by Jupiter Sacadura (5thPlanetKF)
Chapter One: The Beginning
Welcome! What you see here is the hub, the center of the Crucible, where your training will begin and your adventures will culminate in unlocking the secrets that lie before you. Certain skills will be necessary for you to understand the dangers and intrigue that lay at your feet. First off, let us review the different inhabitants of this world.
The House of the Giants, Brobnar, is a collective of nomadic Giants and Goblins. They exist for the sole reason of not dying a Coward’s End and seeking Valhalla. In Brobnar, Might Makes Right, and there is always room for more in their Pile of Skulls. The Champion’s Challenge is how leaders hold their rank in this house as they fight to First Blood, Barehanded and with no Cybergiant Rigs, and battle it out for the Shattered Throne, where only the strongest reign. They unify only for the common goal of raiding. If you hear the Wardrummer’s drum, watch out for their Signal Fire as they commence their version of the final battle, Ragnarok! When the Warsong booms, they pack up their Grump Buggies and raise the Banner of Battle, leaving an Unguarded Camp. On the field, the Blood of Titans boils in anticipation of Burning the Stockpiles and looting Warchests and they set their Autocannons and prepare for battle. When not at war, it’s time to recharge with various Brews, custom-distilled for each Giant. If strength is your game, this is the house you will learn to love.
Logos is the house of scholars: the Masters of Theory and of the Phase Shift. The sole purpose of the Logotarians is to advance the Crucible through pragmatic thinking and logic because Knowledge is Power. The Dimension Door that brought you into this world was only one of their many Strange Gizmos. Information Exchanges are the reason why Logos have pioneered the Interdimensional Graft Scientifical Hack that allowed us to create the Wild Wormholes that we used to Reverse time and go back and retrieve you, Timetraveller. Library Access is privileged exclusively to those whom Professor Sutterkin grants the Universal Keylock. It takes years of Academy Training and an abundance of Labwork to earn the trust needed. Here, Helper Bots Poke around, wary of the Scrambler Storms that create the Chaos Portals the Crazy Killing Machines use as spawn points to invade the academy labs. The Data Forge awaits, but be mindful of the Redacted reports of the Mobius Scroll. This house has as many secrets as the Crucible itself and their Cutthroat Research often ends in moments of “Eureka!”
The Mars House is one that focuses on domination. Their Battle Fleets often lead to Key Abductions and there is no such thing as Martian Generosity. This house has a Mars First mentality and they are not shy about the fact that Mars Needs Aember. In battle, these Martians may utilize Hypnobeams and Entropic Manipulators to embed a Hypnotic Command through their Psychic Network. If you tip the odds against them, they can be quick to pull a Total Recall and practically disappear from battle or they develop a “Destroy Them All” attitude. Either way, we can all agree that sometimes it is better to leave them in their Crystal Hive and under a Containment Field to research their Combat Pheromones and Swap Widgets than to fight side by side with them. Martians Make Bad Allies and they have been known to Deep Probe their comrades in order to take Sample Collections. Resist, and they throw you in the Feeding Pit and use you as food for their offspring in the Incubation Chamber. Their sciences are focused on Destructive Analysis and creating better Ammonia Clouds, Custom Viruses, and manipulating Brain Stem Antennas. Mars is efficient, but you are either with them or they are against you.
It all began when One Stood Against Many with only a Shield of Justice. Since then, Sanctum has been the house of honor and nobility. It has been said that The Doorstep to Heaven begins with the Oath of Poverty and, if you are deemed worthy, you may wield the Mighty Lance, Hallowed Shield, Seraphic Armor, and Armageddon Cloak to serve under Proclamation 246E. To wear The Sigil of Brotherhood and vow to continue The Virtuous Works of the Round Table is truly an Honorable Claim. You will Charge with the knights as they venture on their Epic Quest to find the Spirit’s Way and prove their worth in the trials of the Four Horsemen. You will selflessly aid in governing the Free Markets that span from Haedroth’s Wall and past the Whispering Reliquary in order To Protect the Weak. With a Clear Mind and Inspiration, only a Glorious Few will face the Eye of Judgement with a heart ringing of Radiant Truth and ascend to their lofty standards and feel the Cleansing Wave of the Golden Aura’s Blinding Light. Will you don the Mantle of the Zealot with honor and Smite non-believers until you meet your Martyr’s End?
