Origins of the Riggers

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Roy-Batty
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Origins of the Riggers

Post by Roy-Batty » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:25 pm

There was a time when the Riggers did not carry that feared name, or carried any other title. Survivors of the Rancor War, as they called the 100 year conflict among themselves, grouped together out of necessity and a strong will to survive. Many who had seen the horrors of war gathered in an attempt to face the new challenges that hand, however this specific group had distinct qualities, soon to be known throughout the ruins of civilization. For man had not learned it’s lessons on the value of life, even when it seemed foul and rotten, casting aside any who didn’t seem to add to the task of surviving the aftermath of war.
Initially consisting of several small bands of marauding thieves and cutthroats spread throughout the land, there was little coherency between the groups, if there was any. Some stuck close to early settlers, picking of strays that wandered too far out of base camp, or simply raiding the weaker settlements. Others hunted like packs of animals, roaming the land, searching for places that could be valuable to other survivors, raiding them and setting traps for unfortunate refugees attracted to temporary salvation. Some even tracked down the last X’Lanthos, not knowing this odd strategy would prove most successful. The aliens had very similar needs to man’s and were very effective in obtaining both foodstuff and technology. This was relatively easy to profit from by the marauders, but also offered unexpected bounty. The raiders, at least the ones that survived long enough, became skilled assassins as the X’Lanthos were far harder to overcome than weakened settlers or frightened refugees. Looted Dark Matter reactors and Graviton Manipulators, Higgs Capacitors and many other high tech devices far beyond anything known to man slowly turned these savage men into skilled technicians over many decades. Alas, this rapid advance came at a price, as many fell to ill prepared and crude experiments in early attempts to master technology that was never intended to fall into man’s hands, and subjects managing to survive had to bear scars or face post-apocalyptic life without essential limbs.
Co-existing with the alien race and their environment, almost like a parasite hidden deep beneath the bear’s pelt, also taught the marauders about biomass, and it’s all present influence on everything it touches. For the first years, no one managed to see the first signs. The strange, mostly hostile animal life forms that started to appear around X’Lanthos strongholds were thought to be a side effect of a century of conflict, or mutations spawned by virus infected wildlife. The captured alien technology now being wielded with mediocre accuracy was more than sufficient to keep these abominations at a distance, however some say it was the wildlife that quickly realized there were easier ways to obtain prey. But there was another change. Much more subtle than the strange animals or exotic flora springing up near alien crash sites. This was a change within each and every one of the human bandits, struggling with their very humanity. Slowly, but surely, the biomass searched it’s connections with humanity, teaching both man and alien about the other, and testing these new organisms for opportunities to expand.
At first, the ravagers thrived on this new energy, oblivious to its origin or possible danger. There was an almost addictive attraction to hotspots of this material, now scattered in a wide radius around X’Lanthos crash sites. It seemed that the more time one spent under the influence of the material, the greater the desire became to obtain more of its secrets. This wasn’t something conscious. One would simply find oneself directing ones actions towards the new subliminal goal of getting closer to a hotspot before ones tasks were completed for the day. There were no superpowers or heightened senses caused by the alien substance, it was more that the individual became a part of a greater knowledge, or at least be able to see more pieces of the puzzle, as some described it. The biomass would, while it learned from its subject, share its stored biodata with its new link while the connection lasted, thus reshaping both itself and its subject. The marauders soon learned overexposure to the biomass was perilous, when several individuals broke down into a psychotic episode of rage, rampaging through friend or foe until finally halted by a swift death.
Compared to other post war groups, these marauders were able to develop quickly. Trough both natural selection, having to compete with the X’Lanthos, and technological and biological advances the small group grew compact and lethal, now calling themselves “The Rancor”. The rapid advances called for a subdivision of specialization, to make sure more psychotic incidents were kept to a minimum. Thus, the Lodges were born.
Over time, each Lodge became hungry for more power over the Rancor as a whole, convinced of the importance of each Lodge’s own uniqueness and importance. The Flux Lodge was one of the first Lodges to develop and gain significant power through the development of crude, yet effective induction generators using scrapped X’Lanthos tech, able to run both on Dark Matter, or mere sunlight. Providing power, the Flux Lodge was able to offer light, cooked foodstuff and heat, at a high price, of course. The Assegai Lodge quickly restored the delicate balance of power by developing the first crude pulse weapons, capable of hitting targets hidden in cover at near light speed, without the need of gunpowder. The weapon development cult of the Assegai Lodge and the energy creed ever more deeply rooted within the Flux Lodge led to a quick development of all Rancor, especially in comparison with other marauders throughout the continent.
