I know it has only been a week since I posted a teaser here and a 1,500 word lore dump isn't the best way to drum up interest in a new Sci-Fi IP, but I felt compelled to write this yesterday and while I've shared pieces of the following on other sites I haven't done so here yet. Like all my creative works, make of this what you will.
In the mid-40th century, humanity had achieved what many informed observers considered the highest level of civilization ever seen. Hundreds of worlds in dozens of galaxies were colonized, new technologies were easing the hardships of existence, and for most people times were good. Obviously, times were better for some like the industrialists of Wakile or the elite of Oyoheri Prime especially when compared to the rough living of the farmers of Mye-Othol or the inhabitants of war torn Iterlop. Potential troubles and problems still abound from renegade asteroids threatening to wipe out all life on entire planets, to widespread crime in the faraway parts of the universe, to the plight of the explorers pushing the edges of the map and encountering terrors beyond civilized space. Regardless of such inequalities and problems, overall the spirit of the age was optimistic. And this prosperity was due in no small part to one group: The Order of The Law Bringers.
Founded in 3,455 A.D. by the greatest heroes of that century brought together by the legendary vigilante hero Ionnes Acanthio, for centuries The Law Bringers maintained peace and carried out justice across the known universe serving as security for rich and poor alike and never turning their backs on those in need.
Unfortunately by this time, prestige, power, and complacency transformed The Law Bringers into something else. Agents prioritized helping people who would increase their fame and wealth over the needs of the average citizen and several officers abused their positions and acted as vile as the criminals they swore to oppose. By the 3,940’s, the people of the universe had come to hate and despise their protectors, although The Law Bringer’s leaders chose to downplay and ignore this change. The Order could have fallen on hard times even if it hadn’t been for the single-minded crusade of one man: Nicholas Caldwell.
A middle-aged business man whose insane wealth had sketchy origins, around this time Caldwell put his massive resources towards the destruction of The Law Bringers. He funded media that attacked The Order at every turn and spewed a steady stream of anti-Law Bringer rhetoric to anyone listening. True, much of it consisted of lies and blatant propaganda, but legitimate misbehavior on the part of agents such as Captain Gripus made it possible for the average person to believe the universe would be better off without The Law Bringers. He also lobbied the governments of the universe to pass laws limiting or outright banning The Order from operating in their territories. At the time, the officers of Law Bringer High Command laughed at the idea of a “petty demagogue” tearing down an organization that had stood for five centuries. What they couldn’t so easily dismiss however were their so-called replacements. Most planet leaders were unwilling to risk calling up their militias to remove The Order from their lands and thus as an alternative Caldwell built the largest private army in existence The Justice Brigade. All he asked for was the approval of states and his army would disband The Law Bringers and take up their duties. By whatever means necessary.
In 3,951, this finally happened when the president of Oyoheri (the greatest and most powerful of all human nations) signed The Official Security Act, effectively outlawing the Law Bringers and enshrining The Justice Brigade as the nation’s new primary policing organization. The Order declared they would resist the act and their defiance gave Caldwell the opportunity for violence he wanted. So it was that October 13 would be remembered as the darkest day in The Order’s history the day of The Sacking of Tobe.
On the planet of Tobe rested The Law Bringers’ largest academy from where the training of thousands of agents including future officers was overseen. With the help of the disillusioned Law Bringer Brutus Eskarus, The Justice Brigade sacked the academy, killing thousands of agents and cadets and burning their magnificent buildings to the ground. Caldwell hoped this would be the first of many massacres of Law Bringers, but he couldn’t have imagined the tenacity of journalist Suzi Vi who was present for and survived the sacking. The official narrative pushed by Caldwell’s lackeys accused The Order of stockpiling weapons to stage a coup against the Oyoheri government, but Suzi’s footage destroyed this idea. Her reporting and especially the images of supposedly noble Justice Brigadiers, slaughtering thousands of cadets ages fifteen-nineteen, as well as hundreds of unarmed agents after they surrendered, and desecrating the academy grounds turned the tide of public opinion against Caldwell. Even though more massacres followed the sacking, it was clear to anyone watching that no one wanted The Justice Brigade to replace The Law Bringers. In response, the government hastily passed a series of acts, which established an official Security Corps and The Justice Brigade would disband a few years later.
The Order had suffered a serious blow, but not one they couldn’t recover from, but Caldwell wanted to be sure they would not and he set in motion the next phase of his war on The Law Bringers. Unable to use his private army to kill agents, Caldwell instead outsourced the task by placing huge bounties on the heads of any Law Bringer foolish enough to step foot on an Oyoheri planet. Thousands of bounty hunters rose up to meet the demand including long time veterans (some of whom in the past worked alongside Law Bringers) as well as newer daring rookies hoping to buy their own planet by the age of twenty-five. The resulting violence is remembered as The Shadow War and the results were brutal. Order agents daring to operate in Oyoheri risked walking into deadly ambushes, although not doing so would mean abandoning their mission to protect the innocent. Combined with the loss of much of their funding (most of The Law Bringer’s financiers abandoned The Order in the face of bans or died under mysterious circumstances) these agents operated with limited resources, poor leadership, and in the face of hostility from locals. The Order organized teams to avenge their fallen brethren by tracking down their murderers and bringing them to justice, but soon enough, some Law Bringers acted more out of a desire for revenge than true justice. The most extreme example being Major Bitucus Bassus who formed a squad of like-minded agents and even non-Law Bringers to take the fight to the hunters. Eventually, it devolved into a band of marauders and The Order was forced to send a special task force to stop him.
By this point, the universe had had enough of the constant fighting between Law Bringers and bounty hunters, as it often led to bystanders being harmed or even killed. This problem was exasperated by the fact certain hunters committing outrageous crimes and atrocities to draw Law Bringers out of hiding. Thus, with his bloodlust finally sated, Caldwell lifted the bounties and ten years after The Sacking of Tobe, was content to believe his blow to The Order was fatal.
On some planets Law Bringers were allowed to continue their work, such as on Riqura, which was ruled by Queen Izebel Ezkira who as a young girl lost her family to anarchists and had it not been for the intervention of The Law Bringers she would have been killed as well and her country left in ruins. Out of gratitude, she refused to comply with The Act and instead turned her planet into a safe haven for agents. Other localities behaved similarly and despite Caldwell’s insistence, the government refused to crack down on local rule what with The Secession Crisis of ’44 being too recent a memory. Despite these signs of hope the situation for The Order looked bleak. Gendarmes, The Order’s battle-hardened elite force, swore to fight for was right to the end and many fought and died this way during this time, but most agents had families to support and a mass exodus occurred of lower ranking Law Bringers. Some retired early while others joined The Security Corps, or migrated outside of Oyoheri to serve The Order on planets less hostile to them. Their numbers dwindling, their image destroyed, and recruiting efforts stifled, the end of The Order in Oyoheri would certainly come sooner rather than later.
But the time for change is now and destiny is calling. On the small planet of Aheju, in The Borderlands (the crossroads of the major nations of the universe) a young man has been given the chance to rekindle his lost dream and change history forever. As a boy growing up in the shadow of a Law Bringer base, this young man idolized the heroes and wanted to be just like them, but events beyond his control prevented this and he remembers the day The Order left his town as the worst of his life. Twenty years after The Sacking of Tobe, after spending years working for Law Bringer knock-offs created to fill the void left by the incompetent Security Corps, he has been given the opportunity to take up the mantle of Law Bringer and finally fulfill his dream by resurrecting The Law Bringers.
To be continued in Law Bringer: The Return.