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The Codexian Saga LP

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by The Barbarian, May 8, 2010.

  1. The Barbarian Educated

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    The update will be up quite soon. Possibly tomorrow.
     
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  2. anus_pounder Arcane

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    :x
     
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  3. The Barbarian Educated

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    Conan continues to toil on the next update - things have been a bit hectic at his fortress of solitude.

    However, he has been working on a surprise. One that he hopes you enjoy.
     
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  4. anus_pounder Arcane

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    By surprise I hope you don't mean 'game over'.
     
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  5. LusciousPear Savant

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    Grimdark.
     
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  6. The Barbarian Educated

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    Whimpers in the Dark

    ’You say we are destroying the Respublica – I say we are only acknowledging that it destroyed itself years ago. And what are you doing? Sitting in your ivory towers as the whole edifice rots beneath you? The people cry out for leadership. What they get is just another sermon impugning the purity of their souls. Leave be, old men. Let history conclude this business naturally and mercifully.’

    - Representative John Newman, Missive dated October 538AU

    The Second Respublica died sometime in 539AU. One cannot be entirely sure as to when, exactly, or how, but die it certainly did. There was no great blow-out; no horrific civil war that tore it apart in a violent cavalcade. Instead, it just faded from the public consciousness, like a dream. Some clung to fragments of its memory, desperately, whereas many were happy to see it go. They were looking askance at the future. The actual process of its passing was entirely anti-climactic. One by one, systems were either falling to Freedom influence, or were reeling from its advances and turning on the moderating hand of the Marianite Church. The latter remained almost uniformly hapless. The clergy officialdom refused to brook serious military action against the Freedom Army. It was as if their spine had simply given out, and they could not stand up for themselves, their creed or the state their institutional ancestors had built with blood, ashes and the sweat of their brows.

    In the end, the mourning period for the theocracy was a low-key affair. Though the office of Elder remained the ‘officially’ recognized Head of State and primary executive office in what was still – at least nominally – the Second Respublica, the reality of the situation was far bleaker. Sol’s authority extended to a shallow, though heavily developed set of core systems. The Old Commonwealth and Old Phyrria were the new bastions of a rising Freedom state. Lastly, a slew of ‘middle belt’ worlds remained unaligned, or were by now controlled by a conservative, military based alliance of convergent interests. The latter had begun to coalesce after it became obvious that the Respublica would not defend itself from obsolescence. Poorly defined, the members of this new faction nonetheless saw themselves as a bulwark against Freedom agitation and the useless authority of the decrepit Respublican government.

    Of course, this New Order could not hope to last. The proponents of the Freedom movement did not declare their independence from the Respublica, because Newman and his cronies hoped to replace it entirely. They were not sated with ‘merely’ holding down the colonial expanse and a few core worlds. They saw themselves as the legitimate successors to and the inheritors of the Respublican mandate in its entirety. Attaining the latter was proving difficult by 540AU, however. For all of John Newman’s style, substance and charisma the reality was that there was no political breakthrough for Freedom in the Core. Demagoguery, propaganda and agitation – as well as plenty of good old fashioned campaigning – had proven ineffective in social environments where the majority of the population was comprised of relatively wealthy baseline humans, with a strong interest in maintaining existing power structures. When this became apparent, John Newman was forced to show his true colours... and the human sphere would finally witness the Rise of the Tyrant.

    Maintaining historiographical objectivity in the face of Newman’s actions (and those of his regime) during the period of 540-543AU is rather difficult. Like many monstrous crimes, it all began innocuously enough. In late 540AU, planetary assemblies on every major world in Newman’s domain passed legislation requiring that all adults register with local security bodies, so that bio/gen/tech mods could be carefully cataloged and recorded. The bills were justified by the ‘need to give practical and vital state support’ to trans-human populations. Often ostracized by their local communities, this was a well received effort to improve the lot of transhumans under the jurisdiction of Newman’s allies. At first, it functioned exactly as advertised. Employers were encouraged to give preferential consideration to those who had previously lost out on opportunities because of their visible modifications. Sums of money were paid out as compensation to victims of discrimination. Various social benefits and subsidies were afforded to all eligible transhumans, as a means of improving their socio-economic status.

    After a certain period, however, other things began happening, too. Positive discrimination in favor of transhumans when it came to employment turned into a terrifying brand of discrimination against norms. Norm youths were being pressured to accept bio-tech mods during their primary and secondary education, as a means of ‘improving’ their quality of life and ‘competitiveness’. The availability of mods exploded across the board, as millions succumbed to that pressure. Pre-natal genetic manipulation was deemed standard medical practice – regardless of parental wishes. And the Freedom Army was at the forefront of it all. On 7 January 542AU, it became a ‘trans-human only’ institution. The resulting outcry was stifled quickly and quietly. After all, were not modded soldiers absolutely superior to their norm counterparts? Were they not more efficient? More powerful? Military mods were an order of magnitude beyond what was offered to civilians, of course. Extraordinary strength, speed, alertness, dexterity and mods of other physical parameters were commonplace. Freedom Army stalwarts submitted themselves to ever more extreme surgeries, transplants and gene therapy. The more radical the alteration, the greater the glory.

