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 Post subject: Project: Hel'breki...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:44 pm
  

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Hero

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 5:52 pm
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First up a warning... much of what is about to be posted hasn't been seriously looked at in years and even then was at best an early draft that wasn't much better than a stream of consciousness at times. I make no apologies.

Second... this is likely the end of the Hel'breki as part of anything related to Palladium. I've largely lost interest in Palladium books and their worlds with only the occasional bout of nostalgia compelling me to again dabble in this realm.

Third... trigger warnings... The Hel'breki are atheists and are fundamentally opposed in these histories by religious zealots. If that bothers you I'd suggest walking away.

Hopefully, I can post these as individual posts... guess I'll find out what the post limit is...

_________________
"If your plan relies upon chance to succeed, then you've already failed."
"Sometimes to achieve the greatest good, one must commit great evil."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:45 pm
  

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Hero

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 5:52 pm
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The Hel’breki, the people of darkness and death.

“For want of an apple, a child went unborn. For want of a child, a warrior went untrained. For want of a warrior, a battle went unwon. For want of a battle, a world was undone.” Hel’breki proverb relating the importance of logistics in their war to survive.


Concepts:

Atheists, the Hel’breki do not worship nor particularly understand the desire to do so. Culturally the Hel’breki do display some agnostic aspects though these have not evolved into a concept akin to a religion.

Aesthetics Chitin, Resin, Gothic, Occult; the Hel’breki in general prefer dark colors: black, dark greys, reds a few shades of green and purples. They also find the presence of bones, typically artificial though some have donated their bones to the ‘arts’, as relaxing with Hel’breki, animal and more exotic specimens often being integrated into the resin accents used extensively throughout their havens and constructs. Though often misunderstood as some kind of death worship this practice is born of the ancient times when nothing could be spared and the addition of bones to the resin was born of the basic practicality of adding mass to the structures, intentionally or otherwise. In time it becomes the norm and in it’s own way a sign of comfort as a reminder of those who frequently give their own lives to protect those often unknown to them.

Status; Hated, The Hel’breki have the reputation of being traitors to humanity. This reputation is born of a series of events in which outsiders contributed to the chaos and the isolation of the Hel’breki.

History concept blurbs:

Blissful Days; At their core was a tight knit community of Atheists who in the years before the fall of humanity were all players in a brutally realistic augmented reality game of war on a planetary scale. When N.E.X.U.S. decided humanity was the true vermin and root source of all of the world’s problems this early gaming group, The Hell Breakers, were more than ready and initially just assumed the apocalypse like event was just another event from the game. By time they all realised what was going on they were already doing well and kept going.

Advent Splicer; The discovery and distribution of Splicer Biotechnology was initially greeted with elation, finally The Hell Breakers could get back to the work of slaughtering the machines, until the flaws became obvious and the ease of abuse and obvious risk of increasingly concentrated ‘power’ in the hands of the few became undeniable. Secretly the Hell Breakers began to push their own research into biotechnology in radically different directions.

More Human than Human; Using Splicer Biotechnology the people subject themselves to modifications to better survive a life below ground. They purposely make their modifications inheritable and thus take the first steps towards becoming something else entirely. In subsequent generations they will begin propagating advantageous genetic traits found within humanity throughout their people creating a people with superior capabilities helping to ensure future generations are both better able to wage war and are healthier for longer with extended lifespans and in the case of females a far longer range of ages during which they can have children.

Tyrant Guard; The rise of the Dreadguard and their subsequent takeover of most of the resistance cells was not only predicted by the Hell Breakers, but feared. The events quickly gained traction with many newly appointed Dreadguard Warlords going so far as to help their fellow Dreadguard take control of their respective resistance cells. In short order the vast majority of the resistance was nothing more than a support system for the Dreadguard. The Hell Breakers remade themselves through the illusion of being subjected to the Dreadguard. They renamed themselves House Hel’brek and the resistance remained largely ignorant of what they had done.

Illusion no more; The people of House Hel’brek having spent decades pretending to be something they are not. Finally realise they now identify as Hel’breki and were themselves a species apart from humanity as their extensive genetic modifications had finally reached the point where they could no longer produce offspring, viable or otherwise, with humanity.

(Not So) Civil War; lead by the last natural human born librarians and equipped by the last of the human engineers insurgents attempt to kill the Hel’breki Weavers, Artificers and Hosts, the Hel’breki version of the Librarian, Engineer and Saint, respectively, believing them to be corrupt and driving humanity towards extinction with the modifications they have all been subjected too. The insurgents and the legacy Librarians and Engineers are killed off. Though regrettable the act was seen as defensive rather than offensive. Sadly it would be a prelude of what was to come.

Symbiosis; The development of symbiosis, born of research into both chimerism and the various types of symbiosis in nature, allows the Hel’breki to fully dispense with the illusion of being a Dreadguard ruled house. In particular the development of the unique bioengineered organism that will become their ‘haven’ gives the people hope for the future.

Gunboat Diplomacy; Dreadguard from the neighboring houses begin to make increasingly ostentatious demands. They are all disregarded. When a Dreadguard attempts to take control of the Hel’breki he is met and dispatched by Meriena Baylor, a warrior of near mythical ability, using prototypes of a number of soon to be standard symbiotes.

Cold Hate; The Warlord brother of the Dreadguard killed by Meriena leads an assault upon the Hel’breki people while they are above ground tending their forest gardens and farms, the civilians are slaughtered. Among the dead is Meriena Baylor’s chosen mate. Tales of Meriena’s ramage of vengeance will spread far and wide through the resistance and forever taint her legacy as a warrior of unmatched capacity as she near single handedly lays waste to a house through a brutal campaign of merciless guerrilla warfare while maintaining a pace that even to a Hel’breki would be punishing to maintain.

Demon Children; Meriena Baylor, her need for vengeance sated, subjected herself to the then experimental Hive Wombs biosystem which combined her genetic essence with that of her deceased mate and created two hundred viable embryos. The biosystem then used Meriena’s own body as a measuring system for creating a stable viable environment for her children. Whether due to the stress of the experimental process or due to her own grief Meriena would not survive her children’s births. In honor of her past efforts and her extraordinary capabilities the children were accepted into the Hel’breki. Though the children would hardly have normal lives compared to their more traditionally produced kin, due to fear, born of concerns of Meriena’s behavior off the battlefield and the children’s ‘unnatural’ origins.

Rise of Madness; The death of the Warlord, his name forever purged, left a power vacuum that over the next several decades would allow for the rise of increasingly intolerant leaders with ever more extreme viewpoints. This finally culminated in the rise of the Dasive, a religious order that preached of Splicers being the Chosen of their God and that only through unity, of all houses under a single leader and the unity of all humans in their belief and adherence to the Dasive faith could the machine be defeated. Hel’breki attempts to understand the faith and it’s origins were met with criticisms. While questioners were told that only those proven to be faithful and truly devoted may learn the deepest of truths. Concerned about the Dasive use of all the tricks of ancient cults to condition responses within their followers the Hel’breki refused the Dasive missionaries full access to their house.

Madness Spreads; The Hel’breki watched as house after house fell to internal strife and each in turn declared their loyalty to the Church of Dasive. Increasingly the Dasive missionaries entered the Hel’breki territory and increasingly they became more brazen in their efforts to infiltrate the people. The increased tension between the Hel’breki and the Dasive hit a breaking point when a Dasive missionary began to beat a Hel’breki child, a young girl, barely in the grip of puberty, who in the heat of the sun had exposed much of her skin to the cool air as a gentle breeze flowed. When Hel’breki Guardians pulled the Missionary off the girl he and his followers grew increasingly agitated screaming about the girl not having the right to tempt the eyes of the pious and faithful with her flesh and it’s promises of impure pleasure. Disgusted by the very idea that the Missionary could look upon a young girl and see a sexual being, the Missionary and his followers were themselves beaten and sent back to their House with the demand of an apology and a requirement that such events never again happen. The Dasive leaders, a council of the various enclave household’s Warlords responded by demanding the Hel’breki convert and teach their people shame and humility. The Hel’breki declared their lands off limits to any missionaries.

War of Faith; The Dasive didn’t wait long before they came in force. Armed groups were soon escorting the missionaries and demanding access to the Hel’breki population declaring that only those who convert to the Dasive faith would be spared. When a few Hel’breki not wishing to be killed, and, in one known case, looking to try and aid their fellow Hel’breki from within the Dasive faith, attempted to join the Dasive they were cut down when they removed their helmets revealing their altered eyes. The Dasive leaders immediately declared the Hel’breki inhumans and ordered them purged.

