During the conversation, he provided us with a bit of lore and backstory, regarding the following topics.
On LLC Company Holiday 17
I love the idea that the LLC, in their multi-hundred year history, have only had 16 previous company holidays
On Battleplan Lore
Got to give lots of props to our junior writer, Dante Silva. He’s been writing the weekly lore updates, and I think he’s been doing a fantastic job.
On Future Lore
If I ever write shorts or novels in this universe, exploring the Galilea/Ambra backstory is one of my top areas of interest.
Also, some six-book series on the history of the Jennerit Empire, because I think they’re exceptionally interesting.
On Galilea and Ambra’s Conflict
Incomplete is correct.
So, remember Empire Strikes Back where Darth is trying to fight Luke and maneuver him into the carbonite chamber?
When I think of the epic fight between Galilea and Ambra, there’s -some- of that that happens there.
Galilea was in the process of destroying the Sustainment Engine. Ambra found her, in the act. Confused and betrayed, Ambra makes the split decision that she’s loyal to the Empire first, over her friendship. Fights Galilea.
During the fight, Ambra gets the upper hand and maneuvers Galilea into the Sustainment Chamber and starts it up.
But either because it was partially damaged, or because Ambra had second thoughts, or both… the process is incomplete.
Ambra is impulsive. And now, a woman who has been probably her closest friend ever has been uncovered as an infiltrator and spy…she hulks out.
Ambra, full of rage, dives into the fight with the intent to destroy Galilea. Hurt, rage, anger…all of those things.
I don’t think Ambra was nearly as matronly before the conflict with Galilea. It really hurt Ambra. Changed her. Made her more self-righteous and distant. Empire first.
It grants immortality by fundamentally altering the structure of matter in the body. Ambra is a “chief scientist” (aka “priestess”) of the device. She could kill with it as easily as sustain with it.
Or, use it to create abominations or probably even eternal pain.
We’ve never touched on it being used for other purposes. As long as the Empress oversaw the process, they probably kept it’s purpose fairly singular and “holy”.
It takes a LOT of energy, yes. I wouldn’t say that it quite consumes the stars. The Jenneirt might be willing to do that, but it’s not as practical as just harvesting renewable energy. Takes longer, but can do more.
One of of the things we never really did as much with as I wanted was to go into what The Exodus is. Familiar with it?
One of my few great disappointments is that the skybox of the Tempest maps doesn’t accomplish what it should have in showing how BIG that thing is.
Imagine Tempest is the size of a cantelope, and Exodus is your hand gripping it.
It can extend and re-shape some, yes.
So, did you learn anywhere (can’t remember if we got this in) that Tempest is tidally locked?
So, man…we really missed so much cool detail in the final cut. Editing is a bitch.
Okay. Story time.
Tempest is the original ancestral home of the Jennerit as a race, before they called themselves Jennerit. (The Tempestian Empire, in fact.)
They were one of the more successful empires in a highly advanced far-future universe.
After a series of tumults and wars, Lenore discovered sustainment, established the Jennerit Empire with herself as the undying empress, and established the new center of power on the planet Jennar.
Tempest has always been important for them, but for nearly 20k years, it wasn’t the “throneworld”, the seat of power.
In developing the technology for making sustainment more frequent, Exodus became the pinnacle of the “energy harvesting” technologies. A massive, mobile space platform, with most of it’s function being to hover over a planet or star and collect energy.
The Sustainment Engine was moved with it, as it was just…well…convenient.
As the universe was darkened, they had to move it a number of times to collect energy from different places, growing more and more desperate as the resources were lost.
Tempest was it’s final resting place, though it had been there before.
One of the thigns Exodus is capable of (depending on planetary mass) is stopping the rotation of a planet.
In doing so, it creates a “tidally locked” situation, super-heating one side and super-cooling the other.
Only the equatorial region remains habitable, and it’s bombarded by high winds and storms.
Decades ago, in planning for this situation, the entire equator of Tempest was filled with massive wind turbine generators.
The cities (including Echelon) were elevated above the extremly turbulent surface winds, and attached to the cities below by massive umbilical elevator/tether cables, capable of rapidly transmitting the collected energy up into Exodus.
We have some awesome concept somewhere for that.