The Saurian Republic is one of politics and prehistory. Once thought to be extinct after a Regrettable Meteor, this house seems to have reemerged at a different spot in history and suggests that nothing will stand in the way of their Triumph. At the Golden Spiral, these reptiles internalize the Axiom of Grisk and pay Tribute to the Ancient Power, which protects the City-State Interest at the Good of the Many. The Imperial Forge can be found within the City Gates and harbors the ability to turn aember into valuable keys used to unlock the mysteries of the Crucible. The Colosseum, at the end of the Imperial Road, is a means to an end where the more militant Saurians can Stomp out their differences in combat and where they may gain the Favor of Rex or face Exile as the crowd roars the Chant of Hubris. The Imperium wards its citizens and their military is known for its Phalanx Strike, making this house one that has all the tools to be dominant and influential. The Saurian will always push the Callipygian Ideal that if you don’t have a tail, then you are not worthy, and they aren’t Saury About That.
The House of Shadows hides the elusive Svarr elves who have sticky fingers and a vendetta. The precept of the Shadows is, “We aren’t a place or a group, but a mentality. Take advantage of every situation and profit from it as much as possible without getting caught.” In the Inky Gloom of the Kymoor Eclipse, be careful not to get Hit and Run over by the Urchins that lie in wait. There is No Safety in Numbers either as they will distract and Swindle you out of your aember with a Bait and Switch tactic. Even the little Hugger-Muggers will take all the aember out of your possession and be gone without a Whisper. Once you realize your aember is missing, you can attempt to file a petition at the local Customs Office; however, while there is no doubt your claim will go over like a Rigged Lottery, at least you will avoid the business end of a Silent Dagger. Don’t expect the elves to help unless you present them with a Treasure Map and a genuine plan for a Heist Night that they see as profitable. Want to join the Chain Gang? You can find them gathered at your local Hideaway Hole if you want to seek them out and gain your own set of Subtle Chains. When stepping into any Gambling Den, you must quickly figure out if you are the Hunter or the Hunted because if you make the mistake of thinking you are in a Safe Place you will quickly feel the Masterplan of these elves and find yourself at the end of a Finishing Blow from the Special Delivery of The Sting. Trust No One when dealing with this house or you will find yourself Hocking your leftover possessions just for a hot meal.
The Star Alliance is a group of galaxy hoppers that rely heavily on teamwork — drawn to the Crucible by the Light of the Archons, Capt. Val Jericho has stated, “We Can All Win with United Actions in the name of unity and coexistence.” Her team sent out Explo-rovers in Stealth Mode to get the Lay of the Land. Following the Book of IeQ, the members of the Star Alliance are conducting a Galactic Census, per General Order 24, and are making an attempt at Forging an Alliance with inhabitants of the Crucible. With the goal of reaching a Peace Accord, they will continue to search the Uncharted Lands and harvest the mysterious substance, known as aember, to unlock its potential and power for the greater good of the universe. This Alliance is ready to go, so grab your blasters and let us explore the realms together.
The most perilous house is the Untamed. Curiosity can get you caught in Grasping Vines, Lifewebs, Stampedes, and Quicksand. Even if you happen to bypass all these perils, then you run the risk at finding the Fangtooth Cavern in the Heart of the Forest. During the Full Moon, the Witches convene around the infamous World Tree, found within the center of the Vineapple Tree grove. They cast Earthbind with a Fertility Chant to aid the forest in producing the ingredients that they need for their Cauldron Boils and the components for potions to turn intruders into Toads with help from the Master of the Witches, Xenos Bloodshadow. The faeries of the forest keep a leery eye on these witches and look for any corruption within these Perilous Wilds. Be wary of the Nature’s Call. This Song of the Wild calms the most Wild Spirit, but you may find yourself Lost in the Woods and suffering from a Punctured Equilibrium. If you are lucky, the Ghosthawk will arrive with the Word of Returning and liberate you from the forest.
Take this information into consideration as you select your alignments and the Archons you choose to champion. You may be the Master of your destiny, but each Archon has one true champion. Select wisely.