I had a slow day and a fast muse today. Got a few more pages written, and established a decent-looking format for the chapters.
First, a sample enemy template I worked up. All attributes not listed are held at the standard 2D
Shooty 2D+2 (Bitty, Boring or Sniper skill: 2D+1 (choose 2))
Beef 3D (Brawl 1D, Endurance 1D)
Other skills: Streetwise 2D, Survival 2D+1, Creatures 1D, Religion (choose) 1D, Salvage 2D, Search 1D, Hide/Sneak 1D.
Special: Crazed Marauders will Charge enemies if wounded, and rarely take Dodge reactions. They gain +1D of Beef, for Brawling damage only, when wounded.
Equipment: 1-2 Pistol, 3-4 SMG, 5 Carbine or AR, 6 sniper rifle. 2 Throwin’ Grenades. No armor, 33% chance of shields. Pants, mask (based on religion), tenuous thread of sanity.
The military descriptions are fleshed-out, and I’m beginning to stat up the new elements – corporate troopers, new and old vehicles, the like. I’ve added a number of DLC events to the timeline (see below). With that, I’m working out reasonable dates for the events described; I’ll be starting on the Borderlands II events and DLCs shortly.
The Timeline so far:
The History of Pandora (all “years” measured in Earth Standard)
(unknown, many millennia Before the Pandoran Vault Opens (BV).) The multi-galaxy Eridian civilization, at its peak, encounters as multi-dimensional being known only as “The Destroyer”. They bend their entire society to destroy the creature; when this proves impossible, they create the Pandoran Vault of the Destroyer to contain it. The Warrior, a bio-weapon used in this effort, is also sealed in the area to assist if the Destroyer ever breaks containment. The weapons and equipment used in imprisoning the Destroyer are cached throughout the Six Galaxies in smaller, sub-Vaults. (At least 6 other worlds are now known to contain Vaults, and 3 major Vaults have been discovered on Pandora, plus dozens of Eridian structures).
Over the intervening centuries, the Eridian civilization collapses and dies. (It is possible that the appearance of Eridium is directly related to the Destroyer; with it imprisoned, their supply of the vital element would be rapidly depleted.)
100+ years BV. Atlas discovers the ruins of the Eridian society. They begin sifting through them, looking for tech. Other companies, especially Dahl, are doing the same.
~80-100 BV – Atlas colonizes Pandora near the end of the local “fall”. The wildlife is in hibernation, and the planet’s large, warm seas and frozen polar/mountain areas seem relatively inviting. One continent sees most of the colonization, although a secondary continent, Almea (a jungle/swamp ecosystem during the “summer”), also acquires a human population.
(3-6 years later) First Pandoran summer. Wildlife exits hibernation: polar caps melt, water level skyrockets, then plummets. Atlas corporation declares a state of emergency, lands a Starborne Brigade, and institutes martial law in all of the remaining habitable settlements. A six-year war ensues against the planet’s entire ecosystem, in a cycle repeated for the next several decades. During this time, the civilians begin fortifying and heavily-arming their cities.
In the early years of the colonization, Atlas established meat-packing plants (for fish and Skag) as well as domesticating the local “Bladeflower” for grain. These continued in operation even after the majority of Atlas’ operations were abandoned, feeding the locals.
(Unknown date, post-colony) Atlas strikes an Eridian tech hoard on Promethea. The Crimson Lance are immediately diverted to wildlife and competitor control on Promethea. This also triggers a desperate search (ultimately fruitless) for similar tech on Pandora before its abandonment. At this time, Atlas begins maintaining a Siren on their payroll to aid in opening future Vaults. Atlas will use the tech discovered to create elemental weapons, improve their ships and armor, and profit immensely.
As the search for a Vault on Pandora seems less and less likely to succeed, the corporation pulls large numbers of troops from Pandora to assist the Promethean war effort, essentially abandoning the locals to their fate in the ensuing Summer of Hell. With Atlas’ attention focused on holding their territory on Prometheus, other colonies – including Pandora – are left to rot.
(Unknown date, post-colony) Hyperion and Jakobs establish commercial resource-exploitation enclaves on Pandora, with no intent to formally colonize the world. A large group of Truxican immigrants, meanwhile, make planetfall. They found several towns, including Ovejas.
