|The Mandala of the End|
"Oh, what will you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what will you do now, my darling young one?
I’m a-going back out ’fore the rain starts a-falling
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison"
- - "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall", Bob Dylan
At a Glance
|Theatre of Operations|
|Strengths||Heavy armor, tons of knockback weapons, tough infantry, lots of anti-structure weapons, weapons that do universal damage|
|Weaknesses||Low range, low damage against units, slow units, low rate of fire|
|Motives||Isolationism, Survivalism, Paranoia, Conversion|
|Basic Look||Classic Asian architecture|
The end of the World. Since Millenia, it's a question that has filled the minds of the people, much speculation has been done about it, countless ways everything we know could be ended forever and how could we save ourselves from our fate. Some Christian Dominionist sects talk of the Rapture, where the chosen fathful shall be spirited away to heaven before the Tribulation begins. Norse mythology tells of Ragnarok, a climactic battle that shall result in the deaths of some major gods and the subsequent immersion of the world in water. A few even attempt to relate the end of the Mayan Long Count at December 21, 2012 to other possible eschatological scenarios. Fortunately, despite many claims to the contrary, it never actually comes, countless doomsayers have come and gone, but the world keeps turning, the people keep on doing their lives. At least, that's how it used to be.
The Chinese Civil War was a conflict of unprecedented brutality in human story, an escalation of conflict never before seen, where it seemed all logic and compassion had suddendly vanished, two sides blindly bent on an unending quest for mutual destruction, ravaging everything on it's wake. It is no surprise that the most spiritually inclined amongst the chinese people started pointing out this as a signal that this loss of value for human life is sure sign that we're coming close to the end of times. Though the chinese authorities, regardless of side, quickly aprehended and dealt with these troublemakers, some still managed to spread their word, living in too remote villages to be aprehended in time, moving too fast to be captured. Soon enough, people, refugees and believers alike, began to flock to the monasteries, seeking solace, seeking peace, seeking salvation.
And then the Bombs fell.
Many, countless people were killed, true, but surprisingly, many actually did survive the worst, the monasteries too remote, too high, too far, not worth the effort to bombard such peaceful people, better to be left to their own devices. Peace, at long last, had won.
Won what though? The Apocalypse had sure come, there was nothing to live for anymore, nor anything left to live from anyways. This signaled the start of the quest for solace, the people needed to consult their spiritual leader, see if there was a sliver of hope in this bleak world.
There was, he answered, and the doors were opened.
The World Beyond our World
Turns out, Lhasa did have tunnels that led to a subterranean world, whether these were a recent creation, bunkers built to resist the worst the war to end the world or older, actual pathways to the sacred kingdom, it wasn't said. However, the Tunnels extended far below anyone could ever expect, far below anyone could ever imagine, and certainly, wide enough as to house all the believers.
What was left to do now though? The answer was simple. The message had been sent, the world has we knew it isn't anymore, it's time to ascend, transcend, as an united group, to a higher realm of existence, time isn't something they could spare any longer however, the process had to be accelerated, somehow.
Technology thus begun to be applied to the ancestral teachings, sacrilege perhaps, but desperate times call for desperate measures. New drugs were tested, cybernetics crudely implanted on volunteers, questionable concoctions brought by people who possessed more desperation than knowledge. Despite all setbacks, progress was made. A hundred and one small steps were done, and suddenly leaps were coming, huge, amazing leaps. The shackles of reality were put away, gravity was no longer a problem, the innermost fire was no longer a simple metaphor, mind had power over matter. The prison of the body was about to have a riot. However, the inner demons had also been awoken.
For people dug far too below, far too away, and there were those who were waiting in the shadows, and they didn't like what they saw. The fight was intense, if brief, the deeper vaults sealed, but for how long?
Then, there was the overworld, for the face of the landscape was changed, yes, but life kept going on, despite everything, soon enough, the Conclave was discoverd, at first it was a refreshing sight, survivors from the worst humanity had to offer that came offering a hand of peace, but with the blades behind their backs. The ways of the Master simple weren't compatible with the designs of the Middle Kingdom, and the man of the south did little better in offering protection in solitude, they plotted, they envied, they murmured between their teeth, they wanted their newfound powers foor them, and there was nothing a disorganized band of monks could do about it.
They were wrong.
The last refuge of the world suffered critical moments, assailed from up and below, they were surrounded, and options were rapidly running out. If they had to endure, they had to delay their own plans for their very survival. After all, self defense was always an acceptable behavior within their doctrines.
However, times had changed, sticks and stones could no longer hurt their enemies, not when they brought demons of metal and doomsday to their very doorsteps. They had to up the ante. Countless methods were found to weapon their new findings, a man could as easily lift himself as others, the body is the playing of the mind and, with enough training, there was no menace in this world, as big as it could be, that could bring down someone who wouldn't dare to move.
The Conclave Citadel is the single structure from which every unit comes from. However, other support structures can be built Soviet Style, with no cooldown, over the map.
Most Conclave units have no secondary, instead using the slot to upgrade to a different, superior type of unit that should allow to cover most roles in battle, this comes at a cost, however.
