Welcome to Amygdala Circuit, a mecha-horror RP in a world beset by the Modir: bloodthirsty, interdimensional giants wielding devastating weapons and magics. To face these hellish invaders and the hordes of horrific creatures they lead, you will need to arm yourself with humanity’s only real hope at survival, and perhaps even victory: the monsters themselves.
But outside of the cockpit, the world is no less dangerous. While some of Illun’s people enjoy living in “post-war societies,” this international peace is often tenuous, and exists on the exploitation and suffering of smaller nations without monsters of their own. With armies rendered nearly obsolete, the struggle for power revolves mostly around the unspoken threat of violence carried by these reined-in monsters. From nation to nation, pilots are revered as everything from celebrities to pariahs; symbols of peace and the faces of oppression.
You will endure hell, both from without and, especially, within. With help you might just survive, but alone you could become the very thing you fear most.
Nothing brings people together like the threat of extinction.
Illun faces an alien enemy that cannot be reasoned with, which knows no fear and wants without compromise the complete and utter annihilation of every living thing. Naturally, when presented with the option of dying on principle, or uniting and surviving, the people of Illun chose the latter. The best and brightest minds from across the world came together to develop a means of fighting back against their invaders—and fell embarrassingly short. Even their most advanced weaponry could only slow the tide of lesser creatures, to say nothing of the giants, from which they drew nothing but the meagerest drops of blood. It wasn’t until they began experimenting on the strange, dead things that headway was made.
The shift in power was gradual at first, and derided by most for the secrecy shrouding it; no one knew how these weapons were being developed, how long it would take, or if they’d even work at all. The people were met with complete radio-silence, and a fearful unrest began to boil: until the first of the Modir fell.
Awe silenced man and beast alike. Government militia swooped in like vultures, the giant was ripped apart limb from limb until nothing remained but the head and torso, and then it was carted away into the deepest, most well-protected bunkers. Nothing was heard again for months. The attacks resumed, increased in frequency and fervor. Cities crumbled, millions died. Humanity was once again pushed to the brink, and in what would have been its final hour, it found deliverance.
A man-made Savior.
The taken giant emerged, its body restored, and turned its weapons and magics against the other Modir. More of the enemy fell in one day than had fallen in years, and when the dust settled, the Savior remained. It knelt to the ground, a hulk of flesh and alien metal steaming with Modir blood, and went slack like a puppet without strings. From the back of its head arose a lone, human woman.
In the aftermath, the fallen Modir were once again cut apart and dragged away. Another Savior emerged, and another, and another. Before long the reined giants were at every invasion, ready to repel the Modir and their ravenous armies. The war was no longer so devastatingly one-sided; humanity could finally fight back. For the first time since the invasions began, Illun found hope.
The better half of two hundred years has passed since the first Savior rose, and the war between Illun and the Modir has reached a plateau. The Modir’s forces are seemingly endless, but the human-piloted Saviors are, generally speaking, much stronger. Now and then a new variant of the giants will emerge, wielding some powerful new weapon or hitherto unseen magics, and they may succeed in felling one or two Saviors, but if the bodies can be salvaged, Illun is always ready to replace lost pilots.
The depths of Modir intelligence are not fully understood, but they seem aware that they tend to lose man-to-man confrontations, and so their personal appearances are rarer these days than earlier in the war. Nevertheless, their invasions continue, and wherever the singularities appear, tides of smaller—but hardly less deadly—creatures pour forth.
The mightier nations of Illun are more than happy to keep the stalemate going. Smaller nations without Saviors of their own find their larger, more fortunate neighbors often leveraging their safety for compliance in border disputes, and leniency in trade deals. Governments like to tote that their people live in post-war societies, where international conflicts are resolved with diplomacy and, failing that, the silent threat of whatever horrors might be wrought by homeland Savior warfare. Minor disputes are sometimes handled with a degree of theatre, wherein nations will send one or two Saviors to remote areas desolated by Modir invasions to duel.
The reality is that much of the world lives under the iron boot of a privileged few nations, and the post-war bliss that exists for some is more often a pre-war anxiety for most.
Humanity’s hope: the enemy, weaponized against itself. So much about the Saviors is kept hidden from the public, and even from the pilots. Most assume that the people inside simply puppet the dead giants around, but this is only half-true.
They aren’t dead.
When a Savior is made, a section of the subdued Modir’s brain is removed, rendering them essentially comatose. That void is filled by the pilot, who, once linked with the Savior’s mind via the cockpit, is able to control them with as much ease and familiarity as their own body.
Here are some key aspects to piloting a Savior:
Modir bodies are an amalgamation of flesh and a hyper-resilient, alien metal dubbed “modium”. The modium weaves in and out of the skin like a patchwork exoskeleton, and while all Modir share a generally uniform figure, their individual armors can vary wildly from one to the next. They all stand at roughly 35 meters tall, with builds that could be considered “average” to “hideously thin,” with the occasional outlier.
