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Arvara, a fertile world. Wildly varying environments across its' surface are home to a wide variety of peoples of humanoid Mammalian animal species.
They live in a technologically advanced society, the majority in two large coalitions of nations: The Northern Empire, and the Southern Block. Between them, across the spread of the equatorial area of the main continent are the Independent states.
The history of the Arvarans remains unknown.
No-one really knows how they came to be; they have little in the way of myths or legends, as the majority of their information is provided in factual form by the computer network - known simple as 'The Net' - that was present with them, as far as they can tell, since their creation.
The awareness of their lack of history came about when, almost overnight, the people asked the same question all in one go: 'How'?
They realized that the sun and moon, that the seasons and their routines were all normal and regular, but that they had no knowledge of how they knew these things to be, and that they had no knowledge of their past.
Immediately, chaos reigned, as questions rose all around the world. People in uproar turned to all manner of explanations, looking both outward and inward.
Opinions clashed, resulting in violent conflicts and the formation of opposing groups, each looking for answers about their origins, and their creators, as the single opinion formed that yes, they must have been created. But why had they been abandoned? And by who?
As time passed by, the conflicts resolved into stalemates with the formation of the two power blocks in each hemisphere, with the Badlands of Arana in between as a buffer.
A few nations remain independent, following their own course and trying to remain free of the gathering shadows of war and disquiet from both the North and South.
Arvara is a world with a comfortable level of gravity, a conventional oxygen/nitrogen/carbon-dioxide atmosphere.
The world has one huge continent, and a large number of small islands which are home to numerous independent settlements.
The ocean is large, deep, and salt-water, and home to many fish and other creatures that are farmed and harvested for food.
Most fresh water is underground, only coming to the surface in rivers, lakes, and a few 'inland seas'. There are numerous aquifers beneath the surface, and many huge cavern-systems that link the lakes and oases scattered across the worlds' surface.
Vegetation is plentiful and varied, with much of it edible by the Arvaran inhabitants of the planet, who have also introduced many of their own species, along with numerous animal species for food consumption.
The seasons are narrowly varied, with Summer and Winter being the most widely contrasted. Summer is dry, arid and bright, with a short stormy season in its' middle where the rainfall is torrential and winds are strong. However, otherwise rain is scarce in the summer in most areas other than the poles.
In winter time, the cold areas expand drastically from the poles, and snow is not uncommon in both the North and South, with rainfall also common over the Badlands.
The world has two small moons, both of which are a similar distance from the planet, named Iro and Callepsis, after two of the first scholars and philosophers of Arvanan society. Close observation with telescopes has revealed both to be lifeless and barren, with little surface features.
Iro is whitish in colour, while Callepsis is blueish, believed due to heavy cobalt concentrations.
There are many mountain ranges and volcanic areas of the planets' surface, a large amount of which are throughout the Badlands and the areas bordering them - hence the name - and are subject to frequent tectonic disruptions.
the geological makeup of the planets' crust means there are large areas of geo-magnetic flux and interference, that makes long-distance flight difficult. Thus, aircraft are not used widely on long-range flights, and are instead mainly limited to short-range low-altitude flight.
The same magnetic effect is highly concentrated in some areas, meaning that it is possible to create magnetic repulsion vehicles such as land-cruisers.
The Northern Empire is ruled over by the cruel and power-hungry Varellis Family. A dynasty of black-furred foxes, the Varellis family managed to charm, persuade, threaten and manipulate their way into leading the Northern Nations.
Claiming to have found evidence on the 'net that they are somehow connected to the Creators of the Arvaran race, they have decided that this makes them most suited to direct the destiny and goals of the Arvarans as a species, and take the lead in discovering more about the universe and the Arvarans origins and purpose.
This sentiment is of course not shared by everyone, but over the past 500 years they have managed to become quite convincing about the idea, and have built up something of a cult of personality around their origins, and - some more than others - have even bought into their own legend.
Of course, the idea only works if there is no question, and the Empire rigidly enforces its' rule and laws through the use of brutal tactics and justice, and by watching all of its' subject states with hawk-like attention.
Police and 'discipline enforcers' are on every street corner, while the Secret Police are everywhere you can't see. Access to the 'net is restricted and monitored, and filtered down through levels of check and balance by the Empires' ministries and bureaus to prevent anyone learning too much.
The Empire has a huge base of industry and infrastructure due to its' excess of valuable raw materials, but is lacking in the same technological prowess and advances as the Southern Alliance. It does have overwhelming numbers of its' moderately less advanced designs, which are easier to put into mass production.
Climate and terrain wise, the North is colder and more mountainous, but also has extensive areas of lush grassland, rolling hills, and evergreen forests, alongside clear, fast-running rivers and waterfalls, as well as many large inland seas and lakes.
The Northlands are also home to one of Arvara's most unique terrain features, the gigantic Horas Crater, far into the very northern reaches of the globe, and one of the most heavily guarded areas of the Empire.
The capital of the Empire is Verellis City, home to the sprawling Royal Palace, a beautiful if overly complex combination of fortress, headquarters and home to the Imperial Family and all of the Empires' ministries, departments, and bureaus.
Northern Technology is often more robust and easier to mass-produce than Southern Technology, but is less complex, and often lacks a lot of the extensive features and capabilities of Southern Alliance equipment.
Northern GEARs tend to be less humanoid in their appearance, often opting for quadruped models, or models lacking in hands, or hand-held weaponry.
The Southern Alliance came about almost directly as a response to the Empires' declarations. A number of smaller groups that banded together into first countries, and then into a multi-national Alliance, the Southern Alliance directly opposes the Empires' claims of divinity and leadership, and stands against their attempts to claim the rich and verdant Southlands for their own, to feed and expand their global ambitions.
