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Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]

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Another story about big, awesome project that will never be made... So let's go!

Unborn Legacy: Purgatorium
Freespace – Alternate Timeline. By Nyctaeus
Purgatorium tells the story of alternate timeline of Freespace universe. By the end of the Ancient-Shivan War, Ancients secured enormous wreckage of unknown, extremely advanced alien space vessel at the outskirts of their space. They secured the wreckage and carefully examined the ship constructed by race they called Unborn.

The Unborn just like Shivans emerged from different universe, a neighbor to ours. This universe contains enormous amounts of dark matter formed in universe-spanning, sponge-like structure where all the matter is located and supporting universe-wide gravity network. The subspace in this universe is not dependent on the stars and other massive gravity islands, but it’s decentralized Subspace Field. A nanojump term we use to describe subspace jumps inside certain star systems is the only type of jump existing in this universe, and allows for jumping for far larger distances than in intersystem jump nodes allows us to jump in our universe. Races native to this universe developed means of subspace travel much more efficient than civilizations from ours. With little energy this universe produces in form of rare stars, life is also rarer. One of the lifeforms native to this were shivans – emanation of single, sinister will called The Destroyer by Unborn and later, by Ancients. Every shivan specimen is part of decentralized mental network governed by The Destroyer. This malovelent entity is transmitting her will by subspace field of it’s native universe. For mysterious reasons, this will is dedicated to eradicate all other lifeforms.

The Unborn were only a few other races which survived shivan genocide and carry on endless war with them presumably from thousands if not millions of years and facing constant threat of extinction. They were advanced enough to sneak-peak other universes, including ours. Eventually they found that subspace of our universe has different nature thanks to significantly smaller amounts of dark matter and concentrated nature of large gravity islands. Such environment would allow to cut The Destroyer’s influence due to lack of decentralized subspace field to transmit his will to his minions. For Unborn, subspace of our universe has a nature of large “isles” of subspace, connected via thin lines. Unborn found it as perfect opportunity to contain shivan threat in isolated star systems and live in peace beyond the reach of shivan influence. Eventually they decided to punch a hole between the universes and deploy enormous colonization expedition. But The Destroyer predicted it and launched massive fleet to pursue the Unborn exodus. This way, both races managed to penetrate our universe through permanent, artificial, star sized portal called The Rift. In our universe, it happened in the unspecified and very distant past.

In Unborn Legacy lore, Shivans are dependent on subspace not only because of travel, but mostly because of communication. While it’s not a threat in their native universe, in our universe they see any subspace-faring races as a threat to their unity because any subspace user is a danger for subspace route risking communication between two shivan fleets impossible. Shivans are extremely vulnerable for subspace war. It’s likely that Unborn-Shivan war transferred to our universe. Unborn cut numerous shivan fleets from the Rift and from the will of Destroyer making isolated fleets disorganized and easy prey. It is unknown what happened to Unborn expedition, but the hulk uncovered by Ancients was part of their expeditionary force.

Ancients salvaged the remaining Unborn technology, but it was too late. Their species were on the verge of extinction. One of their last, desperate act was punching through Shivan lanes to the first Knossos that Shivans emerged from. It’s leading to the star cluster containing The Rift and it’s the only subspace route to this cluster. Thanks to the technology of Unborn, they enhanced the Knossos with blockade mechanism. This Knossos later become known as The Dark Gate. This way, they cut shivan invasion from the will of The Destroyer, and managed to clean their space from the invaders. Usage of Unborn technology is possible solution for shields of the Lucifer, but also the superdestroyer may be still contained within Rift Cluster.

Reminder of Ancients resettled remnants of their civilization to different sectors of space, because The Dark Gate was always under constant risk or malfunction. Star-sized black hole in one of Ancient systems was used for large Ancients force, to guard the node to Shivan space. Ancients utilize space-time distortion to keep their fleets operational for countless millennia. They are so called Eternal Custodians. AI-controlled drones guards the other systems looking for eventual threats for sealed space. Those systems are known as Purgatorium. Purgatorium is interstellar graveyard of Ancient warships and planets desolated by the Lucifer and shivan armada. This is very dark and dangerous place, full of subspace anomalies and dark matter clouds. The Dark Gate lies at the very edge of Purgatorium. Sector is full of matter from the other universe causing various, unusual, psychical phenomenon. The campaign take place in systems of Purgatorium.

