I’ve had these done for months but editing for HTML is a pain. Let’s see in this pdf link works.
Here is the complete catalogue:
I am working on Infiniverse Update: Year 10, and will post when it is finished.
I’ve had these done for months but editing for HTML is a pain. Let’s see in this pdf link works.
Here is the complete catalogue:
I am working on Infiniverse Update: Year 10, and will post when it is finished.
I’ve played a bit, and read Living Land and Nile Empire. Overall, I’m quite impressed. In terms of setting, this edition may in fact be better than the original. Tharkold is definitely fixed.
There are a few minor issues I’ve seen, and I’ve made a few ideas on how to resolve them:
Skills are limited to 5 adds without taking a special perk (per skill) this seems to work quite nicely, keeping skills cheap enough to afford an increase every session if you want.
Athletics (DEX) (Skill I would add)
The designers did not feel that skills were needed for Running, Jumping, Swimming, Climbing, or Acrobatics. But the adventures constantly call for a DEX check to run, jump, etc. to outrace a disaster. Athletics would cover all these and any other incidental displays of physical prowess that aren’t covered by an existing skill.
Medicine (MIN) (merger of First Aid and Medicine)
Under existing rules, a character not using Faith (healing miracle) or Alteration (spell), etc. uses these two skills. Basic diagnosis of the injured person is done with Medicine, and long-term care, including surgery and prescribing medication, is done with First Aid. First, that is just backwards. Second, with the limited use of the skills given FX perks, this amounts to an XP sink, compelling a doctor to spend twice the points for what amounts to one skill.
If I have Scholar, I can roll to know about Greek Poems, Hermetic magic, and the proper form of address for the leaders of a cosm I didn’t know existed yesterday. I propose breaking Scholar into subskills. Major categories include:
Art/Literature (covers knowledge of books, poems, sculpture, paintings, music, etc. for any place I could reasonably have visited or studied).
Culture/History (aka Realm Lore – covers knowledge of any reality the character has spent time in. Covers past events, current events, who is important in the realm, and any laws or customs that might be relevant.)
Arcane Lore (mainly for non-spellcasters, covers an understanding of magic, spells, artifacts, etc.)
Religion (covers religions other than the one reflected by the Faith skill – if a character has that skill. Covers dogma, holy texts, organization of the church, etc.)
Other categories might exist, of varying value and importance.
A professor of botany is also an expert on nuclear weapons, cybernetics, and archaeology. There is no reason to break the skill down into every possible field of study, but broad categories would be a more accurate reflection.
Life Sciences (Botany, Biology, and any other category of study of living creatures).
Mathematics (geometry, physics, and other math based disciplines).
Planetary Sciences (Geology, Vulcanism, Meteorology, or other sciences related to the natural world).
Social Sciences (Archaeology, Anthropology, Psychology, or other fields related to people).
I was initially worried about how this would work, as it seemed like it might make for power creep to be too fast. They solved this by making the cost progressively more expensive (+2xp per additional perk)
Spellcasting (Magic) grants 3 spells the first time it is taken, and 1 additional every additional time purchased. Psionics works the same way. Miracles grants 2 miracles plus Ward Enemy. However, Ward Enemy can be performed without taking the perk. And Living Land presents a list of miracles that are free, to Keta Kalles worshipers while in the Living Land.
Solve, Ward Enemy is free, and Miracles perk grants three miracles of choice – just like Psionics and Magic.
XP is independent of Possibilities, so spend those Possibilities as you need them, no worry about how you are going to buy up improvements.
One minor problem with the character sheets. They list Total XP, and Unspent XP. You gain 5 per adventure (normally). So I complete an adventure, my total goes from 35 to 40. But I have to remember to change unspent also, or i just lost that 5 points.
Solve, I crossed off “un.” On my character sheet, I have listed 40 total XP, and 38 spent. I’m saving 9xp for my next Perk, so next session I’ll end with 45 and not have to erase a hole in the sheet correcting my unspent, since it isn’t changing.
MAGNA VERITA COSMBOOK
Sourcebook of the Apocalyptic Reality
Revelation 6 The Seals
1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its pale rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and wine!”
7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.
12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”
Magna Verita is a world similar to Earth, and yet unique. On this world, the French Pope won the Papal Schism, and the Hundred Years War, and went on to conquer the world. In the name of God- so the Popes claimed.
On this world the teachings of the Church are absolute truth. The world is flat, Jerusalem sits at the center of the universe, with Heaven above and Hell below. The One True God is absulte, and all other beliefs are heresy. Magic, and any technology not found in the Holy Writ, are the work of Satan.
But on Earth, the reality of Magna Verita was altered. The Black Cross, Ebenuscrux, integrated the technology of a Cybernetic Reality- ushering in the reality of the Cyberpapacy.
The Cosm is divided between the Dark Medieval and a Techno-theocracy. The pieces are set, and the Apocalypse has begun.
AXIOMS AND WORLD LAWS
Magic Axiom: 10
Magic has increased by three points form Core Earth’s making the alteration of living beings possible, and minor conjurations feasible. Sustained by the magical energy that imbues the realm, entities in the forms of demons and gargoyles now exist freely. The GodNet, a matrix of tele-communications and commuters, is more than just a collection of circuitry and wires; it is also affected by magic. Demons exist within it, as do angels, self-aware beings who were once human, but who now serve the Cyberpope inside the GodNet.
But magic in the Cyberpapacy is considered to be the work of the Devil. Any one suspected of practicing any form of magic is branded as a witch or sorcerer. They are ruthlessly hunted down by the Inquisition and burnt. Only spiritual power is considered to be holy and good.
Developments in magic have not kept pace with the tech surge, while spiritual powers, such as miracles, have adapted somewhat. This is doubtlessly due to the Cyber Church’s suppression of magic. Given Aysle’s proximity to the Cyberpapacy, it is probably just a matter of time before tech specific spells appear.
Social Axiom: 18
This axiom has been permanently decreased by the advent of the Cyberpapacy. The democracy of France has been swept away by a bureaucratic government that views all life as subservient to the needs of the Papacy. Freedom of thought and expression are in the process of being eradicated. The Social axiom allows the state to dominate all walks of life. The reach of the Church is long, and unforgiving of those who seek to weaken its power. If the doctrine of the church were ever to catch up to the technology, the Cyberpapacy would become a totalitarian state so complete, so intrusive and pervasive that individual freedom would be extinct and the capacity for individual thought threatened.
But the doctrine has remained the same for years, and is ill-suited to adapting to their new circumstances. The bureaucrats and bishop appointed sinecures see society as completely static. On Magna Verita this view was largely correct. In CyberFrance this view is ludicrous given the huge spiritual, technical and magical upheavals the nation has experienced. But the bureaucrats fervently believe that all France needs is time to settle down, to prove that the Church’s methods for running a medieval empire are perfectly adequate for running the most technologically sophisticated society on Earth. This attitude is perhaps the Cyberpapacy’s most glaring weakness; they have held Magna Verita at the equivalent of a Social axiom 13. The concepts of personal liberty, equality and brotherhood, constitutional government, capitalism and communism are all possible in the cosm; Malraux’s church has effectively frozen the development of society. But France already understands these concepts, and citizens accept them as part of political reality. Now rather than suppress developments, the church must attempt to reverse the flow of progress to a point beneath the natural level of the cosm, a task of considerable difficulty. Efforts to restrain society are bound to create further resistance.
Within the bureaucracy administering Magna Verita, a breed of cynical and often corrupt official has evolved. The power of the church is abused for private gain; Malraux has usually overlooked (and occasionally encouraged) these transgressions. These officials are used to thinking of themselves as above the teachings of the Church, which they view as means to keep the peasant and laborer working faithfully and fearfully for the servants of God, who are, of course, themselves. These officials believe in God, but as firmly believe that Jean Malraux is the Vicar of Christ; whatever Pope Malraux condones must be right with God as well. Any sins they are committing must be permissible because they are permitted.
Fortunately for France and the rest of Core Earth, a corrupt bureaucrat with a medieval mind set is not the most efficient overseer for a technocracy such as the Cyberpapacy. There are myriad cracks in the system which can be exploited by the brave, the clever, and one willing to match the fervent beliefs of the Cyberpapacy with a faith of her own.
Attitudes in the Cyberpapacy
The change in the Social axiom has made the rigid theocracy acceptable to most of the transformed population. They look to the Cyberpope as their saviour. The apocalyptical events which heralded his coming have been accepted totally. The transformed Ords fear the power of the Antichrist, witches and sorcerers. The reality which has invaded western Europe has shocked many people into accepting that the Cyberpope is their protector and only hope against the forces of darkness.
Viewed from an outside perspective, the Cyberpope and his followers are evil. But from their own medieval viewpoint, they are merely upholding the values of their society. If anyone opposes the Church, they threaten the well-being of society. Eradicating heretics and others who threaten to destroy the Church are therefore justifiable acts. As most of the population sees things this way, life in the Cyberpapacy is hard for those who don’t conform. But the reality of the Cyberpapacy has been distorted.
The cyber reality, that formed the basis of the Tech Surge, was home to some very tough-minded and callous individuals. Cyberpunks who would cheerfully slice and dice any who got in their way. Cyberleggers who made their living from selling and fitting cyberware ripped out of unsuspecting donors. Fixers who could lay their hands on anything your required, providing you asked no questions and had the readies to pay for it. And console cowboys who ran the data matrix looking for a score. These characters all exist, and most of their morals are very suspect. They live in the cracks of the Cyberpapacy, coming out at night to ply their trade. Most live in urban areas, in cities such as Paris, Marseille, Lyon, or Bordeaux. They live in fear of the Inquisition, but they are also skilled at avoiding it.
The people who have suffered the most are those Ords who were not transformed. They have watched in shock as apocalyptical events rocked first the world and then France. They have experienced the hardship of the Collapse, and watched in stunned amazement the effects of the Tech Surge. Fearing for their lives many have turned to the Cyberpope, but there are those who refuse to accept the fate that lies in store for them. They have begun to resist. The flag of Free France flies above Paris, Marseille, the Massif Central and the Les Vosges mountains.
At the time of the Malraux Heresy, many of the Corporations which supply the needed technology of the realm secularized, becoming publicly traded, and even expanding into heathen markets. With the resumption of the Possibility Wars, GWI, and many others, have once again bowed to the will of the Church. But they remain independent – Neo-Feudal Kingdoms that dare think themselves the equal of the Church.
The rights of women are severely curtailed under Cyberpapal reality. All extant female corporate executives from before the invasion are possibility-rated, and are under investigation by the Inquisition. Today a Stained-Glass Ceiling exists, few women graduate from the remaining secular universities in the realm. Those that do are able to gain jobs as secretaries until they get married. Advancement for women and non-whites is almost unheard of.
Spiritual Axiom: 14
The Cyberpapacy, like Magna Verita, is founded upon its power to perform miracles. Its religious items are filled with spiritual power that allow the clergy to work miracles more easily. People have witnessed the techpriests’ and Cyberpope’s spiritual power. With so much widespread evidence that the powers of the Cyberpapacy are real, many have totally accepted its teachings. They conform to the new reality around them and look to the Church to save them from the powers of darkness.
The Cyberpope and his followers are also affected by the Spiritual axiom. They believe that God is actually guiding their work and they see His hand in everything. According to the Papacy’s beliefs, the Tech Surge was not an accident, but proof of the will of God.
Tech Axiom: 26
In the Realm, first came the Collapse, followed by the Surge. Possibility energy seared through the area bounded by the stelae, transforming people at an unprecedented rate. Even Possibility rated characters did not escape entirely; they too were dragged into the future world of the Cyberpope. The Tech Surge transformed a large number of them into characters from a Cyber Tech reality. This freak occurrence drained them of Possibilities, but not for long. The changes in realities was too fast. The Darkness Device, already pulsating with the energy it had gathered during the Collapse, could not absorb all the Possibilities released when the Tech Surge transformed so many people at once. Instead, the stelae literally radiated possibility energy; some of it transformed the land, some of it poured into empty reality-rated characters, refilling the Storm Knights.
The ordinary people of France were not so lucky. Thousands died as the Surge ripped across the land, transforming them a second time. Millions of others have been transformed into loyal subjects of the Cyberpapacy.
In back street workshops and laboratories, people experiment with the new technology. Cyberware and designer drugs are produced in hidden factories and sold on the streets to those looking for thrills, or a way to fight back at the Cyberpapacy. Developments are uneven, and not always safe. But anyone with the money can find a cyberlegger who’ll do them a quick chop and fit.
After first ignoring weapons in favor of expanding the GodNet and developing cyberware, events have forced the Cyberpope to take a keen interest in weapons production. The new technology has made weaponry available that the Cyberpope thought only belonged to God. The names of the new weapons strongly reflect this belief: GodMeeter, GodLight and GodsFire, are just some of them. While the mammoth God’s Word Industries produces Cyberpapal armaments 24 hours a day, the demand is too large for even that megacorporation. Bishops award contracts to gunsmiths working from small workshops, and they have been turning out these weapons using computer controlled lathes. Corrupt officials fatten bank accounts by letting plans and prototypes slip from the these small factories. Equipment is often available for sale on the streets a few weeks after it has been issued to the false Pope’s own forces.
In the Cosm of Magna Verita, the Tech axiom did not originally cause a Tech Surge. The increase in the Tech axiom made the existence of tech level 26 items possible. People in Magna Verita continue to live as they have always done. Oppressed peasants labor for their rich masters in the Church using tools that have remained unchanged since the Sixteenth Century.
The Cyberpope is not one to turn his nose up at what he believes are the gifts of God. He had begun to transfer cyberware into Magna Verita, and construction of a cyberware factory began near that cosm’s Avignon. The Cyberpope saw cyberware as a means of control; its benefits are (officially at least ) restricted to the Church.
When the World Storm changed Earth, it also crossed over into Magna Verita. Europe, North Africa, and portions of the Holy Land have been transformed. Urban sprawls, under neon light, have replaced the medieval cities. Hovercars, maglevs, and highways connect them. Peasants have been driven into the cities by the advent of genetically enhanced crops and livestock, and advanced machinery to tend the fields. Many have been conscripted into the Church Police and their Medicinal Technun Auxiliary. Others have found less sanctioned uses of technology: cyberlegging, netrunning, and even outright revolutionary heresy.
Magna Verita Axioms
Magic Axiom: 10
The magic of Magna Verita has always been the province of the Devil. And the Cyberpapacy has done little to change this aspect of reality. With the exception of the Technomagic of the latter, there is no functional differance.
Social Axiom: 13
Magna Verita remains locked in the medieval mindset. The Feudal system exists, as a Theocracy. There are Three Pillars of society, Those Who Pray, Those Who War, and Those Who Toil.
Those Who Pray
At the center of civilization is the Church. The Church is divided into a variety of Orders.
There are the Canons Regular, priests who lead Parishes, Churches, etc. These are the most political of the clergy. While there are nuns attached to these churches, Priests are distinctly in charge.
A Parish is a local community, consisting of a section of a large city, or one or more small villages. These will look primarily to a Deacon, though some will have a dedicated Priest. Poorer Parishes will rely on Mendicants to visit them regularly.
While a Parish may have a center of worship, a proper Church is the next level in the hierarchy. Here, a deacon, nuns, and lesser priests answer to and assist a single Priest. This cleric is the supreme authority for a large congregation. His Church is as much a Manor House, and even a fortification as it is a meeting place for religious rites. Particularly prosperous regions might have their leader declared an Archpriest, and his seat of power may even be a veritable palace – a Cathedral.
A collection of Parishes and Churches are organized under the authority of a Bishop and his Diocese. A Diocese holds the place a Barony or County might have in Ayslish society. A Bishop is more concerned with governing than spiritual matters.
Above them are the Archbishops and the lowest of the Archdiocese. An Archdiocese may be divided into several Diocese, or simply be a particularly large, and powerful Diocese. An Archdiocese is the equivalent of a State or Province on Earth, or a Duchy of Aysle. Particularly powerful Archdiocese were once Kingdoms, these realms are ruled over by Cardinals. Other Cardinals preside over the various aspects of the Bureaucracy (see Clerks Regular), and the most influential are the Cardinal-Bishops conferred the title of Patriarch.
There are ten Administrative Areas, known as Patriarchies. These regions cover vast portions of a continent, with the Patriarch serving as a surrogate for the Pope, effectively speaking in his name. The Western European Patriarchy is traditionally the seat of the Pope. But with the new schism, Pope Francis-Remoir rules from New Avignon, South America.
The Monastics are monks and nuns who live apart from society, performing dedicated tasks for the Church. These include craftsmen responsible for the Churches’ Holy Texts, arms and armor, and fine art. It also includes educators, and communities dedicated to prayer- providing their faith to support great, lengthy, rituals.
Mendicants include roaming monks and friars. They serve as missionaries, like the Jesuits, or as the dreaded Inquisition.
Clerks Regular are the monks, nuns, priests, and even Cardinals who preside over the Church Bureaucracies including the Chancery and Penitentiary.
Those Who War
Once the masters of the cosm, these are the remnants of the nobility. Though all the greater nobles have been removed, the counts, barons and knights remain. Their purpose is to maintain the day to day operation of Diocese and Parishes. Tax collectors, bridge builders, sheriffs, and other civil servants are under their authority. Their sons are elite soldiers of the Church.
Though once they were landowners, today they are but servants themselves, their homes and finery a sufferance of the church. They earn this through hard work, and loyal service. To insure that the nobles can never rise up against them , the Church arranges marriages between families, and claims a number of sons and daughters to serve the clergy.
Those Who Toil
Beneath it all are the common folk, who perform the labor needed for civilization to thrive. Carpenters, Bakers, and Farmers, be they Europeans, or the Lesser Races of Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Through over ninety percent of the populace falls in this group, they are often overlooked. The Church controls the wealth, the land, and the weapons. They have the education, and the Power of God. The Nobles share in all but the last of these benefits. But the commoners have none of this. Through sheer numbers, they could rebel and change everything. But they trust in the Church, accepting the defiance would mean damnation.
This does not mean there are no criminals or heretic however, as most bandits, witches and other such offenders do come from this class.
This class includes Guilds, non-guild craftsmen, villeins, serfs, slaves and outlaws (even those who originally belonged to a higher class).
Though half of all Magna Veritans are women, including a large number of nuns, women are the lowest rung of society. Blamed for the sins of Eve, they must constantly strive to contain their inherent wickedness. Women are always considered subordinate to men in their social strata. For example, the leaders of monasteries should nominally be equals. But the Priest (Father) in charge of a group of monks will be deemed superior to the Mother or Mother-Superior of a convent. Even if he is barely in his adulthood and she is an elderly woman. Among the nobles and commoners, women seldom have any authority or rights of their own, being entirely under the dominion of their fathers, brothers or husbands.
Storm Knights are viewed as nobility or outlaws depending on their religious inclinations.
Spiritual Axiom: 19
The Apocalypse has begun, the time of judgement draws nigh. All who do not bow to the will of the One True God shall face eternal damnation. With angels, demons and even the Four Horsemen themselves walking the world, it is impossible to not recognize the truth. Though the axiom level does not prohibit atheism, there are none native to the cosm, and few agnostics. The clergy of the Avignon Papacy in Exile are granted fantastic power to confront the foulness of the Cyberpapacy and its master below.
It is possible (though extremely difficult) to travel to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory- and these regions overlap with the GodNet in areas under Cyberpapal reality. Spiritual entities may Manifest in the physical world.
Tech Axiom: 15
Magna Verita remains forever at the cusp of the Renaissance. But shall never experience that rebirth. The minds that would usher in new ideas were silenced, the books that carried knowledge of the ancient world were burned.
Superstition and leeches predominate, with those who can afford it relying on the rituals of the church- or turning to the unholy spells of witches.
Plate mail, crossbows and ballistae are the pinnacle of Magna Veritan warfare. Gundpowder is possible but forbidden.
Transportation and Communication
Horse and sail are the order of the day. The Galleon is the height of ocean travel. The printing press exists, but is the sole province of the Church, no one outside that body has discovered the secret of movable type.
the following section is copied from the Cyberpapacy Realmbook. Any attitudes attributed to that organization also applies to its schismatic sibling, the Avignon Papacy of Magna Verita – unless otherwise noted.
The Law of the One True God
Cyberpapal doctrine states there is but one true god, and that only those who worship him can have spiritual power. Of course for the Cyberpapacy, the one true god is the one who chose Jean Malraux I as the Vicar of Christ. As a result only members of the Cyberpapacy are able to perform miracles normally. Members of other religions have their difficulty levels increased when attempting to perform miracles. The following table shows the amount that the difficulty number is increased by.
Character’s Faith Modifier
Children of the Fallen , Cyberpapacy*, Avignon Papacy* +0
Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Knights Templar +1
Protestant, The Sacellum, Cathari, The Way of the Race +2
Muslim, Jew, I’lani, Slaves of the Higher Power,
The Dagger of the Burakumin +3
Hindu, Aysle religion, Egyptian, Norse, Greek, Pyrian,
Coar, Aka, Zinatt, or Tenno No Ketsui +5
Shintoist, Buddhist, Taoist, Palanic, Findaru, or Kindaijin +6
Haitian, Shaman, Animist, Keta Kalles, Magisters of Doom,
Irishantism, Rec Stalek, Cobra Cult, Holuku, Karruk/Darok,
Mehret, Olakaa, Raya +7
Cult of the Dominant +8
Example: a Catholic priest attempting to perform a bless has his difficulty number increased from 10 to 11.
* When attempting to use miracles in the opposing reality, the difficulty is increased by 2. That is a Cyberpriest in a region of Magna Veritan axioms faces a +2 modifier.
The Law of Heretical Magic
The study or practice of magic is condemned by the Cyberpapacy. This makes magic more difficult to cast, but also increases its power when used
successfully. The underpinning assumption is that magic is the tool of the Devil, and that the Devil aids his disciples, but in time he extracts his due.
Specific game effects include:
1. Any character attempting to perform magic suffers a +3 increase in the spell’s difficulty number, and a +3 increase in the backlash number.
2. Any character who suffers any backlash other than just shock points (K, knockdown or any wound), may have a demon appear and attempt to possess him. To determine whether a demon appears, the mage uses his Spirit to beat a difficulty number of 3. The difficulty number is increased by the result points of backlash. Therefore a mage who suffers a backlash of 10 result points, must overcome a difficulty number of 13 (3+10) with his Spirit.
The appearance of a demon does not affect the success or failure of the spell, although the mage may feel otherwise.
3. Any spell which is cast successfully has a bonus modifier of +5 when determining effect. It’s harder to cast spells within the Cyberpapacy, but they are more powerful than normal once cast.
The Law of Ordeal
The “judgment of God” in the form of trial by ordeal is open to all members of the Cyberpapacy accused of performing criminal acts, with the exception of heresy. Trial by ordeal is a common way of determining guilt in the Cyberpapacy for all crimes except heresy, which is judged by Inquisitors using whatever methods they deem appropriate. The citizens of Cyber-France have come to expect these public trials, and the church finds them a fine way to reinforce their teachings while pandering to the blood lust of a mob.
The important social assumption of the Law of Ordeal is that such trials actually determine guilt or innocence, and that eye-witness accounts, circumstantial or material evidence is of only the slightest importance. The Law of Ordeal expressed another fundamental underpinning of the church, which is all of the faithful are capable of sin, and must stand ready for judgement at any time. The faithful must prove their innocence, and the heretic or heathen, as well as the guilty shall be found through these trials. The clergy of Malraux’s church, as representatives of the Vicar of Christ, are entitled and obligated to accuse the faithful of crimes. They may bring to trial anyone, at any time, for any reason; the victim may have been accused by a member of her community, or she may actually be implicated by the evidence of a crime; the priest may have simply had a bad lunch; the reason is irrelevant. In the Cyberpapal view of the world, the choice of a priest to accuse a character morally obligates the character to prove her innocence through a trial by ordeal. Failure to take the trial is an admission of guilt, and not incidentally, heresy.
There are four types of trial by ordeal practiced in the Cyberpapacy. Prior to the actual ordeal, the accused is ordered to spend three days fasting and in prayer. The ordeal is then carried out under the watchful eyes of the cyberpriests.
Ordeal by Boiling Water: This ordeal is sanctified by the belief that water is representative of the Old Testament flood in which only the virtuous few escaped destruction. Exorcised water is brought to the boil in a blessed cauldron. For minor crimes, the accused plunges his hand into boiling water (damage value 13, but a minimum of one wound) and then withdraws it, or is ordered to retrieve a ring or a stone from an appropriately measured depth. For more serious crimes, the arm is plunged in up to elbow (damage value 16, with a minimum of one wound). After immersion, the hand or arm is bound up in cloth, and sealed with the signet of a cyberpriest, to prevent tampering with the wound. If the character spends a Possibility to reduce the damage rather than take it, the priests see this as obvious collusion with Satan. The accused must then stand trial for heresy.
After three days the accused’s guilt is determined by whether or not he still shows visible signs of burning. If he does, he is considered guilty. If no burns remain, he is pronounced innocent.
Game effects are described below:
1. To heal from the ordeal by boiling water, the accused must beat a difficulty number of 13 with his Spirit, or faith if the character has faith in the Malraux religion. No healing by physical or magical means is possible (although the K results and shock damage will go away.) The character may spend a Possibility to increase the total. If he succeeds, then no burns remain on his hand after three days.
2. The accused receives a bonus modifier of +5 to his Spirit if he his innocent of the crime; and a -5 penalty, if he is guilty.
3. The accused remains wounded (all wound levels) if the ordeal finds him guilty; only a miracle of healing can now help him. If he is found innocent, he suffers no damage from the ordeal.
Ordeal by Cold Water: The pure element of water, being divinely influenced, must necessarily reject the body of anyone guilty of a crime or a sin. This ordeal is used primarily for those accused of witchcraft. The accused is bound hand and foot and lowered into the water on the end of a rope, in which a knot has been made at a distance of a long hair’s breath to half a yard long. If the accused sinks, and pulls the knot down with him so that it breaks the surface of the water, he is cleared; but if the accused and the knot float, he is found guilty. Game rules are described below:
1. A practicer of magic, defined as a character who has magic or occult skills, must generate a Spirit or faith total of 40. This total must be generated to pass the ordeal; there is no way to “fake” or surreptitiously pass this test.
2. Other characters float only if they generate a Spirit or faith total of less than 8. This total is modified by -5 if the character is actually guilty, and +5 if innocent.
Ordeal By Fire: Fire points to the general conflagration of the Last Judgement which will consume the earth. In this ordeal the accused carries a sanctified lump of red-hot iron for nine feet. The priests instruct the accused of when to take a step, and while they usually allow the accused to complete the distance in one round, they occasionally take longer, sometimes up to three rounds. The damage value is 15, and the accused will end the ordeal with a minimum of a wound. The victim’s Toughness is increased by any faith adds he possesses, although he always takes at least one wound.
If the victim passes out when performing the ordeal, he is considered to be an obvious heathen, and therefore guilty. If he succeeds in staying conscious, the hand is then bound and sealed by a cyberpriest. At the end of three days, the bandages are removed; the accused is found guilty if burns still remain on his hand. Ordeal by fire uses the same game rules for recovery as ordeal by boiling water.
Trial by Combat: This form of ordeal involves single combat between the accused and a champion of justice chosen by the Cyberpapacy. It is to the death. Non-powered melee weapons are always used. During the trial by combat, the following rules apply:
1. Guilty characters suffer a -5 penalty to dodge and all weapons skills. If a character is unskilled, she is still unskilled.
2. Innocent characters gain a +5 bonus to dodge and all weapons skills. If a character is unskilled, she is considered to be skilled (gaining the roll again on a 10 or 20) for the duration of the trial.
3. The skills of the church’s champion are unaltered.
The Law of Suspicion
This law states that individuals within the Cyberpapacy are suspicious of anyone they do not know. In game terms this includes:
1. A character’s willpower or Spirit is increased by three when resisting a charm or persuasion attempt.
2. Proof of identity (real or otherwise) of the character attempting the charm or the persuasion reduces the above increase to +1.
3. Attempts to taunt or intimidate have their bonus increased by +3. Characters may be suspicious, but they have a healthy fear for anyone who stands up to them.
When the reality of the Cyberpapacy and Magna Verita collide, fierce reality storms occur. In the cosm, where there are no stelae boundaries, the borders are quite fluid. As such, vast areas have been desolated. And it is in these regions that the Horsemen stalk. Details on their predations can be found in Chapter Three.
Characters crossing between realities face storms ranging from 10 to 25. These storms prohibit aircraft above more than 1000′ (300m), and make oceanic travel unsafe at a moments notice. Space Travel is completely impossible.
Cyberpapal and Magna Veritian characters follow standard character creation rules except as follows. Cyberpapal character may select cybernetics up to a Cyber Rating of their Spirit +3. Magna Veritan characters start with 5 points in Blessed (or Enchanted) items (rules below).
Characters from both realities have the option for Magic (3) or Miracles (2). Witches must take the disadvantages Secret or Heretic (2) and Damned (1). Clerics take Employed (1+), and Devotion: Faith (1+). Clerics with the miracle Blessing Vow may begin with up to a three point Blessing Vow.
Restricted Cyberware (CR/2 pt. Advantage) allows characters access to items not normally available, such as items with no list price, or items from another reality.
Psychological Counseling (1-3 pt.) for each point of this advantage, the character has reduced their Cyber Rating by 3 points (minimum of 1 pt./item)
Additional Blessed Items (1 pt. Advantage) for each point in this advantage, the character may have an additional point of Blessed (or Enchanted) items. Cyberpapal characters my take this advantage as well.
Faulty Component (1 pt.) the implant fails on a roll of 2.
Cyberpsychosis (1 pt.) the character’s Cyber Rating is increased by 3. This does affect the amount of cybernetics the character may start with.
Damned (1 pt. Disadvantage) this character is doomed to go to Hell upon his death. Most commonly found in Witches, and others imbued with the powers of Satan. No spells, miracles, or GroupPowers that will restore a character already at 6 wounds will function on this character.
Excommunicated (1-4 pt. Disadvantage) this character has been excommunicated by the Cyberpapacy or the Avignon Papacy in Exile, as per the Miracle. The point value determines the Faith value of the invoking cleric. 1) Priest 2) Bishop 3) Archbishop 4) Cardinal or higher.
Heretic (Criminal 1-2 pt. Disadvantage) this character has been declared a Heretic. 1pt. Heretics are Laity, while 2pt. Heretics are Clergy or witches. If this in not publicly known, the Disadvantage is considered a Secret instead.
Illiterate (1 pt. Disadvantage) as per the core rules, the character can not read. Common among both Magna Veritans and Cyberpapal characters from the Cosm.
Minority- The Church (both of them) hold that God decreed White Males have the natural right to rule over all others. Minority confers a penalty equal to the value of the trait on most social rolls. With GM discretion, it might confer bonuses to Trick, Taunt, or Intimidation based on the reputation of your people.
1 Halfbreed, one of your parents is white, and you look enough white to almost pass.
2 Africans, Asians, American Indians or any other non-White race.
+1 Female- women are inherently sinful due to Eve’s original sin.
-1 Cleric- The character is a member of the Cyberpapal (or Avignon in Exile Papacy) Clergy.
Underlined Skills are Difficult, skills with a * require a focus.
Cyberdeck Operations– Net Attack, Net Defence, Net Find, Net Manipulation, Net Stealth, Net Tracking
Language*- French, Latin, others as per Earth
Scholar: Cosm Lore- Western Europe, Easter Europe, Holy Land, Northen Africa, Southern Africa, Northen Americas, Southern Americas, China, Japan, Austalias
Conjuration: Materialization- used by demonic entities to enter the physical world from the spiritual one.
Faith*- One True God, Cyberpapacy, Roman Catholic, Martineism, Knights Templar, Cathari, Children of the Fallen, Judaism, or other lesser faith
Manifestation- used by angelic entities to enter the physical world from the spiritual one.
Occultech- as per Tharkold, details below.
Witchcraft in Magna Verita, and the Cyberpapacy comes from the Devil, it is harder to use, but more powerful (as explained in the Law of Heretical Magic, Chapter One). This section covers the basics of Magna Veritan Witchcraft, the technomagic additions of the Cyberpapacy, and finally the use of Occultech in the realm.
Witches may learn any of the 4 magic skills, or any of the Arcane Knowledges (however Essence magic is rare). TechnoWitches may also learn the Occultech skill. Witches may know (of have available in a spellbook or SpellChip) one spell per add in the four magic skills.
Note: the term Witch generally refers specifically to a female practitioner, who are more common. Males are called Warlocks.
Magna Veritan Witches can learn and use the following spells from the Core Rules and Pixaud’s:
Abrasion, Black Bart’s Deadly Darts, Fields of Death, Shadow Bats, Away Sight, Zero Light, Cleanse Area*, Detect Magic, Dispel Magic Fire, Enchant Armor, Enchant Bow, Find Things, Lightning, Prismatic Alteration, Telekinesis, Telekinesis Major, Awaken, Detect Living Beings, Facade of Normality, First Aid, Gain Sense, Heal, Improve Dexterity (or Agility), Improved Magical Strength, Light Levitation, Sixth Sense, Suggetion, Vigor, Fly, Paralyzation, Scarebeast, Detect Truth, Disguise Self, Gain Language, Haste, Increase Charisma, Jump, Ritual of Mind Preparation, Ritual of Perception Preparation, Silence, Slow, Snail Wit, Stealth Walk, Strength, Telepathy, Weaknees, Arm or Air, Fighting Whirlwind, Floater, Frigid Air, Wall of Air, Windy Ears, Brittle Wall, Dust to Water, Earth Shield, Earthly Arms, Pathfinder, Quicksand, Stone Tunnel, Altered Fireball, Improved Altered Fireball, Fiery Visions, Ochial’s Flaming Circle, Bullet, Dagger Throw, Fool’s Gold, Keen Blade, Kelfain’s Sword Shatter Spell, Lodestone, Open Lock, Steel Shower, Plant Shackles, Thorn Staff, Bath of Death, Cleanse, Fog, Ice Bolt, Sweet Water, Water Spray, Crumble Structure, Flame Strike
R- Heretical bonus to range, D- heretical bonus to duration
Axiom Level: 10 (17)
Skill: Conjuration/Folk 16
Backlash: 16 (19)
Difficulty: 8 (11)
Effect Value: 24 (29)
Bonus Number to: Effect
Range: 0 (touch)
Duration: 9 (1 min.)
Cast Time: 9 (1min.)
Manipulation: speed, control, duration
The witch takes a simple blunt melee weapon, and rubes broken glass over it. The glass is absorbed, and she makes some striking motions. Afterwards, the weapon gains five charges of the spell’s effect, which must be used withing the next minute. On a successful melee attack, in addition to the normal damage the spell is released. The target is hindered by intense pain for the rest of the round. Compare the Effect Value to the target’s Endurance on the Trick/Taunt Table.
Cyberpapacy-Reality Witches add the following from the Core Rules, Pixaud’s, and Tharkold:
Rocket, Block NeuraCal, Cyber Eyes, Cyber Psych, Destroy Cybergear, Jack-a-Nape, Living Steel, Muzzle Booster
Axiom Level: 8
Skill: Alteration/Inanimate Forces 15
Backlash: 17 (20)
Difficulty: 8 (11)
Effect Value: 15 (20)
Bonus Number to: Effect
Range: 0 (touch)
Duration: 9 (1min.)
Cast Time: 9 (1min.)
Manipulation: control, range
This Focused spell is cast by manipulating the damaged item, tracing cuts and tears, and otherwise using gestures to indicated the necessary work. The Effect Value of the spell is read on the repair table.
Axiom Level: 10
Skill: Alteration/Living Forces ??
Backlash: 18 (21)
Difficulty: 14 (17)
Effect Value: 18 (23)
Bonus Number to: Duration
Range: 0 (touch)
Duration: 18 (1 hr.)
Cast Time: 12 (4 min.)
Manipulation: cast time, effect
Focused The recipient’s brain becomes an effective CyberDeck. She may jack in by touching anything connected to the Net- a computer, phone, or communication line. This functions with any Tech 23 or higher computer. With those less than Tech 26, she gains a +3 bonus to her Cyberdeck Ops skill. The Effect Value is read on the Power Push Table, the results are divided between Response, Stealth and Processor. She may have generic versions of attack, defense, scan, shroud, evasion, or trace, with a maximum value equal to her Processor rating.
If she has a Chipware socket, she may upload or download files.
If the decker is still jacked in when the duration ends, or is physically separated, it acts like a hard dump.
Through the use of the Law of Heretical Magic, Cyberpapcy-Reality Witches may employ Technological or Cybernetic devices imbued with magical power. This permits the creation of item which would normally require a Magic Axiom of 16, but is a contradiction in any other reality that does not have the Law of Heretical Magic and a Tech Axiom of 26- in other words outside of the Cyberpapacy.
Enchanting CyberWare: Occultech skill can change ordinary cyberware. This takes one day. At the end of the day, generate an occultech total against a difficulty of 8.
On a Minimal or Average success the item is transformed, but is a flawed system.
On a Good or Superior success, the item becomes enchanted with all its normal functions intact.
On a Spectacular success the item becomes so attuned to the magical vibrations that it is not capable of systems failure. This benefit can be negated by shoddy installation.
Those with Faith: Children of the Fallen may use that value, rather than just Spirit for Cyberpsychosis ratings versus enchanted cyberware. Enchanted Cyberware can also be imbued with further spells later- both temporary and permanently.
Two common Cybernetic items exist:
Technomagic Surgery CR Price Effect
Backlash Buffer 10 Moderate +2/+4/+6 NA Increases Willpower for purposes of resisting backlash by the Cyber Rating
SpellChips — — NA May cast impresses spells, create VX components
Technomagical devices: These are constructed using the same procedures as non-magical cyberware, or mundane devices.
Enchanted Weapons or Armor are made under the same rules as technomagical cyberware, with a “cyber rating” equal to their damage add used whenever a cyber rating is needed in the process. Items with a fixed value use that value as the difficulty.
Cyber Rating Difficulty Number
Common Technomagic Weapons include: Burning Blades (fireball or similar spell), Lightning Wand (lightning spell), Pain Staff (pain spell), Winter Wand (ice bolt spell), Enchanted Bullets (any spell that does damage), or Tracer Bullets (Fire Combat +2). The difficulty of the process is equal to the Effect Value of the spell.
TechnoWitches may imbue any spell known to them into any sort of item. The GM should adjudicate the appropriateness of the item.
Create Spirit Chip:
This is a very difficult process, and is not to be attempted lightly. To begin, the Witch needs a high end Dat Chip, upon which she etches the true name of her target. The target soul must be in purgatory or hell. If the latter, she must also have permission from her demonic patron. She must then plug the chip into her Chipware socket, and jack in, traveling to the requisite area of the GodNet and seek out the soul she requires. She must subdue it, and then perform an Occultech check with a difficulty of 18 if the target’s Spirit is 8 or less, increasing by 3 for each additional point of Spirit.
If she fails the check, or is subdues by the spirit, the spirit possesses her, and the chip is burned out. An exorcism or banishment will cast the spirit out, and back to its proper place. If she fails the check by 9 or more, she is transferred onto the chip, and the spirit assumes permanent control of her body.
Even if the spirit is willing, she must make the Occultech check, and face the dangers therein.
The Church of the One True God
Also known as the Avignon Papacy in exile. This is the faith of Magna Verita as it has existed for centuries. Pope Francis Remoir I continues to preach that the True Word has remained unchanged. That Satan has seized control of Avignon and installed the Antichrist, who’s face may change but proclaims himself Cyberpope.