The South is lead by a council of representatives, each elected into their position through merit and voluntary democratic votes, often helped by their social contribution and standing, with numerous councillors and representative for various matters, from agriculture, education and communications to such things as culture and entertainment.
The South is vocal and proud about its' great freedoms and civil liberties, and the fact its' citizens can choose their own path in life, going into any profession they wish, and learning whatever they want from the 'net.
However, digging a little under the surface reveals that there is significant internal corruption within the Alliance Council, and that everyone is secretly monitored in their activities, and that the freedom of people is exaggerated; manipulation behind the scenes keeps people from certain roles, and controls the movement of the population, as well as curtailing the rise of 'subversive' subcultures, elements, and thinking but presents a fresh, upbeat and open face all the time.
The South is less blessed with raw resources and thus less manufacturing capability than the North, but has spent more time in developing the technology it has, resulting in more technologically advanced creations, but less of them. Complex multi-purpose systems, and systems that can be rapidly reconfigured are the staple of Southern technology, with a lot of automation.
The South is also less-populated, but has more fertile land overall, with less ice and snow, and more rolling grasslands, deciduous forests and jungles, and more liquid water.
All of these are attractive to the North, and the Empire regularly criticises and chastises the Southern Alliance for not sharing more of this farming land and land for development with them or the Independent Nations, though the South regularly hits back by stating the Empires' outright intentions to take over the South and Independent Nations.
Southern GEARs and other technology tend to feature more advanced and complex-looking designs, with much more aesthetic style and more curved and organic shapes. Their GEARs tend to be more humanoid in appearance, often using hard-point mounted weapon systems, and hand-carried weapons for maximum flexibility. These weapons are also often interchangeable between GEARs and other vehicles.
Around mostly the Equatorial Region of Arvara's main continent, and scattered over the few small islands in the worlds' single ocean are the Independent States.
Not being part of either the Empire or Alliance, the Independent States are either loosely allied to one or the other - and often engaged in proxy wars on their behalf - or are fiercely independent, dealing only with one or the other in trade.
The Independent Nations are not big enough to threaten the Alliance or Empire individually, but instead remain free as they are of no benefit or detriment to either power bloc as they are, and taking them over would cause the others to band together and overthrow either one side or the other, or worse ally with each side against the other.
Many of the independent nations also have various rare resources or qualities that are available for trade with one nation or the other, and are carefully guarded, allowing them to remain independent, and not part of the power blocs.
Landren is the largest of the independent states on the Continent, and is centrally placed within the Badlands, and between the North and South, on the edge of the Drennian Inland Sea.
A vital trade and travel hub between the nations and many bordering Independent States, Landren is a vibrant, liberal and open state, with a vast amount of personal and political freedoms. Education, healthcare and welfare are all very important issues in Landren Society, and access to the 'Net is nation-wide and unrestricted.
Landren has reasonable natural resource reserves for its' size, and is capable of a small level of domestic production of military and domestic electronics and equipment, though most of its' goods are imported from both the North and South in exchange for raw materials and food-stuffs from both.
Well aware of its' important position politically and geographically, Landren maintains a very professional, technologically advanced, and highly-trained yet small military, with numerous reserve and militia elements, that are often used to patrol the outlying settlements to defend the people there against bandits, hostile wildlife, and help in disaster relief, due to the small size of the regular military, and its' ongoing role in defending the borders.
Landren is a societal and cultural melting pot, with many different species and cultures making up the overall whole of it's society, and maintaining their own traditions against the greater backdrop of Landren as a whole. As such, the music, entertainment, food, and art of Landren is very cosmopolitan compared to the more monolithic impressions of the North and South, and even of Landrens' neighbouring nations.
Due to this mingling of societies, Landren military equipment tends to be almost hodge-podge in appearance, and a unit will often be made up of varying GEARs, but they will be trained and exemplary professionals in their work, and often mixing reserve and full-time, or even militia, soldiers into the same unit to improve cross-training, and promote the mixing of ideas and methods, rather than rigidly sticking to the same methods and practices.
The Arvarans are a race of anthropomorphic humanoids. Over one hundred Mammalian and Marsupial species make up the Arvaran Race as a whole, and live all over the planets' surface in a wide variety of terrains and landscapes.
Their heights, weights, builds and personal appearances vary wildly, and their personalities, intelligences and outlook on life and the world are equally as varied.
Much of this variety is based on their upbringing, surrounding, and general station and circumstances in life, and is influenced by the people and events around them.
Arvarans are technical skill-users, and are quick to learn new things, displaying great emotional and intellectual intelligence and self-awareness, and being well-removed from their animal origins, despite displaying some remnants of their instinctual and biological drives. This is most especially evident in the fact that while there are species of Arvaran that are derived from Carnivorous and Herbivorous species, virtually all Arvarans subsist on an omnivorous diet, with meat provided either from animal species that co-exist on the planet (mostly reptiles and bird species), or from vat-grown meat.
The idea of eating another Arvaran is a huge social taboo, and is seen with utter revulsion by anyone considered to be of sane mind and body, and is a criminal act, treated with the utmost severity, as is the murder or harm of any other Arvaran outside of the circumstances of war and self-defence.
Arvarans are capable of biological reproduction within their species and with those closely related to their own, such as Lions and Tigers, or Foxes and Wolves. Gender is rarely an issue of equality, though this too can vary depending on the region or group the individual is from.
All Arvarans have a full coat of bodily fur, which varies wildly in colour and length, depending on their species, as well as - often - head 'hair' which is sometimes coloured differently, and styled for the sake of fashion of practicality.
