“They’ve done rather well this year, haven’t they?” The speaker was haggard, his hands shaking slightly as he wrung them together.
“Who?” The source of the response looked equally fatigued, but in a different fashion, his frame gaunt and the bone structure of his skull visibly imprinted into his unhealthy face. His eyes, a shade of yellow that reflected his generally anemic appearance, were not nervous, but impassive, careful maintained so that not a single emotion would escape.
“The Bureau of Giving. Metal production up by 20%! We’re closer to winning this war than ever.” As the Matoran spoke, his hands began to shake worst than ever, the skeletal digits and distinct joints quaking with an unseen terror. However, his eyes, just like those of his companion, were carefully guarded. The green orbs, sunken into his sickly head, looking like those of the dead, both at peace and utterly tormented, a façade of happiness and contentment.
“Oh, of course. Those Zakaz swine will be ground into the dust soon enough.” The other Matoran, his yellow eyes as unflustered as ever, looked downward to the newspaper lying on the table between, staring at it blankly as he read, never lifting it from it‘s limp position on the table.
The obnoxious screeching of an alarm filled the room, and the Matoran, with machine-like movements, stood up, carefully placed their chairs back underneath the table, and exited the room with dozens of other Matoran, all of them looking utterly brain dead, as if someone had removed their biomechanical cerebrum and replaced it with a propaganda pamphlet.
* * *
They next day, the yellow-eyed Matoran was back, sitting at the group of tables designated to citizens of his area in the district of Ta-Metru.
There was a general air of anxiety and nervousness in the air as everyone politely spoke to each other, their mannerisms contrasting with their soulless eyes, and almost pre-programmed sounding voices. “Did you hear?” “Of course I heard. It is such a shame, our own citizens betraying us.” “I certainly hope that none of those terrible, hideous monsters try to get me to commit such a crime!” “We have to kill these swine quickly, they’re infecting our precious Empire!” “Don’t doubt in our Emperor, he will fix this. I’m sure he has it all planned, you’ll see.” “Well, most certainly he does. I’m just worried that more lies will spread to our district.” “Oh, you’re scaring me now. Sub-district 34 isn’t awfully far away from ours.” “Oh, I’m sure the Enforcers will be visiting the residences there.” “I think it’s better that way! More hangings, more morale boosting, that’s what I say.”
The yellowed-eyed Matoran stared at one of the Sub-District 36 tables several feet away, their loud voices carrying the topics of discussion across the room. There were few people sitting in his area, and all of them quiet, so there was no chance of a respite from the constant talking of the Sub-District 36 citizens.
Holding his head in his hands, the yellow-eyed Matoran began to sob, staring at the Sub-District 34 logo imprinted on the table, his hands shaking as they filled with his tears.
Welcome to The Great Empire of Metru-Nui. We observe you for your own good, so that if an accident occurs, we can send someone to help you in a very small amount of time. Coincidentally, if you choose to be disruptive, we can remove you from public, until you learn to behave yourself. Surveillance is constant, screens and security cameras watch you from every angle, not a single inch on the entire industrialized island of Metru-Nui is free of observation, for your own good, of course. You, beloved worker, can seek “freedom”, and live a life of hardship and fear, or you can worship The Empire, your benevolent benefactor, and live a comfortable life. I think the correct choice is clear.
The Empire is ready to support you and love you, but you must love it in return. Love nothing else, for nothing else is worthy of your love. If you are found wasting your love on another, we shall have to re-educate you, so be wise and adore us over any other. The Empire gives you everything, your residence, your food, and all we ask for in return is your absolute loyalty. Worship us as we deserve to be worshiped, with every atom of your bond and soul, and you will never want. Do not love us as we deserve, and there will be repercussions.
The Great Empire is ruled by the wise and benevolent Emperor, once called Dume, and he is the one who shall protect you from the terrible, blood-curdling horrors of Zakaz, and the trail of death it leaves in its wake. Below him, to share his wisdom and rouse you into working harder and faster, are The Six Elders, once known as Turaga, each one representing one of the six basic elements. Their names are Vakama, Nokama, Matau, Onewa, Whenua, and Nuju, and they are to be respected and honored, for each of them has control over an entire Metru.