Great War never happened. GTA and PVN continued to battle each other, until GTA managed to break through imperial defenses with immense fleet of two prototype Atropos units and eleven Orion destroyers. They reached Vasuda Prime, crushed all defenses and commenced orbital bombardment of Vasudan home world, resulting in 300 millions of vasudan civilian casualties. Massive counterattack of vasudan second-line warships caused tremendous loses of terran forces. Only GTD Equilibrium – Atropos-class warship, and GTD Galatea managed to escape. This event become known as Gehenna of Vasuda. Terran chain of command collapsed after so massive loses, and vasudan retaliation was almost as bloody. Elite Fleet of the Emperor with imperial 11th and 14th broke through weakened terran defences, and turned Vega III planet into barren, rocky world using experimental plasma cannons. Causalities on terran side were just a half of those caused to vasudans, but Terrans lost whole habitable planet, and numerous warships during their endeavor. Khonsu II also died during this events.

Later General Assembly of GTA and new emperor Smentes I along with his sister - princess To’Merti II of the PVE met at Taba station in Antares and signed ceasefire, realizing that this war went too far and caused too many lifes to perish. Antares along with Epsilon Pegasi and several other systems become no man’s lands with both GTA and PVN representatives in each of those systems. The peace was fragile due to radicalization of both terran and vasudan societies after Gehenna of Vasuda and Desolation of Vega III. Colonial Hegemony – a social movement formed in terran systems quickly gained momentum and wide influence in terran worlds and General Assembly alike. From a reform movement, nationalist and xenophobic CH quickly become political and military power independent from command structures of GTA Navy. At the vasudan side, Church of Light started to prophesize the returning of the great, cosmic destroyers who will come to lead vasudan race to salvation. Young emperor Smentes I proven himself prone to those teachings so the Church quickly grew into post-Gehenna vasudan society. Khafre, known military officer of the PVN and princess To’Merti II were highly skeptical towards their the influences of the Church and along with majority of General Assmbly, they were supporting peaceful coexistence between two races exhausted by long years of war.

In fact, terran-vasudan war turned into cold war with spontaneous, small skirmishes happening from time to time. Church of Light fanatics calling themselves Hammer of Light started guerilla raids against terran convoys and civilian stations. Colonial Hegemony wanted to resume the war accusing new emperor of supporting the HoL, but GTA officially refused. The situation was stable but tense, until the PVN discovered strange device of unknown origin in Gulnara system. Study of this device quickly proven that it was constructed on unstable subspace route to different sector of space, but all efforts to activate this device were futile. Vasudans attributed this device to mysterious race of Ancients, who once visited their homeworld. Few months later, GTA discovered second gate in terran Talania system. GTA carefully examined this device and later they commenced construction of Charon Station using intercepted PVN intel. Vasudans never managed to open the gate, while GTA started first trials of devices of Charon in order to open ancient subspace gateway.

You are Lieutenant Drea Anilah d'Angoulême – veteran of Terran-Vasudan war codenamed Banshee and one of few survivors of both Gehenna of Vasuda and Desolation of Vega III. You are pilot of 114th Blackwolves squadron onboard GTD Nereid – Flagship of 13th Terran Fleet of Talania. The story begins at 14th December 2354. Although Talania is located at the fringe of GTA space and Charon project is top secret, vasudans are aware of existence of second Ancient gate. Who open their gate first will make significant progress at cold war and uncover mysteries of ancient civilization.

- Refreshed fleets for GTA and PVN, each one with new dedicated weaponry including anti-cap armament, multiple new ship classes and refits of T-V era craft. Technology of both sides was derived from FS1 designs.
- Fighters have shields. This is completely different tech than we know from both Freespace games. If I and Adm. Nelson remember correctly, testing of shield technology happened before FS1.
- Ancients with complete fleet appearing as viable spacefaring power and antagonist.
- Ancients have no shields, but their ships slowly regenerate.
- Three viable sides of conflict, lots of politics, diplomacy etc.
- …four if Shivans are introduced.
- Different explanation for Hades and GTI heist.
- Fully FS1 style campaign aimed to re-create and expand original vibe of first game.


I discussed this project before, posted some screenshots, and some users may recognize mysterious alternate-story campaign idea I mentioned several times. I never intended to seriously develop this, because I'm lacking time and FREDing skills... And I have no FREDers to make it happen.

