Dark Age Games have posted their October releases.
From their announcement:
This Month we have some exciting releases! The forces of Saint Mary and the Brood!
In Mary’s tours of outlying settlements, often following raids by Skarrd, the Saint always gives rousing speeches to the survivors. Her wrath and sorrow are genuine, and her honesty screams forth in her words. She recounts tale after tale of the depredations that have been perpetrated by the enemies of the Forsaken in the past, and paints a grim picture of what the future will hold if they are allowed to continue. Invariably, she gains new recruits with each of these epistles, men and women so stricken with grief and fury that they cannot bear to stand aside any longer. Something about Saint Mary’s approach particularly appeals to clergymen; she has a strange penchant for galvanizing preachers, pastors, and priests into taking up arms and serving her cause, and when they do they often prove to be some of the fiercest fighters in her retinue.
The psychological manipulation wielded by Mary creates a unique dilemma for the brethren in her service. They are primarily advocates of peace over violence; they are men of words instead of action. To go out into battle directly opposes their rational beliefs, but they are so motivated by their emotions that they are unable to restrain themselves. The fact that their enemies are provoking them into such action is so infuriating to these men that they grow even more spiteful and angry. This strange dichotomy gives the elite Contradiction corps its name. A combination of field chaplain and shock troop, Contradiction will often lead a charge into battle. Driven by religious fervor into a fever of violence, the Contradiction will launch himself headlong into the fray, unleashing a barrage of buckshot from his shotgun and whipping his own men into a frenzy with crazed battle litanies and prayers for a righteous and glorious victory.
When she and two of her “sisters” were caught for a petty crime they were offered a place in Saint Mark’s army, and accepted willingly. X-Cess had always been caring girl, looking out for her companions and friends. She learned the skills needed to be a Reaver along with her sisters and for the first time she was introduced to something special; self-esteem. Her superiors were not happy with the three girls building a sub-group of their own and tried to separate them to introduce them into the Reavers as a whole, but everything failed. The bond between X-Cess and her like-minded sisters Hephzibah and Kristen only grew stronger.
Then, one night one of their instructors, an experienced male Bane leader, abused his position and advanced on X-Cess in a decidedly unholy manner. She does not speak about what happened that night, but rumors hint that she used her knives to take a trophy from him, preventing him from ever threatening any woman again. Saint Mark assured her she would not be punished, but how could she trust his claims now? She fled into the night, deserting her sisters and the army. Now she is a renegade Reaver, wandering through settlements and wasted lands, seeking redemption and shelter. For a while she lived on bitterness and hatred but over time she recovered her self-esteem and sense of purpose. She vowed never to let herself be bullied again and opposes every form of authority she encounters. From time to time she joins Forsaken units as a bounty hunter – even working for a few close friends that still lurk among Saint Mark’s ranks – at other times joining groups of bandits and thieves. But X-Cess chooses well for whom she fights, always with an eye to evading the long arm of retribution at all costs.
On the northern border of the Forsaken lands, a savage race of fanatic mutants threatens the outlying settlements of the human populace, striking deeper and deeper into Forsaken territory with the passage of time. The northern border seems far away to the residents of New Ashkelon, so the Prevailers pay little heed to these barbarian raiders. They are more worried about the monstrous Aliens encountered by Saint Mark in the West and the Southern Crusade started by Saint John. Many would also say that the importance of a Crusade is really just a political question, but most likely those who do lose their tongues along with their lives. But there is one member of the Forsaken military who is aware of the threat in the North and is unwilling to allow the Skarrd raiders to gain any foothold in the Forsaken lands. A fierce leader and warrior with a bitter grudge, Saint Mary stands as a formidable line of defense against the encroaching threat of the Skarrd. The border is a torn landscape, the southern part consists mostly of dry hills covered by small scrubs and bushes. But in the north there is the Great Expanse, with its ever shifting sand dunes and black, burnt rocks.