We have the highest hopes for you, worker, but if you fail to meet our expectations, we would be forced to remove you, so that you do not taint your fellow labor force. We’re sure you understand the reasons for this, and we’re also sure you’ll try your very best to remain useful, but if you don’t, perhaps the Enforcers will have to pay you a visit. What are Enforcers? The are exactly what their name implies, a finished version of the “Vahki” prototype, the ultimate in protecting your peace and wellbeing, as well as the ultimate in capturing and terminating those who wish to be difficult.
Our soliders, brave, courageous souls, will rarely, if ever, seen by you. They travel rarely, and only in secure Chutes, and play no part in your work, so you have no reason to possess knowledge of them. There have been citizens too curious on the topic of our military than is healthy. If you show signs that you are beginning to join this crowd, a cell in a Re-Education center shall be prepared for your arrival, dear citizen.
One last thing on the topic of The Empire‘s Citizens; The Masses. You will meet them on the street, within the factory or bureau, and they are not to be feared. They might be taller, stronger, and faster than you, but they are not better than you. You are elite. They are to be ignored, and to be reported if they pause working. The Enforcers are more than capable of dealing with them, no matter the number of them, so do not hesitate to report them. Other members of The Masses may resent you for doing so, but what do they matter? They are mere proletariats, you are the middle, the comfortable height above grueling work and below the difficulties of ruling, they are the depths, the pits of existence.
We are at war with the demonic, vindictive barbarians of Zakaz. There is another island, Xia, but they have never acted against us, and they have never acted for the interest of Zakaz. We at war with the spiteful Zakaz savages, and no one else. It is wise to remember this, citizen, if someone tries to convince you otherwise. Remain faithful, and report him to the nearest Enforcer.
All we ask of you, worker and citizen, is trust, obedience, and a good work ethic. These are all easy enough in theory, but some seem to find problems with them, and those who do so always end up trying to convince others that we ask for more, that we are not kind. Please, for your own good, do not listen to them. We love you, and all we ask for in return is your love and loyalty. If you do not agree with this proposal, there is a lovely Enforcer outside, and I’m sure he can take you somewhere to clear your mind.
“A busy Matoran is a happy Matoran, for quick work is rewarding work.”
The Metru of Productions, Ta-Metru is composed gigantic factories, with living quarters and mess halls scattered throughout the Metru, split up by Sub-Districts (Where citizens and The Masses take residence), numbered from 1 to 60, the lowest numbers being the darkest, dirtiest rat holes of The Masses, the largest being the most prestigious residences of the most efficient workers. The skyline of Ta-Koro is that of smokestacks and plumes of smog, with fire belching from the widest, most active of the industrial, utilitarian factories of gunmetal steel.
“Trust in the Emperor, pride in the Elite.”
The Metru of Re-Education, and the location of the Empire’s Navy, Ga-Metru is easily recognizable for its appearance, dozens of islands, sprawling with concrete builds, windowless and surrounded with several fences of barbed wire, as well as mine fields, if the structure is particularly important. There are few living quarters in Ga-Metru, all for Re-Educators, those who administrate the prisons and Re-Education centers, and those who keep them in working order. There are 36 Sub-Districts, no longer numbered for living condition, only for what island they are located on. In the Metru of Re-Education and the Metru of the Empire‘s Armada, there is an emphasis of belief in the Emperor for those being Re-Educated, and an emphasis for striving to be the strongest, most vicious being possibly in the Empire‘s Armada. The slogan of Ga-Metru reflects this well.
“For Peace and the Law.”
