The Path of Dominance

Discipline, Purpose, Valor

Discipline, Purpose, Valor

The Origins

At the time of the original cataclysm 300 years ago, the Atlantean, now home to the Path of Dominance, used to be a state-of-the-art battleship in the world’s most powerful military organization. During the cataclysm, military and civilian vessels played a very important role in evacuating the doomed cities and searching for new lands overseas. The Atlantean was the most important ship of this fleet – packed with supplies, food and a prototype water purification system, its mission was to transport the greatest minds of humanity to relative safety.

After losing contact with the rest of the fleet and the command center due to raging sea storms, Captain Ryland Wolfe and the ship’s officers quickly realized that the shores were practically uninhabitable. The only way to survive was in the open sea, the last place in reach where the air remained mostly breathable and the incoming sunshine wasn’t blocked by dust clouds – this was very important because the Atlantean was powered by massive solar panels. Fortunately, the ship was equipped with everything needed to survive almost indefinitely without docking. It carried a large number of crew and civilians, with some of humanity’s best doctors, engineers and scientists.

Finally, the working prototype of the water cleansing system provided them an endless supply of poor quality, but drinkable water. So Captain Wolfe decided that the Atlantean would be humanity’s new cradle.

The Atlantean

During the following decades, the Atlantean has grown from a simple battleship to a gargantuan floating city that retained some ship-like features. For this constant expansion, the ship’s engineers had to use materials salvaged from ruined coastal cities and naval wreckage, giving it a fairly chaotic overall look.

The main hull hosts many sealable docks for smaller vessels (from swift motorboats to large cruisers) and the Path’s Exosuits, the Octopods. A large part of the ship’s deck is covered with solar panels to cater for its massive energy needs, but some of the recently constructed hulls now host nuclear and Neutronium power plants too. The ship is armed with powerful onboard weaponry.

Apart from the hulls hosting the power plants and the crew’s habitats, another important part of the Atlantean is the Agricultural Hull, consisting of a gigantic greenhouse where the crew grows various crops, fruit and vegetables, and several huge tanks where various consumable fish are bred.

The Echelon

Captain Wolfe was a true soldier, and the principles laid by him form the roots of the Path’s culture. One of them is the general hierarchy called the „Echelon”, a system that treats the whole society, even non-military personnel as a military organization, with the current captain of the Wolfe bloodline on top. The ranks in the Echelon (Stratum) and their professions (Ship Engineer, Military Officer, Treasure Hunter, etc.) are passed down the line of generations, making it very hard to move from classe to classs. The payments are independent from the classes, the portions are equally distributed, so the main motivation in one’s life is to get promoted in his or her profession. Each promotion is a huge event of great significance, while demotion is a class-wide shame that can never be forgotten. Because of the highly respected ranking system, the law court can bring swift justice using demotion as a form of punishment.

Since the Path of Dominance emerged from a military past, and the Atlantean had originally been a huge floating weapon, every single member of the society is obligated to undergo a military training and the Indoctrination at a very young age. This leads to the fact that the Soldiers’ and the Raiders’ class are the most respected ones.

Raids and Indoctrination

The seemingly strict and power-oriented Path of Dominance in fact highly cherishes the life of its people. Despite of the continuous development of the Atlantean’s built-in water purification system, the ship is still not able to produce fully clean water. This problem results in a slowly decreasing population due to short average lifespan and sterility. To avoid further reduction in their numbers, the Path organizes so called „Raids” from time to time: with every Raid they hit coastal settlements and tribes of nomads to take supplies and clean water by force, but the main purpose is to take captives. Soldiers never intend to use lethal force during the Raids, they are always equipped with non-lethal weapons. The greatest Raid in the Path’s history was that of the Capital itself in 179 PP, and while armed conflict with the Council is a thing of the past, the event is still recited at times as a tale of heroism and valor.

Hostages captured during the Raids are forced to undergo a process called the Indoctrination and are then placed in the proper class of the Echelon. The Indoctrination is a psychedelic mind-altering session, during which the subjects are injected with the Indoctrination’s special serum and exposed to a huge amount of audiovisual impressions – all about accepting the ways of the Path and the meaning of life in the Echelon. The Indoctrination is not only used to integrate the Raids’ captives, but also to prevent a potential riot against the strict hierarchy and the class-based system. The ones responsible for the Indoctrination’s program are the „Clairvoyants” – a mysterious class that is not ranked very highly, though many belive that their true power and influence is almost equal to the Officers’.

Another highly regarded class is that of the Treasure Hunters’. With their expert diving skills, physical and mental abilities and the Path’s Exosuits, the Octopods at their disposal (designed to travel both on and below surface), the Treasure Hunters’ job is to delve into the deep seas and explore the sunken cities and ships – remnants of the Old World - in search for loot, supplies and materials.

Because of their military-based culture and threatening presence, the Path of Dominance is feared by the other three Paths for a reason. Though their actions today are mainly peaceful and they try to keep their distance from the other Paths, every Captain has a secret dream: that one day all of humanity will be part of the perfect system of Echelon.