    Hostility and barely repressed resentment against norms began to build up at a frightening pace. It did not take long for serious incidents to take place. In March 542AU, an equally violent norm response to an attack by modded assailants on a norm wedding was used by the Newman regime to legitimize a government crackdown... on the norms. In order to ‘protect public safety’, tens of thousands of norms with ‘questionable political allegiances’ were moved to detention camps, indefinitely. When multitudes protested against this heinous act, they suffered similar fates. The propaganda machine then ratcheted up a gear. Norms went from misguided to actively subversive in a matter of months. Norm extremists were thereafter classified as a ‘problem and a threat’ to the ideal transhumant society. Things were getting rather ugly, to put it blithely, and hundreds of thousands elected to flee Newman-controlled space.

    They were justified in having done so quickly thereafter. In February 543AU, the first reports of massacres began to seep out of Old Phyrria. Initially believed to be isolated incidents perpetrated by parties partaking in communitarian violence, their true scale would only become known in the months that followed. By then, millions were dead. The Freedom Army, the hardened core of transhumant extremism, was annihilating the ‘problem’ posed by the norms. Those who would not accept extreme modification as proof of their new allegiance to a ‘liberated’ transhumanity were liquidated in the most bestial of ways. On Firkan, forty thousand were crucified in a mockery of Marianite symbolism. On Bidoni, tens of thousands were hacked to pieces by frenzied mobs. The savagery was utterly unimaginable. It was not the same everywhere. In some places, the transhumans went to great efforts to protect their norm neighbors, friends and – sadly enough – relatives from the Pogrom. Many were hidden from the death squads, or smuggled out of affected areas. But the miasma hung heavy in the air. Torrents of norm blood flooded the streets and the vid screens. It was insane. It was all so insane. Explaining the insanity has proven a task verging on the impossible.

    When the carnage came to light, Newman became ‘the Tyrant’, in all other parts of the human sphere. Or, more accurately, the Tyrant shed Newman. He no longer needed him. The Pogrom was to be the ultimate test of loyalty to his cult, and the Freedom Army did not disappoint its political and ideological leader. There was some dissent, here and there, in all fairness. A number of FA officers did refuse to take part in the bloodletting. They were dealt with severely. The Tyrant had no room for those of a weakly constitution in his Grand Plan. Some have argued that it was developed haphazardly, as he began to believe his own legend. Others, myself included, would argue that this maniacal genius had never believed in any other course, and that – implausible as it may sound – he had been pursuing this very outcome relentlessly since his teenage years. The Tyrant was a being on a mission. He sought to remake humanity wholly. And now, he was getting started.

    For its part, the Respublican Remnant was both shocked and terrified by these developments. Already up to its eyelids in troubles stemming from its continuing political decline, there was little the Respublicans felt they could do. What forces remained on hand, they mobilized in piecemeal fashion. But in the Respublican General Staff CnC, it was anarchy. Arguments raged for weeks over how to best deploy the badly weakened Space Force and Ground Force. Some even argued against war, under the belief that the Tyrant already had superiority in arms. These voices were shouted down, and a number of targets were eventually chosen. There was, by that time, overwhelming public support for war against Freedom.

    Finally, in May 543AU, a Respublican armada transited from a number of jump-off points to a series of destinations in the Old Commonwealth and Old Phyrria. Almost a thousand vessels were committed to this effort – a massive undertaking for a government under seemingly perpetual siege. They did not have the support nor the assistance of the Middle Belt worlds, which refused to bow to Respublican authority and calls for political unity as a matter of principle. But the forces involved were nonetheless driven and motivated to exact a bloody vengeance on the transhumant foe. They surged into battle on a dozen fronts with wild abandon, utterly convinced that this moral crusade could end only in victory.

    The end result was a staggering series of defeats for Respublican forces. Quintessentially, everything that could go wrong, did. The Freedom Army knew when and where the strikes were coming, and prepared accordingly. Elaborate traps and ambushes decimated the bewildered invaders. The few set piece battles that took place had attacking forces facing impossible odds. The enemy knew everything. They had made fools of them all. When the initial conflagration subsided, there were almost 80,000 dead to show for it. Worse yet, the invasion of Freedom space had only served to incense the transhumans even further, and atrocities against norms actually escalated in both intensity and scope. An immediate Respublican inquest revealed that the hastily drawn up plans for the attack on Freedom territories had been leaked almost as soon as they were approved. The very command structure of the Respublican armed forces was compromised and infiltrated by Freedom operatives!