Saviors and Modir are also shockingly fast for their sizes, with speed and reflexes that seem to completely disregard terrestrial physics. They are not the slow, cumbersome giants of fairytales, these things can move, and move they do. As such, pilots are trained not only to utilize a Savior’s unique weapons and magics, but also in CQC.
Modir bodies display the miraculous ability to regenerate almost any damages done to them, so long as the brain remains intact. This regeneration slows significantly if the heart is damaged, but even a severed Modir head will, eventually, grow itself a new body. All pieces removed from the body and head rapidly dissolve into pools of the near-black ichor that is Modir blood.
This presents a danger to the pilots. The Modir themselves are evidenced to be resistant to pain, but linked-in pilots are not. Chemical inhibitors can trivialize most artificial wounds, but if a Savior has its arm ripped off in combat, the pilot will, to put it gently, struggle with their composure. As well, while a Modir can technically survive having its heart destroyed and its head removed, these injuries will almost always result in instantaneous death to the pilot.
In addition to the more standard, man-made arms, each Savior has access to a unique weapon, which they can quite literally pull into existence utilizing smaller, more localized versions of the singularities used to invade Illun. These weapons vary wildly in appearance and application, some of which are simpler, and others entirely alien in design.
The development of Saviors is a closely-guarded, international secret, the finer points of which are kept even from the pilots themselves. But what could not be hidden from them were the dangers they’d face just for linking up with the giants, and there is no greater danger than the one at the core to the entire process itself: The Amygdala Circuit.
Linking to a Savior comes with a myriad of risks both physical and psychological. Rule one of piloting is and has always been: “Do it as little as possible,” and for good reason; the longer a pilot stays connected to the Savior, the likelier they are to lose control. Remember that the Saviors are not dead Modir, only subdued, lobotomized, and comatose due to the removed section of their brains. Pilots aren’t just pilots, they are bridges between the Saviors and something…else. Something terrible. Prolonged sessions in the cockpit can and have led to pilots being completely overtaken by the Savior’s cognitive regeneration, losing both themselves and the giants to that elsewhere thing.
Veteran pilots have also reported issues outside of the cockpit, from invasive, alien thoughts, to modium growths on the skin. While so far, none of these side effects have proven to be directly fatal, they have driven more than a few pilots into an early, permanent retirement.
The advent of Saviors quite literally brought humanity out of the dirt. Gone are the days of bunker-cities and strongholds built beneath mountains, of disconnection and power-scarcity. The biggest cities of Illun are incredibly advanced, with skylines comprised of massive towers and roadways that sprawl and wind, connecting hundreds of miles of urban landscape together. Titanic space stations orbit the planet, housing Saviors to be deployed at a moment’s notice wherever they may be needed.
Outside of these cities the world is still widely modernized, however the propensity for singularities to appear in lesser-populated areas has led to more than a few towns being cut off from the rest of the world by ruined, untraversable terrain. This is especially true in less powerful countries without Saviors of their own, who have had to make compromises not only for the lives of their people, but then for the aid in rebuilding afterwards.
Here are some of the major players in today’s world stage:
Eusero has an industrious history, and has led the world in technological advancements since even before the Modir’s invasions began. Indeed, the first Savior arose on Eusero soil, and though it is generally taught and accepted that the Savior project was an international collaboration, Euseran schools tend to focus more acutely on familiar, less foreign-sounding names.
Eusero has arguably the most expansive defense program in the world, boasting a whopping seven Saviors, and some of history’s most remarkable pilots. Its cities are vast and vertical, and between them the land is mostly flat, hospitable, and well suited for agriculture.
Eusaran society idolizes their pilots, treating them like celebrities. They make public speeches, visit children’s hospitals, and routinely appear on late-night talk shows; you’ll find their faces on everything from billboards to cereal boxes. To be a pilot in Eusero is to have one’s name forever etched into the hearts and minds of an entire nation.
In the mountainous country of Helburke, civilization is…strange. Their architecture is ancient, their laws are draconian, and their wills are utterly unshakable. Helburke’s cities lay behind prodigious walls of stone and steel, and are built in tiers descending down the faces of mountains older than written history. High-towered castles and sprawling cathedrals are not uncommon sights in Helburke; indeed, one might look upon a village there and be shocked to find something as mundane as electricity.
But Helburke is not lost in time. Its aesthetics are only that, representative of their national identity, but never a hinderance. Helburke is bested in Savior-count only by Eusero, having six to its name, all of which carry long and brutal histories, and while its technological advancements might not be as plentiful as in Eusero, it is still a nation of keen, practical minds. Helburke has never shied from displaying its might in the face of any perceived slights, and is always the first to put forth duels as an answer to any diplomatic dispute.
Its citizens are hardy and proud; when the world reformed following the rise of the Saviors, and the nations’ governments collectively banned firearms from all but military use, the citizens of Helburke chose to carry swords at their hips rather than be unarmed—a practice still present to this very day.
