Crimson Dawn Primer
“Normals, we know your secrets. We hear your lies. We understand your agendas. Don’t think for a moment that we will hesitate to use them, and you, as we must. You are lost; your minds are a maelstrom of turmoil and deceit, to yourselves and to others. You have lost any right to lead the Malkarian people into the future. Only we, the Crimson Dawn, understand the Way and we shall guide you down it, be you willing or not.”
–Jebediah Arktron, during his system-wide broadcast announcing the formation of the Crimson Dawn
“Only the power of the mind shall allow us to prevail”
–Excerpt from “The Way”, published in the first year of the Crimson Dawn
From the Journals of Jebediah Arktron
As I prepare to allow my being to be absorbed into the sterile collection of genetic potential which is the Vaults, I feel the need to reiterate the struggle which has led us to this point.
I have watched the coming of the rogue, Diantos. I have seen how the threat of its approach destroyed a once proud people. I have stood by as our leaders, Normals one and all, in a glut of favoritism and avarice, sent their dearest children on a hopeless journey through the nullness of space. Weary of the backstabing, arcane plots, and insatiable greed so commonplace amongst the Normals, I have resolved to provide the answers which so many people seek, even those unaware of their search.
I have known since I was a child, struggling to survive in the relative poverty of the asteroid belt mining colonies, that I was special. I have had access to the deepest thoughts of those around me. I can divine intentions no matter how well they be cloaked in a veil of lies and half-truths. I knew the depths of deception of our leaders then, as I know them now. Normals are an open book to me from which I gain the knowledge necessary to achieve peace. I am resolved to inscribe my will, the Way, upon those open books, where it shall remain throughout our lifetimes and from which it shall be passed to all those who follow. I alone have the wisdom and the resolve to achieve this solution.
As I grew in the chaos which was the Age of Arks, then the Vaulting, and then the factionalism which ensued, I was aware that the few decent and noble intentions which existed amongst our people were being snuffed out by the rampant self-absorption and struggles which spread through Normals like no disease has done in thousands of years. I also became aware of other unique minds who, like me, were able to see the truths that were hidden deep in the minds of Normals, though none with a clarity to rival mine. We remained mute however, barely acknowledging the awareness of each other’s existence. We were afraid to show our differences since tolerance and growth had diminished, leaving panic, hopelessness, and chaos fueled by despair ruling the day. As my awareness grew, I resolved that I would be the one to bring enlightenment and a New Age to the Malkari peoples.
Action! Psies have always lacked the force of personality necessary to assert themselves amongst the Normals. Something about our genetic makeup perhaps, a sort of biological governor to allow the Normals to compete against our obviously superior talents. I don’t know. What I do know is that I was able to rise above it. I absolved myself of all inhibitions, both internal and external. I emerged as the first of a new type of psi, one with the ability—and more importantly, the will—to take charge of the destiny of an entire race and lead them to the future.
With new resolve and strength, I sent forth a call to all psies. I urged them to break from their self-imposed bonds as well as those dictated by Normals. I called them to me: a union of telepaths which would form the nucleus of the new Malkarian peoples. I will be honest with you; my expectations were that no more than one in ten with the ability to hear my call would respond to it. How surprised I was to find, then, that virtually every psi in the system, every psi that existed, felt the truth of my message and responded to it by joining the cause to promote the Way.
For a while, the unexpected numbers within our ranks threatened to overwhelm us with the burden of resources and organization. But, as with any righteous cause, solutions were found to every problem. Three of our new members (two formerly of the Emerald Combine; one, a Blue Talon base commander) were already overseers of a Vault and associated facilities being constructed by their former allegiances. With their help, Crimson Dawn members were placed in positions of importance within these facilities. We quickly gained total, secret control of these bases and began a system-wide search for more that were vulnerable to our unique talents. Within months, using a variety of bribes, blackmail, and suggestion, Crimson Dawn personnel were moved into positions of control at the sites of eleven more Vaults.
At this point, none of the other major organizations had any indication of our existence let alone our power. The loyalty of our members was beyond reproach; we had no fear of spies or turncoats within our ranks. Unfortunately, even we can not control the vagaries of random chance. An outbreak of one of the new viruses which had sprung up in the chaos of the Vaulting struck one of our holdings. In the delirium resulting from the ravages of this sickness, several of our members were heard muttering our secrets or were given to such displays of psionic power that it became obvious what they were. Within hours, high officials within the Blue Talon Corps had learned of our existence and much of our agenda. Within days, three more of our Vault commanders were revealed and their resignations demanded.
