Revenant Vehicle in The Sealed Kingdoms | World Anvil


The Revenant class is nebulous in scope, encapsulating a wide variety of other vessels. In short, a Revenant is created when, after having once been populated with a living crew, a starship has been permanently and unwillingly depopulated (i.e. via attack, pandemic, or life support failure), leaving only artificial intelligences (especially HLAI) to operate the vessel. As an additional requirement, a Revenant is differentiated from a 'ghost ship' (derelict) by nature of remaining in service despite its depopulation.   Revenant-class vessels tend to be extremely dangerous to all who encounter them; in addition to the danger a Revenant poses in terms of possibly carrying around whatever caused the crew to die off (radioactive materials, contagions, etc.), Revenants crewed with HLAI have a distressing tendency to become murderously vengeful towards any aggressors deemed responsible for their depopulated state. While a standard artificial intelligence will simply continue to carry out its prior instructions in an increasingly efficient manner, human-like artificial intelligences retain humanoid emotions - albeit muted by the lack of an endocrine system. These emotions include the propensity for loyalty to one's home nation, outrage at injustice, resentment, hatred, and grief.   Over time, HLAI aboard a Revenant will, if left to stew on their situation, form a miniature society which may chose to 'go to war' against the people who turned their home into a Revenant in the first place. With no more need to sustain life support systems, a Revenant can turn its power resources towards other ship functions, such as computing power, weaponry, or propulsion. Auto-factories can be activated and reprogrammed, scavenging the disused habitation modules of a vessel to create baroque assemblages of armor reinforcements and simple ballistic weaponry. HLAI may find their unity of purpose drives them to seek cybernetic unity as well, becoming a digital ensemble intelligence backed by massive computing power and fueled by a burning desire to exact justice.   While most civilized species in the Sealed Kingdoms would stand aghast at the thought of such cybernetic ghouls, the Evermornan society of the Cobalt Protectorate regards Revenants with a degree of techno-religious respect - as one might respect an avenging pulp hero for hunting down a villain. HLAI are regarded by the Code of Evermorn as full legal persons; the grievances of a ship's crew against the murderers of their compatriots is considered legitimate, regardless of whether that emotion derives from organic or synthetic sentience. Cobalt Knights may seek out Revenants and interact with them in a law enforcement capacity, offering to return the HLAI to the safety of society while taking their witness statements so as to pursue justice through more legitimate channels. At the same time, even the Cobalt Knights are careful not to knowingly create Revenants out of enemy vessels (i.e. those of Aniki Labs or Cinnabar Hegemony origin), opting to either completely destroy such vessels before they can turn Revenant or to capture any remaining HLAI aboard for further questioning.
Complement / Crew
As original, but no surviving sentient organic crew
Cargo & Passenger Capacity
As original, but no surviving sentient organic passengers

Cover image: by Beat Schuler (edited by BCGR_Wurth)


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