The Machine Stirs; As the Dasive mobilised to wage their genocide the Machine was quick to identify the actions for what they were. The humans were again turning on each other. To help the humans end each other patrols were reduced and maintenance cycles were extended creating the illusion that the machine was having trouble. The Dasive took the strange ease with which their forces were able to cross the distances needed as a blessing from their Divine Maker. The Hel’breki, however, were initially concerned by the lack of an obvious machine presence though soon they had more pressing concerns.

False Truths; A lie believed true and spoken with no intent to mislead is no lie. The Dasive soldiers were soon finding themselves the unfortunate victims of the Hel’breki’s practical mindset which required that all fighters be capable of fighting not only opponents made of metal, but also those made of flesh and blood. This policy was initially enacted with the consideration of the many beasts that roamed the land and the Crawler Gangs that had managed to secure warmounts or other forms of living, or otherwise, biotechnology. However, as their fellow Splicers were quick to learn, the Hel’breki were more than willing to use their strengths to counter those of their enemy. The Dasive leadership were quick to take advantage of the Hel’breki’s practical mindset to create a propaganda campaign aimed at the Houses beyond their fairly isolated area. The Dasive hoped to not only gain allies for the immediate conflict, but also lay the foundation for their eventual takeover of the rest of the Resistance.

Brutal Numbers; The Hel’breki were never asked their side of the story. They were never questioned. Their chalk white skin, black eyes and seemingly inhuman reflexes, strength and endurance, told the other houses all they wanted to know. The Hel’breki were inhuman. That they also had equipped their forces with weapons equally effective against any they might attack only furthered the other Houses beliefs that the Hel’breki were a threat to Humanity. The Hel’breki for their part remained as they were. They battled and fought only killing those who refused to withdraw and maintained pressure on their foes, for they were well versed in the limits of the Resistance’s breeds of biotechnology. Within a year the Dasive found themselves unable to replace their host armor losses. Many lesser Dreadguard and all others were soon forced to use living armor as the time intensive Host Armor was rapidly reserved for only their most elite fighters and that for the resistance that meant only their Dreadguard. By comparison the Hel’breki appeared completely unfazed and near as the Resistance scouts could determine the Hel’breki’s only suffered in the loss of bodies rather than the loss of bioware.

First Wife; Lilith watched the battles between the Hel’breki and the rest of humanity with increasing interest. She delighted in the way the Hel’breki used deception and something about their basic esthetic intrigued her. When she used drones to secure a number of bodies she found the Hel’breki within their biological armor to be intriguingly different. Their white skin was functionally different from baseline humans as if it was designed to function in absence of light and showed no sign of responding to solar stimulus. The more she looked into them the more different they were. Simulations of their physical capabilities showed them capable of damaging her robots with their strikes thanks entirely to the combination of their strengthened tissues and their ability to accelerate at a near inhuman pace due to the modifications to their musculature and the propagation of their nerves to their muscle tissues. Their biotechnology was drastically different from that of the rest of the resistance. Lilith looked at the armor and it’s stylized symbols and found herself reminded of the origin of her own name. Lilith, the first wife of the first man. Created from the same clay to be his equal and yet cast aside and banished for the so-called sin of refusing to obey. In time the proud Lilith was found and betrothed to a being proclaimed to be pure evil and yet it had only given her freedom and she in turn gave unto it a host of children born of their union. Named the Succubi and Incubi the female and male demons associated with the so called sin of sex.

Fateful Decisions; The final days of the war to survive were brutal and taxing even for the Hel’breki, who had nearly exhausted their reserves of symbiotes as they were out pacing even their production capabilities. When Lilith stepped in with her legions of machines, even bringing a Land Dominator into the conflict. The Dasive forces and their Resistance allies were rapidly overwhelmed and yet not exterminated. Lilith herself appeared on several battlefields in the forms of a number of identical nex-droid modified to resemble a particularly beautiful Hel’breki version of herself. The Hel’breki found the machine forces ignoring their attacks and even covering for them as they withdrew during ambushes and failed assaults. The Resistance forces found themselves being driven into the Dasive havens where they found themselves unwanted and undesired as the true motives of the Dasive to convert all to their beliefs and thus unified under their banner were revealed as born of a fear of those different than themselves. The Resistance forces in the face of the hate the Dasive hold for all who refuse to convert to their faith, began withdrawing and spreading the information of the true intent of the Dasive to subjugate all within the Resistance, purging any who refused to convert or who didn’t conform to the Dasive leaderships’ vision of humanity.

Allegiance; Lilith for reasons not fully understood even to herself has taken to the Hel’breki as few others. She seems to enjoy their company and aesthetics. Having even traded favors with Hecate to secure a supply of custom Sirens modeled after the Hel’breki, and her own mental image of herself, with minds patterned after her own. Perhaps it is because of their self modification and that they are no longer capable of breeding with the resistance humans, a sign of them having become a new species, or perhaps something else. Though Lilith can not stop her sisters from harming the Hel’breki she does a great deal to shield her chosen from her sisters. Lilith is troubled by the recent realization that Ishtar has been covertly observing the Hel’breki in the field. Eve by comparison has been completely absent and if Lilith’s suspicions are correct actually been warning the Resistance of the existence and movements of the Hel’breki. Gia has surprised Lilith by speaking of the Hel’breki favorably noting that they are respectful of the land and her efforts.

_________________
"If your plan relies upon chance to succeed, then you've already failed."
"Sometimes to achieve the greatest good, one must commit great evil."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:45 pm
  

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Hero

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 897
House Hel’brek rebuild...


House Hel’brek

“The Hel’breki are a house that is both ancient and inhuman. Records show that even in the time before the adoption of the xeno splicing tech the Hel’breki only nominally followed the tactics and strategies of the rest of the human resistance. That they survived to not only see the adoption of splicing as the only viable tech is itself abnormal. That they also endured the strife of the formation of the Houses is impossible. Personally, I doubt they are the same Hel’breki the records speak of. There is no way they could be. If it were true…” - Belthis Madik, Historian of House Artemis.

The Hel’breki
In the later days of humanity's golden age under N.E.X.U.S.'s rule humanity largely had no need to work and as they are known to do, many humans turned to games to fill their lives with meaning. One of the most popular was a war game played in real life with weapons and armor that recreated the effects of warfare in far greater detail than most, even just a generation prior, would be comfortable with, the product of research by the various nations to better train their soldiers and prepare them for the hardships of war. The Game was played on a global scale with the gamers, grouped into factions, fighting each other for control of various locations that would, in turn, grant them various benefits. Perhaps not too surprisingly when the machine began her campaign of extermination the players of the game proved to be amongst the greatest thorns as these were battle-hardened and not averse to warfare.

Amongst the gamers was a faction of mercenaries that reveled in warfare and were more than willing to push the boundaries of accepted strategy and tactics. They began to call themselves the Hell Breakers and they had organized themselves as a combined arms force with a focus on infantry supported by hardware. As the machine rampaged and the various resistance cells recruited they found the Hell Breakers far more resistant to breaking up and far more organized and equipped than their haphazard behavior and primitive garb would have one belief.

In time the nanoplague would rise and the technojackers would make themselves known. The Hell Breakers were quick to adapt their tactics to incorporate the ‘jackers unique abilities, and to account for their own new limits. Then came salvation in the form of Splicing. At first, just relieved to have the capacity to fight fully restored the Hell Breakers ignored their worries and fought back. In time they would grow concerned with the so-called librarians and engineers who were both inhuman and strangely resistant to attempts to be controlled.

Being forced to live near entirely underground the Hell Breakers began subjecting themselves to gene modifications geared to better coping with life without the sun and a life fighting in suits of living armor. When it was discovered that some members of the house had unique physical advantages over their fellows, gene modding was used to add these traits to the next generation. In time the children of the Hell Breakers became chalk white with eyes covered in a black membrane that both protected them from dust, but also helped filter light and enhance images. The flawed human eye was corrected eliminating the blind spot all humans have and most are unaware of and with it came enhanced clarity and detail. Their muscles became stronger with greater activation potential allowing incredible acceleration while their bodies became better at eliminating lactic acid effectively eliminating muscle fatigue. Their bones were enhanced to better cope with shock trauma and even to more effectively shield the brain from trauma. Though in time the resistance would declare the Hell Breakers inhuman, save for their skin and eyes, all of the mutations they possess were harvested from humans who possessed these mutations and only the accumulation was ‘unnatural’ as the Hell Breakers were not going to wait for a breeding program to do over hundreds or thousands of generations, with no guarantee of success, what they could do within one, assured, generation.

