|Order of the Talon (Militant Wing)|
|The Order of the Talon's Coat of Arms.|
|Playstyle||Quality over Quantity|
"Life was filled with war and guns,
Because the kings were puppets of the scorpions.
I wish we'd all been ready."
- - "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" by Christian artist Larry Norman, noted for his popularity in Australia.
The Order of the Talon, or the Talon, for short, is a new faction exclusive to Red Alert 3 Paradox designed by Open sketchbook, Ferriswheel42 and Kerensky287. Their arsenal is nearly 50 years old, but constructed from designs so intricate and complex that they are in almost pristine condition. Another feature of the faction is mobility; rather than the traditional base-building system, the Talon use a single mobile structure called a Crawler to build and maintain their entire army.
At A Glance
|Preferred Theatre of Operations||Raiding.|
|Strengths||Peerless teamwork, heavily reduced macro game, tough expansions.|
|Weaknesses||Long build times and production bottleneck, units useless on their own.|
|Intended Players||DotA/MMO players.|
"Gladius, Deus, Ignis."
- - Motto of the Order
The Order of the Talon was formed in the early 11th Century by Pope Urban II himself. The original goal of the Order was to silence a cult in Anatolia, though after some minor encounters, a full-out battle erupted and Byzantine Emperor Alexius I was forced to send out a call for help. Their answer was the First Crusade, a war that was made to cover up the Talon's first failure. Ignoring their orders from the Pope to return to Rome, they continued their hunt for the elusive cult, a hunt that would last for nearly 800 years.
At first, the search was fueled by a desire to regain their position within the high ranks of the Holy Roman military, though over time they became obsessed with their foe, sometimes killing ruthlessly in order to gain the slightest of hints. For hundreds of years they chased their quarry down across the entire world, frequently engaging in battles against them, always one step behind their elusive leader. After Napoleon ransacked their headquarters in Spain and disconnected all their ties to the Pope, their Order became an exclusive, independent group, though as more and more of them were sent to their graves, they were forced into the practice of abducting skilled military candidates from other armies to form their officer corps.
The Great War
In 1914, they were the closest they ever came to meeting their foe. With many of their members having infiltrated the Austrian National Guard, they set up a meeting with a cult member wishing to defect. While the Talon interrogators began the questioning, a shot sounded through the streets of Sarajevo, and started the First World War. The Order had failed to see that the whole situation was a carefully orchestrated trap. The world descended into a nightmare war, and the cult was at the center of it, many of their members the officers that ordered the war forward on both sides. The Order was convinced the cult was using the war as a cover for something else, and throughout the war they captured thousands of officers from both sides, men with cult connections, attempting desperately to discover their enemy's plans while becoming more and more involved in the war itself. But in the end, the Talon had failed, and never discovered the purpose of the war.
Reeling from the shock of a second failure, the Order retreated to Palestine where they set up a new headquarters. Shortly before his death, the Order's then-leader had a vision of a woman who would end the conflict with the mysterious cult once and for all. Her name was Lady Maria.
"The Order is like a man hanging from a cliff with one arm and without the strength to pull himself back up. He could use his other hand to hold on just a little longer, but he's busy using it to give the finger to all the bastards watching him dangle."
- - Crusader Albin Canavan
|Order of the Talon Minor Diplomatic Relations|
|Army of the Republic of Vietnam||Neutral|
|National Revolutionary Army||Neutral|
|Global Liberation Army||War|
Since the 1920's, the Talon have changed very little, still operating with the same equipment from WWI. Though at first glance they appear to be powerful, with flaming battle tanks and connections to many major military organizations, they are only barely struggling to survive on limited resources, and constant firefights with a local group calling themselves the Global Liberation Army. Their method of inducting new members is failing, as the nations they recruit from have drifted towards atheism and godless science. Even in some of their more remote outposts, the Mediterranean Syndicate (whom the Talon despise) and their shadowy leader keep a close watch over the Order, making sure their threat to the corporation is minimized.
