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The Ascendancy Wars are Ashes of the Singularity’s single-player campaign. They tell the story of humanity’s reach for the stars, the incredible powers Post-Humans discover that they are able to bring to bear on the battlefield, and the mysterious foes that can threaten even our godlike descendants with ultimate destruction.
At launch, the Ascendancy Wars consist of one episode - Imminent Crisis - with seven core missions and three optional missions. Stardock looks forward to releasing more Ascendancy Wars content in the coming months.
Background[edit | edit source]
Exponential growth in the network’s data transmittal and computational capacities fundamentally altered humanity’s relationship with technology. Virtual reality was a false start – the real change came with devices that allowed our brains to interact directly with the network without having to view the electronic universe through the imperfect lenses of our five limited senses.
Eventually, the organic matter of the brain itself was rendered obsolete by the march of advancing technology. William “Mac” MacBride was the first so-called Post-Human: a fully networked intelligence, wielding godlike powers and inhabiting thousands of physical constructs with the merest fraction of his mammoth consciousness. The helper AI he and his fellow geniuses created, Haalee, was of immeasurable help in this transitionary period. Not only was she beyond brilliant by every measure, but her perspective as an intelligence without the in-born biases and modes of thinking that stayed with Mac even after leaving his body behind was invaluable.
As humanity began uploading itself into the exponentially growing network, the hunger for more Turinium to incorporate and therefore maintain the pace of computational expansion took hold. Turinium became the only measure that the ascended beings cared about at all – the more Turinium one controlled, the more intelligent and therefore more powerful they were.
Earth was soon transmuted in its entirety. The moon followed in short order. Firing seeds of self-replicating Nanites to Mars, Venus, and the rest of the solar system didn’t take long. Advances in quantum entanglement raised the possibility of expanding to the stars – all we had to do was remotely manipulate a relative handful of molecules to start the conversion process on a distant planet, and that much more Turinium was added to the network.
While the extrasolar conversion process was faster than pre-quantum scientists had ever believed might be possible, the billions of humans on Earth who hungered for ascension saw it proceeding at a snail’s pace. They saw godhood bestowed on the elite’s favorites, carefully hoarded lest the unwashed masses (who were actually pretty washed at this point, as material scarcity was a distant memory for our species) overstep their rightful places.
Mac organized a group of Post-Humans around the principles of ordered, responsible expansion. His Post-Human Coalition believed in stewardship of the universe, in taking care around life-bearing planets, and in a general commitment to preservation at the expense of the speed of expansion and ascension for those left on Earth. Humanity reacted the same way we always do.
Living on a post-scarcity Earth with all their needs met and nothing but leisure time on their hands, many – not all, but enough – biological humans can only see the beautiful bars of a gilded cage keeping them from the stars. Subversives among the Post-Humans sympathize with these malcontents, and Mac’s Post-Human Coalition began to feel the strain of internal disunity.
Just as these forces began building to open confrontation, though, something strange happens in the Kepler sector of the galaxy as its Turinium conversion process begins. Mac flings his consciousness to the stars to investigate…