    By June, the three sides were preparing for a drawn out conflict. Materiel was being stockpiled, ship production increased and citizenry mobilized. Humanity was to once again bear witness to a war for its very soul.

    It is now time to choose...

    Do you... order a thorough official investigation into the leaks, in order to find the parties responsible for the deaths of so many Respublican fighting men and women, and the failure of the Intervention? We cannot afford to take any further hasty steps. The investigation must be by the book, and should not target any particular group. We are not of the Tyrant’s ilk. Besides, many of our staffers are modified. Imagine the disruption to our warfighting forces! Imagine the affront to our loyal citizens!

    OR

    Do you... instead conduct modification testing on all staff, removing those who come back positive from positions of authority? We cannot take the chance that the culprits might evade justice. The guilty parties were surely transhumans, so let us make sure that the weight of this investigation falls where it should. This is the only decisive way to protect ourselves from further harm at the hands of the enemy.
     
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  7. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Since there's probably a few heretic race traitor scum out there, we can't expect genemods to be a clear indicator of spiritual purity.

    Option A. Everyone must be tested without bias.
     
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  8. The Barbarian Educated

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    Let it be known that Conan was not amused by how long this update turned out to be.

    He has to learn to strike a better balance between narrative detail and practicable write-ups.
     
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  9. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Like the mighty, two-handed axe that cleaves the barbarians foes in twain, sometimes prose demands to be written large, as to better leave an impact.
     
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  10. treave Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2012
    Option A.

    I do not think the Tyrant would be so foolish as to rely solely on transhuman agents.

    Continue to take the moral high ground!
     
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  11. Azira Arcane Patron

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    Option A

    For reasons already stated. The Tyrant might be using norms, and we'd miss out on those in option B.
     
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  12. anus_pounder Arcane

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  13. Nickless Educated

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    Option A. (A consistent voting strategy, finally)
     
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  14. taplonaplo Scholar

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    A
    treave has the point.
     
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  15. Luan Educated

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    A, though it is risky as it will take twice as long. And time is not on our side.
     
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  16. RandomLurker Scholar

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    Lets see here...

    A:
    - Moral high ground
    - Chance to actually catch the agents
    - Comparatively small distruptions in army organisation

    B:
    - Propaganda gold for the enemy side
    - Pretty much a guarantee of missing a crippling amount of unmodded enemy agents in key places
    - Ridiculous distruptions in army organisation, which isn't all that good to begin with
    - Those military grade mods sound like the shit, and this option locks us out of effectively using this tech in our military (and we could probably use them at least in our commando teams... or, say, elite marine squads? Of the space variety?)

    Are we missing something here? I honestly cannot see why anyone would choose B.

    Vote: A
     
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  17. LusciousPear Savant

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    A.

    Although can we arm nukes?

    And what about the might of Kurland?! NOW IS THE TIME. (ok, too much LP)
     
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  18. Esquilax Arcane

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    Been reading through this entire thread the past few days... fucking incredible stuff, Barbarian. You truly are a warrior without peer.

    Voting A. I await a most bronificent update.
     
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  19. The Barbarian Educated

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    The update is coming. Perhaps not today - but it comes nonetheless.

    Several announcements follow:

    1) The Tyrannic Age is the final installment of the Saga, for the time being. Conan is saddened by this, but feels that it is a fit and proper send-off to this collective circle-jerk. We have come a long way, baby. Five hundred years of in-game history, many tens of thousands of words of background fluff - and good times were had by all. This barbarian could ask for no more. We will go out with a bang, hopefully, and the epilogue will be worthy of what has come before. Conan thanks you all for being part of it.

    2) The Barbarian will be introducing his next circle-jerk quite soon. As insinuated all the way back in ~September of last year, he has been considering what to undertake next for some time. He is currently working on what he hopes you find to be an interesting exercise. It will be very different to the Codexian Saga, in a number of ways, and some of you will not like it. But that is okay. Conan is sure you will eventually make peace with the changes, and find that 'it is good for what it is', in the end. Or you will hate Conan, and make him very sad. That is also okay.

    Friends, colleagues, kinsmen... much love to you all.
     
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  20. Esquilax Arcane

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    It'll be sad to see this come to an end, but I'm sure it will have a great finish. The writing in the Tyrannic Age installment has been your best work yet. Awesome stuff!

    :thumbsup:
     
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  21. The Barbarian Educated

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    Your words fill Conan's heart with gladness, comrade.

    Hail!
     
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  22. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    [​IMG]
     
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  23. LusciousPear Savant

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  24. Esquilax Arcane

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    Update, you lazy Cimmerian!
     
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  25. anus_pounder Arcane

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    Barbarian is Root. He ran out of ideas or interest in this LP and then started the 40k LP just so that not too much fuss would happen when this one died.
     
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