During her escape from the Skarrd, Saint Mary rescued another soldier, a Bane trooper who collapsed halfway back to New Ashkelon and was carried by Mary the rest of the way. That woman was the first to proclaim Mary’s Sainthood while her new liege recovered from her own injuries and exhaustion, telling anyone who would listen about the leader’s nobility, courage, and selflessness. Her constant preaching earned her the moniker Clergy Ann, and a small following for Mary had already formed by the time she recovered from her ordeal. From that point forward, Ann followed Mary unflinchingly and with obsessive zeal.
Bearing a special hatred for the Skarrd, she traded in her double mace for a cat o’ nine tails tipped with jagged hooks, a weapon that had been used to torture them both while in Skarrd captivity. Her dedication to Mary combined with her hatred for the Skarrd drove her to new levels of combat prowess, as she sought always to better serve her mistress. Clergy Ann did everything possible to demonstrate as much courage and dedication as the woman she served, and many others followed her example. She was the foundation of a sisterhood of women rescued from certain death by Mary, all of whom had pledged a similar undying loyalty to the Saint. When Clergy Ann finally fell in battle, it was only after dispatching a Golab single-handedly. Her final words were an apology to the Saint for failing in her service. After Ann’s death, the grief-stricken Saint Mary commissioned a new corps in her memory, made up of the women of her sisterhood. Each bears the name Clergy Ann in memory of Mary’s first acolyte, and each does her best to live up to her example of courage, dedication, and self-sacrifice.
The Flense have developed their own behavioral codes and way of life. Shunned by the other soldiers and still encountering the hatred of the Salt Nomads, they are nonetheless proud and expert fighters. They wield crude but effective Saw Sticks and share fighting techniques which are as unique as effective. The fabled “Dance of Death” gives them the ability to turn their unarmed combat skills into a flurry of blows assailing the enemy with speed and brute force. Their ranks are constantly bolstered by apt criminals and deserters receiving a death sentence; Mary’s judges offer those they deem worthy the same choice that Mary gave the remaining Fire Baptists and Torture Riders.
The initiation rites are tough and demanding, and there are many who return broken and beaten to the prisoner camps. The successful ones, however, are supported with the Flense's basic equipment and given training in their typical disciplines and skills. But even then there is still one condition that has to be met by the reborn Flense to become a fully accepted member of the corps. They have to bring back from a battlefield the skull and bones of a Golab- trophies they collect and wear to demonstrate their ultimate dedication and prowess. It is rumored that the mask they shape from the skull and the arm adornments are merely displayed to show their Forsaken comrades the spite they feel for them and their supposed superiority. There may be some truth to these rumors, as the Flense continue to behave in many of their old ways. They have kept their original arrogance, never ignoring an occasion to remind those around them of their origin and their unforgotten, unforgivable first loyalty.
The two most formidable soldiers of the Brood are the two that were created alongside the Brood Mere by the IBC scientists: Helexa and Mean Jellybean. Despite all of her accumulated knowledge and practice, the Brood Mere has been unable to produce any creatures as formidable as her original two companions. Eager to add another elite warrior to her army, but unable to bridge the gap between her own creations and the ones she had adopted, she compromised. Taking samples the DNA from both Mean Jellybean and Helexa, the Brood Mere set about combining them. She hoped to blend elements of both of these creatures into one. She wanted to create a child that would demonstrate the height of the Brood’s evolution. The Brood Mere’s first several attempts at combining Helexa and Mean Jellybean were devastatingly unsuccessful. She was trying to incorporate all of the abilities of both creatures into a single form, and the excess augmentation was causing the new creature’s system to collapse almost immediately. Eventually, she realized that if she wanted to create a combination of the two, it would need to have reduced versions of both of their abilities. With this renewed strategy, she began anew, and met with much greater success.
The new warrior was called Murtros. Sharing his sister’s tactical and command prowess and his brother’s combat ability, Murtros is truly a successful blend of them both. He also bears mutations common to some of the Brood Mere’s recently developed creatures such as the acidic blood and regenerative ability that most of them possess. This makes him a truly fearsome opponent. He is the new face of the Brood, and a terrifying face it is.