Sustainment is a one time thing. It’s permanent.
It leaves you in a state sort of like how Tolkien describes his elves.
You don’t age, you don’t get sick, your “life state” is sort of frozen in time.
You are, however, still killable.
They don’t ever die of natural causes.
Origins of all the races
You’ll definitely want to play all of the “Heart of Ekkunar”.
Alani is half-Helician, half-Human
Helicians are long lived, not immortal
Sustained don’t get sick. They don’t age. They heal rapidly from most wounds.
Their “matter” strongly wants to stay in the shape it was in when sustained. But you decapitate them? Yeah, that’ll do it.
Post Heliophage / Rendain
The Heliophage absolutely had to get stopped. And [Rendain’s] “end” was, more or less, a consequence of stopping that process.
Again, play “Heart of Ekkunar”
That lived on the whiteboard in the narrative office for two years
Hmm. I’m not sure we ever did official concept art on Exodus itself.
It was always going to be a “we’ll stick that in the Skybox at the end of the project”. And then, you get close to the end, and "we’re out of time to do anything that immense"
Just Creative Director things.
How Old Is Alani
Randy leans over, “Hey Dante…how old is Alani?”
DANTE: “Wellll…ummmm…she’s Helician, so they can live a long time…but…umm…let’s look at this doc…”
Rath Date of Birth and Appearance
Rath was born on Jennar on 17025.334 cr
So, he’s 2933
Hmm. I didn’t actually mark his sustainment date.
Given his apparent age, I would put it around 17,060
He’s locked in at around “40”
On Growth Rates of Different Species
The Jennerit race, naturally, have far more human-like lifespan and aging, unless they’re sustained.
Helicians live for 3000-4000 years without any other support.
Aelfrin, I think go to 1000-1200 or so
Aplian and Jennerit are what I would both consider demi-human. So, average human lifespan. In this future universe, with advanced tech, that might stretch a human to 150-175
Aplians would be on the high end of that, as they sub-evolved on a higher-gravity, very mountainous world
Oh, did I saw a few centuries for Jennerit? That’s canon then.
Ooh. You guys made me pull up my “Races of Battleborn” doc.
Ghalt is from Aplia.
Earth doesn’t really exist. We’ve never definitively said whether this is a completely fictional universe, or whether it’s our universe just far, far in the future.
On the Codex Reckoning Calendar System
Remember, C.R. Calendar year zero is marked by a few very extra-ordinary things, one of those being the natural death of the star Celestis, leaving 1 million active stars tracked by the Eldrid on Codex.
So, year Zero is big for several reasons: 1 million stars left, Varelsi first appear and begin darkening uninhabited systems, and Lenore discovers the science of Sustainment.
Incidentally, Rendain is also born on y1
On Rendain being the second person to be Sustained
He -might- be the second. I just never recorded any between Lenore and Rendain. I’d have to think about that for a while. There’s probably an awesome “Origins of the Jennerit” short story there.
Alani, btw, is very very young. She’s 19-20.
Genetically modified Half-Helician.
SCR is based on the orbital cycle and day/night cycle of the planet Codex, which was the Eldrid center of power and huge repository of knowledge.
My narrative conceit is that I just set it to “earth cycle” to make it easier on all of us to understand time periods
Shayne…human. Let me look that up…
On Releasing More Lore
What if I do like a race per week starting in the new year? Add it as supplemental lore in the battle plan?
I’ll expand the entries a bit…treat it more like RPG reference
Oh! Shayne has a full name! I forgot!
Shayne Aura Mander
She named Aurox after her middle name "Aura ROX!"
Mandersmash is the concept artist’s nickname
Yep. Amanda Christensen was the concept artist. She looks a LOT like Shayne.
She was born on a rogue colony within the Detritus ring. She’s 16.
Don’t have much more detail than that on Shayne.
Caldarius is one I’m holding a bit close to the chest.
Only things I’ll really say there is that he’s not a robot. He’s not Jennerit. He is Kemessian.
While we’re on lifespans…they live like 300-400 years
So much fun stuff. I love the Kemessians. The kelvites are fun too. As well as the varimorphs.
I’d love to do a novelette on the varimorphs.
