Dec 30, 2012

Terminus Nebula - Cyborgs

A Techmagos Reclaimer with a retinue of Magos Guardians

With a new year on the rise, and after having finished Fireteam Andromeda I've thought to kick up this blogging a notch and start to include posts that will detail all the other myriad scales, bits and pieces for the setting that I'm working on.

Thus this is the first of many blogposts that will attempt to detail more of the Terminus Nebula setting. As such it will encompass the Mecha Doom, Fireteam Andromeda and Rosetta game systems but is focused on the actual setting material rather than rules. To kick things off, I've recently painted up four different cyborgs for 28mm skirmish games and figured it would be a good idea to give a general idea of the view on cybernetics within the Terminus Nebula setting.

Cyborgs & Cybernetics in the Known Universe

Enhancing, upgrading or repairing the body with mechanical parts is a concept that has been around in the Known Universe since the epoch of the Forefathers and the birth of the Imperium. As such, there are also numerous taboos, traditions and philosophies attached to the concept of cyborgs - almost as many as there are planets in the universe. To some civilizations and societies, the very notion of having artificial implants to either repair or enhance their biological body is considered sacrilegious at best whilst others not only welcome it, but take it to such excess that there's little of the biological body left at all.

The following article will therefore detail a sampling of the general view of cybernetics and cyborgs within the three primary coalitions in the universe; the Imperium, the Republic and the Alliance. These are used as very broad guidelines as to how a planet or society might feel about cybernetics and cyborgs within said coalition; but cannot be counted on for any hard and fast reactions from within these spheres, as explained in the following.

Imperial Savants

As the Imperium were among the first institutions to ever have access to cybernetics, the popular opinion about such enhancements has waxed and waned throughout the epochs. The view range from that of reverence to simple accept, depending on the individuals standing within Imperial society. Nobles, on some worlds, are actively encouraged by their peers or traditions to have cybernetic enhancements as a rite of passage whilst the workforce on many worlds become so heavily modified that they resemble robots more than humanoids.

This has led, however, to a general consensus that most of the lower-born citizens within the Imperium are the most proponent subjects for enhancement; seeing as they have neither the power nor the resources to manage without such upgrades. Thus, among the nobility any cybernetic enhancement is seen as a mark of respect, whilst among the lower classes it is seen as a desperate attempt to regain some manner of standing.

Shown on the left, we have a typical example of cybernetic enhancement within Imperial Space. The individual pictured here is a Savant; desperate or criminal individuals who have been forced by circumstance to give their body and soul to a Merchant House, Guild or a Noble family to do with as they please. Indeed, one of the worst sentences that any Imperial court may sentence a criminal to is that of Savantiude; the prisoner is then completely mindwiped; his higher brainfunctions destroyed and then placed into custody of the highest bidder - to serve the good of the Imperium until the end of his, now unnatural, lifespan. 

Republican Operative

Within the Republican sphere, cybernetic enhancements are, at best, frowned upon. The general populace feels that the cybernetical enhancement of individuals are a throwback to the times of Imperial rule; a time that many feel is best forgotten completely.

This has led to a Republican Decree of Sentience stating that any person who has had 50% or more of their body enhanced with cybernetics have lost their rights and privileges as citizens within the Republic and are referred to, by the populace, as "Tinmen". It is therefore common, and expensive, practice to hide any enhancements as much as possible to avoid any prejudice from the populace; leaving only the wealthiest of individuals within Republican space with any considerable amount of enhancements.

Those who cannot afford to hide their enhancements often end up on the fringes of Republican society - either as gangers, pirates, or as the case of the individual pictured here, as a Republican Operative; special individuals who are in the employ of the Republican Cabinet in order to take care of any and all special missions that the Cabinet needs taken care of. They are often referred to as Ghosts as they have effectively ceased to exist within Republican society, making them the perfect assassins and spies.

Sanctioned Tagman

Within the small sphere of Alliance space, the populace have taken a more pragmatic approach to the question of enhancements. As it is expensive and difficult to acquire within the Terminus Nebula, then any person with any such upgrades is seen as a force to be reckoned with. As the Alliance itself consists of many former Republican or Imperial planets who have become disaffected by their former rulers, this has also meant that the populace have a keen interest in throwing any ties with their former cultures and try to find their own way.

As a rule, then cybernetics is not considered taboo or are the subject of any official prejudice within Alliance space; instead - as mentioned - any reaction from the populace as a whole would likely be that of awe or respect; the person has either earned his right to the implants or have the resources to acquire it. Of course, this has also meant that there's a rise in cyber-jacking crimes throughout the Alliance, a problem that the Alliance Patrol has yet to take care of.

Pictured on the left is a typical cyborg within Alliance space; a Sanctioned Tagman - the Alliance Patrol's answer to many of the crimes that they neither have the political power or resources to take care of. The Tagmen scours across the Terminus Nebula, attempting to take down and bring back various criminals that the Alliance Patrol has put a bounty on. As they are not directly affiliated with the Alliance Patrol, they have free reign to extradite criminals - but are also solely answerable to any crimes that they commit during these bounty hunts; the sanctioning only means that the individual gets paid for their efforts.

Magos Guardians

The Techmagos of Jorbaal on the eastern fringes of Imperial space see themselves as the true inheritors of any and all ancient technology and data-repositories throughout the Known Universe. In their eyes, the Forefathers were mechanical beings and cite this as the reason as to why they never took to enhance their bodies as they were already of a mechanical nature. To the Techmagos, the only way to become more as the Forefathers is therefore to enhance their bodies so that they can become one with that of the Ancients.

While such philosophies are not exactly uncommon they are still regarded as somewhat of an anomaly, even within such a fractured and diverse place as the Imperial sphere. The Techmagos have gathered the greatest knowledge base in regards to the Forefathers of the Imperium; including many priceless technological marvels from that epoch - but they are also notoriously secretive as to what exactly they have found.

On the left is shown a typical Magos Guardian; holy warriors who have been cybernetically enhanced to such extend that they can barely be recognized as humanoids anymore. However, as can be seen from the crudeness of the implants, he has yet to climb the ranks of the Techmagos cult as any and all implants must be exactly alike as that of a Forefather. It is rumored that the High Techmagos himself  has been encased within a Forefather tomb-body, deep within the Temple of the Forefathers on Jorbaal.  

1 comment:

  1. Some cool ideas and lovely minis and paintjobs to go with them.