However, in 1948, a young girl was born into the Order who would forever change the future of the Talon, and the future of the world. As she reaches closer to her maturity, the Order of the Talon prepare their battle tanks, rekindling the ancient flames their ancestors used to overthrow the evil that plagued the Earth. Soon, the Talon will be back on the hunt.
Each speciality is part of the Talon tech tree and unlocks new units and protocols. Unlike other tech-trees, Talon players are able and expected to upgrade down all the trees in time, but prioritization is important.
Each speciality is built from a separate tab in the Master Crawler.
Crusaders : The shield arm of the Talon war machine, the Crusaders use plates of the valued Talon Steel, giving them large amounts of health and many ways to grab the enemies attention. They draw in enemy fire, lock enemies into combat, distract enemies, defend home bases, and lead assaults, giving their fellows more time to attack.
In addition to their regular heroic upgrades, Crusaders gain half their starting health again with each experience level gained.
A Crusader Mini-Crawler is armed with massive slabs of Talon Steel and will draw fire away from others. When fully upgraded, the Crusader speciality transforms the Mini-Crawler in the the Shield of Faith Ultimate Weapon.
Crusaders are made up of the Templar Order, whose destruction was faked in order to fold them into the Talon.
Inquisition : The sword arm of the Order, the Inquisitors strike suddenly and unexpectedly from the shadows or from behind the Crusaders, purging the enemy with flame and steel. Among the tools at their disposal are damage-dealing, stealth and disguise, flanking, garrison-clearing and assassination.
In addition to their regular heroic upgrades, Inquisitors weapons do +25% starting damage with each experience level gained.
A Inquisition Mini-Crawler is armed with an increasing array of deadly weapons. When fully upgraded, the Inquisition speciality transforms the Mini-Crawler into the Firestorm Generator Ultimate Weapon.
The Inquisitors of the Talon is made up of the members of the Priests of Judas, a controversial sect with roots back to pre-Constantine gnostic sects. They seek death on the battlefield, to die as unrepentant sinners in order to battle the forces of darkness beyond death.
Evangelicals : The heart of the metaphorical Talon soldier, the Evangelicals use subtler means to sway the battle. They heal and inspire their fellows, poison and dishearten their enemies, harass enemy resource-gatherers, destroy stubborn defences, and turn your foes against themselves with hypnotism.
An Evangelical Mini-Crawler radiates a healing aura. When fully upgraded, the Evangelical speciality transforms the Mini-Crawler into the Ambiaric Cannon.
The evangelical forces of the Talon are made up of the Soldiers of Ignatius, a militant break-off of the Jesuits which took up arms against the suppression of Catholics in China and was disowned by the Church.
All Talon vehicles are amphibious. When on territory they were not designed for, they move slower, have lower defences, and cannot attack, but they can cross that terrain.
With every rank a Talon unit gains, it gains some form of function upgrade similar to heroic upgrades for other factions. This can be new weapons, extra health bonuses, armourtype changes, or even brand new features that change or expand the unit's role.
Whenever a combat unit ranks up, it immediately gives experience relative to it's worth to all non-combat units nearby. Additionally, Inquisitor units that rank up apply this bonus to nearby Crusader units. This encourages the player to keep his forces tight-nit; the Tanks will rank up if they enable to DPS to score kills, and the support will rank up by doing their jobs around the combat units.
Units and Structures
"For once in my life, I have decided to speak out. At my last moments as well, which makes this sense of dread and shame only slightly more sour with humor for me. I must speak, for I have failed my brethren within the Scorpion Legion: I cannot fight any longer. My pursuers are eternally patient, and they have not left off my scent once, even with my expertise in the shadows. My pursuers are not of this earth, for they are...no, IT is something else. How else can they work together and fit together so perfectly? How else can they fight and move in unison like clockwork, the flames and the metal and the drugs and their eyes, oh, their eyes...I can handle men. I can handle men because men are mortal, men tire, men fail. I cannot handle machines."