Less than 25 YBV: John [Last Name Redacted], a low-level programmer for Hyperion, is severely wounded, and scarred with the symbol of the Vault. In the ensuing years, he will be one of the few people who actually knows what the Vaults are, and what they contain. The ANGEL project begins. It’s unclear whether he had confined Angel before or after the incident, but she is soon completely integrated with Jack’s plans.
(Date Unknown): John is tapped as a programmer on the CLP-4-TP project. He adds backdoor code, linking the Claptraps to his ANGEL project.
(Date Unknown): Hyperion sponsors widespread adoption of the CL4P-TP helper-bot, likely intending to use them as a spy network and infiltration system.
Within the last few Pandora Years: Dahl lands the mining ship Sanctuary across the main continent from the Atlas enclaves (near Jakobs’ wood-processing plants). They find Eridian ruins quickly, and begin processing the stone within to extract Eridium. They also begin mining elemental crystals. Along the way, they discover living creatures who secrete the crystals (it is possible the inactive elemental crystal deposits found during the first game are in fact Crystalisk eggs).
(Date Unknown) The Dahl corporation establishes and maintains a planet-wide ECHO-net, and provides many infrastructure improvements to the locals – perhaps in an attempt to win them over following their “abandonment” by Atlas.
(date unknown) Dahl Administrator Harcheck murdered by her own miners in an attempt to stop the rampaging local wildlife. Both the revolt and the corporation’s counterattacks fail; Sanctuary’s flight and drilling system is disabled. The mines are abandoned mid-operation, and the entire area under Sanctuary is sealed off. The Dahl corporation pumps vast quantities of toxic waste from their other activities into the caverns over the ensuing year(s).
(Unknown date) The first Control Core Angel is activated, using the ANGEL satellite to tap into the Dahl ECHO-net and legions of Claptraps. Jack is now receiving near real-time intel from multiple worlds, but is still stuck in a dead-end programming job for Hyperion.
~800 days BV: Patricia Tannis lands and begins her Vault research, supported by the cash from Dahl’s mining operations.
~225 days: Hibernation cycle ends for local Skag as Pandora enters Spring cycle.
~325 days: Tannis’ Eridian text translation program reveals the vault cycle. Tannis issues a “covert” summons to Vault Hunters, which, knowing Tannis, likely takes the form of an incoherent press release.
(Date unknown, but sometime in the intervening month) The first piece of the Vault Key is found by Sledge; Atlas and Hyperion intercept comms traffic confirming the Vault’s existence.
Atlas issues mobilization orders to the Crimson Lance.
Jack ramps up project ANGEL, his program to eliminate both the Destroyer and the interfering Crimson Lance troops.
~300 days: Dahl halts mining operations, issuing a retreat order to its senior personnel. They also begin plundering every bit of easily-removable technology, resources, and infrastructure – including many of the improvements they had brought or repaired less than a generation previously. They steal much of the native’s combat defenses and equipment. Rioting and neglect destroy huge sections of the civilian infrastructure as food factories, oil refineries, and resorts are all left to their unsavory fates.
~180 days: The final Dahl evacuation is completed, abandoning thousands of enslaved prisoners, nearly all of their low-level personnel, and much of the prison and mining infrastructure. Tannis, ignoring the order, finds another Vault key fragment. The scheduled Vault opening date is now confirmed to be within the next six months.
(Unknown dates, during or immediately post-evacuation): Dahl prison wardens Krom, Baron Flynt, and his younger brother Captain Flynt form a loose alliance, organizing much of the prisoner population into a feudal bandit army. They have the loyalty of several prominent convicts and foremen, including Sledge. They negotiate military support from the Torgue corporation, which will eventually lead to a full-blown Torgue presence on Pandora. The natives of Pandora, meanwhile, buckle down for the worst summer in a very long time.
~140 days BV: Tannis gives her key fragment to Earl.
(unknown date) Bandits allied with Baron Flynt take the key fragment from Earl, having already found the other two.
~60 days: Last recordings by Tannis. Vault Hunters will land in the next few weeks.
