Basic Info Edit
Location: Chaos Wastes, Northern half of Dragon's Head, Yeti Plains
Major Cities: Aeternum Noctus - The City of Eternal Night. Population: 195,000. Capital City built over the End War town of Pond Inlet.
Anchorage- The City of Metal. Population: 57,000. Built over the End War city of Anchorage Alaska.
Organization: Semi-Nomadic-Semi-Sedentary Theocracy
Ruler: Ancalagon Von Krucius, The Pale King, 1st seat of the Council of Night
Council of Night: Ruling council of the Children of Father Night. Consists of eight council seats occupied by the leaders of the most powerful and influential tribes within the Northern Empire. The Council interprets the will of the Dark Pantheon and directs the rest of the Empire based on those interpretations. Thus, their word is law and all others, with the exception of a rare few Orders and Organizations, obey their commands without question.
The Eyes of Night/The Shamanic Order: It might seem strange, for any who has met an agent of the Eyes or a Shaman of the Order, that these two would be listed together. But closer inspection reveals them to be two sides to the same coin. One side, the Eyes of Night, are a clandestine inquisition that track down and eliminate heretics and dissidents within the Empire's population. Home to the North's most dangerous assassins and host to some of the most chilling souls to plague the wasteland, the Eyes of Night keep the population from straying from the beaten path. Conversely, the Shamanic Order is well known, the Empire over, for their selfless work in keeping the people of the Empire safe from the unnatural parts of the natural world around them. Master trackers, hunters, and beast slayers, the Shamans make their presence known deliberately to inspire hope and courage in the eyes of the common folk. Where the Eyes keep the flock in line, the Shamans keep the flock safe from the lurking wolf.
The Warmaster/Claws of Night: Headed by the greatest of their ranks, the Warmaster, the Claws of Night are the militant and expansionist arm of the Children of Father Night. As an almost entirely volunteer organization ever on the frontline of the Empire's borders, the Claws have a well-earned reputation for brutality and an almost psychotic fascination with the use of fear and terror as weapons. Whether this is a product of the constant state of war they find themselves in, or the inherently malicious nature of the individuals who fill their ranks, might never be fully known. What is known is their propensity for war and violence combined with the Claws often being the first Children faces outsiders see, results in the wasteland's overarching negative opinion of the Empire on the whole.
The Nobles Court: Comprised of representatives from every major tribe not directly involved in the Council of Night, the Nobles Court is the direct line of communication between the teeming masses and the Council. They bring the grievances of the tribes and villages to the Council of Night, and it is their job to disseminate the orders of the Council back to the population as promptly as possible.
The Decadent One: Master of Merchants and lord of the trade, the Decadent One is arguably the single wealthiest soul within the Northern Empire. Well within reason, as the Decadent One holds sway over all matters of craft and profit within the Empire. From the largest of transactions between great tribes, to the lowliest of merchants selling their hand crafted wares in town squares, all pay a portion of their earnings to the Decadent One, which he in turn is intended to allocate to areas of the Empire that need it most. Though, one look at his lavish appearance and hedonistic lifestyle would lead a lesser member of the faith to question his actual intentions.
The Earthen Emissary: As opposite the Decadent One as day is from night, the Earthen Emissary has no need for wealth or ostentatious appearance. Presiding over the Council of Druids, he is the direct line between the Council of Night and the Naturalists of the Empire. Accomplished hunters, fishers, farmers, foragers, and the like, the Naturalist Order takes pride in providing sustenance for the rest of the Empire. Where the Merchant's Guild is concerned with the distribution of wealth across the Empire, the Naturalist Order is more involved in the balance of natural resources so as to keep the Empire from exhausting any resources that might throw the Northern ecosystems out of balance.
The Lord of Iron/Order Machina: A relatively recent addition to the fold of the Children of Father Night. More machine than man at this point, the Lord of Iron reigns over the remnants of Anchorage. Directly responsible for maintaining the machinery and technology pilfered from the end of the Long War, she holds sway over the development and deployment of all technology across the breadth of the Empire. The Order Machina under her oversees the production and upkeep of technology both civilian and military in function.
?-2102 - The Emergence Edit
The Children of Father Night began as nothing more than one of countless tribes living in Noxville. The exact time or cause of their emergence remains unclear to this day. What is known is that around the year 2102, the tribe that would become known as the Children of Father night assimilated several dozen nearby tribes and villages through a combination of bribery, political manipulation, and outright violence. United for the first time in nearly a century, the coalition of tribes pushed out of Noxville, assimilating countless minor tribes and empires along the way. By the summer of 2130, the now properly named Children of Father Night held sway over the entirety of Nordenland, most of the Great Lakes, and a considerable swath of the Great Expanse.