The Metru of Law Enforcement, and the Metru of The Great Empire’s Military, Le-Metru is a massive military base, dotted with Enforcer hives, with everything connected by Chutes and surrounded by Airship ports. The Chute system of Le-Metru is put to maximum use, with Enforcers being transported across Metru-Nui constantly, and the Military able to reach wherever the need to be in mere minutes, either to fend off an attack, or to ready themselves for deportation. The Chute system has been modified slightly, requiring a pass, implanted in one’s organics, possessed only by the most influential citizens and the Military, to be used. As well as this, the Chute’s speed of travel has been increased, so that Enforcers can arrive even sooner, to quell any disturbance that arises. There are only 12 Sub-Districts in Le-Metru, for the only citizens allowed to take residence there, either temporary or permanent, are mechanics and Airship pilots. Four of these Districts are located directly next to Enforcer Hives, and these are, obviously, where mechanics live. The other eight are located on military bases, and serve as temporary residence for the Airship pilots who arrive with their cargo, and wish to rest for a few days. The Le-Metru slogan is simple and to the point, reflecting those who occupy the Metru of Violence, as some take to calling it.
“Might Makes Right.”
The Metru of Chaos is what most call Po-Metru, the City of Stone. There is no true purpose for the establishments there, only randomly scattered businesses, surrounded by thousands of residence buildings, all of them ramshackle and in a state of serious disrepair. Where there were once deserts there are streets, monoliths and statues are now the cornerstones of the larger buildings, all signs of a previous setting has been assimilated into the current look of the Metru, creating a revolting mix of past beauty and modern hideousness. The dignified civilization of before is hidden behind the bestial violence of today in the streets of current Po-Metru, called by some The Metru of Brutes and The Metru of the Mad. Many of The Masses make their homes here, and thus it is not uncommon to be greeted with horrendous sights of violence when one awakes in the morning, roused by the sound of The Masses competing for the right to travel to the other Metru, on rickety Airships, no longer suitable for military use, and condemned to a life of carrying half-mad beings, having just survived the often fatal gauntlet of the street, to their places of work, brutal factories that, to them, are havens of cleanness. Every member of The Masses wants to reach these factories, and thus, the unofficial slogan of the Metru of Chaos, “Might Makes Right.”, describes their willingness to smash each other’s brains to bits in the name of a ride on the Airships rather well.
“Thoughts can be dangerous, for the Emperor sees all.”
The Metru of Research, or The Metru of Information, or the Metru of Knowledge, Onu-Metru goes by several names, but all of them have one thing in common; Details. Onu-Metru keeps track of every word spoken, every movement made, every piece of media released, and it is more than ready to edit all of this information when ever correction is needed. All of this manages occurs in The Archives, a system of tunnels spanning the length and width of the entire island, and now, thanks to advancements in recent years, delving deeper than sane man would imagine going. The Archives hold more information than a mind could imagine, and all of it is easily available to the citizens who reside there. The residents of Onu-Metru rarely see the sun, and the are, shall we say, distorted. Their eyes are, at least three times larger than any other being found in The Empire, their bodies are shriveled and almost devoid of muscle, and their fingers have turned into long, bony claws, used both for digging and for typing on the tiny keys of the dozens of typewriter-esque information-translating instruments of their “inputs”, bizarre machines on which the “Unders” (The common name of the residents of Onu-Metru) write/re-write dozens of documents at once. The “inputs” span entire rooms, and connect to the Archives, which now resemble, in many ways, modern digital libraries and encyclopedias. There are only six Sub-Districts in Onu-Metru, each one representing a section of The Archives under other Metru, with otherwise literally no difference between the six. Onu-Metru, on the map, appears to be a dome of protosteel, a single dot of color on a landscape of post-apocalyptic, desolate black. The reason for the emptiness? As well as managing the details of a citizen’s life, Onu-Metru manages the details and the information of The Empire’s military forces, both land, air, and sea. Part of this military information is the effectiveness of weapons, from mundane pistols to explosive missiles of devastating power. The slogan of Onu-Metru “Thoughts can be dangerous, for The Emperor sees all.”, reflects the paranoia of the Matoran (and the mind-games that the local Enforcers enjoy playing) rather well.
“Obedience is Happiness.”