It is the duty of all who hold the true faith to fight in the name of God, and cleanse Magna Verita, and the New Earth of all who have heard the Word and Know it Not. The Pope sends his Jesuit Missionaries to pave the way, followed by Crusaders, Priests, and other servants of Heaven, and finally, the Inquisition to root out any remaining Heresy.
With the Apocalypse begun, faith has never been stronger. The People of the Americas and Australias truly believe that only by rigid, unswerving obedience can their souls be saved. There is no doubt that the Four Horsemen have been unleashed upon the world, or that the forces of Hell seek to claim the souls of the unrighteous.
Though not all have cast aside their sinful, human natures, the Church and the majority of those who serve it, are True Believers. Those who seek to bribe their way into Heaven, or who think their Good Works can excuse a secret sin, are sentenced alongside Witches and Cyberpapists.
Magna Verita’s spiritual axiom is 19, meaning that the Invocation Difficulty for the Church (and sadly, Magna Veritan Fallen) is 36. The enemies of the faith include: demons, devils, and those who serve them (including the Children of the Fallen), any magic-using entities, spirits, the undead, and anyone with cybernetic or biotech implants. Any of these may be warded against using the ward enemy prayer. The high axiom also allows for Permanently blessed items, and creatures and places imbued with spiritual power.
|Prayers of the Magna Veritan Church||Rituals of the Magna Veritan Church|
|Alter Disease||Bless Battle|
|Banish||Bless Holy Symbol|
|Bless||Bless Holy Water|
|Call Lightning||Blessing Vow|
|Cause Confusion||Cure Disease|
|Crisis of Faith||Damn|
|Detect Deception||Faith Armor|
|Kill Technology||Mystic Armor|
|Rood Awakening||Plague of Vermin|
|Part the Sea||Ritual of Hope|
|Presence of God||Ritual of Purification|
|Spell Shield||Stay Disease|
|Unbeliever’s Doom||Summon Storm|
|Walk on Water|
The heresy with the largest congregation on Magna Verita. Their beliefs are very similar to the same faith on Core Earth. The Torah bears close resemblance to the Old Testament of the Papal Bible, with the addition of apocrypha like the existence of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, and the mother of monsters.
The faith is held almost exclusively by the Jewish people. And is very harsh, even compared to the Avignon Church. Jehovah is a God of Wrath. This world of sin and toil will be punished, destroyed again if need be. But when all is done, Jehovah’s Chosen People will inherit the world. So spoke the God of Abraham and Moses.
Patience and Penitence to the True Word are essential. For centuries, they have suffered at the hands of Avignon, Rome, Babylon, Egypt. Always, powerful forces have forced the Jews to bow. But in secret, they have always held to the True Faith. Soon will be the time, when the Son of God is born to the House of David, and the gentiles will be forced to admit the name of the True God.
Judaism often uses the six pointed star as its symbol. Demons, undead, and evil magic practitioners are enemies of the faith. There is some dispute on this last, with some holding that not all magic comes from Lucifer, but that even Solomon practiced the arts.
|Prayers of Judaism||Rituals of Judaism|
|Banish||Bless Holy Symbol|
|Bless||Bless Holy Water|
|Crisis of Faith||Cure Disease|
|Detect Miracle||Faith Armor|
|Intensify Emotions||Object Blessing|
|Paralyzation||Plague of Beasts|
|Part the Sea||Pronouncement of Doom|
|Pillar of Salt||Ritual of Hope|
|Presence of God||Ritual of Purification|
|Sins of the Flesh||Staff of Swift Iron|
|Walk on Water|
The CyberChurch is in firm control of Europe, but is less so elsewhere in the cosm, as there is still resistance to high technology there. The Cyberpope himself resides in the realm, allowing his cardinals and bishops to run affairs of Magna Verita.
There are other faiths within the Cyberpapacy, most notably the CyberReformation, Knights Templar, and the Cathari. They are opposed by the Law of One True God, which increases the difficulty of miracles cast by non-Cyberpapists. The Spiritual axiom of the Cyberpapacy is 14. This allows the faithful to call upon spiritual powers through prayer, ritual, or invocation. Invocation, though difficult, produces irrefutable evidence of divine agency. Requests of the faithful are sometimes granted, often in a dramatic fashion. The focus difficulty number for such invocations is 39.
The relatively high Spiritual axiom allows items to be imbued with spiritual powers. This has given rise to a number of holy relics and items within the cosm. These items may vary in effect from increasing faith or focus to striking dead the enemies of the faith.
The tenets of the CyberChurch are as follows:
The Antichrist has come to plague the world and his forces are legion. Only be embracing Mother Church can his corrupting influence be staved off. Only by listening to the guiding words of his Holiness, Roger-Benard I the Cyberpope, can eternal damnation be avoided. Yet enve those believers in the True Faith are of the flesh, and those of flesh must fall prey to the weaknesses of the flesh. Thus, even through the faithful can the Antichrist take hold.
Seeing the plight of his children, the Lord graced, his servant upon Earth, the Cyberpope, with the blessed, and holy cyber technology.
Cyberware is the body of our Lord incarnate.
To possess cyberware is to share in the body of our Lord.
By integrating the body of the Lord with our own weak flesh, we can shore our bodies, and thus our souls, against the power of the Antichrist. Its power is great indeed.
But the holy power of cyberware does not alone guarantee our salvation. We must be ever Vigilant against heresy, both our own and that of those around us. To suffer the existence of heresy will give the Antichrist purchase on our souls and bring the forces of perdition closer to victory over the CyberChurch.
Acts of heresy include, but are not limited to: eating meat on Fridays; speaking ill of a cleric; sacrilege; blasphemy; sorcery or witchcraft; harboring heretical thought; failing to show proper respect to his Holiness, the Vicar of Christ, Roger-Benard I; worshiping any false god; and reading any false scripture.
If one of the faithful spies another committing acts of heresy, it is their holy duty to inform the Inquisition as soon as possible. Those who commit heresy and consort with demons shall not be tolerated.
In the fight against the Devil, the Lord has also seen fit to grant his most holy minion, Roger-Benard, the use of the GodNet. The GodNet is a sacred and revered place, full of the power and the glory of the Lord. There are some heretics who would seek to pervert this glorious thing to their wicked ends. As such, the most holy and righteous CyberChurch must firmly regulate access into the GodNet. Forbidden entry into the GodNet is of the most severe order of heresy, and is punishable by immediate damnation.
Though the rest of the world falls to the forces of darkness, those of the True Faith shall remain strong in the knowledge that the Lord, and his servant Roger-Bernard,in whom God has placed his confidence, shall deliver them from evil.
The faith of the Cyberpapacy is one that controls the faithful through fear and oppression. Among the faithful, Jean Malraux is seen as the chose of God. His very word is law, and those who would go against his hoy decrees are branded as heretics, excommunicated, and executed.
The Cyberpope’s faith appeals to many in this war-torn world, and he has found it relatively easy to gain converts. As such, Cyberpapist faithfulcan be found all across Europe, and in parts of the Holy Land, as well as on Earth- particularly in CyberFrance, Quebec Liberte and Argentina.
All priests of the Cyberpapacy possess, or have possessed, holy cyberware. Their miracles are enacted by calling upon the Lord in a loud, stern voice, and asking him to do what they require. This does make cyberpriests rather prone to attract attention when using miracles.
Anyone with Faith:Cyberpapacy, may – if there cybernetics are all properly sanctified – use that value to resist Cyberpsychosis. Priests of the Cyberpapacy may never learn miracles from other cosms.
The enemies of the Cyberpapal faith include: demons, devils, and those who serve them (including the Children of the Fallen), any magic using entities, spirits, and the undead. Any of these may be warded using the ward enemy prayer.
|Prayers of the Cyberchurch||Rituals of the Cyberchurch|
|Alter Disease||Attune Mechanism|
|Banish||Bless Holy Symbol|
|Captivate||Bless Holy Water|
|Cause Confusion||Blessing Vow|
|Crisis of Faith||Clean Suit|
|Cure Poison||Computer Empathy|
|Curse||Create Spirit Chip|
|Detect Deception||Curse Mechanism|
|Mage Net||Dispel Curse|
|Miracle Shield||Eradicate Radiation|
|Part the Sea||Exorcise Spirit Chip|
|Presence of God||Exorcism|
|Walk on Water||Mana|
|Ward Arcana||Multiply Food|
|Ward Danger||Net Damnation|
|Ritual of Hope|
|Ritual of Purification|
Not all Cyberpapist believe Roger-Benard is the chosen of God. Some faithful, while accepting many tenets of the religion, do not accept his word or his dark and single-minded attempts to stamp out heresy. These are the types of cyberpriests most likely to serve as player characters. There are three major schismatic groups, though many minor variances can be found.
The most conservative are the Roman Catholics. This group- based in the almost forgotten Italian city of Rome- have studied the doctrines of Earth’s Catholicism. They believe that the Church need not be what centuries have shaped it to be. The basic aspects though, the hierarchy in particular, are useful in guiding the people to the path of Righteousness. Technology, in their teachings is neither good nor evil, it is how it is used. The faithful may possess cyberware, or not- it is a personal choice. Roman Catholics learn the prayers and rituals known to Core Earth. They may attempt to learn Cyberpapal miracles by rolling the Attainment Rating.
Cyberprotestantism, also called Martineism, is the doctrine of Luther Martine. There are many divergent beliefs under this banner. A common tenet is the rejection of the central authority of the Cyberpapacy or Avignon Papacy in Exile. While some, like an emerging sect in the British Dioceses do maintain a hierarchy, individual priest are not as beholden to it. And such hierarchies and organizations tend to be more democratic, with decisions on doctrine and behavior set by the majority. Dissenting opinion either fold in, or split to form a new sect.
Martine himself is said to be in the Germanies on Magna Verita, though his church is also heavily present in the northern Free France- with a major congregation centered on La Rochelle in northwest France.
The predominate tenet all these sects share is that Cybernetics are a gift of God, and that their possession shores up weak flesh. Cybernetics must only come from the Church. Back alley Cyberleggers do not properly sanctify their work, and the use of such mechanisms is sinful.
Cyberprotestants recognize the same enemies of the faith as the Cyberpapacy, and may use all Cyberpapal miracles except Excommunicate. Cyberprotestatnts may use their faith value against Cyberpsychosis like Cyberpapists.
The Knights Templar (Militant Reformationists)
The fighting abilities of the famous Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon, otherwise known as the Knights Templar, are legendary both by historical account and in the Arthurian legends. The modern incarnation of the Templars in the Cyberpapacy, based around Carnac, have access to several miracles which made their predecessors fearsome warriors in their service to the Lord.
Any of these miracles will cease to have an effect if the recipient attempts to injure someone with Faith: Christian. Extra roll agains will be lost, shock will begin to accumulate as normal, etc.
Knights of Avalon may also have access to these miracles. Given that a Crusader may firmly believe that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” these miracles might even be able to be used by Honorable Ayslish.
The Templars are the third major Reformation faction in the cosm and realm. They hold much in common with the Roman Catholic sect of Magna Verita, but reject all vestiges of the central authority which branded them diabolists and enemies of the Church. Their primary purpose is to bring about the fall of the Cyberpapacy and the Avignon Papacy in Exile. If successful, they will allow those more responsible to rebuild.
Some sects in the Americas operate using only the medieval weapon of the cosm, while the larger groups based in Portugal as well as the Atlantic coast of Free France on Earth, utilize guns and modern technology. Most reject Cybernetics however, felling that it is against the will of God to change the body He has given you. Some will utilize implants- particularly Neural Jacks, in order to more properly fight their enemy.
|Prayers of the Knights Templar||Rituals of the Knights Templar|
|Alter Disease||Battle Vigil|
|Bless||Bless Holy Symbol|
|Captivate||Bless Holy Water|
|Cause Confusion||Blessing Vow|
|Crisis of Faith||Cure Disease|
|The Power and the Glory||Multiply Food|
|Spell Shield||Ritual of Hope|
|Storm of Battle||Ritual of Purification|
|Strength of the Righteous||Sanctum|
“Kill them all and let God sort them out.”– Attributed to Simon DuMontfort, as he embarked on the Albigensian Crusade in 1229
In 12th century France, there arose a religious doctrine which posed a direct challenge (and threat) to the hierarchy of Rome. This religion was known to its practitioners as “Cathari” derived from the Greek word for pure. However, the rest of Europe referred to them as Albignsians, as the Cathari had a stronghold in the French town of Albi.
The Cathari beliefs were strongly dualistic, declaring the world to be sharply divided between good and evil. They believed that the material world was created by an evil god, and that the savior was sent down by the good god to free the divine spark of man from its prison of flesh. The physical world is evil, the world good filled with spiritual light.
While these thoughts were heretical enough for the medieval Church of Rome, the death struggle was initiated over another belief. The Albigensians believed that the Church and its clergy were designed by Satan to trick Christians into thinking that they could be saved through the offices of the church. This sparked a series of crusades which culminated in the destruction of the final Cathari communities in 1229.
The Cathari had established their own hierarchy, ritual and doctrine. Within the hierarchy two basic levels existed, “the believers” and “the perfect”. The believers led ascetic lives. They practiced and were taught Cathari doctrine until they were ready to move up to the ranks of the perfect.
To become perfect, a believer had to undergo the sacrament of consolation, a ritual which removed all sin from a believer. The sacrament of consolation could only be taken once during the believer’s lifetime. If one of the perfect sinned after taking the sacrament, upon death he would be reborn into the body of another, to begin the long spiritual journey once again.
The Modern Cathari
The outbreak of the Possibility Wars led to a new outbreak of heresy in Albi. The events which took place there in the first year of the war are filled with exaggerations and wonder, but there is no doubt that they all begin with Victor Berigard.
Berigard grew up in the town of Realmont, near Albi. A strong religious upbringing (and a large dose of clumsiness) separated him from his peers; he later attended seminary for one year, before deciding the priesthood was not for him. He drifted for two year, until he discovered his aptitude for computers. Working for a small design firm in Albi, Berigard immersed himself in the world of computers, a world that he thought of as pure. When the axiom wash rolled over France, he fell quickly to the promise of new technology.
Jacking into the GodNet for the first time was a spiritual experience. Here was Berigard’s ideal world, a world of thought and light, a world shaped by belief, hardware, and the speed of thought. But Berigard could not help but notice some of the evils which came with I, the invasive loss of privacy as the cyberpriests began to monitor every computer in CyberFrance; their rigid hierarchy being established which would limit citizens access to information and regions of the GodNet. Worst was the miracle of rid damnation, which routed believers to Purgatory in the net. Berigard strongly believed in the potential good of the GodNet; therefore, Malraux and his’ church had to be the source of the evil.
Berigard began the conspiracy of the Cathari Circuit, a group comprised of old-fashioned hackers and engineers, disgruntled clergy and a few deckers. In secret meetings, theological reasoning and technical evidence merged to form the Cathari doctrine.
If God had created the GodNet, their reasoning went, then its spiritual power is not derived from its physical housing. The housing (the optic cables, CompPlexes, and telephone exchanges) are merely ways of accessing the GodNet. If true, one should be able to sever the connections with the exchanges controlled by the Cyberpapcy, reroute the signals to maintain telephone and cable connections within the region (but isolated from the rest of France) and still access the GodNet. This conclusion was literally a leap of faith for Berigard, but he managed to convince enough of the others to begin his plan.
On the night of July 14, 1992, engineers bolstered by teams of Jaz fighters sabotaged the trunk of lines connecting the Albi exchange to those of Montauban, Toulouse, Carcassonne and Rodez, cutting Albi off from the rest of France. Software engineers slipped their version 1.0 cimpware into deckers, chipware that theoretically would help a decker navigate ill-defined, possibly even random, cyberspace. Victor Berigard and other prayed for the six deckers as they jacked in.
The two who survived were incapable of speech for several days. In that time, Cyberpapal technicians had reconnected Albi to Toulouse and Rodez. Church Police and the Inquisition went house to house trying to find the heretics. Some of the software engineers were discovered and eventually burned as witches. Order was said to be restored.
But jackpriests and Babel monitors knew better. Athwart the VX lines into Albi were entities which did not come from Avignon. These watchdogs appeared as huge, shadowy behemoths, with loose, folded shapes. As they moved, the folds shifted, revealing glimpses of neon-bright bones and dimmer connective tissues. Called “Bright Bones” by the jackpriests, these entities searched for and caught the signals of Malraux’s agents as they tried to enter the data vaults of Albi.
Today the sect still exists right under the nose of Avignon of both Earth and Magna Verita. The Cyberpapacy has yet to bring sufficient strength to bear to end the heresy, due to the need to devote those resources to the struggles against the Antipope Francis-Remoir, as well as other larger heresies.
|Prayers of the Cathari||Rituals of the Catari|
|Cathari Consolation||Computer Empathy|
|Cause Confusion||Cure Disease|
|Cure Poison||Faith Armor|
|Password||Ritual of Hope|
|Soothe||Ritual of Purification|
|Spell Shield||Sanctify Cyberware|
Children of the Fallen
Excerpt from the Tome of the Fallen:
The popes speak of the powers of Hell coming to claim the souls of those who don’t follow their path of divine belief, and to a certain extent, they are correct. What they fail to see however is that the powers of Hell have already arrived, and it is only a matter of time before they storm the very gates of Heaven. Their foolish faithful believe that their God is powerful, but he has, in truth, always been less than a match for the forces of the Devil.
The Devil left the weak and fawning mortals alone so that they could foster hope of eternal salvation, and this hope will make their eventual destruction that much sweeter. No matter how they defend themselves, whether through cyberware, or faith, or physical force, their might is as nothing before the wrath of Hell. Soon, the hordes of Hell shall run free on the Magna Verita, consuming the souls of mortals ina malefic glut of violence and destruction.
We, as the mortal vassals of Hell, have traded our eternal souls for a place in the Devil’s new world order. He has granted us his powers of magic to wield against the popes and their minions. Even now, the demons of the Underworld wreak havoc in the GodNet, consuming Roger-Benard’s servants as they will soon consume him.
The Church Police and the Inquisition fear us, and yet unknowingly they serve our purpose, for we are the ultimate agents of terror. The hedonistic desires of the clergy play directly into our hands. The false holy men of the CyberChurch already fall to our temptations. Likewise the Crusaders of Francis-Remoir send to their graves souls that are destined to swell the Pits.
Weep, ye who would believe in these popes- for you, there is no hope.
Though there may be some truth to the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” it definitely does not hold for the Children of the Fallen. Those Storm Knights who would seek them out for aid against the CyberChurch or Avignon Papacy in Exile are in for a rude awakening. The Children of the Fallen are pure evil.
Members of this cult can be found throughout the cosm and realm, posing as normal citizens. On the night of the full moon, they hold their evil conclaves in the Inferno, the fiery catacombs under Below both cosm and realm, or within Hell Sector of the GodNet. The miracles of the Children are invoked through signs such as the evil eye, and through ritual sacrifice.
There is corruption within the CyberChurch, corruption enough for Lucifer to protect his children. Because of this, the Children of the Fallen are always successful when tested by the Law of Ordeal.
The Children of the Fallen consider members of all other faiths to be enemies. The exception to this are those members of the clergy or the faithful who are evil and corrupt.
|Prayers of the Fallen||Rituals of the Fallen|
|Alter Disease||Bless Weapon|
|Animate Cables||Blood Curse|
|Cause Confusion||Mystic Armor|
|Crisis of Faith||Ritual of Hope|
|Crucifixion||Ritual of Purification|
|Presence of God|
|Speak with the Dead|
Bless Holy Symbol
Spiritual Rating: 10
Community Rating: 10
Ritual Length: 21 (4 hr.)
Effect: imbues a holy symbol with the power of faith
Attainment Rating: 22
This miracle is found in many faiths and cosms, including Aysle, Earth, Khem, Gaea, Lereholm, and the Aztec Empire, among others. A holy symbol imbued with this ritual provides a bonus to the Faith (or Focus for clerics) of the wearer. The Bonus provided is determined in part by the level of success, and in part by the size of the symbol. Small, easily concealed icons can not provide the same benefits as great alters. See the chart:
+1 Small easily concealed in pocket (1” to 4”)
+2 Medium, concealed by jacket or robe (6” to 1’)
+3 Large, a torc or one-handed item, such as a Crusader’s Broadsword
+4 Very Large, a two-handed item, such as a staff
+5 Extremely Large, an Alter or other item to heavy to be easily moved. Or a Magic Relic or Unique Item
Create Spirit Chip
Spiritual Rating: 14
Community Rating: 18
Ritual Length: 18 (1 day)
Effect: transfers a soul in purgatory to a specially encoded DatChip
Attainment Rating: 25
A rare ritual, known among Technopriests and Inquisition. The priest takes high end DatChips, and encodes it with a special formatting. He then inserts it into his deck, and jacks in. He travels to Purgatory and claims the soul to be installed. Alternately, if the target is a prisoner, and subjected to Net Damnation, the soul is claimed as soon as it fails to resist the demons. They return to Purgatory, and the soul is transferred to the chip.
Kill Technology (Magna Veritan)
Spiritual Rating: 19
Community Rating: 7
Range: 11 (150m) radius centered on the priest
Effect: renders technological items useless
Attainment Rating: 22
This prayer causes any item with a Tech axiom above 15 to cease operation while within the radius of effect. The miracle does not suffer any Many-on-One penalties, anyone in its radius of effect is affected. The items will function once more when removed from the radius of effect. Creating a reality bubble will not eliminate the effects of this miracle. A Faith total greater than that of the priest who invoked it will restore that character’s items.
Spiritual Rating: 11
Community Rating: 10
Ritual Length: 18 (1hr.)
Effect: spiritually cleanses an implant, allowing the faithful to install greater amounts
Attainment Rating: 18
This miracle may only be utilized on cybernetics in ordained factories. Demon Cyberware, or Cyberlegger construction can not be sanctified. If a member of the faithful installs only sanctified cyberware – and all his cyberware is sanctified- he may use his Faith to resist Cyberpychosis rather than Spirit.
Magna Veritan Characters begin with 5 points in Blessed Items. The maximum bonus in any particular item is limited by the character’s Faith adds. The maximum numerical bonus for a starting character is +3. Blessed Items can include Holy Symbols, Weapons (Melee, Missile, or Thrown), Armor or Shields. Items may also be imbued with miraculous (or profane) effects.
Permanent Blessings are created through the use of a particular miracle, with a modifier of 33-19 (Magna Verita’s Spiritual Axiom)= +14. Cyberpapal characters do not normally have such items, since technology suffices, but for them the modifier is 33-14= +19.
Created using the Bless Holy Symbol ritual. Provides a bonus to either Faith or Focus. Due to the availability of the ritual, Cyberpapal reality characters might take this option as an advantage at character creation, and both realities might gain one in play.
1 Laity, Monk or Nun
2 Priest, Nun (Mother)
3 Bishops, Nun (Mother Superior)
4 Archbishops, Cardinal
5 Patriarch, Pope
Created using the Bless Weapon ritual. The bonus is added to both the Damage Bonus and Maximum.
Armor or Shield
Also created using Bless Weapon ritual. Note: This ritual does not normally provide Armor bonuses, and can only be used for permanent blessings. If the GM is agreeable, any faith with access to Bless Weapon may learn Bless Armor by generating the Attainment Rating. It is statistically identical .
Blessed items may also be imbued with the effects of other miracles. These may be used a certain number of times per day. The advantage cost is determined by the miracles’ difficulty and the number of times per day it can be used.
Advantage Cost Difficulty #/day
1 10 or less 1
2 11-15 3
3 16-20 6
4 21+ 1/round
For example, a Crusader’s Sword might be Blessed with a +2 bonus to damage and the miracle Call Lightning, usable 3 times per day. This is a 6 point advantage (2 points for the damage modifier, 2 more for the difficulty (15), and a final 2 for the number of timer per day).
Profane of Enchanted Items
Children of the Fallen, Witches, and their allies may also have such items drawn from unholy miracles or spells. Systemically this is the same process. Permanent Enchantments require 33-10 (Magic Axiom)= +23.
The most significant item found among witches are Wands. Wands can provide bonuses to one or more magic skill. Like Holy Symbols, the greater bonuses require larger items. The following Chart determines the bonus provided, based on points spent and the number of skills affected. Wand may only be enchanted with spells using the miraculous effect chart.
Advantage Cost Number of Skills
1 2 4
1 1 – – Wand (approx. 1’)
2 2 1 –
3 3 2 1 Rod (2’-4’, can be used as a club)
4 4 2 1
5 5 3 2 Staff (4’ or more, can be used as a quarterstaff)
Example: For 4 points, a witch might possess a Rod which provides a +1 to all four skills, +2 to two, or +1 to four. Or a wand providing +1 to one skill, and Conjured Fireball (difficulty 6) 3 time per day.
Magna Veritan Currency
1 Denier (d) = $0.42 copper coin
1 Sous (s) = 12 Denier = $5 silver coin
1 Livre (L) = 20s = 240d = $100 gold coin
NORMAL MELEE WEAPONS
Tech Damage Value Price (Value)
Dagger 7 +3/18 10s (9)
Short Sword 8 +4/19 30s (11)
Broadsword 9 +6/21 4L (13)
Two-Handed Sword 10 +7/22 7L 10s (15)
Staff 7 +2/17 5s (7)
Battle-Ax 8 +5/20 15s (10)
Mace 8 +4/19 1L (10)
War-Hammer 8 +5/20 1L 5s (11)
Morning Star 11 +6/21 2L (12)
Ball and Chain 10 +6/30 4L (13)
Pole-Arms 8 +4/19 12s (9)
NORMAL MISSILE WEAPONS
Tech Damage Value Range (S/M/L) Price (Value)
Throwing Dagger 7 +3/18 3-5/10/15 1L (10)
Spear 5 +4/19 3-5/25/40 5s (7)
Sling 7 +4/19 3-10/40/100 6s (8)
Short Bow 8 +5/20 3-10/40/100 14s (10)
Long Bow 12 +6/21 3-10/100/300 3L (13)
Composite Bow 13 +7/22 3-10/60/250 4L (13)
Light Crossbow 11 15 3-10/100/200 1L 10s (11)
Heavy Crossbow 12 16 3-10/100/250 2L 10s (12)
Tech Damage Value Range (S/M/L) Price (Value)
Ballista 11 18 3/150/250/375 250L (22)
Tech Value Fatigue? Price (Value)
Leather 5 +2/20 no 4L (13)
Cuir Bouilli 8 +3/20 no 4L 10s (14) AGI-1
Chain Mail 12 +6/25 yes 75L (20)
Ring Mail 12 +4/20 no 60L (19)
Silk Lining 12 +2*/21 no 5L (14)
Plate Mail 13 +7/25 yes 80L (20) Fatigue causes 3 shock, AGI-1
Improved Plate Mail 15 +7/25 no 100L (20)
Tech Value/Tough. Fatigue? Price (Value)
Buckler 8 +2/16 no 4L 10s (14)
Small Shield 12 +4/18 no 5L (14)
Medium Shield 12 +5/19 no 7L 10s (15)
Large Shield 12 +6/20 yes 10L (15) Fatigue causes 3 shock
GENERAL GEAR CHART
Tech Price (Value)
Hemp Rope (100’) 8 3s (6)
Silken Cord (100’) 12 1L 10s (13)
Torch 5 1s (4)
Oil Lamp 7 5s (7)
Candles 10 1s (4)
Sundial 9 1s (4)
Glass mirror 10 2s (5)
Canoe 3 6L (14) Speed STR-3(+value of rowers) Man. -2 Pass 1-20 TOU 10
Coach 12 100L (20) Speed 48kmh/30mph/11 Pass 5 TOU 12
Wagon 8 50L (19) Speed 48kmh/30mph/11 Man. -2 Wt. 13 Pass 2 TOU 10
Longship 9 200L (22) Speed 10kmh/6mph/7 Man. -2 Wt. 19 Crew 30 TOU 15 Ram (D 24)
Galleon 10 500L (24) Speed 20kmh/12mph/9 Man. -4 Wt. 30 Crew 220 TOU 25
Iron Spikes 10 1s (4)
Belt Pouch 12 2s (5)
Sleeping Mat 9 5s (7)
Map Case 12 6s (8)
Cloak, cloth 7 10s (9)
Cloak, fur 7 2L 10s (12)
Prices in Francs/Dollars/Values
Cyberware Surgery CR Price Effect
FFO EyeStealer 6 Wound +2 20k/3000/18 Record and display retinal ID patterns
DATAS Sonar 8 Wound +3 6500/1000/15 Substitutes echo location for Sight. +3 to find totals.
CyberHam Truthear 6 Wound +2 10k/1500/16 Stress analysis. Mind +3 to detect lie. +3 vs. verbal attacks
CyberHam Touchmike 6 Wound +2 3500/500/14 Pick up sonic vibrations in walls, windows, etc.
+injector sacs 7 Wound +2 +2700/400/14
+ Electro-Weapon +2 +1 +13k/2000/17 +3 Shock
5-slot Chip Holder 6 Wound +3 33k/5000/19
DatChip 5000/750/15 20-40 Datablocks
Armor Tech Value Fatigue Price
Synthleather 26 +5/25 no 12k/1800/17 Includes Diffrax (TOU+6/25 vs. Energy weapons, electroweapons and Plasma only)
FN Legionnaire 26 +8/30 yes* 1m/150k/26 AGI-1 if disconnected. 1 Std Cell/Month
FN Liberator 26 +10/30 yes* 3m/500k/29 STR, Lifting and Climbing limits +2. AGI and STR -2 if disconnected.
1 Std Cell/Month. 2 Gun Mounts.
Jets (MRJ +5, MRF 13. 1 Std Plasma Cell/Hour)
Screens (Energy Damage -5 (+Many-on-One) for area. 2 Std Plasma Cells.)
* Imposes fatigue penalties if disconnected, or if the user does not have a Nervejack.
Firearms Tech Damage Ammo Range Price Notes
GWI Cherub Snub Pistol 25 15 9 3-10/20/30 3000/450/14
FN Sanctifier SMG 26 19 24 3-15/40/150 5000/800/15 Sanctifier = Makes things ‘Holy’
GWI Smite Heavy Assault Rifle 26 22 30 3-40/180/600 6000/900/15
MAS Lt. Chaingun 26 24 12 3-40/200/800 10k/1500/16
GWI Radiance 26 20(5) 50 3-50/100/200 16k/2500/17
GWI Illuminator 26 21(5) 30 3-150/400/2k 25k/4000/18
GWI GodsBlaze Light Plasma Rifle 26 30 20 5-50/300/500 65k/10k/20 Burst 3/6/10
MM6 Pulse Gun 26 28stun 50 5-10/30/60 25k/4000/18 “K” = “KO”
MAS 50mm Grenade Launcher 26 Grenade 6 5-25/200/500 6500/1000/15 Single Fire or Burst
MAS Med. Chaingun 25 27 20 3-120/500/1k 25k/4000/18
MAS Hvy. Chaingun 25 29 20 3-250/1k/2k 40k/6000/19
GWI Annihilator Plasma Cannon 26 39 10 3-125/500/1k 1.3m/200k/27 Burst 6/15/25
MAS Rockets 26 29 3 100-1.5k/4k/6k 350k/50k/24 Missiles 10k (20) each
Capital Laser 26 38 – 10-500/5k/20k 500k/75k/25 Also found in Tharkold & Kadandra
50mm Grenade 26 27 B6/15/40 650/100/10
+Plasma 26 +2 +1/+1/+1 x250% (+2)
+Smart Round 26 x150% (+1) Heavy Weapons +2
Plasma Melee Weapons Tech Damage Price 1 Std Plasma Cell/week
Dagger 26 +5/19 1300/200/12
Broadsword 26 +8/22 3000/500/14
Whip 26 +12/27 6500/1000/15
Vehicles Tech Kmh/mph/value Man. Wt. Pass TOU Price Notes
Peugeot Destrier 26 600/400/16 +3 13 1(2) 12 30k (23) Jump DN 0, FN Sanctifier
Archangel Trans. 24 1600/1000/18 +2 19 8 20 2.25m/15m/36
Uriel Fighter 24 3750/2345/20 +4 23 1(0) 22/+3 7.5m/50m/39
ECM, 2 Devastators or Hvy. Chainguns, 6 Rockets
Angel VTOL 26 1000/600/17 +4 21 2 31 10m/1.5m/31 3 H Nose and Wings
Flying Ark Carrier 26 2250/1400/19 0 25 2(100) 27 160m/25m/37 30k kg/2 HT/12 HV/16 LV/100 Troops
Peter Frigate 24 65/42/12 140 44 $3.5b/52.5m/48
ECM, 2 Missile Launchers (80 Rockets Each), 2 155mm, 4 Annihilators (A40 each), 1 Archangel, 3 Drone Uriels
ECM 26 x150% (+1)Cancels Smarts, +2 to avoid Sensors
Screens 26 x250% (+2)Energy Damage -5, as per Armor Screens.
Due to improvements in sensory cybernetics, related to reverse-engineering Tharkold implants, Cyberpapal implants now have up to four systems.
FFO Eyestealer: Stores hundreds of retinal ID patterns in its memory and can mimic any of them. The Eyestealer has a laser scanner that can record new patterns from living subjects or subjects that have been dead for three minutes or less. It is necessary to maintain direct eye contact with a subject for 10 seconds, at a distance of 10cm or less, in order to record his retinal pattern.
DATAS Sonar: Generates sonar ranging signals, which allow movement as if sighted even in total darkness or with vision otherwise impaired. It grants a +3 to all find totals to locate objects that would be visible to normal sight in daylight. It cannot read print, or distinguish texture or color.
When a character uses Sonar, his location is automatically known to anyone in the area with any form of high-frequency sonic detection gear. Including DATAS Hi-Freq or Sonar.
Sonar operates off of a power cell and needs recharging about every three months.
Truthear: This is a voice stress analysis unit that can measure stress patterns in a speaker’s voice and can attempt to verify whether she is telling the truth. The user can generate a Deduction +3 total against the speaker’s Mind or Charisma (whichever is higher) to detect a lie.
Truthear also can offset the effects of verbal manipulations, revealing the speaker’s actual nervousness, intention to deceive, etc. It raises the user’s resistance value against verbal trick, charm, or persuasion by +3. If the speaker is telling what she believes to be true, then the user’s resistance to trick, charm, or persuasion is reduced by three.
Touchmike: Acts as a microphone picking up vibrations in walls, windows, or other thin barriers, allowing the user to listen in on conversations in adjoining rooms. Inputs can be routed through any Auditory implants the user has, enhancing the signals.
Injector Sacks: Slicers, Slashers and Fangs can be equipped with injectors to pump drugs or poisons into victims of a successful attack.
Electro-Weapon: These weapons shoot a jolt of electricity into a target on contact. The weapon does normal damage, but if the target takes any shock damage, increase the shock damage point value by 3 points.
Electroweapons use a standard power cell. This requires reloading or recharging after the weapon has been in use for 20 rounds. Electroweapons may also be constructed of as Monofilament weapons. Melee cyberweapons, such as Slashers or Slicers, may be made as Electroweapons as well.
5-Slot Chip Holder: an improvement in Chipholder design, this implant may hold up to 5 Chips of various design.
DatChip: Improvements in data encoding allow these chips to hold 20 to 40 Datablocks.
Data Type Datablock (db) Size
Still Photos 2000 pictures/db
VX Recording 12min./db
Program Storage Program Size in db
Datafile storage File Size in db
UltraCAD Design Pattern Value in db
Referential Material Skill adds -1 in db (Scholar +3= 2db)
ActChips or MemChips Provides a Skill Bonus of +1 to +5, skill bonus= db
FN Legionnaire and Liberator: These are both for sale to Free France and are used extensively by the Free France Army, with some sales to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and other European countries that benefit from Tech 26. The latter’s Strength bonus does not stack with Cyberlimbs. Mounted Weapons are at -2 To-Hit if the suit is not jacked in.
GWI Smite Heavy Assault Rifle: optional underslung MAS Grenade Launcher.
MAS Light Chaingun: Fires in bursts only (ammo is rated in bursts). Can be fitted as an arm mount for Heavy Power Armor.
Overload: all Cyberpapal Energy Weapons may overload as per the rules in Tharkold Realmbook page 118.
GWI Radiance and Illuminator: requires two power cells. Damage in parenthesis is armor defeating. Note Screens ignore this and reduce the damage by 5.
GWI GodsBlaze Light Plasma Rifle: This is a handheld rifle with internal plasma cells.
MM6 Pulse Gun: If a “K” condition is scored, it is treated as a “KO”. “KO” is treated as “KKO”. Additionally, if the target has any cybernetic implants, the damage is lethal.
MAS 50mm Grenade Launcher: This is a very heavy weapon, and requires either a crew or a Strength of 15 to carry. Light Vehicle Mount.
MAS Medium Chaingun: Light Vehicle Mount
MAS Heavy Chaingun: Heavy Vehicle Mount
GWI Annihilator Plasma Cannon: Requires one plasma cell per shot, magazine can accommodate up to ten cells. Heavy Vehicle Mount.
MAS Rockets: Heavy Vehicle Mount.
Capitol Laser: Very Heavy Vehicle Mount. Since the weapon is powered by the fusion engine of the vehicle of fortification it is installed in, it has effectively unlimited ammunition. This weapon is also found in the arsenals of Tharkold and Kadandra.
Smart Rounds: The accuracy bonus is cancelled by ECM.
Plasma Melee Weapons
If unpowered, the dagger and broadsword reduce their damage by 2. The whip is reduced to STR +2/18.
Peugeot Destrier: Speed Value -2 (half) if carrying a passenger.
Flying Ark ay carry 30,000 kg or two hover tanks, or 12 heavy vehicles, or 16 light vehicles, or 100 troops in combat gear.
Peter-Class Frigate: The backbone of the Cyberpapal Navy both on Earth and Magna Verita. Heavily armed with missiles, ballistic and plasma cannons. Some replace the Annihilator Plasma Cannons with Capital Lasers for long-range punch. Additionally, 3 drone Uriel fighters and an Archangel transport are stowed in a hanger below the aft deck.
Drone: A variation of CyberControls, costs the same as standard. The pilot is linked via GodNet and Satellite.
Cosm: Magna Verita
Tapping DN: 19
Purpose: To cleanse Christendom of corruption
Powers: Strength +9/24, against enemies of faith also does Spirit +6 spiritual damage. When used as a Holy Symbol, provides a +3 bonus. Also acts as a Talisman of Magna Veritan reality.
Group Power: Uplift
Restriction: Requires Faith: One True God, Templar, or Christian to wield, otherwise functions as a normal broadsword (STR +6/21)
Description: A Templar’s Broadsword, which once belonged to Jacques Demolay, the last grandmaster of the order. Set with two rubies and two sapphires in the hilt.
Spear of Longinus
Cosm: Magna Verita
Tapping DN: 16
Purpose: Grants victory to the wielder
Powers: Acts as a Talisman of Magna Veritan reality. Damage Value STR +9, Range 3-5/25/40.
Group Power: Shift Possibility
Restriction: Requires some form of Christian faith to tap, even if the possibilities are to be used for an Unchristian purpose.
Description: A heavy Roman spear, stained with the Blood of Christ.
Cosm: Magna Verita
Tapping DN: 18
Purpose: To lead the righteous into sin
Powers: Once per act, the bearer may use the Temptation miracle. The Shard provide Focus.
Group Power: Create Talisman
Restriction: Requires Faith: Children of the Fallen
Description: There are thirty of these coins in existence. These are the coins paid to Judas Iscariot to betray Christ.
Shard of the True Cross
Cosm: Magna Verita
Tapping DN: 20
Purpose: To save and heal
Powers: Once per act the bearer may use Healing, Cure Disease, or Cure Poison miracles. The Shard provides Focus.
Group Power: Create Talisman or Life Thread
Restriction: Requires some form of Christian faith to tap.
