Sketchbook If the world is a dark mystery, let us build a fire.

This article (Minor Faction Bible), is part of the Faction Bible series, and shows the inner workings of the faction so writers can better understand it. It is not to be changed in any way, as it is from the ample genius of one Open Sketchbook.

By its nature, it's also one large spoiler to the lore behind the Paradox universe. Read no further if you prefer the mystery.

Vietnam War Edit


The Vietnam War circa 1969.

South Vietnam Edit

  • South Vietnam is a military oligarchy effectively run by the army, the ARVN. It is primarily concerned with it's own survival and suffers under the tough choices it has had to make during the long Vietnam War.
  • The short term goal of the ARVN is survival, followed by the defeat of North Vietnam and the reunification of the country. Most of their current government favours a transition to democracy as soon as it is feasible.
  • The ARVN idolize the Allies while also being extremely good in their area of expertise. They will marvel over technology brought by the Allies before promptly employing it in a more effective and brutal fashion than the Allies would ever expect.
  • The ARVN use the methods of a traditionally "evil" faction to fight for a good cause; flamethrowers, chemical weapons, quantity over quality, and saturation bombing are all fair game as far as they are concerned.
  • Rangers, the force that is playable in the main game, are akin to American Marines as a seperate branch of the military from the army proper. As a rule, the Rangers are competent and tough, while ARVN regulars are inexperienced, potentially corrupt, and usually operate in the rear echelons.

Reservists in Vietnam Edit

  • The experience of the Reservists in Vietnam is intended to directly mirror the experiences of American soldiers in the Vietnam War. Use of stories, slogans, artwork, incidents and memes from that experience is encouraged.
  • A good discription for what the Reservists are experiencing is "in over their heads". They come from nations that didn't see combat first-hand in WW3, and they never expected to serve outside of their home nation.
  • The overwhelming majority of Reservists in Vietnam are American, New Zealanders, Australians, and South Koreans, mirroring the real life nations that commited troops to the Vietnam War. As focusing on the American experience will undoubtably occur simply due to the way the war is remembered, don't hesistate to do so, but throwing in a South Korean unit here and there can't hurt.
  • Remember that even though some reservists are draftees, the idea of most GIs being men being sent to Vietnam against their will is an exaggeration by media. Your average Reservist is a professional who has essentially bitten off more than he can chew.
  • The Reservists are more likely than the Peacekeepers to resort to controversial tactics, but they aren't carpet bombing villages in napalm, though they may mutter of it; that's what the ARVN do. These guys are still the Allies.

Peacekeepers in Vietnam Edit

  • There aren't very many Peacekeepers in Vietnam, seeing as the Allies are a little overextended right now. The Peacekeepers run from trouble spot to trouble spot, dealing with threats as they come.
  • Vietnam is a good place to show the sheer divide between Peacekeepers and normal troops, with the PKs smashing enemy positions with ease whenever they catch them.

North Vietnam Edit

  • North Vietnam is the Soviet Union in Indochina! They should be written with the same black humour and slapstick used for the Soviet Union; like them, they try very hard, but nothing ever seems to go right. They are the same sort of long-suffering comic relief.

Vietcong Edit

  • The Vietcong are sort of the mirror universe Confederates. They use a lot of the same tactics and methods, and drawing subtle parallel between the two of them is encouraged.
  • Like the Confederates, the Vietcong are brave and extremely competent. They fight as clean a war as you can for using guerrila tactics, and their struggles are the sort of thing your see movies made about. They just happen to be on the wrong side of the traditional good/evil binary. Tragic backstories justfying their actions are par for course.

The Cult of the Black Hand Edit


Direct influence of the Cult around the world.

Who Are They Edit

  • The Cult of the Black Hand are a loosely organized underground religious organization, based primarily in Eastern Europe but with international reach, with themes of anarchy, conspiracy, and theatric, macabre horror.
  • The strength of the Cult fluctuates wildly; they gain and lose members and entire cells extremely quickly. They probably have no more than 20,000 members at the outside at any one time, with an inner circle of around a thousand.
  • The Cult of the Black Hand are the Illuminati to the Order of the Talon's Freemasons in terms of conspiracy content.

What do they Want Edit

  • The motives and reasoning of the Cult make sense to nobody but themselves. They supposedly follow several thousand year old instructions of their original leader (the one and only Kane, of course, though don't use the name), advice which is incredibly cryptic and has been translated multiple times to its current incarnation.
  • The Cult of the Black Hand believes that their dark messiah will return when things get bad enough to require his intervention. Therefore, they do their level best to make the world situation as terrible and chaotic as possible; start wars, burn forests, kidnap people at random, fund crime and terrorism, assassinate politicians, set off bombs, spike the water supply, put only 8 buns to 10 hotdogs or steal forty cakes (that's as many as four tens, and that's terrible). It's all fair game.

Interesting Stuff Edit

  • With the exception of Seth himself, when in their masks, the members of the Black Hand never speak, and move with an unnatural coordination born of their extensive planning. The masks they wear are their real face, and their actions speak for themselves; who they are outside of the masks and hoods are never to be associated with the Cult.
  • Elements of the Cult are aware the Icon is trying to breach the gap between universes, and have wisely decided to try and speed it up.
  • Like the Order of the Talon, the cult has access to technology long forgotten by others. Most of it is medicinal or chemical; the Cult typically recruits by kidnapping innocents and subjecting them to chemical brainwashing. They have truth serums, about a million different ways of driving a person crazy, samples of scary viruses, corrosive acids, deadly poisons, and chemical energy sources a la the Baghdad Battery.
  • Some historical actions of the Cult; Shooting Franz Ferdinand, spreading the Black Plague, setting the Great Fire of London, arranged the survival of Caligula and his rise to the throne, piloting the SS Imo into the SS Mont-Blanc setting off the Halifax Explosion, and inventing the deep-fried Twinkie.
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