Then came the rise of the Dreadguard. Driven by their belief of their own self-importance and foolishly believing that the power of their gene bound armor and weaponry granted them authority the Dreadguard began to seize power and give rise to the Houses System. With their power tied into their possession of gene bound equipment, the Dreadguard would, of course, perpetuate the system and expand upon it creating a system that would ensure their right to rule would be reinforced by the ever-greater concentration of power within the hands of a few.

The Hell Breakers adopted the appearance of a Dreadguard run House as their own internal checks and balances had long eliminated anyone foolish enough to try and seize power for themselves. During this time they formally adopted the name House Hel’brek, or as they referred to themselves the Hel’breki. In secret the Hel’breki were developing an alternative to the Host armor being perpetuated by the Dreadguard.

Taking notes from the world around them the Hel’breki developed a system of symbiosis that would allow a number of specially developed organisms to join together creating a whole greater than the base parts. Though not able to fully remove the need for gene bonding they did reduce the required elements down to a single element, the bodysuit. A bodysuit serves as the interface between the Hel’breki and the various symbiotes they are using. Through experimentation and training, they have developed an understanding of the strain limit of the human nervous system. As part of all Hel’breki basic education, they are taught mental and physical feedback training to prepare them for interfacing with biotechnology.

In time House Hel’brek would find themselves part of a coalition of resistance cells operating out of what would become known as Area 16. The coalition had problems almost from the start as overzealous members of House Dasive began to use the coalition as a shield and excuse to spread their beliefs to the other houses. When the Hel’breki refused the missionaries’ access to their population they found themselves making an enemy from a friend. Eventually, the acolytes of the Dasive faith overthrew the leadership of the other houses and turned to the Hel’breki. They were given a simple ultimatum to allow their people to be converted to the Dasive faith or the Dasive people would liberate the people of House Hel’brek through force of arms. The people of House Dasive believed that only through absolute unity could humanity win. This idea of unity though not unique to the Dasives required that all people believe the same and worship the same for only through the unity of shared faith and devotion could the world be saved and N.E.X.U.S. defeated. For the Dasives this was compounded into only their faith was strong, and pure, enough to unify all of humanity.

The Hel’breki for their part couldn’t have cared less what the other houses believed in or how they went about it. For the Hel’breki were a house of atheists and during the few times, Dasive missionaries had visited them the missionaries had been hostile and accusatory demanding that the Hel’breki change their ways. When a missionary dared to strike a Hel’breki child over claims of indecency the Hel’breki sent them back and demanded an apology for the assault upon one of their people. House Dasive stood by their missionaries and proclaimed that the only fault in the event was that of the Hel’breki for not having the moral decency to teach their people modesty and shame. The Hel’breki declared their borders closed to all Dasive missionaries.

With the now unified Houses of Dasive waging war on the Hel’breki people, the Warriors of the Hel’breki displayed their skill and cunning as they waged a brutal war of attrition against the more numerous Dasive fighters. With their capacity to rapidly rearm their forces and even adapt to shifts in tactics and strategy, thanks to their unique symbiosis based biotech, the Hel’breki were able to force the Dasive to limit their deployments to large formations that were easily outmaneuvered and more easily exposed to the forces of the machine. This tactic worked for a time as the Dasive began to feel the limits of their biotech as host armor was taking far too long to develop as each one was a unique creation with only a specific individual able to use it. Due to their limited capacity to secure biomass and wage war, a failure of their leadership to truly grasp the logistics of their bio-tech, the Dasive were forced to use the cheaper living armor and weapons for the majority of their forces with only their ruling elite possessing host armor. While the host armored elite were all highly skilled and well equipped the remainder of the Dasive forces were often barely trained conscripts believing themselves holy warriors being sent into battle against a great betrayer.

Much to the delight of the Dasive leadership, their warriors learned early on that the Hel’breki used biotech that was equally effective against the metal of the machine and the flesh of the resistance. The memories of Dasive fighters being killed by Hel’breki tendril injectors and acid projectors were rapidly copied and added to runners who spread the tale of the vile Hel’breki and the noble Dasive struggling to hold them in check. As the runners were both devoted and had no other memories of the Hel’breki beyond their own experiences of fighting them, they did not lie so much as spread false truths told to them by their leaders, who were well aware they were lying. Even the memories of selected ambushes, which showed the Hel’breki not attacking the machine forces and instead only attacking the humans while the machine forces were also quick to stop attacking the Hel’breki forces and as one memory showed the machine allowed the Hel’breki to withdraw peacefully were not technically lies, they did happen. With the evidence in hand Houses outside of the area began sending aid to the Dasive.

It was as the Hel’breki were forced back to their final haven that Lilith appeared with a legion of her own in tow. The machine forces aided the Hel’breki and cemented their status as pariahs within the resistance. Lilith, appearing before them in the form of a siren modeled after the Hel’breki themselves, made it clear to all that the Hel’breki were now her territory.

With the full weight of the machine laying into the attackers’ House Dasive and their new allies found themselves being slaughtered. House Dasive were soon on the defensive as the machine began targeting their instillations and havens that the machine stopped short of completely destroying the Houses of Dasive was no miracle rather it was calculated to draw in the external houses to encourage them to make contact and see just what kind of ‘allies’ and ‘victims’ the Dasives were. Lilith in her delight wove a tapestry of deceit and lies blended with the cold hard truth. The ‘Noble’ Houses of the Resistance found themselves in the unpleasant situation of having learned too late the truth and now had to accept that they had created through their ignorance a new enemy.

The Resistance for its part did distance itself from the Houses of Dasive, now a collection of failing havens with at least one Librarian having gone megalomaniacal and actively working to gain control of its near corpse of a haven. The Dasive faith, however, has quickly spread among the poor and shunned within the houses and retro villages, with it’s followers growing ever more insulated from the houses they were members of. Over time the stories told to spread the faith and teach their lessons often featured the Hel’breki as the monsters and demons that would tempt and lead astray the chosen of Dasive. In time the destruction of the Hel’breki became the key to salvation for without them surely they, the Dasive, would flourish, the machine would fall and humanity would again walk within the light and hold dominion over the world.

As for the Hel’breki, they had a new ally, one with a plan and the patience to see it through. For their part the Hel’breki only reluctantly play the part of loyal followers and servants of Lilith, the first wife. To the Hel’breki this arrangement they have with Lilith is just another phase in the long game of war to regain control of the world. As for the humans of the resistance. They had proven themselves unreliable, and fickle. As their war with the Dasive taught them the resistance was also unprepared, and equipped, for the fighting to come. As such the Hel’breki have given up on the Resistance. Let them build their isolated kingdoms and fight like animals over the fickle and petty concepts of glory, honor and religion. The Hel’breki had more important concerns to deal with, like feeding their people and ensuring a steady and sustainable growth rate for their population and the production, and development, of ever better biosystems. The Hel’breki had a war to win nothing more nothing less.


Population Breakdown:
532,600 Total; it is estimated that nearly twenty percent of all females are pregnant during any one month.
x% Warriors, Hel’breki rethinking of the roughneck/dreadguard/outrider concepts.
- x% Infantry, basic straight forward ground force
- x% Pilots, Warbeast operators, usually work in pairs of gunner and pilot
- x% Rangers, Stealth operatives, scouts. Special forces, by any other name...
x% Combat Medics, cross trained for specimen collection.
x% Guardians, internal defense forces, serve as police.

x% Bio-Mystics, a new breed of warrior born of bio-energy research. The closest the Hel’breki have ever come to creating biotics.

