|This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.|
Endless Legend is a 4X strategy game by Amplitude Studios set on the planet of Auriga. It's also a game with awesome, if vague, lore. It has everything a cliché setting would have, but presents it in a manner that makes everything seem new and amazing. Like Eberron. Auriga was a laboratory of Precursor race of Endless, who left their creations (like magic nanomachines, driders, crazed god-robots, gardens of impossibly huge or burning trees, not!tyranids, ruins, dungeons and uplifted dragons) all over the place. It had some kind of weather control that used to keep the climate optimal, but in the timeframe of the game it got wonky, and in a thousand years Auriga will freeze over. Endgame of all factions is fucking off on a spaceship before that occurs. In short: A soft sci-fi take on Civilization with decent gameplay and worldbuilding.
- 1 The Endless
- 2 Factions of Endless Legend
- 3 Minor factions
- 4 Endless Legend on tabletop
- 5 External links
The first to travel far and wide across the stars of the Galaxy, The Endless are a species whose society developed on a large, cool planet that they called Tor. It was the second largest body orbiting a star now known simply as Prime. Long winters and scarce resources made their development very slow, but eventually they spread out through the Galaxy, while the underwater branch of the Endless left on Tor were busy digging too greedily and too deep. Eventually, careless and extensive digging caused the home planet to go boom, which was a tragedy for the whole species.
A planet named Kyros was so welcoming and good that it was viewed as a paradise by many religions of the Endless. One of especially charismatic and aggressive cults started a war that resulted in release of a grey goo style weapon that destroyed the planet. This event went down in history as The tragedy of Kyros and made Endless become even more hands-off with colonisation and terraforming. They ended up terminating all religions save one. The Tragedy made already disunified Endless drift even more apart in their philosophies and ways, however.
What started as micro-machines to assist under-oxygenated gills of underwater branch of Endless began to evolve. The nanomachines became ever smaller, ever more mobile, ever more adapted to pulling energy from ambient radiation. Ultimately, they learned to self-network and self-organize, which had the unexpected side effect of creating near-infinite networks of intelligent mechanical nodes.
Therefore, what is now commonly known as "Dust" was a mix of different miniaturized elements that could replicate themselves, self-assemble, and network. Based on technologies of quantum computing and atomic-level miniaturization, Dust was capable of simple physical tasks as well as feats of advanced computing. As large numbers of elements communicated, combined, and interacted, it could even form sophisticated AI systems that were able to achieve advanced levels of reasoning and analysis. Its utility and flexibility became such that Dust was created in enormous volumes and became an integral component of everyday life.
At the time of the Endless Space game, Dust is only known as a rare and priceless resource created by the Endless that appears to give almost god-like incomprehensible powers to its users. For, as the Endless technology to handle it was lost, new races will have to discover the secrets within Dust through experimentation.
On Auriga, in Endless Legend, dust is poorly understood - and incredibly powerful. Capable of anything from facilitating feats of magical might and extending the life of beings which consume it (or very well creating an entire species, ala the Broken Lords) it is the most powerful of all the elements found on the planet. Used as a currency, a material for crafting mighty weapons, and the means by which species such as the Necrophages can become sentient it allows many of the fantastical elements of Endless Legend to exist.
Eventually Dust technology became so developed and so sophisticated that Endless could temporarily upload their minds into computers, and after some time, even completely disassociate their minds from bodies. Those who left bodies behind became known as the Virtual Endless. Once nothing could kill you, why should life have limits? Indulgence and excess rocketed off the scale as vast swathes of the society experimented with lust, gluttony, sadomasochism, the creation of mutants, living toys, extreme self-alteration... Endless society was already highly diverse from stretching all across the Galaxy, but Virtualisation brought upon a schism like never before. Appearance of indulgent Virtuals wasn't universally celebrated, and groups of those named Concrete Endless preached denial of virtualisation. While one side saw no need to invest in biology research and terraforming as the body was no longer necessary, the other clearly sought further breakthroughs in these areas. Splits of budgeting became movements of secession, and the movements of secession eventually broke into open conflict with each other, known after as Dust Wars, cruel, merciless and apocalyptic as they brought upon the downfall of the Endless species...
Factions of Endless Legend
Your usual wood elves that have HUGE ears with Native American vibe... that used their druidic talents of animal empathy and stone and wood-shaping to build a fucking awesome industry and build masterpieces of architecture. Their talents revolve around The Sharing - animal empathy that they can use to subdue animals, see through their eyes, feel their emotion, or turn into them. The Sharing isn't safe, however: those who Share oftem can fall into explosive, uncontrollable rages.
