Tuesday, July 30, 2013

211: The Corps Wall

ENTRY 211: The Corps Wall

Semper vigilantissimi.”

They came from every habitat. Transhumans of every nation and ethnicity who become a part of something greater than themselves, placed the needs of transhumanity above their own, and drove back the threat of annihilation. They were the ground-pounders who dropped on the TITAN’s rear in the battle of Majorca, the pilots that faced off against exsurgent blackwing fighters in the skies of Titan, the frogmen that fought against the Bloodseeker Eels on Europa. On every battlefield in the Fall, in every struggle until the conflict with the TITANs ended, they stood their ground and gave their lives and pushed back against the forces of extinction.

They were the Space Marines, and they will be forever honored.

Originally formed from the select of the combined militaries of the surviving corporations and nation-states during the Fall, the Space Marine Corps were the leading edge of the fight against the TITANs, given the best training and equipment that a desperate, crippled transhumanity could muster—and they won. Despite hideous losses and tremendous casualties, the Corps pressed on, pushing the TITANs back in battle after battle, until the threat retreated. Following the passage of the TITANs as an immediate threat, the Corps was largely downsized, its facilities repurposed, its component members rotated back to their surviving militaries—or, more often, let loose to find work as mercenaries or seek what peace they could in their lives.

Yet they are not forgotten. On the western border of the Zone stands the Corps Wall; a three-kilometer matte-black cenotaph commemorating those members of the Space Marines who gave their lives in the conflict, and which contains the remains of at least 15,000 of the fallen in grim and grisly tribute to those who will forever stand guard against extinction.

Using the Corps Wall

Every war needs heroes. Those who remember the Fall, its myriad conflicts and the extreme urgency of the times, when many transhumans fell into despondency and ennui, know well that the Space Marine Corps were not as loved when they were active as their memory is today, nor as successful. Many alliances were formed, some with unlikely partners, during the Fall, and the Corps stood out as one among many—but they made good press, and so they get the big memorial and the docudramas, even as many Space Marines veterans were left in crippled morphs with PTSD and no pension or organized care once the conflict ended.

But, legends are useful in games. The Space Marines are an old trope in science fiction, and their participation in the central conflict of Eclipse Phase makes for good background for adventures—veterans, old battlefields, war orphans, buried crimes, tontines. Maybe some of the PCs are even members of the Space Marines, a group much-diminished in size and capabilities but continuing a proud and honored tradition of service. Semper vi!
The Space Marine Corps is as tight-knit as any faction or military unit, even the retirees, and take their traditions and honors very seriously. At the gamemaster’s discretion, this may be reflected with skills like Networking: Space Marines or a SMCorps-based *-rep.

1 comment:

  1. On the one hand I like the idea of the wall, especially given the kind of war hero legends it facilitates. On the other hand I don't really like the space marine concept. It seems out of place in Eclipse Phase. I always thought most nations didn't even have much time to co├Ârdinate during the fall, let alone set up a unified army.

    Personally, I might recycle this as a memorial to fallen Ultimates, though. The Ultimates played a key role in many battles during the fall. Given their morally ambiguous nature, lauding them as war heros might be fodder for some in-game drama as well. Pro and anti Ultimate players might have a field day arguing about whether or not the memorial should be there at all.

    That does kind of remove the *-rep angle to it, and replacing that with u-rep doesn't provide all the narrative bonuses a network dedicated to a now-defunct group may have.

    Of course this is just my view on the setting.