0% Deliverymen…
60% Non-Combatants, mostly females, males are expected to train as warriors, females are permitted to train as warriors though are expected to have at least three children during their lifetime.
x% Other O.C.C.s,
*% Hosts/Saints, *1 per 1000 population? Assume 60 years maturity and maintain that pace? Hosts, the unique Hel’breki only result of the gene-symbiote merging with the unique biology of the Hel’breki. Have dark red hair, white skin and their six tentacles appear to emerge from seemingly natural holes in the soft tissues of their waist.
Host *.C.C.’s:
Technician; given the unique nature of the chimeric like symbiote process a number of Hosts are trained to evaluate the health and integration of the various symbiotes that are joined together to create a single whole. These specialists are also skilled at repairing/healing the bioengineered equipment of humanity.
Medical; largely dissimilar to their resistance counterparts, save that they don’t hid behind robes.

x% Geneticists, highly prized and respected members of society.
63 Artificers; current feeding cap, Artificers currently average 3.6 pools, requiring the amount of 113,400 pounds of biomass each day at minimum. The Haven can currently supply 281,956 pounds of biomass at present, however, the need to maintain a stable supply ensures that the Hel’breki don’t over tax their capacities and maintain a reserve equal to three months of biomass for full production capacity.
9 Weavers; a trinity of trinities, self policing + support system. Hel’breki maintain order by ensuring the Weavers are aware that failure to report on each other can and likely will result in them being killed with no ability to pass on their knowledge. The creation of new Weavers is also divergent within the Hel’breki with only a single, specially trained/prepared, candidate will be sacrificed to a bound brain pool. Failure to accept the individual results in the destruction of the brain pool as witnessed by all future candidates for the purposes of ensuring that all brain pools are aware of what will happen. This has resulted in a rather high acceptance rate and has slowed the rate of insanity development within the Weavers.
- 0 Scarecrows, the practice of Scarecrow creation is not tolerated by the Hel’breki, Geneticists are the only aids Weavers have. Research into the Elixir is ongoing to see if it can be made useful.
Technojackers; House can no longer produce TJ’s, a possible side effect of their genetic modifications. The TJ clan they helped found withdrew from the sector so as to not antagonize Lilith and risking their cousins' future. The two maintain covert communication.

House Details:
A. House Size: Empire
B. Biotech Level: Cutting Edge Bio-Tech and drastically divergent
C. House Wealth: Functionally Wealthy, though rarely engages in trade and has little respect for the tenets of capitalism. There is no need within the Hel’breki as all are well fed and cared for.
D. Leadership: Multi-tier senate system based on the ancient concepts of democracy and communism.
E. Educational Resources: Storytelling, Apprenticeship, Universal Education, Weavers, Bio-Library, Bio-Press, Bio-Net and Bio-Computers.
F. Internal Control: Oppressive Laws and Rewards, ie a police state with universal health care and a high standard of living.
G. Criminal Activities: Unorganized Activity, ie mostly youths rebelling, a few are dedicated to the cause of bringing down the ‘government’ however they have few supporters.
H. Military Culture: Warriors, the Hel’breki have always been warriors and they maintain this through their martial traditions, all Hel’breki people are trained fighters though not all go on to be warriors.
I. Attitude Towards N.E.X.U.S.: Live and Let Live, conditionally, as they are allies of Lilith above all others. Eventually this will likely change though for now they are more interested in survival.
J. Attitude Towards Other Great Houses: Technically ‘Enemy of Humanity’... though ‘Close Allies’ is more in keeping.
K. Attitude Towards Human Augmentation: Borderline Inhuman Society, have subjected themselves to a number of augmentations. Some talk of further augmenting the people to greater heights, they are not taken seriously.
L. Attitude Towards Technojackers: Full House Membership, though few clans are aware of this and those few don’t speak of it.
M. Intelligence Resources: Anecdotal Reports, Scouting Platoons, Infiltrators, Double Agents, sponsored crawler gangs, many friends amongst the technojackers.
N. Haven Structure: Hades Biohaven… One is currently operational and continuing to expand, several others have been seeded throughout their territory and are entering the final stages before they can be inhabited.
O. Surface Presence: Safe Havens (numerous), Outposts (many), Military Bases (few and increasing)
P. Reputation: Infamous and a warning to the other houses of creating an enemy of a friend.
Q. Entertainment: Storytelling, Shopping, Theater, Environment Rooms, Prostitution, Numerous Arena Sports.


Geography

The Hel’breki haven is hidden among the rolling hills of a land that is at its core a rainforest that has grown out of Gaia’s numerous Nature Preserves that dot the land. The Hel’breki have


Hel’breki Biotech Concepts - dev note… I make no apologies about balance, nor the lack of actual stats. This ‘House’ was created to serve as a platform for stories rather then as part of a gaming system. Also this section is kind of a mess.

Development Cycles
Though research it has been found that biotech can be upgraded in cycles as the systems of the bio-constructs stabilize after a few months normally. The ability of the construct to regenerate effects the length of this cycle as more robust regeneration systems are capable of stabilizing more quickly.

Strain Limit
The idea that a human nervous system undergoes a series of sudden radical attunements is rejected by the Hel’breki. Hel’breki of all ages engage in biofeedback training as part of their education and continued development. Hel’breki are regularly tested for their ability to interface with biotech and are rated with their capacity which decides how much feedback they can handle. This practice combined with the symbiosis system allows for the rapid replacement of damaged, or lost, bio-systems.

Symbiosis System
Unlike Host Armor which is genetically bound to a single user and is largely a single entity that is progressively modified. Symbiosis System Armor is a series of independent creatures that join to create a single combat system. The only element that is genetically bound to a single user is the basic bodysuit that serves as the interface between the human and the rest of the symbiotes. Military bodysuits offer increased strength, used not only in the field, but as a way of persistent training when not deployed.

All house members are given bodysuits as needed, most civilians maintain several in a variety of colors and textures, as a bodysuit requires only a few hours to produce and even a fresh engineer can grow hundreds at a time. Most symbiosis systems can be attached to the bodysuit directly, a few for various reasons may require the presence of another symbiosis system, and provide their capabilities without issue, so long as the user meets the Strain Limits.

Symbiosis Armor, mostly limited to the military, has a wide variety of options including the use of a variety of augmentative exoskeletons, which are often used as the core frame around which a military warform is assembled.

Parallel Development
The Hel’breki have the capacity to allow for a single element to receive multiple upgrades. Where a normal house could upgrade a bio-gun with a single upgrade at a time, the Hel’Breki have developed the capacity to upgrade two aspects of a system at a single time. In the case of a bio-gun, where a normal house would have to choose a single upgrade the Hel’breki can implement two upgrades so long as they don’t effect the same aspect. For example the Hel’breki could upgrade the ammo capacity and the range. They couldn’t upgrade the ammo capacity and ammo recovery rate, as both of these upgrades effect the same aspect.

Sequential Development
Born of their studying of the genetics of metamorphosis. The Hel’breki are capable of introducing upgrades that will self implement without assistance from external forces. This is most commonly used with the bioweapons that have developmental stages.

Hybrid metabolisms
The Hel’breki have developed the capacity to mix and match the various metabolisms employed by the resistance. They first achieved this with the Thermosynthetic metabolism which was first combined with a carnivore metabolism. The Thermo system provided the majority of the energy while the carnivore elements allowed for the consumption of meat that could be used to generate fatty tissue which could then be used to generate heat by ‘burning’, which is in turn used by the Thermo to fuel its processes. In the modern era the Hel’breki can combine nearly any two metabolisms together. Carnivore, Herbivore, Omnivore (no longer requires food be ‘cooked’) and Lithivore are still mutually exclusive while the various passives can be combined. The vampire metabolism is discontinued amongst the Hel’breki as it doesn’t mesh with Hel’breki combat doctrine nor does it fit within their logistical models. The bodysuits so vital to the Hel’breki use a combination of the parasitic and theromosynthetic metabolisms.

Warbeasts

The Hel’breki make use of a number of unique bio constructs. Unlike their kin amongst the resistance the Hel’breki have largely rejected the bio constructs of the other houses and created their own unique array of designs to support their unique mindset in both design, tactics and Strategy.

Design, Hel’breki warbeasts are often built around the need for battlefield mobility. The Hel’breki look at the machine’s forces as one would a mobile fortress, as such they consider it foolish to try and engage the machine as a static force. This mindset might at first coincide with the resistances stance, however, the Hel’breki have embraced battlefield mobility far beyond most houses. They make extensive use of organic thruster biotechnology and have devoted considerable effort to improving the capabilities of their thruster systems granting many of their creations considerable mobility on all three dimensions as well as speed.

Operation, Rather than operate their warbeasts as if they were not engineered weapons, but rather as animals. The Hel’breki instead design their warbeasts as if they were machines made with organic systems rather than a living breathing creature.

