With the arrival of the Collapse and the onset of the Darkness, humanity was shattered and wiped nearly to extinction. The structure and fibre of leadership and government dissolved leaving nothing to replace it. As humanities last vestiges grouped together, forming the Last City, powerful factions came to the forefront, each with differing ideals. Each offering something new. Each attempting to garner power.
But as is the case with many differing formulae coming together, the arguments to sway the population became violent. Factions and their leaders went from coercing innocent members to join their side, to waging an all out conflict with opposing factions. These skirmishes became known as the Faction Wars and it was a period of further instability within the Last City where there should have been only peace and unity. The chaos got so out of hand that members of the Legion of the Light (Guardians), were brought in to help end the conflict. Their supernatural powers efficiently brought to heel, the surviving factions and an unsteady peace was wrought. Alongside the leadership of the Speaker, who speaks for the silent Traveler and the Vanguard, an agreement known as the Consensus was established, wherein certain powerful factions were admitted to the Tower to pursue their goals through more tame, civil channels, with the charge of assisting in the Cities protection. These factions admitted into the Tower, from the Last City, still bear the scars of the Faction Wars and each attempt to garner as much power and influence that they can, by swaying the minds of Guardians, both young and old.
The initial Factions within the Tower under the conditions of the Consensus were the New Monarchy, Dead Orbit and Concordat. However, when the violence and radicalism of the Concordat reached the pinnacle of tolerance, they were expelled from the Last City and in order to maintain the allegiance and presence of those Guardians pledged to the Concordat, it was decided to establish the Future War Cult’s presence in the Tower.
The Concordat was an early and powerful City faction headed by an individual under the name of Lysander. Much of their early ideology is still unknown to this point but based on their emblem (seen above), depicting a closed fist, it was most likely revolving around absolute and crushing power. Lysander and his band of chosen many, contained in their minds and hearts, radical views of how to utilise the Traveler’s Light and its Guardians as well as strong thoughts against both the Speaker and the Vanguard. Anxiety grew among those of the Consensus about the Concordat’s loyalty to the very same Consensus. In the above photo, there are signs of a vicious struggle because the final battle of the Concordat against the accepted laws of the Tower was undertaken there. In the final stand of the Concordat, they were defeated at Bannerfall by Guardians under New Monarchy. They were then expelled from the Last City with calls to disband the faction under orders from the Consensus. As stated earlier, those Guardians who had pledged themselves to the fulfilment of the Concordat’s goals were too valuable, especially after the loss of Guardian life at the Battle of the Twilight Gap. With this frame of mind, the Consensus brought in the Future War Cult, for former Concordat Guardians to join.
The New Monarchy, are one of the founding factions of the Consensus and an ever present group within the Tower. They arose from the ashes and destruction of the faction wars with a simple, yet complex dogma – ‘Together we will rise’. The New Monarchy, headed by Executor Hideo, is wary of the fragile state of the Tower’s politics and its divided leadership and believes that the ultimate safeguard of the people of the Last City and its Guardians is to establish a permanent and unopposable individual as a leader, a dictator.
New Monarchy has seven basic tenets that govern its faction beginning with;
-Protecting the rights and liberties of every upstanding citizen. This has ominous connotations as the rights of those who descend pass the level of upstanding could be in serious danger.
-To protect our walls from our enemies without – however what constitutes an enemy? Someone who wishes to do you harm? Or someone who disagrees? Everything is fair to at least one person within a monarchy.
-To salvage the ruins of the Golden Age and to sponsor the sciences of that great period so an age of prosperity can once again be reborn.
-The support the Guardian orders by leading the City in technological innovation. It is easy to sway the support of the Guardians, when leading the technological demand during a time of war. The Guardians desperately need upgrades to their arsenal and New Monarchy is attempting to sway and then heavily arm those loyal to them.
-To support the natural harmony of the City and to actively dissuade any individual that might disrupt that harmony.
-To hold all individuals, compacts and alliances to the highest standards of right behaviour and productivity (Only if you agree with them of course).