Arvarans wear clothing for protection against the elements, for practical reasons, and for the sake of modesty and to express individuality and personality.
Genetically, Arvarans are extremely stable, with little genetic diseases or instabilities being present, and most Arvarans being very physically resilient to illness or disorders, though some make themselves apparent over successive generations.
Mental illnesses are almost unknown, however many psychological points of view - such as anti-social leanings or intentions, and violent criminal tendencies - are often treated as such, due to the lack of experience and long history to fall back on for reference.
Criminal actions are often seen as a form of illness, due to their harm to the well-being and continuing function of society - especially in the cases of criminal damages and violence against others - due to the detriment and distress they cause to others, and many criminals are 're-educated' as part of their punishment.
Criminal punishment often includes enforced labour on the behalf of the common good, and criminals are given permanent notations on their Social Record as a further mark of punishment.
The Arvarans have developed their culture and society extensively and intensively over the last 1500 years or so. Much entertainment and art has developed solely over this time, as have social activities as a whole.
Societal traits have also developed greatly over this time. Most societal values are based around the idea of living peacefully and comfortably, and being able to raise offspring and live in comfort with romantic partners for the mutual benefit of one another, and to be able to enjoy a comfortable social lifestyle without complications or hardships brought on by others.
Religion as a whole does not really exist; with the 'Net to provide factual information and answers to many questions and a scientifically and technically advanced society already in place, there is little room for mythologies and beliefs of a religious and spiritual nature to exist.
There is a reverence for life, but it is based on the emotional value of others, rather than the belief in a soul. As such, the birth of a child or the passing of a friend are treated with the appropriate respect and sadness or happiness as a appropriate, and as a chance to reflect on the accomplishments of others and the self.
Only the North has a religion of a sort, based in the self-created mythology and cult of personality based around the Varellis family, and it's supposed link to the Creators of the Arvaran race, and their claim to be the 'correct' path to its' destiny. However, outside of the Empire, these beliefs are seen as fundamentally unsound, flawed, and ultimately not beneficial to a stable society.
Art and entertainment are based around many other alternative things. Drawing, painting and sculpting subjects are often of natural phenomena such as landscapes, animals, or as portraits and scenes of day-to-day life. Imaginative or 'concept' art based on emotional states are also present, though not as common. Many are praised for their realism or the artists' personality and unique stylistic choices coming through.
Imaginative art and entertainment is also popular, with many productions based on 'what if' scenarios of popular events, or on theoretical futures. Other stories are 'slice of life' dramas about the relationships and other day-to-day happenings of various people.
Writing on paper is also popular, originating with technical manuals and subjects, but later including biographical records, and even fictional accounts. Mass printing via the Net is popular, and many Arvarans enjoy paper books due to their physicality, and the sensation of possessing the book itself, and the more 'intimate' sensation of reading for pleasure, or even for work.
Other popular recreational activities include social eating and drinking - often of alcohol - either at home or at restaurants, cafes, or other social eateries, and of simply socialising by talking about all manner of subjects.
Sports and physical activities are also common for social occasions, derived from regular physical exercise regimens found in The Net, and evolved over time into friendly competition. Various types of familiar game and athletic activity are found all over the world, evolved from the simple exercises and athletic games found in the 'net into competitive sporting events and past-times.
Technology on Arvara is quite advanced, and covers a wide variety of devices and disciplines.
Computer Systems and The Net
Computer systems are found everywhere, with almost every electronic device used by an Arvaran in any walk of life having some form of linkage to the 'Net, and some computer elements and processing power.
Personal Data Devices or PADDS are one of the most common devices across all nations, and incorporate many functions into one, with digtal video/audio playback and editing, audio/visual/textual communication, data sending and receiving and more all built into one unit powered by solar and thermal absorption, as well as a kinetic battery. Even the North use PADD's, though their 'Net access is heavily restricted.
Larger similar devices exist, and have the ability to project holographic images, and interface with other systems. Most computing devices are designed and programmed - usually by the 'net itself - to be interactive and compatible with other devices, making everything extremely user-friendly.
Most large buildings or vehicles - such as ships or Landcruisers - have a central computer system of great processing power that manage and controls their various systems, such as power regulation, life support systems, data processing from sensors, communications and so on. These are large, immobile units with their output linked to the numerous smaller terminals and displays throughout the installation or vessel in question.
GEARs and other vehicles, military or civilian, also have computer systems built into their design that serve a similar management function, and have numerous net interface systems as a safety feature, and allow them to share information and data with each other and other parties.
Most blueprints for technological devices are harboured deep within the Net, as are massive databases of information on almost any manner of subject, meaning the 'net is vitally important to everyday Arvaran life. It is used as an educational and professional tool, a form of entertainment, and a form of mass communication. The 'net has access to almost every and any device created with any form of electronics in it, and is ever-present around the Arvaran people.
The 'net itself has no intelligence or sapience to speak of, but is capable of answering questions posed to it, though answers in the most basic and factual of terms, and cannot provide complex theoretical answers to problems. It does appear to have some capacity of logical reasoning, but has no personality as such, and no emotional context or capability, nor any - apparent, at least - motivation or driving force of its' own.
The 'Net does not, and indeed cannot, directly intervene in day-to-day life unless specifically asked to do something, and even then can only help in particular ways, despite it's ability to constantly monitor the Arvaran Species.
For example: An elderly Arvaran collapses in his room. The 'Net, through its' access to medical records and Social Databases, is aware that the person suffers from various medical problems. Using the various sensors in the apartment, the 'net determines his bodily temperature and irregular breathing. After trying to rouse the person with vocal contact on speakers, and receiving no response, the 'net makes an emergency call.
