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Risks of Flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure?
~ Usurper Judaa Marr on Courage : To Question

Manifold Usurpers is a Alien Crossfire faction.

Description[ | ]

The Usurper faction belongs to a race of aliens known as The Progenitors, widely believed to be the creators of the Artifacts, Monoliths, and other structures found by early human explorers. The discovery of the Manifold Nexus hints that the Progenitors may have even created Planet, which itself appears to be part of a larger system spanning the stars. Since then, however, the Progenitors seem to have entered a period of violent civil war, costing much of the technological knowledge and engineering skills of their ancestors. Two factions vie for control of the core systems-the Usurpers and the Caretakers.

The Usurpers are an opposing faction of Progenitors who believe the Manifold experiment has reached a logical conclusion, and it is time for the powers of Planet to be used for military purposes. They have highly efficient resource management (recycling tanks), but instead of a defensive combat bonus, they receive a bonus of attack, growth, and morale. They, too, receive resonance sensitivity bonuses and directed research. The Caretakers and Usurpers are locked in a bitter civil war, and their main goal is the destruction of the other faction; humans are an insignificant annoyance to them, and are used or discarded at need.

History[ | ]

The Manifold Usurpers represent the other faction in the Progenitor civil war. Theirs was a rebel faction, bent on breaking free from the aeons-long stasis of Progenitor civilization. While the Caretakers fought to protect the Manifold experiments, the Usurpers demanded the right to exploit them. Their goal was participation in a "Planetary Flowering," a transformation that would grant them a kind of godhood. After their landing, they began an aggressive program of exploiting Planet's resources. They also assumed a highly aggressive stance, refusing to share Planet with their Caretaker rivals or with any human "infestation."

Beliefs[ | ]

The Usurpers are radical individualists who believe that Progenitor civilization has failed to benefit its citizens as they deserve. They believe that every sentient being has a right to as much life, knowledge, wealth, power, and pleasure as he can seize from the universe. If civilization exists to restrain its most powerful members, then civilization is something to be rejected - or destroyed, if need be.

The core value of Usurper society is questioning. The faction questions all received wisdom, demanding justification for the controls imposed upon Progenitors by their society. When a satisfactory answer fails to appear, they demand that the controls be abandoned, to allow the individual Progenitor to seek out his own destiny.

This course is one that requires great courage within Progenitor society, where all such questioning has long since been bred out of the species. As a result, the Usurpers emphasize a warrior ethic, which pits the brave fighter against both physical and philosophical foes.

Relations With Other Factions[ | ]

Judaa Marr and his Usurpers are completely uninterested in coexistence with humanity. If they attempt an agreement of any kind, it will be to seize a temporary advantage, after which the alliance will be broken at a moment's notice. Naturally, any human faction that makes even a trivial agreement with the Caretakers will earn Marr's wrath.

Strengths[ | ]

The Manifold Usurpers are a race of warriors. They deliberately violate ancient restrictions on breeding, filling their birth-creches with offspring as quickly as possible. These young are bred for war using a variety of genetic and psychological techniques. The net result is fast-growing bases and large, well-trained armies.

Like their Caretaker rivals, the Usurpers do not participate in trade or the "energy economy." Their primary energy source derives from manifold technology, tapping the fundamental energy structures of the universe for power. The Usurpers share the Progenitor "resonance sense," and have applied it to their military science. Instead of concentrating on defensive awareness, as the Caretakers do, the

Usurpers hone their powers for the attack. Their military units are superb ambushers, invariably seeking out weak points in a potential enemy's formation and driving their attack home. Usurper military units have the usual Progenitor ability to sense the approach of potential enemies at long range. Like the Caretakers, the Usurpers have access to extensive orbital survey data on Planet, dating from just before their landing. They also share the ability to direct scientific research toward specific, known goals.

Weaknesses[ | ]

The Usurpers are strictly limited in their diplomatic options. They never negotiate with their Caretaker enemies. They can speak and negotiate with humans, but they do not take part in the Planetary Council or other aspects of human diplomacy.

The Usurpers do not fall under the U.N. Charter, and are subject to atroc- ities from both the Caretakers and from human factions. Conversely, the Usurpers suffer no serious diplomatic penalties for committing atrocities against their own enemies.

Lifestyle[ | ]

Of the two Progenitor factions, the Manifold Usurpers have an ideology and a lifestyle that is more recognizable to human beings. This is ironic, since the Usurpers are far more contemptuous and hostile toward humanity. The Usurpers have thrown off many aspects of traditional Progenitor culture. They have no counselors to help them adhere to ancient traditions, and they ignore most of the ritualism that permeates Caretaker society. Instead, they act as independent beings, competing for power and status by any means that come to hand.

The central institution of Usurper society is the military. All Usurpers receive combat training, and can form a tenacious militia when needed. Full-time soldiers enjoy additional status, and officers and senior veterans occupy almost all high-status positions. The military does not control every aspect of society, but a faction member will have grave difficulty pursuing his own economic or cultural goals without dealing with the military.

Strategies[ | ]

The Progenitors have evolved complex biological systems that can sense fields imperceptible to humans, including at least electrical and magnetic fields. The collective term for this sensitivity is 'resonance', and permeates all Progenitor communication, art, and culture. The sensitivity also confers valuable combat bonuses to Progenitor forces. For the Usurpers, resonance sensitivity translates into a 25% bonus in air combat, reflecting their heightened situational awareness.

The Usurpers also gain a bonuses in Growth and Industry, as they seem willing to exploit Planet's resources for their own gain. They land on Planet with knowledge of Progenitor Psych, Field Modulation, and Applied Physics.

Colony names[ | ]

Land[ | ]

  • Courage : To Question
  • Dimension : Sky
  • Strafing Run
  • Spires : Ascendant
  • Honor : Progenitor
  • Conquest of the Weak
  • Genesis : Destiny
  • Tusk and Claw
  • Skymaster Base
  • Red Stick
  • Fear Song
  • Evil Eye
  • Fragment of Sound
  • Union Place
  • Warrior's Harmony
  • Maar's Dissolution
  • Razorwing City
  • Era of Blood
  • Godhood's Grasp
  • Satiation
  • Tau Ceti Mantle
  • Resonance of Swords
  • Manifest Doom
  • Martial Air
  • Memories : Pain
  • Risks of Flowering
  • Final Honor

Sea[ | ]

  • Hornbill Point
  • Scorch Island
  • Destroyer Base
  • Impaler Dome
  • Salt : Wound
  • Conquest Seaway
  • Ramspeed Shoals
  • Predator's Quay
  • Ocean Scar