Teaser: Sudamérica Part 1 [Trinity Continuum: Æon]

Open Development, Trinity Continuum: Æon

Nation-SudamericaWelcome back! It’s been a few weeks since our last round of teasers for the core Trinity Continuum rulebook, so I asked Æon developer John Snead for a few tidbits for sharing. He gave me… well, he gave me a lot. Two teasers, but they’re each pretty big, so I’m splitting them each into two.

Here’s the first part of our first teaser, for Sudamérica. I figured we should start off with some familiar territory, which should give a decent overview of many of the nations which make up the continent, as well as give some hints as to the new direction we’re taking with some of the history and the Psi Orders (the Norça in particular).

Sudamérica

Conflict has been the cornerstone of Sudamérica for centuries. A thousand forces continually pull at its social fabric, but fail to fully transform it. Instead, Sudamérica continues pushing forward. The continent is not a single, unified entity, but a collection of nations vying fiercely with each other for dominance. Their governments can be openly antagonistic, their economic policies downright predatory, but beneath that competition, a shared culture and identity has allowed Sudaméricans to face the challenges of past and present and take the reins of their own destiny.

History

The Nova Age pushed the nations of South America from the Third World into the First. Aided by their new heroes, South Americans began exploiting their natural resources at an unprecedented rate, leveraging their natural wealth against the needs of the rest of the planet. Without an advanced military to threaten them, Aberrants mostly left South America alone and only attacked targets of strategic importance to the United States and Europe, as well as factories established by foreign investment. These attacks were as rare as they were brutal. Aberrants transformed half of Venezuela into a living nightmare and pulverized much of Argentina’s infrastructure.

The Nova Age also gave birth to hundreds of small, remote settlements, which existed to extract local resources. Their only link to the rest of the world consisted of limited wireless connections. Isolation and spotty bandwidth spared much of the South American population from the Possession Crisis and the turmoil of the OpNet’s destruction. Here, the Urban Schism came early.

Rather than closing their borders after the Chinese Ultimatum, South American countries joined in a short­-lived alliance, the Conferencia Sudaméricana de Reconstrucción y Comercio, or South American Conference for Reconstruction and Commerce was founded in 2068. Under this alliance, the members undertook an aggressive campaign to dominate their niches in the international market, and secure industrial self­sufficiency via expropriation and nationalization of local companies. This campaign prompted the change of “South America” into “Sudamérica” in common parlance, even if the Conference itself dissolved in 2076. Today, the Mayan League of Central America and the Andean Federation of Sudamérica’s western countries are the heirs of this alliance.

Able to meet the growing global demand by falling back on traditional ways of doing things, South America accelerated production and exploitation of natural resources. A growing number of people raised alarms about the potential risks for the environment, but most local governments ignored their concerns.

Governments continued to disregard the growing discontent about environmental destruction until a grassroots movement called Our Green Power, or Nossa Força Verde, began committing acts of virtual vandalism on the augmented reality landscapes of harvesting settlements across the Amazon. This campaign then swiftly spread to all of the Sudamérican cities.

“Nature is us,” “we are everywhere, we are everyone,” “the land is alive, and it watches.” These are but a few of the slogans that blocked digital adverts and corporate OpNet sites. All of these were signed by the Nossa Força Verde movement. The movement soon started leaking documents exposing dirty corporate deals and corrupt government officials, and then stories of lone activists sabotaging operations that were later proven to be abusing the local populace. Within two months, Nossa Força Verde had become a household name. Then the real ecoterrorism began.

Please Like and Share

Check this vid! It shows the governor of Quindio being bribed by a Lagos Metal rep! Did you hear they were letting them build a private cargo airport that would end up polluting the entire department? The people of Quindio and Colombia are against this! Spread it around to your contacts and help us stop this! Nature is us!

­ — Viral OpNet message, Nossa Força Verde, December 18, 2081.

The active hacktivism and sabotage inflicted by Nossa Força Verde was joined by actions by the common populace: sit­-ins, blockades, and demonstrations. At the same time, small uprisings in remote settlements plagued every Sudamérican nation, often for reasons unrelated to environmentalism. The people demanded change.