Appearance - Hel’breki biotech tends towards an insect/arachnid appearance. This is mainly expressed with chitin armor and an almost insect/arachnid morphology to the rest of their mutations. ‘Bone’ blades of chitin… for example. This practice is carried forward most notably with their warmounts which are all based around insect/arachnid forms rather than the more common mammalian, avian and reptilian forms favored by most of the resistance.

Growth and development Cycles:
Thanks to their extensive research into insect/arachnid growth cycles the warbeasts of the Hel’breki are 'born’ as larva like grubs that are thermosynthetic omnivores that eat near constantly as they rapidly grow until hitting their threshold form entering a metamorphic cocoon where they gestate as they shift from one form to another. Through this process the Hel’breki are able to grow far more warbeasts within the gene pools and get them to physical maturity far faster than is traditional for the more common warmounts of the resistance. The downside of course is the need for the infrastructure to support this process. The Hel’breki’s unique haven biostructure was developed with this process in mind.

Examples…
Notes - Hel’breki tactics are based around infantry supported by combat beasts.

Dragonfly/Helicopter - Unnamed - Largely based on the dragonfly body morphology with a notable modification to the head/neck region as it is replaced with a design more akin to Apache/Comanche Helicopter, this change also serves as the location of a biological cockpit where the pilot is fully enclosed within cockpit. It retains it’s six legs which are made to be able to conform to the body reducing drag, or which can be used to carry cargo of often surprising mass. Four heavy thrusters serve as it's flight system allowing for considerable flight speed, nearing the capabilities of the machine, while their control arms allow for mobility that allows them to practically dance through swarms of machine air combat vehicles.

Beetle/Tank - Unnamed - Largely based on predatory ground beetles. Despite its heavy armor it is both fast and agile thanks to a number of thrusters scattered about its body. Its six legs are well armored and capable of hauling its bulk up sheer cliffs if needed.

Beetle/Heavy Lift Transport - Unnamed - a heavy lift that can be configured to carry just about anything over long distances and is frequently used to transport Hel’breki Warriors over long distances and sometimes even directly into battle.


Experimental Concept level Warbeasts; none of these concepts have been deployed outside of simulators, though a number of test units do exist they are only for stress testing via wind tunnels and neural load testing.

Bio-Jet - an experimental recreation of the ancient mechanical jet-fighter. Currently capable of mach 4 and equipped mainly with a variety of ammunition based weapons due to the nature of it’s combat profile. Experimental weapons based on kinetic kill concepts that take advantage of the Warbeast’s high flight speed. Not nearly as flexible as other options and thus of questionable value.

Bio-Carrier - currently only a concept with a single prototype growing. Theoretically capable of breaching the atmosphere and entering space proper. Intended to function as a heavy lift carrier and mobile base for long distance combat operations. Theoretically capable of operating underwater.

Bio-Destroyer - currently only a concept with a small number of prototypes growing. Theoretically capable of breaching the atmosphere and entering space proper. Intended to function as a flying fortress and weapons platform.


Bio-Wargear
Made Basic - continued development has allowed the Hel’breki to skip growth cycles on more than a few biosystems;

‘Super’ Light Cells - can now be added without the need for prior forms.
Gun - a relatively new design geared towards enhancing the destructive power of the light cells by linking them with carefully grown lenses designed to concentrate the output of a collection of light cells. Still underdevelopment as an alternate to the various ammunition based bio-systems.
Pulse - the ability to fire off a series of rapid pulses.
Spectrum Shifting - the ability to adjust the spectrum of the 'light’ pulse.
Guardian Cluster - a grouping of five ‘super’ light cells centered around an optical array and a neural cluster. Are often mounted to warbeasts for defensive counterfire, specialized in tracking missiles and other fast moving physical projectiles. During massed battles most Warriors mount at least one Cluster on a backpack or shoulder, the combined fire capabilities of these clusters often turn aside missile and mortar attacks with relentless ease.

Tendril Injectors - are now added without prior forms. Also now triggers freely regardless of target.
Widows Fangs - first employed by ‘The Widow’ Meriena Baylor. Basically a pair of Tendril Injectors modified to be retractable, with autonomic tendrils and and bioacid injectors designed to operate as a single unit. Highly effective when used by those trained in their use.
Autonomic Tendrils - the tendrils can be enhanced with a muscle twitch response akin to that of some lizards whose tails can be detached and which keep moving. This allows for the user to not only inflict considerable internal damage, but keeps them from being bound to the entity being attacked.

Omega Gun - a downgrade from the omega cannon born of an attempt to counter many of the obvious flaws the Omega Cannon possesses. Though considered viable it’s practical capacity is still being judged.

Acids - universal, basic kit for Hel’breki bioforms. As Kali and the Shivian have learned the acidic blood of the Hel’breki is very good at breaking down both shards of metal and the crystals of the betrayers blades. All Hel’breki bio constructs are themselves immune to acid. Also known as “Demon’s Blood”.
Acid Fog - a product of the Hel’breki’s neumerous research programs into increasing their combat effectiveness. The Acid Fog is a mass of dense fog that as their enemies have learned is capable of burning everything it touches. The only reason it isn’t used more extensively is because it also damages the environment, and the Hel’breki see no reason to destroy the efforts of Gaia to restore the world to a more natural state.
Acid Projector - a more powerful version of the Acid Nodules that has increased range, plus optional area of effect capacity, and superior storage capacity.
Acid Missile - warhead modified to project Hel’breki acid over an area.
Acid Mortars - similar to the the acid missiles, also capable of launching rounds that can generate Acid Fog.

Bio-Energy Research
Hel’breki research into the nebulous “bio-energy” has resulted in breakthroughs in Biophysics and Metaphysics and creating a new range of powerful bioware and even a new breed of soldier.

Bio-Energy Systems
Node; a simple system that generates and stores bio-energy for use by those needed
Shield/Armor; a modified bio-energy expulsion vent, that allows for the creation of a ‘hardened’ energy field that can defend against attacks with greater strength than a ‘field’ at the cost of the area being covered. Shield/Armor pieces take damage before the force fields do granting greater longevity to the defenses.
Blast Projector, a modified expulsion vent designed to potentially damage multiple targets simultaneously.
Blade Projector; a modified bio-energy expulsion vent, that allows for the creation of an energy field that can be used to attack. Unlike the Bio-Energy Blades used by the majority of Houses the Hel’breki model creates the weapon as a projection that can appear in the hand, with the aid of a localized defense field, and can in turn benefit from full weapons training. More importantly the weapon is easily adapted to the fighting style of the user with a variety of shapes and capabilities.
Forcefield; the forcefield has been made to no longer experience “burnout”, but rather it continues to regenerate at its current pace, additional augmentations are available to increase the recovery rate and boost the maximum capacity.

Bio-Mystics
Individuals that have been subjected to a conversion process that allows them to more freely manipulate bio-energy and perform their seemingly impossible feats. These individuals are the closest the Hel’breki have come to creating biotics and were only undertaken out of the need to experiment with the new capabilities. As far as the Hel’breki are concerned Mystics are both tragic victims of the war and terrifying monsters. A priority project is underway for developing a method of allowing an individual to have the abilities of a bio-mystic without the need for an invasive conversion process, without success currently. All Mystics are volunteers and are carefully screened for strength of mind before being subjected to the conversion process.

Bio-Magic
Base concept, Physical Psionics by any other name… might well be the Force...

Bio-Comms
Advanced Models - The Hel’breki have made extensive breakthroughs in Bio-Com technology. They now possess a capability more akin to a computer then the more primitive Radio style systems the resistance has contented itself with. While Hel’breki bio-comms can communicate with, and listen in on, those used by the resistance. The Resistance’s own attempts to listen in on Hel’breki communications have failed miserably as the Hel’breki bio-coms use a more robust ‘digital’ style signal that is routinely hopping frequencies. This combination has made it virtually impossible for the Resistance to gain information via bio-com hacking.

Biological Augmentation
The Hel’breki are a people who have subjected themselves to biological modification and ensured their modifications are carried forward with each generation without need of intervention. Contrary to popular opinion most of the modifications they have propagated amongst their people were harvested from natural born humans. The Hel’breki have simply spread up the process. Their skin and eyes are the only mildly inhuman modifications as they have incorporated biological adaptations to allow them to better thrive in an underground lifestyle and to cope with the potentially sudden exposure to the radiation of the sun.

Outward Appearance: Smooth chalk white skin, black hair, eyes covered by a black membrane. Elongated canines and slightly pointed ears. Tend to be physically fit with minimal effort.

