25 May 2009

Memorial Day

"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

...We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten...

24 May 2009

True Love

I'm in love, and she's under 10.



Oh look, she has a sister.


God bless America.

20 May 2009

Rough history of powered armor



Frame, Powered, Load Bearing (LBPF 'el-be-pif')
[powered frame]



Frame, Powered, Combat (CPF 'cee-pee-eff' or cee-pef')
[combat frame]


Exoskeleton, Powered (PEx 'pex' or 'pexo')
[combat exoskeleton]


Suit, Powered, Combat (CAS 'cas' or 'cassie')
[powered armor]



Infantry Fighting Armor, Airmobile (IFAA 'eye-fah')
[humanoid combat vehicle]

19 May 2009

Quick Image Roundup

Confed Propaganda























Public Art, Service Announcement, Propaganda.

All are one within the Confed. Vakis and City dwellers are admonished that starvation is a bad harvest away, and there is no room for shirkers or malingerers.

Freeholders are taught that they are pride of the Confed and better than Vaki scum.

Land-lords are encouraged to spur their properties to increased production and efficiency, and to keep their military retainers fully trained and equipped.

Everyone is constantly reminded that the lands outside the Confed are wild, untamed, and dangerous. Full of nebulous evil monsters. Humanity against a world gone mad!

























Chiopolis




































Chiopolis is an island of advanced technology in a post-apocalyptic world.

A cyberpunk sprawl of high rise tenaments surrounding a cyclopean armored acrology where the rich and pwerfull direct plans within plans.

In the canyons of plasteel, admantine, and rocrete it is always twilight and raining.



D-Town


















D-Town is an industrial dieselpunk city, but also the capitol of the largest single Human State on the North American continent. It is a study in contrasts; dirty smoke belching coal fired factories and sweeping parks, avenues and epic statuary and architecture.




















The people of the city are proud of the world they have built, and confident that with the guidance of the Emperor, there's nothing an Iowan can't do.


























The City is relatively clean, and of new construction because in large parts it is a new creation, a phoenix rising from the ashes of the ruined old world.


Provisional Republic of Iowa















The greatest economic fact of North America



































Stitching together the Confederacy with plasteel rails and adamantine armour

Federation of Sorcery































Rumors abound that the inhuman princes and lord-mages of the Ohio river Valley have banded together...

Confederate Army

















Advanced elements of the First Armored Grenadiers scout outside of the ruins of Little Rock.

Seen here with a Mk IV 'ironfist' half track mounting a 'ma-deuce' pattern phased plasma machine gun.
























A Confed Strider-jock strikes a pose for the camera. Humanity's Champion.

























The hidden, hardened bunkers that house the General Products emergency assembly plants are just coming on line. Already General Mills breads and cereals are dominating department store sales all over the Confederacy and beyond.


General Dynamics tanks, aircraft, and even space-craft are still in testing.

Shadow Gates: North America pt. II

In which we take a closer look at the CSA.

The heart of the Confederation resides in the the rich breadbasket lands that lie between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers; areas once known as Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas. The Confed also claims the southern portions of Wisconsin and Michigan as well as the northern parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

The Confederacy is both more and less than meets the eye. The Confed State, and its ruler, Emperor Karl Rothschild (President for life of the Americans, Governor of Iowa, Overlord of the Marches, Rex Mundi, by grace of God Emperor of Man) claims universal sovereignty as a successor state to the vanished Imperium. In reality the Confederation is a loose patchwork of City-States, Chartered Cities, Feudal Baronies, and Client Kingdoms. The Title of Emperor is technically elective, with each Elector in the College having a vote (the Electoral College being composed of great lords, city mayors, important clergy, and various guild masters) but practically only members of the Rothschild family have been elected, considering that the Rothschild heir is also ruler of the largest and Capital city, D-town, and the largest single polity, the Provisional Republic of Iowa. Karl is also the feudal overlord of a large majority of the Confederation's land holders, and they are honour bound to support and defend their liege-lord.

The structure of the Confederacy follows these rough lines.