- - Note found on the wall of Police Chief Melinda Partridge's office, written shortly before the chief committed suicide via service pistol.
The Talon's entire army is built from the Master Crawler, a giant machine and literal moving castle that serve as a self contained base.
|Master Crawler||Every Talon player starts off with a Master Crawler; a giant machine part tank, part castle, part factory and part clockwork computer. When deployed, it produces Mini-Crawlers, defences, and units. The Master Crawler is armed at the start of the game, and gains more weapons and abilities as you tech up. If you lose your Master Crawler, you lose the game.|
|Temple||Mini-Crawlers are produced from the Master Crawler. Each is a combination tech building and refinery, and when deployed to an ore node will produce a clockwork collector to collect ore. Mini-Crawlers are specialised (see below) to tech up, which also adds new features to the mini-crawler. The Crusader's Temple draws in enemy fire, and is heavily armoured.|
|Tribunal||Mini-Crawlers are produced from the Master Crawler. Each is a combination tech building and refinery, and when deployed to an ore node will produce a clockwork collector to collect ore. Mini-Crawlers are specialised (see below) to tech up, which also adds new features to the mini-crawler. The Inquisition Tribunal is armed with a flamethrower by default.|
|Reliquary||Mini-Crawlers are produced from the Master Crawler. Each is a combination tech building and refinery, and when deployed to an ore node will produce a clockwork collector to collect ore. Mini-Crawlers are specialised (see below) to tech up, which also adds new features to the mini-crawler. The Evangelical Reliquary heals those around it.|
|Forge Crawler||A special case for a Crawler, the Forge Crawler does not produce anything. Instead its smiths and training personnel are responsible to keep infantry and units in top shape and full knowledge about the weaknesses of the enemy. Due to this, any Talon units that are trained while a Forge Crawler is in deployed mode will start off as veterans.|
|Shield of Faith||A massive, mobile magnetic field which makes those within nearly invincible.|
|Firestorm Generator||A pillar of fire smites your enemies.|
|Ambiaric Cannon||A pulse of light that will disable any enemy struck by it.|
All turrets are built as small, mobile devices. Once deployed, they cannot undeploy, and they do not gain experience.
|Flame Turret||Two flamethrowers on a clockwork frame, this turret deals flame damage and also clears out garrisons. It can also switch to spraying oil on enemies instead, weakening them.|
|Machine-Gun Turret||Two heavy machine-guns on a clockwork frame. Deals gun/bullet damage to ground and air targets.|
|Cannon Turret||A six-pound gun on a clockwork mount. Deals burst damage to ground targets.|
|Mirror Tower||A reflective mirror combined with an ambiaric generator, the Mirror Tower can blind infantry and force aircraft to crash in wide focus mode, or melt vehicles and ships in narrow focus mode.|
|Lance Turret||A thermobaric lance on a heavy clockwork mount. Deals cannon/missile damage to ground and air units. Unlocks with Inquisition mini-crawler.|
|Shield Turret||Forces enemies to target it, and absorbs the blows with heavy Talon Steel. Unlocks with Crusader mini-crawler.|
|Hypnosis Turret||A clockwork music box and a mesmerizing visual pattern stuns, disorients and eventually turns enemy units. Unlocks with Evangelical upgrade.|
These units are available immediately from the Master Crawler.
