Sunday 29 June 2014

Across the Dead Earth. The Jester's I.A.O State Squad (gang)

The State I.A.O.

“The State” considers itself, but is considered by few others, to rule the Dead Earth in the Formally-United Kingdom. Based in empty, echoey halls with shattered windows and vegetation breaking through the floor and walls in New Venice, London, the State “protects” and heavily taxes those who still live in the bombshell of the old capital city. Whatever else you can say about the State, it does control a great deal of the military grade weaponry in the country, and members flock to swell their ranks, hearing that loyal and established members are rewarded with accommodation in luxurious mansions decked out with museum pieces and unspeakable riches from before the war, with running water and electricity. And slaves.
The I.A.O, or Information Acquisition Operatives, are medium ranking State operatives who have proven of enough worth to be provided with weapons and uniforms. They are despatched to every corner of the F-UK to spread the word of The State and The State’s law, to bring towns, traders and enclaves under State control and to eradicate and kill Gang members, and more than anything else to spy on the other Gang’s and factions.

First up is Jester the Leader of this Gang.

Cpt. “Jester” Jackson is a ruthless career soldier who is loyal to the State totally, at least so long as she serves as a means to his ends. His disdain for human life is legendary and there are even rumours that he has had a hand in the deaths of superiors in an effort to expedite his rise through the ranks.

His call sign – a shortening of “Deathjester”, the name by which he was known as a Grunt – doesn’t come from any love of one-liners or witty repartee, but from the smile Jester breaks into when he watches his enemies dispatched, no matter how cruelly or bloodily.

Skelch the gangs Sharp Shooter.

A State veteran of several years’ service, Skelch is the ultimate professional. A grizzled and hardened sniper, Skelch stays cool under fire and obeys orders. Less politically motivated than some of his pears, Skelch followed his father into the military tradition upheld by the State, and believes what he does must be right, because otherwise the Head of State would not order it. There is therefore no question Skelch’s loyalty or commitment.

SIWOC the gangs Scout who is just a badass in general.

Siwoc picked up his name from an off-hand utterance which became a catchphrase in his first squad (“Situation is…world of chaos!”) Assigned to Jester due to his hatred of the Gang lifestyle and way of life, Siwoc wishes to bring
order to the chaos around him. Precise, quick witted and showing an amazing alertness to tactical opportunities, Siwoc makes for the perfect eyes and ears in the squad.

Squint who is the gangs Medic.

Squint is an exceptionally talented and intelligent young Dr. who uniquely amongst the Choobies of New Venice’s underground, descendants of the legendary Seven Sisters – those who remained hidden underneath the war torn world for decades - saw the opportunity for learning, and was spotted by State officials, soon graduating from his scholarship as a Dr. Being so low born, though, Squint could command no respect amongst the strictly hierarchical families of New Venice and the State, and so joined an IAO squad to become a man of rank. Squint is focused and single minded, knowing that to obey orders is to raise his status in this world.

 Yoshi Heavy (Yoshi's career choice may change )

Yoshi is on a one man war to rid the F-UK of Gangs and bandits, having witnessed the death of his close family in a Gang raid as a youth. The State protected and raised Yoshi, instilling in him and almost religious fervour and hatred for the Trade Guild, non-aligned towns and most of all, the Savages. Yoshi also despises the Inquisition, seeing them as questioning the might and authority of the Head of State.

Now a family man himself, Yoshi would stop at nothing to defend New Venice, seeing it as his home and castle, and the world which protects both he and his family.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Across the Dead Earth. The Red Claw Gang.

Ronnie the Gangs Leader

That’s enough from that stupid old man Adam. You want to end up running errands for old women and rescuing skinny girls from traders, go ahead and sigh up with that regular philanthropist over there. You want adventure, glory and the coolest guns on this island, follow me. My name’s Ronnie, but until you've proven yourself you can call me Sir. The Red Claw are the best, adn we;re the best because we pull no punches. This is survival, but who ever said survival can’t be fun?

Shay-man the Medic
Shay-man is insane. I don’t mean the good way, like me, I mean he’s properly tapped. He calls that Skull on his hat “McHeed” and takes advice from him, which usually consists of making some god awful concoction out of moonshine, mushrooms and herbs and injecting it until his eyes go purple and he starts speaking Dutch.
He knows one end of a syringe from another though, and for some reason he’s the only medic I've ever had that didn't whine all day about being overworked.

Fatboy the Assault Specialist.
Fatboy is a rude, crude, lewd hulk of a man who likes to drink, smoke and fraternise with members of the opposite sex. He’s a hoot and a half, I tell you. Whilst he’d almost certainly rather be playing poker and losing his share of the loot than helping you out, if you promise him there will be explosions and a bar at the end of the day, he’s probably follow you to the ends of his next drink.

Topper The Grunt.
Whilst Shay-Man may be insane, Topper is simply a sadist. After half our battles together, he doesn’t even remember to ask for his share of the loot – he’s too busy either regaling anyone that will listen to usually wildly exaggerated tales of the destruction he caused or arguing with his brother about who has the most kills racked up this month. Topper eats raw meat and I don’t like to ask where he gets it from when the rest of us have been on dry rations for weeks. Topper laughs like a hyena and can frequently be found clutching his groin following any conversation with Shrimp.