Example 2: A young Arvaran loses their favourite toy, and asks the 'net to help find it. Rather than instantly giving the location, the 'net finds the toy through its' cameras and camera records, and then guides the child to the toy using 'hot' and 'cold' vocal and visual cues.
The 'net will not aid either side in the war by revealing any strategic or personal information about anyone involved, as it is focused on helping the Arvaran race as a whole, and has no guiding intelligence. Any information entered onto the Net by an entity is also subject to security entered by that group or individual, and cannot be accessed by anyone else without the correct authorisation.
No Artificial Intelligences of any great complexity have been knowingly developed so far by the Arvaran people as a whole, and there is no current drive toward creating a sapient, sentient AI, as there is seen to be no need for such as yet. Simple AI's exist for the operation of large, complex systems, such as city-wide traffic and utilities control, or for the operation of manufacturing equipment in a factory, and others for the operation of Drones for various purposes, but they lack little in the way of learning or developing programs.
Communications And Interface Technologies
Radio is still widely used, though often using high-end frequencies and microwave transmission, rather than simple UHF/RF transmission, though this too is used over short distances. Digital Radio transmission and reception is common in most environments, and laser communications are often used for data transfer, especially in less urbanised areas where Magnetic interference is common. Drones or other vehicles are often used as relay stations in these scenarios, to get around Line-Of-Sight problems. Communications within urban and other developed areas often use land-lines, due to their reliability and practical nature.
Receivers and interfaces use holographic technology, projecting images and control interfaces into the air around an operator or viewer, with both 2D and 3D elements used depending on the subject matter. Haptic Controls are used for the most part for most systems, and activate via user proximity to the device, the controls springing into life when they detect body heat or a shadow blocking an optical sensor within usually a foot or so from the device. Others are activated by a single physical touch-control to bring them to life.
In vehicles, Haptic interfaces supplement rather than replace physical controls, due to the possibility of a systems failure. Haptic technology is also not used in most tools or weapons, due to the added complexity and room for error, though holographic interfaces are still used to display things such as targeting, ammunition count, or other relevant information.
Power Generation and Distribution
Power systems are varied across Arvara. Most cities and settlements use forms of solar, geothermal or wind power in combination with thermal power generated from the incineration of non-recyclable waste products and other materials. Tidal power is also common.
GEARs and most other vehicles use Ulta High Density (UHD) Battery modules that are recharged from a central power supply station in a communal location, or in the case of a combat vehicle, from a deployable solar array, or a Landcruisers' central power system.
On some vehicles designed to operate for extended periods away from a central base, fuel-cells may be used instead, usually using some kind of hydrogen reaction for power.
Landcruisers and ships tend to use small-scale fusion reactors for power, based on a torus-type design for safety purposes, as in the case of a breach there is little lasting hard radiation, and the waste is limited to the slagged reactor and it's immediate surrounding - from the massive internal heat of the nuclear fusion - itself. Such reactors also only need a regular intake of water at long intervals to continue functioning.
Power distribution is usually handled through conventional cabling, though often buried deep underground to avoid interruption of power. Over long distances, suspended power-lines are used, though most settlements will have their own power generation stations.
Ground transport is the most common form of transportation on Arvara, and most vehicles are wheeled or tracked.
Railways are used over short distances and for particular purposes - such as within a large facility like a dockyard for Landcruisers or Ships for transporting and transferring cargo, or for the distribution of manufactured products around a large production area, or even as an inner-city mass transit system, such as a mono-rail or subway.
Road travel is more common though, with many Arvarans owning or using road vehicles. Communal taxis are present in most large cities, along with buses and other mass transportation. Automobiles, transport trucks, vans, personal motorcycles and anything inbetween are all commonplace, along with various military and other special-purpose vehicles.
Most vehicles feature an element of automation, often as a form of assistance to take over from the driver and assist in navigation.
Aerial transport is less common but still known, though mostly over short distances. Rotary winged aircraft are common as rapid transports in urban areas, and are used by police and other emergency services, and by important individuals to get from place to place as a high priority. Militaries often use them for close support, transportation, scouting and reconnaissance, and for other purposes. Navies especially use them for crossing ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship purposes, alongside their smaller vessels.
Jet and propeller aircraft are also used for short-range, and occasional long-range transportation, and are used for many of the same purposes as rotary-winged aircraft, though often with the purposes of higher speed and altitude in mind.
Many aircraft are capable of being armed, and are extremely dangerous and efficient when used in combat.
Watercraft are also widely used, and come in many varieties and shapes, with multi-hulled craft being as common as mono-hulled ones in both large and small sizes. Submersible craft are also common, and both types of craft use supercavitation technologies to reach high speeds efficiently.
Close in to shores, many craft use hovercraft technologies and hydrofoil technologies to reach great speeds and agilities.
Arvarans have not yet turned their attention to space in any great detail. There are installations for launching rockets and spacecraft used by the North, South, and even many of the Independent States, and Spaceplanes have been developed for launch and recovery of both satellites and personnel by both nations, and some limited exchanges of fire have occurred outside of the atmosphere. However, due to the prodigious resources of Arvara itself, and the people located on the planets' surface, there is little impetus to explore the cosmos as a whole yet, despite the desire of the Arvarans to find out more about their surroundings.
Unmanned probes have conducted fly-bys of some of the other worlds of the system, but found nothing of note, though it is suspected that there are significant natural resources on the few worlds in the system.
A space-station has been constructed by the Southern Alliance, though it is currently unmanned, after being hit by an Empire anti-satellite missile. During its' lifetime, it was used as a science lab, and an observation platform for both meteorological and intelligence purposes.
Due to the bizarre magnetic properties of the Badlands and some other areas of Arvaras' surface, large objects can be repulsed from the planets' surface when interacting with the magnetic fields.