We definitely talk a lot about the Varelsi and darkening and such in “Heart of Ekkunar”
They have genders. How many, and how they reproduce…that’s something that needs some exploration. One of the reasons I’d love to write about them.
On Varelsi Hierarchy
We’ve never said. They definitely HAVE organization, though.
On Varelsi Origins
Are the Varelsi one race or a collection of races that have been corrupted by the Void?
Orendi absolutely identifies as a female.
Currently, at least.
Mellka is our other half-breed.
And she’s kind of our “child of two worlds”. She’s half human, and she’s always had close associations with the Peacekeepers. But there’s something deep within her that calls to her Eldrid heritage.
So, the more “core” Eldrid, like Miko, would see that as wandering from the true Observer spirit of the Eldrid.
Human is just the species that most resembles you and me. We don’t include “earth” per se. As far as the denizens of the Battleborn universe know, humans inhabited several thousand worlds, and have over time broken into demi-human groups, like the Jennerit and the Aplians.
On Thorn + Montana and book club
Oh, then you should play “Montana and the Demon Bear”
Shayne lived in a mining base for a time named “Septimus Six”
The Aelfrin are very matriarchal. They trace their genealogy through the mothers, because they feel they make a bigger contribution to the genetic makeup of the being.
“Graft of” is just their way to say “child of”, really. In some ways, sexual reproduction is very similar to “grafting” a tree, right? Take a part of this, put it forcibly into that, get a new fruit.
Then why is it separate from “Daughter of”?
Oh wait…yeah. that’s right.
Sometimes, I can’t quite keep every little touch in my head.
Huh. So I did make a big deal with “graft of” in that lore.
I’ll have to think about what that means, precisely.
I know what it meant.
No no…I think that Teshak Emeksiku had no daughters.
Teshka Emeksiku, rather
No. Wife of the son. Not a natural daughter. Daughter-in-law.
On Scaly Dragon-like dog in Thorn concept art
Aw. the scalewolf. Now I’m sad.
On Thorn Lineage
Pemenukia is the daughter-in-law of Teshka, not the daughter.
On How Kemessians Reproduction
You know, I never did an evolutionary time line of all the races.
We definitely establish that Eldrid and Jennerit descend from the Aztanti
Sorry. Aelfrin, not Eldrid.
I consider Aelfrin the “core” Eldrid race. But the Eldrid are comprised of hundreds of races, in truth.
Her Ult, if you watch the very first demo video we did, shot out a wolf instead of a green energy ball.
On Scalewolf Ultimate
We modeled and animated that thing. And then cut it, because it was hard to read on screen, and …you know… AI is hard.
On Magna Carta
Not in this round of operations. If I have my way, that’s a major theme for the future.
Thorn Concept (the first)
On Caldarius Concepting
Caldarius was an interesting concept. He was concept in a modeling tool (zbrush), not on paper.
On Kleese Rath Fan-fic
Yes. Kleese wrote vampire fanfic of Rath to mock him.
On Magna Carta
The short answer on the Great Severance is that is when the Magna Carta deemed the chances of the universe being saved had just gone to hell. Future profit projections were suddenly so dismal that it detached itself from the magnet.
On Boldur’s Age
On Boldur. He’s 2,533. Born in 17,425 c.r.
On Magna Carta Getting Sent To the Void
Maybe. I never said that. But that wasn’t the day he caused the Great Severance. The fate of the Magna Carta remains unknown.
On Solus Day
The Heliophage was destroyed on 19.958.350. In our terms, December 15th is day 350 on our calendar. So. Today.
On Ambra’s Age
Yes. Ambra is 11,753
On Miko’s Age
Now…Miko in some ways -could- be considered the oldest.
The bud we know currently as Miko spawned in 19,209, just after the War of Being started. Yes.
But the original Mikollopria first gained sentience over a million years before
On Miko Sharing Memories of the original Mikollopria
Some of them but imperfect and dimming now that it’s cut off from the colony
another fun thing to explore at some point is how much Miko is now asserting individualism compared to the original buds
On Writing Battleborn Fanfiction
It’s sorta like a year ago, I was telling someone I wanted to write some fanfiction for some of the lore I couldn’t include in the main game.
