The Fallen


…And when the time came, the Chosen shed their skins, their clumsy human shells that were so fragile and so imperfect for the glory of new forms. Rising majestically from the Fragments, the Chosen said to those who were to stay behind: “You have not attained perfection. You will remain at the mercy of the Storms and the Mists and the Fragments. You will not follow in our footsteps until you have shed this sickness called humanity.”

- Book of Transcendence, Tales of Ascention, author unknown

After the breakdown of the First Archipelago, knowledge posessed by certain clans exceeded levels not seen for centuries. Shaping and augmenting flesh and bone with magic or machines became trivial for some. Among those who could do such things, a few sought to improve the human condition. With the knowledge they had acquired, they were finally able to transform themselves into something more than human, and the long-awaited goal of posthumanity had become a reality.

Having achieved their goal, those who changed their bodies left for parts unknown, leaving behind those who didn't, or couldn't, change their bodies. Those who now call themselves the Fallen are desperate to replicate the success of their departed brethren. They desperately search for ways to replicate the success of their forbears.

History and Culture

The Fallen are a culture based around the belief that humans are flawed in every way, and consequently a driving desire to change everything about themselves, whether through magical or mechanical means (eg: bolting leather and wood wings to their backs, equpping themselves with larger and sharper claws and teeth, gaining mastery over the storms, the mists and everything else arround them, etc..)

Originally a small group of scientists, they first left the Archipelago with a vast ammount of scientific knowledge of all sorts. They built a culture based around scientific progress, unfettered by other cultures' notions of ethics. Their experiments rewarded them with unprecedented advances in the sciences and a vastly different, ever-changing culture.

Their ultimate goal was posthumanity. Though never explicitely described, it was agreed that they could bring about the next stage in human evolution. Improving the human condition through scientific progress became their goal.

One day, however, the glorious pioneers responsible for much of the progress the Fallen had achieved disappeared mysteriously. Stories abound about what happened to them, but one thing is certain: they took with them most of the knowledge that had been acquired. Those who stayed behind rebranded themselves the Fallen. Over the following years, efforts were made to recover that lost knowledge, but progress has been slow. The current generation fervently hopes to recreate the success of their forbears, believing transcendence to be possible.

Their fragments are littered with the fantastic constructions of those who achieved posthumanity before departing mysteriously, which are now slowly decaying due to the lack of appropriate care.

The Fallen are especially gifted in invention and the blood and bone school of Life Magic, their entire society is geared towards augmenting, changing and refining their physical forms so that they too can achieve transcendence.


The Fallen occupy a large bowl-like fragment. The capital is located at the centre of the depression, above a network of caves which house some of the darker projects the Fallen have indulged in. The city itself is a marvel of engineering, with mechanical contraptions making life easier for its inhabitants. Here, Machinists and Beastmen rub shoulders with the common folk. The Unsullied generally keep to the central tower or the caves beneath, during the short time they spend in the city.

A large city on the coast is a hub of trade and contact with the outside world.

The slopes around are generally given over to farmland on one side of the city, and wilderness in the other. Rumours abound about strange things seen in those woods, but the Beastmen have declared them off-limits to non-Fallen.

Allegiance: Castes

Most Fallen are content with their daily life, which is rarely different from that of the average person in other organisations. Farmers farm, woodcutters farm and miners mine. All the while awaiting posthumanity. A few motivated individuals choose to pursue a life in one of the three “citizen” castes. These are charged with doing everything that is more than just making sure there are the basic necessities.


“Man is only man at the surface. Remove the skin, dissect, and immediately you come to machinery.”

The grunts, the workforce, the soldiers and builders, the lowest rank in fallen society. The Machinists augment themselves with wood and steel frames to bolster their strength and durability, seeking posthumanity by adding to themselves rather than changing their bodies.

There are as many different types of Machinists as there are jobs that need doing, from the builders, whose frames and armor protect their bodies and enable them to carry loads that would require several ordinary men, to precision workers, whose faces have been covered with a selection of movable lenses and whose mechanical tools enable them to craft precision instruments.

The armies of the Fallen are known as the Dethseekers. They believe the posthumanity is a product of glory in battle. They are fiercely loyal and rumoured to be fearless.

The armies of the Fallen are as driven by faith as the rest of their society. Fallen Deathseekers are a fearsome sight on the battlefield, with armoured steel plates and metal claws literally bolted to their bodies. Wings, rebreathers and a variety of equipment that can be attached to them make them extremely versatile shock troops, but their weight and lack of mobility and speed make them unsuitable for much more than a direct assault.

Deathseekers have a rigid command structure, with upwards movement only possible when a position is freed, either by the death of the incumbent or by his promotion.