In 2084, change arrived. The Mapuche Nation, formerly Chile, signed a new law granting proprietary rights to the genetic wealth of their land’s biodiversity to the indigenous people and the small settlements born from the Urban Schism. Over the next four years, the rest of Sudamérica followed suit.

With thousands of small holders who had grown up valuing the land around them, Sudamérica’s idea of progress shifted from a trickle-down structure to a grassroots-­driven system. The Nossa Força Verde movement faded into a footnote of history, but its anonymous activists did not. They would resurface years later, this time as the Nova Força Nacional, or Psi Order Norça.

Sudamérica at a Glance

Sudamérica is thriving, buzzing with opportunities and enthusiasm. After long decades of struggling to maintain growth while averting ecological disaster, Sudaméricans can now feel proud of their achievements. Sudamérican competitiveness often leads to exchanges of blows at the personal level and outright sabotage between corporations and governments. Sudaméricans, however, have the strange ability to become best friends and allies after such clashes.

Sudamérica is a land of deep contrasts. The most advanced arcology projects cast their shadows upon the most destitute urban sprawls, and while poverty does not reach the depths found in the FSA and parts of Europe, inequality is an issue that most countries struggle with.

Sudamérica is at the forefront of scientific, social, and cultural progress; manufacturers churn out better apps every year and design the most advanced biotechnology outside Orgotek, ideas are freely discussed, and often put into motion, and millions dance at the beat of new and old Sudamérican bands. Augmented reality in Sudamérican arcologies and cities is an explosion of visuals and performance art, and a new generation adopts self­-alteration not only as a form of personal expression, but also as an exploration of the self.

Parahumanity

The Norça are media darlings in Sudamérica, and their open display of Biokinesis is pushing into the mainstream the notion that bodies are but tools of the soul. Permanent or transient body alteration is as much part of Sudamérican youth culture as clothing; it’s not strange to find people with odd skin color patterns walking openly with nobody even noticing, or sporting nonhuman traits like horns, cartilage formations or even extra limbs. Purists from other lands comment that Sudamérican arcologies often feel like alien planets from bad sci­fi vids.

Oceania’s Phibs and Selkies have terrestrial counterparts in Brazil; people with prehensile tails, second eyelids, cilium-­covered hands or other alterations undertaken to work better under extreme conditions. The physical definition of what constitutes humanity is stretching thin in Sudamérica.

Argentina

One of the southernmost nations of Sudamérica is struggling to find a place among its peers. Trying to participate in the Aberrant War cost Argentina half of its infrastructure and a series of inept governments squandered many opportunities and sunk the country in anarchy. General Ernesto Santander staged a coup and brought order through an iron fist. His dictatorship has softened as he grows older, but the country is still a haven for mercenaries and bandits, which the General has secretly co­-opted, and made into Argentina’s main export.

The Andean Federation

Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and the Mapuche Nation joined forces under the Federacion Andina de Comercio (FAC) to present a united front. Ecuador is the link between Sudamérica and space thanks to the Chimborazo Orbital Elevator finished in 2102, while Bolivia manages the Condor Patrols that keep safe the shared wildlands in the Andes and the Amazon; Peru is a media giant and secretly the home of elite spies of the Yana Llanthu. The Mapuche Nation connects its partners to the South Pole and provides a deterrent for Argentina.

There are only two arcology complexes in the FAC nations. The first is the sea and spaceport trade complex of Guayaquil, Ecuador, but the most important is the jointly built Tahuantinsuyo Arcology on the shores of Lake Titicaca, in Bolivia, which hosts the Federation’s joint administrative and political powers.

Today the Andean Federation is booming. Their economic and technological progress is mirrored by a spirit of social experimentation. Previously oppressed native groups like the Quechua, Aymara, and Mapuche are rising back into prominence, demolishing old prejudices and creating the largest population of mestizos in the continent.

What do you think of the new Sudamérica? The new Norça? What the heck is the Possession Crisis? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or on our forums.

Next week: Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and more!