Description: The True Cross was shattered into splinters, and hundreds may be found across the world. Some of these posses Life Thread, but others have Create Talisman.
Sidebar: Cyberpapal Relics
Few Shards exist for this young reality, and most are cybernetic implants that once were integrated into exemplars of the faith
Arm of St. Gerard
Tapping DN: 19
Purpose: To defend the faith from heretics
Powers: STR +10, with integrated Monofiliment Slashers doing STR +5 damage, and GWI Godbeam with Smartgun link (Damage 21(5) Ammo 50 Range3-100/300/500). Cyber Value of 12 (for those who meet the faith requirement, this is reduced to 6).
Group Power: Create Hardpoint
Restriction: Requires Faith: Cyberpapcy or Martineism. If the bearer does not have a Trigon CyberSkel to handle the load of this implant, it only provides STR+5.
Description: A chrome right-handed Trigon Magnafique cyberarm, sculpted to fit a muscular male. This once belonged to a Church Police Commander responsible for putting down a riot in Avignon, Magna Verita following the desertion of Antipope Francis Remoir.
Eye of St. Jean
Tapping DN: 17
Purpose: Holy Relic to defend the faithful
Powers: Holy Symbol (Faith: Christen +3), CSI Eyekill Mk. IV (to-hit +3 with Smartguns, Cyber Value 0).
Group Power: Insight
Restriction: May not be used by those of other Faiths (Optics will not function, Cyber Value +4) and Tapping DN +10/27.
Description: A CSI Eyekill Mk. IV component, which may be integrated into any Cyberoptic. Formerly belonged to a Renegade Hospitaller who died saving Singapore from General Avery Wellington.
Throat Mike of St. Emile
Tapping DN: 19
Purpose: To proselytize the unbelievers
Powers: Persuasion +3, Holy Symbol +3, Throat Mike, DATAS Boomer, Cyber Value 2. Comes with an Auditory Implant with CyberHam Reciever and Decoder, Cyber Value 4.
Group Power: Herald
Restriction: Requires Christen faith that accepts cybernetics.
Description: A cybernetic Voicebox, which can be used to send radio messages and amplify the bearer’s voice. This once belonged to a Jazuit who was martyred in the invasion of New England.
Tapping DN: 18
Purpose: To access the glory of the GodNet
Powers: J-Jack or EpiphaNeur neural jack, Cyber Value 2, Holy Symbol +1, Talisman of Cyberpapal reality.
Group Power: Create Talisman or Net Gate
Description: These neural implants once belonged to devout Netrunners who died online while fighting the enemies of the faith, or the Cyberpapacy.
Net Gate Group Power
Use Cost: 12
Range: base reality skill value or special
Effect: creates a gate for travel through the GodNet
The Group Power is a derivative of Gate. The Gate is two meters in area, and appears at a spot two meters or less away from the lead character. The other side is Netspace in the same physical location. This power allows access to the GodNet, Grid, or other Virtual Reality Pocket Dimension- or Spiritual Pocket Dimensions like the Dreamtime on Earth, or the Spirit World on Magna Verita.
Each round in which the gate is open, the lead character must generate another reality total against the difficulty number or the gate will collapse. Once the lead character has entered, the gate closes, and the characters may travel about as they please. Eating is problematic, and may require magic or miracles. Once the group is finished, they may reopen the gate (requires a new reality total, but no possibility expenditure). They may exit at a different location from their entry- and may even cross from one system to another before exiting. For example Entering from Marseilles on Magna Verita, traveling to the Kadandra sector of the GodNet, and from there access Kandandra’s DataGrid, and leave via a network connection in Hub City in the Democratic Alliance.
Magna Verita, on the surface seems to look very much like Earth. However, the world, and the universe around it, couldn’t be more different. Magna Verita is a flat disc, and the universe orbits around it.
The absolute center of the universe is Jerusalem (0oN 0oW). The spot in Antarctica which is the South Pole on Earth is approximately 15o from the “bottom” edge of the disc.
Alaska is at the absolute western edge of the disc, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Siberia is at the absolute eastern edge, on the Oriental Ocean. Anyone sailing out will fall off the edge of the disc, most likely ending up in the Inferno. Likewise anyone braving the extreme cold and inhospitable mountains at the north and south edges will reach the edge.
Below the world is the Inferno. There are caverns across the world which allow the unwise to travel there. Inferno exists at an intersection of Magna Veritan reality, the Land Below, and the Spirit World (also known as the GodNet in areas of Cyberpapal axioms).
The sky above marks the borders to Heaven, and the sun and stars are part of that Celestial Kingdom. This is part of why Cyberpapal aircraft can not reach as high as the clouds, since it is not possible for man to reach Heaven through technological means. Any attempt results in the vehicle taking an automatic 11wound KD KO 16. Occupants take 31 + Law of the One True God modifier for their faith in Spiritual Damage (Atheists or Secular Dwarvenists take +10, or Damage Value 41).
Timeline of Magna Verita
1054 Schism between Eastern and Western Churches
1095-9 First Crusade preached by Pope Urban I
1099 Jerusalem captured
1119 Knights Templar founded
1123 Clerical marriages declared invalid
1146-8 Second Crusade
1182 Fall of Jerusalem
1189-92 Third Crusade
1201-4 Fourth Crusade; sacking of Constantinople
1209 First Albigensian Crusade in southern France
1212 Children’s Crusade
1219 Fifth Crusade
1228 Jerusalem recaptured
1232 Pope Gregory IX establishes the Inquisition
1248-51 Fifth Crusade under St. Louis of France
1252 Innocent IV allows torture to the Inquisition
1309-78 Papacy moves to Avignon
1312 Pope Clement issues a Papal Bull disbanding the Templars, Phillip IV permitted to seize their assets in France
1314 Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay is burned at the stake,
1337-1419 Franco-English War
1378-1417 The Great Schism begins with two Popes
1409 Council of Pisa: three Popes
1414 Council of Constance. Benedict XIII (Avignon Pope) is poisoned by his successor, Benedict XIV, who does not attend the Council.
Histories of Earth and Magna Verita diverge.
1415 Benedict XIV hires mercenaries which wins the Battle of Agincourt for France. Henry V slain, England collapses into civil war.
1418 Benedict XIV excommunicates Roman Pope and sacks Rome.
1419 France defeats, absorbs Burgundy, Charles VI endowed with England by the Pope, killed at the Siege of London. Pope lays claim to France and England. Black Death ends.
1435 Spanish Crusade launched, Spain falls by 1440. Moors driven into Morocco and pursued east.
1440 Peasants’ Revolt (Franciscan attempt to curtail Papal Corruption) savagely crushed
1453 Constantinople falls to the Turks
1456 Gutenberg prints the first Bible. The Great Halt begins.
1489 First Index of Banned Books
1492 Columbus discovers the Americas
1519-1521 Mexican Crusade
1520 Constantinople recaptured, Greek Orthodox and Jews forced to convert.
1521 Holy Land recaptured
1523 Martin Luther burnt as a heretic
1525 Egypt captured by the Papacy
1528 Persia captured
1532 John Calvin disappears into the hands of the Inquisition. Brasilian and Biruvian Crusades
1564 Destruction of Mecca, Inquisition begins systematic eradication of Islam.
1583 European Heretics begin flight to the Americas
1591 Songhai Crusade, beginning of Sub-Saharan Crusades
1600 Indian Crusade
1644 Chinese Crusade
1692 Salem Witch Trials
1776-81 American Crusade
1841 Julian III declares the world to be united under Papal rule, Orders Julian Bible published (following year)
1890-1995 Jean Malraux gains the Darkness Device, begins new Crusades
Organizations and Personages
Cyberpope Roger-Bernard I
A consummate politician and PR man. Roger-Bernard not only convinced the College of Cardinals to elect him over Archangel August-Challier and Grand Inquisitor Bernard-Jenet, but also persuaded much of CyberFrance to forget the Malraux Heresy, reject the Maquis resistance, or Republican government in Paris, and put their faith in the Cyberpapacy.
His foreign policy is often referred to as “Malraux did it”. Putting the blame for the most egregious of human rights violations and the invasion itself on his predecessor, while not repudiating any of the benefits the Church gained from those acts. This has appeased the governments of North America and Europe, including Germany. He has even sent envoys to Rome, claiming to seek a reconciliation, or at least peaceful relations with Earth Catholicism.
He has denounced Aysle (both Light and Dark) and the Akashans. This rhetoric, coupled with economic and technological benefits lead to the South American Fator Humano welcoming in the Cyberpapacy.
While GWI, and other major Cyberpapal Megacorps went public before his elevation, he has not objected to this action. Instead, the Church has bought a controlling interest in the Avignon-based firm, and much of the outstanding stock in several others.
His plans include engineering a terrorist attack in Marseilles, which will target the Maquis in that city, while justifying expansion into North Africa.
Aware of Heketon and the Gaunt Man’s betrayal, the Cyberpope has been very light in condemnations of the Godless Marketplace Corps, Heretical Nile Imperials, and the heathen savages of the Lost Worlds. Instead focusing on Orrorsh, Aysle, Tharkold, Lereholm, Nolava, Aztec Empire and of course the Antipope.
Antipope Francis-Remoir I, Pontiff of the Avignon Church in-Exile
Francis-Remoir was always zealous, though flawed. Now he sees it as a mandate from Heaven that he must be sinless, and lead his flock by example. He employs flagellation and self-mutilation to curb any sinful impulses he might feel. He has had two slaves convicted of witchcraft, and burned to end affairs he had been engaged in. He is unaware of the son one of these produced.
Francis-Remoir understands that the Apocalypse is here. It is the duty of the Pope to lead the faithful against the forces of the Antichrist, Roger-Bernard, and his minions from Hell.
The Magna Veritan Pope has put his attention foremost on the War against the Fallen and the Cyberpapacy. In the realm on Earth, many stormers and storm knights from other realms are simply presumed to be witches or heretics. They must repent, and face judgment, but they are not the Pope’s primary concern.
Francis-Remoir will not tolerate heresy or sin among his Church. He has had the Inquisition investigate even the Curia itself, in order to ensure that the Army of God is pure.
The College of the Way
The College originally consisted of 10 Cardinal-Bishops, 20 Cardinal-Priests, and 30 Cardinal-Deacons. The Cyberpope (and Antipope) personally appoint Cardinals, and both have created new Princes of the Church to fill gaps in their ranks.
The Cardinals act as the Pope’s councilors and assistants, and as his legates to the farthest corners of Magna Verita. They also head the various Curial departments. As a ruling body, they are exempted from religious service. Most do not even attend mass. Some, in the Cyberpapacy, to maintain appearances, have had complex programs created to allow a VX image of themselves to attend masses in the GodNet.
The Cyberpope created new Cardinal-Deacons from Core Earth. Three of these are scientists from the Côte d’Azur, who are treated to the luxurious lifestyle of all Cardinals. In reality they wield no power, but the Cyberpope values the suggestions and opinions of the Cyber Council on cyberware and the GodNet.
Three Cardinals were sucked into the GodNet during its formation and were transformed into the High Tier Angels of the GodNet. Cardinal-Bishop August-Challier, a “cousin” of Malraux, entered the GodNet on his own free will and acts as the Cyberpope’s Legate in the GodNet.
The Cardinal-Bishop is, however, an ambitious man, who sees the GodNet as a way of expanding his own power at his “cousin’s” expense. Cardinal-Bishop August-Challier rules the Angels of the GodNet from Babel Central. His position within the GodNet provides him with an ideal opportunity to spy on the Cyberpope and also to meddle with data to suit his own purposes. The Cardinal-Bishop is too shrewd to make any overt moves against the Cyberpope, but he has learned as much about the GodNet as any being in the cosm.
The other three Cardinals within the GodNet are all loyal to the Cyberpope and administer the areas of the Net for him. Cardinal-Priest Peter-Renier guards the gates of Heaven, and Cardinal-Deacon Julian-Cartre oversees the creation of the HolyVids. Cardinal-Priest Christopher-Luguar took great delight in being in charge of Purgatory, but is now a prisoner of the demons in control of the sector.
The Apostolic Chamber
This chamber administers Papal finances. Headed by Cardinal-Priest Emile Delboius (Cyberpapacy) and Rene-Aurelian (Antipapacy), it collects taxes from around the Papacy and makes available dispensations for crusades against the infidel. Following the false Papacy’s expansion to a world power, its offices have grown dramatically. In rooms in Avignon, Magna Verita, thousands of scribes collate and administer a vast fiscal empire.
In the realm of the Cyberpapacy, the Apostolic Chamber has benefited tremendously from the cybernetic transformation. Vast areas of the Avignon data bases are taken up with its accounts.
Cardinal-Priest Emile Delboius
During the confusion of Malraux’s Martyrdom (heresy) and the corporate secularizations, Emile siphoned large amounts of funds, and had a vast palace built at Saint-Tropez, with a large staff of servants drawn from suspect minorities and cartagras.
His indiscretions were excused by the new Cyberpope when he negotiated new terms with GWI, and the other corporations.
Born in Lima, Biru. Rene previously oversaw the gold mines of that Archdiocese. The new pope has made him responsible for providing all the funds necessary for the New Crusades. He knows that failure means death. To this end he has agents in the mines of Biru, Argentine, and Mexico, as well as the smithies of the western hemisphere. Any slackers or thieves are dealt with swiftly and harshly by the Penitentiary.
Each year thousands of Papal decrees pass through this department. Hundreds of rooms in Magna Verita are filled with its output. These range from instructions detailing the administration of the Papacy’s estates to the finer details of what exactly constitutes heresy.
In the Cyberpapacy, Roger Bernard is concerned with ensuring that his rule is unquestioned within his territory. The vast resources available
to him in the form of cybernetics have been classified by the Chancery. New departments have been created to keep a record of all those fitted with legal cyberware.
The Chancery is headed by Cardinal-Priest Jean-Pierre (Cyberpapacy) and Francisque Blanchard (Antipapacy).
The Cyberpope’s Inquisitors may be fanatical in their pursuit of heresy, but even the most sin-stained heretic can be accepted into the flock of the
Cyberpapacy. All it takes is a sheet of paper and a data entry in the GodNet. All the heretics have to do is join the Crusade against heresy, and they’ll receive an Indulgence.
Indulgences are also for sale to the discreet. The prices vary with the extent of the sins absolved, from 1,000 francs for mere peccadillos to 25,000,000 francs for serious, publicized cases of heresy or resistance to the authority of The Church. Indulgences are issued by the Chancery
and bear the Cyberpope’s seal. They absolve sinners of their sins. Indulgences place people technically beyond the reach of the Inquisition, and
announce their return to the faith. As long as a devout life is led, the owner of an Indulgence has nothing to fear.
However, an Indulgence from the Pope is not a license to continue to commit sin. It absolves past sins, not future ones. Anyone accused of committing heresy after the date their Indulgence was issued, could still face the terrors of Inquisition.
The Avignon Church-in-exile has less tolerance for sins. Where once the laity might buy absolution with mere money, now those sinners must also join the Crusade, and offer their lives to end the Malraux Heresy, and defeat the forces of Satan.
Jean-Pierre knows everyone’s dark secrets (since he has records of everyone’s indulgences). He could destroy any member of the curia if he wanted. Instead he has become the power behind the throne, acting as a personal advisor to the Cyberpope.
His private records would be invaluable to the Resistance – or to his rivals.
Cardinal-Priest Francisque Blanchard
Secretly a Cyberpapal agent. Francisque fears the antipope’s fanaticism will kill everyone. So he secretly crossed over to Earth, and made contact with Cardinal-Priest Rogerio Gabriel, leader of the Pax Dei in South America. Francisque converted, and underwent cyber-surgery, returning to the cosm as a spy for the Cyberpapacy.
He uses his position to help hide those with Cyberpapal sympathies from the Inquisition, and uses black mail to compel loyal but sinful clergy to inform him or sabotage the Antipapacy.
Legal matters are dealt with by this department headed by Cardinal-Priest Jacques-Christopher (Cyberpapal) and Raymond Montagne (Antipapal). All litigation passes through its chambers, from non-payment of taxes to charges of incompetence. It is responsible for maintaining discipline and the smooth operation of the Papal bureaucracy.
Converting the Heathen
Monks and priests who work for the Penitentiary are in charge of converting the heathen. This is an outgrowth of the fact that dealing with heathen has always been a tricky legal matter, treading lightly around the grounds of heresy. Avignon Popes eventually decided that those who understood the law best were least likely to inadvertently cross the line of heresy when dealing with the heathen. The Penitentiary has flourished under this assumption.
The Cyberpope is not one to deny the chance of salvation to his people. Everyone, including Jews, Muslims, the godless and heretics are given a chance to convert. This is a sign of his magnanimity. Admittedly they are treated as second-class citizens, who will be ultimately contained within ghettoes and watched carefully to ensure that they embrace the Cyberpope’s teachings completely. Even heretics who willingly confess
their heresy and repent are accepted back into the fold. But those who cling to their heretical beliefs are shown no mercy. They are rooted out by the
Jacques-Christopher recognizes that Ebenuscrux is the true higher power in the cosm. He worships it, providing corpses for the Gospog fields, and providing manpower for any task the Darkness Device requires. In return, he has benefited more than any other cardinal, and nearly as much as the new Cyberpope.
Cardinal-Priest Raymond Montagne
Raymond is a former inquisitor, newly appointed to his position. He had discovered his predecessor was helping heretics to flee to Earth. The Inquisitor, having secured evidence, arranged for the former cardinal to be crucified alongside almost a dozen sinners who might otherwise have escaped judgment. For his service, Pope Francis appointed him the new head of the Penitentiary.
Still an Inquisitor at heart, he works in the realm to convert the heathen with the Fear of God.
Council of Monitors
The Council of Monitors is headed by Cardinal-Priest Rene-Clairvaux. It is based (physically) in Avignon and has responsibility for monitoring all activities of the GodNet. It traces the origin points of calls and dispatches Church Police to arrest illegal users.
The Electronic Trail
When a GodNet monitor or cyberpriest detects suspicious activity in the GodNet, he is supposed to send a VX messenger to Babel Central and exchange routes. In observance of six centuries of protocol, the messenger must stop at each exchange along the route and inform the Abbot Monitor of six pieces of information: where he is bound, who the message is for, and from whom the message comes, how long the message is, which exchange he just came from, and which exchange is next. The VX messenger then moves on to the next exchange.
At the end of each week the Monitor Abbot sends VX messengers to each exchange to which he is connected. Each Abbot messenger carries
the list of all messengers routed through the Abbot’s exchange that week who should have next arrived at this exchange, and the rudimentary information on the message. Each Abbot monitor compares these incoming lists with the list of all VX messengers which did arrive. Any missing messenger, or discrepancies in the message information is flagged, and cyberpriests are put on the case.
This primitive form of “error-checking” worked well in the communication system on Magna Verita where response time was measured in weeks,
and where an Abbot might see a dozen messages in a week. Now tens of thousands of church messengers flow through the exchanges each week, and
messenger who is a week missing has probably given the Resistance a huge window of opportunity with which to hamper operations in the GodNet.
As bad, the regular, scheduled transfer of information by the Abbot messengers makes an ideal target for deckers. A week’s worth of who has been talking to whom, where, and for how long, often gives valuable insight as to the current priorities of the Cyberpapacy.
Many Cyberpapal officials recognize that this method of message transmission and recording is crippling the Cyberpapacy’s efforts, particularly against deckers. A few have tried tinkering with the system, but with little success.
Cardinal-Priest Rene Clairvaux has the Cyberpope’s blessing to circumvent this problem in the Council of Monitors. VX messengers with his seal may bypass the exchanges, making long distance links to Babel Central from whichever exchange they are located at. Bernard’s staff personally logs the messages, but allows Babel Monitors and Jackpriests to respond to the messages without observing protocol. This change allowed Babel Central to quickly reinforce data vaults which had previously had to rely strictly on local resources. Dozens of deckers were fried during the initial weeks of
Rene chafes at the constant oversight and usurpations of August-Challier and his angelic cronies. He has secretly been cultivating heretic netrunners to use in eliminating the false angels.
The Cyberpapacy is geared towards ensuring the subjugation of the flesh to the spiritual will of the Pope. In practice, the Pope is an absolute monarch with the power of life and death over all his subjects. Ultimately, the Inquisition is the body which ensures that society conforms to the Pope’s wishes. Anything else is classified as heresy. Malraux’s Inquisition is headed by Grand Inquisitor Bernard-Jenet.
Within Magna Verita there was no popular opposition to the Inquisition, but disdain for it existed within the Church. The Inquisition is the upholder of the faith; the public execution of a heretic is an event for celebration as it maintains the purity of the faith. In the Cyberpapacy, the Inquisition has met with antagonism. The Cyberpope and Inquisitors credit this to the wide-scale extent of heresy allowed to proliferate under the Roman Church on Earth. (They have no official explanation for the proliferation in the cosm). The Inquisition seeks to eradicate these heretics by restoring the Church to its rightful position as the basis of society.
Within this viewpoint, individuals have no rights, they function only for the sake of the whole of society. An individual who impinges on any article of faith immediately forfeits any rights which the law would normally offer. Aberration from the faith is a sign of intellectual arrogance, but also an act of rebellion against the authority of the Pope. It is an infectious disease which must be burned out of the body of society.
Inquisitors see themselves as doing God’s work. Loyal Catholics have nothing to fear from them…but the Inquisition defines what constitutes
loyalty. Only those who seek to undermine society and pervert God’s will become the targets of the Inquisition.
In the Cyberpapacy this authoritarian and pragmatic view has gained many converts. In this world gone mad, there are many who accept the Cyberpope as their savior. It is their solemn duty to report heretics, for they oppose the will of the Vicar of Christ and allow the Antichrist to grow stronger. Those who resist the Inquisition are a threat to society; these heretics must be dealt with accordingly.
The Inquisition answers directly to the Pope. No other member of the Curia can interfere in any action of the Inquisition. Nor would they want to. In doing so they would be proclaim themselves to be heretics and subject to the enquiries of the Inquisitors. No one, except the Pope is beyond the reach of the Inquisition. He uses the Inquisition to maintain his position and power. His word is law. His Inquisitors ensure that he is obeyed in all matters.
The Inquisition has been active in its war against heresy. The faithful are encouraged to turn their neighbors and colleagues in. Many have done so,
helping to further fuel the fear and uncertainty gripping the nation.
Grand Inquisitor Bernard-Jenet
Bernard-Jenet is a devout Cyberpapist, and has continually replaced his sinful flesh with flawless machinery. He has replaced both eyes, ears, skeleton, tendons, legs, an arm with ShocKnucks (for the torture of heretics), GodLight, inter- and exodermal plating (without NeuraSkin), and a stimulant implant allowing him to go for days without sleep.
He pursues heretics and confessions tirelessly and without hatred or compassion.
Grand Inquisitor Marcel-Anton
A cunning sadist, with an army of spies. The Pope grants him leave to go anywhere, and question anyone, all in the name of protecting the Church and its congregation from the forces of Hell. Marcel-Anton was originally appointed by Malraux, but rejected the Cyberpapacy and fled to the Americas. He has used the division in the Church as justification, allowing him to torture suspected heretics to his heart’s content. Piety is not important to him, though he pays lip service in order to remain in the good graces of the Pope.
The Cyberpapacy has transfigured many of its loyal priests and nuns into angels (The Choirs of Cherubs, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues and Angels). These beings serve the church within the GodNet, protecting Babel Central, the Holy Exchanges and Heaven. They also combat the forces of Hell and heretical Netrunners in the other reaches of the GodNet.
Throne (Cardinal-Bishop) August-Challier, GodNet Legate
A “cousin” of the late Jean Malraux. Since his ascension he has proclaimed himself a Prince of Heaven, and rules both that sector and the Holy Exchanges. His angels are often sent to explore the Catacombs and Kadandra link. He intends to bring the Word to both realms, but is facing heavy resistance. With demons in control of Purgatory and the Datapaths to Trash, the Legate has called upon more JackPriests to be sent into the Net to reinforce the Church’s rule of the GodNet.
August-Challier believes he is the rightful heir to the Cyberpapacy and Ebenuscrux, and that Roger Bernard’s appointment as Cyberpope was in error. He uses his position, outside the scrutiny of the Inquisition to plot his rise to power.
Cherubim (Cardinal-Priest Peter-Renier), Guardian of the Gates of Heaven
Head of the Heavenly Host. He works endlessly to defend it. He ignores, and is out of touch with, the politics of the Temporal World.
Throne (Cardinal-Deacon) Julian-Cartre, HolyVids
Julian-Cartre spends much of his time manifested on Earth, where he utilizes the higher Social Axiom for market research and tips on propaganda and brainwashing techniques. He then uses this to form strategies maximize the saturation and effectiveness of the Holy Vids, in much the way Pre-War Hollywood execs promoted their movies.
Domination (Cardinal-Priest) Christopher-Luguar, Former Overseer of Purgatory
A prisoner in Hell, tortured endlessly by a variety of demons. Recently, the Warlock has asked that he be remade into a Balrog. Once his transformation is complete he will lead a force from Hell against the Cyberpapacy.
The Church Police form the military and police arm of the Cyberpapacy. They assist Inquisitors and cyberpriests and nuns in their duties, and are stationed in cities, towns villages throughout the Cyberpapacy. The Church Police also act as front line troops and are equipped with the latest vehicles and weapons from the factories of Avignon.
Originally, all Church Police were crusaders from Magna Verita. They now include elements of the French armed services and police who have been fitted with Faith Chips and Homers. Right-wing hit squads have also been integrated into the Church Police. Leadership positions are, however, retained for natives of Magna Verita.
The Commanding General has subordinate Generals commanding CyberFrance, Quebec Liberte, Argentina, Nuncio Security, and in the Patriarchies of East and West Europe, the Holy Land and the Orient. Beneath them, each archdiocese in their realm has a colonel. Each diocese has a captain in charge of its Church Police detachment.
Mathieu Desrosiers, Commanding General of the Church Police
Desrosiers is from Magna Veritan Norway, is 2 meters tall and 150kg, and has the visage of his Viking ancestors.
He believes Ebenuscrux is a Divine Instrument, and serves with unquestioning loyalty. The Cyberpope has to constantly restrain him from initiating hostilities with heathens in areas the Church is engaged in diplomacy.
Desrosiers continues a tradition of rivalry with Grand Master Modest of the Hospitallers. He considers their reputation to be overblown, and that they are too closely tied to GWI rather than the Church.
Hospitallers are an order of elite warriors who trace their origins back to the First Crusade in the Holy Land. They operate independently of the
Church Police, but Hospitallers are frequently attached to Church Police Units. Hospitallers also guard Godware Hospitals throughout the Cyberpapacy.
Grand Master Modest Baptiste of the Knights Hospitaller
Modest works closely with Gods Word Industries. CEO Marin has provided him with stocks, and the Order with priority equipment upgrades.
He considers the General Desrosiers and the Church Police to be amateurs, who rely on sheer numbers and automatic fire to catch a single heretic. As such, he expects them to yield to the authority of his knights.
Grand Master Vincent Nazaire, Avignon Church in-Exile Hospitallers
Vincent Nazaire acts as the commander of the Magna Veritan invasion force in Brazil. He is staunchly opposed to the Cyberpapacy, finding Cybernetics (and Biotech Implants) to be abominations in the sight of God. However, he has come to suspect that the Roman Catholics are not wrong. He realizes that this belief, if discovered by the inquisition would lead to his destruction, but he does not relent.
He has deliberately focused the Crusaders under him against Cyberpapal, or other overtly heretical enemies, while largely ignoring the “misguided” local Church. He has also taken it upon himself to question captured Catholics, and to investigate their scriptures. Always he is careful to denounce it before the inquisitors, though this can not continue much longer without their official notice.
Grand Master Jacques de Molay of the Knights Templar
An Earth native, and direct descendant of the Templars of old. A romantic, who is in love with the chivalry of that simpler time. Like all Templars, he does not trust the Catholic Church, but he has aligned his Order with Free France. The Magna Veritan Templars also respond to his leadership. In the cosm, they thrive in the frontier regions, but have maintained a stronghold in Portugal as well. Jacques advises that neither Church can be trusted, but neither can the Templars afford to weaken Christendom’s defense in the face of the Adversary.
Among the many corporations of the Cyberpapacy, God’s Word Industries, Clear Sight Industries, and True Spirit Enterprises are the most powerful, and their representatives advise the Cyberpope on matters of Cybernetics.
Antoine Marin, GWI
Secularization has proven incredibly profitable – both to the megacorporation and to the Church. Under Marin’s leadership, GWI now sells Tech 24 weapons, vehicles and other products on five continents. Cybernetics remain restricted. This has brought the positive side of the Cyberpapacy into homes, winning hearts and minds far more effectively than Jazuits.
Raphael De La Fontaine, CSI
Raphael and his senior execs are under the scrutiny of the Inquisition, since CSI and FFO have begun producing identical designs. Is it Heresy or Industrial Espionage, and if so, by which company?
Sabine Perrault, TSE
The CEO is a figurehead. The chairman of the board is a VX construct. The true power is a woman. Sabine Perrault was a senior exec in the company that became TSE. Under the Cyberpapacy she was relegated to a mere secretary. But she used her business acumen, and personal finances, and assumed controlling interest and covert leadership of the Board. The Inquisition suspects that TSE has been infiltrated by Kanawa. They haven’t noticed the woman sitting outside the CEO’s office. Sabine is loyal to the Church, but disagrees with the view that women are inferior.
She is currently engineering the takeover of PLP.
Many years ago, the man who would rise to lead the Church in these times of Tribulation, succumbed to the sins of the flesh. And while he was away, serving in a Crusade to another cosm, the slave he had fornicated with gave birth.
What he never learned, she was a priestess of the Fallen. And their child was raised by her coven. Dedicated before he was born to the service of the Lightbringer. His True Name has been concealed. With the death of his mother on his father’s orders, no mortals know it.
He is known only as, the Warlock.
Following the True Death of the Gaunt Man, the Darkness Device Heketon initiated a contingency plan that the pair had previously devised. Heketon, now infused with tremendous amounts of Possibility Energy, sought out agents to allow it to subvert the home cosms of the other Darkness Devices, as well as continuing the invasion of Earth.
The Obsidian Heart found the Warlock, and made him an offer. The power to bring about all his desires, and in the process aid Heketon’s agenda.
The Warlock acts in the capacity of a High Lord, planting Stelae, Gospog fields, and arranging Maelstrom Bridges. Thus far neither the Cyberpapacy or the Avignon Church-in-Exile realizes that he exists.
1) Destroy the Church. The Warlock wants to see the Avignon Church destroyed. And encouraging the two schismatic factions, as well as any other Christian factions that have emerged, to fight each other serves this purpose admirably.
2) War in Heaven. The Warlock will not be satisfied with merely destroying the Church, but wishes to see his lord, the Fallen Angel, Lucifer, return to challenge the throne of Heaven.
3) Spread the Gospel of Hell across the Cosmverse. The Warlock has arranged for numerous covens to travel to Earth and spread the faith of the Fallen. But this is only the beginning. Once Magna Verita has burned, he wishes to see his followers spread to the other worlds of existence.
Aysle – the Warlock has a cordial relationship with Uthorion. Both have expressed a willingness to cooperate, or share magical resources, if the other is in need. The Light sees magic as a tool, neither inherently good or evil. This can be used to spread Magna Veritan doctrine.
Akashans and Jakatts – both are hostile to the forces of Magna Verita and the Cyberpapacy. This makes them adversaries to the Warlock.
Orrorsh – the Warlock is on favorable terms with Victor Manwaring and Skutharka.
Lereholm and Nolava – both Sabathine and Basjas wish to win the Warlock as an ally (against the other). Should he find himself in trouble, he might take advantage of the situation. For now, he strings both along.
The Warlock is aided, directly – or more often, indirectly – by covens of witches.
Covens refers to any group, regardless of size or composition, that gains dark powers from the forces of Hell. These include witches and warlocks, who gain arcane power, which they may wield at their own whim – but which opens the user to becoming a vessel for the demonic source of that power. It also includes the priestesses (and priests) known as the Children of the Fallen. Children of the Fallen, still make pacts with demons, but rather than possessing power of their own, they pray to their patron for profane power.
Note: in other cosms Witch and Warlock have greatly different meanings. A witch might even be considered a benevolent spell-user. While warlocks are always considered to be betrayers or practitioners of the forbidden. In such cases, witch may be a gender-neutral term applied to both sexes. This is not the case on Magna Verita. Since all magic comes from the devil, and is a perversion of the will of God, there is no such thing as benevolent magic in the cosm. As such witch and warlock are gender specific terms for such arcane practitioners.
A coven may be as small as a single individual – generally if a witch has struck out to form a new coven, or is the sole survivor of an Inquisitorial raid. But generally the smallest number will be three. The largest number of actual witches in a coven will be thirteen. Should the coven grow larger it will split into smaller covens, spreading out in order to further the will of their dark master(s).
Covens will have limited contact with each other. This prevents the Inquisition from forcing a witch to reveal the names or locations of others, since she can’t betray those she has not met. Witches will use secret signs and codes to recognize each other. Though the Inquisition can learn these over time. As such basic recognition symbols are generally marked in public places as seemingly innocuous things, which might be overlooked, or passed off as innocent. A flower with seven petals or interlocked rings on the sign of an inn for example. Once inside, the visitor might then use a particular phrase or word in order to indicate her own heretical nature. If the local witch wishes, she may then reveal herself.
A coven will pledge itself to a specific demon, and through him (or her) to a particular sin, such as wrath, greed, or lust. This patron determines the sort of spells the coven will learn. Wrath demons, like Balrogs, teach Fireball, or Increased Strength, while Succubi or Incubi will certainly teach Charm or Heightened Charisma.
In a world where men are so thoroughly in control in every aspect of daily life, it should be no surprise that at least two in three members of a coven will be female. And entirely female covens are quite common. All male covens are quite the exception.
Children of the Fallen often poses as members of the clergy, performing the role of subservient nun, or dutiful priest; using their position of power to corrupt the laity, or other clergy. It is also common for such dark clergy to serve as a part of a coven with witches, generally in the role of advisor, serving as a go-between for the coven and their master.
There is some division in the ranks of the heretics regarding the two realities in the cosm. Some see their own reality as the superior, and seek to forcibly convert their sisters in the opposing axiom set. Other covens see the warped realities as irrelevant to their purpose, and ignore their differences, while working to tear down both schismatic factions of the Church.
By the time of Pope Julian III, Magna Verita was divided into 10 regions, known as Patriarchies. These are sub-continent sized areas, with an appointed Legate, referred to as a Patriarch. These Patriarchs answer only to the Pope, and have authority over all the archdiocese in their realm.
In a world where communications required months, or even years, it was essential to have these surrogates to insure the Church’s supremacy. However, with the rise of the Cyberpapacy, and the resulting schism, these regions have often become independent – answering to the Pope of choice, both, or neither. The Americas and Australias are firmly Magna Veritan, Europe and the Orient fall under Cyberpapal axioms. The rest of the cosm varies.
Note: A location name in Parenthesis indicates the Core Earth analogue to the location in question. When discussing Archdiocese in this chapter, we are generally discussing the realm of a cardinal, and not that of an archbishop, unless otherwise noted.
Sidebar: Cardinal Archdiocese of Magna Verita
Atlantic – Cardinal-Bishop
Ohio – Cardinal-Priest
Great Plains – Cardinal-Deacon
California – Cardinal-Deacon
Mexico – Cardinal-Priest
Canada – Cardinal-Deacon
Brasil – Cardinal-Bishop
Venesuela – Cardinal-Deacon
Argentine – Cardinal-Priest
Chile – Cardinal-Deacon
Biru – Cardinal-Deacon
Australia – Cardinal-Bishop
Melanesia – Cardinal-Deacon
Indonesia – Cardinal-Deacon
Philippines – Cardinal-Deacon
Palestine – Cardinal-Bishop
Arabia – Cardinal-Deacon
Syria – Cardinal-Deacon
Persia – Cardinal-Priest
Bombay – Cardinal-Bishop
Calcutta – Cardinal-Deacon
New Delhi – Cardinal-Priest
Himalayas – Cardinal-Deacon
Pakistan – Cardinal-Deacon
Samarkand – Cardinal-Priest
China – Cardinal-Bishop
Japan – Cardinal-Deacon
Korea – Cardinal-Deacon
Malaysia – Cardinal-Deacon
Mongolia – Cardinal-Deacon
Siberia – Cardinal-Deacon
Egypt – Cardinal-Bishop
Ethiopia – Cardinal-Priest
Libya – Cardinal-Deacon
Algiers – Cardinal-Deacon
Morocco – Cardinal-Deacon
Ivory Coast – Cardinal-Bishop
Cameroon – Cardinal-Deacon
Congo – Cardinal-Deacon
Madagascar – Cardinal-Deacon
Zimbabwe – Cardinal-Priest
Russia – Cardinal-Bishop
Poland – Cardinal-Priest
Austria – Cardinal-Priest
Hungary – Cardinal-Priest
Greece – Cardinal-Deacon
Romania – Cardinal-Deacon
Nicea – Cardinal-Deacon
France – Cardinal-Bishop
Spain – Cardinal-Priest
Italy – Cardinal-Priest
Britain – Cardinal-Priest
Germany – Cardinal-Priest
Switzerland – Cardinal-Deacon
Norway – Cardinal-Deacon
Capital: New Avignon, Brasil (Sao Paulo); Seat of the Antipope Francis-Remoir I.
August-Francis realizes that he, and the College created a monster that will see the world burn for heresy. To that end, he made an attempt to make the Pope a martyr. But the assassin’s bolt missed the target, and hit him instead. This has elevated him in the eye’s of Francis-Remoir. He has become the Pope’s personal confidante, above suspicion, even by the Grand Inquisitor.
So now, while he is safe from investigation, he can attract no potential allies, since any attempt would be deemed an attempt to root out traitors. So the Patriarch is forced to watch helplessly as it all crumbles around him.
Witches effectively control the western half of the Archdiocese. From there they are working to subvert the eastern half, as well as assisting in a rebellion to the north.
A deadly Plague has devastated the tribes still hiding in the Amazon Jungle, survivors have fled, spreading the disease to coastal Brasil and Venesuela. Even the miracles of the Antipapacy find the illness difficult to cure.
New Avignon has swollen with the influx of the families of Crusaders, as well as the refugees from the west and expatriates from Europe. A few years ago, the population was about a quarter million, but it is now nearly twice that. The rapid increase has lead to considerable problems with sanitation, and the supply of clean water and adequate food.
The city has a large Jewish population, which has served as overseers for the native slaves. The Inquisition is watching closely for signs of the Jewish heresy in their ghettos.
The capital of Bon Air is ironically covered in a foul cloud from the continuous smithing that is requred to provide arms and armor to the Crusades on Earth, and across the Atlantic.
The largest source of gold in the Avignon Church-in-exile’s domains. The archdiocese has large mining operations, as well as extensive weaving and textiles.
Capital: New Clairvaux (New York City)
The patriarch is guilty of numerous violations of at least half the Commandments, notably adultery, covetousness, false witness and murder. As such, the new pope would have him executed in an instant. To avoid this, Guillaume makes a very conspicuous display of piety and religious fervor. He makes certain that his domain always exceeds the demands of New Avignon for crusaders, arms, or other exports. All the while he is investigating the rumored gate northeast of his capital, which connects with Earth near Boston.
The people of the east coast, following their spiritual father’s (apparent) lead are fiercely loyal to the pope in New Avignon. Recruiting for the Crusades is being done at every church in the land, with able-bodied young men volunteering by the thousands. Smiths are forging weapons nonstop. And all industry is being turned to support of the effort. It is understood that failure will mean the Antichrist will rule the world, and every soul will be perverted with unholy machinery.