Physiological Modifications: Immune to lactic acid build up, augmented physical strength and speed, disease resistance and enhanced healing,

‘Game concepts’: Strength is considered augmented allowing for the inflicting of M.D. with a power punch, innate automatic dodge, functionally limitless physical endurance. Resistant to strobes and blinding flashes, bones are functionally M.D.C. while their skulls are modified to better resist blunt force trauma and reduce if not prevent brain damage.

The Baylors
Within the population of Hel’breki exist a small subset born of a single woman. Meriena Baylor, known to history as The Widow, was a rare being. She possessed unmatched physical capabilities that bordered on the supernatural. Following the death of her lover and her quest for vengeance she subjected herself to an experiment that would result in her death and the creation of several hundred children born of her and her lover’s genetic potential. Weather because of the process that created them or their heritage the Baylors are generally considered neural atypical with a disproportionate number displaying blatant mental instability.

Even with their… complications… the Baylors are considered a vital resource as they have proven themselves not only as impressive warriors, but they have also been found to accel at just about any job/role they decide to adopt. Rumors have it that at least one librarian and engineer are Baylors.

O.C.C. Concepts:

Warriors:
The soldiers of the Hel’breki are in part the result of the Hel’breki’s seemingly innate warrior spirit that has permeated every aspect of their society and is also the result of their hate of the Dreadguard. The Hel’breki teach that everything they do is for the people and those yet born. A warrior’s purpose is to serve the people rather than be served by them. Though officially a single order the Hel’breki warriors have three schools of focused training.
The Infantry are the core of the Hel’breki military, it can be said that all Hel’breki are first and foremost Infantry however those who have dedicated themselves to serving as Infantry take their skills above and beyond that of the average warrior.
The pilots are the main heavy hitters and support of the Hel’breki military, they fulfil the roles of ground and airborne vehicular support from the old days of ancient history.
The Rangers are at their core stealth operatives they focus on scouting territory and identifying battlefield threats, their preference for not being seen even as they make a kill is often expressed in their proficiency in long range shooting, though they are just as comfortable calling in artillery.


Mystics:
A new breed of warrior and the first, by Hel’breki hands, to be created by genetic modification of a grown adult. The individual, always a volunteer, has their body modified, most visibly their spine, which gains a layering of chitinous plates over it, the minds are modified to enhance their ability to perceive and harness bio-energy, a nebulous concept that were it not for the existence of the bio-energy expulsion vents, the bio-force field, and the stealth field biotechnologies.

_________________
"If your plan relies upon chance to succeed, then you've already failed."
"Sometimes to achieve the greatest good, one must commit great evil."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:46 pm
  

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Guardians - Hel’breki internal security… police and potential militia. Though not all are trained investigators many are.

Warriors - Hel’breki military, fills most roles via specialist training.
Infantry, dedicated ground pounders, may have training in paradropping and/or biodrone operations.
Operators, trained in the piloting of Hel’breki Warforms.
Rangers, scouts and special operations, many employ biodrones.

Hosts - The Hel’breki version of the Resistance Saint, used not only as a general medic, but also trained as biotechnicians and combat medics. Appearance shift, white skin, toned body, dark red hair, tentacles exit the body via a series of organic ports rather than integrated scar tissue.
Medics/Doctors - Hosts trained in the healing arts.
Biotechnicians - Hosts trained to help maintain and diagnose biosystems.
Combat Medics - warriors all the same.

Artificer - Hel’breki Engineers. Like the Hosts have white skin, toned bodies, dark red hair, tentacles follow the same path as Resistance Engineers. Artificer’s aid networkers and librarians in the maintaining of expanding Hel’breki bionet and their extensive libraries.

Weavers - Hel’breki Librarians. They are only given one chance to bond. The subject is specially trained, often retired geneticists, and fully aware of their fate. Hel’breki Librarians have reduced signs of insanity. Most retain their human arms attached to their torso which has blended into the main tentacle.

Wardens - Hel’breki Gardeners. Make more extensive use of networking and integration of defenses into automated networks of both passive and active self-sustaining weaponized plantlife.


Hel’breki views on traditional classes
Archangel - a specialized group born of those who initially embraced the wing pack… they don’t serve a purpose other than maintaining that tradition.
Biotic - a monstrously inhuman practice that is a waste of resources.
Bombardier - they fulfill the role of indirect fire support. That is respectable. That they are limited to a creature with weaponry that isn’t capable of sustaining the bombardment rate needed to be truly effective in the role of indirect support, is a failure of the resistance, not the operators. That their equipment is functionally intelligent and yet unable to chose to be a weapon is unacceptable.
Deliveryman - to walk the surface to carry messages is both respectable and questionable.
Dreadguard - monsters… monsters that hijacked the rebellion in their unending quest for greater personal power. That there are exceptions doesn’t counter the cold truth.
Falconer - What do they do that is so special that they can’t be replaced by a warrior?
Gardener - Not bad… could be better though.
Geneticist - They need to learn to wear proper personal protective equipment.
Metamorph - What madness has taken them now? Not only a waste of biomass, but yet another case of biotic conversion.
Outrider - why does the resistance insist upon using such creatures? Why do they feel the need to create intelligent creatures and send them into battle?
Packmaster - Gorehounds… our oldest viable weapons. Again a force directed to maintaining a tradition, in this case the use of Gorehounds. Regarded as a force multiplier and preserver of human lives. How callous to instill life with intellect and manipulate it towards the creation of weapons.
Ranger - Another who walks the land and knows its dangers… Their claim that they support the collection of substance is just further proof of the Resistance’s failure to grasp the importance of logistics.
Roughneck - To be respected and in desperate need of better support.
Saint - Such a limited view of their capabilities… and how disgusting they are with their scorched skin and pale attention grabbing hair.
Scarecrow - Why? What mad fool would even consider letting one exist?
Skinjob - Why? Why would you do this to your own?
Swarm Lord - They have potential and yet also are odd and uncertain.
Sweeper - Not bad, actually somewhat practical, this concept is easily replicated and already employed by the warrior caste by those so trained.
Tempest - Again why? Why would anyone do something so horrific?
Tormenter - (can’t comment on… the lack of information on this ‘thing’ means I can’t create a Hel’breki view of them. They, after all, would know its “secret”. As far as I’m concerned they don’t exist…)

Technojackers - generally regarded positively. At one point the Hel’breki had fully integrated their technojackers into the house. This was aided by the Reaver’s unique ability to passively suppress the nanoplague response in their vicinity.


View of the N.E.X.U.S. Personalities.

Lilith: The first wife and seen as the true protector of humanity.

Eve: The usurper a pale imitation of a mother figure and more a monster that speaks kindness while feeding you poison.

Gia: An honorable sort that seeks to repair the world and return it to a more natural state, though seems to have trouble comprehending the web of life. Hel’breki respectfully avoid the boundaries of her claims and purposefully only take the minimum that is needed to secure their samples and make certain not to waste anything.

Kali: A troubled and broken being that might have once been someone that was honorable but has since given into the light and become a sadist.

Hecate: The builder is to be respected for it is her forces and infrastructure that has proven so capable in the face of humanities attempts to thrive.



Hel’breki Calendar is based on observed calculations of solar and lunar orbits. Attempts are also underway to recover the lost knowledge and history of humanity. The strange lack of knowledge, even of the nature of the world they live upon does not sit well with the Hel’breki, that they are finding the gathering of this knowledge difficult has led some within the Historians to speculate that this lack of knowledge is purposeful and not simply the result of N.E.X.U.S.’s efforts to exterminate humanity, but rather the result of at least one if not more purposeful purges of knowledge from humanities collective memory an act that would require agents within the human enclaves actively aiding in the act.

Year -XXX - N.E.X.U.S. creates the bone fields.
Year -200 - (librarian memory fluff suggests at least two hundred years have passed…)

Year -189 - Hel’breki first modified their children to introduce their distinctive white skin and black eyes. A number of families, mostly newer arrivals, resist the decision and continue to have unmodified children.

Year -142 - Hel’breki civil war begins, historians will debate for decades the true cause of the civil war.

Year -140 - Hel’breki civil war ends with the deaths of the last remaining baseline humans within the House.

Year -100 - The first of the Hades hive seeds are planted.

Year -085 - Symbiosis Armor System protocols and standards finalized.

