GREENGUARD

They come from the depths of the blue desert, marching across the azure dunes in single file, their moss-green plastyflesh mottled by heat damage and their green eyes staring glassily at the horizon. Nobody has found their source, but it is believed that they are spawned in a malfunctioning nano-forge buried beneath the desert surface, the final project of some forgotten warlord or power-mad Autarch. They are fighting men, of a sort, mute green warriors cast from the same mould, each equipped alike with a green rifle and green armour that seems to be melded into their flesh.  Each Greenguard has the same face, a strong-jawed visage that would be charismatic and commanding if not for the despairing look in their eyes. 

They fight, of course, fulfilling what must be an ancient instruction, attacking travellers and settlements without discretion or mercy. Their tactics are not sophisticated but they are unhesitating and utterly devoted to violence and a large group can easily overwhelm an ill-prepared trading caravan. They attack haphazardly, drawn to movement and sound, retreating only if attacked with fire. They will pursue those that flee but not diligently and are known to make prisoners of the wounded, although as they provide neither food nor medical care those the Greenguard make prisoner are likely doomed in any case. They have a particular drive to take and hold settlements and will occupy captured buildings for years at at time, posting sentries and patrolling the perimeter and apparently waiting for reinforcements that never arrive. There is no overbearing intelligence that guides the plastymen of the Greenguard, no grand strategy or greater plan that seems to guide their attacks. 

Some claim these mute green warriors have internal ranks, and as military creatures they must therefore have a predisposition to obey certain commands, if only the correct language was known. The vault-raider Rasafal of Tunsk, a noted liar and braggart to be sure, claims that the Greenguard will salute anyone wearing the uniform of a long-dead Autarch’s officers,  and that she evaded certain death at the hands of the green homunculi through this method. 

The physiology of these beings is interesting. They appear to be synths of a kind, forged from plastyflesh rather than metal, but autopsies have discerned biological matter at the core of the creatures, a remnant brainstem and nervous system. The cells recovered from different Greenguard – some samples taken centuries apart – appear to match one another, forcing one to draw the conclusion that all of these mute automata contain living tissue drawn from the same source. Their green colour appears to be linked to a form of algae that permeates their plastyflesh, a symbiont that powers the warriors using artificial photosynthesis. Their green rifles are powered the same way, and fire spikes of something that resembles human tooth enamel.

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