Ohio and the Great Plains
The two regions, stretching over a thousand miles between the continents two largest mountain ranges, are experiencing a massive drought. Vegetation is dying at an alarming rate, and Famine runs rampant throughout the region. Many are fleeing east, where they are quickly pressed into the war effort. The red-skinned slaves are being abandoned to fend for themselves.
A coven of witches, about one hundred miles south of St. Richelieu have taken to river piracy. They have effectively blocked all traffic on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, stealing whatever they desire and slaying any resistance. The Archbishop at St. Richelieu has requested aid from the Cardinal at New Orleans in breaking these heretics.
One hundred fifty years ago, silver mines were discovered near St. Francis. This brought a massive influx of people from the Atlantic and Mexican Archdiocese, as well as from Europe. The mines are largely played out, but the realm on the Pacific coast, with its mild weather, remains the third largest region of the continent. Cité des Anges, St. Francis, Portland, and Duwamps all have over a hundred thousand souls.
The drought in the east has touched the southern, desert regions, but has had limited impact thus far.
Reformation priests and witches are both providing support to slave revolts throughout the southern reaches. Generally, the slaves will attack a village, then fade back into the jungles for safety. Their hit and run tactics have made it hard for the Church to effectively hunt them.
Capital: Port Innocent (Sydney)
Arnaud-Valerian has not had contact with the pope since he returned from the Papal Conclave of 1991, seven years ago. He has only had limited contact with India or the west in the last three. And the Orient is under the sway of the cyberheresy. All ships bound for other Patriarchies never return. There is no way of knowing if they even reached their destinations. Thus isolated, the Patriarch holds to his duty, and defends Christendom to his utmost.
As noted, Australians are loyal to the Antipope, but being on the far side of the world, they are effectively on their own. However, the more inhospitable areas have begun to slip from his grasp. Le Retour, always sparse and arid, is facing full Famine.
The larger islands have fallen to Plague, with inhabitants fleeing to the southern coast of Asia, or southwest to Australia. The latter seldom make it, and plague ships may be found adrift throughout the southern Oriental Ocean.
Cardinal-Deacon Urbain is engaged in naval conflict, with hundreds of galleons, armed with ballistae and catapults, being employed against Peter-Class Frigates. Random fluctuations of reality decide these conflicts, with the Exile Churches miracles sometimes failing, or at other times, the enemy’s reactors and cybernetics shut down.
Recently, the Philipino forces made a successful raid against Hong Kong.
Capital: Peking (Beijing)
At eighty-four, Francois-Michel has installed BelleView 20-20s, DATAS Snoopers, a partial skeletal replacement, and an artificial heart. But he still feels the approach of death, and has petitioned for angelic translation.
A strict, but fatherly man, who is relatively faithful by the loose standards of the Cyberpapacy. In his younger days, he played politics like any cleric, but beyond the covetousness and greed inherent in the desire to rise to the top of the Church’s ranks, he has few serious sins. And even the natives, over whom he has ultimate authority, generally view him with high regard.
Heathen Corps are producing unsanctified cyberware. This began as a collective of Cyberleggers, programmers, engineers and heretical priests. But with the discovery of UltraCAD technology, they grew, incorporated, and turned chopshops into Cyberhospitals. These corporations are threatening the Churches supremacy in Macau, Shenzhen, Chungking, Wuhan and Sian. The Patriarch has ordered the Church Police and Inquisition to make ready for a Crusade to root out the Corporate Execs and their followers.
Shinto Heretics have cut off the Holy Exchanges to the mainlands, taken the city of Edo (which they have renamed Tokyo), and proclaimed a new Emperor. Factory production in the heretics’ city is at maximum, and it is only a matter of time before they seek to drive out the Church Police at Kyoto.
The Cardinal-Deacon has ordered an increase in the subliminals in the Holy Vids, and the installation of Faith Chips in as many of the laity as is feasible.
Refugees form Indonesia have brought the plague. The dead rot in the streets, while the survivors remain in sealed towers. When the plague gets in – with shipments of food or other essentials – it sweeps the building rapidly.
The clergy remain jacked in, using Mana and Attune Mechanism to remian in the ‘Net indefinitely. The laity may access them exclusively via Virtual Experience.
Patriarch: Andre Maxime
Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi
Throughout the subcontinent, Famine, Plague and Death have free dominion. One in three, native and Franks alike, are dead already. This includes significant portions of the local Church. The cardinals of Bombay, Calcutta, and Delhi are all dead. This has left the young archbishop of Bombay with the unenviable duty of leadership.
Archbishop Andre Maxime has sent messages to Avignon, and the various Patriarchs, and has promised his allegiance to anyone who can save the Archdiocese. His messengers, even to nearby Pakistan, have yet to bring back any word.
Hospitallers out of China have taken the capital city, and establishing a Cyberpapal Hardpoint. Their stated purpose being to ‘combat the ongoing drought in the region.’ But their presence also aids in securing roads between the Orient and Europe. The local church officials and their soldiers have fled to caves in the nearby mountains. There they plan their retaliation, and await the return of their messengers to Bombay.
Patriarchs: Marcus-Casimir (Cyberpapcy), Simon Lambert (Antipapacy), Bartholomew (Knights Templar)
Portions of the region are under Cyberpapal axioms, while the rest of the Patriarchy is effectively a Mixed Zone, shifting from one reality to the other at a whim.
Jews and Templars hold Jerusalem itself. There is a tenuous truce between the two groups, and shared custody of the Temple of Solomon. Knight-Commander Bartholomew and the Sanhedrin (council of elders) have the framework for a deal in which the region will belong to the Jews, while Christians will be allowed free access.
In theory, it might work.
But many younger Jews want reprisals for centuries of abuse. They have secured a cache of automatic weapons and even some cybernetics, which they employ in fighting the various forces seeking to retake the city.
Local Saracens have revolted, overthrowing their Frankish betters. They effectively control the entire peninsula. But once they drove out the Franks, their unity ended. Without anything greater than the individual tribe to believe in, the Saracens have turned to infighting. There are at least a dozen major factions, each controlling an oasis, or city.
Some, like the city of Bahrain have access to advanced technology stolen from the Cyberpapacy. While others, like Medina, rely on sheer numbers and simple steel.
The central portion of the peninsula shifts constantly between realities, creating deadly reality storms.
Patriarch Simon Lambert fears the locals will follow the example of their neighbors to the south. To prevent an uprising, he has been conscripting Saracens and sending them against Jerusalem. His own forces are held in reserve to defend Baghdad.
The Cyberpapists have regrouped at Tyre. Marcus-Casimir demands the immediate recapture of Jerusalem. Whenever reinforcements arrive from Europe, they are sent directly into combat. His Church Police commander, eager for blood, is only too happy to follow orders, and send troops to the slaughter.
Knight-Commander Nicodeme LeBeau of the Hospitallers objected. He wanted to build up troop strength and make a concentrated effort. This disobedience was seen by the Patriarch as direct defiance of the will of Heaven. He and his knights have fled. As criminals, they can expect no aid from Avignon. So they have taken to carefully planned raids to secure supplies, and attempt to recruit survivors of the Patriarch’s madness.
Capital: Cape of Good Hope
Loyal to the Pope in-exile, Thaddeus-Gallus is heavily involved in plans to take the Crusade to the Cyberpope’s door, and reclaim Avignon. He is more of a warrior than is typical of his fellows, and will personally take part in the Crusade when it begins. This obsession would leave him open to being deposed by a more ambitious, political, cleric. But with the Apocalypse at hand, there are few willing to risk eternal damnation.
Most of Africa is under Magna Verita Axioms, though occasional freak storms do bring manifestations of Cyberpapal reality.
The Antipope has moved one hundred thousand crusaders to the Cape of Good Hope, intending to march north, capture Maisonblanc, and then cross the Straits of Gibraltar into Spain. The Avignon Church-in-exile intends to amass an addition one hundred fifty thousand over the next six months.
Plague runs rampant throughout the interior of the Congo. The larger communities controlled by the Church have been gutted, leaving only smaller villages – some unsupervised by the Franks.
Demons have openly overthrown the Church and now rule the island directly. They are forcibly converting the population to their worship. Witches and Priestesses now act in the capacity of Jazuits/Jesuits and Inquisitors to combat the ‘heretics’ of their domain.
A Reformationist Sect, the Presbyterians, has organized. Named for the legendary kingdom of Prester John, their chief dogmatic point is equality for all men regardless of the color of their skin. This is quite popular with the natives, and has some following among the outnumbered Franks as well.
North Africa is nominally under Magna Veritan axioms, though the Patriarch is looking to Avignon for help. He feels that the old ways have failed, and that Francis-Remoir and his exile Church can not save North Africa, or Magna Verita. His emissaries have been received, and Roger-Bernard is prepared to extend his hand. However, it will necessitate Church Police, Techpriests, Hospitallers and GWI Cyberhospital personnel. And enough stelae to stabilize Cyberpapal reality in the region.
Egypt and Ethiopia
A plague has swept north from the Congo, through Ethiopia, and is working its way into Egypt. With the Patriarch seemingly helpless, the native Saracens are on the verge of rebellion.
Libya and Algiers
Drought in the Sahara has brought Famine to the northern coast. And worse, the fish along the coast are gone, leaving food shortages in their wake.
A maglev line runs from Maisonblanc to tunnels at Tangier, crossing the straits to Cadiz, Spain. While power for the line is generally unavailable, as the region falls under Magna Veritan axioms, it is necessary for the Cyberpapacy to protect it. As such both cities have been placed under Church Police control, with the aid of hardpoints and talismans. Full stelae installation is coming in the near future, along with further Church influence.
Matheo-Aquila believes that the Apocalypse has begun. And he believes that it is the direct result of Francis-Remoir and his followers rejecting the Word of God as handed down to His servant Jean Malraux – Blessed be his name. The proof of this is the signs of Tribulation which are found almost exclusively in regions where the Antipapacy holds sway.
The patriarch has ordered the Church Police and Inquisition to make rooting out any remnants of this false religion from his domain. This is to take priority over any lesser offense. Including murder, theft, or even the manufacture and installation of unsanctified cybernetics.
He has also called for the ordination of additional jackpriests and recruitment of more jacknuns. He is certain that the plain of Gehenna lies somewhere in the GodNet, and it will fall to the Churches’ faithful to gird themselves with programs and force the host of Hell back to the pit.
Cyberpapal forces have done a good job of eliminating organized resistance through most of the archdiocese. Agents of the Inquisition are everywhere. Even your own family might report you if you stray from the will of God.
But there are exceptions. Like much of Eastern Europe, there has been a resurgence of Orthodox Christianity. In Russia, Orthodoxy has support of no less than the archbishop of St. Petersburg. He does not advocate resistance against the Cyberpapacy, and encourages only passive acts of disobedience. It is for this reason – and fear he might be a martyr – that the Inquisition has not moved against him.
Poland and Greece
Also strongly influenced by Orthodoxy.
Orthodox Christianity on Magna Verita is similar to Roman Catholicism, with the exception that there is a desire to eliminate central authority – and the corruption that such power brings. The corruption of the Church makes this popular in part. Though with the rising chaos in the world, some feel that now is not the time for rejecting a unifying leadership. Over all the desire is to peacefully reshape the Church. Though there are some – particularly those who have lost loved ones to the Inquisition – who advocate open revolution.
Austria and Hungary
Martineism has found followers in these Archdiocese.
A coven of witches in Bucharest have installed fangs, and assumed the roles of vampires, gluttonous spirits of the night. They use their magic to ensnare Church Police patrols, and leave the bodies, minus cybernetics and blood to be found in the morning. These horrific acts have the laity in their homes before nightfall – excluding those who must work the night shift. Even these, believing the Church can not help them have turned to the protections of folk tales. Which only strengthens the belief in the very mysticism the coven practices.
The Constantinople Metroplex is over twenty-six centuries old, and has the largest population of any city in the cosm, at over 25 million. The exact number is uncertain at the moment, due to a massive influx of refugees from the Holy Land. These have established shanty towns on the outskirts of the metroplex, as they seek employment and more permanent settlement. Able bodied men are able to find work either in the factories, or in the Crusades. But since the latter means going back into the chaos they just fled, most will not take up the cross willingly.
Crime in the outer sectors has of course greatly increased. Some is hostility of the cities’ natives against these unwanted guests. But the disaffected homeless have also taken to hunting in gangs, robbing and even killing in an effort to find food or replace the wealth the lost (or believe is due them).
Not a few have found work as bodyjackers, slicing cybernetics from their victims for sale in cyberlegger chopshops.
Patriarch: Gerard-Pierre (Also serves as Papal Legate in the cosm)
Roger-Bernard has taken a soft stance, allowing sin and heresy to flourish in the interests of making friends with the unbelievers of Earth. Gerard-Pierre, long a loyal lieutenant to Jean Malraux, has no such weakness.
Gerard-Pierre has a flawless public image. To the laity, he is an exemplary man. Even among the Church, he has kept his sins quiet. Though rumors of his peccadilloes are in the Catacombs. He has managed to contain the information so well by rewarding his ex-lovers with generous promotions.
His current mistress is Mother-Superior Marie Rosette, who serves as the senior nun for the Palace of the Popes. She was recently transferred to a Spirit Chip, and installed into a Cartagra made from the body of an eighteen year old rebel. Like her predecessors for generations, Marie has access to the second best spy network in the city, if not the cosm. Her sisters are as much a part of the background as foreign slaves, and can listen in on vast amounts of data. So long as the Patriarch keeps his mistress happy, she will keep providing him with details on what his rivals are planning.
The old nation-states of Europe were dissolved over twenty-five generations ago, their languages are dead. Modern grudges stem from geography, not race or nationalism.
The London Sprawl includes Buckingham Cathedral, The Cardinal of the Islands seat, and the districts of Canterbury, Dover, Winchester, and Oxford. It is a hotbed of Protestant Heresy and Witchcraft.
Ireland is suffering a Famine, a sign that the Tribulations are not just visited upon those who reject technology.
Overcrowding is a fact of life in the islands, and recruiting for the Crusades is quite brisk.
Home to several naval ports, and the Steelworks of Toledo. The shipyards at Lisbon, Barcelona, and Valencia, are busy building frigates, transports, and even submarines, for the eventual use in the American Crusades.
Rome is a backwater, which was strategically stripped of any reminders of its history as the seat of an Empire or the Church. The Tech Surge has largely ignored the peninsula, leaving it decades behind the rest of the Cyberpapacy.
Agents of the Roman Catholic church have infiltrated, and are supporting a reformation movement.
Several industrial cities, particularly Munich, have had reformist activity prompting an increase in Church Police and Inquisitors.
Witchcraft is rampant in the Foret Noir, and they have recently struck the GWI automotive works at Munich, and have equipped a large band of brigands with hovercycles and cars. With these, they have begun hit and run raids against corporate and Church transports throughout the region.
The forbidding nature of the northern peninsula has long been a factor in prompting the young men to take up the Cross. And this has not changed. Nearly one in four have already volunteered for North Africa and the Holy Land.
The Inquisition has noted an upswing in witchcraft in recent months, and are in the process to working with the Jackpriests to track the offenders down.
Avignon sprawl includes Marseilles, Nice, Monaco, Montpillier, and Orange. It might have expanded further, but the Alps and Mediterranean block expansion in those directions. Avignon is headquarters of the Cyberpapacy, all its branches, and several megacorps. A transportation and communications hub for Europe, Asia, and the Holy Land. It has a population of about twenty million.
The Palace of the Popes is a city within a city within a city. A sprawling complex of churches, rectories, museums, and private mansions of the curia. The museums hold the artifacts of over a dozen cosms, with large portions sealed off to hide a variety of heretical items considered too valuable or beautiful to be simply destroyed. (There are no Eternity Shards among these exhibits).
GWI has over a dozen factories throughout the metroplex, and employs over a third of the city – including about four million slaves from throughout Magna Verita and its various conquests. The corporation also employs around 1.5 million women in minor capacities. Of course all supervisory and executive positions are held by white males. There is a difference between efficiency and being foolish.
GWI’s arms and automotive factories are in the process of upgrading from Tech 24-25 products to Tech 26. These use power cells reverse engineered from Tharkold and Kadandran technology, as well as caseless ammunition. The newer factories also employ UltraCAD and MakerMods. GWI holds this technology as proprietary – though the Church has access of course. Any private citizen found to possess such technology can expect harsh treatment by the Penitentiary.
Malraux Memorial is the newest and largest Cyberhospital in the city, with an excellent therapy ward, and the best doctors in the cosm. The adminstrators – unaware of the true story of the late Cyberpope’s death, are lobbying to change the name to St. Jean Malraux Memorial.
The Avignon Church still rules in the southern two thirds of the country, with pockets of Corporate Fiefs. Resistance can be found, but mainly along the northern border. The central regions are predominately faithful. Resistance focused against the Cyberpapacy, Corporations are not generally targeted.
The rapid growth of Avignon has swallowed the southern half of the Region, and conflict between urban industrialization and rural agriculture is escalating. If not for the loss of much of the nation’s farmland to the heathens in the north, the Cyberpope would fully support the former. As it is, the farms in the departments bordering the alps are vital.
Marseilles is a city under corporate rule. The resistance has not been completely eradicated, but it was gutted by the Inquisition during the papal crisis. The survivors eke by, smuggling cybernetics out, and food in. They act only to counter the worst offenses of the Church. But then, they number only a few dozen.
Cyberpapal Naval Command is also in Marseilles.
The Albigensian heresy has become an open secret. The Cyberpapacy knows they are still there, but does not but in the effort to eliminate them. This is because the Cathari are taking a strategic view. When they do strike, there is the inevitable round of crackdowns. Once peace returns, the cycle begins again.
The Cyberpapacy has lost control of much of the Trans-Pyrenees. In addition to the rampant violence of the cygoyles, the region has also been occupied by a company of Templars. A new offensive is in the works.
Lourdes remains a popular pilgrimage destination, and even Christians of other sects have visited. Julian-Cartre has saturated every aspect of the city with holographics and VX imagery to inspire conversions and heightened fanaticism.
The ruins of Parentis have become a base camp for an elite force from Free France. These operatives engage in hard assaults against Church targets – not always with a concern for civilian casualties.
Poitou-Charentes, Limousin and Auvergne
Agricultural regions on the border of Free France. Open conflict along the border is a fact of life. The Church keeps the loyalty of the populace via Faith Chips. Church Police in this region are always heavily armed, and have extensive armor support.
Bourgogne and the Franche-Comte
The vineyards of these regions have been claimed by the Church. A few remain for the pleasure of the clergy, the rest have been redesignated for general produce. The plastics industry is vital to Cyberfreance, and a key target for their neighbors.
In the later years of the war, Storm Knights organized a coalition of French Army units, rogue Hospitallers, Templars, and Parisienne resistance. They began with the capture of Bretagne and Calais. But before plans for the liberation of Normandy and Picardie could be formalized, the Cyberpapacy handed them an opportunity. Jean Malruax’s final address.
Before the Cyberpapacy could recover, the resistance had liberated these regions and five others.
Free France is a Republic (formally the Sixth Republic of France), with corporate influence, and a member of the European Union. It is lead by President Jacqueline Charbonneau, a former leader in the PLM.
Carnac, the Templar stronghold, stands at the southeast corner of this desolate former agricultural region. Efforts by science, miracles, and even magic are slowly restoring the fields.
Loire and the Centre
The garden regions of Free France. The Cyberpapacy desperately needs these back, and the fighting is intense. When the Free French army took the Centre, they captured two cardinals before they could flee south. Both are proving useful sources of information.
Normandy was hit hard in the invasion, like Bretagne. It is also in recovery, and is faring somewhat better. Rogue military units (brigands) still stalk the region.
High gang activity is still a major problem in the capital. FFO, Marlenes, Trigon, and FN have all established a presence in the city, and their security forces are getting involved. The Sun Kings and Crazies are both major targets.
Picardie, Calais, Champagne-Ardennes
Recruiting for the army has greatly eased the unemployment that had ravaged the regions.
Fabrique-Nationale’s primary factories are in these border regions. Though a major target for the Church Police, their security forces, as well as the FFA maintain a large defensive presence, as well as offensive forces directed into the Franche-Comte.
FN Legionnaire and Liberator armors are generally considered to be superior to their GWI alternatives. The Sanctifier and FN-GAR SMGs are popular with storm knights and special forces, but the FN-MBR Carbine is generally considered inferior to the GWI Hellfire. The FFA maintains a stockpile of the older weapons, though it is expected that they will need to replace the Hellfire in the next two years. FN is working on a counterpart to the GWI Smite HAR or Hellfire Mk III.
Belgium, Monaco, and Switzerland
The latter two are Roman Catholic Protectorates, depending on VSS and Catholic recruited soldiers for their protection against a new Cyberpapal occupation. Belgium is in chaos, but has become a part of the EU.
Cardinal Deacon Claude-Rousseau sees his nation as too isolated, too far from Avignon. With the focus on South America, Quebec is being ignored. They face embargoes from NAFSA and the EU, unemployment is high, and shortages are common. Rousseau is agitating for conflict with NAFSA in the hopes this will force the Cyberpope to offer greater assistance.
There is some public opinion in favor of reconciliation with Canada, which is a recruiting tool for the resistance.
The Cyberpapacy was invited in by the Fator Humano – the government of South America. This was possible thanks to well placed Cyberpapal agents and puppets in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uraguay.
The general belief is that the advanced technology and miracles of the Cyberpapacy could help repair the damage caused by the Akashans. The newly appointed Cyberpope seeded eight stelae zones from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires.
At Carnivale 1997, a Maelstrom Bridge was dropped. But before the Church Police could secure the realm, a second bridge fell. The Warlock’s agents had planted stelae as well. And the three northern zones shifted to Magna Veritan reality. With the corresponding deaths of thousands.
Cardinal-Priest Rogerio Gabriel
As head of the Pax Dei, Rogerio’s primary mission is coordinating with, upgrading, and eventually integrating the Catequils. He was born in Brasil on Magna Verita, and is ashamed of his homeland for rejecting the Cyberpapacy. He is that Rio de Janeiro, which should be a shining beacon of Cyberpapal prosperity, is instead wallowing in the filth of the dark ages. The defeat of the Antipope and his minions is his number one priority, so much so, he is even willing to talk truce with the Roman Catholics.
Rogerio believes, as most do, that Francis Remoir is also a High Lord. Cutting him off from the source of his power is a key goal to the conflict.
Caracas has a strong Cyberpapal presence, a naval base, GWI factories and a hospital. Should stelae be planted, the Cyberpapacy would prove a strong check against Aysle. However those resources are occupied in the conflict with the dark papacy, so it could be some time before this happens.
The eastern half the country is under alien axioms. Asuncion, and most of the region, are Cyberpapal. Local industry includes extensive steelworks and pharmaceuticals, which have benefited from the change. The Brazilian border, from Bela Vista to Montecarlo is under Magna Veritan occupation.
A prosperous nation. In addition to sheep, horses, soy and beeswax, it is also a major software producer. VX programming has become a major export. And Cyberdeckers a top import – for the resistance.
In Buenos Aires, like Asuncion and Montevideo, has seen mass recruiting drives of the able-bodied men recruited into the army, while women work the factories. This invasion has seen improvements in health, standard of living, and public morale – since propaganda has driven the populace into a fanatical zeal – focused on driving the Dark Medieval Church out.
Beyond the realm, the Pax Dei, aided by the Inquisition hunts Comaghaz cells – a convenient label applied to anyone who opposes the Church. On occasion they have actually infected heretics in order to provide evidence in support of their actions. Unfortunately, the hive mind was therefore warned by the new additions. It remains to be seen how the virus will react.
Pax Dei and Catequil agents known as “Antibodies” are deployed in areas near Chile. They wear GWI Chasseur or Armor of God, with full gauntlets, and enclosed helmets, to prevent infection. Squads are armed with GWI Hellfire Rifles with underslung grenade launchers. A heavy weapons specialist carries a GodsFire Plasma Rifle. Officers are armed with Radiance Laser Pistols. Their duty is to prevent the infected from crossing the border and causing a new outbreak.
The double invasion has damaged the effectiveness of the hardpoint of Cristo Redentor. The dominant zone covers the upper portion of the mountain, allowing the church at the statue’s base to serve as a refuge for Earth and Cyberpapal natives of Rio de Janeiro. Both Rome and Avignon have airdropped in food and troops. Cooperation between the two is fraught with tension.
The rest of Rio de Janeiro, along with Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, northeast Rio Grande Do Sul, and southern Mato Grosso Do Sul have returned to the dark ages. The people have rejected modern technology and flocked to the protection of the Avignon Church (in-exile) against the coming apocalypse.
Details on the Domed World of Inferno are found in the Lost Worlds Cosmbook.
There is a dimension that pervades alongside the material world. Some on Earth know this as the Dreamtime. Where the Cyberpapacy overlaid Earth’s reality, it became the GodNet. But a Spirit World also exists on Magna Verita. It descends below to Purgatory and Hell, is ascends to Heaven. And from it, Angels, Demons, and other entities may watch unseen.
The Spirit World operates under the axioms and world laws of Magna Verita. Where Cyberpapal reality holds sway it is reformatted into the GodNet.
Beings in the Spirit World use their normal attributes, skills, and abilities, as if in the material world. Those with magic may possess the conjuration specialization Materialization. Celestial beings and others, such as the Horsemen, possess manifestation which functions similarly, but functions off the Spirit attribute.
Materialized or Manifested entities, if physically or mentally killed, simply return to where they came from. To truly destroy such a creature, it must be killed by spiritual damage.
Most demons, and other entities, have the ability to materialize from the GodNet. This materialization power is a form of conjuration magic, and allows them to exit the GodNet at a jack or other interface. To materialize unopposed requires a materialization total of eight. When materializing through a jacked-in character, that character’s cyberdeck operation value (Perception if unskilled) is the difficulty number. If a character has defenses against magic, specifically conjuration/ entity, these may be used instead of the cyberdeck operation value, if the decker so chooses.
The entity can return to the GodNet by touching a jack or other interface and generating a materialization total of eight.
Magna Veritan Entities may also materialize from the Spirit World. Doing so with out a jack is difficult. In areas where the two realities as close (such as the epicenter of a hardpoint) it is possible to cross at difficulty 8. Elsewhere, the difficulty is 11. It is possible to take others with, this is treated as a One-on-Many action.
Manifestation is a Spirit-based skill, but functions identically.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
These four beings have been unleashed by the Lamb, and ride freely upon the surface of Magna Verita – and its realms. They are spiritual beings which may manifest from the Spirit World. It is unclear whether they serve Heaven, Hell, or something else. What is clear is that their power comes from the souls of the many cosms Jean Malraux and Ebenuscrux destroyed.
The Horsemen will not often directly confront Storm Knights or the forces of either Church. They travel where they will, do what they wish, and depart. If they are confronted, they will normally ignore the opponent, and proceed with their goals.
Famine rides a black horse, and carries a pair of scales. His power derives from the many who died as the life of their cosm was taken from them (the chaos created by the activation of stelae zones, such as those killed in manufactured tragedies, or those who were transformed into demonic creatures, or slain for gospog fields).
Plague, also known as Pestilence, rides a white horse, and carries a bow. His power derives from the misery wreaked upon their cosm in the name of Jean Malraux’s god (those tortured who would not convert).
War rides a red horse and carries a flaming sword. He is clad in blood red mail. His power derives from those stormers who died defending their realities.
Death rides a pale horse, and carries a scythe. His power derives from all those left behind after Ebenuscrux had drained their world of all Possibilities. He is the most seldom seen of the four.
There are choirs of angels which defend the faith of the Avignon Church-in-exile. Their powers and abilities are comparable to those found in the GodNet in the service of the Cyberpapacy or the Christian God of Earth.
High Tier, Guardians of Heaven and Councilors to the Pope. Shielded in a golden glow, these white winged angels wield fiery halberds.
Middle Tier, Warriors, stand between Hell, Purgatory, and Magna Verita. Surrounded by a blue halo, with white wings, and armed with shields and spears.
Low Tier, Watch over the Material World, Guardian Angels. White winged angels with glowing staves.
A virtual reality world that exists within computers. Created by the axiom wash of Cyberpapal reality over the Dream Time/Spirit World. Every home, office, business, church – basically everywhere – has uplinks to access the GodNet.
The Holy Exchanges, or the Promised Land, is the region made up of every Cyberpapal church computer system on Earth, in space, and in the cosm of Magna Verita. It is shaped like a glowing cross to users who first jack into the Net, and is the area where most GodNet activity takes place.
The Promised Land was named by Jean Malraux when he first entered the GodNet. He looked at the great data constructs as they formed and was awed by the power he had unleashed. Never before in his invasions of countless worlds had he witnessed anything so beautiful. Here was a land that sang with the voices of angels and shone with the light of heaven. Churches and cathedrals marked this wondrous land which was devoid of the sins of the flesh. It was a dream come true for Jean Malraux.
Within the Promised Land lie the data constructs of the Cyberpapacy. Huge data fortresses rise above a landscape dotted with glowing cathedrals, churches and monasteries. At the center of the cross is Babel Central, the primary monitoring facility of the GodNet.
Upon Jacking in, the user will appear in the virtual representation of their physical location. To go anywhere outside that construct, they must then pass through the nearest church – and be recorded doing so (unless they are a decker, and can slip through undetected).
The GodNet is present in Magna Verita’s Europe, Orient, and parts of the Holy Land and North Africa. This represents one segment of the Cross that is the Holy Exchanges. In order to cross to the other segments, one must pass through Babel Central.
The other three segments of the Holy Exchanges represent CyberFrance (and Free France), Quebec Liberte (and various nuncios), and South America. Access from each requires uplink to Firmament. In France this requires transiting to Venasque Cathedral. Quebec Cathedral serves as the primary uplink for that region. Rio de Janeiro was supposed to be the uplink for South America. But with the loss of that city, the uplink was reestablished in Buenos Aires. As new realms are created, the Holy Exchanges will expand.
It is possible to create an uplink, this requires a microwave uplink device – any satellite dish can be modified in short order to serve. Then the decker must conceal his illegal signal accessing the Firmament network (Net Manipulation DN 27). Afterwards, they may transit the rest of the Holy Exchanges as normal.
Babel means the gate of God. From the stepped tower of Babel Central, cyberpriests watch over their new land, ready to despatch Angels against transgressors within the GodNet, and Inquisitors and Church Police against those outside.
The construct of Babel Central has its origin in the Monitor Tower at Avignon. From hundreds of terminals, cyberpriests monitor and watch for movement in the Net. Through Babel Central lies the datapaths leading to the regions of Purgatory, Heaven, and Hell, as well as to the many church exchanges throughout the Net.
The walls of Babel Central rise in stepped levels toward the sky above. Lights flash around it constantly and circuitry-filled clouds float past its upper floors. Within Babel Central are thousands of cells, the contents of which are designed to awe and confuse intruders. Stairs and balconies jut out from the walls at unbelievable angles, and cell walls appear to be transparent, offering tantalizing glimpses into other cells.
Magnificent gardens set up to resemble views of the Garden of Eden are present in many of its data cells. Cyberpriests often come here to relax and soak up the HolyVid entertainments put on for their benefit.
The data vaults are light and airy, and are positioned at the end of long corridors. Within the vaults are data files which the Cyberpapacy has no desire to see fall into the hands of deckers.
Entry into Babel Central is hard, but not impossible. Using Shroud programs, deckers have entered its data vaults and escaped with highly sensitive files. Within Avignon are locked the Cyberpope’s plans along with thousands of computer analyses of projected actions and outcomes. The data vaults are massive, containing inventories of all cybernetic parts and components produced by the Cyberpope’s factories, plus just about every fact currently known about the Cyberpope’s new realm. The Chancery has already compiled millions of files on activities in France and other realms on Earth. Deckers who make it into Avignon’s vaults will be hard pressed to decide which files to take out with them – if they can make it out, that is.
Cyberpapacy Data Fortresses
Data fortresses are huge medieval castles that seem to sprawl over the terrain of the GodNet. Some are connected to churches or cathedrals; others stand alone to protect files from intruders and thieves. They contain high concentrations of data protected in an equally high concentration by Sentinels and cyberpriests. The Avignon Data Fortress is the largest of these fortresses, with hundreds of cyberpriests constantly jacked into the GodNet to monitor the defenses and operation of the Palace of the Popes.
Cyberpapacy Cathedrals and Churches
Cathedral and church constructs serve as exchanges and monitoring stations for specific areas of the Promised Land (and the departments and regions they correspond to on the outside). They also provide places of worship and confession for the masses, and hold data files containing information relevant to the running and organization of the church or cathedral that the construct is based in. The information they contain never gives a complete overview of Cyberpapacy plans and developments. Entry to Avignon is necessary to extract that kind of information. Nevertheless, the data churches and cathedrals do hold information that is useful for battling the Cyberpapacy on a local level. As these constructs often act as strongholds for the Cyberpapacy, they also make prime targets for Resistance strikes.
Church Police Garrisons
The constructs of the Church Police resemble small medieval castles. Data in the vaults deals with inventories of supplies, armaments, cyberware, troop numbers, and stations. The activities of the Church Police within an area can be discovered by raiding their vaults.
Monasteries and Abbeys
Research establishments appear in the GodNet as fortified monasteries and abbeys. These establishments deal with a vast variety of research projects, from new programs to new cyberware and weapons development. They make prime targets for deckers.
Organizations independent of the Cyberpapacy also have data constructs within the GodNet. They resemble hi-tech domes and tall glowing office blocks. Those in Cyberpapal controlled territory are open to the cyberpriests, as their owners fear the wrath of the Cyberpope, and were transformed to match the medieval architectural styles of Magna Verita.
In Free France, the religious influence of the GodNet is less pervasive and local users of the GodNet have developed their own idiosyncratic styles of constructs. For example, the Sun Kings’ construct resembles the Palace of Versailles, complete with multi-colored peacocks and fountains. The Mouvement National’s construct resembles a World War Two bunker with trenches and barbed wire defenses.
The known entry to Purgatory is via a huge, dark stairway that descends from the bottom of Babel Central. Along the way deckers pass through cells depicting all manner of sins and their punishments. The stairs finally rise up to enter a desolate plain covered in a dank,gray mist. The extent of Purgatory is vast, but it is impossible to say where one cell begins and another ends. Virtual selves ripped free of their bodies drift across the dark plain, bewailing their isolation and loneliness. Only rarely do these disembodied souls come into contact with each other, and then only momentarily.
Purgatory is not a place that most deckers willingly enter. It was where the Cyberpapacy conducted conditioning sessions and created spirit chips. Time has no meaning in this region. People who have only spent a week in Purgatory have claimed that they were there for hundreds of years.
In the center of the plain lies the construct of the Church of the Abyss: the controlling center of Purgatory and the former cybernetic home of the cyberpriests-turned-Angels who controlled its operations. It is now under the control of Hell.
The Church of the Abyss stands on a high rock pinnacle, its towers disappear into the ever-present mists, and Sentinels in the forms of gargoyles peer down ceaselessly onto the plain below.
Deckers captured by Demons, but who possess valuable skills, and even willing volunteers, are all brought to the Church of the Abyss. That is, their minds and spirits are brought there, for as part of the GodNet, Purgatory is not a place for the flesh. The bodies of deckers are left to rot wherever they reside. Their faithful’s bodies are kept on life support machines and fitted with chip processors to provide bodies for spirit chips when needed. When Demons are convinced that their charges have been sufficiently corrupted, they test them for loyalty. Those that fail are killed or sent to Hell.
The Cyberpapacy tries to contain access to Purgatory, with Thrones and Virtues clustered along the datapaths. However, the Demons bypass this by creating temporary links to the Catacombs or Holy Exchanges.
The pit of Hell can be reached from the edge of Purgatory or from cells bathed in flames which appear randomly throughout the GodNet. Hell is where the entities that were sucked into the GodNet during its creation exist. Within this region, Demons are led by three Archdemons whose demonic followers war constantly among themselves in this perverted cybernetic reality. From Hell, Demons venture out through the randomly appearing cells to devour deckers, cyberpriests and Angels alike.
The entities of Hell are secretive, preferring to prey upon lone deckers or cyberpriests and then slip back into Hell. Although the Cyberpapacy is aware of the existence of Hell within the GodNet, they believe it to be an area where souls are condemned to everlasting torment, rather than as the home of the entities. If they knew what went on in Hell, they would be far more reluctant to have the souls of heretics flung into it.
Hell is a deep, spiraling pit. Upon its numerous ledges, captives are tormented by Demons in a manner designed to match their supposed sins. The cells of Hell are configured to appear as a symbolic representations of the punishment of sinners. Burning deserts, deep mires, rivers of boiling fire, pools of muck, and trackless expanses of woodland fill its upper levels. Further down lies a lake of ice where sinners are frozen up to their necks. The souls of hundreds of heretics languish in torment within Hell.
But Hell is more than even what the Cyberpapacy and the entities know. It extends beyond the limits of the GodNet, touching upon the shores of distant dimension. What enters the GodNet via this path is beyond the power of Church, and some whisper that Hell is but an extension of the true Hell of religions throughout the infiniverse.
Heaven is an area of bliss and serenity where faithful cyberpriests are transformed into Angels, or else are further indoctrinated into the new cybernetic religion. Heaven is reached from Babel Central by ascending a glowing gold stairway into the sky above the GodNet. It is surrounded by a low wall which rises higher to block passage whenever a decker approaches it. Breach and Attack Programs cause no lasting damage to the gates of the wall, as they instantly restructure themselves to prevent access.
The gate to Heaven is guarded by a cherub who assesses all who come before him to enter Heaven. Of the cyberpriests who have experienced the rigors of Purgatory, the vast majority are allowed entry to Heaven, while a few are turned away and are consigned to the pits of Hell. Of the others who try to enter, most are turned back. A few are allowed entry through the golden gate to the area behind. Here they are given a taste of a cybernetic Heaven where the will of the Cyberpope, channeled through his Darkness Device, rules supreme. Those who witness this aspect of the Cyberpope’s power are left with no doubt that he is indeed the servant of his god. What they, and the Cyberpope, do not realize is that his powers derive from the Nameless One.
Heaven contains the heart of the Cyberpope’s Darkness Device. Within the glowing expanse of Heaven, the Darkness Device reaches out to encompass the GodNet and mold it to its own will and that of its master, the Cyberpope. Cyberpriests who come into contact with it are transformed into Angels. They reside in Heaven, ready to venture forth to do the Cyberpope’s bidding.
They are closely scrutinized to determine their suitability as tools of the Cyberpope. Awed by all they experience, most become his fanatical followers, believing totally in his mission to eradicate heresy and increase the earthly power of the Cyberpapacy.
It is here that the Cyherpope’s doctrine of redemption through cybernetics receives its fullest expression, and where cyberpriests undergo therapy to reduce their cyber values by reducing the cyber ratings of their equipment. It takes a solid week of net-inspired healing to reduce a cyber rating, and only one piece of equipment may be worked on in a single trip. The cyber rating of a piece of equipment may not be reduced below one. The character uses his faith value against his cyber value; result points are read on the Power PushTable, and the cyber rating is reduced by Power Push adds. A cyberpriest can lower his cyber value by as much as six points in a single trip.
Heaven, however, is not everything the Cyberpope or his Darkness Device think it is. It seems to extend beyond the limits that Malraux has access to, and he and his followers are barred from exploring this region. Additionally, benevolent entities in the GodNet, including higher levels of Angels than the ones working for the Cyberpapacy, claim to be servants of Heaven and a power that is opposed to Malraux and his False Papacy. Until more is learned, both Heaven and Hell remain mysteries to plague the Cyberpapacy.