Pyro the Grunt.
Pyro is Topper’s brother and they share a lot in common, although you wouldn’t know it the way they argue: mainly over which is the superior of their two deadly weapons. Pyro isn’t the sharpest tool in the box, but then he doesn’t need to be, as it’s very rare anyone ever gets close enough to him to take advantage of his dim witted nature.

Shrimp the Scout.
Shrimp just joined us. Pyro picked her up in some hole of a town. I mean he literally picked her up and carried her with him. Topper seemed quite enamoured with his brother’s find but Shrimp put a swift end to his advances. She seems to trust Pyro, who shows more affection for her than I've seen him show anything other than his beloved flame-thrower. She’s unskilled and untested as yet, but I like her attitude, and I reckon she’ll soon be a real asset to the Gang.

Monday 23 June 2014

Across the Dead Earth. The Family Gang

Introducing The Family today and all the sculpts for each member Skylar is version 2 and is much more in scale with the rest of the gang.

Adam The Leader.
I was born somewhere here in England, 42 years ago. Most people don’t know how old they are around here. Others refer to themselves as “28 summers” or “32 winters” but that don’t mean much in a world where seasons can last for hours or years. On the whole I’ve always been moving. I grew up in a family that moved around, sometimes trading and most times fighting. As you may have gathered I listened to my Grandmother a lot. That is largely due to the relatively premature deaths of my parents and the scarcity of electricity with which to power MP3 players. A few years back someone traded me a wind-up device which, for a fair amount of sweat work, provides enough juice to power up most phones, tablets and other devices we can find – ‘cept those stupid ones with the fruit on the back that have to have a different charger which no one ever can find or trade. Anyways, thinking about it I maybe learned a lot more from my Grandmother not having earphones in all the time.
My parents? I told you , they died young. That happens more often than not, and there isn’t any point getting sentimental about it.
Some point or other there wasn’t much of a Gang left, and those what were older than me decided to stay on at a wind farm in Norfolk. I wished them all the luck in the world but so far as I could see planting yourself makes you a sitting duck, so I headed off. Across the dead earth.

Reggie Assault Specialist.
Reggie’s still just a kid, really. His family are traders over in the Fens whom we picked up some weapons from a couple of years back. Reggie spent hours watching Drexyl testing the sights on his Sniper Rifle on their range. A couple of days later, Drexyl told me the boy had been shadowing us ever since we left. I didn’t think he was old enough to live the kind of lifestyle we lead, and so I set out to find wherever he was camping one night and tell him to vamoose. When I tracked him down to a camp-fire which he seemed to have lit using some dirt and hope, he grinned at me ear-to-ear and threw me a rucksack of ammo and moonshine he had taken from a bunch of raiders who had also been tracking us, and who were by then sinking slowly into the wetlands, their hats bobbing up and down in the centre of pools of ripples. He figured this would impress me. He’s been at my side ever since.

Ezra the Medic
A lot of people will tell you for certain that Ezra is a mute. He ain’t, he just only speaks if he’s got something he thinks is worth saying. I like Ezra. Drexyl and Reggie and a few others we've met along the way say they find it most disconcerting that Ezra always wears a gas mask. I figure if anyone is going to be a hypochondriac, it’s the best gosh-darn field medic I ever met. For all he might give them the heebie-jeebies, there isn't a soul in this family who wouldn't trust Ezra entirely to fix them up and set them right. I think Skylar sort of has a soft spot for him, not that she’s one to betray her emotions, should she suffer any.
I can’t say I know a lot about Ezra’s background, he kind of just walked into my life one day and since then we've always looked out for one another, and the rest of the family as it grew. He collects books, on pretty much any subject, though I know he really likes the ones about Lords and Ladies back in the olden days. Though he’s a peaceful guy, on the whole, you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of that sword he carries around.

Drexyl the SharpShooter.

Drexyl’s parents, like mine, died when he was real small. Unlike me, he didn’t have the benefit of any others around. All alone in London, the kid lived off insects and rats until one day he found a gun on a body in the street and shot dead anyone who tried to take it from him, until they stopped trying to take it from him and offered him money to shoot their enemies instead.
Drexyl operated entirely as a loner and a mercenary until one day he took a contract out here in the country and got his leg caught in a deer-trap. That’s how Ezra found him, and set about setting Drexyl free and patching up his wounds despite the fact that Drexyl kept his rifle pointed between Ezra’s eyes the whole time. About 5 seconds after Ezra finished taping up Drexyl’s leg the man he had been fired to kill turned up. Drexyl aimed and would have put that man down right there and then had Ezra not put his hand on the barrel and lowered Drexyl’s gun. I guess by that point Drexyl figured he owed Ezra a favour, and I’m very lucky he seems to still think the same way, because that man was me.

Skylar the Scout.

Skylar was always going to have a hard life growing up in this world as girl with a pretty face, but the first few years were something else. She grew up in some kind of crazy religious cult house until her teens. I think then she figured out some of the finer details and somehow got away. She got real good at hiding, and when that failed, escaping, with no qualms whatsoever about leaving anyone who crossed her with a wide red smile in her wake.
I’m glad as hell that whatever the boys in my family might be, none of them is either discourteous or stupid enough to think to try and treat Skylar the way it seems most folk prior to us running into her, by and large, had in the past. I’ll leave that there, as I know that Skylar wants to tell you that story for herself.