  28 comments for “Teaser: Sudamérica Part 1 [Trinity Continuum: Æon]

  1. James Hunt
    April 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    “The Nova Age pushed the nations of South America from the Third World into the First.”

    So I really like a lot of this text. The direct attention to South America is really kind of awesome. That said, can this line be struck? The whole idea of the third world is seriously imperialist, and honestly isn’t an honest reflection of where South America is in the here and now. I’m friends with people who have done biological research in central and South American countries, and with individuals who are from there as well and the whole idea that that part of the world needs to be catapulted into the first world is at best not ideal.

    The rest of the text in this piece is really nicely written, and I really love it. Changing that opening to something like “The Nova Age dramatically changed the power dynamics within South America and their relationship to other world powers” accomplishes the narrative here without painting South American powers with a broad “needed help getting out of the third world” brush that really isn’t all that accurate.

    I know it’s just a game and all that jazz, and this isn’t an open dev session or anything. If the change doesn’t happen I’m still absolutely going to purchase this game because I love the Aeonverse, and I really do want to reiterate how much I like this text overall, but man that first and third world language is so very very 90’s and there are good reasons those terms have fallen out of common use. At the very least the terms feel dated on an aesthetic level.

    • Manu
      April 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Backing up this comment because I didn’t bring it up below when I wrote my own response.

    • Nathan Henderson
      April 7, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      in a lot of usage you are correct. In origin it actually was a leftist reference to the Third Estate (the exploited common people who throw off their shackles).

  2. Manu
    April 7, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I think, as an Argentine, that establishing the future of Argentina as a military dictatorship that not only brought “order” but also has been “softening through time” is pretty messed up.

    Argentina went through an ACTUAL military dictatorship in the seventies and early eighties; a dictatorship that cost us 36000 people disappearing, thousands more traumatized. People my age–in their thirties–are *still* finding out that their military parents aren’t actually their parents, but rather the people who murdered their parents and then appropriated them as their own.

    I think, respectfully, that you have severely misread how to approach this sort of subject and that it’s actually a pretty huge slap to the face that you would take a country whose past is so violent and so dark, and who actually got *out of that situation*, and then plunge them right back into it in your canon.

    Why can’t Argentina have learned from its past? Why can’t the Novas that emerged have pushed for a better tomorrow? Why would you choose, of all things, a MILITARY DICTATORSHIP? At least have some current knowledge and apply something more apt–we currently have a fascist neo-liberal as President–maybe Argentina is a South American powerhouse of corporate greed? Why rehash its past like this?

    I love Trinity, Aberrant, and Adventure! And I’m sure no one meant to step in it. I hope this comment gets taken seriously. I’d really rather my experience with this game not be soured because of something so avoidable with a little research.

    Thanks.

    • James Hunt
      April 7, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      So I specifically didn’t bring up anything this specific in my comment because I’m a white guy from Indiana, and I don’t know enough about the politics of S. America to comment at this level. I really appreciate seeing this level of detail as well, so I focused on the obvious opening line.

      I know it’s really hard to be aware of all the ways things like this can crop up but I’m really happy to see nuanced responses like this and that Onyx Path is transparent enough to give this avenue of commentary. I really do hope that this feedback is applied before the final content is released.

      • Manu
        April 7, 2016 at 1:11 pm

        Me too. I honestly don’t mean my comments above as a “why would you do this to us do you hate us arrrgh!” I just want them to be aware of how what they write adffects their fans, their audience, and the image they set off into the world. I want them to be informed before they publish, because once they publish…

        … well, I mean, we all remember “World of Darkness: Gypsies”, right?

        • James Hunt
          April 7, 2016 at 1:48 pm

          Ugh, as a teenager I actually loved World of Darkness Gypsies because I didn’t know any better. I can say it and the Ravnos inspired me to research the Romani people and learn more about them in a deeper meaningful way but I am well aware of how rare that response actually is.

