The Keepers

Living outside of tribal society and away from the love and guidance of the Fatimas are the Keepers. Their ancestors hid themselves away in the Time Before, when the Z'Bri came, sheltered and survived. They have never seen the camps, they never needed a liberation. They strive to remember and recover elements of the time before. They record the present day. They look towards a Future that has woken from the nightmare of existence.

It's easy to recognise a Keeper - they tend to wear old cloaks or coats from the Time Before and cover their faces with masks and goggles made out of strange materials that they say it keeps them safe from the choking dust of the Rust Wastes. They adorn themselves with trinkets and twisted pieces of odd materials from the time before and have a myriad of different devices and relics. They have weapons that can fire small balls of metal that are more deadly than any arrow and can take down the largest of animals, they have small boxes that beep oddly and metal tubes that produce light as bright a lantern but from nothing.

Their customs usually make them stand out like sore thumbs as well; although many speak both Franzay and Gaelish (the language of the tribals), most Keepers speak to each other using 'Keepspeak' - a Jargon filled language full of technical and academic terms from the Time Before that make it incomprehensible to most outside listeners. They tend not to go for the same level of tribal markings and tattoos as the Tribals do - preferring to record their history using their devices rather than through the traditions of their own skin.


Keepers live in the ruins of the world before - deep within the tunnels and the caverns and the metal skeletons of half crumbled buildings. Deep underground is where they hid away from the taint and oppression of the Z'bri - descended from those who had the foresight to plan for the end, to know that they must hide away for generations to weather the storm above. The Keepers are amongst the only ones who know how to navigate the labyrinth of the Rust Wastes to the East of Vimary - the ruins and the tunnels that confuse and lose the unwary. In the centre of the Rust Wasts is Olympus - a great stadium structures that still stands tall amidsts the ruins and it acts as a focal point of Keeper society. Other Keepers do live in the outlands (usually within the more complete ruins from the Time Before) but most are found in and around Olympus and the tunnels beneath it all.

There are some tunnels that are said to lead all the way from the depths of the rust wastes and beyond right into the heart of Vimary. That the old underground complexes in Bazaar and Hom all connect together and if you know how to navigate them, you can leave Vimary altogether. The keepers know this to be true but take great pains to encourage an attitude that dissuades too many tribals from actually doing so.

Keeper Society

Keepers see it as their duty to chronicle the world, to ensure that no more knowledge is lost and to uncover what they can from the Time Before to build a better future and avoid the mistakes of the past. All told there are close to 9,000 Keepers living in the tunnels and ruins around Vimary.

Machine Monks

The Machine Monks see it as their religious duty to become one with the machines they study. The full integration of human with machine is treated with a holy reverence and recovery of items from the world before is seen as a sacred duty. Many of the monks sport technomantic 'improvements' with wires and lights and gears implanted within their own flesh performing some unknown function. To carry such an implant is a sign of great favour and seniority amongst order.

The Machine Monks are secretive and even other Keepers don't know exactly what occurs in the tunnels and complexes - but what is known is that they are fanatical in their devotion and guard their secrets well. There are rumors of people going missing around the tunnels owned by the Machine Monks, Tribal and Keeper alike. Sometimes the missing turn up as new acolytes, extolling the virtues of their new way. More often than not, the missing are never seen again.

The Derelicts

The Derelicts are by far the most openly warlike of the Keeper factions. They specialise in finding and repairing vehicles and weapons that allow them to scour the land in roving bands, taking what they want from the local Squats and raiding the occasional Tribal outpost or farmland. They take what they need from others by force and use their knowledge of the Time Before to help them dominate the lands they claim as their own.

They are predictable in their violence and while they are powerful, there are disorganised, somewhat scattered and small in number. They've yet to try anything against the full might of the Tribes as despite their advantages it's unlikely they would prevail against the might of Joan's organised warriors.

The Archivists

The Archivists are the faction that deal most with the tribes. Their focus is on bringing the knowledge of the Time Before to the present, recovering lost secrets and improving the world with them. They spend much of their time hunting through old ruins to find new cache's of technology and then trying to work out what it was for and how to use it once again. Their complexes tend to be filled with relics from the time before in various stages or working order.

The Archivists are also the faction that spend most time trading - they're not fussy about who they trade with, Tribal, Squat or Fallen. They're usually offering some of the more common and practical devices that they have access to (things like 'firearms' and 'ammunition' or 'torches') and in exchange are looking to obtain food and other supplies along with anything interesting from the Time Before that has been dug up by those who don't know what to do with it.


The Keepers do not use synthesis in any way that Tribal would recognise but they are able to harness a similar power that they call 'Tehcnosmithing'. With this they craft weapons and tools that are the rival (or even surpass) anything the most skilled Joanite could fashion. The Devices they create are akin to magic from an outside perspective - mirror boxes and machines that can store information, great metal carts that can move themselves and even machines that can fly! The most talented technosmiths are able to harness the great works of the Time Before - there are rumours that some can even travel along 'The Information Superhighway' covering vast distances in moments - if they know enough that is - and that this is just one of the marvels the Keepers have access to.

Tribal Relations

They see the Fallen worship blindly at the feet of the Fatimas and believe that true liberation lies in knowledge, not faith. The Fallen in turn view the Keepers as living outside the Love of the Goddess, cut off from Her Love they cannot concieve of how anyone may survive for long, let alone thrive for generations as the Keepers seem to have. There is also much distrust over those whose ancestors never saw the camps, jealousy or anger at having been abandoned by them to suffer and the vast gulf of cultural experience this provides. When the two meet there is often (but not always) violence and both sides have scars to show from their encounters.

Some see the Keepers as actively dangerous - searching for forbidden lore that brought about the coming of the Z'bri and the fall of the world before. They see the unquenchable thirst for knowledge as a sign that the Keepers will bring about a second doomsday.

The notable exception to this is the Eighth tribe. The Fallen share a desire for change, for upheaval and for growth that the other tribals deny. There is still some distrust of some of the more extreme Keeper groups but overall the Fallen are happy to learn from their Keeper brethren.

Photos by Oliver Facey and Tom Garnett

keepers.txt · Last modified: 2015/03/08 21:08 by ellie
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