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Colony Ship RPG Update #6: Factions Overview
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 17 June 2016, 01:38:05Tags: Iron Tower Studio; Scott Hamm; The New World; Vince D. Weller
For this month's Colony Ship RPG development update, Vault Dweller has written a detailed description of all of the game's factions. Unsurprisingly, there's a faction representing each side of the mutiny that brought the titular ship to its current state. The player character will be a member of the unaffiliated "Freemen" faction, and over the course of the game will venture forth into the Habitat, the area of the ship where the other factions make their home. More interesting is the wide variety of religious-themed factions, including a caste of sacred mutant engineers and an order of mysterious monks. Here are their full descriptions:
When a small percentage of children in the Habitat were first born deformed, they were immediately shunned. Superstitions – that their deformities were contagious, that they were radioactive – swiftly followed and they were branded Mutants. The young were abandoned, and those whose defects didn't manifest until later driven out of the Habitat.
As the number of outcast Mutants grew, they began to settle in what had come to be known as the Engine Room, the vast open space providing access to the Ship’s engines and reactor. With the condition of the fusion reactor degrading to dangerous levels, and the number of volunteers for jobs in areas exposed to radiation remaining few, the Mutants approached the Habitat to negotiate the Covenant, a pact granting the Mutants protection from harassment and violence in exchange for their maintenance of the engines and other vital ship systems.
Out of necessity, engine work and electronics were taught to the outcasts by Engineering Officers, and out of "charity" Christianity was introduced by the missionaries. Over the decades, the isolated Mutant collective became increasingly tribal, and the confused worship of both science and religion led to a theocratic, caste-based society. Believing themselves chosen by a higher power, the Mutants declared their disfigurements not a curse but the Mark of God, the physical manifestation of their destiny to save the ship, and thus mankind.
Now the Mutant priests hide the stigmata of their kind behind masks depicting beatific metal faces, and their Consecrators regularly tour the Habitats, to seek out children bearing the Mark and to spread the word of God. Frowning upon (or more aptly, fearing) such blasphemy, the Church of the Elect claims that the Mark of the Beast is the proper name for the Mutants' affliction, but as long as they tend the Ship's engines they remain inviolable.
At the heart of the Ship sits one of its deepest mysteries: the House Ecclesiastes. A simple, unadorned facade belies the importance of this temple, and the curious visitor is welcomed by nothing more than a centuries-faded relief spelling ECLSS and two well-maintained turrets. Only senior faction representatives are granted audience here. All others are turned away.
The monks of House Ecclesiastes are the keepers of many secrets. Deep within the zone, they are said to meditate on the very essence of Life and Death, but their practice is not one of philosophy. Their rituals are crucial to the systems that allow every citizen to survive. The burden of their knowledge is so heavy that they have cast aside all other earthly concerns, caring not for wealth, pleasure or power. Thus their motto: He who increases in Knowledge increases in Sorrow.
With few exceptions the needs of these ascetics are modest, but whatever they request, they promptly receive. In return they offer nothing but the continued supply of air to breathe and water to drink.
Generations will come and go, but the Ship is eternal.
The update also reports that Vault Dweller has hired Scott Hamm, lead designer of Iron Tower's cancelled Lovecraftian RPG Cyclopean who is also contributing to Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones, to help him write the game and hopefully finish it on time. That's right, Iron Tower has a genuine writing team now.
P.S. If you want to know what ECLSS stands for, just use Google.