          In the context of when that book came out the devs didn’t have easy access to the internet, or the ability to do something like this and have an open dev process. (I just noticed this post is actually tagged Open Development so I feel better about leaving this feedback). I think expecting people who are writing from the outside to navigate every topic perfectly the first time is unrealistic, at the same time I think it’s important to promote structures like open dev to push greater representation, and hopefully eventually reach the point where successful content creators come from a wider variety of backgrounds.

          So I am still really thrilled about this post and conversation, even if I do hope the language and narrative are tweaked before publishing.

    • James Hunt
      April 7, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Sorry, applied is probably the wrong term. I hope this feedback is considered and used in the editing and development process.

    • Glamourweaver
      April 8, 2016 at 12:54 am

      Well Nova’s pushing for a better tomorrow is something that very importantly falls apart in setting, but I definitely see your point with using a Military dictatorship for a country that has endured a brutal one in living memory.

      I mean obviously there are going to be dictatorships in setting, and there’s likely no options that won’t upset someone, but I definitely respect the point that Argentina’s wounds are still open on this one.

  3. Nihilist
    April 7, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Having never visited and met only limited people from Southern America, i am really only comparing this to previous Aeon-era information. In that regard it feels right.
    Possession Crisis is wonderful, although entirely implied and mysterious – the very name drives home the chaos glut of the War era, in my humble opinion.
    I am pleased to see Biological modifications being mentioned in the summary. It’s just an all around pleasure to see new material for Trinity after so long.
    I’m looking forward to the next installment – thanks so much to the writers and staff making this possible.

  4. Mammoth
    April 7, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Third world depends on your definition and I doubt the author’s attempt is to make someone feel bad about where they’re from. At first it meant non-allied NATO countries, but later on the meaning became messy. From Wikipedia:

    Due to the complex history of evolving meanings and contexts, there is no clear or agreed-upon definition of the Third World.Some countries in the Communist Bloc, such as Cuba, were often regarded as “Third World”. Because many Third World countries were extremely poor, and non-industrialized, it became a stereotype to refer to poor countries as “third world countries”, yet the “Third World” term is also often taken to include newly industrialized countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China.

    These are traditionally poor countries with a sizable population that by most definitions fall below the poverty line. I’m fine with them being called third world because they are. One or two examples of people who aren’t doesn’t change the reality.

    • James Hunt
      April 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Third World also has a wide array of negative cultural connotations that you might not take issue with, but some people would. I don’t see how it’s invocation improves the game when there are more nuanced alternatives and it’s a simple text change to make.

      There is a lot of baggage associated with the division of first and third world. Going into the details of them is really overkill for this venue, but they are certainly things that will be meaningful to some readers, so it kind of comes down to “What does that term add to the text?”

      As I said in my first post even if the social problems with the term are completely ignored it comes across as archaic in 2016 due to it not being the common terminology anymore and that aesthetic reason alone seems like a decent artistic reason to replace it unless it is intentionally being invoked to provide a narrative function, which I don’t really see here.

  5. EDUARDO PIMENTA DE MELO
    April 7, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Talking about a hornets nest
    First, kudos for going through and doing some research and mentioning us in the last couple of book, the mention of São Paulo on V20 companion really warms the blood.
    As a Brazilian I can talk about our feelings regarding the military dictatorships on the 60-80, although not as bloody as in Chile and Argentina, it was a pretty nasty period, the sort of thing that happened is pretty hard even for a black dog book.
    The reality is that a regress into the military dictatorship is somewhat hard to believe, at least in the Brazilian context (Ill go on a leap and say that Argentina might go into civil war before it let it happen again). Now it is not impossible to happen, democracy is sort of shaky and unruly on the region. Just thread carefully on the matter, IT IS an exposed nerve to pretty much all of us, but I’ll dare say it is a subject that if approached in right way is going to be interesting, as you guys showed with the wraith supplement on Holocaust.

    • Manu
      April 7, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      If they tried another *military* coup? Yes, we would probably fall to civil war. At the moment, they are instituting their fascist rulings through economic measures rather than military ones, and we’re already all pretty worked up, so…

  6. richt
    April 7, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Not commenting as anything but a fan, as Ian and John can best field the developer questions, I am wondering whether the whole Aberrant War makes any difference to folks concerned about the depiction of their countries. Certainly without that cataclysmic time period and its effects, the course of history for Argentina, as an obvious example, would not regress into anything resembling the terrible times commenters here have described. (And my total respect to those of you who lived through those terrible times and the repercussions afterwards.)