The head of the Machinists is known as the Warpriest, and leads the Deathseekers into battle. the Tinkerers and Craftsmen are generally self-supervising, free to pursue their own goals, but can occasionally be assigned tasks by the Warpriest. Warpriest Khal is the incumbent, a large veteran of many battles, with several limbs replaced by mechanical additions after their loss in battle.


One man's “magic” is another man's engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.

A more privileged caste than the machinists, into which can either be born or move up into. They have cast off the clumsy trappings of mechanical improvements in favor of magical ones. The improvements they make to their bodies (or for which they pay the mages) are as varied as there are animals. Some have the wings of birds, or bats, or fins, gills and shark's teeth. Some improvements are merely cosmetic in nature (pointed ears, slitted pupils) while others make the Beastmen deadly foes (poison sacs, razor-sharp claws, and in some of the more extreme cases, extra limbs)

There is about one Beastman for every ten Machinists. The Beastmen are elite warriors, commanders, and aristocrats.

Within the Beastmen are a group calling themselves the Spellsingers. They are masters of Spirit Magic and the ones on whom the burden of finding a path to Posthumanity rests. The magical arm of the Beastmen, they spend the greater part of their time researching to improve their rituals. Volunteers from the Machinists are regularly experimented on. If successful, the Machinist sheds his mechanical improvements in favour of the new biological ones. If they fail, the corpses are usually returned to the Machinists for disposal.

The head of the Beastmen is known as the Wildpriest. The Wildpriest is elected annually by a vote submitted to all the Beastmen. The Wildpriest's duties involve supervision of magical projects and other administrative duties. The current Wildpriest is Jhan, whose elongated teeth and poweful limbs make for an intimidating figure.


“There is a kind of perverse beauty in being mundane, a thrill that others do not experience. It's exhilarating to be able to walk down a street without having everyone looking at you.”

The rulers of the Fallen, and the ones in charge of dealing with outsiders. Unsullied are revered by the rest of their fallen for their dedication. Unsullied refuse to undergo any changes leading to posthumanity, to better serve as diplomats and agents to other nations.

Diplomacy and trade with the other factions is almost exclusively done by the Unsullied. Fallen society considers anyone not a member to be inferior, and contact with them would just tie them more to their humanity. Unsullied valiantly forgo posthumanity for the good of the Fallen.

Unsullied have greater freedom to operate outside Fallen society as spies and informants if necessary. Unsullied within fallen society act as judges and administrators.

Unsullied are ruled by the Orrery, a mechanical contraption said to house a god, sheltered in the depths of the Fallen's home fragment. Some of the unsullied are tasked with interpreting the Orrery's movements and decoding them into orders for it's members.



Fallen are nominally ruled by the Orrery, a mechanical contraption housed beneath the capital, the movements of which are interpreted by the Unsullied and rendered as orders. Otherwise, the different castes keep to themselves, each pursuing their own route to posthumanity.

Furthermore, there have always been ideological differences between Beastmen and Machinists about which is the correct path to posthumanity, sometimes merely being playful rivalry and sometimes being bloody conflicts. Unsullied are usually looked up to as impartial judges when disputes arise.


Fallen are extremely distrustful of outsiders, regarding them as inferior and uneducated. Skilled individuals, however, are highly prized by the Fallen, and they attempt to recruit masters of various fields into their ranks.

Scorn for Storm

Many Fallen regard storm magic as a tool of those who cling to their humanity, capable only of destruction. The only use they have for it is to power the designs of the Machinists, and even there it is preferrable to find other alternatives, such as steam or clockwork.


The fallen have firm beliefs in the fact that humans are imperfect. The fallen spend their whole live striving to better themselves to achieve post humanity, the perfect existence, and ultimately transcendence. How precisely it is achieved or what it constitues varies according to the individual, but all agree that it involves bettering their bodies. Through battle or self improvement the fallen believe post humanity is achievable by anyone who deserves it.

Beyond this, the Fallen revere their ancients, who achieved posthumanity and subsequently disappeared. Vakshigal, Kerris, Kerain, Shianor, Vlad and Chyrok are just a handful of the names of the ancients revered for their actions.


Until recently the Fallen had little to do with the other cultures, and as they have no such thing as individual property, they have no established system of currency. In initial negotiations with the other factions bartering for goods has occurred, but the Fallen are still deciding if a more solid currency should be created.

The Orrery

This massive clockwork contraption lies at the centre of the system of caves located beneath the Fallen capital. Over the years, many have tried to pierce its secrets, and none have succeeded. It moves apparently on its own, guided by some mysterious force from within.

The Fallen soon found that it could process information and predict likely outcomes. The Unsullied devised a way of decoding its messages and now use it to efficiently rule Fallen society. The Unsullied guard its secret language closely, and the means of decoding its messages are only known to the highest-ranking members.

game2/the_fallen.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/13 17:46 by gm_fabio