The States: These are the largest organizational polities within the Confed, and are more or less (un)controlled by their technically elective State Governors. The only real power State Governors usually have is to regulate commerce within their State and to call out the Guard. Governors also formally have the power to assign Vaki (serf, short for evacuee) labor to the Farmers or Ranchers (hereditary land holders), although doing so arbitrarily is a good way to get replaced (usually after a fatal accident). Governors also serve at the Emperor's pleasure and after being confirmed by Imperial Decree, may be replace at any time.

Baronies: The Barons represent the wealthiest land-holders of the Confed, and their holdings form large portions of the States. The Barons are themselves feudal overlords and receive the fealty of...

Knights, Sheriffs, Farmers, and Ranchers: The smallest landholder to be Imperial Citizens, these lower nobles form the base of the feudal pyramid from which Emperor Rothschild derives his power and authority. Landholders lord it over...

Vakis: Evacuees, effectively serfs, these descendants of displaced and fled city dwellers were organized as brute labor during the Fall and have been mostly bound to land ever since. Vakis flee to pass themselves off as...

Freeholders: The effervescent yeomanry of the Confed, the successful eventually become Landholders and the failures die or run off to the cities to become...

Charted Citizens: The citizens of the various Chartered, Imperial, Free, of State Cities owe their citizenship directly to the Emperor as represented by the mayor. They may be drafted at any time and must pay taxes or be Evacuated as excess and unproductive.

States and Territories
Provisional Republic of Iowa: The very heart and core of the Confederacy, from D-Town emanates the word and will of Emperor Rothschild. The city is built upon amongst the runs of ancient Des Moines, and is the center of a network of canals and railroads, knitting together the Confederacy. The corn harvest of Iowa is the single largest economic fact of the Confederacy, and perhaps North America. This fact underlies the source of Iowa's strength, the largest pure human population in North America. The size and impressivness of her soldiery has led to the saying 'as big and fierce as a cornfed Iowan'. Capital: D-Town

Le' Estat du Nord: Minnesota, the State of the North is the most northern State of the Confederacy. Only the unorganized Territory of Ontario and Dominion of Winnipeg (independent, client of Britannia) provides a buffer for the Confed proper against the icy winds of Ithaqua and his Gnoph-keh God-Kings in their ice-ziggurats. Minnesota also shows the softer side of the Confed. Here the populace is mostly literate, and actually does voes vote for their Sheriffs and other county officials. This State is also the cradle of the official 'Humanity first, including demi-humans' policy; when Minnesota and xenophobic Iowa (and others) first merged to create the Confederacy in the first years after the fall, the Dvergar of the Iron Range were the pride of the State and very valued members of the community. No less than the First Emperor himself gave the Dvergar his blessing and oath of protection in exchange for the fealty of the Dver-lords in their halls of stone. Capital: Cloud City

Kingdom of Ishpeming: A nominally independent client state of the Confederacy, the Kingdom is useful a transhipment point for trade with the Great Lakes region and a manufacturer of low(er) quality weapons (usually heavier and less accurate) that can be guided to supply other polities without tracing back to official Confed policy. Capital: Ishpeming Court

Missouri: Another founding member of the Confederacy, also known as 'Little Dixie' this State is even more xenophobic and human supremacist than the Iowans, if that is even possible. This is, of course, not without good reason. Little Dixie borders on the St. Louis Hell Gate, a permanent gate that spews forth horrible monstrosities with terrible appetites. Most land-holders, including Governor Hannibal Simpson are initiated knights of the White American Nationalist Klan (or Wankers for short) an ardently racist and militaristic military order that forms the backbone of the State Guard. Missouri also mainly provides the para-military 'bushwackers' who mount 'filibusters' into non-Confed territories. Capital: Fort Jefferson

Arkansaw: An unincorporated territory of the Confederacy, Arkansaw has Four main portions. Firstly there is Fort Mountain Home, in the Boston Mountains. Here the First Airlord oversees the First Air Corps 'Ozark Airlords' with the twin missions of making air strikes on the St Louis Hell Gate and providing support for the Southron Marcher Lords in their fight against the vile Barracuda in the swamplands. Next is Fort Smith headquarters of the Lord of the Indian Marches. Next, there is Fort El Dorado headquarters of the Lord of the Southron Marches. Finally, Texarkana is a fully Chartered Imperial City, and center of the Confederacy's efforts to draw Lonestar into full confederacy. The ancient capitol of Little Rock is little more than a Necropolis, inhabited only by mutants, gate-spawn, and ghouls.