Starting out as a leaching band of outcasts near a crashed X’Lanthos hulk on the coastline near the coastline of the former Canadian Federation, slowly the Rancor not only dominated mankind throughout an extensive area, but also learned quickly how to battle the few X’Lanthos left on the vessel. This attracted more rejects to the conglomerate of the Rancor, many with a desire to form small empires within the whole. Soon, the Paroxysm Lodge was formed. Initially to provide a basic form of healthcare to the group, but the development of many poisons and experiments on wildlife, refugees and even other Rancor earned them a questionable name, even among a group of anarchistic, even feral people.
For the Rancor, the point of origin was always the X’Lanthos vessel, half submerged into the ocean. The Biomass attracted and deformed, constantly changing in an attempt to improve its situation, as many though was the purpose of Biomass. Some of the Rancor were convinced the key to not only survival, but the new origin of earth, now forever connected with Biomass, lay in the constant change these entities provoked. So, the Nexus Lodge was born. Dedicated to the merging of the alien primal material with earths produce, forming new materials, new elements, even new life. Profit came from trading the toughest metals, most resistant cloth and fattest “chickens” known to man. The final Lodge known to man was the Abstruse Lodge. Most of mankind had seen the X’Lanthos violent applications for Dark Energy. The manipulation of gravity or mass, bending light, ignoring the laws of physics and even unraveling the threads of matter itself had been terrifying, but to the Abstruse, mastering this energy was the key to life on the new earth. Capturing, dismantling and reconstructing Dark Energy Manipulators and X’Lanthos DE weapons opened the gates for this special kind of Rancor, operating in the shadows of their violent new world.
For many years, the Lodges managed to live in relative peace. Now belonging to the predatorial class within their habitat, every Rancor knew each other Lodge brought benefit to all others. But the turmoil within could only be suppressed for so long. In the end, all Rancor had come from places they had not been wanted. The whole consisted of many tortured souls, many sources of bottled up energy. It was only a matter of time until the star had to convert into a black hole. And when it happened, it happened with an all consuming fury. Lodges raided other lodges. Open war or sly betrayal would quickly become as normal as breathing air. The X’Lanthos soon noticed and took the opportunity to regain ground and weaken their strongest enemy. The Settlers, now recently organized and active competitors for parts of the vast Rancor territories, started to hunt the marauders down, and quite successfully. Within only a few years, decades of work were undone, and the Rancor Lodges were at the point of extinction. Now forced between the competition and the sea, things had become more desperate than ever.
No one really remembers when the Vagrant joined the Rancor. He was simply there. Noticed because he didn’t just survive the initiation, he excelled in strength, intelligence, and cruelty. Soon, every Lodge had pledged with him to join their House as a new asset, but the Vagrant had already decided long before. He never had any intent on joining a Lodge to form a part of the whole, he wanted to rise above it and rule. Not for power or wealth, but to use the Rancor to search out the Corporation, its Board and obliterate all that was left, making sure even the memory of the last Multiplanetary Conglomerate would be wiped from mankind. But for now, he had to wait. There was no denying the Lodges had served their purpose. There hadn’t been more successful social network since the start of the war. He just had to make sure he would get where he needed to be, at the top of the pyramid, without destroying its building blocks. He had done this before, and therefore had no problems in finding his place in the Paroxysm Lodge. Already known and perhaps even feared for his cruelty, the vagrant set out to new realms of human experiments. Hunting for new specimen at night, and his days filled with unspeakable acts, the man seemed more like a machine, were it not for the clearly insane expression on his face when pursuing his goals. Nonetheless, he was popular among the ranks of the Lodge, for he showed how to use the knowledge of other houses to gain ground in the art of “human enhancement”, as he often called it. The Flux lodge provided him with Electro Pulse Emitters, in exchange for a group of Room Temperature Super Conductors, a low tech form long forgotten by most men but more than welcomed by the Flux Lodge. The Vagrant soon changed these Emitters to Manipulators, basically obtaining a tool to turn subjects into soulless puppets, for a short period of time. This could easily be traded with the Assegai Lodge who saw profit in soldiers without a will, and soon the Vagrant was respected by all Lodges, while each house started to relearn the concept of operating as Rancor, and not as separatist groups.
For a short time, things went well for the Rancor, but to everyone else in the same area, both alien and man, the marauders were still both a threat and a menace. Attacks became so often and regular, it was only a question of time before the Rancor would buckle. Some higher ranked Lodgers even whispered that things had intensified since the Vagrant had arrived and that perhaps his manipulations went beyond the unfortunate refugees he would rip out of the darkness. However, things had already progressed too far. Anything more than a whisper would only lead to death. Manipulated or not, the Vagrant had maneuvered himself into the perfect position for a coup. And, as he had done over a thousand years ago, Scofield took control over everyone around him, assassinating all Lodge leaders in one swift attack, skillfully manipulated into a X’Lanthos ambush. This was the time, as Scofield ordered al Lodges to move to the shore, where his fleet was waiting to take the Rancor from the land, and onto the long abandoned Atmospheric enhancement Stations, many miles from the nearest land. Appointing a Station to each house, and putting a Haussman Enhanced henchman at the head of each Lodge, there were no more internal struggles. Switch was ever watchful, and what Switch observed, Scofield knew.
Did you ever hear of the Eris Scrolls?