    But with the Aberrant War, is the situation in Argentina described here impossible to believe or accept? It sounds, to my reading, like nobody is saying the Aeon-current situation in Argentina is a good thing at all, but one of the awful results of that conflict.

    I guess what I am wondering, in terms of doing the creative work of fictionalizing our world, is whether a fictional cataclysm like the Aberrant War creates enough distance between the fictional results and real world nastiness so that folks who lived through it, or its effects on their families and friends, are able to view the fictional construct as a setting for telling their stories?

    • Manu
      April 7, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Like I said elsewhere when this was brought up, Rich:

      The fact that you can believe it could happen does not mean that the writers and developers have to take it in that direction. I am not arguing against the FEASIBILITY of a thing, just the NEED for tha specific scenario.

      Just because a thing is feasible, just because you “can see it happening”, doesn’t mean it’s a good narrative choice, opr a good choice when it comes to selling the book to a foreign market that you are depicting in a way that digs a finger in a wound that is still very much open.

      Much the same way killing certain characters off in television shows can raise the ire of the fanbase despite people dying in television shows is completely feasible. It’s important to a lot of us that, if the developers are going to write representations of our countries, they do so with respect and some semblance of awareness as to what they think. So we express ourselves and speak our minds.

    • Ephsy
      April 8, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      I’d like to echo Manu’s concerns.

  7. Firanai
    April 7, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    When civilization collpases around you, the thing you want the most is the security you had before, and if you’re desperate enough you will follow anyone that promises that security, no matter how much of a nutjob he is. A military leader has the leadership, reources, and strenght to impose itself in a place where order has fallen quite easily, showing everyone that he has what it takes to restore order. Mix these two factors and you have the perfect recipe for a military dicatorship supported by the people. For me, this situation would be the norm in the places that are the most devastated by the nova war. As for Argentina? I don’t know what would happen since I have zero knowledge of the country. Perhaps, like some people said, if the people already had bad experiences with military dicatorships, then they would be more resistant to have another one, even if they are desperate. The key for me is time. Have the present generations forget the horrors of the dicatorships of the past? A distant stain in the history of the country that they believe is no longer possible? In this case I could see how the people would fail to learn from the mistakes of the past, and repeat them in the present.

    • Manu
      April 7, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      See my comment above, re: feasibility vs. need.

      This isn’t a concern from an in-character perspective; this is a concern from me as a *player*.

  8. Jay
    April 8, 2016 at 7:34 am

    I think it’s well written and evocative, it makes me want to play in a Sudamerican campaign (Always did like the idea of the Norca if not the specific implementation). The specifics of whether the politics should be changed to something more distant from the real-world parallels is something I’ll leave to those living in the countries and through the times and the writers – all greater minds than mine.

    Issues aside this does make me want to get behind the new Aeon stuff more than anything else has. Quality of work is top notch but if the issues get changed/adjusted etc is something I’ll leave for others!

    But – I can totally see a Nova erupting in SA and using their powers in an attempt to reform the atrocities of the past and make everything better without resorting to military dictatorships and the like. Someone who aggressively stand against that and changes things so fundamentally that it never occurs.

  9. Ephsy
    April 8, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Argentina suffering another dictatorship? After the Dirty War? Don’t buy it. It’s currently the most demilitarized country in the region, unlike Brazil, who has a notorious Military Police which concerns itself with civilian matters daily nowadays.

  10. Ramiro
    April 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    As a fellow Argentine, I think it´s a kind of a common trope, in media in general, the sometimes “troubled” representation of South America; i´m not acussing the autor or anything, but it gets little bit tiring the typical “South america country run by military dictators” thing. We all grown up and things have changed a little; there`s problems, of course, but we have moved past those times and we are VERY anti “extreme auhtorities”, culturally speaking.
    It´s important to remember that we are talking about fiction and a game, there´s nothing inherently wrong with that… but it´s nice to have a space to speak our opinion.