2102-2130 - The Great Unification Edit
Many tribes that joined the coalition did so as a means of survival, and not initially as a proper agreement with the religious practices of the Children of Father Night. It took a great deal of time to properly convert the vast majority of the tribes within the coalition, and the fledgling Council of Night was forced to utilize more cunning and subterfuge than will ever be allowed to see Mother Luna's light. Some tribes were swayed through violence, a simple convert or die ultimatum. Others were brought into the fold by "divine" demonstrations. These displays were often trials by combat between tribal champions and the horrendously mutated brutes that the Children of Father Night bred through means still shrouded in mystery. These often hilariously one-sided duels served to prove the power of the Dark Pantheon to the unbelievers. Believing the proof before their eyes, many renounced their old gods for what they saw as true power from real gods. Others, more stubborn and unyielding, were often simply bred out of power. This culture shift would take place over several generations, but would end with desirable results for the Council of Night. Very seldom, entire tribes were made examples of for neighboring communities to see. Skinning Pits, as they would later be named, were dug in the center of these tribes and towns. The entirety of the town's population; men, women, and children, would be rounded up, skinned alive, and thrown into this great pit to writhe out their final moments in unimaginable agony. The effectiveness of this particular tactic has not been forgotten and the Claws still use it extensively in the 24th century.
2160 - Stability in the Chaos Wastes Edit
By the year 2160, nearly the entirety of the Chaos Wastes belonged body and soul to the Children of Father Night. Tribes devoted their existences to the Dark Pantheon with zeal and blind fanaticism, leading to countless internecine conflicts between neighbors. The Council of Night encouraged this to an extent, to weed out the weak and promote a strong warrior spirit. But regulations were soon put in place to ensure the destruction would not compromise the integrity of the Empire on the whole. Such regulations ensured fertile land remained undamaged, population numbers did not fall below certain ranges, and vital materials were not squandered stupidly.
2215-2217 - The Crusade of The Red Giant Edit
In the year 2215, the Children of Father night made their first great push into what they call the Southlands. Warmaster Krux "The Red Giant" Nortvus, with the blessing of the Council of Night, mobilized a massive army mustered from hundreds of tribes, and pushed out through the Great Expanse into the Northern Plains. Thousands of warriors marched across those wide open plains, slaughtering the disparate nomads and remote villages within the Northern Plains. Yet, despite their overwhelming success, the Northerners quickly grew bored of their conquests. The loot was meager, the people were scarce and weak, and the bloodshed was so one-sided as to be considered not even worth the effort. Dragging trains of chained slaves back across the Great Expanse, the Crusade of The Red Giant ended anticlimactically. The Children believed life south of the Great Expanse to be too under developed for their attention. It wasn't until a skirmish with Legion scouts nearly five decades later that they would see how wrong their initial assessment was. By that point however, the Children were already locked in bitter conflict with an empire known at the Steel Legion, holding sway over the entirety of the Dominion and the Yukon.
2226-2326 - The Long War Edit
First contact with the Steel Legion occurred in the winter of the year 2226, when an expeditionary force of Children engaged a small group of biomechs on the border crossing between the Great Lakes and the Yukon. What started as a simple territorial dispute quickly escalated into open war between the two empires. The Children had numbers and skill at arms on their side. Each warrior was born and raised in the fires of constant conflict, with the weak killed and eaten and the strong surviving to bring glory to their capricious gods. Where the Children were numerous however, the Steel Legion was technologically advanced. Where the Children took to the field in great hordes, shields locked, axes sharpened, and voices raised in praise to their dark gods; the Steel Legion marched in eerie silence astride ponderous Power Frames and in squads of advanced Powered Armored soldiers. Brawn and the occult clashed with brain and machine for a century of bloodshed that would cost both sides millions of lives before its climactic closure in the late spring of 2326. Final estimates put Children losses during what would become known as the Long War at around 3 million dead. The Steel Legion conversely only suffered around 1.5 million casualties before their surrender following the siege of Anchorage.