Wisconsin: The Cheeseheads of Wisconsin are proud members of the Confederacy, and joined shortly after Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota signed the original Articles of Confederation. From the cities of New Wausau Governor Richards rules with an iron fist over the second most populous State of the Confed.

Chiopolis: Located in the unorganized, unincorporated Illinois territory, Chiopolis is D-Town's only competitor as first city of the Confederacy. Consisting largely of the rebuilt, fortified, and resettled corporate Arcology that once housed workers and formed a hub on the old Chicago-Dallas Mag-Lev line, located at Chillicothe Illinois, Chiopolis is a wonder to behold. Home of an advanced research lab from Before the Fall, Chiopolis is the the main source for the Confederations advanced technology. Deep underground in the SubUrbs manufactories and robotic forges run by teknomancers churn out hyper-advanced materiel for the Confed War Campaign.

Fort Wayne: A Confed outpost on the flank of the vile Federation of Sorcery in the Ohio river valley. Territorial capital for Indiana.

Michigan: Arsenal of humanity, the newly created state of Michigan is rapidly becoming an industrial powerhouse. The ancient factories left by General Products Inc. in Mo-Town (Old Detroit) were found to have been underground in hardened bunkers. Apparently one of the Emperors of the Old Imperium was paranoid about protecting industrial centers. General Dynamics tanks, planes, cyborgs, trucks, and other materiel are finding their way into Confed war stocks. Most settlers in Michigan are from Iowa or Wisconsin.

18 May 2009

Shadow Gates: North America pt.1

Let us begin looking at the overall picture on Shadow Gates Earth by starting with the area I'm most comfortable with; namely North America.

Overview: Little remains of the ancient cites of Man. First came the orbital bombardment of the Joachites, who took savage pleasure in literally stoning the traditional capitol of the Empire with asteroids plucked from solar orbit. They sought to slay the 'whore Babylon' and nearly succeeded. The valiant ships of Battlefleet Hortius finally drove the Joachites away from sacred Terra, but incredible damage was done. It was a short time later that the inconstant stars began their change that lead to the Fall of Man, indeed today many conflate the two events, and look askance on those 'Angels' from orbit. Some blame all those from the black and others hold that the fleets should have done more. The way the 'spacer dogs' have held back from assisting the 'earthworms' after the cataclysim hasn't helped. An objective observer would note that the Cataclysm has been bad enough for the orbital communities, indeed worse in some ways (there's no self generating atmo in space) but few have the perspective to be charitble.

The sea levels have risen, not surprising given the rising of so many new island contenents thought lost forever. Coastal areas suffered greatly from tsunamis, hurricanes, typhons, earthquakes, and other, more terrible things. The area once called California has split off from the mainland making an enlongated island called Kali, both as a corruption of the ancient name and in fear of the thing that lives there. On the eastern seaboard rises an evil megalithic city, the center of Xothian prescence on the Continent, a terrible tributary to the mistress of Atlantis.

Between the coasts two powers contend. The Confederated States of America (neither a confederation, nor composed of states, nor particularly American) is centered on the Mississippi river valley, while the Cheyenne Kommand is ruled from the great Command Vault One of Colorado. Both feudal kingdoms vie for influence in the Lone Star Republic. Everyone fears raiders from the Horselords of the NeoSioux. The Saints of New Deseret rule a desert theocracy from the Great Salt Lake, and the Free City of Lost Vegas is a hive of scum and villany with few peers. And in the verdant rainforrests of the Pacific North West lies the shining Kingdom of Mountain Vale, a place of magics and mystery, dedicated to the Elder Gods of Man. Two stable gates link this tolerant community to the Kingdom of New Avalon in distant Britannia and to a fantastic world of Elves, Dwarves, Yrrch, and even stranger things.

To the South lie the bloody pyramid kingdoms of the Aztekia, dedicated to the Flayed One. Travel is ill advised if one values his skin. To the North lie the frozen lands, colds things claim this land as theirs, resisted only by the Mounted Ones.

...more to come.

On Gay Marriage

I like to think of this debate as a party of adventurers in a Gygaxian dungeon trying to decide if they're going to steal a gem the size of a man's head off the pedestal in the center of the room. The room has been searched for traps, but the older, wiser, players maintain that 'something bad will happen if we do this'. The younger, more rash players say 'like what?' The older players don't know, they just know with moral certainty that this is a bad idea.