The Metru of Entertainment and Diversions, Ko-Metru is the only Metru to have an official name with two components, and the only Metru to constantly cooperate with another, Onu-Metru. Ko-Metru resembles a bizarre mix of beautiful, translucent crystal palaces and cold, hard steel-gray skyscrapers, metallic framework connecting metal and glass additions to the gigantic Crystal Towers, and buildings, rivaling a Tower’s height, thin and stylized with square-shaped windows and absolutely nothing spherical, attach directly into the snowy, almost arctic terrain of the Metru. All of these structures have one thing in common: They are tipped with gigantic instruments reminiscent of antennas and radio dishes. Ko-Metru is the transmitter of entertainment and broadcasts for the entire island, sending news, and motivational speeches every where, leaving no space in The Empire without the latest news, the most recent military victory. Ko-Metru’s relation to Onu-Metru is simple: Onu-Metru receives the information first, corrects it and edits it for the citizens good, and then sends it to Ko-Metru, who sends it everywhere in its reach. The population of Ko-Metru is almost devoid of members of The Masses, instead almost entirely middle class citizens, all of them zealous for the message they are conveying. A message that could be identified by totalitarian by the youngest being, composed of little more than demonization of The Empire’s enemy and worship of The Emperor, yet accepted by thousands as truth, simply because after being told it so many times, they choose to accept it as truth, for doing otherwise, for even thinking of it otherwise, would result in their death. The slogan of this Metru is rather apt.
A monolithic structure rising several hundred, perhaps even a thousand, feet into the air, The Throne is a massive, three-sided pyramid, with the monstrous, spiked Crown of The Empire painted in crimson on the white stone of each side, visible from hundreds and hundreds of feet away. The Throne connects the six landmasses of the Metrus, and serves as the motivational, morale-boosting symbol of The Empire, more terrifying and psychological than any flag, imprinting any who see it with a sense of smallness, weakness, and helplessness, things that only The Emperor, who, along with the Six Elders, resides in The Throne, can cure you of, as he makes his glorious speeches in front of this intimidating, cyclopean monument.
Character Profiles & Character Creation Information:
Name: (Please, keep it reasonably Bionicle-ish. I don’t want to see “Bobby” and “Johnny”, nor do I want to see “KillStealer169” or any other name with digits and a distinct 9-year old videogamer feel)
Gender: (Should be simple to fill in)
Social Class: (Explained below)
Appearance: (At the very least, describe body coloring, basic appearance, and Kanohi design. I want at least four sentences.)
Occupation: (What does your character do? Are they skilled at it? Do they hate it, or do they adore it?)
Metru: (Sub-District as well, if applicable. You can describe whatever Sub-district you create, I‘ll confirm if it fits in with game world as I approve the profile.)
Personality: (What does your character think about their current situation? Are they becoming insane? Are they cold and manipulative, compassionate and kind? Do they like betraying their co-workers, do they attempt to spread their rebellious thoughts and opinions?)
Alignment: (Either Loyal (to The Empire), Neutral, or Rebellious)
The way you fill out social class, comparable to Species in most other RPGs, determines the type of life your character lives, as well as his species. There are two Social Class available for players to role-play, Workers, and The Masses
Workers: Once known as Matoran, Workers are the highest-ranking factory personnel, the information modifiers, the message broadcasters, the re-educators, the airship pilots. Workers make up around 20% of the Empire’s population, vastly overshadowed by The Masses. While in possession of somewhat-better living conditions than The Masses, they are watched very closely by Enforcers, seeing as they are the ones modifying the information that everyone accepts as truth. When filling out Social Class, be sure to add what type of Matoran the Worker is.
The Masses: The Masses, on the other hand, are almost devoid of law enforcement, only bothered by the Enforcers when one of them shows hints of a rebellious nature. They are dived into two sub-classes, each composed of a different species. One, Sidorak's species, possesses the height and physical prowess of an average Toa, are the Plebeians, commonly referred to as the Plebs, are the “blue-collars”, performing industrial work that should require protection, along with extremely large amounts of pay, but lack both. The others, Krekka’s species, are the Drudges. The Drudges, a bit taller than Plebs, and three times as wide, have the strength and endurance of a Kane-Ra, but the intelligence, and agility, of a hammer. The Dredges, obviously, are the sub-class that assume the extremely laborious positions in the Empire. The Masses (Which consist of approximately 70% Plebs and 30% Drudges) make up almost 80% percent of Empire, and are the hordes who work the factories, the mechanics and janitors keeping everything in working order, the residents of Po-Metru, the true workers of The Empire.