|Hawk||A massive breed of the supposedly-extinct Galapagos Hawk, this creature can easily kill an animal or a human with its talons.|
|Pawn||A member of local military forces duped into serving the interests of the Order. They fight with an assault rifle and will go to ground to deploy a machine-gun for anti-air use if given the opportunity. Generally, they are rubbish troops, and are not effected by buffing or healing from Talon units. Pawns are not built; they spawn for free from the Master Crawler while it is deployed.|
|Footman||A member of the Talon's hereditary servant/warrior class, the Footman fights with cherished heirlooms of Talon Steel passed down for centuries. The clockwork crossbow can punch through infantry and light vehicles, and their mace can kill infantry and battlesuits in one hit.|
|Fanatic||A crazed, robed nutjob with a heated sword, Fanatics deal energy damage to those who cross them. They can winch themselves to enemy vehicles to close the distance, and when they die they pull the cord on their bomb vest, killing any foolish enough to be nearby.|
|Craftsman||The Talon engineer, Craftsmen are unique in that they can repair defences, the Crawler and other structures by contact instead of having to enter the structure. They can throw garrison-clearing firebombs.|
|Clockroach||These tiny, insect like clockwork contraptions will latch onto your vehicles and repair them. However, their spring cores will wind down after a short period of time.|
|Charger Assault Transport||Used to carry soldiers into the heart of an enemy encampment, the Charger’s evacuation system smashes its battering-ram like prow forward, clearing the immediate area and allowing safe disembarking of troops.|
|Cuirassier||Used by Talon forces to infiltrate modern society, these vehicles have a dashboard, water-cooled machine-gun and can carry two soldiers. When not moving or attacking, they appear to the enemy as a generic car prop.|
|Barracuda||Similar to the Cuirassier, this light boat, with a small autocannon, appears to be a small boat prop when stationary. A dumb-fire anti-ship missile launcher allows it to harass larger ships and vehicles.|
|Knight-Errant||Young members of the Templars eager to prove themselves, these soldiers are armed with high-powered rechambers of the single-shot Martini-Henry rifle, as well as pyrotechnic grenades that stun enemy units briefly. The short hops allowed by his thermobaric jets cannot clear terrain, but can shift him out of danger.|
|Chevalier||Female warriors carrying morale boosting banners, Chevaliers attract enemy fire and boost the offensive powers of all Talon units around them, while using their hand mortars to suppress foes. They can also plant their banner, becoming immobile but improving the damage, armour, and health regeneration of nearby Order units.|
|Champion||A soldier in a heavy suit of armour, the Champion's shield allows him to weather enemy fire with ease while he closes to use his sword. He can rapidly close the distance with his thermobaric jets, which send enemies flying on impact.|
|Templar Lord||Experienced members of the Templar Order entrusted with thermobaric cannons, Templar Lords can destroy any enemy that challenges them. Their thermobaric jets allow them to escape danger, and burn those around them when they take off.|
|Dragoon Battle Armour||Encased in Talon Steel, this stubby-legged walker uses a machine-gun to keep the enemies' head down before engaging with its steel claw. Any attempt to shoot over this unit will result in hitting it, and it can deploy steam canisters to prevent enemies from firing.|
|Cleric Track||Armed with a 6 pounder gun doing light burst damage and thick plates of armour, the Cleric track is vital to successfully protecting friendly units. Activating its magnetic field will slow the tank to a fraction of its top speed, but increase its defences considerably while active.|
|Jager Walker||Slow and heavy-set, the Jager can absorb ground-based damage like a sponge while unloading dozens of rockets against air targets. When these rockets are expended, the Jager has a very long reload time, so it has a targeted harpoon that can immobilize any target, and it can attack ground units with swipes of its arms.|
|Cataphract Land Ironclad||An armoured battle station on four legs, itself nearly as large as a Crusader Crawler, the Cataphract bristles with dozens of potent weapons, is large enough to crush almost any enemy vehicle, and can take a vicious beating before falling. In addition to its regular weapons, it is a mobile, automated factory capable of producing Automatons.