It didn't take long for the Net and Arvaran engineers to take advantage of these properties, and build vessels capable of using minimum propulsion to move under this effect.
The results are similar to hovering battleships, cargo ships and other vessels. A minimum size is necessary to take advantage of the effect, meaning that such vessels are large, and take on certain shapes, often not dissimilar to sea-going vessels in some ways. Due to the size requirements, the repulsion technology cannot be used for every vehicle, and nothing under the size of around one hundred feet and several hundred tons cannot take advantage of the effect.
Landcruisers are used to carry bulk loads of freight or persons, as well as for carrying large amounts of troops, vehicles, or Gears, as well as firepower, into remote regions of Badlands for projecting the power of the various blocks.
Landcruisers are not uncommon, but it is unusual for anyone outside of a government group or a wealthy corporate interest to have one, and anyone with one would be subject to intense attention from all quarters as to their purpose in operating such a machine, not to mention how they would be able to maintain it, or obtain or construct it in the first place.
Landcruisers are often armed similarly to ocean-going vessels, with large-caliber cannon, long-rang missiles, point-defence weapons and carrying GEARs, Aircraft, vehicles and infantry aboard to augment their firepower.
Due to their size and need for large amounts of space to maneuver, Landcruisers rarely come into the centre of settlements, instead remaining at specially constructed dock and berthing facilities in outskirt areas.
Arvarans have always had weapons, due to the presence of some nominally hostile wildlife on their world, and of the possibility of violent crime from unstable individuals.
After the chaos of the 'Awakening' as it came to be known, though, weapons technology became more and more important.
Most weapons are conventional projectile-firing weapons using carefully optimised and mixed smokeless electrically ignited powders. Usually called 'guns' or 'firearms', such weapons are available in various shapes and sizes, and use ergonomic, efficient designs in their construction, optimising their functionality.
Most guns have a variety of points for attachments, such as lights, laser-aiming devices, optical and holographic scopes and even additional weapons such as programmable grenade and one-shot rocket launchers, flame-throwers or shotguns mounted under the barrel of the main weapon.
Heavier weapons consist of guided and unguided rocket systems capable of destroying and damaging large vehicles and structures. Many of these in small infantry combat scale are of the 'disposable' one-shot type, rather than being re-loadable, meaning most soldiers can carry one in addition to their personal weaponry.
Larger scale versions of most of these weapons are used on many vehicles, in the forms of automatic and semi-automatic cannon, with a wide variety of loads and warheads, such as incendiary, armour-piercing and smoke rounds, alongside more exotic varieties or combination effects.
Tanks and other large vehicles use 100mm and larger cannon as their main armament, and some GEARs and tanks also use magnetically-propelled railguns, due to their greater amounts of available power; but at the scale of an Arvaran, the power generation equipment would be too heavy and awkward to carry. Many gears use rapid-fire chaingun, autocannon, or multiple-barelled rotary cannon weapons are heavy or primary gun armaments. Similar weapons are often used as close-in defences on ships and landcruisers, and for air-defence operations, and by infantry or vehicles for suppressive fire.
Generally, GEARs tend to mount weapons from 12.7 or lighter up to 30mm, as automatic weapons, where the recoil and ammunition problems become too great to be practical. For specific single-shot or semi-automatic cannon, they can range up to the 100mm class, but such large guns are often special-purpose and not widely used due to weight and recoil issues.
Missile and rocket systems are also heavily used on vehicles, as they provide a great deal of hard-hitting firepower at the expense of only a few projectiles, and are capable of being guided easily and accurately over significant distances. They are also capable of being used against a wide variety of targets, and fitted with a wide range of seeker heads, and warheads. They are probably the most common 'heavy' anti-armour weapons used on Arvara as a whole, with ballistic weapons such as autocannon and machine-guns coming in a close second.
Energy weapons have yet to be seen in any large numbers on the battlefield, despite considerable investment in time and resources by all parties on Arvara. Some functional examples exist on static installations such as fortresses, and on Landcruisers, but due to the power and equipment needed to generate such beam weapons, and the limitation on their range due to the planets' curvature, they are limited in their appeal and use, and are not currently seen as a priority.
No progress has yet been made in miniaturizing the technology sufficiently to allow a GEAR or vehicle smaller than a warship or Landcruiser to carry any kind of energy weapon, and certainly none are used at personal scale for the same reason.
Recent developments in GEAR power-supply technology in Landren may have changed this, but early experiments are still proving that GEAR-portable energy weapons are fragile and high-maintenance, and offer little tangible benefits over projectile weapons and missiles. However, developments continue.
Bladed weapons are still used in close combat, often things such as 'tactical' knives and axes, made of carbon-ceramic materials, or lightweight alloys and sharpened to a near-monomolecular edge. Most of these weapons are also dual purpose as tools of survival and various trades, and are relatively unsophisticated compared to the projectile weapons they are used alongside.
At GEAR-scale, close-combat weapons are often used to disable other GEARs or vehicles, and such things as powered chainsaw blades are sometimes used, as are things such as pneumatically or explosively-driven armour-piercing spikes or rams, hammers and other similar devices.
The most unique type of vehicle used by the Arvaran People is the GEAR - the Gyro-Stabilized Exoskeleton Arvaran Robot - a type of piloted walking vehicle with arms, legs, a head and general humanoid - or Arvaran - layout and form.
GEARs are used in both military and civilian roles, with a great crossover between the two. Used for construction, rescue, cargo-handling and recreational purposes amongst others by civilians, they are used to high-speed and high-maneuver light combat by military forces, equipped with a wide variety of hardpoint-mounted weapon systems.
