Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mining Firebirds: Living Steel & the Seven Swords

I always had this in the back of my mind when I ran the Fading Suns campaign: the conceit of the Living Steel RPG.

In this classic RPG powered by a variant of the Phoenix Command system, players had a chance to play characters from a faction of an idealistic space nation that had fallen to the Imperial power -- characters that had been placed in suspended animation and revived to save humanity, and espouse the ideals that the Seven Sword Worlds had once stood for.

I'd always thought that perhaps the Second Republic wasn't as monolithic as history had painted it to be, that there were great shining beacons of the best and brightest humanity had to offer that were swallowed up by a great civil war.

In the Living Steel RPG, the code phrase given to the resurrectees via their Golems is "Apocalypse - Phoenix" -- an indication that the plan long prepared for, one where the Seven Sword Worlds would fall but ready the seeds to rise again, was finally being activated.

But above and beyond this core conceit, there was a lot of flavor text that really evoked that sense of a better world -- usually comments made by what would now be called the iconic PCs or perhaps the RPG creator's NPCs.

Here's a sampling (some memorized, some paraphrased):
  • "Know only battle." -- Motto of the Black Legion
  • "A live friend is worth a hundred dead enemies." -- Jason
  • "Sword's path: Glory." -- Motto of the Red Legion
  • "We finally unleashed the entire Black Legion. I hear some of them actually made it all the way to the Imperial Landing Zone..."
  • "For the good of all."  -- Motto of the Green Legion
  • "As far as I'm concerned, anyone slower than me is the rearguard." -- Gill the Treacherous
  • "Duty binds us all." -- Motto of the Blue Legion
  • "Jason would think nothing of giving his life away to save some technician, or a Visser child. He thinks their lives are as valuable as his. Fine. I suppose that's why I follow him -- but their lives are not as valuable as his and he must never make that sacrifice."
  • "For an honor greater than ourselves." -- Motto of the Silver Legion
  • "Today is election day and we encourage all citizens to vote NO with their weapon of choice." -- KVSR radio
  • "For the good of our people, we lend ourselves to battle." -- Motto of the Gold Legion
  • "The Guard dies, but never surrenders." -- Colonel Cambrone, Imperial Guard
  • "Truth." -- Motto of the White Legion
  • "What do you mean our VP might be a little dead?" -- Axly Suregrip, Captain for a Day
  • "Seven swords, seven worlds, one dream." -- Motto of the Seven Worlds
I'd had plans of revealing that the religious cult that supposedly worships Alexius as the Reborn Sun is actually the decoy to a larger organization: the rebuilding Seven Swords Legions -- a conspiracy of leaders.

I wanted to make the Firebirds -- the Second Republic coinage -- actually a part of their plans as it bore the Phoenix standard. All sorts of little technologies I'd introduce in the hands of this smallish band of beloved, well-respected military leaders...

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