A to Z
An index of Serran terminology
Note: Work in progress and always subject to change - this section will be populated more and more as the Serran lore expands and is developed.
Acolyte of the Source
At the head of each enclave of the Church of the Source Code sits an Archbishop. The individuals coronated to the title of Archbishop are mostly very powerful psionics. Through the belief of the Source they are specially trained in tampering with the minds of others. The most powerful can even make huge crowds believe they love them.
Hexagonally tiled domes that are instantaneously constructed by nano-bots all over Serra to house the many match-ups of the Grand Tournament. The battlefield inside and its combatants are recreated to simulate war as realistically as possible without actually harming the competitors.
"Becoming a Cyborg can take a great toll on your body and mind, it really puts you within touching distance of your own mortality. It's definitely not for the faint-hearted. We tend to think our body parts as replaceable, this has had the curious effect of leading us to some more, let's say, spontaneous, actions sometimes"
"Social structures are especially complex on a planet where vastly different species try to coexist in peace. The Natives Faction is composed of tribes, some have internal hierarchies and caste systems with a royal caste at the top. Chisaku was born into such a system as the son of the leader of one of the proud tribes roaming the grassland regions of Serra. Everything had happened to his bidding, up until the Grand Tournament, now he only tries to bring glory to his house." - Prof. Kaktum, sociologist.
Church of the Source Code
The governing body of all Serra. One of each faction sits in this council. Its goal is to serve the needs of all the factions equally. The meetings happen in digital space so all factions can participate from anywhere on the planet.
"With a population of 12 billion the waste disposal on Serra was a great challenge, until we started using nanobots for construction and deconstruction that is. Garbage is now simply dismantled into its core elements, which then can be recycled for new products. The perfect waste separation. Imagine if we still collected our garbage somewhere and just let it rot, we would be living on one huge dumpster. No thank you." — Jofi, a waste disposal worker.
"Advancements in medicine and a greater understanding of the biological composition of Serra's organic population have lead to astounding genetic manipulations. They created faster, stronger, and more cunning biological creatures. However, this tampering has lead to some... minor side effects. Subjects are very quick to enrage and have developed an uncontrollable hunger, unfortunately to a point where they senselessly attacked those around them ripping flesh from bones. I should know. But, hey, all in the name of science, I guess" - a Dr. Portuud, a geneticist.
"The most obvious option was to give command of Serra's defence to us. No other species can calculate logic faster than we do. This proposal was, of course, vetoed by the other Factions' delegates on the Council of the Six. Therefore, the second most logical option is the Grand Tournament. Not that it will make a difference. I'm confident that a Virtual will emerge as The Sage of Serra anyway."
The competition that everyone is talking about. It started as a way to develop military capability and capacity on Serra after years of peace. It is now central to life Serra.
All six factions strive to bring forward the Sage of Serra from among their ranks and anyone is able to participate. To find the Sage of Serra, the Grand Tournament will be almost never-ending, going on until the very last moment possible before it's necessary for Serra to confront this ancient threat.
The municipalities of Serra. Each hextrict is governed by a council consisting of representatives of the region.
We propose a thought experiment: it is astonishing how great the potential of one intelligent mind is. Now take a hundred minds that work together. The potential is hundreds of times greater. What would the potential be if these minds would not only collaborate, but meld into one? The potential would be exponential! - A voice from the Hive.
"Originally we only used these holograms for long distance communication, but in the frenzy of battle, losing your focus for a second can mean life or death. Sending out holographic decoys on one flank to then jump your opponent from another angle will be a very useful tactic indeed. In fact, seeing how distracting they are, maybe we shouldn't use them while driving..." - An unknown Acolyte of the Source.
"Minds are fascinating. If biological, or synthetic, as soon as you have a spark of sentience some basic needs, such as self-preservation, are deeply engrained and impossible for the being to ignore. The most fascinating thing is that you can instil fear in a machine and then feast on that fear." - An unknown source.
"It is the greatest thrill to feel the emotions of others. To smell them. To taste them. It's so delicious, so nurturing. The most addicting taste is right at the moment when they draw their last breath." - An unknown source.
Long Haul, The
With a constant population of 12 billion, Serra's resource demand is enormous. To do their part in this supply chain the REC-1-853 work tirelessly, gnawing through mountain ranges. These gigantic Resource Extraction Construct units follow only one goal: unearthing enough valuable materials to meet their quota. Without this strong backbone of Mechs doing the heavy lifting, Serra's civilization would not be able to maintain itself.
Advances in nano-bot technology on Serra made it possible to move from assembly-line factories to 3D printer based factories, increasing the versatility and speed of factories. This nano-bot technology is now reused for the Grand Tournament. Each of the dome-shaped arenas scattered all over Serra can be seen as a giant 3D printer. The battlefield inside and its combatants are recreated via nano-tech to simulate war as realistically as possible.
"They never used to let us fire these things for fun. You always needed a logical reason to get a permit. Like, we need to dig for resources here... or this building needs to make room for a new one there... But did you ever notice what a great weapon a Railgun is? That is why they now let us use them in the Grand Tournament. BOOOOOOOOM Hahahaha! Did you see that?!! There is a hole now where this hill was before! Hahahaha! So. Much. FUUUN!" - Bagni.
The Church of the Source believes that there will be three signs to indicate the coming of The Refractoring. When it happens the whole of Serra will be engulfed in a fiery doom.
Rules of engagement
"In battle, there are no rules, no code of conduct, no mercy. It is simple survival: win, or lose. You have to throw everything you have got against your opponent: this is simulated in the Grand Tournament. We want to find the best leader, so we need to train as if it was a real battle. Participate in the tournament and do your duty for Serra." - A recruiter for the Grand Tournament.
This person will emerge as the best of the best from the thousands of people competing in the Grand Tournament and will lead Serra in the battle against the mysterious impending threat.
Battles of titanic scale and epic magnitude where the Virtuals and Mechs overthrew the hubristic Muted.
Creatively repurposed from protective service equipment, the Shield Generators were used to protect mining Mechs from corrosive swamps, falling rocks or the heat from Serra's core. As they drilled, tunnelled and excavated the planet's myriad natural resources they were protected, now as they battle, they will be protected.
Believed by some to be the code and patterns that build the fabric of the universe. It forms a central belief structure for Transcendents.
"The Source doesn't give its power freely. It takes years of sacrifice and disciplined training until a newly enhanced Transcendent can control the power of its brain. This is just a small portion of the potential unlocked by opening it up to the Source." — An unknown Acolyte of the Source.
A large proportion of Serra's 12 billion beings needs rare minerals and precious metals to keep their mechanical bodies running to such a high technological standard. As Serrans strive to extract all the valuable materials that can be found, a vibrant ecosystem beneath the surface of Serra has developed, also riddling the planet's crust with holes and creating great subterranean structures.
Symbiosis between organisms is natural and good, but in some cases, it can be one-sided due to the strains of the connections involved. As such it is regulated in Serran society. Two individuals that want to enter into a symbiotic relationship that has potential to threaten one of the symbionts' lives can only be entered through a mutual legal agreement.
Rewiring a biological brain has even greater effects on a creature's psyche than meddling with other body parts as the Cyborgs do. By rewiring the brain, some develop telepathic abilities. They hear things others think, or know things before they happen. Some even acquire a taste for the fear of others.
Serra is in a stable orbit around two stars named Therom and Theem.