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Cybernetic Activists

Leader: Cypremacy Collective Headquarters: Woven Towers, Kashak, Verces

More a social movement than an organized faction, the Augmented began as a caste on Verces devoted to improving their bodies through mechanical modifications and implanted technology. As cybernetic technology improved and communication between the worlds became more frequent, this philosophy rapidly gained ground both on Verces and elsewhere, with people of all races seeking technological self-improvement. Today, the use of basic cybernetics is fairly uncontroversial in the Pact Worlds, but the Augmented have come to encompass and speak for those whose modifications are extreme enough to set them apart from mainstream society and who believe that such augmentation represents the future of evolution.

Verces remains the heart of Augmented society; this is especially true for the nation of Kashak, which was historically the first to publicly decry the traditional Vercite caste divisions and promote technological modification for all people. While Verces as a whole is at the cutting edge of cybernetics development, the private labs and universities in Kashak’s capital city of Nabokon are beyond compare, attracting the most advanced technomancers in the Pact Worlds to organizations like the Everlife Adaptation Corporation, Haruspex Interplanetary, and the Spellsight Cooperative. Here, the ruling Cypremacy Collective, seen by many as the mouthpiece of the Augmented movement, pressures governments and corporations alike from the Woven Towers, a trio of round, tentacle-like spires that twist around one another in a triple helix. Though the Collective’s members are permanently wired into their buildings—bodies rendered effectively immortal by medical machinery, and brains constantly sifting the planet’s vast infosphere—their bug-like drones and living agents travel the galaxy carrying out their policies and influencing politicians at the highest levels of government. Many of these agents and couriers are androids, as such engineered individuals are afforded near-religious respect by adherents of the Collective, who see their artificial status as close to the Augmented ideal.

While the Collective is careful to preach acceptance and understanding alongside technological advancement, not all of the Augmented are as open minded. For techno-terrorist groups like the Remakers and NextStep, all “stocks”—meaning purely biological people—are actively stymieing progress, and the motto “evolution doesn’t need consent” justifies things like tainting water supplies with nanites or kidnapping and modifying public figures. Ironically, the Collective, knowing the hatred such groups foster against the non-Augmented, is these groups’ greatest opponent. The two sides have been locked in a high-tech shadow war for generations, with the Collective regularly hiring unaffiliated contractors to help hunt down and eliminate those who would kill indiscriminately in the name of progress.

While the Augmented traditionally favor computerized and mechanical adaptations, most members are concerned with the end goal of advancement and self-improvement over any particular mechanism. As such, recent years have seen a rapid increase in people with biotech implants or purely magical enhancements who still identify as Augmented and participate in the group’s governance. The Xenowardens in particular have strengthened their ties, promoting the view that augmentation can reduce ecological impact, while barathus from Bretheda have suddenly begun streaming into the group’s assemblies for unknown reasons. While many Augmented appreciate these new members’ viewpoints, some worry the influx may shift the group’s focus in uncomfortable new directions.