1. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
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    ScreamsfromtheCrematory Member

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    Help designing factions for a conflict

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ScreamsfromtheCrematory, Nov 22, 2011.

    For a story I'm working on which will stretch across multiple planets, I've come into a bit of trouble on the first real conflict.

    Let's get the general background of where it takes place summarized quickly.

    The planet in particular is a swampy jungle world called Membros, which is composed of a variety of large, broken, and partially sunken landmasses that are often criss-crossed by a variety of larger rivers. These masses sometimes enclose various smaller ones and "split" once the wet seasons come in and various (relatively) dried riverbeds and tributaries are suddenly filled up.

    The main inhabitants are a sort of highly evolved ethnically diverse bipedal race of lizards known as Varanon. They are somewhat taller than humans on average (not immensely so) and for the most part, have atrophied their tails away and their heads are only sometimes as elongated as those of actual lizards. They have sharp claws along with spines that are sometimes modified to be used for close or long-ranged combat.

    The second major inhabitants are strange creatures known as Zerfayll. They resemble large clumps of fungi and moss/lichen/weed-like vegetation clumped together into strange and many-limbed forms, all enclosed around glass-like cores containing fertile and slightly luminescent "fungal command centres". They look slightly like BattleTech mechs but only made out of living and breathing plant life.

    There are also humans and various other minor races living here but what's most important is the current political situation.

    Essentially, it's split between two factions, the Jaanoaikken (extreme far right neo-traditionalists) and the Kohoavtse (equally extreme far left progressive expansionists) that both came to power in the midst of planetary revolts and protests against a Trans-Space Coalition (read: the equivalent of the U.N./various powerful western nations, but in space and with aliens) backed government. They were both working with and against one another and did kick out the T.S.C. (must find a better name!). It has since then been replaced by a centrist/"neutral" government that has the majority of the planet in a state of martial law.

    Some cities, towns, and other habitations lean more towards one side than the other and there are "neutral" cities, but regardless, terrorism, guerilla combat (urban and in the wilderness), assassinations of opposition and even centrist politicians and leaders and so on are rather common. Both sides are heavily armed and nearly strong enough as proper armies, although they are not professional ones. They both however have outside assistance.



    Now, this is where my problem starts.

    I already know the faction I want to be supporting the Jaanos - the half royal guard half deniable operations force (Xzuehl) from an anti-Coalition emperor from a world (Najaryallad) in the same planet-cluster. Said world's emperor, Equimanthorn, was actually assisted by the T.S.C. in the past but they became enemies over power disputes later on supposedly. They give the otherwise incredibly rag-tag Jaanos advanced weaponry and training but at the same time, used them as "cover" from the general interstellar community and (most) of the Coalition as they attempted to secure various "vaults" that are the leftovers of ancient and practically antediluvian civilizations. The Jaanos know of this and are being promised some of this technology in return for their assistance in harrowing the Coalition.


    While I'm satisied with what I have for the Jaanoaikken, my problem is I can't think of a foreign force to be assisting the Kohos. They are on average better armed and somewhat better trained, along with being more willing to welcome outside influence. I was thinking of having corporate groups within the Coalition assist them but that would make their attempts to fight against the Coalition pretty null and void.

    Basically, I need help trying to think of a particular group that would assist a bunch of radical expansionists - all sorts of suggestions are welcome. I'm thinking of perhaps some rogue and recently formed planet-states outside of the area of conflict (a group of worlds known as the Helios system) but I'm just having trouble trying to flesh them out and think of the sort of leaders, politicians, generals, businessmen and so on that might be interested in backing them up in spite of the rewards that are possible.
     
  2. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Maybe a crime syndicate is backing them up. the syndicate might have an interest in potential drugs on the planet, or smuggling, or even to just distract the collation so they can conduct their business in peace.
     
  3. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
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    ScreamsfromtheCrematory Member

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    I don't think a crime syndicate would fit terribly well personally, seeing as the level they're fighting on is one where they pretty much are like a rogue military unit. I mean they will have access to ground, sea, and air-based vehicles, maybe a few smaller spacecraft, and ex-military personnel. The Jaanos would have that too.
     
  4. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    seeing the firepower the Zetas have aquired in just one contry, one one planet, its not unthinkable a interglatic drug groupe whould have access to a lot of fun toys and capital. but hey just an idea i threw out their
     
  5. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    I smell a conspiracy. Could the Najaryallad Emperor be supporting both parties in order to destablise the region?
     
  6. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    Could the Kohoavtse simply have "The masses" on their side?
     
  7. gimble13
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    gimble13 Member

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    i think it would be interesting to have someone rich, powerful and opportunistic from the Jaanoaikken side double dealing under the table supplying them with weapons and persuading smaller factions to join up with the Kohoavtse in order to create more war to prophet from, also it adds the mystery of who's the traitor.
     
  8. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
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    I was thinking of that but I thought it might be a bit too well... redundant, seeing as both sides kind of already utterly despise one another and they wouldn't need to try any harder to have both riled up and ready for war.


    I'm not sure, I did say the planet was split up between the two - statistics wise in terms of stuff like votes and polls they could be more favourable but there might be a certain point in which the popularity differences are simply ignored due to the number to which both have grown.


    I was considering this but I felt that the Xzuehl would probably take offence to that. Considering how powerful they are, you probably wouldn't want to offend them, seeing as they are an elite unit funnelling in high tier material to the Jaanos.
     
  9. SnappyUK
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    SnappyUK Member

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    Easy: religion. look what it's done to this planet.

    If your protagonists live in an area that has sacred meaning to another group, but don't themselves share the same beliefs, that would lead to all sorts of conflict. One of your other planets might, for example, be a religious rather than secular state and may have negotiated access to the sacred site when the dust settles.
     
  10. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
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    ScreamsfromtheCrematory Member

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    I dunno, that seems a bit too obvious or easy, not that it's a bad idea. I'm not against the idea but the problem is like, I have an entire other setting that will focus on that later on in the story and I don't want to have too much re-treading going on. Then again, religion in this story is a lot different from how it's depicted in most other fiction; less dualistic and didactic mono/polytheism and more about esoteric transcendentalism, heavily occult inspired to a degree, and it's sort of hard for me to really fit a conventional holy-war narrative into something like this.
     
  11. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    The masses are never irrelevant when it's about politics.
     
  12. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
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    Well, I'm not sure if I'd want the Kohoavtse to have a higher degree of popularity - for the sake of keeping things tense, I'm thinking of running with the more-or-less balanced view, although I imagine they'd probably have more off-world support, especially from big businesses.
     

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