GEARs are piloted by a single occupant seated in a torso cockpit, using head-mounted sensor systems to observe the outside world. Haptic and Physical controls combined allow the GEAR to react rapidly to the changing outside threats and situations, and artificial musculature over an alloy skeleton allow quick, fluid and smooth reactions equivalent to an Arvarans' body.
Most GEARs are approximately two and a half times the height of the average Arvaran, or approximately two stories tall. The most uncommonly large of GEARs are three to four times the height of an Arvaran, though such units as extremely uncommon, and are seen as liabilities due to their inability to operate within urban environments, and to use normal GEAR transportation methods, such as moving around by road, rail and aircraft with ease, let alone fitting within the bay of a Landcruiser. Their higher ground pressures are also seen as a disadvantage.
A GEAR is piloted by a single Arvaran in a torso cockpit, seated in a padded, reclined ejection seat. Instruments are located in front of the pilot, using haptic interfaces and holographic displays. Helmet-mounted displays act as targeting systems, and also provide a feed of view from the outside via the head-mounted sensor systems. Controls are a mix of voice-operated controls and physical input via control sticks, pedals and throttle.
Pilots usually wear a pilots' suit that helps regulate their body temperature inside the cockpit, and also acts as a form of body armour against shrapnel and impact damage, and gives a moderate amount of protection should the pilot get in trouble outside of their GEAR, and provides load-bearing space for their survival gear and personal weapons.
The pilot is provided with a small locker for personal effects, usually in the cockpit, and attached to the seat's frame, so the equipment within can be recovered and used by th ejected pilot.
A new development in GEAR controls is the Linear Frame. A chair with arm and leg armatures that clip onto mounting points on the pilots' suit, the Linear Frame allows precise control of the GEARs' limbs, and allows the pilot to perform high-speed and reflexive dodging actions, while still giving the full range of control that the existing computer-assisted, holographic interface, helmet-mounted sighting and voice-controls allow, while also incorporating an ejection seat.
While GEARs are decidedly powerful and versatile, they are only lightly armoured and constructed, and require considerable cover to operate effectively against most forces, and are extremely vulnerable to anti-armour weaponry, such as anti-materiel rifles, anti-armour rockets, and other heavily armoured vehicles.
Tanks and other vehicles designed for extended heavy combat can make short - and messy - work of GEARs in open country, and aircraft are The killers of GEARs, due to their ability to attack from long ranges with virtual impunity. However, this does not reduce the effectiveness or use of GEARs in most situations, and all nations on Arvara use GEARs to some degree, both military and civilian.
GEARs, both military and civilian, tend to borrow from aircraft and utility vehicles when fitted with mission equipment and armaments, and use hardpoints and hands to attach and carry weaponry, tools, sensor systems, and other useful equipment in the field. Decreases in the overall weight of Landren GEARs, while maintaining a formidable power output and control response time have lead to Landren GEARs being equipped with an increased number of hardpoint-mounted systems, as well as light onboard weapons for close-in defence against soft targets and infantry.
Additional field support equipment, such as additional L/UHD battery packs, camouflage and other field equipment can be carried strapped to the outside of the GEAR using oversized conventional webbing and load-bearing equipment.
Additional specific transportation equipment - such as water and air turboket propulsion systems, airfoils and para-sails, as well as more experimental systems have been developed to dock with a GEAR, and allow it to deploy and even to a limited degree engage in combat in a wider variety of environments.
A GEAR is built with a Foamed Titanium Alloy skeleton, which gives light weight with great strength and resilience. The skeleton is then built over with artificial muscle fibers, and the additional systems, such as the various required sensor systems, electrical systems, computer systems life-support equipment and other essential internal systems.
Over and around these systems are the internal weapons and ammunition storage, hardpoint interfaces, and then finally the armour on top. The armour materials are commonly forms of ceramic composite materials, or carbon-fiber materials laminated with alloys or other light yet strong materials.
New developments in armour materials in Landren have resulted in much lighter weight armour, while still remaining the same strength. This has greatly increased the mobility of the Landren GEARs it has been tested on, allowing for new experiments to take place.
A GEARs sensor systems are similar to those of an attack helicopter, fighting vehicle or fighter jet in their sophistication and scope, featuring infra-red, telescopic zoom, night-vision, alongside communication systems such as radio, laser and microwave communications. Data transfer is also provided, and GEARs are usually linked to the 'Net.
Fine movements and balance, power distribution, and all other ancillary functions are regulated by the Gears' onboard learning OS (L/OS) which is contained in a unit under the pilots' seat, which is retained when a pilot ejects, simply because the L/OS learns how a pilot acts in combat, and will therefore end up making a Gear exactly specific to an individual pilot, to the point of predicting some of their actions and choices in a situation, better adapting to their style of piloting, and compensating the Gears' systems as a result.
A Gears' computer is also able to store and retrieve data from the Net, and can be used for many of the same purposes as a standard computer interface, with some reduced function, as well as to control the Gear, allowing for a greater ease in diagnosing problems and general repair issues, as well as modifications to a Gears' operating parameters and systems in a short time.
GEARs are series-produced on production lines by various companies and organizations throughout the Alliance, Empire and Independent States, using automated and hand-crafted production techniques. Many parts are sourced from additional companies, and used in other devices and vehicles as well as in GEARs.
Various models and makes of GEAR are used across the North, South and Independent States, with some specialized models and makes in service.
Many makes and models of GEAR have become house-hold and famous icons and names in popular culture and history for their roles in pivotal events, for better or worse.
GEARs often have foot or calf-mounted wheels and tracks for additional speed over short distances, giving them the ability to 'dash' over distances and perform dodging and power-sliding maneuvers for evasion and agility when needed.
