Oh hush; I doubt it’s actually going to be impossible…

A brief overview of mission acquisition in the space lanes of STARFALL™ followed by a short story introducing the first character of our second starter squad.

Little Liery is tired of my bad jokes. But, the joke’s on him–he can’t escape me!

But First, This!

WIP provided by Cameron Nissen. Fun fact, the average height for a female Qhurothi is over 7-and-a-half feet tall and Vigil is just a scosche taller. Vigil and the Qhurothi are part of STARFALL™ 2019.

Isn’t it just–*sniff*–just so beautiful?

Here’s our first public look at the Qhurothi species–specifically examples of female facial design and aesthetic. I know the caption says “Vigil,” but only one of the designs here is the Gray Teacher herself.

Feel free to guess 😀

Vigil wears a variant of the Qhurothi-specific ACS “the Flame Within”–“Zeky’tetska” in the Qhurothi common language as it would be written after romanization. I am unreasonably excited to show off their written language later.

Mercenary Politics

From a Squad’s perspective, acquiring a mission is simple: check in with the local Chief and see what’s available. Your Company bosses might contact you and ask you to take sometime specific occasionally; but, typically, you just take whatever looks both interesting and survivable. The vast majority of open missions in an area do not involve entrenched combat, after all.
Unless another Company involves themselves with an opposing force–or just has a bone to pick with you.
Alright, so maybe you should avoid Illua Prime for a while, yeah? Try a border planet.

The Chiefs receive frequent updates from the Board regarding what’s available and what the payout should be. They are supposed to be impartial, of course, in relaying mission availability and details. A Squaddie learns not to trust them after their first outing.

Why?

The Chiefs are, to a person, owned by the Promoters–think of them as modern day lobbyists. They offer incentives to manipulate the outcome of events in their benefactor’s favor however they can–and most of the Chiefs are more than happy to leech from their efforts. The Promoters pay to have multiple squads be sent in for the same reward, they’ll pay to have them sent against each other, and, above all, they’ll pay to ensure that only their benefactor profits. Individual Squads typically do what they can to get in bed with a specific Promoter as best they can–better to have a devil on your shoulder than to try to face all the rest on your own, right?

Further complicating matters for a Captain are the Company bosses–and the nations and powers behind them. Sometimes you’ll be on your way to the third moon of Kethik Approxi and a bigshot from your Company intercepts your dropship to send you a few miles north of the village in danger of flooding–he really wants a specific specimen from the local fauna, you see; and hey! If you’re quick, you might still be in time to help those villagers.

What’s a Squad to do? Say no?
That’s a real quick way to have the Angels on your back.

Personally, I’d rather deal with the devils.

Game Mechanics Corner

Oh, oh oh, is this the first time I’ve talked directly about game mechanics? Neat.

STARFALL™ is a mission-based skirmish game. At the beginning of the game, the players will make a few choices apart from just their force:

-Mission
-Deployment Order
-Promoter

Yeah, see? You knew they would come up somehow.

The Mission terms dictate the primary ways to earn VPs (Victory Points) throughout the game, the number of rounds, environmental factors, and so on. We’ll have a static list of Common missions available at all times, as well as Season-specific missions and Storyline Event-specific missions.
Tease.

Deployment Order will affect the rules of some missions–for example, “the First Active Player is the ‘Attacker’ for this mission.” Pretty straightforward.

And then, not always in secret, each player chooses a Promoter. Missions and Season Kits will list specific Promoters available; and, your Company is always an option. Promoters provide a once-per-game bonus of some kind in exchange for committing to a specific secondary objective. Some Promoters are universal across all missions, others less so. However, there’s always a trade-off. Perhaps if you fail to hold Point A through the end of the second round, the Promoter cuts off your Squad’s radio communication–yeah, they can do that. But, if you manage to hold it, you score additional VPs and gain a bonus going into the third round.
Totally worth it, I promise.

During Organized Play Events, the Promoter’s chosen are recorded and reported–as well as success or fail. Your choices will have an impact larger than just the one game you play.

Wrapping Up

Next week, we’ll have new art pieces to show you–including the four starting Company’s logos and emblems!

MetalNeko is looking for more writers! If you are interested, please send a writing sample to metalnekogames@gmail.com as well as a tailored résumé. We’ll get back to you ASAP.

Give us a shout-out on our Facebook page as well! We’re inching closer to the first closed playtest cycle and we would love to hear from you all.

Enjoy today’s story featuring a Lieutenant of the Argent Palisades. We’ll see you next week.

The Gentle Giant

Written by: Amanda Vernon

He came to us of the endless sky, a deity of all-seeing eyes and a tongue that spoke our salvation. The ships they built in his name spared the Earth when the stars again fell.

He came to us, our Father.

With him came the alchemical lifeblood that infused the small port city of Antalya. Great ships, enforced with precious alloys, withstood all attacks and traversed great distances in half time.

It was in these years of miracles that I was born, named Tengri after the sky god, a tribute to our Father. Wanting to dedicate my life to his service, my family name was removed at the request of my parents. I was to be purified of all but a singular focus.

While Antalya came to be one of the largest port cities, I was a boy of only nine years when the Great War began. I could serve no one. Instead, I dedicated myself to studying the expanding fields of alchemy, military history, and medicine. If the war was to continue, I would forge myself into a worthwhile tribute. One without vice.

But in the Neo-European Empire, citizenship is given to the deserving. All children must be apprenticed, and in Antalya, my place was the ships. It seemed a tedious life, loading the exported goods and the vast amounts of metal being imported into Antalya for the crafting of new vessels. This time refined me and burned away the last of my pride.

Eventually, my emir granted me station on one of the alchemically forged vessels. I became a citizen, then, finally earning my place in the great empire of our Father. In my travels, merchants, tradesmen, and military officers would embark with us, and I would learn: religion, philosophy, strategy. My education continued on the seas as the physical labor upon the ships hardened me.

The war did not end so quickly as many predicted, though. To hear stories of the death unsettled me. Life should be valued. Great philosophers had written so. But when our Father called, I came, finding a place among a first responder unit, prolonging lives until they could be transferred to the hands of doctors.

My new emir made short work of this station, having observed me in desperate moments of defense. Combat, he said, would be how I could serve our Father. This was my purpose, and in my suit meant for healing, they wove a platinum-based alloy to steel my mind and pull it from the horrors I saw and enacted. In combat, I hold to a single thought and focus. My first responder combat suit became a last vestige of the healer I had planned to be. Along its back, they strapped a cannon to bring down fire on the enemies of our Father.

I was…effective.

But pride could not touch me when what I had done caused a war in my soul. I refused promotion once, and then twice, but when I was requested to take position in our Father’s mercenary company, the Argent Palisades, refusal was no option.

I am our Father’s hammer, and I will serve him as he builds his empire.

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