Sub-Unit - Automaton : Delicately crafted clockwork war machines in the shapes of men, Automatons are difficult to damage, and use their gatling guns to great effect. Their spring core will run down eventually, limiting their combat lifetime, but once deactivated they can be collected by a Talon Harvester for a portion of the resources used to create them.
|Lazarus Air Dreadnought||A massive, armoured zeppelin, the Lazarus transports Talon units by air and rains death with its many weapons and complement of biplanes. If shot down, the unit turns into a fortress on the ground, and must be finished off, or it will eventually turn back into a zeppelin.|
|Ophan Gun Platform||A round, seagoing machine with anti-air and anti-ground capabilities, the Ophan can take massive amounts of damage and uses an electromagnet to draw in enemy fire.|
|Bishop Ironclad||A large ship which places itself in between your forces and the enemy to fire a broadside. You can't shoot past it; you have to look around it, which is hard because it's so big. The rows upon rows of cannons will give enemies pause, too.|
|Priest of Judas||A member of the clergy who has taken the Iscariot Vow, these gun-slingers use a pair of matched pistols to deal truly unholy amounts of gun damage. This goes well with their stealth abilities, allowing them to leap out of the shadows and engage. As they seek death in battle, they are completely willing to activate their C4 vests and take everyone around them with them.|
|Crimson Cardinal||Ringleader of a cell of the Priests of Judas, Crimson Cardinals are armed with a themobaric lance; a cannon that fires a molten bolt of copper at vehicles or aircraft. He can also attach bombs to anything, friendly or enemy, which go off after a short amount of time, or when the unit is killed, and do devastating blast damage. When mortally wounded, he'll activate his themobaric bomb, spraying molten copper everywhere and destroying vehicles in the radius.|
|Hospitaller||Senior Iscariot Priests, the Hospitaller uses a flamethrower and trades stealth for a degree of armour. Their flame-throwers smoke out enemies with ease from structures, and in order to increase their effectiveness, they can empty their fuel tank in a single huge burst of flame, which will kill large number of enemy units but leave the Hospitaller reloading for several seconds. On death, they explode in a massive burst of flame.|
|Hussar Trike||A fast, low to the ground vehicle with a pair of light flame-throwers, the Hussar can engage multiple targets, or switch to using the flame-throwers as speed-boosting rockets.|
|Archangel Anti-Air Track||A light frame mounting four flak cannons, the Archangel keeps the skies clear for other units to operate. It can disguise itself as another Talon unit, to hide the fact that this group has anti-air defense.|
|Jericho Cannon||A complex network of pipes and valves centered around an enormous trumpet-like horn and attached to a tracked base, the Jericho Cannon projects sonic blasts at extremely low frequencies that literally shake apart any structure in the wave's straight-line path, while leaving infantry and vehicles unharmed. In an emergency, the Jericho can vent steam through its valves, char-broiling nearby infantry.|
|Lucifer Track||A large machine mostly made up of fuel tanks, the Lucifer Track uses a thermobaric lance to destroy enemy vehicles.|
|Zealot Torpedo Boat||Armed with a large explosive on the end of a spar, the Zealot runs the torpedo into enemy targets. The Zealot has just one shot, then it must activate its reload function to replace the torpedo, which immobilises it and takes a great deal of time.|
|Metatron Gunboat||A light support boat with an oversized rack of rockets, the Metatron is perfect for warding off enemy fliers. By using the clockwork loader, the Metatron can exchange movement for a literally endless rain of missiles, automatically loading the empty tubes as they fire.|
|Tempest Torpedo Ram||In addition to torpedo tubes, the Tempest can use a thermobaric ram to accelerate into and destroy any target.|
|Samael Assault Plane||This well armoured triplane is armed with a pair of machine guns good against both air and ground targets, and can also launch a barrage of phosphorus rockets effective against light vehicles and infantry. Thanks to its large ammunition reserves, the Samael never needs to reload.|
|Alchemist||These nuns are specialists in healing and repair; they can tag behind a unit and restore its hit points from a distance, or opt to get closer in order to heal faster, though leaving her more vulnerable.|