And they said, “Uh Randy…that’s just fiction, when you write it.”
I have a couple of blurbs. I have a seven page short of Phoebe forging Addonexus.
On Writing Characters
I wrote most of the character backgrounds and in-game lore items late at night in October-November last year.
On Deande / Whiskey Foxtrot
They’re pretty discreet with their relationship.
You can earn his “Blue Devil” title in the Update, though.
On Constable Cuddles
A pug, I believe.
The idea behind cuddles is that Rendain is so visually intimidating that it is often hard for him tohave a normal conversation with his underlings.
So, he has this dog around him all the time that can be handed to someone to help them calm down enough so they can talk to him.
He is very VERY Jennerit.
He embodies their core ethos better than Lenore, in some ways.
Harresburras are small marmot-like creatures. Imagine something between a rabbit and a marmot.
On The Giant Status with Shields in Echelon
No comment on giant guy with shields.
Man, i can’t wait to talk again after the Heart of Ekkunar.
On Thaddeus’ Appearance of a Leopard Seal
Hard to tell, but great question. There’s probably some resemblance there.
But Thaddeus is a Lorrian, right? They’re not completely seal-like.
You know Galilea and Nova are the same VA, right?
Coleen Clinkenbeard. Who was also Lilith in Borderlands. She’s amazing.
On Mellka’s Orientation
I think so. Shayne, definitely so.
Reyna has two normal eyes. That’s just an enhanced HUD device she wears
Reyna is another who doesn’t talk about her sexual orientation at all. Much to Ghalt’s chagrin.
They’ve flirted a lot over the years. Ghalt, though, is too caught up in his work. As is Reyna.
On Nova Going Mad
Nova is holding it together better than most, thanks to Ghalt. He has that affect on people.
On Kleese’s Ferret
OH! The Blargavian Nose Ferret? HAHAHAHAHAHA
Oh man. Yeah, we’ll have to come back to that. That was a late night, coffee-induced bit of insanity in lore-writing. I needs to appear in game.
Newsflash: Kleese is the biggest troll in the entire universe.
On Kleese’s Dr Status
Hmm. Probably not. I think that was a jab. He’s definitely one of the better human scientists.
On Boldur Title
Yeah, I could kick myself. I forgot to add a “Doctor Professor Boldur” title in the update.
On Caldarius’ Suicidal Tendencies
Great question, actually. He probably was for a time. He’s recovering from a really really bad hundred year imprisonment.
On Caldarius / Phoebe
That’s probably true, yes. Tech is to Phoebe like chocolate is for the rest of us.
On Future Plans
Now that we’re done with the immense huge massive mega Winter Update, I want to spend more time talking and interacting and listening to you guys to find out where we go next.
On Shayne’s Aurox Kill Button
It’s not mechanical, I think the button is just a bluff.
On Caldarius being the last Kemessian
We haven’t specified whether he’s the last Kemessian or not.
Plenty of other Shock Troopers, yes. There were, at least at one point, 999+ divisions of them.
On Character Orientation
General internal canon is that Shayne is gay, Reyna is Bi (but really doesn’t have time for that), and Mellka is still exploring (she’s had a multi-year anger agenda to tick off first)
Galilea and Alani’s Relationship
Galilea barely registers that Alani exists. Until the Heliophage was dealt with, the Battleborn didn’t exactly have a lot of time
Alani is desperate to belong. And (like many Battleborn) has lost so much that she’s looking for anything she can find to help connect to others and her past.
On Rath and Deande
He and Deande (and Ambra to a degree) were all inner circle leadership for hundreds (really thousands) of years together.
So, they are very well acquainted, for certain.
Ambra and Rath are both very sympathetic to Caldarius (you can see that in the lore) and have reasons to be unusually close.
Later today he also mentioned that he’d be sharing some Tempest concept arts after he’s able to dig them up.
Thanx to @Kitru for getting this forum post started, I just volunteered to post it.
Edit 1: Well @Jythri has been at it for 3 hrs now and still going. There’ll probably be alot of updates I’ll do to this page.
Edit 2: Thanks to @lowlines for grabbing all the info and putting it into one doc. I’ll be trimming the chat in 1 hr sections below in replies for people who want to read it.