The Catacombs is a region of the GodNet that is the rumored to be a safe haven for netrunners and others seeking to escape the watchful eye of the Cyberpapacy. As there are no exchanges in this region, Monitors cannot easily oversee activities here. They must send cyberpriests down into its dank cells to drive out the heretics.
The Catacombs’ cells are cared for by priests, monks,and followers of the True Church who have been fitted with neural jacks either as a result of the Cyberpapacy’s raids or to better work against the False Papacy. The Catacombs are used as meeting places, areas of true worship, and to prepare for raids on Cyberpapal constructs.
The way into the Catacombs is not easy or generally known. Many of its entrances lie within Cyberpapal constructs, secret datapaths hidden from deckers as well as from Monitors and Guardians.
Where do programs go when they are dumped? Where are files once they have been erased? Do they Simply disappear? No, they go to a region known as Trash.
Trash can be accessed from any construct, as all processors have connections to its haphazard vaults. Still, getting into Trash is hard, and getting out again is almost impossible. Gates into Trash range in difficulty from 18 to 23, but gates out of this region are difficulty 31 or better.
There are times when deckers have to go digging in the unending vaults of Trash, however, to reclaim lost files or programs, or even comrades who somehow were lost to Trash’s hungry gullet. It is rumored that there are entities within Trash that seek out programs and destroy them utterly, and if these exist they cannot tell the difference between a data file or a virtual self.
The last known region of the GodNet is the one that interests the Cyberpope the most. It is the remains of the virtual reality of Dr. Hachi Mara-Two’s data plate, the VX of Kadandra that helped create the Cyberpapacy. As the source of much of what Malraux now is, Kadandra is often visited by the Cyberpope so that he can learn about the original cyberworld (at least as far as he understands it).
Kadandra is unlike the vast majority of the GodNet, as it is built from happy memories and experiences. The region also has links to the DataNet of Kadandra. Kadandran Netrunners are able to enter the GodNet essentially at will, permitting them to provide assistance to Storm Knights anywhere on Earth or the invading cosms with access to an advanced computer network.
The world wide web, or information superhighway, is not sophisticated enough to support virtual reality. Generally a netrunner must link his deck to a computer that is attached, and then operate through it in the way they might use a slave link. The internet is too slow, and lacks programming for VX imagery.
Marketplace is working toward a virtual world, and netrunners can enter it via the realms in California, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan. The Network looks poorly rendered, like early CGI special effects, and reactions are slow and awkward.
Tharkold DemonGrid and JhouGrid
The Tharkold Realm in Los Angeles allows access into the DemonGrid, though Tharkoldu security and long-distance links make it difficult to traverse far into the cosm. The Hong Kong realm likewise allows entry to Jhougrid.
The Deep is the sea of night in which the regions of the GodNet float. It is the vast potential space of the cyber-dimension, and what else may roam its darkness is anyone’s guess. The Mad Monks of Wandrille are seeking to learn the answer to that question, but thus far none who have floated freely into the Deep have emerged to tell what they found.
I’ve had Khem, Magna Verita, Gaea, Star Sphere, and Terra done for months. But I just have not had time to edit all the unwanted double spaced lines. Khem went up a few minutes ago, though some tables are not edited to reinstate tabbed spaces. I also left out the table for Pulp Powers – I may scan and post it as an image.
Others will get done eventually. Or, I may just post the setting information and omit the html fouled rules chapters.
I plan to do a full assessment eventually. To sum up, a few issues I do have with the system. But the setting is excellent (I’ve started adding some aspects of it into my updates of classic – which means my Infiniverse Update Year 10 will not be going online), and the system overall is good. Much easier to use than classic.
In short, AMAZING game. If you are on the fence, give it a try.
Sourcebook of the Pulp Adventure Reality
Last time: our intrepid heroes visited a speakeasy on Anubis, hoping to find a map to a lost secret treasure house of the Bastet. When suddenly Red Hand’s goons burst in. Rabiah, Ali, and Kenpachi escaped with the map, but the lovely Dierdre was captured. As we resume, they are fleeing for the airfield with three carloads of mooks on their tail.
Kenpachi swerved to avoid an oncoming car. Ali and Rabiah both fired pistols out their windows trying to score a tire on the lead pursuit car. From the passenger seat, a tommy gun sprayed lead in their direction, tracing a pattern up the trunk and into the rear window. Glass showered Ali.
“If only we weren’t in the middle of the biggest city in the cosm! If there were any sand about I’d show these guys what’s what!” Ali fumed as he reloaded his gun.
“Hold on” Kenpachi shouted, as he made a sudden hard left. The tires slid on the rain-slicked streets. Rabiah ducked back in the window, dropping his gun as the roadster sideswiped a parked sedan.
Their adversary was not nearly as lucky, and he hydroplaned into the lamp post. The second car plowed headlong into his tail end. But the third kept coming.
“Two down,” Ali cheered. “Keep it up Ken.”
And then a jeep from the local garrison sounded a siren at the next intersection, joining in behind them. On the back, a trooper gripped an electro-ray gun, as he prepared to discharge a bolt that would put them on foot. Ali took three shots out the now open back end. No luck, but it made the driver unsteady enough to save them from his gunner.
Then the scrappy Asian did the unthinkable, and slowed down. Rabiah was still fumbling for his magno-ray, but Ali got a lucky shot. The Jeep’s radiator let out a spray of steam. The jeep slogged aside, allowing the gangsters to close the gap again.
Up ahead, Rabiah spotted still more trouble. An overpass, with a trio of Wu-han’s Ghost People. He pointed. “I see them,” the driver assured him. “When I give the signal, take the wheel.”
As the car passed beneath, the trio jumped off the bridge. One landed on the hood, a second obtained a grip on the passenger windows as he went flat on the roof. And the third managed to drop and roll through the open back.
“Now!” Kenpachi was out the window and onto the roof in a flash. Rabiah lunged to take his place. Meanwhile Ali fired his last shot at his new seatmate. The bullet grazed the red silk clad warrior, and shattered the window. In the meantime a fresh barrage of .45 bullets narrowly missed the rear tires, and a few punched through the trunk and into the cab, making the Arab sorcerer flinch.
Ken landed hard on the second warrior, knocking the wind from him, and making him lose his grip. Even as the Chinese ninja fell away, he bounded to his feet, jumping a sword strike from the front like he was skipping rope.
In the back, the third assailant was trying to stab Ali. Ali put his back against the door, and ducked left, right, left again. Then he gestured over the swordsman’s shoulder. The masked figure looked up, and took a fatal round from the gangsters.
Rabiah tried to hold it steady, even as he fired over his shoulder. The magno-ray shoved the sedan off the road. And into a building.
Meanwhile Kenpachi executed a spin kick, catching the last enemy in the chin, sending him flying. With a final roll, he was back in the passenger seat Rabiah had vacated.
Up ahead lay the airfield. Two shocktroopers opened fire on the speeding car with their rifles, spewing blue-white bolts in their direction. Rabiah called out, “Ali, your turn.”
“In the name of Sallah al-Din, the Great Defender, I command the desert to rise up and shield us from harm.” And like that the dust surrounding the runway rolled into a sandstorm, forcing the shocktroopers to cover their eyes, even as the heroes thundered past, toward their waiting rocket plane.
“Don’t worry Dierdre,” Rabiah said aloud, speaking for them all. “We’ll be back for you”
They rushed aboard, and were off into the night sky in moments. But they had barely left Anubis behind when fortune sneered at them again.
“Oh no,” Ken groaned. “Pirate ships heading our way.”
Will our heroes escape? Will they find the lost treasure, and with it a new ally? And will Dierdre suffer a fate worse than death at the hands of the dapper overgovernor? Find out next time…
Pharoah Mobius lay in state on the isle of Khem for centuries, protected by his loyal followers. Once he had discovered the Kefertiri Idol, and set out on his conquest of the Cosmverse, he relocated his island realm into a pocket dimension. Here he molded the axioms and world laws of his native Terra to suit his needs. From there, nine cosms fell to his forces. With each, his power grew. And with it the size of his army.
On Earth, the Curse of Amat-Ra – his father – caught up with him. And after thirty years, Doctor Mobius once again knew defeat. He lost his realm, his Darkness Device, everything.
Faking his own death, Mobius schemed to find a way to get it back. He discovered that Khem itself had changed. A simple island was now a vast realm. Each conquered cosm was now a moon orbiting a world built on his Nile Empire. [For full details on the cosm see Chapter Three]
Now Dr. Mobius rules a cosm more powerful than he has ever known. His invasion of Earth has resumed. And he has set his sights on defeating the only being in the cosmverse more powerful than himself.
AXIOMS AND WORLD LAWS
Magical Axiom: 12
When Nile Cosm was formed, all of the legends concerning the ancient Egyptians’ use of magic into literal truth. Pyramid power, mummification, and the magical circumvention of floods all became reality. Two separate schools of magic now exist within the Empire: mathematics and engineering, both of which are capable of an astounding array of enchantments. Since each of these disciplines require an extensive program of rigorous study, almost all of the magic users within the Empire are employed by Mobius.
Details on the practice of Mathematics and Engineering can be found in Chapter Two. However both require complicated formulae, and can not be invoked using the simple methods of Aysle. In simple terms, the magic of Aysle, the Cyberpapacy, Orrorsh, Nolava, Lereholm, and Tharkold, are all at least a one-case contradiction. Core Earth’s magic, which requires a conjuration substitution, is non-contradictory.
A small number of practitioners of Pulp Sorcery exist in the cosm and realm. This magic functions more like Pulp Powers than standard magic. As such it functions normally in Khem’s reality – as well as Terra – but is a contradiction in most other realities.
Social Axiom: 20
On a social level, the Empire is on the surface similar to Core Earth Europe or America, though several deep differences exist. The Empire itself is a huge bureaucracy that is ultimately overseen by a single warped individual. The Empire’s armies, organizations, and political bodies are all organized in a manner that is similar to their Core Earth counterparts.
One important difference in the social arena between the Empire and Core Earth is the fact that the cosm never underwent the sexual revolution that rocked western civilization in the1960s and ’70s. An indiscreet unmarried couple that spends too much time together is the target of scandal and ridicule. Also of note is the fact that women in both the cosm and the realm enjoy near-complete equality with their male counterparts, unlike the women of the Core Earth cosm of the 1930s.
The possibilities for entertainment in Khem are quite similar to those found on present day Core Earth. Novels and films are both popular within the cosm (though the latter are viewed strictly as entertainment; the idea of film as an “art” has yet to be developed), as are dance halls, sporting events, and fine restaurants, though few of these things can be found outside the larger cities. Laws in both Khem and the Empire forbid the production and consumption of alcohol, though black marketeers actively distill and distribute the stuff all over both regions. Most of these are actually employed by the overgovernors.
One important recreational activity enjoyed by a huge number of inhabitants of both Khem and the Nile Empire is reading pulp adventure magazines. These magazines are available nearly everywhere in both regions; part of their popularity stems from the fact that the magazines are often as, and sometimes more, factual than the newspapers and radio reports are allowed to be. Under the guise of fiction, the story of the struggle between good and evil in the Nile realm is told. Of course, some of it is just pulp fiction, thrown in for entertainment or to confuse those who would try to identify the actual actions and plans of heroes through the pulps. Pulp authors often work under pseudonyms, and editors sometimes have a shorter career than expected.
Spiritual Axiom: 17
The flow of spiritual energy through Khem is quite formidable, and this flow has been extended into Mobius’ earthbound realm.
The Egyptian gods and their dogma do not literally walk the Nile, but this cosm is closer to the power of the true Egyptian mythos than it ought to be by axiom level alone. By worshipping the gods and believing in their teachings, the High Priests of the Empire can tap into the font of spiritual energy to perform amazing spiritual miracles within the Imperial borders. The Egyptian religion has attained more spiritual power than it had at any time in the Egypt of Core Earth. The High Priests of Egypt have a great deal of power within the Empire, and the miracles that they frequently perform are among Mobius’ most formidable weapons.
In addition to the religious practitioners, there are many potent spiritual artifacts secreted all over the Empire. Many of these items are the result of the axiom wash, which made literal truths of the legendary powers and abilities of many of the items hidden in buried tombs and grottos all across the Egyptian desert. Even Mobius and his Imperial governors remain unaware of many of these potent artifacts and would surely love to get their hands on them.
Much like magic, these miracles require a astrological component. Any miracles that do not utilize a similar complication are a one-case complication. Ayslish, Cyberpapal, Magna Veritan, Lost World, Gaean, Akashan, and Tharkoldu miracles are all contradictory. The Aztec Pantheon may utilize Mathematics like the Egyptians to avoid contradiction.
The Magisters of Doom circumvent this with the following restrictions: Evil inclination, Blood Offering (self or other) minimum of 1 shock point for prayers and 1 wound for rituals. The Olympic Pantheon miracles may be invoked with Offerings and Sacrifices, or with a +3 difficulty modifier.
Core Earth religions, notably Christianity, Islam and Judaism, may function without contradiction – but are limited to Earth’s axiom level. A transformed priest does not gain access to Axiom 17 miracles – such as those of the Sacellum. He may attempt Attainment per standard rules, but these miracles are a contradiction. Oddly, Marketplace miracles do not cause a contradiction in Khem, possibly since the miracles are limited to the cleric.
Technological Axiom: 21
Most of Dr. Mobius’ Empire operates at a level of technology that is roughly equivalent to that available on Earth circa 1940. This is, of course, inferior to what the Earth-born residents of the Empire were used to. But those who were transformed by the axiom wash forget the technological wonders with which they were acquainted in their past lives,while those who were not transformed by the axioms but voluntarily serve Mobius believe that the return to the older technology is part of a plan to slowly creep back to the “pure” science of the once glorious ancient Egyptian Empire. Very few of the residents of the Nile Empire miss the advanced technology of Core Earth.
The specific technological achievements of the Empire can be broken down into categories as follows:
Military: Currently, aircraft carriers and simple single-wing fighter planes are at the cutting edge of the Empire’s military arsenal. Light, medium, and heavy machineguns are in widespread use, as are simple, slow, lightly-armored tanks. The Empire has learned how to stabilize the flight of artillery shells up to 250mm in diameter, and has developed very basic chemical and biological weapons, though these weapons are seldom used.
In the cosm, the use of weird science weaponry is more common, with ray guns replacing projectile weapons in many areas.
Medicine: Simple surgery is routinely performed, and pharmacology is sufficiently developed to allow treatment for many minor ailments. The basic techniques of immunization are just beginning to evolve, though a vaccine has yet to be developed for polio myelitis, a crippling affliction that restricts the motor coordination of its victims.
Transportation: Slow, somewhat unreliable commercial airlines are at the pinnacle of transportation technology in the cosm, though almost all long-distance travel is by train. Luxury travel is via airship or ocean liner. The top speed for air travel is around 250 mph (MRF 15), the top speed for train travel is 60-100 mph (MRG 12-13), and the top speed for sea traffic is around 15-30 mph (MRS 9-10). Ground cars are capable of hitting speeds of up to 110 mph for short periods (MRG 14).
In the cosm, Rocketplanes form a fourth form of transportation. The smallest operate much like Tech 22 jet aircraft, and can be found in the realm. All are capable of space travel, and can cross the cosm from Khem to Set in 73 hours. The largest Rocketplanes are more like oceangoing warships of Earth, with heavy weapons and large numbers of soldiers.
Daily Life: Both Khem and the Nile Empire are at a stage that would lead one to believe that cheap electrical power has just been introduced. Though they remain rare, e1ectrical gadgets and gizmos are starting to become a fad: electric can openers, razors,and toasters have just appeared. Phonograph records are very common, as are black-and-white “talkies.” The technology to produce color films exists, though the process is cost prohibitive.
The Law of Morality
One of the peculiar effects of the cosm is that all sentient, intelligent creatures within the axiom field eventually take on an absolute morality. In other words, every person on Terra can be absolutely classified as good or evil – there is no room for “neutrals” in between. Approximately 60 percent of the population fits into the “good” category. These are the law-abiding citizens that fill the cities, towns, and farmsteads. The other 40 percent fits the evil bill and consists of criminals, curmudgeons, tightwads, and bullies.
When the Nile axioms flooded over Egypt just after Mobius latched onto Earth with his maelstrom bridge, the residents of the region bounded by Mobius’ stelae were immediately transformed in accordance with the world rule of morality. The Earth-born residents of the region surrounding Egypt saw this change as a gradual shift with few taking any notice at all as the good or evil tendencies within their neighbors slowly became emphasized. None of the residents who were changed has any perception of an alteration in his own behavior.
The Nature of Good and Evil
The difference between good and evil is very simple. Evil characters value their own self-interests over everything else, although strategic shrewdness may temporarily mask their self-interest. Good characters are far more concerned with the common interests shared by all. Thus, stealing is usually an evil act since the thief is acting upon his or her own self-interest instead of the interests of the victim and community. By this same token, murder, extortion, and fraud are usually evil acts as well. Note, however, that one need not be a socially defined criminal in order to be evil. According to the World Law, the old man who chases small children off his lawn for no other reason than the satisfaction of screaming is evil, as is the miser who refuses to give his employees time off when they are ill or injured. At the same time, not all “good” characters are crusading crime fighters. A shopkeeper who minds his own business, pays his taxes, and shows concern for his neighbor’s sick aunt is “good,” as is the bystander who gives directions to a lost motorist.
Deciding whether a character should be classified as good or evil should be relatively simple in most cases. Since he is out to conquer others for his own purposes, for example, Dr. Mobius is obviously evil, as is almost everyone else who is connected with the Empire. The rebels who are fighting against Mobius (and all Storm Knights within the bounds of the Empire) are obviously good. Since many soldiers are conscripted, and indoctrinated to believe they are serving the greater glory of Khem and the Empire, thus there are Good men in the Imperial Forces.
Good and Evil in Play
Ord characters with an Inclination of good will never perform an evil act, while those with an Inclination of evil will never perform a good act without strong ulterior motives. Remember to consider the self interest versus community interest question when deciding whether an act is good or evil. A crusading avenger who beats up, or even murders, mobsters as part of an effort to stamp out crime in the big city is still classified as a good character according to the World Law since he is acting on the common interests of all (a city free of crime).
Possibility-rated characters may perform actions that go against their Inclination,but each time they do so, it costs them a Possibility. Anytime the gamemaster feels that a possibility-rated character has been performing more actions that are against his or her Inclination than actions that are in accordance with the Inclination, the gamemaster can declare that the character has switched Inclinations. A character who switches Inclinations automatically forfeits all of the Possibilities that he or she has accumulated. The only way that such a character can return to his or her original Inclination is to begin performing actions in accordance with that Inclination until the gamemaster again declares a switch (and yes, the character must again forfeit any Possibilities earned since the first switch). A player character that switches Inclinations to evil and does not begin an immediate effort to switch back is out of play and becomes a gamemaster character.
Note that a character’s Inclination only restricts his or her actions while he or she is subject to the Terran or Nile axioms. Once he leaves the cosm or the Nile realm, he may ignore the Inclination rules (though this is still a one-case contradiction). Characters surrounded by “reality bubbles” composed of non-Nile reality also ignore Inclination, though natives of the Empire who surround themselves with reality fields in regions outside of the Empire once again become subject to their Inclination because they are again subject to the Empire World Laws.
Inclination, Neutrality and Immigrants
Characters who are not native to the Nile Empire, Khem or Terra automatically acquire an Inclination upon entering Khem’s reality. This assumed Inclination is up to the gamemaster (all Torg player characters will almost certainly assume an inclination of good). Immigrant characters remain subject to this Inclination for as long as they stay under the influence of Nile reality, just as though they were natives.
If a Storm Knight tries to perform an action you feel is neutral or morally “gray”‘, such as lying to reporters of The Cairo Clarion in order to plant false information in the paper, it causes a one-case contradiction. The Knight must roll each time he attempts a neutral action (even if no skill use is involved).
Possibility-rated characters who are under the influence of the Nile Empire have abilities and penalties based upon their Inclinations, each of which is described below.
Detect Inclination: A possibility-rated character who plays an Alertness card, or spends a Possibility, can detect the Inclination of another character with a successful action using his Perception total against a difficulty number equal to the Spirit of the target. The possibility-rated character can only make one such check per target character.
Note that the use of this ability does not imply any sort of supernatural power. It simply reflects the fact that good or evil characters can sometimes recognize their brethren based upon only the most subtle clues and their years of experience. A character must actually see or hear the target before attempting to use this ability.
Inclination Seduction: Good and evil are both very powerful, seductive forces. A possibility-rated character can make one attempt per act to seduce another possibility-rated character of the opposite Inclination over to his own Inclination. Inclination seduction requires a successful Charisma action against a difficulty number equal to the Spirit of the target. A successful Inclination seduction with a quality level of good or less does not actually change the Inclination of the target, but does cause the target to forfeit one Possibility. If the target has no Possibilities to give, he must switch Inclination. On a superior result the target must switch inclinations or forfeit two Possibilities. On a spectacular result the target must switch inclinations or forfeit three Possibilities; in addition if the target does switch he does not lose all of his Possibilities when switching Inclinations. This is the only exception to the rule listed under “Good and Evil in Play.” If an Inclination seduction attempt fails, the seducer must forfeit one of his own Possibilities.
Note that an Inclination Seduction always requires a dramatic speech or monologue from the seducer and that Inclination Seduction can be used on more than one target at a time by taking into account the usual multi-action penalties; the seducer loses only one Possibility if he fails, no matter how many targets he was “aiming” at).
The Price of Evil: One of the ultimate ironies surrounding Dr. Mobius’ axiom set is that it is actually designed to slightly favor good inclinations over evil. Back in the Terran cosm, Mobius was routinely thrashed by a wide assortment of heroes. It was only after he discovered the maelstrom bridge and fled the cosm that he began to meet with success.
In game terms, any time a character with an Evil Inclination enters the cosm or the Nile realm (including non-native characters who are assuming an Inclination), the character immediately forfeits one Possibility, though this penalty can only be suffered a maximum of once per adventure. This rule also means that you should reduce the starting Possibility totals for native evil characters by one to reflect the slight disadvantage that their Inclination thrusts upon them.
The Law of Drama
Something extraordinary in the Terran and Nile axiom sets has a peculiar effect on almost all the events involving possibility·rated characters that occur within the axiom bounds: everything that happens to them seems to be infused with a particularly developed sense of melodrama. Heroes frequently save themselves from fiendish death traps at the very last second, villains are constantly escaping certain death, etc. In short, the action is fast and furious.
The most important effect of this law is not reflected in a specific game mechanic, but in a caveat that the gamemaster must consider when designing adventures that occur within the cosm or realm: keep your adventures moving at a dramatic, breakneck pace. If the heroes have a lot of time to stop and think, it’s probably time for a deployment of shocktroopers to discover their hiding place and come crashing in. Achieving this sort of effect within the Torg game is easy once you master two basic techniques: the proper use of obstacle piling and seemingly impossible situations.
Obstacle piling is exactly what it sounds like: confronting the Storm Knights with a whole series of obstacles at the same time. The trick is to take each action scene in the adventure and set up a string of obstacles within the scene which smoothly interconnect. Suppose, for example, that the heroes are being held prisoner on an airship and are trying to escape. During the escape, they find a machinegun in a storage room. Shortly thereafter, they meet up with a detachment of shocktroopers (obstacle one) and the action starts.
The first thing the heroes do is tum the machinegun on the soldiers, an opportune moment to reveal that the machinegun they found doesn’t work; it was in the storage shed awaiting repair (obstacle two). The stunned heroes then turn to fisticuffs and eventually manage to take out the troopers. The first hero that tries to leave the area, however, runs right into the vessel’s captain, who was awakened by the ruckus (obstacle three). The captain, of course, is about six-foot eight, weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 pounds, and looks as though he is really going to enjoy roughing the heroes up. During the ensuing fight, a window is smashed and the captain physically throws one of the heroes out the airship window (obstacle four). Fortunately, the hero manages to grab the trail wire hanging off the ship’s gondola to dangle below, but then notices that the ship is approaching a mountain range. Unless he climbs back up the wire fast, he’ll be pasted all over the mountainside (obstacle five).
Shoot for about five such obstacles in each important action scene during the adventure. But don’t overdo it. Give the Knights a chance to rest and catch their breath every once in a while. The action and obstacles should come in spurts rather than constant streams.
Seemingly impossible situations are part of the fine art of making your players think that their characters are going to die in every single action scene (a reasonable goal for Nile adventures), when they are actually in little or no real danger. Make a habit of tossing the heroes into unbelievably perilous situations, but always remember to leave a way out.
Appropriate descriptions can also go a long way toward achieving the proper sense of drama. Go all out when describing the resolution of an action, using even more fancy adjectives and dramatic timing than usual. Don’t say, “Quin finally manages to diffuse the bomb,” when you can say, “There are only three seconds left Quin, you’d better hurry. Two seconds, Quin. Quin. QUIN. Ohhhhh. With ZERO seconds left on the timer you manage to tug the final wire out of the detonator. You can still feel your heart’s cold palpitations.”
You should also strive to include at least two dramatic combat encounters in each adventure set within the Empire. The basic gist of all of this is that the action should somehow feel different and just a bit more intense in the Empire than anywhere else in the Torg universe.
A side effect of this Law is the existence of Pulp Powers, Weird Science, and Pulp Sorcery – all of which are covered in Chapter Two.
The Law of Action
A final peculiar quirk of the Terran and Nile Empire axiom sets allows possibility·rated characters under its influence to accomplish physical and mental feats that are slightly superior to those they could accomplish outside of the axiom bounds.
A possibility-rated character can spend two Possibilities on any action made within the axiom bounds. Such a character is then allowed to roll the die twice and apply the roll of his or her choice to the die total.
Note that, like all of the Empire axioms, the Law of Action will affect Empire natives in another realm who have surrounded themselves with their own reality.
Nile characters follow the standard character creation rules, except as follows. One attribute may be as high as 14 without the use of Pulp Powers. All characters must be of Good or Evil inclination – though player characters must be Good unless the GM permits otherwise.
Player Characters, and Major Villains, begin with five free advantage points to be spent on Pulp Powers, Gadgets (including Boosted Equipment), Magic (including Pulp Sorcery) or Miracles. Mathematicians, Engineers, and Priests must still take certain Employed (2) reflecting their affiliation with the Imperial Bureaucracy, or Criminal (2) reflecting their defiance of the Pharaoh. In the Nile Kingdom, good characters may be a part of the bureaucracy without serving evil.
Alternate Identity (1-5 pt. Advantage) common among Costumed Adventurers and Mystery Men.
Additional Power Point (1pt. Advantage) additional points in Pulp Powers or Gadgets may be purchased. For full rules on buying powers see below.
Not all people in Khem are human. These races have the free five points of powers as noted above.
Amazon (2 points)
– Super Attributes:Agility, Dexterity, Strength, Endurance (all lost for scene if Stymied by a man), Blessed Armor and Weapon (Boosted Values +1),Attractive (1)
– Choose: Devotion:Amazon Code/Faith (2+), Reputation:Outcast (2), or Criminal (2)
Bastet (2 points)
– Super Attributes:Perception (Smell and Hearing) plus Strength (Males) or Agility (Females), Claws (STR+3)
– Slave Race (2)
Hawkmen (2 points)
– Super Attribute:Perception, Flight, one point for Boosted Weapons or Armor
– Slave Race (2)
Sobeki (Edeinos) (2 points)
– Claws (STR+3), Teeth (STR+2), Tail (STR), player characters still have five free points for Pulp Powers or Gadgets
– Slave Race (2)
The following skills are unique or modified for Khem. Underlined skills are Difficult. * means skill requires a limitation.
Nile Martial Arts* – Choose an existing style, the character gains the Strike Bonus and one maneuver. Examples:
Boxing – Uses fists and arms. Has two special all-out attacks: Uppercut and Haymaker, which do STR+3 damage and reduce user’s defensive values by -1.
Combo attack, allows two standard punches against the same target with no multi-action penalty, this may not be performed in consecutive rounds.
Judo – Uses throws and holds. May use Martial Arts:Judo as a passive defense against Melee, Missile and Thrown Weapon attacks. Active defense rolls get a minimum bonus of +2. After rolling an attack, but before results are determined, the user may declare the attack results are read on either the damage or maneuver table.
Karate – Uses punches, kicks and strikes (with various other body parts). Attack values are +2 (does not apply to defensive values).
Kendo – 1 or 2 sword fighting (usually Katana or Bokken). Attack values are +2 (does not apply to defensive values). Disarm attempts are also at +2 (total of +4 to hit, but no damage, disarms opponent if results are Good or better).
Kick-Fighting – Uses legs and feet. Attack value +2 (for kicks only, does not apply to defensive values ). May use Martial Arts:Kick-Fighting in place of Maneuver.
Ninjitsu – Consists of Sneak Attacks and Surprise. Gain an additional +2 to attack values if any form of surprise exists, no surprise penalties to damage on these attacks. May use Martial Arts:Ninjitsu in place of Maneuver.
Wrestling – Uses holds and some throws. When performing a Grapple, once the hold is attained, and until it is broken, all additional attacks are at +2 value (this also applies as the defensive value against the target breaking the hold). After rolling an attack, but before results are determined, the user may declare the attack results are read on either the damage or maneuver table.
Energy Weapons – Specialties include various Pulp Powers, or Ray Gun
Vehicle Piloting:Space – Rocketplane, Rocket Ship
Hieroglyphics* limitations: Aztec, Egyptian, Sumerian
Language* limitations: Egyptian, Arabic, English, Mandarin, Greek, Hebrew, and Nahuatl are the most common. Sobeki speak Edeinal.
Scholar:Khem Cosm Lore – specializations include each moon, or continent, Nile Kingdom, Arabian Front, Greek Front, Aztec Front, Texas
Engineering – Pyramids, tombs, temples, trap detection, Enchanted or Blessed Items
Pulp Power* limitation: a specific Pulp Power, applied to the most appropriate attribute(s).
This section provides the basics on magic in the Nile, for further details on Mathematics, Engineering, or Pulp Sorcery see the Book of Magic. Magicians may not possess Miracles or Weird Science.
One of two common magical disciplines in the cosm. A mathematician begins by attempting to configure one or more of Khem’s moons. If successful they then proceed to generate a magic skill total using one of the four standard magic skills (Apportation, Divination, Alteration, or Conjuration). Mathematics does not utilize Arcane Knowledges and lacks Backlash. Buying skills and spells follows the standard rules.
Magic and miracles in Mobius’ reality rely upon the positions of various heavenly bodies for spell casting. Accomplished astronomers, the ancient Egyptians of Terra were so proficient in the art of astronomy that they had mathematically proven the existence of all nine planets in the solar system thousands of years before many of the planets were officially “discovered.” They also charted the profound influence the planets had on magic and miracles.
The Egyptians equated certain heavenly bodies with their gods. Spells must take positions of heavenly bodies into account; some are much more powerful when the bodies are properly configured. In Khem, the nine cosms formerly consumed by Nile reality have been recreated into celestial bodies to serve the same purpose as the planets of Terra’s solar system:
Planet DN Bonus Cycle
Ra (god of the sun) 8 +3 2
Isis (patron of magic and children) 10 +3 3
Osiris (god of earth) 10 +3 5
Horus (god of life) 12 +5 7
Nut (god of the sky) 12 +5 11
Nepthys (patron of women) 13 +5 13
Ptah (god of craftsmen) 15 +7 17
Anubis (god of the underworld) 18 +7 29
Set (god of evil) 22 +7 73
Even in the Nile Empire on Earth,. It is the Khem system which governs magic and miracles. Complicated calculations based on detailed charts are necessary, as the sky of Core Earth does not match the sky of the cosm precisely enough for the mystical calculations.
Note: Because ancient Egyptian astronomy blends magic and religion, any magic or miracles depending on astronomy automatically require a magical axiom level of 12, and a spiritual axiom level of 15.
Spells and miracles have two astronomical components: a minimum number of planets which must be accounted for in order to cast the spell (listed in the spell description as number of planets); and the planets which have influence over the spell (listed as influence). The astronomer decides how many planets he wishes to configure into the spell, the minimum being the number listed under number of planets. If the number of planets is “0”, the astronomer does not have to configure any planets into the spell. He picks the planets for which he wishes to make the calculations from the planets listed under influence. From this group of planets he finds the largest astronomy difficulty number, as listed on the Planet Chart. This is the astronomy difficulty for casting this spell.
The magician then uses the One-On-Many Chart to see how many of the planets he successfully configures into the spell. He configures the planets in order, from the innermost (and easiest planet) to the outermost (most difficult) planet he has decided to configure. For each planet successfully configured beyond the minimum necessary to cast the spell, the caster receives the bonus modifier listed on the Planet Chart for that planet.
Planetary Cycles (Optional Rule)
Using planetary cycles adds flavor and bookkeeping to the astronomy rules. Feel free to incorporate them or ignore them as you choose.
The planets move in orbits which change little from year to year. Astronomers long ago learned to predict when the planets would naturally configure into a magical or miraculous process, with no effort on the part of the astronomer. When configured, the planets automatically affect a magical or miraculous process just as if the astronomer had successfully configured the planet through his own calculations.
These configurations occur in regular patterns for each planet, The Planet Charts lists the number of days in each pattern. Ra, for example, is properly configured every other day, while Horus is naturally configured once every seven days. It is scarcely a coincidence that the primary day of worship in the Nile Empire is the day Horus naturally configures (Tuesday); regular, reliable displays of miraculous power go a long way toward reinforcing religious belief in the faithful.
Any time a mathematician fails his mathematics roll before casting a spell, the gamemaster rolls a die and consults the BonusChart (rolling again on 10s). He adds the total bonus to the modified astronomy difficulty of the spell (the base difficulty adjusted for the number of planets which the magician attempted to configure) and consults the table below:
12 or less No Effect
13-15 The mathematician must forfeit one Possibility;if he has no Possibilities, he suffers a wound instead
16-18 Same as above, only the mathematician forfeits a Possibility or takes two wounds
19-20 The mathematician’s closet friend is stricken with a Great Curse; on this result, resolve the spell normally; the curse is just a side effect – neither the mathematician nor the victim are immediately aware of the curse.
21-23 The mathematician is stricken blind for three days
24-25 The mathematician is befuddled, losing his mathematics ability for three days
26-29 The mathematician loses favor with the gods; the mathematician may no longer configure the planets he was using in this spell attempt (to regain the use of the planets he must regain the gods’ favor; for each planet he must accept a quest from a priest of the god for whom the planet is named; upon completion of the quest he may once again use the planet)
30+ The mathematician is attacked with a damage value equal to the total of the roll
The following list is the spells in the Core R&E, with the requirements for Nile Mathematicians. An asterisk (*) indicates a planet must be configured. If adapting spells from other sources, the following rules apply. First, the spell must be axiom 15 or less. Second they must be standard spells, and not require a world law or other quality of another reality, such as Tharkold Technomagic. The Backlash, Skill Total, and Arcane Knowledge are not used for Mathematical versions of the spell.
Determining the Number of planets required uses the Backlash Number. If the Backlash is 12 or less, no planets are required. 13-19 requires one planet. And 20 or more requires two planets.
Spell # Planets Influence
Altered Fireball 1 Ra, Horus, Set
Away Sight 1 Ra, Isis, Ptah
Bullet 1 Horus, Ptah, Set
Charm Person 1 Isis, Nepthys, Anubis
Cleanse 2 Isis, Osiris, Nepthys
Communicate With Animals 1 All; if the animal is sacred to specific god, must configure that planet
Conjured Fireball 2 Ra, Isis, Horus, Set
Disguise Self 1 Isis, Nepthys
Door of Shooting Fire 1 Ra, Isis, Horus, Ptah, Set
Earth Shield 0 Osiris, Ptah, Set
Enchant Air Wand 1 Isis, Nut*, Ptah
Find Things 1 Isis, Ptah
Flickering Fire Shield 1 Ra, Horus
Floater 1 Ra, Isis, Nut
Fly 1 Ra, Isis, Horus, Nut
Fog 1 Isis, Nut, Nepthys, Set
Haste 1 Isis, Horus, Nepthys
Increase Charisma 1 Isis, Nepthys, Set
Jump 0 Isis, Nut
Keen Blade 1 Horus, Ptah, Anubis
Lightning 1 Horus, Nut, Ptah, Set
Mage Dark 1 Nepthys, Set
Mage Light 1 Ra, Isis
Open Lock 1 Ptah, Set
Pathfinder 1 Osiris, Anubis
Ritual of Mind Prep. 1 Isis, Nepthys, Ptah
Ritual of Perception Prep. 1 Isis, Nepthys, Ptah
Slow 1 Isis, Horus, Nepthys
Stealth Walk 1 Nepthys, Anubis, Set
Stone Tunnel 1 Osiris, Ptah
Strength 1 Osiris, Horus, Anubis, Set
Sunstore 1 Ra*, Isis
Sweet Water 1 Nepthys*
Tracker 1 Osiris, Anubis
Understand Language 1 Isis, Ptah
Water Spray 1 Nepthys*, Horus
Weakness 1 Isis, Nepthys, Set
College of Mathematicians
Mathematicians are valued advisors and confidants within the Nile, treasured for their wisdom as much as their spell-casting ability.
Most practicing mathematicians in Khem belong to an organization known as the College of Mathematicians. The college serves as both a forum where mathematicians can gather and share any new secrets they may have discovered, and a support organization for the training and guidance of young apprentice mathematicians. In the Nile, the College also serves as an official arm of the Imperial Government. In this capacity, it is one of the resources that Mobius frequently exercises. In fact, practicing mathematics in the Empire without being a recognized member of the College is a crime.
There is a very rigid and formal hierarchy within the College. At its head is Felix Bannerman, the Royal Vizier and personal advisor to Mobius. Beneath Felix are 10 Grand Deans (mathematics and one magic skill at values 18 to 25, the other magics at values from 17 to 22), one for each of
the Overgovernorships. Beneath each Grand Dean are three Lesser Deans (mathematics at values of 16 to 20, magic skills at values of 13 to 19). Beneath the Lesser Deans are a varying number of Initiates and Apprentices. Initiates are low-level mathematicians waiting for an opening in the ranks so they can ascend to the rank of Dean. Apprentices are young mathematicians-in-training.
When Mobius has a service he would like the mathematicians to perform, he takes it to Bannerman, who then assigns it to a Greater Dean. who
will in tum either assign the project to a Lesser Dean (if it is relatively simple or unimportant) or perform it himself. The Overgovernors follow a similar procedure, beginning with the local Greater Dean and possibly ending with an Initiate.
The College of Mathematicians maintains a vast library and “‘headquarters” in the royal capital at Thebes (in Khem). The Nile Kingdom maintains an identical structure in Thebes in the realm. The Royal Vizier meets with all 10 of the Grand Deans at the headquarters once every eight weeks to discuss matters of mathematical importance. Once every year, all members of the college assemble at the headquarters for an annual meeting.
The other primary form of magic in Khem is Engineering. Engineering can be thought of as a magical analogue to Weird Science – which can build anything from an enchanted sword to a Pryamid. Engineering spells are cast in the same manner as standard spells, but do not require an Arcane Knowledge. Engineers can also install spells, powers or miracles into structures and devices they build. Miracles and Mathematical spells must be cast into the object by an appropriate individual. Engineers can create magical versions of Pulp Powers for their creations in the same manner as Weird Scientists. Skills and spells are purchased in the standard manner. Powers require the Engineer to have a number of skill adds in Engineering equal to the Power Cost.
Like mathematicians, engineers a1so maintain a support organization, known as the Society of Engineers. Like the College of Mathematicians, the Society is a functioning body within the Imperial Government; the structure of the Society is modeled after that of the mathematicians, with Greater Builders and Builders rather than Deans.