Changing of their ways didn't go without pain: a tribe of rebels who dislike cities and say that Gaia will abandon the Walkers for forsaking their tradition rises against the king, but the rebellion is quickly suppressed.
They are vampire aristocracy combined with Rubric Marines: they are spirits encased in armor that have to eat souls or consume Dust to survive. Before the incident that made them abandon flesh, they were either mutated Concrete Endless or humans of the Roving Clans. (Or are humans mutated Concretes?) As Auriga dies, as she always does, it becomes more and more clear that the Lords of the Amber Plains find it more and more difficult to produce dust and they struggle with how to handle creation of this life giving substance. Many of them see nothing wrong with simply taking living creatures and draining them of life, but the more noble and honourable of them seek other methods to sustain themselves without being genocidal maniacs.
The Broken Lords are incredibly wealthy, requiring Dust as the currency of the setting to literally buy their own population - this raises some interesting questions about their society and how its built up: Do they straight up create new broken lords from the dust or do they just resurrect some of their dead brethren?
At least one Broken Lord managed to escape the death of Auriga.
Originally one of Roving Clans, they are Rage mages of the setting. They derive power from disassociating mind with body (that reminds you of someone, eh?) by going through pain and suffering. BDSM wizards are always glad to sacrifice a limb or two for more power and knowledge. Incredibly focused on gathering new knowledge and developing a greater understanding of dust magic and the world around them, the Ardents are willing to go to great lengths to achieve their goals.
For example, the Ardents can facilitate their own production of resources through the construction of huge floating pillars that affect the land around them - in many cases, the Ardents happily strap their own people to these pillars in order to increase their power.
The "main character" of the series. People that crashed a spaceship on Auriga and lived through numerous cataclysms in underground vaults and tunnels, those created by the Endless or newly dug. Vaulters forgot most of their technology, and so they run around in power armor and armed with crossbows. They worship science and metal. They experimented on one of their clans and expelled it when it revolted, thus creating another faction - The Forgotten.
The Vaulters still tell stories of the sky they came from, and for that reason one of their major motivations is to recreate the ship that they crashed on and return to the stars from whence they came - being the canon 'winners' of Endless legend, this creates a great deal of (justified)Rage.
Cultists of Eternal End
Two robots (The Queen and The Unspoken) created by the Endless that weren't shut down properly and went mad from waiting millennia in the darkness. They now hate everything the Endless created and strive to annihilate all traces of the Endless's legacy, first on Auriga, and then across the stars. They build up only one city and from there send preachers, who use charisma and mind control to turn less civilised minor factions into zealous mobs, eager to serve the Queen and to destroy her enemies.
Beings of immense power, the Queen and the Unspoken mindbreak those around them to force them into cooperating - denying their original purpose of uplifting other species and doing a better job of ruling the galaxy than the Endless did. They do make for some incredible characters though, such as Urol the Speaker who was so affected by the psychic raging of The Queen that her subjects could not communicate well, his mind was wiped clean and he could only think of the languages of Auriga.
A race of skulky lizardmen that was uplifted by Endless into huge, proud and obedient dragons to serve as stewards of Auriga and fend off the Allayi. They are diplomancers of the setting: they have the most influence on international affairs, contacts with everyone from the turn 1, and their diplomacy does work as mind control.
There is a distinction between winged and unwinged Drakken, and the largest of them are closer to the more traditional winged monsters - though rather than a huge need for hoarding wealth, the Drakken scorn gold and advances of science in the face of history, knowledge of factions and historical artefacts. They're also a quality over quantity kind of race - bringing a few incredibly powerful units into battle rather than the hordes or glass cannons of other races.
Another species native to Auriga, uplifted by the Endless as well. Carnivorous locusts with low intelligence and iron guts, the Necrophages can't be at peace with anyone and get food from killing enemy units. They carry disease on their blades and jaws, and they are coming to your neighborhood to lay eggs in your sorry hind-leg ass.
Created as a biological weapon, the Necrophages who are sentient are slowly fading back into the madness of the old times - losing what little grasp on their own minds they have and returning to the simple beasts they had been before immersing themselves in dust to gain greater perspective. In their main campaign quest, they see no hope of surviving this end of Auriga - and instead focus on hiding millions of eggs far beneath the surface in hopes of rising again.