(unknown, post-Vault-Hunter landings): Crimson Lance 2nd Starborne Brigade lands under the command of Siren-Commandant Steele, and begins brutally occupying major settlements including Haven and Sanctuary. The Lance is almost immediately thrown into open war with the Bandit Kingdoms, and sets several traps for the natives and bandits alike.
(Unknown date) The Crimson Lance captures both Tannis and the pieces of the now fully-charged Vault key. They pull most of their forces back to begin engaging the Eridian AI Guardians around the Vault of the Destroyer, and take massive casualties in the process. Siren-Commandant Steele disables the planetary ECHO-Net to conceal her activities (coincidentally blinding Angel, and by extension Jack). The Vault Hunters will shortly restore the ECHO, killing Steele’s second-in-command, and recover Tannis.
0-hour: Siren-Commandant Steele activates the Vault Key, releasing The Destroyer. She is killed instantly. Handsome Jack’s contingency plan, the Vault Hunters, are successful: Jack immediately announces “his” victory to the surrounding galaxies, and covertly activates the backdoor program he hid in the CL4P-TP robots infesting Pandora. It will not go as planned.
(Unknown date) The Vault begins to exude Eridium in a highly-pure, crystalline form. John, via Hyperion, manages to claim it – becoming an overnight trillionaire. He now wears a mask at all times, styling himself “Handsome Jack”. The first Threshers appear on-planet.
(Unknown Date) The twin brother of Dr. Zed, Dr. Ned – in cooperation with Doc Mercy of Generally Hospital – accidentally destroys the Jakobs enclave on Pandora via ridiculous levels of malpractice.
(Unknown Date) Atlas lands its remaining Starborne forces on Pandora, led by General Knoxx. They are crippled by treachery within their own ranks, and the Atlas military is decapitated and nearly annihilated.
(Unknown date) Atlas sells their remaining stake in Pandora. Marcus Kincaid purchases much of the property, including Knoxx’s Armory. The Atlas Corporation’s involvement with the world officially ends. The Crimson lance troops and other Atlas personnel on Pandora are abandoned: many will turn bandit in the following years, forming the core of the Nomads and the Bloodshot bandit gang.
(Unknown date) Handsome Jack completes his murderous, ‘Rid-feuled rise to power by strangling the President of the Hyperion corporation, and prepares to seize control of Pandora. Mr. Blake arrives at T-Bone Junction.
(Unknown Date) The Claptrap Robolution strikes, paralyzing Pandora. Hyperion’s first waves of troops land in the general confusion, initially being slaughtered. They eventually seize power in the name of Handsome Jack. In the aftermath, the CL4P-TP product line is retired, and Hyperion begins systematically wiping out the remaining units. A handful survive, mostly those on-loan to other corporate enclaves, or jailbroken “un-upgraded” models in Bandit hands.
In the ensuing year, Threshers (a creature strongly resembling the Destroyer) and Eridium spread rampantly across Pandora. Slag and Eridium leaks – both deliberate and accidental – cause the mutation rate in the native wildlife to skyrocket, as the Summer of Hell gets progressively worse.
The first Slag Harpies are born in Hyperion labs, and (following a Jack-sponsored experimental release of Eridium as a pigment in various household products) will soon appear “in the wild”.
Jack uses the obscene wealth gained from patenting E-Tech weapons and his own careful investments to move a Moonbase into the system and found the city of Opportunity.
The towns of New Haven and Fyrestone are forcibly evacuated, with Jack engaging in actual combat in New Haven alongside the cyborg Wilhelm.
(Unknown Date After Pandoran Vault)The original Vault Hunters form a resistance against Hyperion, gradually consolidating into Sanctuary. The conversion of the Crimson Lance into Crimson Raiders and bandits is complete.
(Unknown Date): Jack begins a campaign to systematically murder all Vault Hunters on Pandora.
(Unknown Date): A “flash-freeze” devastates the Southern Shelf shipping industry. May be a symptom of the Vault’s opening, or of the approach of a normal Pandoran winter.
5 years AV: the Second Vault Hunters survive Jack’s assassination attempt, and Borderlands 2 begins..