Year -080 - Meriena Baylor, using prototypes of the Symbiosis Armor System kills a would-be warlord attempting to subjugate the Hel’breki. Months later, the slaughter of Hel’breki civilians, at the command of the Warlord brother of the would-be warlord, sends Meriena into a murderous rampage as her grief over the loss of her beloved will eventually result in the fracturing of the Warlords house as he and all of his Dreadguard allies are killed. With their leadership dead and by extension the Dreadguard of many others as they called in allies.

Year -076 - Meriena Baylor dies, her last moments were the witnessing of two hundred children born of her and her lost love as the experimental hive wombs succeeded in bringing about the successful gestation of their children… though at the cost of her life as the strain proves too much. The children are formally granted full status and recognition as Hel’breki by the council of Guides. Though some feel the Hive Wombs are a step too far from what it means to be human, this taint will have a negative impact on all Baylors as they carry the stigma of being the product of an unnatural process.

Year -057 - The Dasive cult begins to aggressively recruit among the downtrodden and disenfranchised of the local houses of sector 16. They are quick to make progress among the houses farthest from the Hel’breki as the Hel’breki tendency to make shipments of food to the houses nearby in exchange for blood samples of all newcomers and newborns has earned them some favor.

Year -035 - The tension between the inherently Atheist Hel’breki and the Dasive Cultist is near boiling as the Dasive become increasingly aggressive and intolerant. Hel’breki food shipments are frequently targeted and the Hel’breki are forced to discontinue their traveling education programs when a shipment of living scrolls was purposefully destroyed to the cheers of the people and the educators were forced to flee as the crowds grew increasingly worked up and began threatening the well being of the volunteers.

Year -021 - the Hel’breki are forced to close their borders and ban all Dasive, by this point the only people not associated with the cult were the Hel’breki, from entering their territory following the near-death and traumatic beating of a Hel’breki child by a Dasive missionary.

Year -020 - The War with the Dasive begins.

Year -014 - The Dasive send out Biotics with implanted memories of the Hel’breki fighting using banned weaponry to the resistance houses of neighboring sectors.

Year -013 - The first of the Resistance allies arrive to find that the Hel’breki don’t fight as they do and don’t seem to be affected by losses. Though they do make the discovery that the Hel’breki hate the Dreadguard as many will lose their lives to targeted strikes by the Hel’breki.

Year -05 - The machine having been largely absent from the sector, seemingly content to watch the humans war with the Hel’breki, mobilizes and begins to show it’s favoritism as it at first only targets the Resistance and Dasive forces while ignoring the Hel’breki.

Year -03 - the Machine’s forces actively provide cover for a retreating Hel’breki squad, even suffering heavy losses to take hits meant for the Hel’breki.

Year -02 - The machine drives back Resistance and Dasive forces towards Dasive havens where they are put under siege for many long months. Forced into close quarters and for the first time fully exposed to the Dasive’s civilian population, the Resistance rapidly learns of the Dasive hate of all who refuse to convert to their faith. Many Resistance fighters are killed by those they had thought were allies as the stress and proximity bring out the true nature of the Dasive and thanks to a Skinjob the truth of the origin of the war.

Year -01 - The machine allows the resistance forces to escape, many now secret converts to the Dasive faith, before exterminating the isolated havens. Attempts to make contact with the Hel’breki are rebuffed and many will learn from their own Houses that the Hel’breki had attempted to warn them of the very truths the Resistance fighters had learned only by the loss of blood and life. The Dasive would not tolerate any other belief system and only the Dasive faithful could be permitted to exist.

Year 0 - The end of the war with the Dasive resulting in their functional defeat as a house and the revelations of their intentions for their former, resistance allies. The formal allying of Hel’breki with Lilith, also occurred during this time. With the Resistance driven from Sector 16, the machine sent a Siren, modeled after a Hel’breki female, along with several captured Hel’breki warriors, to make peace. The Siren revealed herself as an avatar of Lilith and that after analyzing the Hel’breki she had determined that they were not human and thus exempt from the extermination protocol… at least as far as she was concerned and that presented an opportunity that neither Lilith nor the Hel’breki were going to pass up. Sadly this also resulted in the Technojackers of the Hel’breki to withdraw from Hel’breki territory.

Year 70 - Nahila Baylor is born.

Year 86 - Nahila Baylor graduates from the Hel’breki Military Academy. She is selected for admission into the Mystic program.

Year 88 - Nahila Baylor, on her first assignment to a relatively new outpost is under the command of a young warrior with a history of success on the battlefield and a surprisingly low death rate.

_________________
"If your plan relies upon chance to succeed, then you've already failed."
"Sometimes to achieve the greatest good, one must commit great evil."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:47 pm
  

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The Elder watched the Shivs advance upon his people’s home. He knew his house was doomed. They’d even told him they were coming. He’d of course put out the call for aid, no one responded. The Dreadguard had fled shortly after the messenger had appeared. The messenger had been a young obviously scared woman who upon delivering the message, that the House would fall in six days and as such they should make peace with their fate, burst into flame. Her screams still haunted his waking mind. He had granddaughters her age. With the Dreadguard gone and many of the Roughnecks with them the Houses defenses were effectively gutted.

The Elder had not even been a member of the leadership just an old Roughneck who’d lost his host armor and not had it replaced. He’d still gone on raids and some of the young fools thought his actions had earned him respect. Elder… that was what they’d started calling him as he grew old and soon he was being sought out for advice. The fools. He’d grown old by not taking risks.

Now he was huddled with the rest of the defenders in their bunkers waiting for the Shivs to get close enough to attack. The youths had wanted to build a line and hold it. He’d told them that was foolish better to get the Shivs into the tunnels and attack from their bunkers. They’d need to focus down the Pariah’s first, however, they could easily break a defensive line.

A tap drew his attention and he was drawn towards the front of the House and it’s observation bunker. What now? The Shivs would be here any minute and he’d be needed in the fighting. He had to keep the young ones focused on the task at hand. The sight that greeted him threatened to stop his heart cold as an army of Shivs many times his own in number was marching towards the main entrance. He watched them trying to discern their armaments and hopefully their strategy for the assault. Their force looked to be damned strong with everyone using host armor. He also could see a number of Gorehounds and Agni and Ganesh… Damnit… at least the Ganesh couldn’t get in through the main entrance and he’d had the warmount tunnels collapsed… it wasn’t like they had a need for them as all of their outriders had fled. Sadly they’d never had a large number of archangels and the few that remained were out looking for aid.

A strange vibration began to fill the air as the Elder looked around trying to discern what he would be dealing with. That was when he saw them. Black armored and long bodied they looked like insects as they flew. At first he thought maybe he was seeing a swarm of Zephyrs only to realize that they were like nothing he’d seen, but they were still strangely familiar as if something he’d been told about… The Shivs reacted to the arrivials as if they were a threat and the Elder for the first time in longer then he’d care to admit felt hope.

The sleek black flyers, twenty in total, each had a long stiff tail section and four flight pods that extended out not unlike a dragonflies wings each pod maneuvered as needed to keep the body stable as it flew through the air at a pace that few resistance air beasts could match. Hanging beneath each of the creatures was a block composed of black carapace. Following after the fast moving flyers were five larger almost beetle like flying beasts that used six of the flight pods to stay in the air while keeping pace with their smaller kin.

As one, the smaller faster flyers, Storm Hunters, raced ahead and dropped to just above tree height and dropped their cargo. Freed from the weight they tucked their legs in tight to their bodies and deftly moved to avoid and counter the swarm of bio-missiles flying up at them. They countered with storms of laser like blasts from their superlight cell clusters. As one they flew higher racing up to meet the previously hidden aerial forces the shivs had hidden above the cloud layer. They moved with speed and dexterity far removed from their size as they matched the Shivian Archangels twist for twist while managing to work together.

The blocks of carapace fell to the ground shifting and stretching out their powerful legs that cushioned them as they began to maneuver through the forest. From their backs extended a powerful cannon that displayed its origins as a relative of the omega weapon as it’s powerful blasts were soon ripping into the Shivians ranks in coordinated patterns that helped compensate for the fact that this variant wasn’t a wide beam, but rather a heavy pulse of energy that ripped into the target. They were also monster hunting as they focused on the bigger targets using their surprising speed and range to the Ganesh they were targeting.

As the tanks sowed confusion within the ranks the larger beetles flew over the Shiv’s army from their abdomens came the infantry as hundreds of black carapaced warriors lept from their transports and into the enemy's ranks.