This thing started it's life years ago after many discussions with former leader of Earth Defence - ShivPL. The point of this discussion was FS1 > FS2. We both wanted to see next-gen terran and vasudan fleets of FS1 style armed with railguns, torps and ****... And I also wanted Ancients. With Orph3u5's The Shard of Infinity and Woolie Wool's Twist of Fate canceled long time ago, I envisioned my own project of similar setting. Main asumption was: What if Shivans never appeared and Great War never happened?

This thing even has pretty big modpack and two fully working missions. I was working on it only to satisfy my urgent need to make something for FS while being aware that more serious stuff deserves my attention, especially commercial RTS game project and commissions of all kinds... So I cheated the need and switched back to real bussiness.

...but this stuff eventually grown big. So I guess it's worth showing you guys and provide opportunity for some small brainstorm.

An interesting read.

Although from the sum of it, I cannot see why the Unborn/Destroyer universe has to have a Dark Matter-cosmology. By some of what you write, you would have actually been better off with that universe having an Entropic Gravity-cosmology IMO - it would also add another wrinkle to the whole "two universes in contact"-angle; and technical reason for wide differences in warfare goals.

It's based on some lecture about "how lucky we are" and ratio of dark matter to antimatter and normal matter in our universe. Can't remember who was the author. Anyway I imagined all verses of the multiverse as having the same laws of physics as our universe [Shivanverse/Unbornverse included] but different dark matter/antimatter/normal matter ratio. Entropic Gravity is just a theory, but it would provide much more exotic explanation for the setting I have in mind. I can push my imagination to it's limits and imagine a coherent and consistent universe based on different theory, but it's too much work considering the fact how little role it would play in actual storytelling.

Another fact I was considering is the fate of Shivanverse. According to three theories about expansion rate of individual universes, I picked the pulse theory. Shivanverse may be far beyond the point of expanding and it already started it's collapsing again to primordial singularity. Another reason why Unborn/Shivans want to penetrate our universe.

It's still minor to actual reasons for conflict, whole reason of "what if" scenario etc. Basicly everything revolves around the Unborn and their decision to pierce through interdimensional membrane, penetrate our universe, and affect events during T-V War and later. UL approach to main FS timeline is: Shivans did this first before Unborn or even after eradicating Unborn to kingdom come before. UL timeline is: What if Unborn did this first?

Another explanation for dark matter and overally exotic matter from another universe is their mystery. While we can't see dark matter, we see it's influence. I wanted to introduce various exotic physical phenomenon like gravity or subspace anomalies to put emphasis on how dark and unknown Shivans really are and their native universe alike. Unknown physical phenomenon are excellent lorebuilding tool. Artistic reasons counts too. Last 2 screenshots with GTA frigate and Ancient destroyer are from mission set in Meridiana system - close to The Rift and therefore dark, and infected by unknown substances from different universe.

The Destroyer itself is amalgam of different ideas from various franchises, but Tyranid Hivemind from WH40k remain as primary. However I wanted Destroyer to be something more than just a will focused on fulfilling it's everlasting hunger. Somewhat much more complex, intelligent, cunning, unknowable enemy with ancient and very mysterious background behind. It has a reason to invade terran and vasudan kind that is much more important than eradicating the Unborn.

Interesting thing, but I still don't know what to think of that inter-universe travel. It doesn't actually have that much impact on the story, besides that T and V fight over portals, or?

I doubt if we ever go through the Rift, and I doubt if I ever want to reveal everything around Shivanverse at all. It's supposed to be mysterious background that will be dosed to player in small bits to keep the mystery... Ever mysterious and dark.

There is no single primary antagonist in UL and there are no good and bad guys. We fight with HoL-infected Vasudan Empire, Ancients who protect the Purgatorium, later also Shivans and GTI-driven Colonial Hegemony. Main part of the conspiracy is Unborn technology that GTI recovered. Unborn were working on device capable of faking Destroyer's will and therefore influencing shivan fleets isolated from true will of the Destroyer. HoL are cooperating with GTI. Both factions use the noise caused by civil [and later official] war as a smokescreen for their endeavour. GTI wants to open Knossos in Talania to enter the Purgatorium and access The Dark Gate. They want to reach shivans, and try to seize control about some larger task force. Ancients are obviously in opposition. Player is not aware about true reason behind the expedition thinking that exploration of ruins of Ancient civilization and race with vasudans is main reason. When we unleash Shivans, **** hits the fan.


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