At this point, our anonymity compromised, I announced the presence of the Crimson Dawn to the entire system via wide band broadcast. I spoke to all, telling of how the Crimson Dawn was resolved to lead them peacefully to a New Age and urging them to join forces with us. Even as I made the announcement, I expected nothing but negative reactions from the Normals, and I was not disappointed. Within four days, we were forced to abandon the three newly-discovered bases before they came under attack from the Blue Talons. As we left, we carried with us every resource and scrap of technology which could be downloaded, pried loose, or otherwise removed from the empty Vaults.
Normals are not stupid! Never make the mistake of assuming that they are. Enlightenment and intelligence are two different things. Within weeks, spurred by the fear of the unseen threat which we presented, they had found ways to detect our abilities or had found clues—thanks to the inevitable record keeping—which led them to our strongholds. The Time of Raiding began. Daily, we were assaulted at one base or another, each time retreating before we could be captured. A few did not escape. They fell victim to the Normals, whose natural brutality and violence was magnified by their lack of understanding and their fear of us. Using methods which we had perfected, psies secretly placed within range of our captured brethren urged and aided them in the destruction of their minds. Some were reluctant, but without exception, each of these heroes saw, or was made to see the wisdom of what must be done and accepted it. To these souls whose names have been enshrined on one wall of each and every Vault, death and martyrdom came quickly and painlessly. The secrets of the Crimson Dawn remained safe.
Fortunately, the machines by which the Normals were able to detect our abilities were unwieldy and difficult to use. As they had adapted to our presence, now we adapted to their response. Methods were found whereby we were able to circumvent their detection. The volumes of written materials within which they had found clues to our whereabouts began to run dry. Slowly, the tide turned back towards us. For each base that the Normals took away from us, we infiltrated and quietly gained control of two of theirs.
As Diantos’ approach reached a critical stage, we found ourselves in covert control of some two dozen vaults; a small number compared to the other groups perhaps, be we had chosen the best – the ones we deemed most likely to survive the coming armageddon.
Finally, the end of that Age of Malkari arrived. We are compelled to entrust our essence to the risk of the Vaults before our frail bodies are destroyed in the oncoming destruction.
Yet our legacy remains. Once we Awaken and Emerge into the desolation forged by the rebel star, the Crimson Dawn will again strive to unite and shepherd the Malkarian people along the Way.
My child… when you open your eyes and see the crumbled remains of our system, there will undoubtedly be others—Normals—opposed to you as they were to us. If our preparations were enough to allow you to be born into this New Age, then other Guilds, whose resources were superior to ours, must have survived as well. Like you, they will emerge and seek to establish themselves. Be wary of them. Do not believe their lies. The followers of the GOR will tell you that their guidance is what made Malkari great and that adherence to the old system is the only way to survive. The Blue Talons will tell you that change is necessary and that the strong must lead the weak. The Guild of Light will tell you that it does not matter who unites us, or how, as long as we are united.
Lies, all of them; they seek only self-preservation and their ascendancy to power. Do not listen to them. You are a disciple of the Way, and that is both your armor and your sword. Do not listen to their words. Listen to their minds. Seek out the lies and motivations that they vainly try to hide away behind false words and thoughts. Only the Way will ensure the survival of our people and only you can guide them along its path. You have been given the tools to do these things. Part of me, part of each member of the Crimson Dawn, will live within you and we will guide you, even as you guide them, to a new age.
Safe journey, my child. May your path be one with the Way.
Order of the Way, Order of Peace, Order of Harmony, Order of Truth, Order of Fellowship, Order of Reason, Order of Thought, Order of Arktron
Communistic democracy (via telepathic vote counting and communal legislature)
Think of an evil Patrick Stewart or John Lithgow. The tone is civilized, cultured, and superior, but there is an undercurrent of fanaticism and instability. Emphasis at odd moments, lethargy at others. Tendency to lapse into ‘pulpit pounding’ and then just as suddenly revert back to the calm, civilized ‘front.’
Assault: Seeder, Honesty, Goodwill
Battle Station: Upright, Armstice, Faith
Battleship: Jihad, Peacemaker, Justice
Cheap Attacker: Dawn, Temperance, Honor
Construction Station: Concord, Equity, Purity
Constructor: Arcane, Noble, New Age
Cruiser: Reconciler, Candor, Assurance
Defender: Truth, Confidence, Prudence
Destroyer: Harmony, Accord, Reliance
Explorer: Mystic, Clairvoyant, Diplomat
Outpost: Virtue, Beacon, Lighthouse
Scout: Friendship, Sagacious, Reverence
Supply/Repair: Sage, Wisdom, Charity
Transport: Amity, Righteous, Hope
Ultimate Station: Arktron, Judgement, Benevolent