NCsoft has sent us a fiction about their free-to-play "MMO" Exteel. The fiction, “Divided We Stand,” can be read below along with several pieces of art to go with the story.
Divided We Stand
Less than thirty years ago we were comrades in arms. We fought to shrug off the yoke of the Galactic Federation and failed. We were forced to settle on the planet Natha, shaping the wild Taryn continent to make a new life for ourselves.
We struggled but persevered and bent the planet to our will. We formed nations and governments as varied as the planets we arrived from. Colonists from Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn planted flags and created borders.
Inevitably those ideals and borders created conflict. One attack on a Marston outpost, one spark of violence lit a powder keg and war exploded on Natha.
Like our fathers before us we are engaged in battle but this war is being waged by mercenaries wrapped in powerful Mechanaughts. We were not allowed armies when we came here and so now we use hired soldiers to fight for power and survival.
Four houses so alike yet so very different. Four houses at war. These are the colonies of Natha.
Founded by refugees from Mars the nation of Marston is inhabited by a fiercely determined people. They started the Eight Years’ War so long ago and were the last bastion of independence to be defeated by the forces of the Galactic Federation. Their life on Natha has been hard. They were forced to settle on arid land, bombarded by meteor showers, and forced underground into an industrialized lifestyle.
The leaders of Marston are aristocrats and soldiers but no one embodies Marston more than their current military leader, General Maximilian Leopoldo. He is a brilliant strategist who is more than ready for a fight but there are many who question his scruples. With Leopoldo at its head, Marston is a deadly foe who many see as corrupt but will fight to the end for control of Natha and beyond.
The current conflict began when a Marston outpost was destroyed. Marston accused Palamo of an act of war but their neighboring colony has denied any such attack. Despite Palamo’s protestations General Leopoldo is driving his mercs inexorably forward, laying waste to all enemies in his path.
The newest nation on the planet Natha was originally formed in the southern part of the Taryn region as part of the Marston colony. Over time however, an ironic and bitter replaying of galactic events brought strife to Natha. Those with strong separatist beliefs emerged and with aid from Palamo a new government was declared. Marston reacted poorly and refused to recognize them, going so far as to deport anyone sympathetic with the cause of West Palamo. Marston stopped just short of declaring war at that time. Even though the current conflict began between Marston and Palamo, it seems almost inevitable that West Palamo will enter the fray.
The current leader of West Palamo is Isabella Boone, a woman as independent and tough as they come. She is known for her bold, almost reckless decisions. Her willingness to buck the system and work outside the lines lead to the formation of West Palamo in the first place but could also be the very traits that lead to its downfall.
In the beginning life was almost idyllic for the refugees from Jupiter who founded the colony of Palamo. They had by far the most fertile soil on the continent of Taryn and room to grow. They formed twelve communities and began to work the land building farms and homes. The few minor disputes between them were quickly settled as a congress formed with New Io as its meeting place.
In recent times things have taken a darker turn for Palamo. Their support of the government of West Palamo after its succession from Marston created a rift that contributed in no small part to the current war raging on Natha. Marston has been steadily advancing into Palamo territory, destroying outpost after outpost in response to the alleged Palamo first strike.
The current leader of New Io’s congress is Michael Chavez who is a charismatic and caring man. He has steered the colonies of Palamo through many difficult times with his dedication and unflinching character. He has categorically denied General Leopoldo’s accusations but is struggling to maintain his composure in light of his son’s death during Marston’s initial retaliatory strike. Chavez will be sorely tested as he faces the greatest conflict Natha has ever known while he tries to come to terms with terrible personal tragedy.
Settled by refugees from Saturn, Aiers has always held itself apart from the other colonies of Natha. The people of Aiers are a small but highly advanced society, particularly when it comes to technology. Their involvement with the current conflict on Natha has been minimal so far but their scientific prowess will inevitably draw them in, either as a willing ally or a rich target for one of the other combatants.
Perhaps the best hope Aiers has is their leader. President Elmer Jones is a once in a generation mind. Like Aiers itself he is aloof and approaches all problems with an almost clinical perspective. Despite his inclinations toward being a loner he is emerging as one of the most skilled leaders anywhere in the galaxy.
Once we were unified by a common purpose but now we find ourselves at odds with our brothers and sisters. So far two of our siblings have borne the brunt of loss and pain but soon we will all be embroiled in this bloody conflict.
I don’t know how long the seemingly endless skirmishes between the metal behemoths we call Mechanaughts will continue but there is one question that keeps ringing in my mind. Can there be a victor in a war such as this?
Have you checked out Exteel? If you did, got anything to share? Feel free to do so in the comments below.