No GEAR has yet been created with the inherent ability to fly, due to the small size of a GEAR, and the large weight of flight equipment and its' power requirements. Bolt-on 'glide packs' have been used to air-drop GEARs over long distances along with parachutes, but so far no success has been made in creating a free-flying GEAR.
This has recently been conquered by Landrens' engineers producing a limited-use transformable GEAR-Fighter, as well as a bolt-on short-range reusable Flight Pack for GEARs. Both are high-maintenance and have many vulnerabilities, and are not the equal of true fightercraft or aircraft, but go some way towards creating a truly multi-role GEAR.
Hover units have been trialled for crossing rough terrain, but are uncommon, due to the same weight problems and the fragility of the same systems. Jump-jets have also been produced and used on some GEARs on their legs and backs, but are not commonly found, due to the need for additional fuel and components.
Amphibious GEARs are found quite often, and are environmentally sealed for use in amphibious assault landings, and for exploration underwater both at sea and in the extensive underground water systems on Arvara. Large backpacks containing underwater propulsion systems are used to move, but greatly hamper mobility on land.
Purpose-designed and built water-use GEARs have also been designed, and while not amphibious, are agile and effective underwater, and feature an almost elegant design.
Most non-amphibious GEARs are able to submerge for at least a short time with no damage, but lacking the particular sensors that their amphibious variants would have, are effectively blind and clumsy underwater, and lack effective firepower.
Options are being explored for underwater-transformable and land-transformable GEARs at the current time, increasing the versatility of the machines in combat, and allowing them to move and operate with other branches of service in a wider array of roles.
Landren has also pioneered the LUHD, the Lattice-Ultra High Density Battery. Each LUHD gives up to three times the power of a conventional UHD, allowing a GEAR more raw power generation potential for a decrease in weight and size, along with comparative reductions in onboard electrical and other essential systems. These improvements are leading the way toward big improvements in GEAR technology, and a much-needed leading edge for Landren over it's neighbours to the North and South, both of whom are now at war, the North with Landren and the South. The LUHD's primary downside is it's increased recharge time, and greater cost in resources. They are also much slower to mass-produce than conventional UHD's, resulting in a slow uptake of the new technology.
The improvements have also been coupled with advancements in artificial muscle technology, leading to the SAM - Supercharged Active Musculature. This type of artificial muscle uses less energy, but gives improved reaction speed and time, as well as greater fine control. The light weight allows for more internal space and external space to be given to mission-specific systems, and more power to be supplied to those systems. However, it has a tendency to overheat and wear out more quickly, and needs more extensive fine-tuning and maintenance.
For General Reference!
This is more what I had in mind when I came up with GEARs as opposed to MechWarrior/Battletech:
GEARs are agile, nimble, fast and human-like in their movements and operation, rather than plodding, slow-moving hulks.
There's a reason there's all that background information above: This is a completely original game world, and any character in it has to be part of that background framework.
I have spent a lot of time writing it out and thinking it out, and I find it personally quite offending if people who want to play aren't willing to read it. Even more so if your character is rejected because it doesn't fit in, and it turns out you didn't read the background properly. The same goes with your GEAR.
If you're not sure about something, please ask - I or one of the other players will answer your question for you happily.
- The GM - SilverwindBlade - is in control of the story, and the setting. Check with him before introducing anything too revolutionary
- No flaming, trolling, bullying, etc. It's just being a dick, and this is supposed to be fun.
- Similarly to the above, don't bring your shitty, shirty miserable attitude in here, especially if you're wanting to play. Be positive, be happy and be excited. If you 'can't be bothered' to read everything, then I can't be bothered to approve your character, or talk to you. I'm not here to chase after you, this is a hobby for me too, not a job.
- Don't argue with the GM. My word is final. Make suggestions, but if you demand something or say I am wrong about my own setting, then I will not be merciful.
- Keep it in the spirit of the game - this is a fairly gritty and low-tech Real Robot setting, and a sci-fi one, not a fantasy superhero robot setting. At the same time, don't get bogged down in realistic technical details: this is a game about furries piloting giant humanoid robots. It doesn't have to be TOTALLY REALISTIC.
- Have a sense of humour. Dear God, have a sense of humour. This is to relax, have fun, and enjoy yourselves. There will be drama and action, but the OOC is a good place for chat and fun. Please do not spam messages here though.
- Keep OOC matters in the OOC, please. Any questions please bring them here.
- If you have a problem with another player, please raise it with me first, instead of bitching about them all over the OOC. The same goes if you don't like something I've done with your character - talk to me about it, and I'm sure I'll be able to reach a consensus with you about it.
- Players may not play villains, and may only be part of the same unit and landcruiser as the other players, in order to promote interaction among the player group. And to make telling the story easier on the GM.
- No ones' character is approved until I say so. There is no GM other than me until I say so.
- You're welcome to play whatever kind of character you want (other than a villain), but if you want to have 'hidden' parts of your past, then please notify the GM - as stated, if I don't know about it, then it doesn't exist. Similarly, if you choose to play someone who's a dick to other people, don't be surprised when no-one wants to talk to you, or starts treating your character like crap.
- This is not Gundam, Battletech/Mechwarrior, Macross, VOTOMS or any other setting. Just because something in one of those settings is true, does not mean it is the same in this setting. You may take the idea of your GEAR from any other franchise, but it still has to obey the character sheet and background ideas of this setting.
Only use this character sheet as it is presented. I will not accept characters without this format. Remove any notes when posting your sheet.
Weapons & Equipment: Note: No real world weapons exist in this setting!
Personal Theme Tune:
Please remove all notes when posting your sheet.
Appearance: A description or image are both fine.
