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Calliope Track

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Calliope Track
IconTalon
Faction TalonLogoThumb Order of the Talon
Unit Type Light Tank
Designation Psychological Warfare/Support
Prerequisites Reliquary
Secondary Ability Toggle Uplifting/Demoralising Music
Cost Unknown
Production Time Unknown
Veterancy Upgrade(s) Unknown
Dev. Status Conceptual
Country of Origin  ImperialGermanythumb Germany
Forged by  Aperta Scriptum Holy Forges
Key Features  » Steam organ
 » Clockwork automaton to play the organ
 » Punch cards for different music
 » Soundproof driver's compartment
 » Synthesizer for orchestral accompaniment

"Such foul manners! They're throwing considerably more than tomatoes at me!"

- Calliope driver/conductor under fire from Jiang Shi garrison

Tactical Analysis Edit

  • Amazing Grace: In defense mode, the Calliope's clockwork musician plays battle marches, religious hymns, and other beautiful music. Friendly troops are inspired and soothed by the Calliope's tones, receiving substantial bonuses to their offensive and defensive stats.
  • Funeral March: Switch to offense mode, and the Calliope plays eerie, discordant sounds that rattle teeth and chill the soul. Talon units have learned to tune this "music" out, but even the hardiest of enemy troops are rattled and thrown off guard, weakening their offensive and defensive capabilities.
  • Clockwork Musician, Not Clockwork Assassin: The Calliope is unarmed and incapable of inflicting any physical damage on enemy forces, though that is little comfort in light of its ability to buff and debuff everything around it.

Background Edit

The Sirens of the Ice

- By Julia Grey, Allied Nations Science Digest

They say you hear organs play before you die.

The Cryo Prison Keepers are one of the most low-profile and unappreciated divisions of the Allied military. A Cryo Warden, be they a Legionnaire or administrator, is assigned to one of the loneliest areas of the world to keep watch over people only considered alive on a technicality. A Cryo Warden's only company is their fellow Cryo Wardens, local wildlife, and the eternal cold.

Stationed in places where the sun sets for most of the year and isolated from anything resembling civilization, it is no surprise that the Cryo Wardens have a difficult time meeting their manpower requirements. Very rarely, a soldier or experienced prison warden from the northern US, Canada, or one of the Scandinavian countries will volunteer for the job, but most Cryo Wardens are assigned to the division after proving incompetent in some other post or, some say, angering a superior officer.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, clinical depression and suicide was a far greater risk to a Cryo Warden's health than enemy attack before Allied Command began applying specially calibrated chemical treatments to food shipments destined for cryo prisons.

I spent most of a year in cryo prisons around the world, studying these mysterious guardians so vital to our society and learning the intricacies of their culture. The Cryo Wardens are not easy to get to know, and seem to have little patience for those who have not endured their frozen vigils. Only after months at the Greenland Cryo-Prison, taking my turn in a Legionnaire's suit on the walls, did these people open up to me.

One might call them grim, but the truth is that the Cryo Wardens have developed a rich mythology about their task and environment, and one would almost call the more experienced Cryo Wardens superstitious. You always check your Legionnaire suit four times, for example, even though the manual says that simply running down the checklist once is sufficient.

But no, say the Wardens, you run it four times. Less, and you will die within the week. More, and the "spectres" - the Wardens' nickname for military psychiatrists - will take you away. The most curious myth, though, is the myth of the sirens. It is unique to the Greenland prison, yet I myself can attest to it.

At night in Greenland - which means any time during most of the year - you occasionally hear music when standing watch outdoors. It is a strange music, drifting in over the arctic ice. Sometimes it is breathtakingly beautiful. Sometimes, you shiver from more than just the cold. Always, it is ethereal and alien, feeling anything but natural.

More often, though, it is simply haunting notes whispering from somewhere over the horizon. The source of this phenomenon is unknown, but the Greenland Cryo Wardens claim it is the souls of men and women lost to the cold, calling out to their comrades. Some say they call for help, others claim the sirens are simply trying to report back in. More than one expedition has set out in search of the sirens. Some return empty-handed. Others simply vanish into the endless expanse of ice, for conditions here are perilous. Now, searching for the sirens is explicitly forbidden.

Even so, people die every year at the prison, and many are found to have wandered out of the prison in search of the sirens, only to join them in death. The lucky ones are found before they die, frostbitten and delirious. Many of these claim that as you get closer, the song of the sirens becomes more distinct, and eventually you realize that the sirens play organs upon the ice.

These rare few who survive claim that the sirens play their song to beckon their still-living comrades to join them. The more rational explanation is that as the ice pack shifts, strange sounds are created as ice grinds against ice and rock, transformed into something alien by the crystalline structure of the ice.

Rational though the true nature of the sirens is, I can understand why the Cryo Wardens speak of the arctic serenade in whispers. Truly, it is beautiful music, and I will never forget the time I stood on the walls and listened to the sirens' song.

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