The pilots of Helburke are regarded more with respect than adulation. They are seen as warriors, standing at the vanguard to defend their home, and their people, from the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. It is a legacy-defining honor to be selected for the Savior program in Helburke, and often times tournaments are held in which prospective candidates must fight, sometimes to the death, for their spot in the cockpits.
The Tohoki peninsula is a lush, vibrant land guarded from the Dim Sea by a range of snow-capped mountains. Once ruled over by Aridea, it declared independence following the empire’s fall, though Helburke to this day still claims Tohoki was rightfully ceded to it in the aftermath. As such, tensions between to the two nations have always been high.
Though it holds only two Saviors, Tohoki has made advancements in defensive technology rivaling, and in some cases even surpassing Eusero. They were the first nation to successfully graft extra modium onto a Savior without rejection. Though other countries have managed to replicate the feat, none achieve the same quality. Nowadays, Tohoki is regularly commissioned for armor from programs across the world, cementing itself, for now, as a necessity.
Tohoki pilots are viewed with a respect more closely resembling Helburke than Eusero. There’s little in the way of fame, but plenty of reverence, and pilots are often selected from its engineering schools, whose students spend most of their academic lives working on and studying Saviors.
Considered by many to be the most beautiful country in Illun, Casoban is a land of rolling hills and seaside vistas, where people spend their lives in luxury, relaxing on beaches and indulging their hobbies with all the time and means in the world. Though not the smallest country, it is still dwarfed by its political contemporaries, and its influence marks the first notable drop when moving past the “big two” of Eusero and Helburke.
That said, one should not underestimate Casoban. In more ancient times, Helburke was said to have tried to conquer them on no less than three separate occasions, and was rebuffed each time by Casoban’s comparably small yet devastatingly effective militia. Nowadays, and as is the case with most places, their military power is devoted almost entirely to their Savior program, of which they possess four.
Casobani pilots share a similar sort of fame with their Euseran cousins, only with a bit more pomp. Here, the pilots are not just protectors, they are cultural icons, and as such they are often as well educated as they are trained. Casobani pilots are always also lauded artists, musicians, actors, writers, and so on. The people revere them, almost even deify them, and those that retire—who can still function—normally go on to teach at the country’s world-renowned Savior Academy.
Sometimes called “The Pastel Isles” for the unique, gentle colors of its trees. Runa is a single, large island surrounded by a handful of smaller islands, and more than a handful of smaller islets. While once only really considered for its tourist trade, Runa has recently stepped into political relevance in the fallout of a disaster fifteen years earlier, where the neighboring island-nation of Westwel was overwhelmed by a Modir invasion. With their home ruined beyond repair, most of Westwel’s survivors were forced to emigrate, and were welcomed with open arms into Runa.
As a result, Runa acquired Westwel’s single Savior, and shortly thereafter, went on to acquire two more. Today, Runa still finds itself strongarmed on many matters by other, larger nations who believe they are unready for—and perhaps even undeserving of—such power. Whether or not they’re right, that power, along with the raw skill of Runa’s pilots, have kept the vultures at bay. For now.
And here is a timeline of some notable events:
The first singularity appears, and the Modir invasions begin. Millions of lives are lost, and many nations crumble in the first days before the Modir mysteriously withdraw. Attacks continue in this sporadic fashion for years.
The first Savior, classified “Spirit,” emerges from a bunker in Eusero in the midst of a devastating invasion. The Modir are driven back in the ensuing fight, and two more giants are collected. The tide of the war changes almost overnight.
The Modir invasions are repelled by Saviors with consistent success. The various remaining nations of Illun come together at the new, hopeful dawn of their world, and form the Illun Accord, swearing that the only war left to be fought is the war against the Modir. International regulations are set, beginning what many consider to be an era of world peace.
The Aridean Empire breaks faith with the Illun Accord and uses Saviors to invade its neighboring countries. Eusero and Casoban attempt to intervene, but it is not until a single Savior from the tiny, occupied nation of Helburke attacks from within that the Aridean front is broken. In the aftermath, the Empire is crushed, and Aridea is ceded to Helburke.
Westwel, a relatively small island nation, manages to repel an invasion and subdue a Modir without a Savior—a feat which has not been achieved for nearly half a millennia. With its newfound influence, Westwel manages to bring both itself and its neighbor, Runa, out from beneath the iron heel of tariffs imposed upon them by Eusero and Helburke.
The Modir invade Westwel again, in the widest-scale assault launched in hundreds of years. The island is overrun, and both Eusero and Helburke conveniently fail to intervene until it is too late. Casoban Saviors arrive and manage to repel the Modir, but the damage is done. Westwel’s scarce surviving population leaves their ruined home behind, and find refuge in Runa.
Runa’s sole Savior acquires a new pilot with startling capabilities. Dahlia St. Senn, an orphan from Westwel, manages to capture two more Modir for Runa in her first year. Helburke manufactures two conflicts justifying duels with Runa within a single month, and loses both, costing it two prized pilots, and nearly one Savior. St. Senn becomes internationally known for her piloting skill, and Runa begins to see begrudging respect from other major players on the world stage.