Captain Wolfe

Since the tragic death of her mother during childbirth, Captain Trenton D. Wolfe was raised by his father. He had never been a particularly strong man, but the loss of his beloved wife devastated him. From that day, his grief made leading the Path a daily struggle for him, and left him caring little about his son, whom he subconsciously blamed for his wife’s death. Young Trenton spent most of his time alone on the Atlantean’s Bridge, learning the Path’s ways from practice.

As Trenton was growing older, he began to realize his father’s mistakes and weaknesses in leadership, and, growing up among the battle-hardened crew, he developed an admiration of the Path’s noble principles of discipline and valor. Day by day, he became more devoted to fulfilling his destiny - becoming a strong Captain the Atlantean needs, a symbolic leader whom the whole Path obeys without question. A few years later, he took the Captain’s oath as a strong, serious man who knew that the only person he could truly rely on is himself.

Captain Wolfe’s serious personality, however, is hiding a dark secret. During one of the first week-long Raids he joined in his early years, his team captured a group of nomads, with a beautiful female prisoner among them. As the campaign progressed and the days passed, he began to feel more and more attracted to the prisoner girl, and the feeling was mutual. Away from the eyes of his crewmates, they secretly spent the fifth night together.

According to the standard procedure, the hostages were to be taken to the Atlantean for Indoctrination after the campaign, but during the last night, a drunk Raider decided trying to pay the female hostage an unwanted visit. Infuriated by the act, Wolfe confronted his crew mate, and the argument ended in a knife fight that costed Wolfe an eye – and the Raider his life. There were no witnesses, so he quickly buried the body, then, with a rather irrational split-second decision, he decided to free the girl and escort her to safety.

As the months passed, Wolfe realized that he couldn’t help thinking about the girl. He insisted on personally participating in Raids to that area, hoping to find her once again – but when that eventually happened, his whole world turned upside down. His love was carrying a 2-year old baby girl, and as Wolfe looked at her, there was no question who the father was. The nomad girl despised the thought of living on the Atlantean, but Wolfe couldn’t bear the thought of his daughter living in constant danger on the Outback. The decision was very hard, but the couple decided to part ways once and for all, and Wolfe took his daughter to the only place he could safely watch over her – the Atlantean.

Treasure Hunter Samira

Samira came a long way to eventually becoming the leader of the Path of Dominance’s Treasure Hunters. She doesn’t remember much of her childhood, nor had she known her parents – like most newcomers to the Atlantean at the time, she was supposedly taken to the ship from the mainland during one of the Path of Dominance’s raids. Unlike those newcomers, however, she was Indoctrinated as a Treasure Hunter right from the beginning - one of the highest-regarded classes within the Path’s all-encompassing social system, the Echelon.

This elite force of amphibious troops is the lifeblood of the Path’s military – and economy, for that matter. Not only are they known for their ferocious combat skills, but they are also responsible for conducting the so-called Treasure Hunts during peace time – missions to derelict pre-Purgation cities, both above and below sea level, in search of Old World resources and technology to support the continuous upgrade of the Atlantean. The Treasure Hunters are the only class trained to pilot the Octopods, the Path’s Exosuits, used for both purposes.

Why Samira, an “outsider,” had been chosen to be Indoctrinated as a Treasure Hunter remained a mystery for her, but the envy and loathing this invoked in her fellow trainees had only driven her to work twice as hard. Soon, her exceptional agility, endurance and wits became apparent to everyone. Her orientation skills are borderline supernatural: she somehow feels where to look for the next piece of salvageable material, or the shortest route out of a tight situation. Slowly, the envy of the fellow Treasure Hunters turned into admiration, which was solidified by her saving a fellow trainee from a shark attack – her keepsake necklace is a testament to the encounter. It wasn’t long until she took over the leadership of the Treasure Hunters’ class, at an exceptionally young age.

During her countless Treasure Hunt missions, she developed a passionate interest towards the way of life in the Old Word. On top of the obligatory loot quota the Treasure Hunters contribute to the Atlantean’s construction, Samira developed a habit of taking one personal item with her from each mission. Each item tells a tale, as she likes to say, and her cabin is packed to the brim with tales.

As the commander of the Treasure Hunters, Samira reports directly to Captain Wolfe and is widely considered to be second in command on the Atlantean. Though she had never really found out the truth about her parents and her “fortunate” Indoctrination, her first personal meeting with the Captain left her with a haunting suspicion - as his facial features somehow looked very familiar…

Reinforced Cabin

Streamlined transporting and piloting cabin for a crew of 4, made of special titanium-steel alloy, designed to withstand extreme water pressure

Supporting Pliers

Extend the efficiency of the Tentacle Arms

Hydrostatic Propulsion

Provides the required thrust to travel and maneuver underwater

Oxygen Extractor

Produces breathable air in the cabin by extracting oxygen form water

Tentacle Arms

Telescoping and prehensile, capable of lifting tons of weight, moving rapidly over any terrain and scaling vertical surfaces

The Paths

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