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Fanfic / Age of Strife

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Age of Strife is Quest run by Academia Nut (writer of Thousand Shinji and Big Sister), and set in the backstory of Warhammer 40,000.

Only a few generations after the Warpstorms caused by the gestation of Slaanesh cut off interstellar travel, the world of Dandriss was torn apart when the planet's strategic weapons were mysteriously turned upon its cities, annihilating millions of people and massive amounts of infrastructure in what would come to be known as the Starfall. Spared from the starbombs by her political reassignment to the middle of nowhere, Warrant Officer Dia Stone was left in charge of the small research outpost of Greengraft after a series of political mishaps. The quest follows Dia and her descendants as they fight to protect Greengraft and Dandriss as a whole from both the desperate survivors of the apocalypse, and the darker forces that brought about the Starfall.

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It has a sequel: Knights of Dandriss: Stone and Steel, which has been revamped into an original setting to give the author more creative freedom and avoid copyright issues.


Age of Strife provides examples of

  • Ascended Meme: The players liked to joke that any rolls of 9 or 99 were the result intervention from Tzeentch to make things more interesting, especially since several such critical successes gave the players access to forbidden knowledge or sorcery. In the final battle against the exalted Great Unclean One, Tzeentch unambiguously gives direct assistance to Mirande, by amplifying her Burning Blood mutation and sharing it with the biomancy construct she controlled.
  • After the End: The world is already devastated by the time the quest starts.
  • Aliens Are Bastards:
    • The Eldar see humanity as little more than insects to either ignore or squash for fun (Dia and Mirande seem to have graduated to the level of interesting curiosities, which is far, far worse when the pre-Fall Eldar are around).
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    • The Mantis, a species of genocidal aliens, also make an appearance during the timeskip.
  • Archaeological Arms Race: In the "post-apocalyptic" variant, salvaged technology can shift the balance of power dramatically, and much of Greengraft's supremacy came from it's early recovery of a universal assembly machine with weapon STC patterns in it.
  • Armor Is Useless: Both played straight and averted.
    • The deadly plant life of Dandriss kills anyone who doesn't wear heavily armored bodysuits. However, it isn't much protection against military grade weaponry.
    • The even heavier military issue armor made from Dandriss wildlife carapace is capable of standing up to even biomancy enhanced mutants.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Greengraft isn't above enslaving captured raiders or engaging in sabotage, but its foes include cannibalistic barbarians, psychotic aliens, and crazed cultists.
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  • Chrome Champion: A subdued version. Certain Dandriss plants produce compounds that can be used to infuse metal into living flesh and bone for increased durability due to the trace amounts of necrodermis in the trees, but the skin only gets a blue-grey tint.
  • Creepy Good: The Gravekeeper may be a crazy, skull-obsessed lunatic, but he's saved hundreds of people and given vital information to Dia on multiple occasions.
  • The Corruption: The warp, as expected of a Warhammer 40k story.
    • The entire 504 is slowly being corrupted by Khorne.
    • The military of Greengraft starts having problems with warp mutation after the warp rift at Glass Canopy.
    • Dia herself eventually acquired a giant corrupting scar courtesy of Khorne after the same incident.
    • Mirande ends up with burning blood after direct physical and mental contact with a daemon.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • Sorcery, which damages the user's soul every time they access it.
    • Mirande is forced to use biomancy to Animate and shape the forest to defeat Coprocacopultestifer which weakens her powers permanently and severely damages her body.
  • Death World:
    • The official classification of Dandriss. The "trees" of Dandriss are skyscraper sized, consume metal to reinforce their bark, and wield deadly bio-warfare attacks to clear space for their offspring. Anyone not sheltered by the Adamantium cities is likely to be hacked apart by leaves during a windstorm or blown up by the grenade fruit, and forest fires are continent wide infernos that force even the city dwellers to lock down.
    • Greengraft itself was founded to study a grove of Pile Trees. That is to say, trees that had supplemented their photosynthesis with fission reactions.
    • This was later revealed to be the due to Eldar bioweapon experimentation that interacted badly with the Necron tomb it was tested on. The reason the plants are so durable is because they contain small amounts of necrodermis, and it is highly implied that a C'tan shard is diffused among them.
    • The plants can even briefly animate themselves by consuming warp energy.
  • For Want of a Nail: Tzeentch betrayed one of his Greater Daemons to Khorne many millennia before the protagonists were born, allowing it to be forged into a weapon. This seemingly random act led indirectly to pretty much every event in the second half of the story, including the destruction of three greater daemons of Khorne and Nurgle, and one of the most depraved of the pre-slannesh Eldar. If he hadn't, the entire cast would have been unceremoniously slaughtered by a bloodthirster.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The arrival of the Exalted Great Unclean One Coprocacopultestifer was enough to make the quest voters seriously contemplate summoning daemons.
  • Magnetic Weapons: The Greengraft military uses EM weapons as standard issue to reliably penetrate the ubiquitous armor required to survive on Dandriss.
  • Mind Rape: Attempted many times by many different beings, with varying levels of success.
    • Dia gained the Eldar index when the worldsinger, annoyed by her questions, shoved a copy of everything it considered common knowledge into her brain. Both it and the players were surprised when she absorbed it safely.
    • The eldar who attacked the concert attempted to kill the attendees with sensory overloads, and briefly took control of Dia, forcing her to kill Maxwell.
    • The Dark Seer's incautious mind reading has this as a (probably intentional) side effect.
    • The Lord of Change tried to inflict this on Mirande, but it was weakened to the point that the mental exchange only destroyed it.
  • Single-Biome Planet: The trees can take root in anything, up to and including solid bedrock, so Dandriss is completely covered in the deadly forest.
  • Time Skip: From 29 years after the starfall to 62, due to Mirande's Coma.
  • Villain Teleportation: The Eldar can use the webway to travel across the galaxy and land anywhere they please on the planet. This makes it almost impossible to stop their raids.
  • The World Is Always Doomed:There is almost always a terrible catastrophe that threatens to destroy Greengraft looming on the horizon. When there isn't one, it usually means the players haven't noticed it yet.
  • Your Head A-Splode: A common fate of psykers who overstretch themselves or are destablized. Most significantly, the Archduke goes down this way.

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