Former relatives (or allies?) of Broken Lords, they are nomadic traders that control the market of Auriga and can exclude anyone they dislike from using it. While being nomadic, they still manage to have cities, carried on backs of giant Setseke beetles. With a society focused on mobility and being able to move across the world, every unit of the roving clans has cavalry speed, and their mighty beetle cities can relocate with minor penalties if needs be.
As the people who see dust most as currency, their mercantile nature prejudices them against war, and for this reason they cannot declare it. However, their natural guile predisposes them towards finding other ways to strike at their enemies and thus they can hire mercenaries to conduct their wars for them entirely anonymously.
Fluffy shifter bat-moths and natives of Auriga, and, possibly, creators of The Guardians. They get more powerful in winter, while everyone else gets weaker. They're incredibly in tune with the nature of Auriga and seek to heal her. As highly religious fluffy bat-men, they gain a great personal understanding of Auriga and her seasons.
Worshipping Auriga however comes with a price - specifically, specialist pearls created by the planet's long winters - which they use both to expand their cities with magical Garths, and to gain the blessings of Auriga herself through a temple (though this can be constructed and used by all races). Some of their units also require these pearls to be created.
The Endless created in their time many races and lab experiments - the Morgawr are one of the few that truly terrified them. Locked deep in undersea facilities for millennia, the Morgawr are a creepy psychic fish hivemind with the only dedicated naval units in the game. Their main goal is to escape the chains that bound them and to survive no matter what. Hivemind isn't actively the best term for them though - to justify Morgawr heroes in game, they're only a 'hive mind' in that they all have a telepathic connection to one another while still being individuals. It just makes them much more likely to act in concert. This technically makes them more like real life Eusocial insects, individuals with the full goal of protecting the colony.
Capable of exercising their psychic might to mind control their enemies, the Morgawr are an incredibly dangerous enemy entirely capable of turning that previously easily ignored minor faction army a province away into a major thorn in your side.
Created by the Vaulters during horrific experiments on their own people, the Forgotten are the bitter mutated remnants of an outcast clan. Adept in espionage and stealth, they excel as assassins and spies - preferring to kill from the shadows and steal what they cannot gather or research themselves.
Decorated with tattoos and piercings, the Forgotten do everything they can to both disassociate with the vaulters who cruelly created them as well as hide their true form. Their abilities in this latter regard go so far as to allow some of them the ability to transform into mist at will, making them incredibly hard to hit and exceptionally good at hitting.
Less ambitious and less technologically and culturally advanced than major factions. Their role is to pester major factions with wandering units when unpacified and provide work force, nice benefits and unit designs when pacified and assimilated.
A melding of arachnid and humanoid, the ceratan are half-spider subterranean creatures with pale skin and hair. Carnivorous and with a taste for blood they prefer warm blooded prey, but can subsist on cold blooded and insectoid food sources. Generally pacifistic, their Drider units act as police and healers to friendly troops; capable of immobilising their enemy through the use of sticky webs.
Nomadic centaurs with a culture based on that of the huns, the Bos can be found all across Auriga - speeding across the plains and wading through snow in equal measure, with shaggy coats to protect them from the winter cold. Though generally quite uneducated, the Bos make for excellent sentries, scouts and foragers, and anyone with their support gains a corps of expert foragers, increasing the food income, and excellent unit to annihilate the enemy bowmen.
Orcish tribes who follow the herds and crops they rely on depending on the season. Like most orcs, they're belligerent and tough, and incredibly skilled with their bows. Fully capable of both hunting and warfare, the Orcs of the Hurnas tribes make for excellent skirmishers, hunters and foragers.
Demonic in appearance and great lovers of fire, the Kazanji have good reason to be drawn to volcanoes and other natural sources of heat. They do not consume food, instead drawing the energy they need to survive from fire itself, reliant on the dust that melds with flame to create the well defined and incredibly tough skeleton that makes them excellent guards for their holy fire shrines. They are also telepathic, using horrific visions to drive their enemies mad.
Blind humanoids with clear Gigerian inspirations in their appearance, focused more on healing than on destruction, the Eyeless Ones focus strongly on that which cannot be seen - this makes for a species that builds simple mud huts to live in, rather than the grander and more decorative structures of the major species.
