Category for all posts about the Shattered Earth game.

Different Factions, Different Methods

We’ve officially announced! The name of the game is now public and some of the details of the factions are out there, with much more to come. We can now be a little less vague with the blog updates and look at something more specific each week. As the first character we revealed is Lee Kyong-Min, it seems appropriate that I cover how we came up with his backstory, and that of the Cult of the Dragon.

Kyong-Min originally had another name that I created from an amalgamation of K-Pop artists; I forget what it was but when Simon edited it I didn’t argue, so it obviously hadn’t been great. The brief I had from Simon’s original concept was that he had been an entertainer and now he ran a global cult. There was one other major detail about him that makes him one of the most interesting characters in the game, but I’ll save that for another time.

Before I started on the faction background pieces, Simon and I spent a while discussing the behavior, ethos and aims of all the different factions so that the fiction would match the game rules and inform the artwork. As mentioned in a previous post, the initial pieces flowed quite easily as there was no canon yet and so I was able to get down a few thousand words during a very long taxi ride across London.

All of our key characters are obviously important to their individual factions but none more so than Kyong-Min, who is the central figure of the Cult of the Dragon, having founded it. This gave me a hard time deciding what to include in the faction history and what to include in Kyong-Min’s character background piece as there is so much overlap between the two. In the end, whole sections were moved between the two pieces as Simon and I edited them, and I have a feeling that we’ll need to do further edits as we refine the backstory based on the events that unfold during the first book’s fiction pieces.

As I’ve created all the different characters and their histories and relationships, I have developed a few personal favourites. Some are more loyal, some more conflicted, and others more singular of purpose. Kyong-Min, he’s the most, well, intriguing…

Lee Kyong-Min, the Voice of the Dragon

“There is a natural order to things – every system falls into chaos eventually. Why struggle against the inevitable?”

Shattered Earth - Lee Kyong-Min - Concept ArtConcept art by Iwo Widuliński

It was his eyes that set him apart. His eyes had a deep blackness that burned into the camera lens. Meeting him in person left people awed at his presence, and this charisma transferred over the airwaves to the millions of teenagers convinced he was speaking directly to them and them alone each night. In the years before the Breaking of the World, Kyong-Min had risen to become one of the most recognisable pop stars on the planet, with his own devoted army of followers.

But his eyes held a deeper darkness. Throughout his rise, Kyong-Min kept secret his obsession with the paranormal, the occult, and the ancient Gods. He read copiously on Greek and Nordic mythology, on Wicca and folk religions. He studied Zoroastrianism and Hinduism, the history of Mesopotamia and Antiquity, and read about the magi of the Renaissance all the way up to the present day. He was looking for something – staring into the abyss and waiting for something to return his gaze and answer his questions.

By the time the first disasters struck, Kyong-Min was fully immersed in his own belief system, a construct of unexplainable powers and the worship of unknowable ancient Gods and legends. As the world crumbled and Ether began to permeate, Kyong-Min sought out these breaches between the real world and the immateria as others ran from them, terrified. And where he led, his army followed. The cult of celebrity had been transformed as the world itself changed, and Kyong-Min took on the mantle of a prophet, his fans now acolytes of this new religion.

Shattered Earth - Lee Kyong-Min - SculptSculpting by Seth Nash

Lee Kyong-Min is the leader of the Cult of the Dragon, and perhaps the most infamous personality in the world of Shattered Earth. He is a gifted orator and carries about him a strange charisma – the kind that psychopaths seem to uniquely possess. His devoted army of followers – once fans, now soldiers – were galvanised in a violent political coup that destroyed the Pan-Asian Alliance (PAA) and allowed the Cult to take control of the Pacific Archipelago.

On the tabletop Lee Kyong-Min is a gifted swordsman, and his heavily-augmented body, utilising the most cutting-edge Cult technology, has allowed him to maintain his youth over countless decades. He espouses the core ideology of the Cult, and sees the only future for humanity in chaos and anarchy. He leads by example, manipulating Ether to rile his own soldiers into a battle-frenzy, and charging into combat with his Ancestral Hwando.

But there is madness in those deep, dark eyes. At times Kyong-Min appears in the midst of an internal struggle, fighting to maintain control over his own body. Despite his pre-eminent position within the Cult, there are those who wonder at the bargain that was struck, when a man became a God. What price was paid to the Dragon?

Shattered Earth Closed Alpha Playtest

Shattered Earth is the new tabletop skirmish game from Massive Awesome, and we are looking for a few good men and women to help us make it the best game it can be. Alpha is the point during development where the rules are functionally complete, and the refinement and balancing work can begin. The Closed Alpha playtest will include access to our private forum, where you can download the latest rules and discuss the game directly with the design team.

If you would like to take part in the Closed Alpha playtest, and help to shape the future of Shattered Earth, hit the Sign Up button above and fill in your details. As this is a closed playtest, sign-ups will only be available for a short period of time, so make sure you register early to avoid disappointment.

If you are part of a club and would like to run your own field test for Shattered Earth, please email us directly at [email protected] and let us know the name of your club, where you are based, and how many people you would like to take part.

See you out there, survivors.

Welcome to SHATTERED EARTH

Shattered Earth - Logo

Earth, 50 years from now. An unprecedented series of seismic events, gigantic earthquakes, and terrifying volcanic eruptions have reformed the continents. Within a few years, the world became unrecognizable, the landmasses torn apart and altered in a way that meant life for its remaining inhabitants had irrevocably changed.

As humanity’s survivors form new alliances and fight over scant resources, they must harness the power of Ether, a mysterious and frightening new energy source bleeding into our world from the realm of dreams and nightmares – and they must also deal with the creatures that follow in its wake.

This is SHATTERED EARTH, the new tabletop skirmish game of wondrous technology and existential horror.

Shattered Earth - Arabic Landscape - Key Art

The old power structures of the time before the disaster were mostly dismantled during those intervening years. New agreements seemed to form and collapse with alarming regularity, but some factions have survived to stake their claim on this new world. In the currently known populated areas, there are several major human powers – and something else entirely.

Born out of a necessary co-operation between the USA and Russia, the United Nations of Mankind (UNM) are the largest of the human factions. They have the biggest population, the safest cities, and the most guns. They believe in the values that drove humanity’s evolution prior to the disaster, and seek a return to those days.

Shattered Earth - Jormungandr - Concept Art

They are opposed by the Cult of the Dragon, formed in a political coup that wiped out the Pan-Asian Alliance (PAA), and led by the charismatic Lee Kyong-Min. Their unhindered experimentation with Ether and flesh-grafting has created singular monstrosities, each one a work of grotesque genius. Though they may lack in numbers, their zeal and determination – not to mention a complete disregard for their own safety – has proven a stern challenge to any that oppose them.

But even they could not imagine what followed in the years after the Breaking of the World. Since time immemorial the Deathless have watched humanity through our own eyes. And they have shaped the thoughts and feelings of many; from gifted artists to serial killers – all have been at the whim of the beings from the realm of dreams. They are entirely alien to most of humanity, and clear motives are difficult to ascertain. Regardless of their ultimate aims, one question above all has plagued those who dare to think it: did we dream them into existence, or did we dream about them because they existed?

Welcome to 30 A.E. Welcome to SHATTERED EARTH.