Having played a Gygaxian dungeon or two, I too, have a bad feeling about this.

17 May 2009

Military SF

The title will take you to an excellent high-speed, low-drag resource for roleplayers, wargamers, and writers interested in MIL-SF, the military science fiction sub-genre. I haven't read all the articles, but on first impression it all looks squared away and ship-shape over there.

16 May 2009

Happy Armed Forces Day!

Hooah Army! (And the rest of the branches too)

Go ahead and celebrate by drinking a beer for the troopers far far away. If you can find a sailor, airman, marine, or soldier and/or veteran be sure to say thanks. Otherwise just give a small prayer in thankful remembrance.

God bless the USA and those that fight for her.

Oh look, more manly firearms

And Crazy Einar even put the .455 Webly on the list, huzzah!

Also, check out that .600 OVERKILL. I want.

It's a trap!

Blogger Iron-Mitten has an interesting bit on the Roman defenses at Alesia.

Funny cartoons on the other side of the in title link.

15 May 2009

Protein Wisdom: More holes in Global Warming

And in other news, the ice caps aren't melting (total ice above 30 year mean) and solar output is at the lowest level since the 1600s. Link in title.

The World of Shadow Gates: After the Fall, Before Peace

Ecumenopolis Columbia

The City was the heart of the ancient empire. From the great and vast Ecumenopolis Columbia, a city so massive that it once covered the entire eastern seaboard of the North American continent, the Empire was managed for ten generations. Even after the splitting of the Empire of Man into East and West, the World City remained the economic and cultural center of a sizable fraction of the human species.

Now the shimmering city is but a memory. The great shining towers have fallen. The rising tides have washed away much. Entire Sub-Cities ,like the ancient and artful New York, have sunk beneath the waves. Much has been lost to the tides, and the rest is occupied by an alien force. Raiding from risen Atlantis, servants of Kassogtha, Lord Cthulhu of Mu's consort demon goddess, the vile Yugya, the monstrous Xothians, and the blasphemous Barracuda Fish-men squat upon the ruins like vultures picking the bones of Man's hubris. Under the watchful eyes of her mother, the Daughter of the Lord of R'lyeh builds her new great basalt stone megalithic city upon the bones of the old.

Tread lightly Son of Adam, these haunted lands may be your doom.

13 May 2009

Wooly Haired Speculation

We always believe ourselves to be good, and doing the right thing can mean doing the unspeakable to achieve that right thing. Even if the ‘right’ thing isn’t, and we really know it isn’t. As long as we can convince ourselves it is then we feel good, and we all want to feel good. So we lie to ourselves, and let others lie to us. It is easier that way. We remember those who refuse to let others define their good as heroes and villains, but we remember them.

Only when the good we are fighting to achieve is actually good, can we be righteous, but how to know? No one said life would be easy. You can’t know, that’s the kicker, because there is no impartial observer, because there is no absolute standard in a constantly changing world (and it is), you have to do your best, and hope for the best. The vikings knew this as the ultimate doom that befalls even the gods, and found glory in doing anyway. The existentialists know this as the ultimate farce mocking our meaningless existence, and find an excuse to do nothing. I know which I prefer, where's my axe?

Old Journal Entries Recycled #1

Many thanks to [info]akin for spreading this meme. If you ever wanted to know the manliest firearms, refer to this list. I own 3. Hmmm, I need more guns.

Actually I would quibble a bit with #5, for that position, and that weapon type, I would say that either the Single Action Army or .455 Webley were used by more warriors in war, and thus are more manly. The Webley even had a bayonet attachment during WWI!

However this is a mere quibble on my part, and not to be taken as a disagreement with the list overall. It has the Doc_Savage Stamp of Approval.

What the hell, after following links and doing the fact finding for you, my readers, the website to which you will travel to view the above list, Arthur's Viking Hall is also Approved by Doc_Savage.

Yar!

I'm Doc_Savage, and I approved this message.

New Ranger Rifle goes to war

75th Rangers will take SCAR to war


By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday May 12, 2009 11:01:33 EDT

About 600 members of the 75th Ranger Regiment will soon take the Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle into battle.