Examples of how Social Class should look:
Social Class: The Masses, Drudge.
Social Class: Worker, (Le-Matoran).
I know this is a pretty simple concept, but I wanted to remind players of something. While Rebellious sounds like the obvious and only choice to most players who are reading this, I wrote Loyal there for a reason.
While it doesn’t sound very appealing, being a loyal, double-thinking citizen who loves nothing more than betraying their less “virtuous” companions definitely has its perks. For example, you might even gain access to greater power and influence if you are loyal enough.
The Loyal alignment would most easily be compared to Evil in any other RPG, so, if you feel the need to create a villainous PC, this would be the most intelligent option.
Character Approval and Character Profiles:
Instead of the usual posting in discussion topic and all that, this RPG’s characters will be approved by PM, so once you’ve written out the profile, PM it to one of the GMs, and then post it in the profiles topic. As normal, only one character profiles post per player.
Character Impact on this RPG’s World
I’m sure many of you have noticed the rather limited character creation options, and no doubt a large percentage of you find it distasteful, or limiting. I would like to quickly address this matter, so that the question of PC power remains undisputed.
Your characters are not powerful, nor are they important.
At least, not at first. Consider the profile you submit to a GM via PM a Level 1 character, to use a term familiar to most videogame or tabletop RPGers. A Level 1 character should never be able to ravage a nation, destroy a world, or bring an empire to its knees. But as a character progress, as they grow and become defined, their powers and skills develop through experience, while their naivety and greenness transforms matures into intelligence and cunning. Your character will not begin as the being who destroys The Empire, or improves it, but a citizen, who is only as great as your imagination, and your creativity, traits that should have no limit.
So, keep in mind that you are responsible for your character’s power; Handle it intelligently and creatively, and you’ll have no problem at all. Handle it childishly and without caution, and prepare for repercussions.
1: All BZP and RPG Forum rules apply.
2: I will be the Game Master (GM) for this RPG. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a PM.
3: You are not powerful. Remember this. You are a citizen in a totalitarian government, you can not punch an Enforcer, nor can you magically locate explosives to destroy The Throne with. You are not powerless, you still have your mind. RP intelligently, treat other players, as well as NPCs, fairly, and, above all, remember how carefully you are being watched, and reflect this in your posts.
4: Do not treat the Enforcers as your personal military force if your character is of the Loyal alignment. If you report something, and it turns out to be untrue in any fashion, your character will be punished by the Enforcers, in a rather painful and physically damaging way.
5: Be considerate of other players. Below is a strike system, so you know how many tries you have before you are banned.
1: Another player reports you/I read one of your posts and find you being unfair and rude, I give you a PM of warning.
2: You continue, and thus you are punished (The punishment will depend on the situation), and I give you a one-week ban from the RPG.
3: You are banned permanently from the RPG.
6: If you and a fellow player have an argument, first take it to PMs, and then, if they refuse to cooperate and reach an agreement, PM me with the problem.
7: Please, try to keeping your spelling and grammatical errors to a minimum.
8: If you think there is a problem with the game, or the way the game is being run, please, send me a PM, and I will try to fix the problem.
Yes, this RPG will have rewards. Do something I consider exceptionally intelligent or well-planned, and your character will get something to assist them. I won’t say exactly what the rewards will be, but I will say this much: If you’re planning to create a character that wants to earn a reputation, avoid the Enforcers, get promoted in The Empire, or harm/inhibit The Empire, you will want one of these.
Lastly, I want to say I am looking forward to what rebellions, schemes, and other ingenious things players are going to come up with, and, as GM, I hope I can help keep this RPG enjoyable and interesting. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.