You can get to know them here:

http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 16&t=63414

And that's just the beginning.

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Roy-Batty
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Re: Origins of the Riggers

Post by Roy-Batty » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:30 pm

I wanted to see how the Bandits came to be, according to the world I am trying to create with The Eris Scrolls. There are a few references to the scrolls, so perhaps it's not too easy to follow if you don't read those 29 chapters first :-)

The origins of the bandits, as I see it. Very very scetchy, but let's see what you think. This is Post-war, up untill the starting point of the Riggers, as I like to call them. If there is any interest, I will flesh out the workings of the Riggers themselves.... well maybe i'll do that without interest too! :-)

And it's a biiiit longer than usual..... I tried to keep it short....
Did you ever hear of the Eris Scrolls?

You can get to know them here:

http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 16&t=63414

And that's just the beginning.

Don't forget to bring your opinion!

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AirborneHam
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Re: Origins of the Riggers

Post by AirborneHam » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:24 pm

WHEW!! :shock: That was a long one, but I sat down and made it through.
I really like your idea for the riggers and including the biomass into it is another great touch. I've been thinking about Scofield and must say, I'm glad you brought him back.
Personally, I have a different image of biomass and it's manipulation of the environment, but it's just how I viewed it after reading trooogdooor's ideas.
Great piece, and keep writing. I will try to finish my next entry and get it up soon.
AirborneHam, author of several stories in the Dark Potential Fan-Fiction Forum.

Start here: http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 19&t=63550

It only gets better.

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trooogdooor
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Re: Origins of the Riggers

Post by trooogdooor » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:37 am

Always interesting to read Eris errata. So, in summary:

- Scofield the Haussmanoid rules the riggers
- Each rig has a Haussmanoid ruling it, reporting loyally to Scofield
- Riggers get infected with biomass because they scavenge XEF tech
- Biomass is sort of mystical, like chaos taint, warping minds and bodies somehow
- Scofield can mindcontrol people briefly, making fanatics/kamikazes of them


I definitely like the idea of Riggers operating out of a few bombed out XEF Hulks. I too want the biomass to be more specific in what it is and exactly how it works, to avoid the familiar fantasy/magic feel (I don't like vague "dark force" adversaries), but I think there's plenty of room to scifi it up yet!

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Roy-Batty
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Re: Origins of the Riggers

Post by Roy-Batty » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:49 am

@ Airborneham: Thanks for the support! This is really slippery stuff for me. I didn't think about it too much. I know that sounds strange, but normally I write down a basic idea, and than work from there. I didn't do that at all for this. This was a big cloud of ideas I was getting lost in, and when I started to write, I could make more sense of it. When I was finished, I liked it enough to post. I just read your new piece, and I really like what you did with the Biomass. It's not that far from what i'm thiking.

@Trooogdooor: Well, it's partially the way you summarized it. Point is this stops at the point the Rancor become the Riggers. What's missing is the history untill the Riggers reveil themselves to the Settlers.

- Yes, Scofield rules the Riggers. Over a thousand years old, completely integrated with Switch. Skin like a leather wallet, with little humanity left. All emotions amplified and relentless.

To react to your nicely done summary:
- Yeah, the Lodge leaders are now Haussman controlled, but they do not realize this. They don't report to Scofield, they are just part of Switch.
- Yep, slowly the Biomass will reshape the Riggers, since it forms part of their society.
- Biomass is more the complete opposite of Chaos. It's an entity that acts and evolves to obtain balance. Every other entity that the material interacts with becomes part of the design, and will be reshaped to get closer to the "center"
- The mindcontrol device I mention is not really that important. The fanatics are controlled in a different way. The machine I mention is based on a tech being developed now based on microwave emitters, and actually has the goal to act on peoples bodies. It's just a device Scofield traded to get influence in other Lodges.
Did you ever hear of the Eris Scrolls?

You can get to know them here:

http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 16&t=63414

And that's just the beginning.

Don't forget to bring your opinion!

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trooogdooor
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Re: Origins of the Riggers

Post by trooogdooor » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:00 am

This makes a lot more sense, I'm even happier with it after that addendum. Especially the fact that the riggers don't realize that they're being manipulated by Scofields Haussman plants: this opens a lot of intrigue, and keeps the anti-nonhuman, personality-fuelled, heroic feeling that I think the riggers would be awesome for!

Looking forward to reading more about the biomass; I'm getting a better sense of it, but still very curious.

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