  11. April 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I don’t know why this didn’t post the first time I tried, but I did want to let people know that I agree about the usage of the term third world and the line “The Nova Age pushed the nations of South America from the Third World into the First.” now reads: “The Nova Age pushed the nations of South America into the forefront of the world stage.”

  12. maekkel
    April 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    As a medio-argentino myself, i understand Manu´s concern of Aeon-Argentina´s installation of velvet-gloved military dictatorship, As most of my familiy left Argentina in the late seventies and the early 80´s except for my abuelita – and the stories told by my family still give me the shivers.

    But I have to say – that Súdamerica is depicted quite bright – yes – this fiction-argentina is quite darker than it is today. But let´s not forget – where half of the country was devasted, not to speak of the former USA, France or the middle east.
    As an social- & cultural anthropologist it´s a relieving politcal fantasy that Chile, America central and the Andean Nation became actually led by the indigenous groups.

    The new Norça seem to positive for me – i miss that it was one of the more sinister and mysterious orders. Even though the transition from eco-activists, turning into eco-terrorists turning into Súdamerica-Nationlist´s is also a bit unnerving. 😉
    It was a good decision to not rewrite them as a narco-cartel with a biotech and order front.

    Parahumanity is a superb idea! 😀

  13. Ajay Pollarine
    April 11, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Love it, keep up the good work…I really really really want that book now.

  14. Jorge
    April 12, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Hi guys. I’m from Uruguay. I think this is a very interesting debate, and I wanted to give you my opinion on this subject.

    I think my fellow south americans are being very naive. Most countries in South America had different kind of dictatorships in their pasts. Some had coup attempts as recently as 2010 (Costa Rica). Some had presidents that staged failed coups, went to jail, got out, won elections, and had coup attempts on their government by the not so loyal opposition (Venezuela). Some were former freedom fighters (Uruguay). Right now, Brazil’s president is on the midst of massive protests and some are calling for a “military intervention”. In Peru, the daughter of former dictator Fujimori is leading the election polls. I could go on.

    Democracy is very unstable in some south american countries. And thats real life. In real life, its possible that Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, or any country ends up ruled by a military dictatorship. Surviving a military dictatorship does not guarantee that a country won’t go through another one. Please, read your history. Most countries in south america went through several before the sixties. Argentina had six coup attempts in the XX century before 1960.

    The argument that Argentina (or any other country) could not go through another military dictatorship because the last one was horrible is pretty naive in my opinion.

    But that’s real life. Aberrant is fantasy. Lets take a look at some event as the developer described them:

    “Aberrants transformed half of Venezuela into a living nightmare and pulverized much of Argentina’s infrastructure”.

    Did you read this? Superpowered beings turn half of a neighbour country in “a living nightmare” and PULVERIZED MUCH OF ARGENTINA INFRASTRUCTURE.

    People want protection. If democratic governaments let one country become a “living nightmare” and half on another be “pulverized”, in the same region, don’t you think the political landscape would change abruptly? People would probably call for the incarceration, exile or erradication of superpowered beings. Intelligence services would try to detect novas before they were too powerful and kill or kidnap them. If they are children or adolescents, trying to turn them into their cause isn’t farfetched. If the military successfuly avoids an act of aberrant terrorism they would be hailed as saviors. If democrats can’t do the job, people would call for their destitution, impeachment, and eventually a coup.

    At least thats how I see it.

    • Ephsy
      April 15, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      With what infrastructure would Argentina’s attempted coup prolong itself? Most demilitarized country in the region. It’s military is laughably unequipped, untrained and corrupt, every democratic government since the return to democracy went out of it’s way to deplete whatever intention to power the military would dream of having, as payback. The society, too, ditched it’s Pretorian outlook. The current write up merely perpetrates bullshit stereotypes.

  15. Michael Lennon
    April 13, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Reading this post I had even a little hope for a book Brazil by Night of the WOD. So back to reality.

Comments are closed.