I tried my best to come up with a witty title. Instead, I wrote this one.
*EDIT* This post has been updated to include the correction version of the short story.
Black and White Logos!
We’ve got the first looks at the Company Logos for the starter Companies for you today!
The official banner for each Company is shown on the left. On the right, the emblem emblazoned on equipment, ACSs, dropships, etc.
A lotus and flame motif–simple, direct, and too the point. The Cinderfane know what they are about.
We specifically liked the almost lantern-like design of the flame and center petal. It makes me think of a bright, fleeting flash of a bright explosion–much like Magnesium, the Cinderfane’s primary alchemical design element–while still conveying a softness of spirit.
A Legionnaire helmet with a Knights Templar-esque cross pattern made of eyes? Neat.
The Argent Palisades report directly to the Father-Knight himself and they really don’t care if anyone knows it. In theory, they represent the peoples of the N.E.E. but, come on. We all know better than that.
The North American Alliance comprises of all peoples: native powers, European settlers, Aidlean mercenaries, and descendants of travelers past. The Blood stands as a promise to all, encircling all. We’ll be discussing the tumultuous history that brought them together in a few weeks.
We haven’t discussed the multifaceted Company hailing from New Carthage much, as of yet. They are our most diverse company in terms of species and design–fitting for their roots in the alchemical ideologies represented in Bismuth.
They look a bit spooky here, don’t they? Don’t you worry; Fnippith wouldn’t hurt a fly! Unless it was bugging her.
Badly Zoomed Playtest Photos!
Have some totally out of context photos from the last playtest session. We’re getting closer and closer to a closed beta version 1. Exciting times, indeed.
That’s pretty much it for today! We’ll have more info about the Palisades, the Father-Knight, and the N.E.E. next week.
We’re still accepting writing samples for anyone interested in writing for the STARFALL™ universe. Send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our facebook page for more updates throughout the week!
Enjoy today’s short story introducing our favorite little psychopath.
Written by: Amanda Vernon
“Anna Amalia von Braunschweig Wolfenbüttel,” Sofia said, the intentional rigidness to her tone refusing the violin solo’s cadence in favor of a discordant melody, iron against iron. “Her work is not so old. Haven’t you heard it?” Sofia stilled the bow at the entr’acte’s end. “Only a hundred years ago…”
The instructor seated across from her sighed, a heavy-built man of no humor. It was as if the Father-Knight attempted to find only the personification of dullness to instruct her.
A burn of outrage snaked under Sofia’s skin. She indulged it for now, finding a thrill of pleasure in the forbidden. “Don’t you like history, lehrer?” After years of study, she knew his name, but it hardly felt worth the effort. Instead, she called all her instructors only that: teacher.
In a half breath, Sofia stood with the violin’s bow at lehrer’s throat. Her hair fluttered only just as the movement barely disrupted the air around her. Alchemical advancement, courtesy of the Father-Knight. “If I’m to learn of our great empire, shouldn’t you be thrilled to see that I take interest? I’m an ideal student.”
The heat in her mind begged to drag the strings across his fragile skin. A funny, tempting feeling. She imagined the blood pour, but the image flickered as she breathed, activating her enhancements once more.
He inclined his head toward the threat. “Sit down, Sofia. There will be no lessons.”
A dull spark of interest could not break through her rigid focus on the instrument in her hands. “But what will you bore me with today?” Always it was lessons, day after day, with teachers who told her listen, answer, learn—a tired rhythm.
“I, and your other instructors, have informed the Father-Knight of your impressive progress.”
The bow fell into a wooden stand, and in moments, she rested herself across the chair, ignoring all manners taught through her years coddled in the palace of the Father- Knight. One leg hooked over the arm of the chair, foot giving a slight wave. The corner of her mouth curved up. “What progress?”
Lehrer gave another long-suffering sigh. “I will bow to your ego only once. You have grown vastly skilled with dual-handed combat of both your katzbalger.”
“Modified katzbalger,” she corrected. The traditional sword would be useless in her hands, with dulled points vastly ineffective against a combat suit. She had requested changes of the Father-Knight’s metalsmith and alchemists. The platinum-based alloy hammered to their tip could pierce almost anything.
“Modified,” he agreed. “The machine guns on your ACS have also seen proficient use. And with your unexpectedly quick recovery from…well, the last stage of implementation by the alchemical specialists—”
The customary phrase of obedience rattled lehrer. They were, perhaps, somewhat foreign words from Sofia’s lips.
“Yes, of course,” lehrer hurried to say. “His will has come to pass. You are ready for placement. The platinum pathways in your mind are truly extraordinary. Of course.” The nervous repetition gave away his dread of what would become of the Neo- European armies at her introduction. If the Father-Knight willed it, Sofia assumed she would be only one of many. Her time in his palace had limited what she knew of others like her. And those not. “He expressed only minor concern for your progress with language.”
“I speak perfectly well,” Sofia countered.
“The language of where we both find ourselves.” Stoic gaze shifted to the cloaked windows, she found her fingers stretching out to the violin. The instrument rested easily on her shoulder. No bow in hand, she slid her fingers along the strings and plucked a shivering, haunted tune. “Don’t you find it odd, lehrer, that other languages would be asked of me? When does the Father-Knight bid me speak?”
“Diplomacy serves us all well.”
Her song continued, and Sofia laughed, an echo of the instrument. “Shall I rename my suit? My weapons?” Silence answered her, and Sofia met his gaze. “Where will he send me?”
“First with a regiment of soldiers in the heart of the fatherland and then to the Argent Palisades.” Lehrer inhaled, but it did not quell the awe and fear so shamefully written on his face. “It is quite a thing to see this come to pass after almost twenty years.”
He rose to his full height, towering above her, though she did not react. “Tomorrow. See that you are ready.”
Only the violin answered him.