Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Delightful Insanity

So if you’re reading this, i must have had a lack of sense and posted this on the internet.  This is my first attempt to construct a rules addition to the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition rules set featuring giant, magically powered robots of doom.  Now there are a couple of people to blame and thank as usual, and we’ll get to that eventually.  The important thing to consider in this exchange from a world building standpoint is what makes these robots so necessary to the setting at the level of commonality they are going to exist?  


An underlying conceit of the setting i’m designing is that there a couple of unique elements/components that have made life astonishingly tricky for normal sized folks.  Most of the typically smaller humanoids and monstrous denizens of a fantasy world have been consumed/enslaved/murdered by an assortment of giants that form a coalition.  Long term exposure to an exotic energy type has made them particularly brutal combatants.  Normal weapons bounce off of their armored skin, and even magic has trouble hurting these abominations.  Great armies of these giants roamed across the world and seemed poised to conquer it, if not for the intervention of fate, an engineer, and a suitably mad wizard.
The small folk united under a single banner for the first time to try and oppose the giants.  Every battle was an absolute bloodbath, with hundreds of dead warriors for every giant slain.  The toll so great that every resource was considered, no stones left unturned in the search for a weapon that could feel the giants.  An engineer working for the Royal Academy of Kerenect built the first Rider armor out of exotic minerals that had been found deep in the mines below Kerenct.  However, the Rider could not walk, it had no power source.  Dereth, of the Dwarven realm of Gaerdresburg found the solution.  
Ancient crystals harvested from the earliest dwarven settlements proved to be the solution.  These crystals were planted in memory of the first dwarves by the forges they helped to build.  They’d absorbed thousands of years worth of energy from those forges, and when connected to the Rider, they gave it a beating heart.  With Kerenect under attack by a force of giants, the Engineer had no choice but to take the Rider into battle with little time, and no practice.  The first Rider stepped across the city walls and joined the fight against the giants for the first time.  
That first battle lasted for a week, as the RIder stood toe to toe with the giants.  It’s weapons hand been a hastily constructed axe and a stout metal shield.  Nearly a hundred of the giants had been slain by that axe when the giants finally fled the battlefield.  Pockmarked, and its armor rent and broken, the Rider finally stopped moving at the gates of the city.  The Engineer had died at the controls of the machine.  
The Giants wasted little time spreading news of this foe, and within the year, nearly three thousand giants descended upon Kerenect with an army of servitors and slaves numbering almost a million.  The small folk had not wasted their time though.  Three dozen Riders and nearly two hundred thousand of the finest soldiers across the realms of men, dwarves, elves, gnomes, and an assortment of others met them at the gates.  The battle was fierce, and cost the lives of many, but the Riders held the field, and though it would take another generation, they would eventually break the backs of the Giant Clans, and force a peace treaty between the tall folk and the small folk.  

The 8 Day War

Following the peace with the giants, the alliance that had held the myriad races together started to fracture.  Without the looming threat of the Giants and their kin to hold them together, the threads that had tied them together began to fray, and finally snapped.  No one is completely sure what started the fighting, but it was quick, and bloody.  Within a month, war had spread from one end of the world to the other as long simmering hatreds and ancient feuds came back to life.  Three years of blood-soaked battlefields and night raids followed as each side tried to conquer their neighbors with their Riders.  Unfortunately, the secret of Rider construction had been shared by everyone.
The Heisencrantz Society emerged from the bloodiest of these battlefields (their first appearance is ostensibly fighting in the ruins of the old capital of Kerenect, but reports put them in several locations following that).  Using incredibly advanced Riders, and a new, smaller scale version called Walkers, the Heisencrantz Society brought every major conflict to an end through superior firepower and an unwavering willingness to kill everything in their way.  8 days into their final battle, the world effectively surrendered to them.
The Heisencrantz Society put together a government that firmly established them as the world leader while allowing most of the smaller states to continue on as independent regions.  The Society’s governing body allowed each of the smaller states to maintain their own military forces for the common defense, but the Heisencrantz Society had both the largest and best equipped military.  
New Land, New Ideas

For two hundred and fifty years, the Heisencrantz Society masterfully orchestrated their global empire with a combination of political acumen and a willingness to deploy its vast army.  Explorers had set out to explore the world, and one group finally returned with news that would change the world.  A new continent had been discovered, and it set off a land rush.  Oppressed minorities and social outcasts flocked to this new land, as did a variety of other people looking for fresh starts and second chances.  These smaller collectives for the most part worked together to build new starts in this strange land outside the iron reach of the Heisencrantz society.  
The natives to this land were open and accepting of these outsiders, and cleared small portions of their territory to allow homes for these newcomers.  The first generation of these settlers brought new ideas to the natives, and the cultural interaction was vibrant and energetic, as these two groups sought to understand each other.  Walkers and Riders became tools of expansion and exploration rather than weapons of war.  This peace would not last.  The Heisencrantz Society put in place economic and monetary restrictions on the settlers, and finally, the settlers would take no more, War was declared.  
The Heisencrantz Society conquered the newly named Colonial Marches in less than a year.  Unlike the free hand they allowed their member states to operate with, the Heisencrantz Society was brutal to the Colonials, and it became rapidly evident that it would be a long occupation before anything positive could happen in the Colonial Marches.  




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