Marauders - Background Briefing
Tue Oct 11 2022 (Updated: Wed Oct 12 2022) - 4 min read
Background Briefing for Trusted Clients Cypher Key #TI-044MN249BRH040# Security Level: 3 Last Updated: 10.08.2419 Access granted by: EDL (FA-SE) Executive Summary:
Colonists on the Frontier live in fear of wild packs of Marauders, roving berserkers driven only by a mad lust for blood and conquest. Originally intended as unquestioningly loyal and fearless dogs of war for the Children of Mars, many have since slipped their leash and become an uncontrolled threat menacing the galaxy.
Marauders rarely build or produce. Their ranks are bolstered through the forced conversion of captured individuals. New Marauders are created when distinct mental engrams are imprinted onto a host mind. This complex medical procedure has a number of side-effects, the most obvious of which is the mental instability of the host. Most of their ships and stations are plundered from other factions, often crudely stitched together and badly maintained, matching the appearance of their disheveled crews.
Faction Goals & Values:
Most Marauders are driven by little beyond personal impulse and a mad lust for violence, and their goals seldom stray far from the basic needs of self-preservation and the “recruitment” of additional bodies into their fold. Arising as a result of the infamous biological experimentation of the Children of Mars, the Marauders were created to serve as deniable and expendable dogs of war - unwilling to retreat and unable to scheme beyond following the instructions of their masters. The Marauder psyche is intrinsically warped, with individuals often driven to insanity by the consciousness alterations imposed upon them. The same alterations were originally intended to ensure strict obedience to their creators.
However, today only a minority of Marauder commanders remain “leashed” to the individual Child of Mars responsible for their imprinting. So-called "wild" Marauders now outnumber their leashed counterparts at least 30 to 1. Armed with stolen imprinting equipment, these shattered creatures follow no law but their own, ravaging and plundering along the Frontier like packs of aimless, half-starved beasts.
Marauder ships are manned by a motley crew of brainwashed and unstable individuals who make use of cast-off, second-hand technology. Most of their equipment is either stolen or sloppily cobbled together by those who have retained scraps of their old identities, and it is not uncommon for Marauder ships to be littered with trash and debris. Marauder stations are almost always the captured property of other factions, and as the Marauders don't bother with maintenance beyond essential functionality, the oldest of these are in a derelict state. The Marauders themselves are unwashed and unkempt, their skin often covered in blisters and open sores, their hair in patches, greasy, and lice-ridden.
Most Marauders exist as only shells of their former selves. Those who manage to get close enough to exchange words with one will find that the few who can still manage to string sentences together speak typically in blatant threats and grandiose boasts. They often give themselves nonsensical titles such as "Barker" or "Scarsright", and attempting to address individuals by their old names often garners little response beyond confusion and increased violence.
Scattered as they are, it is unwise to take the Marauders lightly. They need no excuse to enter into conflict, and often engage even if there is no material benefit to the attack. While their unstable minds make them reckless, they also make them fearless. Marauders will fight to the death with abandon, and it is the rare commander who emerges unscathed after entering into Marauder territory.
Political and Social Organization:
Marauders can generally be sorted into two categories: “leashed” and “wild.” While on the micro level there are hierarchies within small bands of Marauder units, there is no overarching organization on a large scale, except for the few connections left between Marauders and Everliving. Each pack is a unit unto itself, behaving more like a colony of rats than a cohesive human society.
While the leashed variety will typically hide away in between receiving targets, wild Marauders concentrate their efforts on raiding full time, using their imprinting facilities to convert new bodies and continuously grow their numbers. Marauder packs seldom cooperate with one another, as their aggressive and violent natures often lead to infighting. On the rare occasions wild Marauders have united under a single banner, it is only when a leader emerges with the ability to dominate their peers through sheer force of will.
Given their relatively simple priorities, occasionally an independent commander may also be able to coerce a group of wild Marauders into joining their fleet, should they manage to prove themselves sufficiently vicious. However, those who pursue such a risk would be wise to watch their Marauder followers closely, lest they suddenly decide to attack or try to turn their new "pack leader".
Technology and Specialities:
Marauders are famed for their disregard of life, both for their victims and among their own. Lacking the ability to innovate their own tech, Marauders will use whatever equipment they come across until it begins to fall apart, and their tactics are designed to inflict maximum damage on their targets through sheer brute force. Prisoners are often modified and imprinted, unwillingly absorbed into their captors' crew. Some Marauder packs have approached a degree of self-sufficiency using this strategy, replenishing resources via raiding and conquering outlying stations, while largely ignoring planets.