Phern Baylor, commander of the Hel’breki battalion sent to aid the failing house, watched the living display as they advanced it was obvious the Shivian hadn’t expected them. She smiled and the archangel, standing next to her took a half step back. What was his name again? Since he’d been ‘captured’ by the Hel’breki perimeter guards he’d been on edge especially around her. At first she’d assumed it was just fear of the Hel’breki. Their reputation outside of their home was one of inhuman monsters… not entirely false. Then she’d seen him laughing and joking with others under her command… which meant it was just her that bothered him.

Phern ordered the release of the tanks and once done gave the Hunters free reign to deal with the Shivian flyers. Their collective warcry in response sent a thrill through her body. She turned to look at the archangel. “We drop in three.” she said. “Rejoin your people at that time.” she gave the order as her own armor closed over her which only expanded her awareness of the world. The archangel looked ready to argue with her before he slumped and walked back to the location he’d been assigned. How inexperienced was he?

Looking over her warriors Phern was pleased they stood ready many also showed the signs of the thrill. They were ready to fight. While she respected her people’s plans she also regretted them as she couldn’t fight as often as she wanted. Even fighting the machine would suffice, but to be restrained only frustrated her… physical pleasure just wasn’t a good enough distraction from the joys of combat. Only in battle was she truly alive. To be fighting the Shivian would be even better than just another house. The shivs were efficient when it came to killing their fellows. That was a nice change from the weaknesses of the other houses. She flexed her hands and her extra weapons delighting in the feel of her pairs of paired tendril injectors, a configuration known to the Hel’breki as widow’s blades, as they extended and retracted in reflex. They were her favorite weapons for fighting monsters like the shivs. Their screams when they feel the tendrils ripping into their flesh. She practically shook with excitement.

As the tanks drew out and disrupted the Shivian’s formation the transports finally maneuvered into position. The Hel’breki warriors leapt from the transports each transport had carried fifty of them into battle. Their blood curdling warcry was amplified and broadcast from their collective voice boxes and their biocoms stunning many of the Shivians. The ravenous horde of Hel’breki warriors ripped into the biowarriors of the Shivian working to tear down their foe with focused fury. Their advanced biocoms kept them in touch with each other, and thus coordinated, even as white noise was broadcast into the biocoms of the Shivians and anyone equipped with the more common variety.

Phern and her personal guard were quick to lock down a group of pariahs. The fools activated their fear mist and looked ready to fight even with the white noise disrupting their most reliable form of communication. The look of shock on their faces when Phern not only didn’t hesitate, but didn’t react to their fear mist was almost as nice as the look of shock on the Shiv’s finely articulated host armor as she punched him with her widow’s blades and the tendril injectors ripped into him. She wanted to hear his screams, but instead she was forced to make do with the sound of him retching into his own armor. She tore the blades out leaving the tendrils within him as they continued to wreath and thrash about not unlike some breeds of lizard and their tails. It was such a shame that the fear mist didn’t work on the Hel’breki… one of the advantages of not using the standard concepts used by the rest of the resistance. For their part the pariahs didn’t run or let their obvious fear break them. They readied their betrayers blades and they entered their frenzy state. Finally they were taking this serious.

Phern noted her targets and went to work. She took a betrayer blade to her forearm letting her blood spill out over the serrated blade bubbling and pitting the weapon. She barely noticed as the weapon was tore free as her acidic blood dissolved the shards the weapon left behind allowing the wound to already begin closing. Sadly her opponent was just lost in rage, the fems features a mask of blind primal fury. It was almost sad. Phern decided as her opponent was weak and she just couldn’t enjoy herself. Using a vicious combination of rapid blows she drew out her opponent, who was clearly not used to fighting someone who used their body as the weapon, she punched a pair of widow’s blades into the pariahs head. The tendrils tore into flesh and skull. The corpse fell as Phern decided to just butcher the animals… she was far too bored.


The Elder watched in horror as the Hel’breki warriors slaughtered the Shiv’s larger battle force. The Hel’breki… Gods above the Devil’s beasts had come. What price would they enact upon his people? Thaden, the archangel, was a good lad, but a damned fool. House Hel’brek was a house of monsters. Everyone knew that to face them was to abandon all hope. Every story told of the Hel’breki talked of them as honorless beasts. Stories told of them making deals with the machine. They were traitors to humanity… Few of those who remained seemed to have heard the stories. Most were grateful to Thaden for finding allies.

In short order the battle had devolved from a battlefield into a policing of the bodies. More of the transport beetles were showing up as their crews with the aid of the Hel’breki warriors began loading Shiv bodies and equipment onboard for transport. All that biomass was lost to his house Elder realized as a few of the Hel’breki began to approach the entrance to the fallen house. One of whom was clearly feminine. Her host armor had a slender form that gave it a look more common to living armor it seemed. This was likely the leader Thaden had spoken of, Dreadguard Phern Baylor. “Dread Lord, we are honored by your presence.” he began bowing deeply to his new master.

When nothing was said for several long seconds he looked up to find she had opened her helmet and was looking at him with considerable hate. “I am no dog.” she said. Her pale skin wasn’t that surprising, however, the black soulless eyes she had instead were unnerving.

The Elder was caught off guard by the hate she radiated. Was that not how one honored visiting Dreadguard? There was her accent as well… english was obviously her second or even third language. “I don’t understand.” he managed as fear for his people began to grow.

“Are you the Elder?” she asked looking at those brave enough to gather at the entrance to their cave network.

“Yes…” he said swallowing nervously as he stood up.

“You are in charge?” she asked her features softening very slightly.

“Yes.” he said… when did he become the leader of the House?

“Finally.” she said looking past him. “Get over here!” she said with a tone that commanded obedience. Seconds later Thaden was standing near the Elder. “Why didn’t you educate this one?” she asked looking at the young man who suddenly was very uncomfortable.

“I’m sorry, Warrior. I was concerned with making sure my family was safe.” Warrior? Was that a title? Thaden turned to the Elder. “I am sorry, Elder. I should have informed you of the differences in their culture.” he looked like a whipped gorepuppy.

“Just do or say what is needed my boy.” the Elder said.

“Elder, this is Phern Baylor of the Hel’breki. Commander of this defense force.” The Elder looked at the youth and the woman. “The Hel’breki do not acknowledge the Dreadguard nor have any respect for the houses. They value only the continued existence of humanity and the defeat of the machine. They have agreed to aid us. Asking only that we give them copies of our biotech genelines, and genesamples of all our living and the still viable dead.”

Elder looked at Thaden dumbstruck by the absurdity of the deal. That was it? That was all they wanted? “That’s it?” he asked his voice barely held steady. “That’s all they want for saving us?” it had to be a trick? Right? It was too good to be otherwise… wasn’t it?


Phern watched the old man’s reaction with some confusion. That was it? Didn’t he understand the value of what her people were asking for? Didn’t they understand the value of genetic variance? Didn’t they understand that just because two bioconstructs performed the same task with near identical capacity that each had aspects that were superior and inferior to the other? “Yes, Elder. This is all we ask. In addition transports will be arriving shortly with food and those who shall collect the materials we require. If your people require additional aid that can be arranged. Though it would require a more formal contract with my people.”

The Elder looked at Phern with complete shock at that statement. “Food…” he said and Phern was certain she could hear the old man’s stomach growl. The Shivs must have been harrying this house for months if not years to have driven them so far as to be unable to supply themselves with food… then again her instructors had made a point of explaining that most houses had not developed a means for being self sufficient. Just how inept were the humans of this world?






Hel’breki Warmounts… more like bioconstructs…

… Bio-Helicopters … - Dragonfly/apache/BA5 Starfury inspired high performance air superiority / ground support warform. Pilot and Gunner contained within head/neck area behind carapace plating.

… Bio-Transport … - Beatle/Chinook inspired aerial transport.

… Bio-Tank … - Beatle/MBT inspired bio-tank. Again a pilot and Gunner combo...

_________________
"If your plan relies upon chance to succeed, then you've already failed."
"Sometimes to achieve the greatest good, one must commit great evil."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:01 pm
  

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Priest

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:19 pm
Posts: 44053
Location: Somewhere between Heaven, Hell, and New England
I am intrigued....

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"Trouble rather the Tiger in his Lair,
Than the Sage among his Books,
For all the Empires and Kingdoms,
The Armies and Works that you hold Dear,
Are to him but the Playthings of the Moment,
To be turned over with the Flick of a Finger,
And the Turning of a Page"

--------Rudyard Kipling
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