The Society of Engineers is headed by Ptah-Hotep, the Royal Builder. Beneath him are 10 Greater Builders (Engineering and one magic skill at values 18 to 25, the other magic at values from 20 to 23), one for each of the Overgovernorships. Beneath each Greater Builder are three Builders (engineering at values of 16to 20, magic skills at values of 13 to 19). Beneath the Builders are a varying number of Draftsmen and Journeymen. Draftsmen are low-level engineers eager to prove themselves to Mobius or an Overgovernor by undertaking a major project. Journeymen are novice engineers just beginning their real work.
Engineers have the ability to cast a few spells, and the abilities to design and supervise the construction of buildings, incorporating many mystical features into the design.
Sidebar: Chinese Alchemy, Nahuatl, and Other Magical Traditions in the Nile Empire
There are a variety of other magicians in the Cosm and realm, Wu-Han’s followers’ Chinese alchemy, and the Aztec magic of Mexico, being the most noteworthy. These can be represented in a variety of methods. If the style in question fits the reality, choose from the Mathematics, Engineering, Pulp Sorcery, or Weird Science. In the specific case of Alchemy it can be represented by all but Mathematics, choose the one that fits your personal concept. Nahuatl is more straight forward, and uses Mathematics.
It is possible for a sorcerer to utilize a style such as Ayslish magic, however this will still be a contradiction in Khem.
Found on Terra, and used by lesser magical traditions in the cosm and realm. Pulp Sorcery is a 6 point advantage. The sorcerer chooses 6 points in Pulp Powers which are cast as spells, using the rules in the Book of Magic. Additional spells can be purchased in play. The cost is the Power Cost x10 in Skill Points.
Full details for the Egyptian faith (as well as Olympic and Magisters of Doom) are found in the Clerics’ Sourcebook (and Chapter Eleven of the Nile Empire). Prayers and Rituals of the Egyptian faith utilize the Mathematics skill in the same way as Mathematicians.
Anyone who harms a sacred animal within a pure zone of the Nile realm, or within the cosm of Khem, suffers a -1 bonus modifier for the next whole day for each animal killed, up to a maximum penalty of -10. Reduce the penalty by one point for every day
that subsequently passes. Some animals, particularly those under the stewardship of priests, have additional penalties for invoking the wrath the the gods.
For dominant and mixed zones, the maximum penalty is -3, and the penalty lasts only one day, although particularly sacred animals may still have greater penalties.
For a list of Sacred Animals see Clerics’ page 39. Other Sacred Animals include:
Bastet – Cat (particularly Abyssinian)
Hathor – Cow
Khonshu – Baboon
Neith – Lioness
Sebek – Crocodiles
Sekhmet – Scorpion
Thoth – Ibis
Wadjet – Snakes particularly Cobras and Asps
As noted in the Nile Empire Realmbook, the many Nile faithful do not attend regular ceremonies – though the Temples of Horus do have ceremonies every Tuesday (when Horus naturally configures). A worshiper simply visits the temple, burns some incense, says a prayer, and makes a donation (typically 5 Crowns). If they request a specific service of the priests, a greater donation may be required.
Sitting atop the religious hierarchy within Mobius’ Empire is Amentu-Khaibit, the Imperial High Priest. Amentu-Khaibit has final say in all religious matters, and tends to the Grand Temple in the Imperia1 capital.
Directly below Amentu-Khaibit are the nine High Priests of the Empire. Each of the nine members of the Ennead has his or her own high priest or priestess (goddesses always have female priests, gods usually have male priests). Each member of the Ennead has an affiliated town or city, where the appropriate high priest is stationed. One of the high priest’s most important duties is to tend to the large temple found in his or her god’s home city. Amentu-Khaibit meets with all nine of the high priests every other month to discuss matters of religious import. A typical high priest has focus and Mathematics values of 19, with faith of 17 or more.
Below the high priests and priestesses are the priests. Priests oversee the smaller temples in cities and villages and assist the high priests. Priests are often assigned to travel with military units in order to tend to the shocktroopers’ spiritual needs and to perform helpful miracles. The number of priests assigned to each high priest varies greatly, ranging from 100 to those fallen from the grace of Amentu-Khaibit, to over 1,000 to those the Imperial High Priest favors. A typical lesser priest has focus and mathematics values of 12 to 15, and faith values of 13 and up.
The lowest rung in the hierarchy is occupied by the acolytes, the young men and women who are training to enter the priesthood. Acolytes begin training at the age of nine, and usually become lesser priests at the age of 22. Acolytes sweep the temple floors and handle all other minor duties and chores. A typical acolyte has faith and mathematics values of 10, and does not yet possess focus. For each priest in a temple there are from one (in small village shrines) to 15 acolytes.
Each morning, all members of the religious hierarchy perform a special liturgy: they bathe in the sacred pools outside their temples, enter the temple, and burn some incense. The head priest at each temple then moves into the temple’s inner sanctum, unwraps the idol of the temple’s god, washes the statue, and rewraps it. When they are not performing their duties, the lesser priests and acolytes live among the people. The high priests keep large palaces in their god’s home city.
Dr. Mobius has spread into Mexico to come into direct conflict with the Aztec Empire. Within his realm the natives still worship the Aztec Pantheon. The priests within his realm do so through the configuration of the planets, in the same manner as the Egyptian priests. Though their beliefs do not connect the planets with the gods, the alignment of the planets functions identically. Further details can be found in chapter four.
No Advantage Required. Characters have the following limitations:
1-2 adds – the character may perform repairs, install Boosters, or other minor modifications, or assist an experienced scientist.
3 adds or more – the character may create Gadgets or gizmos. They must have Skill Adds equal to or greater than the Power Cost of any Pulp Powers to be installed. i.e. at 3 adds any power with a base cost of 3 or less may be installed, but a power with a cost of 6 requires 6 adds.
Characters with Magic or Miracles may not use Weird Science to create Gadgets or gizmos.
Note: rather than the Adventure Cost of the previous edition, in the new rules characters pay advantage points for Powers and Gadgets during character creation. With the permission of the gamemaster, new abilities and devices, as well as improving existing equipment, may be acquired in play by paying the following costs.
Pulp Power/Gadget Costs: Advantage Cost x10 in Possibilities. (Gizmo minimum cost: 1 Possibility)
Boosters: New Level x5 in Possibilities
Imperial Science Institute
A powerful organization, equal to the College of Mathematics, Society of Engineers, and the Priesthood. The ISI maintains a central headquarters, and school in the Imperial capital. This building is defended by crack soldiers, including a contingent of Akhami rocket troopers, as well as state-of-the-art security devices.
At the heart of it all is Professor Atom, the Imperial Chief Scientist. Though Dr. Mobius often bypasses the Professor, and takes personal charge of major projects that interest him. This frustrates the Chief Scientist to no end.
Beneath Atom are ten Master Scientists, one for each overgovernor. Each is in charge of their own Research Center, with a large staff to support their efforts. Though expected to supply the overgovernor’s needs, each also has considerable resources to further their own pet projects. Master Scientists have Weird Science skill values of 18-25.
Each Master Scientist has at least ten subordinate Scientists, not all of whom are voluntary. Whenever a scientist is found practicing outside the Empire’s authority, he is captured, and forced – by any means – to serve Mobius. A prime example of this is the Terran Doctor Frest, who was subject to imprisonment in an Imperial Research Center on more than one occasion. Scientists may be placed in charge of their own facilities, or forced to share laboratories with other Scientists, depending on their value, and persuasive abilities. Scientists have Weird Science skills of 15 to 20.
The work of building death rays, robo-sphinxes, and the like, requires lots of manpower. And so each scientist is assigned a number of Lab Assistants based on their value to the Empire. These assistants may be simple mechanics, or they may be students studying, and hoping to one day be Scientists themselves.
[Pulp Powers Table Here]
These flaws may be taken, reducing the cost of any associated powers accordingly. Flaws may be taken multiple times for separate powers, except for Vulnerabilities. Power Cost may not be reduced below one – except for Gadgets containing powers with a base cost of 2 or less.
1pt Simple act, takes one action.
2pt Activation roll, DN 8
1pt One to three rounds
2pt Four to ten rounds
3pt More than ten rounds
+1pt Must reactivate for each use.
1pt Roll of “2”, until end of Act.
2pt Roll of “3” or lower.
3pt Roll of “4” or lower.
+1pt Until end of Adventure.
+2pt Until end of next Adventure.
1pt 6 uses.
2pt 3 uses.
3pt 2 uses.
4pt 1 use.
1pt Must perform a simple act every so often to maintain; reduction of Effect (half bonus to attribute or system limit or Range (value-2);
2pt Power has no effect on something; minimal Effect (no bonus to attribute or system limit) or Range (self or touch);
3pt Vulnerability – wound damage. May only take once, but point reduction may be used over multiple powers.
4pt Vulnerability – lethal 15 points damage. May only take once, but point reduction may be used over multiple powers.
Situational Modifier (GM Adjudicated Catch-all Category)
1pt can’t be fully used all the time
2pt rarely can be fully used
3pt Negative side effects – use causes problems
Housing Size Modifier Table
+0 One-handed item, such as a pistol or wand; backpack item.
+2 Two-handed item, such as a rifle, or a bulky suit
+5 Crew served item, bulky enough to require two people to operate or a two- to four-wheeled vehicle to mount.
+8 A very large item taking up a small room or requiring a large four-wheeled vehicle or larger to mount.
+10 An extremely large item requiring a whole building, or a very large vehicle, such as a warship or cargo/passenger aircraft.
This modifier is added to the cost value of the housing, and is added (in most cases) to the range and effect value of the system. (With GM permission one may be lowered to improve the other). For systems mounted in large items (+5 or higher) this value may instead be used to reduce the advantage/experience cost of the item.
GADGET CONSTRUCTION RULES
What the power is built into. You need a description, and thus an idea of its size. Systemically the item’s Toughness is important. For Weapons/Armor this equals the maximum Damage/Protection of the item. Items like Cars and planes range from 15 to 25, Glass is less than 5. Failing a hard number, Toughness equals the weight value.
Cost: varies (3r (8) for a small hand-held device plus the housing size modifier).
This includes Pulp Powers – which are listed by name, and Boosters.
Base Value is the “Attribute” Value of the Power when installed in a gadget, The Power’s bonuses or penalties are added to this to determine the Power Value.
Cost: System Value -5 in Royals.
The power supply of an item. This can include mundane Engines and batteries or a Possibility Capacitor.
Cost: (Power Plant) System Value -3 in royals. (Possibility Capacitor) 500r.
Boosters and Compensators
Boosters increase the System Value or a Gadget or Action Value of a mundane tool, such as Armor with increased Toughness, or a car with enhanced Speed. Booster’s may also Boost an Attribute of the User. Compensators counteract the penalties of Boosters.
Cost: the same as the System being Boosted/Booster or Compensator. (Boosted Tools) Maximum Action Value -5 in Royals.
“Installing” the Housing
Make a Weird Science roll – this is the Housing Value. Note this value and the Housing’s Toughness. The Housing Value is the maximum value of any Systems installed in it (excluding the Unboosted Toughness). If the Housing’s Toughness is to be Boosted then the Housing Value is the maximum value it can be boosted to as well.
Installing the System(s)
For every Power the device is to possess roll Weird Science. This is the System Value, and it can not exceed the Housing Value. Note the Lower of these two values. If the System value is less than the Base Power Value you must either reinstall or face a penalty to its use. If it is higher, it replaces the Base Value.
Installing the Capacitor/Power Plant
The difficulty of installing a Capacitor is Twelve plus the One-on-Many value of the number of Systems. If you exceed 12, but less than the total, then the appropriate number of Systems is improperly connected, and will not work. You must reinstall the Capacitor, or remove the useless systems.
When using Power Plants you may install separate ones for each system (without One-on-Many). For each Power Plant roll a Weird Science or Science total. This total +8 is the time value the system can run without recharging. Subtract two for each additional System connected to the Power Plant.
Roll Weird Science against the System Value and read the results on the Power Push Table. If a User Attribute is to be enhanced the difficulty is 8. Boosters cause the item 1 shock/Booster/turn – when the shock exceeds the Housing Value it overheats/burns out/etc. Furthermore, the Gadget suffers DN+1/Booster.
Roll Weird Science against the Boosted System Value and read the results on the Power Push Table. Results may be used to negate either the Difficulty penalty or the shock – not both. Exception: if a single Booster is installed, with a total bonus of +5 or less in an otherwise mundane item (armor, sword, gun, vehicle, etc.), the DN+1 and 1 Shock point/turn may both be negated with a Push result equal to the total Boost +1.
The Base Time is equal to the Housing Value – minimum of 1 Hour (18). You may reduce the time (to as low as an hour) by rolling Weird Science against the Housing’s Toughness. The Power push result is subtracted from the Time Value. You may reduce the DN of any step by 1/Time value over 1 day (25).
A one-shot or limited use item. Use the Gadget Construction Rules with the following exceptions.
Construction time is Housing Value minus 10 – minimum of 10 minutes (14). This may be reduced with a Power Push total as with Gadgets.
Gizmos do not use Capacitors, but for those items which do not have an instantaneous effect use the rules for a Power Plant. Gizmos do not heal Shock damage, when Shock exceeds the Housing Value it is destroyed. A Setback will also cause Burn Out. At most the gizmo will last until the end of the Act.
The Cost of the Power (as a Gadget) in Possibilities must be paid (either by the creator or the user) when the gizmo is activated. Boosters cost one Possibility per Booster.
Pulp Power Descriptions
Action Value: PER+6
System Limit: 12
This power gives the character 360-degree vision and improved vision. Using the power is a simple action, and must be taken as an action. The power value is used instead of PER for vision perception rolls. This power can also be used to design heroes with sharp senses who are very difficult to surprise. When attacking a character with 360 degree sight, characters receive no benefit from blindside or surprise attacks.
Action Value: AGI and STR+3
System Limit: 9
This power lets the character tap into their reserves, removing all shock damage and boosting their STR and AGI. If the character tries to use this power more than Once per per day, then shock damage is not healed, each additional attempt causes an extra +1 to the difficulty, and each round of use causes 1 shock point.
Action Value: CHA+5
System Limit: 7
This power gives the character one specific animal companion that is loyal to them and with which they have a strong bond. They will do anything for each other, and can manage to communicate…the animal will understand the character’s speech, and the character will just understand what the animal means. There is a DN of the animal’s Spirit to send the companion away on a dangerous mission, the only time a roll is needed. This power may be purchased multiple times for additional Companions.
Action Value: CHA+2
Range: User’s Voice
System Limit: 7
This power gives the user the crude ability to communicate with all members of the animal kingdom. This communication is limited to very simple “communications” since almost all animals are only capable of communicating very simple ideas and feelings. You couldn’t use this power to stroll up to an elephant and ask if he has seen three trucks full of shocktroopers recently, for example. But you could ask “Is danger present?” or “Where is the nearest danger?” To ask one question successfully, the user must make a roll with a DN of the animal’s Spirit. If the animal is of the same inclination as the character, then the character can get the animal to perform one simple task by making a roll with a DN of the animal’s Spirit. If the task would put the animal at risk, a Superior success is required.
Action Value: MIN+5
Range: 15 meters
System Limit: 10
Brainbuster inflicts mental damage against a target. To use it, the character must maintain eye contact for a full round (successful Maneuver in combat). If the contact is kept, the Skill Total (PER Based)is compared to the target’s Willpower. The target takes the Result Points plus Power Value in mental damage, which can only be healed by time, psychology or powers. If the attack results in negative result points, those are read as damage on the attacker.
Action Value: CHA+5
System Limit: 9
This power lets its user change her appearance. The Power Value is added to Disguise to provide the DN for anyone else to make a Find roll to notice something wrong. Mass, height, sex, etc., cannot be changed with this power, but a good enough success means the user can make a reasonable try of it.
Action Value: STR+3
System Limit: 10
This power gives the character claws on their hands. Normal claws cost 2, retractable claws cost 3. Use Unarmed Combat skill.
Action Value: PER+5
System Limit: 10
The character takes no penalties to skill use or Perception rolls in the dark and is immune to the effects of the Darkness power.
Action Value: STR+5
Range: 2.5 meter radius globe centered on character
System Limit: 12
Use of this power creates a field of darkness around the character. The Power Value is the DN of a Find roll to see the character or anything else in the darkness. Attacks on an unseen character are at -5 to hit. The user of the power can see through it.
Action Value: STR+2
Range: 25 m
System Limit: 12
This power creates a flash of light that can blind an opponent. The power total is compared to the target’s Perception; the number of success levels is the number of rounds the target is blinded. A blinded character has all skills that rely on sight reduced by 3.
Action Value: TOU+10
System Limit: 5
This power lets the user become incorporeal. They may pass through objects with a Toughness equal to or less than their power total. All physical attacks on the character have the power total treated as armor. The character must multi-action in order to make physical attacks. Such attacks ignore armor up to the power value. Characters with Dispersal look like vague, misty versions of themselves. Unless the character has a special movement power, they move at AGI-4 while dispersed.
Element Blast/Element Wall
Action Value: STR+10
System Limit: 10
Choose one Element: Air, Earth, Fire, Ice, Water, etc. Examples:
Fire: This power lets the character shoot a jet of flame or create a circular wall of flame about them. The wall has a 2.5 meter radius. The power value is the damage value of the fire blast or fire wall. The fire wall can be maintained for a scene.
Ice: This power is identical to fire blast, except that it cannot be used in extremely hot or dry conditions, and the ice wall has a Toughness equal to the power value.
Action Value: STR+10
System Limit: 7
This is the power to throw energy bolts. To-hit rolls are based on Dexterity, though skill adds may be bought for this attack. The Power Value plus Result points is the Damage Value.
Action Value: CHA+5
Range: 15 meters
System Limit: 7
Fear: This is the power to generate irrational fear in opponents. To use the power, the power total is compared to the target’s Willpower. A ‘spooked’ character always goes last in the round. A minimal success results in the target being spooked for 1 round. An average success spooks the target for 2 rounds. A good success spooks them for 3 rounds and stymies them. A superior success spooks them for 4 rounds, stymies them, gives them -5 to all totals, and forces them to try and run. On a spectacular success, they will either surrender immediately (if the Fear-ing character is Good), or take the result points as mental damage (if their nemesis is Evil). Evil characters can kill through fear. Most characters with this power have some trademark action (a laugh, a scream, a pose) associated with the power.
Love reads as Charm, with the Target’s attitude improved accordingly. While the power is in effect the target behaves as if this attitude is normal.
Other Emotions will use the most appropriate Interaction Table. Duration is equal to the value of the Power Total, with the target receiving attempt per level of attitude adjustment to shake off the emotion. If the victim is not willing, then after the power wears off, their base attitude is worsened by one level. If the target is already feeling the emotion, or its opposite, then the Gamemaster may establish modifiers to the DN.
Action Value: PER+10
System Limit: 10
This power lets the character see what is happening to one specific target, giving them a vision as though they were 10 meters away from the target.
Action Value: AGI
System Limit: 12
This power lets the character fly under their own power. The Power value is the speed of flight. For a cost of 4 points this power uses the Power Push table rather than the Speed Push.
Action Value: TOU+5
Range: 5 meter radius globe around user
System Limit: 13
This power lets the character create a globe of fog or smoke that blocks others’ view. The globe lasts for 10 rounds or until dispersed. All attacks aimed at a target in or behind the fog are at -5 to hit. The power value is the DN of Perception rolls to find something in or behind the fog, though making such a roll does not cancel the penalty. The character is immune to the effects of their own fog screen.
Action Value: TOU+10
Range: 2.5 meter radius globe around the character
System Limit: 10
The force field power surrounds its user in a globe of invisible energy. The value of the power is the user’s armor value. If used on self only it has unlimited duration. If the user may project around others, the power may be used for a number of rounds equal to the user’s SPI and it must be rested for 1 minute between uses. At values of 20 or more, air and other gases do not penetrate the field.
Action Value: STR+5
Range: 10 (100m)
System Limit: 13
Gravity Control can be used to decrease gravity enough to lift objects or increase gravity enough to crush objects or push them down. To affect an object the character first generates a Pulp Power (Gravity Control) or Dexterity roll against the target’s Agility or Dodge. Stationary objects are difficulty 5.
After hitting the target, the controller can either increase or decrease gravity in regards to that target. To decrease gravity, the character adds the result points to the Power Value, and compares it to the weight value of the object or person being lifted. the result points of that are the speed (in meters per round) at which the target is levitated upwards.
Increasing gravity is done by comparing the power value plus result points against the target’s Toughness. the result points are read as damage. The Power Push value of that result are also subtracted from the target’s Agility for the power’s duration.
There are other applications to Gravity Control as well – for example, if a character is standing on a wooden floor, he might fall through if his gravity were increased. A character who zooms up against the ceiling of a building might go through – or get hurt. The Gamemaster will figure such things on a case-by-case basis.
Gravity Control has a duration of one round, but can be extended with result points against a non-resisting target. This power can lift objects but not make them fly, it does not bend gravity.
Action Value: STR and END+7
System Limit: 5
This power allows the user to increase their height by a Value of +3 (while remaining proportional) for a number of rounds equal to their Increased Strength value. All physical attacks on the grown character are at +5 to hit bonus – however this does not add to the result points for damage purposes.
Action Value: MIN+2
System Limit: 9
This power allows the user to create illusions in the minds of others, capable of fooling all the senses. The user’s power value is the DN for anyone to make a Perception roll and see through the illusion (such a roll is at +3 if another character has seen through the illusion already and tells the rolling character). Illusion-caused damage wears off once the illusion has been stopped or seen through.
Action Value: MIN+10
System Limit: 13
This power makes the character invisible in the visible spectrum. The power may be maintained for a number of rounds equal to the Power Value. The power value is the DN for any Perception checks to find the character. Attacks on an invisible character are at -3 if the Perception roll to find the character are made, -10 if it is not.
Action Value: AGI-3
System Limit: 6
This power lets the character jump remarkable distances. The power value is the character’s long jump limit value. They can jump straight up for power value -3 in distance. All pushes are read on the Power Push table rather than Speed Push.
Action Value: STR+10
Range: 30 meters
System Limit: 13
Magnetism lets the character attract or repel ferromagnetic material. If the skill roll (DN 10) succeeds, the power acts in the desired fashion; if the roll fails by a Superior or worse margin, the power works, but in the opposite mode. The total weight affected is the power total. The maximum speed of the pull or push is 1/2 the power total. The power is normally on for five rounds. To reverse the polarization requires a new roll.
Action Value: PER + 5
Range: Self (~50 m)
System Limit: 10
Mega-Hearing: This power lets characters hear sounds at a far lower volume and greater distances than normal, but does not let them filter out other noise.
Mega-Scent: This is the power of an incredibly good sense of smell. The character may use their Mega-Scent value instead of Find skill to find hidden characters or objects with distinctive smells within 50 meters. Higher levels of success let them identify particular creature types or individuals at a distance. Many substances can be identified through Mega-Scent.
Mega-Vision: This is the power of incredibly good eyesight. The power value may be used on all sight-based Perception rolls, and anything in range with a clear line of sight may be looked at as though it were at a few inches’ range.
Action Value: MIN+5
Range: 5 m for initial control, then unlimited
System Limit: 8
This power lets the user take over someone else’s mind, giving them verbal or telepathic orders that they must follow. The DN is the target’s Willpower. The power total is the value of the duration of the control. The victim gets (5 – levels of success above average) attempts to shake off the control, which are spaced evenly through the duration. The shake off attempt is a Willpower roll against the power total. Orders that are particularly unpleasant to the victim give them an automatic attempt to shake off the control, if they have any attempts left, with a +3 bonus. Other events, such as a friend trying to shake them out of it, can let them use another shake off attempt without the +3 bonus. The initial control may not be against multiple targets at the same time. Mind Control does not confer the ability to telepathically send orders.
Action Value: MIN+5
Range: 25 Meters
System Limit: 7
This power lets the character scan other people’s thoughts. Minimal or average success gives very surface thoughts and emotions. Good success gives full thoughts, with some context. Superior success gives carefully hidden thoughts. Spectacular success lets the character rummage through the target’s memories. Mind Reading may not be used on multiple targets. This power also allows Telepathic communication, but only with one person at a time. See Telecommunication.
Action Value: Spirit
System Limit: 15
When a character with Power Drain wishes to use it on a target, he must first make a successful Unarmed Combat attack so as to touch his intended victim. The bonus number generated is added to his Power Value. This total is compared to the opponent’s target power value. If it is greater than the base power value, the result points are read against the Power Push Table and added to a value of 9 – this is the duration that the attacker possesses the power. If the number generated is smaller than the victim’s power value, the attacker suffers the result points in shock points.
Action Value: x+5
System Limit: 15
When taking this power you must choose a power to which the character is resistant. Thereafter, whenever the character is attacked or otherwise targeted by that power, he receives a bonus to whatever defensive value is appropriate.
Invisibility – the bonus is added to Find or PER for purposes of detecting an invisible person/object, as well as being removed from the Dodge bonus of the invisibility.
Detection Powers (X-ray Eyes, Mega-Hearing), Super Attributes or Skills – the power is reduced by the resistance bonus, to a minimum of zero.
Magic – spells which mimic a specific power will still affect the character normally.
Action Value: PER+5
A character with this power is able to hear up and down the radio and television transmission bands. He can also sense radar emissions and may search for a specific frequency.
Action Value: END+5
System Limit: 6
Regenerates 1 Shock Point per Round, K condition in one minute, and Wounds in one hour.
Action Value: AGI
System Limit: 10
The power value is the character’s running limit value. Pushes use the Power rather than Speed Push Table.
Action Value: None
System Limit: NA
Characters with Sense Danger are able to “feel” when something is about to happen. The Sense Danger acts as an Alertness card which is always on, but comes into play when something is going to affect the character personally. Sense Danger will let the character know, “something is wrong, I’m in danger” when he is being targeted by a sniper with a scope, but will NOT tell him when that same sniper has targeted one of his fellow characters. If the player has an Alertness card, it can be played to find the direction the danger is coming from.
Action Value: PER+7
System Limit: 9
This power must be consciously activated. When it does, the power total is compared to the casting total for each magic item, ward, or spell within range. Success lets the character know that the item is magical and active, and will usually let them identify the realm of origin, and skill/pattern knowledge involved. The power, once activated, lasts for ten minutes, and takes 12 hours to recharge.
Action Value: SPI +10
System Limit: 5
Shapechange is a somewhat complicated power. Normally when selecting this power you must select a single form that you may change to. However for each additional level of the power, you may select an additional form (if you wish). Additionally, the alternate form(s) may be larger or smaller than the base form (1/10th or 10x normal weight).
The alternate form can (and usually does) have an alternate set of Attributes and Skill. Spirit attribute (and Shapechange) remain constant is all forms. The other attributes may be reassigned in any fashion, so long as the total points remain the same, and a minimum of 1 in each attribute is observed (maximum may exceed human limits). The alternate form has the same number of skill points as the base as well, which may be spent as appropriate. Generally animal forms will be limited to those animals can use (no piloting or science). If you chose skills may be the same in both forms. Alternate forms may also possess other abilities for free (Flight or Claws for instance).
To Shapechange the character rolls the skill at DN 10, and takes one turn. Changing back is automatic, but still requires a turn. You may opt to take the power drawback “bestial” (-1 or 2). For one point this drawback means that your alternate form is an animal, and your human mind can be lost in extreme circumstances. When changing back you must roll at a difficulty of the value of minutes in animal form plus any shock points taken. Failure means that the beast has taken over, the GM may assume control of your character at his discretion, for a duration equal to the time already spent in animal form. For two points, the beast may take control even in human form. Anytime a Setback occurs or the character is wounded, he must roll Shapechange DN 10 plus the amount of shock taken.
Action Value: AGI+5
The character shrinks to approximately 30 cm (Value -4). They get +5 AGI and an additional +5 Stealth, but -5 STR, TOU, and Movement Rates.
Adventure Cost: 2
Action Value: PER+5
System Limit: 15
Characters with Sonar are able to emit a high-frequency sound that bounces off nearby objects and returns to him. This allows characters to “see” nearby objects and can compensate for blindness, darkness, etc. The character cannot make out fine detail or colors with Sonar.
Action Value: STR + 5
Range: 10 meters
System Limit: 9
This power lets the character make a sonic attack. Pulp Power (Sonic Scream) PER-based is the attack roll, and the power value is the damage.
This power gives the character 3 extra attribute points, which may take their attributes above maximums. This power may be bought more than once.
Action Value: x+3
This power gives the character +3 adds in one skill; when used in character generation, it is on top of the 3 add limit. Also, it makes all adds to that skill cost 2 possibilities (even if the skill is Difficult). This power may be bought for multiple skills.
Action Value: AGI
System Limit: 9
The power value for Swimming becomes the character’s swimming limit value. Pushes use the Power rather than Speed Push Table.
Action Value: PER+5
Range: action value
System Limit: 10
Telecommunication or “TC” is the ability to send and receive messages through the power of the mind. The character possessing the power sets up a “mental switchboard” through which linked characters can communicate.
To establish a switchboard, the character possessing TC generates a Pulp Power (TC) or Mind total against a DN of 15 + the Value of the number of people to be linked. The result points added to the power value is the maximum range any linked character can be from the TC character. The duration is one hour. To add more people a new power total must be established.
If a character leaves the range of the switchboard and returns he can rejoin automatically, any other changes require a new roll.
This power only allows communication, no mind reading. However Mind Reading may be used to communicate telepathically with one person.
Action Value: MIN+5
Range: action value
System Limit: 12
Telekinesis or “TK” can be used to lift objects with a range equal to the Power Push of the power’s action value. When doing so, objects can be thrown to cause damage equal to the power value. Stationary objects with a weight value equal or less than the power value can be lifted and moved automatically – though it still takes an action to do so. To target other character’s roll Pulp Power (TK) or Perception against the targets Agility or Dodge. The mass of an object being hurled by TK is added to the DN to hit, but also to the damage caused by it.
TK can also be used as an active defense to stop incoming ranged attacks. The action value is used instead of dodge. This can be used on any physical object he can see. Due to the concentration required, there is no minimum bonus for active defense. However if the character using TK gets a good or better success the character has caught the projectile, and can turn it back against its wielder or discard it at his leisure.
Action Value: TOU
System Limit: 8
This power lets the character get from one place to another without covering the space in between. They may teleport a maximum range of their power value. If the space they are teleporting to is full, they bounce back to their starting location. All teleportation attempts cost 2 shock points of fatigue.
Action Value: AGI
System Limit: 6
This power lets the character walk along walls, ceilings, etc. using the Maneuver skill. They are still subject to gravity. Their maximum walking speed along walls is the lower of their power value or MRG.
Action Value: None
System Limit: 6
This power lets the character breathe water indefinitely.
System Limit: 10
Characters with this power can project a sticky strand of Pulp-tough material which can be used to entangle a character, or as a means of locomotion by swinging from strand to strand. When used to entangle, the web is fired by using Dexterity or Pulp Power (Webs). A Strength total of 19 or better is required to free oneself from the web. When used as a means of locomotion, the character simply makes a to-hit roll (using Pulp Power (Webs) DEX-based) for a suitable anchor spot and swings.
Action Value: END+10
System Limit: 16
This power may only be used by characters of Evil inclination.
This power lets the character kill with a touch. If the character can touch another character’s bare flesh, the power value subtracts the target’s Toughness and causes normal combat damage. In addition, for each Wound caused, the target apparently ages 10 years and loses 1 point from their Strength, Agility, Dexterity, and Endurance. Toughness and Movement Rates are recalculated. 12 hours rest will remove the additional effects of one Wound.
Action Value: STR+5
System Limit: 20
This power lets the character look through solid objects, up to a maximum cumulative Toughness of their power total. X-Ray Vision can never penetrate lead and perhaps some other substances.
The Nile Empire has developed a number of advances in recent years, including a variety of gadgets. What follows is a selection of Dr. Mobius’ newest inventions.
Akhami Rocket Suit
Inspired by the Rocket Rangers of Terra. In addition to stylistic designs reminiscent of the standard duty uniform of shocktroopers, these suits have a few differences. The suits lack a number of features of the Ranger armor, in favor of what amounts to mass-production for a Weird Science gadget. The armor is weaker, comparable to Core Earth body armor, and lacks the strength boosters and optical sensors. However, the Akhami suits are four times as fast, and feature built-in weapons.
Akhami troopers are the elite of the Imperial army, and loyal to the Imperial Marshal and the Pharaoh. Though not as potent as GWI Armor of God, or Kyoto RKD, these suits have proven decisive in situations where the opposition was expecting unarmored men.
Tech Value Price Notes
Akhami Rocket Suit 27 +6/25 NA MRF 14, Wrist Blaster (D21 R3-40/400/1k), 4 Wrist Grenades (D25 R3-25/60/150)
While Earth-based soldiers utilize ballistic weapons, mainly the KK-81, in the cosm, the Imperial soldiers are equipped with energy weapons. Though a variety of designs are in use, the basics are the same. The weapons fire beams of pure energy, derived from a small Eternium cell. These cells comprise the majority of the cost of the weapon, and are almost impossible to come by. Conventional batteries can power the weapon for 10 shots. It is also possible to find variations, such as stun weapons.
As a general rule, civilians and criminals of the cosm eschew these weapons for the more commonplace, and (generally) cheaper weapons found in the realm.
Ray Guns come in five basic models. Pistols and rifles, as well as three grades of Heavy weapons. A light mounted ray gun is the analogue of a crew served machine gun, and can be mounted on a vehicle as light as a jeep or motorboat, these can be man-portable, but require time to set up and a three man crew to carry and operate. Medium guns are the equivalent of the heavy cannons on tanks and aircraft, far to heavy to be carried, and too unwieldy for use except when mounted on a vehicle. Heavy guns are comparable to the big naval guns used on the battleships of WWII, and are employed as permanent artillery batteries, and ships guns on the largest of his space navy.
Weapon Tech Damage Ammo Range Avail. Price (Royals/Dollars/Value)
Ray Pistol 24 18(5) — 3-10/25/60 P/VR 600/6000/19
Ray Rifle 24 20(5) – 3-25/60/150 P/VR 1500/15k/21
Lt Mounted Ray Gun 24 28 – 3-100/250/600 X/VR 2500/25k/22
Med. Mounted Ray Gun 24 31 – 3-400/1k/2.5k X/VR 10k/100k/25
Hvy. Mounted Ray Gun 24 33 – 3-1k/2.5k/6k X/VR 25k/250k/27
Nomarch Exploratory Vehicle
A heavy infantry transport vehicle intended as personal ground transports for the Overgovernors and top officials. Professor Atom personally designed these vehicles, though each is custom modified to suit the needs of its user. Each requires a driver and a gunner to operate the cupola mounted ray gun. An additional ten passengers can be carried in comfort. Comfort meaning silk cushions, a mini-bar (for those who partake), and a variety of hidden gadgets and defenses.
And most importantly, each has an escape pod for the overgovernor. The nature varies, but include such options as a teleporter, personal rocket pack, or a mole pod that digs down and away from the threatened vehicle.
Nomarch’s are amphibious, and are powered by an Eternium Battery, giving it unlimited range, and flexibility.
Bennu Rocket Plane
Comparable to the jet aircraft of 1945. A single seat combat aircraft. One of the few rocket planes to be found in any quantity in the realm, loaded with conventional machine guns. In the realm, it is capable of space travel, and is armed with ray guns.
Flash Transport Rocket
A larger craft, intended to carry modest cargo or passengers, the Flash class can be found across the cosm, in the hands of the military as well as various civilian interests. Civilian models are not supposed to be armed, but commonly are. Rebel forces and others unable to acquire heavy military craft will install heavier weapons.
Narmer War Rocket
The rocketplane equivalent of a destroyer. Carries four heavy forward guns, potent broadsides, and a company of marines, the Narmer-class can pacify an uprising fast.
Vehicle Tech kph/mph/value Man. Wt. Pass TOU Cost Armament
Exploratory Vehicle 21* 80/50/12 0 20 12 26 NA Lt. Ray Gun (D28 R3-100/250/600)
Amphibious, Eternium Battery, 1 Shot Escape Pod (Teleporter, Rocket Pack, Mole Pod, etc.)
Bennu (Rocket Plane)22 1090/680/18 (Atmo)+3 20 1 20 600k/6m/34 2 .50 (D25 A11 R3-250/1k/2k)
or 24 4000/2500/20 (Space) LR Lt. Ray Guns (D28 R3-250/600/1.5k)
Flash (Transport) 24 3000/1875/19 +0 28 20 26 60m/600m/44 Lt. Ray Gun (D28 R3-100/250/600)
Pirates, Rebels, and some elite units use variants with 2 Med. Ray Guns (D31 R3-400/1k/2.5k)
Narmer War Rocket 24 2500/1500/19 -2 35 150 35 400m/4b/48 4 Hy. Ray Guns (D33 R3-1k/2.5k/6k)
10 Lt. Ray Gun Turrets (3-100/250/600)
Vehicle Tech kph/mph/value Man. Wt. Pass TOU Cost
Alexandria Battleship 21 50/30/11 -4 40 2800 38 25m/250m/42
36 Paket, 12 Herusent or Bennu, 2 Ptolemy (50 total),
9 46cm Cannon (D33 A1 R300-4k/25k/40k B0-10/25/60), 24 155mm, 24 KAA 20mm, 4 Ray of Ra
Djoser Destroyer 21 70/44/12 -4 32 219 36 8m/80m/40
6 155mm cannon, 2 Ray of Ra, 2 Torpedo Tubes (18 Mk 9 Torpedoes)
Weird Science Components
Housing (3r (8) for a small hand-held device plus the housing size modifier)
System System Value -5 in Royals
Power Plant System Value -3 in royals
Possibility Capacitor 500r
Boosters and Compensators
Booster or Compensator the same as the System being Boosted
Boosted Tools Maximum Action Value -5 in Royals.
The Staff of Amat-Ra
Tapping Difficulty: 19
Purpose: To aid the oppressed against tyranny
Powers: Great Curse
Group Power: Send
Restrictions: Possibilities tapped from the staff can only be used when fighting Mobius and his minions. The great curse imbued in this staff may only be used against those of Evil inclination, and the user must have at least one add in faith (Egyptian).
Description: The Staff of Amat-Ra was once carried by the famed Terran pharaoh who cursed Mobius with his dying breath. It is 1.5 meters long, and the wood it is made of has streaks of red and blue within it. Mobius is aware that the staff has been transported to the Nile realm, but does not know where it may be.
The Idol of Osiris
Tapping Difficulty: 23
Purpose: To further the teachings of the Egyptian gods
Powers: Provides a +3 bonus to the faith totals of all beneficial Egyptian miracles performed within a five meter radius.
Group Power: Insight
Restrictions: Possibilities tapped from the idol can only be spent by or to aid characters who worship the Egyptian gods.
Description: The Idol of Osiris is a .75 meter high statue of the god. The statue is carved from a reddish crystal, and has blue swirls throughout. The idol is rumored to still be on Terra, but it is possible it may have been smuggled to the Nile realm.
Tapping Difficulty: 18
Purpose: To protect the owner of the crown from danger.
Power: Teleportation; often used to remove the wearer from a hazardous situation. Teleportation has a range of 100kilometers (value 25)and takes the user to a place of refuge, defined as the safest place within range. The crown can only teleport once before it must
be recharged, but is automatically recharged every time the planet Horus naturally configures with the magic in the crown, which happens every seven days.
Group Power: Shift Possibility
Description: The eternity shard is a gem in Natramititi’s crown
Eyes of Horus
Tapping Difficulty: 16
Purpose: To battle Evil
Power: Holy Symbol, Faith:Egyptian +1, +2 if the miracle invokes Horus.
Group Power: Create Talisman
Restrictions: May not be used by Evil characters
Description: A small golden amulet in the shape of the Eye of Horus. The Eye itself is set with Lapis Lazuli, and ruby. There are an unknown number of these to be found across the cosm and realms.