General Info: A short description of the Gears' main characteristics and purpose
Weapon Systems: No more than eight weapons, in line with the Gear description in the OP post. GEAR weapons are interchangable, so you may list more than one 'loadout', or change your weapons from mission to mission. The hardpoints are generally on the shoulders, forearms, waist sides or back, calves, and middle of the back. Not all are used at the same time, and not all can be used with all weapons. Obviously the larger the weapon, the more space it takes up. Hand-held weapons are also widely used.
You may also equip up to two light anti-infantry weapons - such as light machine-guns, flame-throwers, grenade-launchers, etc - on your GEAR for no cost toward the total, as well and in addition to countermeasures such as smoke/chaff/flare launchers or flechette dischargers (for use against infantry and mines) and ECM/ECCM systems.
No Super-robot-esque weapons. Gears Are Not Battlemechs! They are much smaller, lighter and faster! Please do NOT use Battletech/mechwarrior terms!
Other Equipment: Anything non-weapon of note, that may be important in the roleplay. If it isn't listed here, it doesn't exist. Things like a radio and standard sensors can be expected and taken for granted.
Anything Else: Anything else you think might be worth mentioning, such as appearance notes, or a little bit of history and blurb about your GEAR.
All player characters are members of the Landren Defence Forces unit the 'Roughriders', normally attached to the Landcruiser Parvan's Claw.
The Claw is a small, experimental Landcruiser, the only one of its' class. As such, it and the Roughriders are normally given 'less important' missions.
The Claw is still a line unit of the LDF, and while her crew are somewhat rough-and-ready, they are still professionals and are expected to obey the regulations of the LDF, and to act with professional demeanor, follow orders, and abide by the code of conduct of the LDF.
Despite the nature of the Claw and its' reputation, and being somewhat regarded with derision by other units of the LDF, the 'cruiser and its' captain - and the Roughriders - have a tendency to be in the right place - or wrong place, depending on your point of view - at the right time to make a difference. As such, there is a certain amount of unofficial notice toward them, leading to their occasionally being pushed toward assignments that have an air of the unusual about them.
The crew of the 'cruiser are professionals, and the ship is fully crewed with the required number of personnel for its' full range of duties and operations, including an engineering crew, bridge crew, medical personnel, security operations personnel and more.
The Roughriders themselves had been stood down before their current commander, Lieutenant Silverwind Blade, was given command of the revived unit, and was allowed to
hand-pick his new crew, adding to it as more personnel became available. And so far, they've begun to turn heads...
The Claw and the Roughriders were assigned to investigate the disappearance of a large number of people from a recently established town in the Landren badlands. While there, they encountered a number of disabled Militia GEARs, which reactivated just before a large number of extremely hostile and equally dangerous enemies turned up.
Unlike GEARs, and even Arvarans, the creatures seemed to be some form of technological and organic fusion, and equipped with massive strength, armour, and powerful weapon systems.
After a devastating battle that left half the original roster of the Roughriders dead, and many of their GEARs damaged, the remaining 'riders and their newly made allies headed north, gathering a few more recruits along the way.
Once there, they commenced an attack on a suspected Pirate base that was the nearest source of information regarding the strange creatures and the disappearances from the township, but instead of pirates they encountered a reinforced Northern Empire Brigade, complete with their associated Armour and infantry.
The Roughriders took heavy damage, and many of their number were injured, but they succeeded in rescuing a number of POWs as well as securing a number of prisoners of their own, and a large amount of information on the Northerners purpose in being in the area.
Following the battle, the Claw was ordered to head East and toward the Landren Capital, where it was to receive new orders, based upon the information sent back to LDF HQ, and following important events outside of their mission.
However, en route, a member of the Claw's security personnel attempted to stage a coup, based on his own nationalist ideals and tendencies, and information he'd recovered about members of the Roughriders. Through some clever deception and interpretation of the LDF's laws and regulations, Blade and the Roughriders managed to outwit Sergeant Leyter, and put a stop to his scheme, and to him.
After returning to port in the Landren Capital, Ourvan, the Roughriders were commended for their service so far, receiving a decoration for the assistance rendered to the people of Hope's Town, and to the country of Landren in general.
Given a break after being introduced to their new members, the squad are now letting themselves loose, while preparing for their next mission.
After the party ended, the Roughriders arrived at Andreana base, returning together after spending time getting in touch with their fellow Arvarans over their time off. The squad were reunited, and given the heads-up by Silverwind that their next duties would involve training to the level of a true Special Operations unit. This was necessary - their upcoming mission was to take them deep into Imperial territory. However, they also learned that their GEARs have now been upgraded with the latest cutting edge technology needed to break even against both the Empires' forces, and those of the hostile aliens, who seem to be appearing with more frequency.
The Roughriders undertook an intensive training scheme that lasted a month, during which time they learned the ins and outs of Special Operations, involving extensive tactics and skills, such as close-quarter fighting and tactics with firearms, explosives training, heavy weapons, combined-arms tactics, rappelling, sky-diving, amphibious assault techniques, survival training, intelligence gathering and more. During this time their GEARs were also upgraded, and they learned similar techniques and tactics, as well as familiarizing themselves with the upgrades to their mecha.
Following this regime, they passed with flying colours, and were awarded Special Operations certification for the unit, as well as a 2-day pass for leave off of the base.
Upon their return, and the impending embarkation aboard the Landren Space-plane Ark Alpha, which was due to land at Andreana, things took an unfortunate turn, as Northern Empire forces began an aerial assault of the base, using ground-attack fighter aircraft and para-dropped GEARs, infantry and light armour. The Roughriders moved into battle in support of the bases' security forces, while the Ark approached for landing...