- 1 Characters
- 2 Then
- 3 Now
- 4 Useful Stuff
It has been over 70 gigaseconds - 2200 years - since the Great Maker Autochthon took his chosen followers and departed Creation. Inside the mighty, slowly-expanding megastructure that makes up his physical body these humans struggled, survived and eventually prospered. Inspired by the technological marvels of the Great Maker and without the stiffling, incomprehensible magic of the Celestial Exalted, cities of glass and alloy eventually sprouted in the hospitable sections of his immense mechanical body. Linked by vaccum trains, air trams and optical routers a unique civilization flourished, one built by mortals and powered by the rationality of science, the efficiency of industry and the harmony of communication.
Even so, there were threats facing these people. Rogue machines that had suffered the corrupting effects of iteratively complex programs, environmental hazards, the occasional criminal or revolutionary. To that end the Great Maker gave forth the ability to construct the Silicon Beings; mortals that would shed their bodies of flesh and bone, replacing it with sublimely efficient simulacrum of machinery both macro and nano. To become one was to become, perhaps, like the legendary Exalts of mistily-remembered Creation. But where the Exalts had been incomparable tyrants, the Silicon were guides and partners.
The life before one becomes Silicon is unavoidably like a dream, remembered in snatches and impressions. Becoming one means abandoning all that went before. It was not a choice to be made lightly, but one that you made.
All Silicon Beings appear similar to humans in features and proportions, though most of the time even a casual glance would confirm their nonhumanity. In addition to the intrinsical physical and mental superiority that comes from being on a mechanical substrate, all Silicon Beings have personality 'stacks'. Unless these are destroyed, no Silicon will truly die as their body can be replaced. It it a perverse mark of pride among some to append a numeral to their name representing how many time they have ressurected this way; a measure of devotion to the people or perhaps just recklessness.
If this was not enough, Silicon Beings also have access to 'Charms.' While similar devices can be (and often are) cybernetically implanted in regular humans, the nanotechnical mechacytes that flow through a Silicon's body can create these subsystems under the conscious control of the Silicon with no outside help (though in many cases they will be ravenously hungry for both power and more physical food, often for things that would be outright poisonous to normal humans). They can also be removed by the selfsame mechacytes, though this is rarely done.
And yes, they are fully functional.
- Net Sphere Authority: All Silicon Beings have deep-rooted authorization and access to the Net Sphere - Autochthon's mighty and diffuse intellect.
- Double Attunement: All Silicon Beings are attuned to Adamant as well as one other magical material.
- Mechacytes: Silicon Beings do not need to use Vats to upgrade themselves. They may also regenerate crippling damage by going into a shut-down torpor inside a healing caul.
- Non-Biological: Simulacrum of humanity, Silicons are not actually made of the same things humans are. This makes them immune to any non-magical diseases/poisons.
- Intrinsic Charms: Silicons do not have large, obvious charms like Alchemicals. They cannot hot-swap either.
Approximately 100 gigaseconds ago (margin of error 10%) the Great Maker suffered a paroxysm. It may never be known just what caused it, but it sent him into a deep sleep that he has never awoken from. His body and (as far as anyone can tell) mind continue to function, but philosopher-engineers worry he has fallen into the Primordial equivalent to a coma.
The scattered Human survivors managed to recover the habits of civilization but the glories of the age of Silicon were lost. Among those lost glories is the full ability to create Silicon Beings. Now with half-remembered techniques and misty graces of Autochthon's unconscious favor they have created a new generation of Exalts; the Alchemical.
The City of Axis
Axis is well-named. The center of civilization in the post-catastrophe age it is the single largest city in Autochthon. Physically it takes the shape of an eight-pointed cog, with each tooth being the primary domain of one nation. The outer ends are considered 'sovereign' and part of their greater nation, whereas the inner is under Axis law. The Hub is the international section and includes the central edifices of the Sodalities and the United Tripartate.
Starting from 0' ('North'), the Octants are as follows. Note that they do not align to the direction of their parent nation.
Claslat Octant is the most populated of the Octants and its most popular attraction is the recently-constracted W-Y Gladiate Arena. Many Champions come here to test their mettle officially or unofficially.
The Estasian Octant has grown around Axis' primary Militate barracks and this is also the home of the Axis Mercenary Bonding Commission. The primary warstrider factories and associated test ranges are located between it and the Gulak Octant.
The Gulak Octant is home to wonders such as the Axis Conservatory, the Thermopyre Opera and the Thundercry Stadium. This quarter is undoutedly the trendiest sector to be in and isofar as styles exist in Autochthon, this is where they are born.
The least populated of the Octants, Jarish is famous both for its five-daily call to prayers and the Temple of the Maker, an immense and baroque structure of steel and glass.
Kamak has the Axis Stock Exchange and the more rowdy Merchant's Row, as well as hundreds of goods warehouses of all shapes and sizes. Kamako's low population and economic import means that this quarter has the largest percent of commuters - it is the beating business downtown of Axis.
Nurad is something of a 'bedroom Octant' and many of those who live here during the night spend their days working elsewhere. A number of research labs have sprung up lately, researching new and increasingly lethal ways to combat blighted machines.
The Sovan Octant has, over the past decade or so, shifted from the usual mix of residential, commercial and industrial into very much the latter. Entire subdivisions have been bulldozed and replaced with factories, taking the resources of Kamak and turning them into myriad weapons of war. The main Axis shuntyard is just outside the Sova Octant, as is the Axis scrapfield.
The general Yugashite tendency towards exploration and expansion means that personal outfitters are most common in the Yugash Octant.
The Hub is the central section of Axis and home to the innumerable bureaucracies and sub-bureaucracies that keep the international system between the Eight Nations running smoothly. It also includes prestigious universities, museums and research labs, along with the Prime Vat Plex (50% time for all vatting, but the full status (XP use) of all exalts using it is transmitted to all nations).
- Essence Grid (2 MP); +2 Personal Essence Pool
- Essence Battery (2 MP); +3 Peripheral Essence Pool
- Essence Capacitor (4 MP); +8 Peripheral Essence, may only be used for powering artefact effects.
- Essence Fluxor (4 MP); +6 Personal Essence Pool, -4 Peripheral Essence Pool
- Essence Reactor (4 MP); Regain 1 peripheral mote/round during combat, may not recharge Personal pool.
- Essence Core (6 MP); Regain 1 mote/round during combat.
The amount of peripheral essence spents to achieve each level of Anima Banner is multiplied by your (Essence score -1); eg, at Essence 3, your caste mark shines from 1-6 instead of 1-3. Expending large amounts of peripheral essence flares your banner up to the base value for that turn only; at Essence 5 the first level of animal flare is from 1 to 12, but if 12 were spent in one turn, for that turn until you go again your anima banner would be at the '12 essence' level. After that it would rapidly fade to the normal first level anima banner.