STRUCTURE OF THE EMPIRE
Levels of Government
Level One: The Pharaoh (Dr. Mobius)
At the very top of the government, of course, sits Dr. Mobius. Mobius has absolute authority, including the power to overrule a decision made by any of his underlings. The officials of the Empire recognize the Pharaoh as the rightful owner of all the land bounded by the stelae, though Mobius frequently sells plots of land and businesses back to favored natives in order to keep the local economy functioning (Mobius depends upon the local economy to support his armies and underlings).
In addition. the taxes that are collected from native laborers and businessmen each month are placed directly into Mobius’ personal coffers.
He then sees that appropriate funds are distributed to each of his advisors and underlings. This direct control over the Imperial treasury is an important means of limiting the power of the lesser officials and discouraging rebellion.
Mobius also has direct control over Super-Battlegroup Mobius, a branch of the Imperial Army that answers only to him.
Level Two: Pharaoh’s Personal Advisors
Just below Mobius on the Imperial totem are his five personal advisors. Most of the advisors do not really have the authority to overrule the decisions made by those below them, but Mobius places a great deal of trust in his advisors and often acts upon their
wishes. Most of the advisors are extremely loyal to their master and live in large palaces in the Imperial capital Mobius meets with several of them daily.
Imperial High Priest Amentu-Khaibit.
Amentu-Khaibit was not Sesetek’s heir, nor even close. What he was, was ambitious. When Storm Knights brought down the High Priest, he struck. Ruthlessly, he eliminated all the senior priests of Sebek, and any others who might have aspirations. When he was done, he stepped up and assumed the mantle.
The new High Priest has made the recapture of Crocodilopolis his priority. And secondary only to that, is the capture of Queen Khemintiri. He intends to force the Daughter of Sesetek to marry him.
Young for his position, he is only in his early thirties. Powerfully built, and almost handsome – if it weren’t for the cruel sneer that covers his face.
[Note: for Religious Hierarchy, see Chapter Two.]
Imperial Vizier Felix Bannerman
As the Imperial Accountant, Felix Bannerman advised Mobius on ec0nomic matters. He also oversaw the Imperial treasury and mint (it was Bannerman who invented the system of coinage which has lasted through all 10 of the Empire’s incarnations).
Bannerman was a small time hustler on Terra who just happened to have an unequaled mind for finance. Before he permanently joined up with Mobius, Bannerman was a financial advisor to many of Terra’s underworld bosses and pulp villains. As an official of the Empire, he is a bit nervous around Mobius and his Egyptian cronies. Bannerman is a fast-talking con-artist. He’s not particularly loyal to Mobius, and occasionally skims funds out of the Imperial coffers. Mobius is aware of these transgressions, but does not do anything about them; Bannerman remains extremely useful, and he is not ambitious enough to become a threat.
Felix had run off with most of the remaining treasury after Mobius’ fake death, and spent many months translating his skill with numbers into control of the Royal College of Mathematics. Now that Mobius has returned, Felix again answers to the Pharoah, advising him on all matters and heads the College of Mathematicians.
[Note for Mathematician Organization, see Chapter Two.]
Imperial Builder Ptah-Hotep
Former assistant to Muab, the new head of the Imperial Society of Engineers is already at work on new monuments to the immortal Pharaoh. And he knows secrets of the palace in Thebes that the new occupants do not. Enough to keep the rebels from becoming a serious threat.
Ptah-Hotep has no serious political ambitions. His interest is in seeing a magnificent design made reality. Even if his desings are used for evil it does not concern him. What politics he does play are focused on gaining funding for his latest masterpiece.
[Note for Engineer Organization, see Chapter Two.]
Imperial Marshall Khufu-Tet
Also known as Akhami One, commands a slimmed down Superbattlegroup Mobius, as well as his personal cadre of Rocket Troopers. Akhami One is looking forward to matching up against the Sky Hawks. He also holds supreme command over the Nile forces. He lead the invasions of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and is currently directed by the Pharaoh to break the Aztecs.
Khufu-Tet would be a danger to Mobius’ rule – if he weren’t so devoted to combat. He still smarts over the defeat he suffered at the hands of Rocket Ranger Indigo. And some day, he wants to lead the Nile invasion of Terra – where he will finally have the chance to face his nemesis one more time.
[Note for Military Organization, see below.]
Imperial Chief Scientist, Professor Atom
Professor Atom, has declared that the Robosphinx and Artificial Sun, though the inspired works of the Pharaoh himself, will be as nothing compared to the new devices he will design. (So long as Bannerman approves his budget). His Bennu rocket planes and the Flash and Narmer Rocket Ships have given the forces of Mobius absolute control of the Home Cosm.
No less important is the Alexandria-class Battleship, seventy thousand tons of firepower, complete with its own air wing. The first was under construction at the port city of the same name when the rebels took Egypt and Libya. Atom has vowed to see it sunk.
[Note for Scientific Organization, see Chapter Two.]
Level Three: The Overgovernors
In each cosm in which it has been founded, the Nile Empire has been much too large for Dr. Mobius to oversee all its affairs himself. For that reason, Mobius created the Overgovernors.
After the Empire is established in a new cosm, it is divided into 10 roughly equal regions. (Presently there are only 8 official regions, and one unofficial). Each of these regions is overseen by a special official known as an Overgovernor. The Overgovernor handles all of the day-to-day activities in his or her region, allowing the Pharaoh to concentrate on problems which confront the entire Empire. Overgovernors have the right to appoint any advisors or assistants they deem necessary and select the governors who operate in their regions. Technically, Overgovernors are responsible for every event and activity within their regions, though they hardly have absolute authority – Mobius and his advisors frequently step on them when it is expedient.
The Overgovernors are appointed directly by Dr. Mobius. Although the average Overgovernor remains in office for many years and some have held their posts throughout all 10 empires, the roster changes when incompetence comes to light or whenever Mobius wishes.
Mobius calls together all of the Overgovernors every eight weeks for a discussion of the current state of the Empire. The site of this meeting alternates between the opulent palaces each of the Overgovernors maintains in his or her home region.
In addition to administrative responsibilities, each Overgovernor serves as commander-in-chief of an Imperial Battlegroup and has authority over all garrisons stationed in his or her home region. The Overgovernors also frequently serve as Mobius’ personal operatives. It is not uncommon for an Overgovernor and retinue to be temporarily dispatched on a mission carrying him or her outside the bounds of the Empire.
Perhaps the most valuable privilege held by the Overgovernors stems from the fact that Mobius finds them useful enough to use the Darkness Device to slow their natural aging processes, a perk they share with the Imperial Advisors.
Al·Hebpsa is actually Dr. Mobius himself, without the hood and robe. This is why Mobius has maintained his costumed alter ego. By maintaining a dual identity within the council of Overgovernors, he catches wind of any plots against him long before they are carried out. Janya Paterksi is aware that Mobius is actually one of the Overgovernors, but doesn’t know which. Unbeknownst to Mobius, Felix Bannerman’s predecessor Rama-Tet knew the secret, and left a record of it. Bannerman has not yet discovered it.
On Terra, Janya gained notoriety as an expert spy and mistress of dirty tricks, although she never seems to directly involve herself in any of her operations … at least not those which are discovered. She efficiently and quietly plans, coordinates resources, and launches dozens of operations a year. She is the only Overgovernor that Nippon-Tech fears, and in her clashes with clandestine Kanawa operations, she has emerged victorious five times for every two she has lost. Rumors say she arranged the death of the original Wraith, if he did indeed ever die.
Experienced and savvy, she has plenty of contacts throughout all of the regions of the Empire, and other Overgovernors avail themselves of her services when discretion or plausible deniability are important. Her importance to Mobius has been evidenced by the fact that she has received the benefits of the Darkness Device more often than any other Overgovernor.
In addition to her duties as Overgovernor, she is also the head of the Secret Police. Her territory is the southwestern portion of the initial invasion zone. Mobius has no plans to expand in that region, which she understands. Her agents are busy across the home cosm, Earth, and even the cosms of the other High Lords.
Wu Han is an insidious master criminal whom Dr. Mobius frequently teamed with on Terra. Before he left Terra for good, Mobius offered Wu Han a place in his Empire. Wu Han is fond of riddles and enigmas. In addition to being an expert strategist, he is also a brilliant scientist. And due to his time assisting the Americans, he is Mobius’ expert on Earth’s reality.
For now Wu Han is loyal to Mobius, though he certainly has his own personal agenda. It is doubtful that Wu Han would ever openly rebel against Mobius, though he would certainly leave and strike off on his own if the opportunity for greater power arose elsewhere.
Lord Milton Avery
Lord Milton Avery was a cunning and skillful jewel thief on Terra, and another of Mobius’ frequent allies. To the citizens of Terra, Avery was known as a famous swashbuckling actor. Few were aware he was also a master criminal. During one of his burglaries, Avery discovered the truth about Mobius and the Darkness Device and smoothly blackmailed the arch-fiend into making him a part of the Nile Empire. At first, Mobius resented Avery’s interference, but he has since come to respect the man’s skill and natural leadership.
Over his years in the Empire, Avery has been using his position to accumulate a vast personal fortune. He never steals from Mobius or the Imperial treasury, he simply locates and acquires local items of value during his spare time. Avery is basically loyal to Mobius, though if the price were right, he might betray his master out of greed.
Avery has a strong, perhaps even suicidal, desire to steal the diadem of Amat-Ra from Janya Paterksi.
Avery’s latest role is playing Quetzacoatl, bringing the Yucatan under his leadership. As much as he enjoys the power, he had forgotten how much he loved the adoration of the masses.
The Red Hand (aka Michael Mayhew)
The Red Hand was another of Mobius’ Terran allies. Beside his crimson zoot suit, fedora, and mask, the Red. Hand’s claim to fame in the worldof villainy is his amazing electro-gun, a pistol that shoots a bolt of electricity which, according to author C. Michael Stone, is “as powerful as a lightning bolt hurled from Olympus.”
The Hand joined Mobius for kicks. He became an arch-villain for the sheer sport of it on Terra, and he joined Mobius for similar reasons. Mobius recruited him because of his scientific genius and willingness to personally test his own experiments. The Hand remains loyal to Mobius and the Empire, but if he ever found a greater thrill or challenge elsewhere, he’d take it in an instant.
Red Hand controls Ethiopia, and the rich mines of the Land of the Dead. This has allowed him to buy a strong enough army to keep the Nile Kingdom occupied. He is allied with Natatiri.
Natatiri was a young house girl in the service of the noble of Khem who formerly held her post as Overgovernor. After a long love affair with the former Overgovernor, she finally assassinated him for insulting her honor. Dr. Mobius was so impressed with the girl’s stamina and pluck that he appointed her as her former lover’s replacement, a move he has never regretted. Natatiri’s domain is always one of the most formidably managed in the entire Empire. So far her only indulgence has been to collect statuary from all over the Empire (and beyond if possible). Natatiri has a strong love of sculpture, and fancies herself to be quite a sculptor. She is quite good, not that anyone around her could safely take an opposite point of view.
For a brief time, Natatiri had turned over a new leaf, vowing to fight Mobius’ evil. But she was ineffectual as a rebel, and missed the opulence of her old life. She turned to the Sisters of the Serpent, making them her personal agents. With their aid she reclaimed her throne, and made a play for rule of the empire in the absence of the High Lord.
Natatiri is very crafty and headstrong. She is hopes to seize the post of High Lord for herself. Mobius knows and has been very stingy with the gifts of Khefertiri.
Ramses is a powerful young warrior, and one of Dr. Mobius’ most devoted followers. He believes the Nile Empire is restoring the glory to ancient Egypt and its gods. While the Pharaoh was presumed dead, he did plot with Janya Peterksi to take the throne. But when his lord returned, he swiftly renewed his pledge of loyalty.
He hopes to one day become Mobius’ Imperial Marshall, and despises Khufu-Tet for taking the post out from under him. Ramses commands one of the largest and most advanced Battlegroups, which he uses to dominate Eastern Europe. His forces and strategic genius allow him to even keep the Russians in check.
King of the Zapotecs, he has pledged his loyalty to the Nile. Former governor of Oaxaca, Cuitlauac (See-you-tal-lou-ac) is an opportunist. He initially accepted the Aztec reality, though he did not ally with the Aztecs themselves. His nation rejected the Eagle god Huitzilopochtli, and supported Tezcatlipoca. Milton Avery, claiming to be Quetzacoatl, made overtures. And Cuitlauac agreed – if it would make him wealthier. Resumption of (near-)modern technology has been to his advantage, and he supports the Nile. Until a better offer comes along.
A criminal mastermind, with his fingers in cattle, railroads, and oil throughout the Texas region. If Mobius reclaimed the realm, the Baron would be poised to be the new Overgovernor. [For more details see chapter five.]
Level Four: Overgovernors’ Advisors
Below the level of Overgovernor, the Imperial bureaucracy is very informal, a necessity considering the fact that the entire Empire is packed up ever four or five years and redeposited in a whole other cosm. The Overgovernors have the power to create any subservient posts they feel are necessary in their regions, and to fill those posts as they see fit. Each Overgovernor maintains a different roster of advisors and officials. Here is a list of commonly appointed positions.
Captain of the Regional Guard: basically, a trumped up bodyguard.
Director of Operations: the man who fills this post oversees intelligence and procurement operations in the region.
Grand Governor: Overgovernors who do not have time to meet with the Governors operating in their region appoint a Grand Governor, who meets with the lesser Governors and reports to the Overgovernor.
Liaison: Overgovernors frequently appoint liaisons to other Overgovernors or to the royal court.
Regional Adjudicator: each Overgovernor is responsible for dispensing justice to the cosm natives in his or her region. Most do not have time to fulfill this responsibility and appoint a wide variety of magistrates and judges who operate out of individual cities and towns. These lesser officials are usually overseen by a Regional Adjudicator who reports back to the Overgovernor.
Regional Educator: this is basically a regional head of propaganda. It is his or her responsibility to keep the locals in line and happy.
Regional Marshall: some Overgovernors appoint a Regional Marshall to help oversee their Battlegroups and coordinate all military activity within the region.
Regional Steward: the man or woman filling this post keeps track of resource expenditures and the regional budget.
Regional Tax Collector: these officers make sure all of the region’s citizens pay their taxes. and are responsible for turning over the correct tax revenues to Felix Bannerman.
Scribe: some Overgovernors appoint special scribes to record all their words and deeds.
In addition, each region is assigned a local head of the Council of Mathematicians and a Regional High Priest, both of whom serve the Overgovernor.
Level Four is the highest level where one would find a number of cosm natives filling important positions. Obviously, only natives who have somehow won the favor of an Overgovernor are appointed to such positions.
A tiny handful of Overgovernor Advisors were appointed directly by Dr. Mobius. Most such advisors are small-time pulp villains from Terra who Mobius recruited into the Empire, though Mobius occasionally assigns a more trusted underling to work directly under an Overgovernor of whom he has reason to be suspicious.
Level Five: Governors
Each important sub-region within one of the 10 larger regions has its own Governor who acts as the Overgovernor’s representative in that region. “important sub-regions” are almost always towns or cities.
Governors carry out all of the Overgovernor’s responsibilities (taxation, justice, etc.) on a local level, except they have no authority over any of the region’s military forces. Many Governors are cosm natives who are loyal to their Overgovernors.
Level Six: Governors’ Advisors
Like Overgovernors, local Governors have the power to appoint as many advisors or lesser officials as they like, in whatever capacities they feel are necessary. Nearly all Governors’ Advisors are cosm natives. Typical posts include: Governor’s Steward, Governor’s Liaison, Constabulary Adjutant (a sort of liaison with the local military garrison), and Head of City Resources.
Level Seven: Bureaucrats
Bureaucrats are the lowest ranking officials of the Empire. They are responsible for the routine work that keeps the Empire functioning. Bureaucrats are appointed directly by the local governors.
Typical Bureaucrat posts include: City Director of Waste Management, Neighborhood Tax Collector, and City Livery Officer. Again, almost all Bureaucrats are cosm natives.
The Imperial Military
The Imperial shocktrooper is the workhorse of the Nile army. Shocktroopers wear white skirts, sandals, and an Egyptian headdress. They are usually bare-chested, but each has a shawl for cold weather.
Most shocktroopers are enslaved cosm natives (on Earth, though, most shocktroopers serve Mobius willingly for the reasons noted above). Most officers are Khem cultists. There are two enlisted ranks in the Imperial Army: footsoldier and veteran.
The smallest unit in the Imperial Army is a squad consisting of 10 men. In addition to the normal equipment issued to each soldier, every squad is equipped with a Kocha machinegun. Squads are under the command of enlisted veterans.
Four squads make up a platoon. Platoons are commanded by lieutenants, the lowest ranking Imperial officers.
Three platoons make up a company. In addition to the equipment belonging to its platoons, each company has an attached mortar group consisting of five 81mm mortars. Companies are commanded by officers known as veteran lieutenants.
Four companies make up a battalion. Each battalion has an attached artillery group consisting of five 81mm mortars and five l05mm howitzers.
Battalions are commanded by field majors.
Three battalions comprise a wing. The wing is the largest pure infantry formation in the Imperial Army. Wings are commanded by officers known as overmajors.
Akhami Rocket Troopers
Akhami Troopers use the Infantry Organization, but are deployed in squads of 4, and do not have attached ground vehicles or artillery.
Sidebar: Insignia of the Nile
Rank is determined by a armband worn on the bicep. Footsoldiers do not wear one. Veterans wear a plain bronze band. Lieutenants wear a plain silver band, and veteran lieutenants have the Eye of Horus embossed on the band. Field majors wear a gold band, and overmajors add the Eye of Horus to the band. Marshalls, replace the eye with the Ankh. There is no distinction official for the Imperial Marshall. Khufu-Tet simply wears his Akhami armor in battle and a Black and Gold uniform (matching the armor) when he isn’t in combat.
Officers also add a a device to the headband of their headdress representing their Battlegroup.
Super Battlegroup Mobius wears the Mobius Loop.
Al-Hebpsa wears the Ostrich Feather
Amentu-Khaibit wears the Crocodile
Bannerman wears the Scarab
Cuitlauac wears the Jaguar
Khufu-Tet wears the Lapis Lazuli Rearing Cobra
Milton wears the Coatl, previously the insignia was Cat
Natatiri wears the Ankh
Paterksi wears the Owl
Ptah-Hotep wears the Compass
Ramses wears the Ruby Rearing Cobra
Red Hand wears the Vulture
Wu Han wears the Jade Dragon
The smallest armor unit in the Imperial army, the tank platoon, is made up of four tanks. There are Aperehen, Khepera and Cataphract platoons, but the tanks are never mixed in a single unit. Tank platoons are commanded by veteran lieutenants.
Three tank platoons make up a tank company. Tank companies are frequently attached to infantry battalions. Note that some tank platoons are not part of any tank company, and are themselves independently attached to an infantry company or battalion. Tank companies are commanded by field majors. Platoons are rarely mixed in a single tank company.
The largest armor unit in the Imperial Army is the tank force made up of four tank companies. Tank forces are never directly attached to a single infantry unit; they rove, sometimes supporting one unit and sometimes another. Tank forces are commanded by overmajors. The tank companies comprising all tank forces are exclusively made up of Kheperas or Cataphracts. All Aperehen companies remain independent and are attached to infantry units.
In addition to the mortar and howitzer groups attached directly to infantry battalions, there are a number of independent artillery groups known as batteries. Each battery is commanded by a field major and contains 10 105mm howitzers and 10 155mm howitzers. Like tank forces, batteries are assigned to support individual infantry units on a case-by-case basis.
The smallest air unit is the squadron made up of 12 aircraft. Paket fighters, Nekata bombers and Herusent dive bombers, are all organized into squadrons, which are commanded by field majors.
Three squadrons are sometimes organized into a unit known as an air wing. Air wings are commanded by overmajors. All Nekata squadrons are organized into wings.
Most air units are independent and ordered to support various infantry units, depending upon the current situation. Some squadrons are directly attached to infantry battalions and wings.
The Nile does have a navy. On Earth they are used to fight in the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. U-Boats and Djoser-class Destroyers are the backbone of the Navy, with 4 Alexandria-Class Battleships serving as flagships. The Navy falls under the Imperial Marshall, though elements may be placed under the command of Overgovernors whose territory includes significant oceanic territory.
Enlisted ranks are Sailor and Veteran Sailor. Officers include Lieutenant, Veteran Lieutenant, Commander, and Fleet Commander. A ship’s commander is addressed on board as captain regardless of actual rank. Marines also use these ranks.
Imperial Rocket Service
In the cosm, the Empire has a different navy. The Imperial Rocket Service. A space navy. The IRS wears a satiny tunic, trousers and gloves, over heavy boots. An optional helmet is added for action outside the ship. The uniform is boosted to provide protection from the hazards of space, but also provides armor.
Crew and marines both use Naval ranks. Enlisted uniforms are royal blue with gold trim and black boots and belt. Provides Armor Value +3/20 (treat as Irimesh, it would cost 50 royals if you could find it at cost).
Officers wear white trousers and a gold tunic with royal blue trim. Provides Armor Value +5/25 (treat as Hallomesh, cost 150 royals).
Flag Officers uniforms are all white (including the belt and boots) with gold trim. Provides Armor Value +7/30 (these uniforms are custom made and can not be found on the black market).
The belt holds the same field gear as the shocktrooper’s field belt, as well as a holster for their raygun. Some ship’s crew replace the field gear with tool kits and other equipment used to operate the rocket.
The Rocket Service consists of at least 30 Narmer-class War Rockets, with squadrons of 3-4 based at every populated world in the cosm. In addition, there are several hundred transports – most commonly the Flash-class. And thousands of Bennu fighters.
The Imperial Battlegroup
Battlegroups are the large overarching formations that form the basic strategic maneuver element of the Imperial Army. There are 13 Imperial Battlegroups: one overseen by each of the Overgovernors, and the Imperial Advisors, all under the command of Khufu-Tet, the Imperial Marshall.
Every Imperial military unit not serving as a garrison is attached to a Battlegroup. As more soldiers are recruited and more units mustered, each Battlegroup expands (the Battlegroups usually expand in equal proportions, though Overgovernors who are temporarily out of favor often get shortchanged).
At the beginning of the Earth invasion, a full strength Battlegroup consisted of four infantry wings (one of the wings is equipped with Aaka personnel carriers and is considered mobile; the same wing has an attached company of Kheperas), three tank forces (all equipped with Kheperas), two independent Aperehen tank companies, two Paket air wings, one Herusent air wing, and three artillery batteries.
Battlegroups are given the designation “Battlegroup XYZ,” where XYZ is the name of the Battlegroup’s commander (i.e. Battlegroup Wu Han, Battlegroup Ramses, etc.).
At present Battlegroups are much larger and somewhat changed. Each Overgovernor and Advisor has two forces, one in the Cosm and one in the realm. Except Cuitlauac who has no territory in the cosm.
Battlegroup Akhami consists of 2400 Akhami Rocket Troopers, supported by modified bombers or war rockets for long range transportation.
Battlegroups Ramses, Wu-Han and al-Hebpsa are equipped with newer equipment, including Cataphract tanks replacing both older models, and Bennu rockets replacing Paket fighters. Soldiers include one wing of Mikhail and another of Aegema, as well as three standard. Ramses forces on Earth are larger, with 4 wings of Aegema Infantry, One Akhami Wing, 6 Cataphract tank forces, 4 Bennu wings, 2 Herusent wings, and six artillery batteries. In addition the INS Thebes is stationed in the Aegean. The Luxor is at Wu Han’s service in the Persian Gulf. Wu also has his Mandarin Gangsters.
Battlegroups Paterksi, Natatiri and Red Hand use outdated equipment handed down from the previous three units. They make up for this with their own special forces: Secret Police Shock Trooperettes, Sisters of the Serpent, and Gangsters respectively.
Battlegroup Milton has upgraded gear, with Cataphracts and Bennu replacing his Aperehens and Pakets. He also has a wing of Akhami, and a wing of Coatl Troopers. These consist of two battalions equipped with flight belts (MRF 12, cost 600r) and one of coatl shapechangers (shapechange belt System Value 15, cost 700r). The remaining two wings of his infantry are common shocktrooper footsoldiers. Battlegroup Cuitlauac is still being assembled, and lacks most of its armor and air power. They do however have an infantry wing of Jaguar Knights (Shcoktroopers with the Shapechange power granted by their pledge of service to Tezcatlipoca).
The High Priest, Vizier, Builder and Chief Scientist also have battlegroups. These consist primarily of security forces for their respective facilities, as well as test subjects for new equipment.
Super Battlegroup Mobius
The largest Battlegroup in the Imperial Army, Super Battlegroup Mobius, is under the command of the Pharaoh himself. The Super Battle-group consists of six infantry wings (three of the wings are equipped with Aaka personnel carriers and are considered mobile; two of the wings have an attached company of Kheperas), four tank forces (all equipped with Kheperas), four independent Aperehen tank companies, three Paket air wings, two Herusent air wings, two Nekata air wings, and five artillery batteries.
Mobius also counts among his collected forces a number of gospog. In and around the Nile Empire, the gospog are probably the most feared of Mobius’ minions. They are under the direct command of the Pharaoh himself, and are usually dispatched to perform important missions and services.
The only military groupings not attached to Battlegroups are the garrison units that police the cosm natives and maintain order in the Empire’s interior. Garrison units are almost always infantry battalions, though the occasional armor unit crops up on garrison duty.
Dr. Mobius likes to deploy garrisons on a 1:100 ratio. Thus, one infantry battalion (500 men) will be stationed in a region for every 50,000 natives living in that region. Local garrisons fall under the command of the appropriate Overgovernor. Garrison troops are not as well trained as shocktroopers, being more easily swayed by the enemy.
Sidebar: women in the Military
The vast majority of the military is made up of men. But women do serve. Many are found in logistics and other non-combat support services. The Secret Police has a majority of female field agents. And some Overgovernors maintain special units of elite female soldiers.
Trooperettes wear the same uniform as their male counterparts, with the addition of a bra or breast wrap. Personal jewelry is often permitted. The Secret Police Trooperettes – when they are in uniform – wear a black leather version of the uniform.
Khem – The Imperial Throneworld
Ruler: Pharaoh Mobius I
The Throneworld centers on the Nile River. The landmasses match the shape of the realm on Earth. It may be that further territories will manifest from the oceans as the invasion continues. The main continent consists of the swamps of Libya; jungles of Ethiopia, and Nubia; and the deserts of Egypt, Arabia and Persia. North across the sea are the Achaean islands. And far to the west the jungle island of Yucatan, and the forested island of Texas.
The cities the combine classical architecture with deco stylings and ‘modern’ (Tech 21) conveniences. It is orbited by Nine bodies, which are connected to it via Maelstrom Bridges. These are the remnants (both in populace and material resources) of the previous nine empires. Imperial Shocktroopers, Tanks and Propaganda posters are everywhere – much like a certain nation in Terran Europe. Fighters, Kadesh Zeppelins and Akhami Rocket Troopers can often be seen in the air.
Thebes is dominated by the palace complex of the Pharaoh. Numerous garrisons are stationed throughout. Major wings include the Great Hall, Mobius’ private tower, coneected to his labs, pleasuredome and the dungeons. The entire palace is honeycombed with secret passages, escape devices, and booby traps.
An Omegatron is housed in the dungeons – Doctor Mobius most fear torture device. [Intimidation:Interrogation 25, Damage Value 22. When a victim would be killed, he is reconstituted to one wound. The victim can not fully heal while attached to the machine.]
The rest of the city is a showcase. Dissent and defiance of Imperial law is swiftly punished. The mansions of Mobius’ courtiers, monuments to his greatness, and discrete residences for the functionaries needed to make it all work.
Karnak houses the Imperial high priests palace, and the temple complex. Luxor houses the bureaucracy, treasury the college of mathematics, society of engineers, and other government buildings. Both house numerous factories and the residences of commoners.
In addition to bridges crossing the Nile from Luxor and Karnak to Thebes, there is a Maelstrom Bridge connecting the Throneworld of Khem to Ra.
Not merely a searchlight or navigational beacon, the Lighthouse is in fact the Artificial Sun. A part of the massive 72,000 square foot, marble, sandstone and lapis lazuli Grand Temple of Ra. The Lighthouse is a tower manned by soldiers and secret police agents, which controls the artificial sun itself. The gizmo rises to a height of 40 miles above the world, providing light and heat to the worlds of the cosm.
It also serves as a watch post scanning for unauthorized rockets approaching the Throneworld. [Find +10], and can be used as a weapon – though only by the Pharaoh himself [D55 A6 (recharges 1/month, Khefertiri may recharge faster.) R 0-60km/100km/150km B 0-1.5km/2.5km/4km)
Pyramid of Mobius
Based on the designs of the former Royal Builder Muab, this monument to the eternal pharaoh is still under construction. The structure when finished will be 1 kilometer to a side, weighing four hundred million tons, and generating 20 possibilities for each cycle. Nearly a thousand engineers, priests, mathematicians, and scientists, supported by a battalion of shocktroopers. The labor force consists of slaves – captured rebels and political prisoners. The troops purpose is to protect the experts and heavy machinery. No effort is made to keep them from escaping. Escape into the desert is a death sentence. Still the work force is far short of the estimated 100,000 – so the construction may well take much longer than the planned twenty years. The cost of the pyramid is immense, and only the fantastic wealth of the cosm makes it possible.
When the Pyramid of Mobius is finished it will power the Artificial Sun recharging one charge per cycle.
Sidebar: Traveling in the Cosm
Both ends of every Maelstrom Bridge are secured by a garrison force of a Shocktrooper Platoon, 4 Aperehens, 5 81mm and 5 105mm Howitzers.
Crossing a Bridge requires Travel Papers. These cost 50 royals, plus 10 royals per additional bridge crossed (including return trips). They may be purchased legally from the local government offices – if the applicant has no questionable records. Suspected dissidents and criminals not in the employ of Doctor Mobius make buy or create forged papers. Black Market Papers require a Streetwise check, difficulty 15, and cost 25% more. A specific contact in the form of a forger or the like reduces the check by your contacts rating.
Forging papers requires a Forgery check of at least difficulty 15.
It is also possible to to purchase Unlimited Travel Papers for 1000 royals per year. This option is preferable for those who have access to a transport rocket.
Ra (formerly Delf) – World of Temples
Ruler: Imperial High Priest Amentu-Khaibit
Orbit: 2 days
Ra is hot and dry, and in perpetual daylight – except for the occasional Solar Eclipse, which are considered to be ill omens.
The largest city on Ra is Heliopolis, a series of palatial temples. At the very heart is the Grand Temple of Ra, a massive complex consisting not merely of the temple itself, but also the High Priests’ palaces, dormitories for their subordinates, and an aviary filled with hawks – Ra’s sacred animal.
South of the Grand Temple across a courtyard containing the Maelstrom Bridge to Khem, is the Osiris temple complex. Working clockwise from there are: Anubis, Nepthys, Nut, Set, Ptah, Isis, and Horus. Beyond those, mingled with the actual city, are the temples of the lesser gods of the Annead. The Bridge to Isis is set between the temples of Ra and Isis.
North of Heliopolis is Crocodilopolis, the temple of Sebek. This is where the Imperial High priest resides when he is on the moon.
The temple leadership is mostly Evil. The priests who aren’t, either are ineffectual appointees – chosen for their inability to threaten the status quo, or secret rebels – using their positions to spy on Mobius’ minions.
Isis (formerly Garr) – Garden Spot
Ruler: Overgovernor Natatiri
Orbit: 3 days
Isis is warm, and fertile, with many bodies of both fresh and salt water, as well as oases, farmland and jungles. Many nobles of the Cosm have palaces dotting the landscape. Garr was the homeworld of two races, the Bastet and Sobeki. The Sobeki – Edeinos – lived in the equatorial zone. The Bastet populated the more temperate zones.
Felix Bannerman has made Isis the home of the Royal College of Mathematics. The College is a grand structure – part school for the apprentices and initiates, part repository for the secrets of magic, and part the palace Bannerman built himself. A vast, sprawling, collection of buildings making a veritable city unto themselves. Beyond that is Philae, the capital. A beautiful city of canals and white sandstone buildings. The heart of the city is the Grand Temple.
Once this belonged to Isis. But the Daughters of Isis rebelled against the Empire. They failed. The temple, and the acolytes, were given to the Sisters of the Serpent. Those who would not serve willingly were sold into slavery as house girls for the many noble’s mansions dotting the moon. The Daughters themselves managed to escape into hiding. The Magestic Cinema was a theater capable of seating a thousand, with a full restaurant, and facilities for hosting live performances, including a circus. But mismanagement, and the gangster who owned it taking the long sleep courtesy of a mystery man known as the Scorpion, left the building empty for years. Then one day it was gone. No one quite remembers when, or how. It was just gone. The Daughters used a massive illusion spell to make the entire building vanish. Now it is their secret headquarters, as well as a place for runaway slaves to hide until they can be evacuated to Earth.
There is a portal to Khartoum in Philae. It opens every three days, when Isis rises above Khem. The location changes each time. Mathematicians can predict the location [difficulty 22]. Presently, Natatiri is not on good terms with Bannerman, and he has assigned her the least skilled of the Grand Deans. So the Daughters can find the portal before it opens, while the overgovernor sometimes finds it with only hours to spare before it moves again.
The Bridge to Ra is in the courtyard of the Temple of Wadjet, The Bridge to Osiris is near the College of Mathematics.
Sidebar: Bastet and Sobeki
Garr had two native species prior to the invasion, a feline race known to the empire as Bastet, and Edeinos saurians – referred to as Sobeki for their resemblance to the Crocodile god Sebek.
Bastet Males average two and a quarter meters. Their manes traditionally were grown long – but as slaves they are forced to shave them. Their bodies are nearly solid muscle, averaging 150kg lifting capacity – though a ton or more is not unheard of. This makes them quite desirable for work in mining or construction. Their claws are sharp enough to cut through armor.
Females are smaller, comparable in size to human females, though much faster and flexible. They are also considered attractive by human standards. Which is my they are generally found as house slaves for the rich and powerful. Females tails are semi-prehensile [DEX and STR-5].
The Bastet were a tribal race, with technology comparable to the medieval period on Earth. Not much threat to the Nile war machine. Today they suffer under the whips of their overseers. Waiting for a hero to unite them and lead them in an uprising.
The native Edeinos fared differently. They saw the power of the invaders, and made a deal. Now they serve as spies. Watching from the sewers and other places no one would willingly go. Listening for dissidents, following suspected rebels.
Osiris (formerly Crarus)
Ruler: Overgovernor Janya Paterksi
Orbit: 5 days
Osiris has one rotation for each revolution, meaning 120 hour “days.” For 60 hours it is hot and sunny, and the next 60 it is cold and dark. The moon possesses many mines: iron, gold, gems, salt and more. Its cities are built around foundries and factories to transform raw ores into finished goods. Tanks and Fighters for the Imperial War Machine, as well as civilian products.
Ferropolis, the capital, is covered by smog, and coated in soot. The palace is home to the central bureaucracy, a front for the secret police. The Bridge to Isis is near the palace. Paterksi herself doesn’t live in the palace. During her stays on Osiris, she maintains at least a dozen safe houses.
The Grand Temple of Osiris is in Ferropolis. A few of the priests are known to support the rebels, but the temple itself maintains a strict adherence to the law. For now, the secret police ignore the occasional healing, knowing they can use that fact to catch a big fish later on.
The Bridge to Horus extends out over the polluted river.
Horus (formerly Vestal)
Ruler: Overgovernor Ramses
Orbit: 7 days, passing directly over the capital on Tuesday.
A moderate climate supports farmlands.
The moon’s most prominent structure is the Imperial Military Academy. Ramses himself presides, though a commandant handles the day to day while the Overgovernor leads the troops in Greece on Earth. Academy cadets are the sons of the wealthiest of Mobius’ followers. Ramses sees that money and power alone does not ensure graduation. If called upon, the academy can boast a wing of infantry and a tank force to add to the garrison forces of the moon. Bridges to both Osiris and Nut are near the academy.
In addition to the military academy, Horus hosts the Grand Temple of Horus, which serves as a university for physicians and other attendants of the House of Life, the temple’s hospital. Male priests are initially sent to serve as chaplains in the army, while females are almost always trained as healers.
Nut (formerly Oran)
Ruler: Lord Milton Avery is Overgovernor.
Orbit: 11 days
Consisting of mountains and canyons, travel requires the use of aircraft. Balloons, gliders, Zeppelins, Auto-gyros, planes and even the new Bennu Rocket planes may be found in the skies of Nut.
The floating city of Nimbus is a military Air Base. Both the Air and Rocket Corps are trained at Nimbus, and a shipyard constructs new Rockets. At least a half dozen War Rockets are stationed from Nut at all times, ready to respond to uprisings or piracy anywhere in the cosm. The bridges to both Horus and Nepthys are on Nimbus.
Lord Avery keeps the city of Cumulus as his own private palace and movie studio. An advantage of its remote nature is that any actors, or actresses, he sends there are unable to escape.
The Hawkmen, considered the chosen of Horus, once lived in the cloud cities of Oran. But for their defiance they are now forced to live on the surface, and used as slave labor, mining for the ores needed to construct the Rockets and aircraft of the moon. A small number have been conscripted, or volunteered for military service, and act as airborne infantry.
Hawkmen are human in appearance, with the addition of a set of feathered wings which emerge from their shoulder blades. These wings are knee length, and produce a wingspan of about ten feet for full grown adult. Wing coloration usually corresponds to the feathery hair of the individual.
Nepthys (formerly Relter)
Ruler: Queen Xuneira (not recognized by the Empire)
Orbits: 13 days
A water world. Heavy cloud cover, and regular rainfall, lead to the surface being cold and dark. The seas themselves moreso. However a few islands dotting the surface mark locations of geothermal activity. This provides both heat and light for the moon’s small population.
The largest of the islands is the location of both bridges, linking Nut to Ptah. The garrison is unaware of the presence of a native population.
Deep beneath the sea hides the city of Amastis. Amastis once was a surface city, and is covered by a great crystalline dome. A telescoping launch tube breaks the surface to allow rockets to come and go. The majority of the Amazons worship Sekhmet. They gladly act as pirates in the service of their queen, raiding traffic from Ptah and Anubis with the inner moons and Khem. These pirates are most interested in luxury goods, Eternium batteries and other rare, valuable components. And men. Captured rocket crews are taken back to Amastis and sold to the highest bidder.
The queen has a War Rocket flagship, the Scorpion. But most raiding parties work in wolf packs of three to twelve heavily armed transport rockets.
A lesser portion of the populace secretly worship Neith, and loath the criminal nature of their society. But they lack a leader, to unite them and launch a revolt.
Ptah (formerly Liu)
Ruler: Overgovernor Wu Han
Orbit: 17 days
A single, pole to pole, city of the future. Grand, deco towers rise to impossible heights. Everything is bright and shiny, a marvel of Engineering. Yet more of the Empires industrial capacity comes from Ptah. A significant portion of the city is designated “Chinatown” due to the large Mandarin population.
There is an appearance of law and order, with subtle corruption and crime. Protection and extortion rackets, gambling and vice are hidden from casual sight.
Social strata are literal. The Poverty Line is at 40m. At that level, there is a second street level. The destitute of Ptah live their lives cut off from the sun. [Characters who live here might consider the Nightvision advantage and Lightblind disadvantage.]
Immediately above the Poverty Line are the Working Poor. At 120m, a series of streets and bridges mark the third strata, the Middle Class. From 240m to 300m live the Well Off (again with their own streets). The mansions of the Rich begin at 300m, and can rise to as high as 500m.