The 600 SCARs are the first of 1,800 that U.S. Special Operations Command began fielding in early April, SOCom spokeswoman Air Force Maj. Denise Boyd told Army Times.

SOCom chose the SCAR system — which consists of the 5.56mm MK16 and the 7.62mm MK17 — to replace weapons including the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine, made by Colt Defense LLC.


Having had to repair M4s and M4A1s that literally shot themselves to pieces I can only say this is a good thing. The direct gas impingment system of the M16 family was never intended for short barrels, and the increase in operating temperature and pressure plays merry hob on the upper reciever and bolt and bolt carrier group. In sustained fire they just eat themselves up. It is too bad that there doesn't seem to be any US designs on par with either FN or H&K.

12 May 2009

Campain Notes pt. I

Working on a new Basic Role-playing Campaign. Take Rifts, Fallout, Twilight, Cyberpunk, Oswald Spengler, and Call of Cthulhu and put them in a blender. The objective is twofold, firstly create a campaign setting that makes use of the entire BRP book. Second, create a replacement for that Rifts itch that must be scratched at odd intervals until the incoherence of Simbieda's system puts me into screaming fits.

Here's a glimpse of the future.

2061-2080 Year of the Old God.
459-440 Before the Fall
The Final World War and the foundation of the Ecumenical Empire; Russia, China, and the Caliphate, each in turn, defeated and absorbed into the North American Free Trade Alliance. General of the Army Jessica Clinton Windsor Yamato in one person unites the Presidencies of the North American Republic and European Union, the Thrones of Great Britain and Japan, and Supreme Commander NATO.

After defeating her only competitor in bloody civil war, she declares herself AUGUSTINA I; President for life, Lord General of the Armies, Marshall of the Righteous, Grand Admiral of Seas and Stars, Defender of the Faith, Hammer of the Moors, by Grace of God Queen of Britain, France, Ireland, and Japan, EMPRESS of the Ecumenical Empire (World-State).

2080-2309
Golden Age of Technology
-Polyhedral Electro-Magnetic Inertial Confinement by Potential Well Fusion (Polywell)
-Highly advanced materials (exotic composites)
-Grand Unified Theory under the Burkhard Heim framework (Heim Theory)
  • Anti Grav
  • Faster than Light travel (pseudo velocity through gravitic space warp)
-Effective Nanotechnology
-Genetic Engineering
-Neural-Machine interface
-Extremely High Energy density storage (Ultracaps)
-Broadcast power
-Solar System and High Orbit settled and developed
-Extra-Solar colonies founded.

2322-2519
The Decline
-Capitol Moved to Iskander IV in the more vibrant Galactic East, renamed Mundopolis Konstantin by Mad Emperor Konstantinian VI
-Seemingly endless Civil Wars and Alien Invasions of Imperial territory.
-Terra, the Solar System, and the Galactic West, now a drain on Imperial resources, is left to fend for itself as a separate Western Empire.
- Joachite Rebellion. Vast fleets fight and die between the stars and entire worlds die in nuclear fire. Even remote Terra itself is wounded in the fight. In the end the Joachites are put down, but the Imperium is mortally wounded. Terra and the Sol System loose all contact with the wider Empire.

2520

THE FALL

‘The stars come right again’ and the Milky Way Galaxy once again is a place of Eldritch Energies. Things that lay dormant or imprisoned are released and energized by the cosmic realignment. On Earth the Gates, long shut or dormant open at long last and the ancient ones walk again upon the land. The seas boil, lands rise and sink beneath waves. Humanity is reduced to a tenth of a tenth, and is now and endangered species.

2625

105 After the Fall

NOW

Man struggles to rebuild amongst the ruins and in the shadow of terrible powers. Hope springs eternal for new heroes to arise and retake the cradle of man.

11 May 2009

Hello World

And indeed, Hello World! Greetings fellow web-izens, crawlers, bloggers, geeks, freaks, nerds, all you zombies, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

This is my second attempt at a public web presence, the last having failed to keep my attention during a particular traumatic period of REAL LIFE(tm). Ah well, it's once more unto the breach my friends. Let us explore worlds without end within the interwebs.

Goodnight, and good-luck.

Joshua Doc Shaw

Savage-Doc and proprietor at large.