2326 - Operation Nightfall Edit
Fresh from their victory against the Steel Legion, and with reports from vanguards telling of civilizations in the southlands, the Children once more turned their attention southward. Mobilizing under Warmaster Sal'granesh "The Reaper of Anchorage", the Children wasted no time in amassing a crusade force unlike anything seen before in their collective history. Rough estimates put the crusade force at between 400,000-600,000, bolstered as it was by auxiliary troops mustered from Anchorage and slave legions dredged from the lands just south of the Great Expanse. The crusade stormed through the Northern Plains, pushing aside all resistance with contemptuous ease before being stonewalled by a coalition known informally as the Kasm Defense Force. Spearheaded by the Legion, but bolstered by the Family and countless smaller guilds and empires strewn about Kasm, the KDF met the crusade at the hastily bulwark-ed Family capital of Radio City. Reports are still unclear as to the exact nature of the events that transpired during the course of the seven day siege, but with losses reaching staggering numbers on both sides, the spirit of the crusade seemed to break first, punctuated with the death of Warmaster Sal'granesh on the morning of the seventh day. All momentum and unity lost, the crusade fell in upon itself, prompting the 2nd seat of the Council of Night to issue a complete withdrawal and an official end to the crusade that would become simply known as Operation Nightfall. Some warriors stayed to end their lives upon the countless dead piling up around the rent and ruined walls of Radio City, some returned North, others dispersed into the lands of Kasm, their exact locations and intents unknown to all but themselves. Statistics and the exact nature of the fallout from Operation Nightfall on both the Children and the defenders of Kasm are still unknown at this time.
Religious Beliefs Edit
Children follow an eight-god pantheon referred to on the whole as The Dark Gods, or the Dark Pantheon. The Children follow strict theological codes based on the teachings of their gods. While Children acknowledge and worship all eight gods, they can and often do devote themselves to individual gods. Doing so puts that particular God's agendas and codes ahead of the other seven deities. It is a commonly held belief that devotion to a single god is the most efficient means of earning the notice and favor of the gods.
The gods are as listed below:
Father Night: Greatest of the gods. Father Night watches over the fields of battle, always searching for great warriors to bestow his blessings upon. Blood, skulls, and souls. These are the tributes warriors offer unto Father Night, in the hopes that he shall cast even the briefest glance in their direction. When a warrior dies, it is Father Night who judges him and decides whether he shall join his comrades in The Halls of Starlight. Or if he should be cursed to wander the blinding burning plains of Hel for all eternity. It is said that in the end times, Father Night will lead his chosen warriors and the other gods in one final battle against The False Light. The world will fall into darkness, and Mother Luna and The Void shall shine their truest of light upon the earth for an eternity.
Mother Luna: The true light of the world. She guides her followers through the darkness and grants wondrous rewards to those who offer her tributes. Unlike Father Night, Mother Luna does not take blood or skulls or souls. She instead thrills in the joys of music, art, and creative expression. It is said that those close to Mother Luna are gifted the muse to create wondrous works of art the likes of which make their peers weep with wonder and joy.
The Void: The endless night. The tapestry of space. The Void is both worshipped and feared in equal measure for its enigmatic presence. It is neither life nor death. It just is. It is as great a mystery as the deepest depths of space, for it encompasses all within the empty places between celestial bodies. Should one offer knowledge and souls to The Void, its gifts are said to be as magnificent as they are alien.
Grandfather Umbras: Grandfather of the cycle of life and death. It is said that he was there in the beginning, and will be there when all other gods have died out. Ever patient and calculating, Grandfather Umbras knows that even the mightiest warrior will succumb to age or disease. One need not beat one's opponent, they need only outlast them. He presides over all life as it is born, and sees it on its way as it dies. Those who tend life and manage the dead please the Grandfather in their devotion to the cycle of life and death. Followers of Umbras are said to be gifted with unusually long life, hearty constitution, and on occasion gleeful carries of life ending diseases.
The Great Spirit: The God of nature and the hunt. Naturalists and those who live off the land devote their worship to the verdant nature of the Great Spirit. Balance in the natural world is paramount to the Great Spirit and its followers, and as such those who seek to wipe out the unnatural and the wicked to stem the abhorrent corruption prevalent across the wastes, are said to be held in high favor by the god of the wilds.
Deus Machina: The god of technology and the AI. It is believed by those who worship Deus Machina that sentience among machines was only possible through his divine intervention, and that all machines carry within them the essence of the machine god.
Saccularius: The Laughing God. The god of tricksters and deviants, Saccularius is the god of excess, deviance, and deception. Always one for a good laugh, his followers revel in hedonist and mischievous revelry, more often than not simply because it pleases them, and to a greater extent, pleases Saccularius.
Quaestus, The Gold Seeker: The god of trade and craftsmanship. As pragmatic as they come, Quaestus is only concerned with the acquisition of wealth and the means to produce more. Patron god of merchants and traders.