Your standard female paladins, the Sisters of Mercy are sworn to commit acts of, well, mercy - be that healing the injured or sick and caring for the needy, or killing those who commit evil acts. Their Justicere units are excellent warriors, as well as healers, who act as front line fighters as any good paladin should.
During the civil war of the Endless, when the Virtuals bombed the surface of Auriga to purge their Concrete brethren, the Delvers fled deep underground to survive the flaming apocalypse brought to their world. Now, as they emerge once more, wearing their ceremonial skull masks as a protective charm, their arms, swole from digging their way back up, wield their axes with enough strength to crack even the toughest of armour.
With their ancestors bred for blood sports, the Jotus are genetically bred to be savage warriors and bloodthirsty killers. Only moderately intelligent, the ferocity of the Jotus are their defining feature; their very society is held together by threat of violence and strength. The Jotus also possess the double edged sword of having two heads; though it can be confusing to have two brains controlling the same body, their perceptive abilities are unmatched.
The Urces are simple minded and humble ogres with the physique of giant pit diggers and labourers. Though they do not often fight, being builders and miners who move from place to place, the Urces can be roused in defence of their homes and in the service of trusted friends turning them into incredibly strong mountains of rage and ferocity. The sweeps of their clubs are devastating in the melee of battle. They higly respect sheep and keep them as pets.
Grown in giant underground Caverns, the Silics pick and choose from the crystal farms those with the most potential to endow with intelligence and animation. Tall and powerful, as well as immeasurably old, the Silics are massively effected by dust around them as well as having such a deep connection to Auriga that they can command the ground itself to immobilise their enemies. They might be a part of The Harmony, crystal people that's as old as the Universe itself and the first alien life form encountered by the Endless.
As avian as they may look, the Nidya are more similar to their mammalian, humanoid counterparts all over Auriga with live-born young, advanced societies and a strong sense of roles within those societies. Known for the excellent placement of their settlements for defence and the speed of their Arputja warriors, it is difficult to take the Nidya by surprise.
In their war, the Endless saw casualties on both sides of concrete and virtual. The Haunts are the ghostly remnants of the ancient virtual endless who died upon Auriga's surface, still darkening the halls they once saw as workstations and data-vaults, now nothing but spirits to make the ruins all across the world more dangerous. They are kept going by dust, just as the Broken Lords are, and entirely immune to winter's touch.
Driven into the Tundra by the Drakken, a pack of dust infected wolves became larger and stronger - their canines developing into massive teeth and their pelts becoming thicker and shaggier, allowing them to ignore the harshest touch of the cold. The snows of winter cannot stop the Ice Wargs of the Geldirus.
Large herbivorous minotaurs, the Gauran spend a lot of their lives imitating their bovine ancestors on all fours - generally to eat or travel. But when observing the land around them, fighting, or making use of tools this powerfully built people rear up on their hind legs. The non-alphas of the Gauran herds are often recruited as excellent warriors, holding their heavy two handed weapons high and bellow as they advance in a charging run.
Large hydras, the Erycis do possess hands and arms to use tools with but prefer to enter battle with only their teeth and powerful jaws as weaponry. However, they are capable of eating almost anything and use this to their advantage; by eating poisons they can transfer the toxic material into a specialised gland that can be used as a weapon unto itself, unleashing a toxic cloud.
The Dorgeshi are an offshoot of the Roving Clans, having left after a series of feuds and conflicts grew too vicious for them to safely continue their lives of luxury and trading with their nomadic brethren. But, using the old secrets of their people to tame fearsome lizards, the Dorgeshi grew into incredible heavy cavalry troops to defend themselves and any who can earn their service.
Seemingly robotic, the Fomorians are the producers of all the ships used by non Morgawr races in Endless Legend. However, they enjoy great feasts and excess - their lore is relatively unknown, but due to their living only on the naval facilities left behind by the Endless, it is possible to assume that they date back to the time when that enigmatic race ruled Auriga and that they were left as caretakers and jailers for the Morgawr. However, they do make for damn annoying pirates in every sea.
Endless Legend on tabletop
Anons attempted to create some homebrew tools to play in this setting on tabletop, but, since lore is quite piece-by-piece and lack of 'canon' Auriga map, it's slightly troublesome.
- D&D 5e: http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/HyYiuuklb - races, http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/H1JbpGixW - equipment
- 3.PF: (this anon is still working on it)
- Savage Worlds: https://pastebin.com/1yA2nTEe
- FantasyAGE: https://www.reddit.com/r/EndlessLegend/comments/deh77p