-To, by the vote of the Consensus, abolish the Consensus and transfer power over to a distinguished character of unimpeachable, sovereign power. This is done, of course, only to safeguard the rights and liberties of the people. New Monarchy ultimately is attempting to install a permanent emperor or king that can never be removed from power and defiance to their orders will lead to a swift and brutal end.
Dead Orbit, headed by Arach Jalaal, has had their ideology evolve over a period of decades, from a mere sense of defeat and fatalism about the Darkness to an overarching need to escape the Solar System to locate a new home for humanity to rebuild the Golden Age. This ideology fails to address what will happen when the Darkness comes hunting for them but they are content with salvaging and building a vast fleet of ships in order to escape the system when the time is right. Despite their pessimistic outlook on surviving the Darkness, the Dead Orbit has been essential to many of the Vanguard’s victories and the provision of the entire Dead Orbit fleet serves as one of the last defensive lines of the City and the Tower itself..that is until they decide to leave for star systems unknown.
Dead Orbit scoured the system for salvage, even being so bold as to delve into the territory of the Awoken, searching for more parts to add to their fleet. The Sophia (greek for wisdom), discovered a station they dubbed, A-113. It was human make they thought. Either way the leader of the Sophia, another Arach of Dead Orbit wanted it for the Fleet. No one told the Tower for fear of a Guardian exploring it that was not of their making, or their creed. Crippled by an Awoken ship, they were left without engines and comms, forced to limp around the belt near Ceres. Eventually they jumped ship for A-113. It was a fatal mistake. Specialised objects that bore a resemblance to keyholes were on board. Rangefinders detected the space within them to go for thousands of kilometres. Members of Dead Orbit who ventured inside were driven mad. Screaming about the eye and terrible things besides. The Arach was the last one left, and begged a discovered Ghost to relay the message to Dead Orbit at the Tower. To leave them there. Forget the Sophia and A-113. Whatever was out there was terrible, at the edge of the Light and the Dark. Was it the Darkness, unending and malignant? Or something worse? One thing is for sure, the salvage around station A-113 will never make it home.
FUTURE WAR CULT
The most secretive of all the Consensus ruled factions, Future War Cult is headed by a taciturn exo known as Lakshmi-2. No one knows the exact origins and beliefs of this ancient faction but symbols and marks belonging to this cult has been found on ancient chambers and camps dating all the way back to the Golden Age. Lakshmi-2 being on her third reset cycle may in fact have been a survivor of the Darkness and may have been one of the leaders of the cult even back then. They are silent and secretive about their goals but they do believe one fundamental creed – you must fight the Darkness in order to have even the slightest hope of surviving.
One of the many mysteries of the Future War Cult revolves around a strange artefact known as the Device. Its functions appear to operate as a prophecy generator, revealing to willing and strong subjects the future of the City and its occupants. A record of test subjects has been discovered pertaining to the FWC and their experiences with the Device. An individual known only as Subject 23, who was a former artist of the Last City before being aligned with the Future War Cult, stepped within the Device and while reporting a sensation of floating, discovered a series of white, gold and blood red lights bobbing around on a sea of darkness. She then felt someone taking her hand. Someone who was a stranger but at the same moment was herself. Subject 23 then entered into a state, known only as the Opening of the Veil. Her consciousness began to displace from her body as recorded by the Device, after which she began screaming. Absolute terror. Her brain activity was practically null – near death. She was removed from the Device at that point. The vision she had received was one of darkness and terror. Nothing had survived its own destruction.
Within the great natural confines of a Golden Age laboratory in Tibet, a blueprint for a prototype of the Device was discovered. It needed to be refined. The Device was too dangerous for the human mind. It broke them no matter how strong willed they were. They have no concrete proof of what was coming. Out of a combined total of 47 subjects, 11 had reported timelines within which the Darkness had prevailed, 13 spoke of visions where the Last City had already fallen. They need to know more. A stronger kind of mind is needed. A search for this individual is paramount. The Future War Cult is playing with an object they do not understand. Does it just show differing versions of a same reality? Or is the inevitable doom of the City to succumb to the Darkness as billions before them did? They need answers from someone they do not have. Perhaps the Stranger?