Written by John Kimmel
The Plot Thickens...
Hello fellow Battle Commanders and thank you for joining me today!
Since the original planning of our core plot line for Battle for Sularia: The Battle Begins, which was revealed through one of our Kickstarter videos back in June, a number of additional sources of information have been teased through in-person and online demo and review sources. Currently, the original plot line has been expanded on with new fiction content featured in the “Rumblings of War,” one of our new article features (we say ‘new’ a lot here), by a recently added team member – Matt Ochs. If you’re not familiar with that name yet, Matt O’ is one of three newly added partners here at Punch-It Entertainment and functions as our Senior Creative Writer and Media Director.
While I continue to act as the Creative and Marketing Director on Battle for Sularia, I’m still very much involved with getting my hands dirty and deep in the trenches. As Matt O' has been presenting an excellent narrative with the current adventures of Solomon and Helena; now is the perfect time to step out of said trenches and reflect on a number of Sularia’s world-affair issues with you. So without further adieu, today I’ll be discussing faction relationships as well as a deeper analysis of the overall health of the planet – specifically, the current landscape with the renewed domain expansion and centers of influence of both the Jotune and Synthien.
To bring our new fans up to speed, the game begins about 889 years after the cataclysmic event known as the "Fracture." That provides us a tremendous amount of versatility in terms of how we present each faction, their culture, and most importantly, their level of technology; which really drives the look of our game as well as how each faction functions in terms of game mechanics. While it can be said that there are similar narratives to other post-apocalyptic themes, we’re working on a completely original IP that allows us the freedom to go in a number of different directions.
The current situation on Sularia is that the planet is healing, although the event known as the Fracture left a massive scar on the surface of the planet. This canyon is known by many names, such as: the divide, the great chasm, the great rift, or simply the Fracture. The one thing that is certain, is the closer you come to this massive fissure in the crust, or the deeper you travel into it, bad things happen to those who have flesh and blood. The surrounding areas are known as the Wastes and there are large stretches of land in this area that suffer from radiation storms and the like. Something that may not have been made apparent in previous articles, or in our Kickstarter video, is that the actual planet is huge – literally, massive in scale! While we acknowledged early on that it could be cool to include other planets and make it more of a galactic setting, we opted to focus on one planet. We also felt it increased the drama that all factions are struggling for survival on this one world.
A brief aside, the game visuals and mechanics were somewhat developed hand-in-hand. The original game concept addressed a two resource system, but as the story developed, those resources eventually acquired their identities. For example, as a Battle Commander in the game, you are rising through the ranks and increasing your influence. This influence allows you to acquire followers and resources so that you can develop newly discovered (or rediscovered) sites, which contain sources of sularium – the highly sought after and extremely powerful fuel resource. It’s equivalent to how we use oil or coal here on Earth, but it provides something closer to nuclear level energy output in very small quantities.
The different factions of Sularia have their own cultural systems which are driven by political influence, and each group is developing means in which to find and process sularium. This shared desire to gain influence and obtain more sularium is therefore the primary motivator for conflict in the fiction as well as the premises for the game. Of course, each faction has their own twist with how they function along with additional motivation for entering the battle.
With that in mind, I want to elaborate on our current core factions – the Jotune and Synthien. Technically, there is a third faction known as Mercenary which was also introduced in The Battle Begins, but they tend to play a less pivotal role in the overall course of the story and game – at least for now – well, until Blood, Profit, and Glory is out. There are also two other core factions coming later this year. If you had followed us early on (*hint* or looked closely at our Kickstarter), some of you may already know what those other two factions are, but for now, we are keeping them more under wraps (sorry!) until we are closer to their launch dates in the coming months.
They are space vikings, what else has to be said – ha! For the complete background on the Jotune, check out our fiction page here. The Jotune are definitely a warrior-based society. Through years of genetic research, technological advancements, and a god-like sense of entitlement; they are now leaving the safety of their biodomes on a quest to continue their way of life as the self-proclaimed rulers of Sularia.
While ancient biodome structures like Bergheim are still functioning and continue to serve as a safe haven for the Jotune; new settlements like Security Posts are beginning to dot the landscape in the regions historically regarded to as the Jotune’s domain. In contrast to the wide array of technologies developed by the different houses within a biodome like Bergheim, the newer and more strategically established sites, like a Security Post, will typically only focus on one area of expertise or industry.
Currently, the Jotune are on the move! They have located the Synthien’s new megacity known as Centropolis and are prepared to crush any and all opposition that stands in their way. However, we are beginning to learn that unlike the Synthien who systematically fall under the complete control of Animus Vox, the Jotune are controlled by a number of royal houses under one ruler – Emperor Krionos Vanir. Not all houses follow Emperor Vanir as fanatically as others, so there are constant power struggles amongst the royal houses. In fact, the heads of House Hrothgar and Vassad, Lord Fenris and Lord Oathki respectively, are arguably at war with one another as much as they are with the Synthien. This dynamic of not-so-friendly competition may lead to their own downfall, if they can't agree to put aside their differences.
The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree in regards to the Synthien being more-or-less the children of the Jotune, which I will elaborate on more shortly. If you haven’t already, check out our Kickstarter video for more background on the Synthien. Their story is a little more complicated than what we originally revealed. We know who made them, that they were originally born into servitude, and we are now finding out that their exodus may not have been the most amicable. Likely, and as the fiction develops, we will learn that some within the Jotune society were not in complete agreement with allowing the Synthien to leave freely.
In regards to the “apple not falling too far from the tree,” it could be argued one of the most arrogant personalities in the Battle for Sularia mythos is Animus Vox. To most of his kind, he is viewed as their savior, but as our new fiction points out, other Synthien, like Novum Spero, who became self-aware around the same time as Animus, know that he may have a more sinister side than most realize. As long as the results justify the means, it is unlikely any other Synthien will contest Animus’ control.
We currently find the Synthien finishing construction of their new capital city – Centropolis. In terms of both story and game, this is the Synthien equivalent of an original Jotune biodome. It represents their belief that they should be the new and rightful heirs to Sularia. Centropolis and its denizens are almost entirely inorganic, and therefore immune to the most hazardous effects of the Fracture and its lingering fallout. However, they do have one major flaw: unlike the Jotune, who simply fight for sularium to maintain their way of life, the Synthien require it for their very survival (they're machines after all and need it to power themselves). Coincidently, some of the richest deposits of sularium happen to be in some of the most hazardous areas – deep within the Fracture and throughout the Wastes. Hence, Centropolis was established on a massive sularium fissure deep within the Fracture.
Similarly to the Jotune, the Synthien will establish sites with typically one or two specific functions. However, even a Sularium Mining Station, which is mostly a resource processing site, can be reconfigured almost instantly into a giant sularium energy projection cannon – as seen in such cards like Sularium Tactical Assault Beam.
For now, the result of the first major battle between the Jotune and Synthien remains unknown. In the coming months, I will be discussing our two other core factions in more detail – focusing on their own cultural motivators, their technology, where they call home, and how they interact with the Jotune and Synthien.
Until then, the battle wages on between the Synthien and Jotune!