One of the few Structures the Enlightened Conclave possesses is the Stupa. Here, Scrolls are kept. As a Conclave unit gains experience, this total experience adds to a total tally, which can then be used in the Stupa to purchase various upgrades that can affect your units in a multitude of ways.
|Stupa||Meditation grounds, Conclave forces can stop by Stupas and have understand the secrets of Buddhism and warfare for a fee.|
|Wall of Reflection|
|Gate of Heaven|
|Yeti||A massive, powerful ape from the Himalayas, the Yeti can brutalize infantry to death with single blows from its mighty one ton frame and can throw boulders at distant foes to deal damage as they get into melee before being commanded to upgrade into Blossoms.|
|Blossoms||Perhaps euphemistically named, Blossoms serve as the assault infantry of the Conclave. These trained and armored yetis throw a special concoction of chemicals that can set buildings alight and clear garrisoned troops out and when in melee, attack with their brutal fists. They can further upgrade into Thorns.|
|Thorns||Working to suppress the enemies of the Conclave, Thorns carry heavy weapons to force everyone's head down, made out of tripled up flak cannons salvaged from the PLA that shower an area in flak shells and force everyone to keep down, and can in turn upgrade to the Abominables.|
|Abominable||The Conclave's mortar troops are Yetis who have been trained to wield cannons, bombarding the enemy with long ranged fire and crushing people in melee using their guns as clubs. Abominables can fire shells loaded with special chemicals meant to knock out everyone caught by the gasses and render them vulnerable to capture.|
|Peasant||The basic warriors of the Conclave, Peasants strike with the weapons of Tibetan martial arts and fight in melee; eschewing the fire arms of other factions and instead rely on seemingly superhuman speed and agility to get close and carve apart enemies in close range. They can be commanded to train further and be upgraded into a Brave.|
|Brave||Wielding weapons with materials harvested deep beneath the earth augmented by technologies developed by the people of Tibet, braves swing blades that vibrate at the right frequencies to slice through vehicle armour and can leap amazing distances to catch up to fleeing vehicles. With a command, they can undergo training once again to become militants.|
|Militant||To fight against aircraft requires learning some more modern techniques. Many a discarded anti-aircraft weapon is present in the Himalayas, and the Conclave has used these to create a new kind of weapon called the sky-bola that launches two explosive orbs that spin around and catch on aircraft to slam into it and destroy it. However, they take skill to use, and so militants are only recruited from the well trained. Militants can complete their training to finally become transcendent.|
|Transcendent||Obscenely powerful, Transcendents have achieved a great level of mastery over their abilities and have essentially become the special forces of the Conclave. Capable of devastating nearly any opponent at short range, they can use all the skills they have learned before hand; and can also undergo deep meditation to restore their wounds and allow them to continue the battle as needed.|
|Learned||Serving as the Engineers of the Conclave, the Learned are those who are experienced with foreign technology and machinery and can commandeer it for usage. While seemingly unarmed, they can upgrade into monks.|
|Monk||Posing as the simple monks and nuns of the Buddhist faith, the Monks have become the eyes and ears of the Conclave. Generally dismissed as harmless by those who see them, Monks can kill most people in seconds with their bare hands and staffs, and can pilfer secrets from other factions and also serve as healers, quickly returning the injured to fighting form in their presence; and can be upgraded into Complacents.|
|Complacents||Named for their responsibilities to punish the complacent, these disciplinarians use blow darts filled with very lethal toxins that kill within seconds. While short ranged, they can move and fire without ever breaking stealth and have a remarkably quick rate of fire and may improve their training so that they may become masters.|
|Masters||The teachers of the Conclave inspire the troops around them to fight even harder, making them virtually without fear. Fighting with quite simple weapons, the masters can overcome many kinds of enemies at close range, and can deliver a powerful kick that can completely immobilize those it hits for substantial periods of time as it disrupts mechanisms and paralyzes the body. It can be delivered at significant distance through a flying leap.|
|Esha||A wisened old master of the martial arts, Esha is well past her prime, being in her late fifties or early sixties. However, she is still as sharp as she ever was with a truly epic level of skill and mastery over the art of battle. She wears a suit of Tibetan armor to protect her body as age means that she cannot dodge everything as skillfully as she could; but she remains far faster than the average person and the triple blades she has mounted to her wristplates can carve through most armour like butter in combination with her skills. But her truest value is in her ability to pass on her teachings and guidance to other soldiers, allowing them to fight like demons and master their skills as long as they remain in her presence, constantly done passively in a large area around her. With a command, she can further widen these teachings, expanding the area of her benefits but she must remain still to do so.|
(Post human cyborg infantry and vehicles go here)
|Karmic Guide||Light scout vehicle, upgrades into Soul Traveler.|
|Soul Traveler||Armored battle car, upgrades into Buddha's Wagon.|
|Buddha's Wagon||Heavy assault vehicle...|
Behind the Scenes
The Conclave takes mythology about underground people, gives it heavy Buddhist flavoring, and heavy doses of post-human craziness.
| Atlantean Ascendancy • Unification Concordiat • Norse Fylkirate • Indo-Pacific Defense Initiative|
Pangaean Generation • Reactionary Guard • Enlightened Conclave • Kumun Hegemony
|Quantum Minor Factions|
| Korean People's Army • EoK Penal Divisions • Darkwater Industries • Dread Corsairs|
Balkan Rebellion • Katipunan • 20px Forgotten Flotilla • Iron Fangs
|Quantum Tech Building Factions|
|International Aid Association • 20px Interpol • 20px Intercontinental Construction Cooperative|