to help artists create the human world. The task was to give examples of how faction characteristics might affect the environment, items and dialogue.

 

DISCLAIMER: please note that these are background mood pieces and should not be taken literally as reflecting final decisions.

Omegaton Faction

Mottos

"Superiors are superior, inferiors are inferior!"

"Order is godly, chaos is sin!"

"Hierarchy is holy!"

"Obey or be broken""

"Fealty to the Empire!"

Environment
Alien Invasion

You stand on a small hill, gazing at the Hub across a grassy plain. A titanic metal wall boxes in the city, shutting it off from outside dangers. Yet even more massive are the floating monoliths at each corner of The Hub, each with a gigantic Omegaton symbol hollowed through their middle, their crests rising through plumes of dark clouds. They are like evil sorcerers calling forth storms. Endless streams of blunt-nosed frigates descend through the darkening skies like bloated beetles towards Omegaton’s spaceport. The traffic is abysmal, but an empire must be supplied. You walk down the hill across the plain, and as you draw closer the monoliths loom ever higher above you, their signal lights glaring at your approach. As you near the perimeter you pass pillboxes, their robotic cannons hissing like vipers as they snap to face you. You hold your breath, wait for facial recognition. Finally, they snap back to neutral. You’re close now. Anti-aircraft guns line the wall like shards of broken glass. Far above you hear the laughter of CDF sentries as they pace the ramparts.Their laughter sounds slightly forced — raids happen all too often here. You reach the gated entranceway. It opens just enough for you to slip through, before booming shut behind you. The Omegan quarter surrounds and engulfs the entire city — a fierce guard dog of concrete and steel consisting of massive, institutional-looking buildings. Noone entering or leaving The Hub escapes Omegaton’s gaze. Levitating loudspeakers bark “move along” before praising the quality of life made possible by the Empire. Everyone in this quarter hurries along quickly, heads bowed. Most are just passing through (you can see why). Savage watchtowers topped with eyeball-like 360° cameras raise their concrete heads to scowl at you — joyless, hulking monstrosities imbued with the ancient power of Sumerian ziggurats. A few of the heavily fortified exteriors remind you of the merciless face of a balkan cage fighter; yet you know their interiors boast grecian-style urns and regal thrones. Those Omegans that are permanently stationed on Calypso are rarely seen on the street, choosing instead to scurry unobserved between their various administration buildings via a network of underground tunnels and connecting walkways. They fear the colonists and their rising discontent. Their neurotic need to maintain power is hewn in stone: gigantic statues of Omegan figures tower over the populace, gazing upon their domain with the haughtiness and regality of Roman Emperors.

Sample Dialogue

“What do you want, colonist? I’m a busy Omegan, can’t you see that? Shouldn’t you be out exterminating all the robots and animals for the good of the Empire? That’s why we brought you here! What? YOU want an ASSIGNMENT? How DARE you approach me directly! You should have gone through my inferiors — don’t you know your place?! The cheek of it... ...Well, as it happens I might possibly have a small task even you could handle…"

Genesis Star Faction

Mottos

"Capitalist pigs get FILTHY RICH!"

"Money IS everything, moron!"

"No coworkers, just COMPETITORS!"

"If greed is who you are, you're a Genois!"

"Winner takes all!"

Environment
Retro Futuristic City

Night has fallen. Neon casino signs blaze into the dark as heavy electronic bass shakes the ground like the stomping dance of a cocaine-intoxicated colossus. Sleek, greyhound-like vehicles swoop round the blocks at breakneck speed, searching out the next pleasure. The buildings are futuristic Art Deco in ultra-reflective burnished steel, drenched in dazzling hues of iridescent peacock and sickly-sweet candy neon. The crowded stores reveal a shameless Cult of Greed, a worship of all things ludicrously luxurious and vain: yachts, diamond-studded suits, tiaras, crystal bath tubs. Perfume sellers pump out clouds of overpowering scent so thick you can almost see them. Jewellers loudly hawk their wares in the open streets, displaying row-upon-row of brilliant jewellery encrusted with multi-colored gems the size of a fist. A group of garishly-dressed young women dripping in gold are chatting on the street, each swigging their own bottle of champagne. The women amuse themselves by playing two hawkers against each other till they start brawling — cackling uncontrollably as one hawker beats his competitor bloody. The attack on your senses by this raucous casino-cum-bazaar is like an oncoming epileptic fit. You need to get out.

Sample Dialogue

“Bosses only, numbskull! Can't you read? Get back to your workspace or I swear I’ll…Wait a second. You’re not from here are you? Well, what do you want? A job eh? Well...as it happens I do need a new lackey. Now you listen here, this job might be the lowest on the ladder but you’re representing me: Max Lighter. That means you do it good. They call me ‘Ashes’ — you know why? Because when you get burned by ‘The Lighter’ that’s all that’s left! Just ask the last lackey! So, are we agreed? Hurry up and decide — time is money and I’m not wasting either on you!”

Chikara

Slogans

"Maintain the balance"

"There is no self, only possibility"

"Refine your emotional responses"

"Shift your perpective"

"The supple sappling weathers the storm whilst the might oak falls"

Environment
Image by Aung Sein

Here there are noise absorbers tuned to dampen the thundering bass of the rowdy Genois. Instead, you hear the thrumming, peaceful mantra of a thousand Chikaran devotees, punctuated by the low boom of an immense gong. The sounds are like a soothing balm after the cacophony of the Genois quarter. You feel cleansed and uplifted. This place has a more rural, ‘village feel’ to it: an oasis of calm between the two storms that are Omegaton and Genesis Star. Large multilayered pagodas and Indian-style stupas lift their soaring spires to the sky, ascending the mind to higher contemplation. These tall, temple-like buildings form the focal point around which little ‘town squares’ are organized. The squares are filled with rock gardens, babbling brooks and elegant water fountains. The buildings in the centre of the town squares are the Knowledge Temples: places where Chikarans collect bio-knowledge from all over the galaxy in order to inspire their tech development. Nature has evolved its ‘ideas’ over millions of years, and Chikara in their wisdom draw from The Source. Located at each corner of the town squares are groups of chanting devotees circumambulating smaller spire-like structures: miniatures of the central Knowledge Temple. The devotees' circuitious track around the miniature spires is clearly marked on the ground by a luminous white circle. Upon passing a vertical white line bisecting the circle each figure momentarily bursts into brilliant white flame. They are training their Mindforce — another Chikaran speciality.

Sample Dialogue

"You’d like to be a novice? Well, why not? Another thread in the all-connecting web! Splendid! But I must tell you, we are considered...unusual. We never use strength against strength. A sapling will weather the storm whilst the mighty oak falls. You understand? Ah, well you will! To collaborate with us, you must reject what others take for granted and start again. Are you ready?"

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