A vast area, over a three miles across, is set aside for the palace of Wu Han. A “Forbidden City” with no towers – an extravagance. From here the Mandarin Guard run both the government and the underworld.
The Society of Engineers is based from one of the largest structures in the cosm. A massive tower, two hundred fifty meters in diameter, and a sixteen hundred meters tall. Most of the lower building is a hollow shell, permitting construction projects to be done inside, and the finished product to exit via bay doors.
The outer walls are 15 meters of steel reinforced concrete (TOU 50). And ground level are the slave dormitories. The main entrance, and the bulk of Battlegroup Ptah-Hotep, are at 250m.
There is some considerable collaboration with the Weird Science Institute. It is rumored they are currently building a Palace Rocket, a dreadnought more powerful than the entire Imperial Fleet.
The top 75m are workshops, offices, the records room, and other facilities for the Engineers.
Underground, below the sewers, subways, and service tunnels, there is a secret base, built by renegade Engineers. It is the headquarters of the Ghost Brotherhood, a group of martial artists, dedicated to the overthrow of the empire. And below that, there is a portal to Cairo on Earth.
The Bridge to Nepthys stretches across the Eastern Sea. The Bridge to Anubis is nearly hidden in a cul de sac in the lowest levels of the city.
Anubis (formerly Stanhope)
Ruler: Overgovernor Red Hand
Orbit: 29 days
Ptah’s dark twin. Everything is rusted, run down, always dark, and it seems as if it has just rained. The authorities are all on the take, and a shadowy Syndicate is the real power. And presiding over this Underworld Moon is the Red Hand.
Once, everything was gleaming bronze, today; dirty green, covered in graphiti, with rampant vandalism.
The palace of Red Hand was built to resemble the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago – though set atop 75 floors of lesser buildings.
Red Hand’s Syndicate consists of the four most powerful families on Anubis: the Ethopians on the East Side, Nubians on the South Side, Italians on the West Side, and Greeks on the North Side. Smaller gangs and rackets, such as the Carthaginians, Irish, and Persians, are allowed to exist – serving as proxies and scapegoats for the big leagues. So long as they don’t get too big.
A secret society of Mystery Men lives in the shadows of Anubis. They emerge to visit justice upon the criminal overlords, and then return to the darkness.
The far side of Anubis is a demi-continent, referred to as the Plain of Junk (or Sea of Scrap). The refuse and debris of nine cosms litters this field. Archaeological sites of untold value have long since been picked clean of anything of obvious worth. Buried beneath the surface, there is more. Hidden in tunnels that lead to the Land Below.
The Bridges to Ptah and Set look to be in failing condition. The former marks the boundaries between the Four Families of the Syndicate. The latter is hidden in the rubble of the Plain of Junk.
Set (formerly Saren)
Ruler: Overgovernor Madib al-Hebpsa
Orbit: 73 days
Being the most distant part of the Cosm, Dr. Mobius has established the Weird Science Institute (headed by Imperial Chief Scientist, Professor Atom) here. He has entrusted Madib al-Hebpsa as overgovernor, though that worthy does not have a palace, and is an absentee ruler – preferring to remain on Earth for the most part.
A Dark world of perpetual storms (including Reality Storms in the vicinity of the secret Maelstrom Bridge connecting Set to Terra). Except for the WSI, the moon is unpopulated. This has allowed a small Martian Observation Post and staging base to be established near the North Pole, hidden by EM Radiation.
The Bridge to Anubis opens to the Institute itself, as there is nothing else on the moon.
Sidebar: Space Travel in the Cosm
Outer space in Khem’s cosm is not the same as in most realities.
There is no actual vacuum, though prolonged exposure to space isn’t healthy. A Rocket Service Uniform (or similar suit) with gloves and helmet on, will protect the wearer. If the rocketman isn’t wearing his helmet and/or gloves, or his suit suffers a leak, he faces strange cosmic rays, suffering damage value 9 (armor does count) after one minute. Damage increases according to the time value exposed, with damage taken each additional round. Stories of rocketmen gaining strange powers from radiation exposure are unsubstantiated. Most forms of armor do not provide protection against radiation.
At a speed value of 19 (the standard speed of most rockets), it takes one hour per day of orbital rotation to reach any moon. Travel from one moon to another is more complicated. At their closest, the distance is found by subtracting the inner moon’s orbit from the outer one. Otherwise, add the two moon’s orbits together to determine travel time. GM’s may decide the current travel time is anywhere in between these two values.
Rockets with different speed values adjust travel times accordingly.
THE TENTH EMPIRE AND OTHER REALMS
Kingdom of the Lower Nile
Doctor Mobius faked his death while he searched for the Khefertiri Idol. And while the cat was away, the mice decided to play. Ramses and Paterksi formed an alliance, with nominal control of the military. Red Hand and Natatiri formed their own alliance, with Avery as a co-conspirator. Both tried to compel the other two overgovernors to join up.
And with the de facto leaders of the empire too busy scrabbling over the throne, they took their eyes off the forces of Good.
Khemintiri was the daughter of Sesetek, Mobius closest confidant. And like her father, she was a member of the priesthood. But, such close proximity to the Pharaoh allowed her to understand just how evil he truly was. When she overheard Mobius planning to force her into marriage, she turned against him, and allied with a band of Desert Nomads. Over five years, the band grew, and struck ever more vital targets. Freeing prisoners, sabotaging mega-weapons, and generally thwarting the villainous forces of the Nile.
As the overgovernors battled, Khemintiri united her nomad army with the Mystery Men, Amazons, and allied with Mossad and the Sword of Saladin. With a coordinated series of strikes, her army liberated the Nile from the Mediterranean to Aswan. As well as most of Libya. This, she proclaimed to be the Nile Kingdom. And though she didn’t intend to take the throne for herself, that was where she found herself.
It was Khemintiri’s hope that the Nile would become an ally to Earth’s greatest nations. But Mobius was a step ahead. He moved against Tharkold and the Aztecs in the Yucatan, pressing the Americans into a non-aggression pact. As such, America, and her allies can not provide aid to the Nile Kingdom.
An exotic beauty in her early thirties, with a keen mind and a devotion to the gods. Khemintiri was raised among the elite of Khem, born to rule. If she had remained loyal, she would have been her father’s heir, as well as Mobius’ Queen of the hour. Instead, those abilities have made her the Nile’s best hope for independence.
Royal High Priest Akhtemankh
A high priest of Horus, who has served the Falcon lord for twenty-five years. He is very sincere in his beliefs, and fears that the queen’s laws permitting religious freedom will offend the gods. On his weekly, Tuesday Night radio sermons, he advises greater piety.
Royal Vizier Honskhate
Eighty-three years old, and absent minded – some would say senile. But in matters of Mathematics he is as sharp as ever.
Royal Builder Adjaerrer
Adjaerrer is ambitious. He wants to create monuments that will stand the test of time. But the queen instructs him to build dams, roads, houses. And so his latest project, New Aswan Dam, is both. A functional structure, intended to once again curb the annual Inundation. But it is also a monument to the gods, and the queen.
Royal Marshall Sethnes
Chieftain of the Desert Nomads, and one of the queen’s closest friends. His strategies allowed their forces to experience victory after victory. So it was no surprise that he would be appointed to lead the army of their new kingdom.
Sethnes knows that the Nile Kingdom is over-extended, and needs both allies and a source of equipment.
Royal Science Advisor Shutepe
Not as flashy as Mobius’ more famous scientists. Shutepe was a prisoner in one of the many weird science research centers. He did his job, and didn’t attract much attention to himself. So it came as a shock when Khemintiri chose him for the post of Chief Scientist.
Shutepe worked on the Artificial Sun, the Robo-Sphinx, and even the Akhami Rocket Suit. He is an expert on Mobius’ top weapons. He knows Professor Atom, how he thinks, what he would build in a given circumstance, and can build a counter-weapon.
Districts of the Kingdom
Overgovernor Rex McMasters is a Terran expatriate. One of the few who didn’t return home after Mobius was presumed dead. While his Mystery Men peers felt it necessary to return and fight in the World War that was raging, Rex had built a life on Earth. And he was not convinced Mobius was dead. A belief that was proven right.
A private investigator, with connections to the Silver Scarab, he was instrumental in the overthrow of Wu Han and the Cairo Mobs. Khemintiri immediately appointed him to run the Nile delta district. Rex is uncomfortable with being in such a public office, and has started work on a free election to replace himself. But he is concerned that the mobs – not quite as defunct as advertised – will muscle in and rig the actual voting.
Overgovernor Azzam is an Earth born aristocrat. Held as a political prisoner from the birth of the empire, he was among the many Khemintiri rescued. He joined her band as a freedom fighter. Then moved on to become her cultural advisor. And then her paramour. So it is not a surprise that she has appointed him prince of Luxor, with authority over the central portion of the Nile Kingdom.
The Luxor Province sees continual acts of terror, as the Sons of the Prophet seek to avenge Mecca. Despite the fact that Mobius now occupies Arabia and Persia, and the end of persecution of Muslims in the realm, the Sons focus on attacking the iconic heart of Egypt. If there were more live targets in the vicinity of the Valley of the Kings it would be a vital target. This sort of ruthless villainy has strained relations between the government and Muslim citizens, as well as the Swords of Saladin agency.
Imunyme and Senese share the post of Overgovernor.
Imunyme was a detective in the Nile’s police forces. He placed the Law over his concern for Good or Evil. He apprehended heroes fighting against Mobius, while ignoring the terrible actions of those in power.
Senese was a con-artiste and jewel thief. And one of the few minds in all the Nile who could challenge him. Their game of cat and mouse turned to romantic flirtation. And when she stole the Crown of Nefertiti from Milton Avery – a treasure that Avery himself had also stolen, Imunyme was confronted with the “justice” of the Nile. And turned against his masters.
Today they are married, and use their mastery off strategy, deduction and knowledge of hundreds of arcane facts to keep Natatiri, Red Hand and Janya Peterksi busy and unsuccessful.
Queen Hippolyta Kosmos rules the island of Hespera and the eastern half of Libya. With the Amazons no longer a secret, she realized it was her duty to defend the weak and helpless. And so the Amazons joined with the other rebel forces across the realm, and swiftly proved a major asset in driving out the forces of Evil.
Amazon soldiers and mystics are finding it difficult to gain the support of the Libyan people, as many retain their Islamic beliefs, and find the Amazons to be heathens of the worst sort. This has lead the region to face some of the worst terrorist activities of the Kingdom – second only to Luxor.
Eastern Libya is a major producer of Oil and relies almost entirely on imported good. This has lead to resumption of economic ties with Europe. Despite the EU’s hesitancy to fully recognize the Nile Kingdom.
Tripoli is presently between Overgovernors. A Desert Nomad Chieftain, Mutahu, was appointed by the Queen. But he was cut down by New Barbary Coast Pirates. Lead by Eganar, a massive powerhouse of a man, they intend to turn western Libya into an independent nation, resurrecting ancient Phoenicia. They have a large fleet of ships, both wooden sailing vessels, and modern diesel powered, and have been preying on traffic throughout the Mediterranean. Most troubling is that the Russians have not been attacked by them, and have not committed their navy to the matter. This makes many in Thebes suspect that Inform is supporting the pirates.
The Provincial Army – such as it is – has retreated to Misrata, and awaits reinforcements to drive the pirates back out of the country.
Upper Nile Provinces
Natatiri is nominally allied with Red Hand. However in practice both are focused on their own concerns. Natatiri, and her Sisters of the Serpent, directly border the Nile Kingdom, and so she is more often involved in plots to conquer the realm. Unfortunately, the Sky Hawks are in the skies above, and the Mystery Men are in the streets of Khartoum. And the priestesses of Nepthys are actively involved in the final overthrow of the Serpent Sisters.
Red Hand has had his own problems. Busus have come up from the Land Below into the Land of the Dead, freeing his slaves, and loosing them to once again threaten his hold on Addis Abbaba. This has left the Hand suddenly strapped for cash, as he works to regain control.
Chad and the Central African Republic
Paterksi has her battlegroup engaged in defensive actions, while her Secret Police fight the Russians both in C.A.R. And New Alexandria. She is also quite involved in working to undermine the usurpers in Thebes. Her greatest coup was literally that. She fomented a band of pirates to take Tripoli, and has made Khemintiri believe that Russia is behind it. Now she plans to sit back, like a spider in her web, and wait for the Nile Kingdom to destroy itself.
Ramses has made his new seat of power in Athens, and controls a realm set almost entirely beyond the borders of his own reality. He knows it can’t last forever, but hopes to buy enough time for Mobius to provide him with the stelae he needs to control Greece and take Istanbul. (Or New Troy as he has already proclaimed it.) He knows that victory in this will make him look all the better, and secure him the post of Imperial Marshall as soon as Khufu-Tet fails.
The gods of Olympus have withdrawn all aid from the Nile. And a band of Mystery Men, claiming to be Demigods has appeared to battle ramses on land, sea, and air.
Abeiron: Son of Zeus, Super Strength, Lightning Spear
Dianthe: Daughter of Aphrodite, Super Charisma, Emotion Control:Love
Parthenope: Daughter of Poseidon, Water Breathing, Water Wall/Blast
Khrysaor: Son of Ares, Super Strength, Endurance and Boosted Bronze Breastplate and Xiphos (Sword)
Aeton: Son of Hermes, Super Agility and Running
Selene: Daughter of Hecate, Pulp Sorcery (Energy Bolt, Telekinesis, Invisibility)
Arabia and Persia
Following the recovery of the Khefertiri Idol, Doctor Mobius initiated a new invasion of Earth. Fresh troops from the cosm flooded down a new Maelstrom Bridge into Riyahd, establishing nine zones across central Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Oman. In a surprise move, 7710 replaced a stelae on the coast of Iran with a one left unplanted by 3327. This put the UAE and northern Oman under a mixed zone of Nile and Marketplace reality.
Superbattlegroup Mobius captured the Saudi family in the first few minutes of the invasion. He compelled the Arab people to surrender for their safety. Only a handful of diehards joined the Sword of Saladin (or the Sons of the Prophet) and continue to fight a partisan battle.
Sidebar: Marketplace-Nile Mixed Zone
Magic 12 Social 22 Spirit 17 Tech 25 Laws of Morality, Action, Drama, Intrigue, Profit and Vengeance
Characters must be Good or Evil. But 1 in 10 supposed Good people will actually be Evil. They gain a bonus +3 to their Spirit to avoid Inclination Detection.
Later efforts to expand through the Empty Quarter, and capture Yemen were thwarted by Storm Knights. However, the near success did open portals to the Mythic Pocket Dimension. At times, this region is now the home to the Sultanate of Alkhali. It is a fantastic city of djinn, flying carpets, and fantastic magics. And the Sultan has given refuge to the Sword of Saladin, providing them with a home, food, water, and the encouragement they need to keep up the fight.
Dubai has become a shadowy battleground. Wu Han’s Mandarin Guards, 7710’s Ninja and MarSec agents, and Storm Knights, operate – not in the open. Each faction has hidden safe houses. They move against each others assets. And bodies are found in alleyways every morning. But oil keeps flowing to the rest of Earth, and Marketplace.
To fully cement his reign over Arabia, and distract from his efforts in Mexico, the Pharaoh announced his marriage to a Saudi Princess. This has been a great victory for him, as it has largely ended religious based resistance from the general population.
Inform has been providing aid to Yemen, insuring that the Nile will pay dearly for any attempt to capture the small state.
Days ago, as this document is being compiled, Battlegroups Madib and Wu Han rolled north. Wu Han has claimed Kuwait, Basra, and the Iranian border. And Madib al-Hebpsa has captured the former city of Baghdad. Shockingly, in this post-Mecca world, the city has been transformed into Babylon. The entire zone is a pure zone of Nile reality, and the Hanging Gardens and Ziggurat of Aqar Quf have been restored to pristine glory. The Iraqi – or Babylonian – people have accepted their new reality readily.
Most surprising is that the Babylonian gods have not reappeared in the same way as the Olympic and Aesir pantheons. Speculation is that either there has not been enough awareness, or worship of the Babylonian gods, thus they have not returned. The other popular theory is that Doctor Mobius has done something to keep them quiet. Perhaps this will change given time.
It would only take about a dozen stelae – moving west from Babylon, or north and east through Greece and Turkey – and the bulk of the Middle East would belong to the Empire.
As Mobius was starting the invasion of Arabia, Texas came under invasion by Basjas. Nolava dropped six stelae, forming a large triangle centered around the Nile-Earth Mixed Zone. Unfortunately for Basjas, there was a complication in the two realities coming into conflict. The Pulp Noir and Pulp Adventure were too close in nature, and as a result, Nolava didn’t get a strong foothold. The original zone remained a stable Nile-Earth Mixed Zone. The San Antonio zone, which held the Maelstrom Bridge, actually managed to begin as a Pure Zone, while the Corpus Christi and Lake Charles Zones started out Dominant.
But, as Storm Knights fought to bring in essential supplies, and eliminate gospog fields, the zones began slipping. Within a year, the Dominant zones had become Nile-Earth Mixed zones, and the Pure Zone slipped to a chaotic mixture of all three realities. Resulting in the Bridge being lost. Basjas abandoned the realm for a new attempt in the west.
The big winner in all this was The Baron. With his control of the trains, he controlled the flow of food, medicine, and other essentials. As well as the flow of oil out. He also used the threats of wilderness creatures for a massive protection racket, gobbling up ownership of oil wells and cattle ranches.
Before the invasion, The Baron was an ordinary man, with a modest business portfolio. After the Nile arrived, he faked his own death, killing his daughter in the process, and became a villain. Thus began his rise to dominating almost half the state of Texas.
Despite his power – or perhaps because of it – no one in authority even believes he exists. Certainly, he has politicians and police in his pocket. And he has largely destroyed the Texas Rangers – making the remnants into vigilantes. Team Omega, and the Federal Government have yet to find any overt, actionable, activities to merit overstepping the local authorities.
The Baron has made overtures to the Pharaoh, and has hopes of becoming a part of the Nile’s criminal overclass. Mobius is impressed by his initiative. But has no plans to resume the invasion of America any time soon.
After Mobius return, Ramses and Paterksi needed to get back into his good graces. And their plan was to capture Berlin, and establish support for a full Nile invasion of Germany. Unfortunately, Marsec, the Army of the Light, and Storm Knights all rallied to support the Zonder Zone.
As things now stand, the city has been permanently altered, with each zone a stable mixed zone of the alien reality and Earth. And most of those zones are being cooperative. Only New Alexandria and the Tharkoldu Occupation Zone haven’t chosen to cooperate. And as a result of their military actions, the zone has been occupied, and disarmed.
Presently, a force of Church Police, Knights, Marsec Agents, Victorian Infantry, and Zondern Commandoes, patrol the region, with the Nile garrison officially disbanded. Local Mystery Men have welcomed this, and are working to place the district back under local authority by legal methods.
Axioms of the Aztec Empire
Magic Axiom: 14
Although all four types of magic are possible in the Aztec Empire, the sorcerous arts are rarely used. When they are, Aztec magic is often found to be similar to Nile magic, in that both realms have extensive knowledge of astronomy, mathematics and engineering.
Use of magic is frowned upon in this realm, however, as the High Lord fears anyone with such skill might one day pose a threat to his power. The stated reason for the low esteem is that a citizen who wishes a supernatural occurrence to take place is supposed to ask the gods for aid, not take matters into his own hands.
There have been instances of realm residents blessed by the gods with magical abilities, but these have been exceedingly rare.
Social Axiom: 20
A relatively large religious bureaucracy exists within the Aztec Empire to carry out the will of Huitzilopochtli and the Chachalmeca. Rigid castes exist and complex trading relationships have sprung up between the Aztecs and those nations foolish enough to believe exchanging goods will stave off invasion.
A huge amount of resources and manpower are poured into making the military machine run efficiently. The Aztec Empire is able to field massive, well-trained and well-disciplined armies and knowledge of the chain of command is all-important. A soldier who disobeys an order does not live to disobey another.
Unlike the Cyberpapacy, not even the pretense of maintaining a civil government is attempted. All major decisions are made by the priesthood, with military operations coordinated between them and the generals. A battle not favored by the gods will not be waged. Warriors who have attempted to bribe the priests to gain favorable omens have been put to death.
There is very little political discontent within the Aztec Empire. Most of the transformed believe that the strong must rule the weak, an excellent argument for expanding the realm. Those who retain Core Earth’s reality organize in small cells, but even there, it is difficult to coordinate a mass resistance movement. Too many feel that the Aztec Empire is restoring the glory of ancient Mexico and will punish those who have exploited the nation’s people for so long.
Spiritual Axiom: 17
Religion is key to many aspects of life in the Aztec Empire. The realm is a theocracy led by the Chachalmeca (the high priest/High Lord), with the priesthood and military castes the most important.
Most Aztec residents have some knowledge of the gods and their powers, but few have been gifted with the ability to discern the will of the gods. All accept the fact that sacrifices must be made to retain the gods’ favor and consider it an honor to be chosen for death. Certain temples within the realm are believed to be imbued with the power of the god to whom they are dedicated. Adventurers who brave the perils of these places maybe rewarded with an encounter with a gods’ manifestation.
Technological Axiom: 16
The Aztec Empire’s Tech axiom is somewhat deceiving – although higher than that of Aysle, it refers primarily to their knowledge of science and architecture rather than equipment and weaponry extant in the realm. The Aztec Empire has access to relatively advanced concepts of engineering, astronomy and mathematics.
In fact, although musketry is possible at level 16, nothing of the sort is used in the realm. Huitzilopochtli’s love for the ancient Aztec culture has limited weaponry to javelins, dart blowers, bows and arrows, daggers and clubs called macanas. An Aztec attack will usually be prefaced by an “artillery barrage” of arrows and spears followed by hand-to-hand fighting. The latter tends to be more devastating than the former, as the Aztec macanas were commonly studded with sharpened pieces of obsidian.
World Laws of the Aztec Empire
Huitzilopochtli, like any Darkness Device, exists for the sole purpose of inspiring destructive acts. It is for this reason that, although its memory has returned, the Device remains enamored of the Aztec civilization. Under Huitzilopochtli’s corrupting influence, the original Aztecs turned to conquest and blood sacrifice to impress their gods, something that is being repeated in the modern-day Mexico of the Aztec Empire.
The Law of Sacrifice
Huitzilopochtli demands sacrifices from among its followers, as did many of the gods of the Aztec pantheon. Any character of the Aztec reality may gain the benefits of performing such a sacrifice,even if he is not a follower of the High Lord.
There are certain restrictions imposed by this law. A sacrifice to the Aztec gods must be performed with a melee weapon made of obsidian, be it dagger, sword or spear, and the name of the god to whom the sacrifice is being made must be invoked at the time of the killing (see scholar (Aztec lore, below). Victims must be prone, conscious and unwilling or unable to resist (this applies to human sacrifices only – animal sacrifices must be on an obsidian altar when slain).
Animals, non-believers and believers can be sacrificed for the greater glory of the Aztec gods. The successful sacrifice of an animal bestows upon the worshipper an up condition for one round. It must be used within an hour of the sacrifice or it is lost.
Slaying a believer in the Aztec pantheon provides the worshipper with an up condition for one round that must be used within the next day or it is lost.
Sacrificing an enemy of the faith (the most difficult type, as they are so rarely willing to be killed) earns the worshipper two up rounds that must be used within the next day or be lost.
The Law of Divine Will
It is of paramount importance that the wishes of the various gods be heeded. Failure to do so condemns the individual to eternal punishment, not to mention helping to bring about the fall of the realm as a whole.
Naturally. one cannot carry out the will of the gods unless one knows what it is. It is for that reason that the most respected members of the priest class are possessed of the will of the gods miracle, which allows them to consult with the deities and determine their views on a given matter. Those wishing to take advantage of this world law must consult with such a cleric to learn the deity’s wishes before embarking on a course of action.
Once the will of the gods has been divined (say, the gods think capturing a Nile spy in the area is a very good idea), the character will receive a +2 bonus to any action that brings him nearer to achieving that goal. Any action that runs contrary to that goal suffer a -2 penalty.
This condition remains in effect until the goal has been achieved or the character converts to another faith.
The Law of Conquest
The Aztec Empire is a warlike, militaristic realm, far more so than even the Nile Empire. Huitzilpochtli has built this trait into the world laws to guarantee a steady supply of death and destruction.
The Aztec Empire must remain in armed conflict with someone at all times – these wars can range from something as minor as raiding nearby villages for food and gold to a massive attack on a neighboring country.
If the Aztecs go three months without going to war with someone, they must enter into “wars of the feather'” among themselves. These are mock wars between different Aztec armies, which frequently escalate into large scale bloodbaths. Too many of these “practice conflicts” could sorely deplete the supply of Aztec warriors and so are to be avoided.
Aztec Empire characters traveling outside of the realm must also enter into combat with someone (be it a fist fight or a firefight – some kind of physical conflict) within a given period of time. Read the character’s reality skill or Spirit value as days – if he does not enter into a fight at some point within that period, he will turn on his comrades and attack them. His fellow Knights must be aware of this and learn not to use lethal force against their comrade – as soon as some blood has been shed (his own, or another’s) he will return to normal. (Holding out your hand and letting him nick it will not work – there has to be actual combat.)
For example, Itzcoatl has a reality skill of 14. That means that, when outside the realm, he must enter into a combat at least once every 14 days. If he does not, he will attack anyone around him to satisfy the requirement of this world law.
Non-Aztec characters entering the realm are subject to the same world laws, unless they are protected by a reality bubble (the Law of Conquest being a passive world law, one that is present in the environment but cannot be used like a tool). They too must enter into some conflict within a period of time equal to their reality or Spirit value in days. This requirement ceases when they leave the realm.
Divination Magic (Omen Interpretation)
A specialized type of divination magic, this skill can be used only for interpreting signs regarding future occurrences. It requires a Magic axiom of 14 to operate. When using divination magic (omen interpretation), the character attempts to derive from the patterns of stones, the feathers of birds, and other natural objects just what the future holds. The character must inquire about a specific course of action – the difficulty number is based upon how far into the future he wishes to look (see the “Omen Interpretation Difficulty'” chart).
Level of success determines the amount of information derived from the omen interpretation:
Minimal/Average– A general feeling that good or ill will result from a particular course of action.
Good – A more concrete idea of what form the results will take, i.e. “I see death at the end of this path.”
Superior – A better idea of just who will be most affected by these results, i.e. “I see death for John at the end of this road.”
Spectacular – Information on the source of the good or ill results, i.e. “I see death for John at the hands of Conundrum.”
Divination magic (omen interpretation) cannot be used unskilled.
Omen Interpretation Difficulty Chart
Time Period Difficulty
One minute 8
One hour 10
One day 13
One week 16
One month 20
One year 25
Scholar (Aztec Lore)
This skill provides the character with a rudimentary knowledge of the Aztec pantheon. When calling for divine aid, seeking the will of the gods, or making a sacrifice, it is crucial that one knows the proper gods to invoke. Anyone transformed to the Aztec reality while in the Empire automatically receives this skill at one add.
Here are some of the major gods of the Aztec pantheon:
Coatlicue: Supposed mother of Huitzilopochtli, cannibalistic goddess of serpents. Clawed hands and feet, a skirt of snakes, a necklace of hearts and hands with a skull pendant.
Huitzilopochtli: Aztec war god, who showed the Aztecs the necessity of blood sacrifice. Many of the feats ascribed to him arose from the powers of the Darkness Device (see High Lord of Earth).
Quetzalcoat1: Feathered or plumed serpent god, lord of wind.
Tezcatlipoca: One of the most important Aztec gods, gods of the night, associated with witches, evil doers and death. Represented with his face painted different colors and an obsidian mirror for a foot. Some believe that legends of Tezcatilpoca may have arisen from the fragmented memories of Huitzilopochtli regarding the Gaunt Man and Heketon.
Tlaloc: God of rain, wind, thunder, lightning and agriculture. Pictured with tusk-like teeth and snakes around his eyes.
Sidebar:Aztec Character Creation
Follow standard character creation. Character may either take the Miracles advantage for free, or possess 5 points in Blessed or Enchanted items (see Magna Verita Cosmbook for details).
Miracles of Faith
In Aztec Lore, the world was destroyed four times before. Our current age is the Fifth Sun. And only the continued flow of blood sacrifices to appease the gods will prevent them from destroying the world again. This has become especially important as the 21st Century looms, since December 21st, 2012 marks the end of the current calendar – and thus most likely the Fifth Age.
All those of Aztec faith, (and reality) whether they support the Chachalmeca or not, believe that sacrifices, even human ones, are necessary. Even those who would be considered Good by Nile standards, or Honorable by Ayslish standards, accept this fact. However, there is a difference between accepting it, and performing the act. Only priests perform the blood rites, and not even all the gods demand human blood. But if it is not done, the world itself will be destroyed. With time running out, and nearly 500 years to make up for, the temples of Huitzilopochtli, Tezcatlipoca, the other major gods are working overtime. When captured enemies are not available in sufficient quantities, losing ball game players are sent instead.
For those of Aztec faith, while they may not want to die, they do understand that it is for the good of all mankind.
Likewise, lesser offerings are made regularly for all many of purposes, offerings of grain and livestock for future prosperity. Sacred animals for the blessing of a particular god in an endeavor that god has dominion over.
Such sacrifices are considered a required part of performing any Rituals, though prayers do not require such a complication. [Many of these miracles are also available on the Nile miracles lists, and in the Nile Realm, the use of Astronomy for such miracles is expected – this can replace sacrifices in some cases. Miracles not found on the Nile lists may either have no required Influences, or may be specified by the GM.]
Prayers of the Aztecs
Blood of the Cobra
Crisis of Faith
Death of Sound
Presence of God
Speak with Dead
Will of the Gods
Rituals of the Aztecs
Hawk of Horus
Plague of Vermin
Pronouncement of Doom
Ritual of Hope
Ritual of Purification
Invocation DN 36
Colonel Carlos Sandoval was the first on scene after the strange events at Teotihuacon. He found evidence of Storm Knight activities, the body of Malcolm Kane, and numerous confused natives. Over several weeks, he put together what happened. Mexico had the opportunity to return to the greatness of its Pre-Spanish past. And Storm Knights from more advanced nations and realities denied them.
Col. Sandoval became a leader of the Azteca Movement – a society dedicated to bringing the power of the ancients back to Mexico. His found considerable followers in the urban poor, and the underprivileged of the nation. And he gained power in the Federal District, for his work with the Akashans to break the backs of drug cartels in the southern and central parts of the country. In the north, along the US border, he left them alone, provided they sell their product in the US, and help to keep the illegal immigrants – crossing to escape the invaders in America – under control.
As of the end of ’96, he was a General, and considered a candidate for the next president. He had moved troops, and equipment loyal to himself, as well as Azteca members, to Teotihuacon. The city was a armed cult, numbering in the thousands, and unknown to most of its opposition in the capital. Any Storm Knights who ventured too close became sacrifices to bring back the gods. With the growing troubles elsewhere, there was little notice.
On March 28th, 1997, a Maelstrom Bridge dropped into Teotihuacon, near the Temple of the Moon and the (suddenly restored) Palace of Queztacoatl. The initial axiom wash found sufficient strength within the city to create a Pure Zone, and transform the majority of the city population to the new Reality. Those who retained Earth reality were sacrificed – many voluntarily – to the gods of the New Empire. It is as if time has turned back five hundred years, as the city has been re-created as it was before Cortez. Sandoval is now Chachalmeca Carzantovatli, High Priest of Huitzilopochtli.
Curiously, it is claimed that the Kantovian Darkness Device has been sent into the void, and that there is no Darkness Device supporting the realm. But someone has energized seven Aztec stelae, and is draining possibilities from the realm. Who?
Mexico City was struck by a devastating quake within moments of the invasion’s start. Whole portions of the city were reduced to rubble as Tenochtitlan rose from beneath it, greater than it ever was. The new civil capital can accommodate well over a million people, and incorporates Tlatelolco in the north. Of the 10 million who lived in the city before the war, over a million were killed in the quakes. Of these, at least ten percent were taken north to establish a massive Gospog field (which coincidentally surrounds the Realm’s central stelae. The vast majority of the urban poor have accepted the new reality, and swelled the ranks of the army and clergy.
Pockets of resistance, centered around Catholic churches, strive to hold out, and both Rome and Avignon are offering their support. However, the Chachalmeca has ordered their capture and sacrifice, as a prelude to the conquest of all Spanish-descended, or Earth/Catholic-loyal territories in Mexico. Rumors that the president, and some other members of the government survived persist.
Tlaxcala and Puebla, in the Pure Zone, Morelos, Mexico State, have swollen with refugees from Tenochtitlan, and are the breadbasket of the Empire. The former industrial zones of the region have almost vanished, though a number of transformed engineers have become sorcerers.
With the exception of small Cornish and Jewish populations, Hidalgo has also gone over to the Aztecs. The former factory workers now taking to the field against Catholic Queretaro.
Oaxaca is now home to a renewed Zapotec nation. The Zapotecs unable to expand beyond the the western half of the state, turned to the West, competing with the Aztecs for control of Guerro. The invasion occurred during spring break. Acapulco established a Hardpoint, and tourists from Iztapa and Taxco fled there in hopes of shelter. The overopulation and limited resources made the city prime for efforts by Red Hand to recruit. Though this came to an abrupt halt with the arrival of the US marines. The civilian population has largely been moved out, resettled either in San Diego, Baja or Sonora.
Central Veracruz, including the city of Veracruz – which is in the Pure Zone – fell to the Aztec military within a month. The gulf ports now build Galleons, not unlike those Cortez arrived in. though not as potent as the other forces in the Gulf or Caribbean, the Aztecs are more than capable of defending their coast.
The Tarascan Empire has assumed control of Michoacan, but is still fighting against Mexican forces within the state.
Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosi have been struck by volcanic eruptions, storms – the reality type initially, but turning to more natural ones – and pestilence. Many have risked the storms to flee north, where they found the already overcrowded American refugee camps. Violence, encouraged by the cartels, was a fact of life. Softening the area for the eventual invasion. Until the North American Free States Alliance. Now the camps are becoming the foundation for new businesses financed by Kanawa Enterprises, and supported by Texas.
Even as Aztec reality flooded down the bridge into Mexico, it also washed up! Kantovia, the last remnant of the Gaunt Man’s first conquest, was destroyed. Replaced by a pocket of Aztec reality. The Dire Wolves, all possibility rated, mostly resisted the change. Those that did not, have become Werejaguars or Eagles – among other Aztec shifters. Most, no longer welcome among their tribe, have fled to the realm, joining the cults of their totem – either as Teuctli (Knights) or Priests.
Aysle – An Embassy of Light Aysle remains in Tenochtitlan. The Aylish are studying the situation, and sending reports back to Tolwyn. Mages, of all persuasions, are coming to Azteca, both to study the native magics, and to teach. A school is being opened in Tlaxcala soon. So long as the new Ayslish High Lord makes no efforts to expand into the western Gulf, or north from Panama, the two realms should have no hostilities. The presence of Gerrik forces in Belize is a concern.
Cyberpapacy – The Mexico City (Tenochtitlan) Nuncio remains protected by Hardpoint. And since the Chachalmeca made no distinction between Catholicism and the Cyberpapacy, the Nuncio required reinforcements or evacuation. Avignon chose to send in Church Police and Hospitallers. The Cyberpope has promised to aid Catholics in Mexico – hoping for converts and a chance to lay claim to the realm in time.
Marketplace – Numerous Corporations have suffered great losses to the transformation. Factories are mostly out of commission, and the oil fields – where active – are not as profitable. 7710 has ordered Hardpoints for his remaining operations, and had lobbyists throw weight behind NAFSA. This has allowed KEC to dominate the Northern Mexico market.
Research into the Aztec economy has proven less effective. The Aztecs cut off the raw materials he was harvesting for export to Marketplace. 7710 has inserted agents among the Pochtecas (Merchants), but this has not produced much profit so far.
Nolava – Both realms are being maintained by Heketon, so there should be no conflict between them. The Basjas Chaos cults have enough to occupy them, and the Oathbreakers are not interested in foreign affairs. Carzantovatli is concerned with Nolava limiting his northern expansion.
Space Gods – The Akashans remember history, how Huitzilopochtli turned ancient Mexico against them. Coar-aligned Akashans have come north to combat the invasion. A team of Monitors has been trying to find a Akashan Priest to create Reality Trees. They have no intention of losing Mexico again.
Tharkold – Viruxhmugla had placed a single stelae zone in the Yucatan, supported by the presence of a gate connecting the two cosms. All this came to an abrupt end very suddenly.
The Aztec Nile Empire
Pharaoh Mobius began by offering diplomatic relations to Azteca. This allowed his agents to investigate. And they learned where the Aztecs were getting their stelae. Heketon. Mobius hasn’t forgot how Orrorsh betrayed all the other High Lords. And he has decided on revenge.
But Mobius felt that the two realms have much in common. And laid a plan. He dispatched Red Hand to begin recruiting in Acapulco, and sent Milton Avery to begin using the Quetzacoatl legends to build support in unoccupied Mexico.
Avery thrilled at the chance to be an actor again. And he found an opportunity. King Cuitlauac had crossed the border, with the support of the Jaguar Knights. Taking a vital part of eastern Oaxaca, and preparing to claim the rest of the traditional Zapotec territory. When Nile agents made him an offer. A place in the new order, where ancient mysticism and modern technology worked side by side. Hedging his bets, he decreed that the Zapotecs would side with whoever could rid his border of a tribe of Tharkold mutants. Avery persuaded a band of Storm Knights to do the deed. And as a result, Cuitlauac threw his support behind Queztacoatl (as Avery claimed to be). He was hardly fooled, but the promise of tanks, rifles, and planes was sufficient. Even more promising, the Jaguars – never friends to the Eagles – have opted to remain allied with the Zapotecs.
It was at this time that Mobius dropped a Maelstrom Bridge on Cancun, crushing the hardpoint that had protected the city from the Tharkoldu. Superbattlegroup Mobius, and Battlegroups Khufu-Tet and Avery rushed in. They overwhelmed the techno-demons, and then captured Campeche, half of Tabasco (excluding Villehermosa), eastern Vera Cruz, and of course Oaxaca.
The realm consists of three full triangles and two irregular ones. The Yucatan zone is a Pure Zone of Nile reality, and the seat of Avery’s power. At Mobius’ instruction, he has allowed the American citizens in Cancun to be evacuated. All part of the non-aggression pact that Mobius has put in place. There are pockets of Tharkold activity left in the zone. But it is mostly secure – thanks to the natives flocking to support Queztacoatl’s return.
Campeche is a Dominant Zone, and is otherwise much the same as Yucatan. Tabasco initially was a mixed Nile-Aztec Zone, but has shifted to Dominant. The oil and natural gas mining have resumed, and factories to support the Nile war machine have been constructed.
Off the coast is a mixed zone of the two invaders, and the region where both navies have come into contact on a regular basis. Nile ships were initially the victor in nearly every battle. But as the Aztecs grow more experienced in naval warfare, they are becoming more evenly matched.
The Zapotec zone has just flipped to Dominant. And the Zapotecs have had some success using reality bombs, carefully placed hardpoints and, stormers to move their modern war machines to the Aztec territorial border at Puebla. The overgovernors have established a jointly controlled Weird Science research center at Coatzacoalcos, supplying their forces with Eternium, R-Bombs, and the equipment for Avery’s Coatl Knights. Unfortunately, this facility has proven a tempting target for both Aztecs and Storm Knights.
The Map of Marketplace with the realms of Lereholm depicted. Forgive the terrible handwriting. (Incidentally, the two dots just south of Akiyuri are planned future stelae placements. If they happen, the Kubaicho Channel will become completely closed at the south end.)
The Continent of Aysle