|Rogue||A sneaky and quick sniper, the Rogue is also the Talon infiltrator. The composite longbow he uses allows the Rogue to snipe enemy units indirectly, such as behind buildings or walls, and he lays down spotting flares for artillery.|
|Jairus Recovery Vehicle||An engineering vehicle adapted to be able to recover the hulls of heavy Talon vehicles, the Jairus can use its crane to resurrect fallen Talon units and restore them to fighting shape. Fully amphibious.|
|Sanctuary Cart||Surrounded by buzzing clockwork drones, this cart can keep large numbers of units in good repair, though the Alchemist is better at rapid combat repairs. They can switch to aggressive mode as well; the cart's drones will shine bright lights onto enemy units, blinding them. Fully amphibious.|
|Calliope Track||A steam-powered pipe organ mounted on a tank frame, the Calliope raises the defensive and offensive abilities of nearby friendlies with uplifting music, or dampens enemies' abilities with deep, ominous tones. Fully amphibious.|
|Wraith Mortar Track||A light armoured frame mounting a phosphorous mortar, the Mortar Track provides light, fast moving AoE artillery blasts with great effect against buildings, light vehicles, and infantry. Though shorter ranged than most artillery, it can use the target flares of the Rogue to fire at extreme ranges.|
|Emissary Track||This light vehicle has been rigged with a sophisticated catapult, capable of deploying a variety of munitions. By default, launches poisonous censers at the enemy, poisoning and demoralizing anything near the point of impact. A single infantry unit can board the Emissary at a time. Secondary fire uses the catapult to launch the passenger, inflicting light damage on the infantry unit when they land and briefly stunning them.|
|Altar of Light||A complex arrangement of mirrors and lenses atop of a mobile frame, the Altar of Light can stun groups of vehicles and infantry with blasts of light, and can also use its equipment to spy on enemies. Fully amphibious.|
|Consecrator Track||With a massive tank of crude oil and a spray nozzle, the Consecrator sprays oil onto enemy targets, lowering their defenses against flame-based weapons. Firing into water allows the Consecrator to kill infantry in the water, force subs to surface, and slow enemy ships. By reversing the nozzle, it can lay down a trail of burning fuel that damages enemies chasing it, or create a wall of burning fuel. Fully amphibious.|
|Pilate Submersible||A versatile submarine armed with a pneumatic drill and deck gun. The Pilate must surface to engage surface units with its deck gun, but can use the drill to attack enemy submarines while submerged. Additionally, the Pilate can also fire off a special magnetic torpedo that causes its victim to generate a magnetic singularity, drawing nearby units in.|
|Apostle Bombard Ship||This massive vessel fires huge rocket-assisted projectiles that can crush buildings flat in a single shot, with an unusual weapon configuration. The barrel of the cannon is broken into two parts, which are used as nacelle covers for the engines. When they reach the target, the engines are retracted in favour of stablising pontoons, and the barrel sections fold up and lock around the reloading mechanism to await loading.|
Behind the Scenes
- While obviously connections can be drawn between Christian Catholicism and the Order of the Talon, the original intent was not to argue over religious ideals. The story of the Talon was supposed to be one of continuous failure, but their perseverance would keep them going, even if they were headed down the wrong path. The story is meant to explore what kinds of evil can spring from hypocrisy and a jaded view of the world, which doesn't only apply in a religious context, but to individual people as well.
- The original build system (structures constantly on the move) was abandoned when it was realized how utterly impossible that would be to code. With the announcement of CnC4's Crawler-based build system, as well as the Talon's strong connection with the Tiberium series' GDI faction, the decision was made to adapt the Crawler as the new build system... with some modifications and re-interpretations.
|Original Red Alert 3 Factions|
|Allied Nations • Soviet Union • Empire of the Rising Sun|
|Confederate Revolutionaries • Order of the Talon • Atomic Kingdom of China • Mediterranean Syndicate • Electrical Protectorate|
| Army of the Republic of Vietnam • Allied Reservists • National Revolutionary Army • Vietcong |
People's Liberation Army • Global Liberation Army • International Inc • Cult of the Black Hand