Faction Overhaul: The Monolith
Glory to the Monolith
Secretive, fanatical and extremely dangerous, the Monolith are one of STALKER's most intriguing factions. That said, their appearance in Call of Pripyat was somewhat lacking in depth. With this in mind, we've been working to make the faction deeper, more interesting, and better fleshed-out.
Today team member Etcetera will be laying out the current state of the faction in Wormwood - its motives, status, operatives, relations, and more. Please let us know what you think!
- Protect the holy Monolith at all costs
- Destroy all non-Monolithian and non-zombified humans in the Zone
- Preserve the secrets of the Zone
State of Play
With the destruction of the C-Consciousness and the fall of the Brain Scorcher, the warriors of the Monolith are a fractured and disparate group. No longer are they a united, coordinated force defending the Zone from intruders. Instead, cells and subgroups pursue their xenophobic agenda separately, and there are rumours that some brothers have even managed to shrug off their brainwashing and reclaim their independence.
Divided as they are, the forces of the Monolith remain one of the most powerful factions of the Zone, with access to considerable stockpiled resources, advanced technology, a strong corps of well-trained and fanatically loyal foot-soldiers, and an almost preternatural understanding of anomalies and mutants.
Composition and Organisation
The founding of the Monolith faction is still shrouded in secrecy, but veteran Stalkers agree that the fanatics in grey, brown and green were first seen not long after a faction of Free Stalkers somehow managed to bypass the Brain Scorcher. The Monolith’s numbers swelled with abducted and brainwashed Stalkers, all equipped with modern and high quality equipment from unknown sources.
Monolithians were given their orders from the C-Consciousness at the heart of the CNPP, received telepathically via a variety of improvised antennae with a distinctive apparatus of unknown importance at their centre. Within the ranks, something of a chain of command existed – Preachers, equipped with Gauss Rifles and radio sets broadcast inspirational chants to soldiers, while officers, selected on an as-yet unknown basis, are responsible for executing the will of the Monolith on a strategic and tactical level.
The rank structure of the Monolith has survived relatively intact where the chain of command has failed, with Monolithians following the order of the highest ranking Monolithian present. However, disagreements do occur, and raiding parties have been known to twist or even abandon their orders if it suits their own agendas.
Nevertheless, the average Monolithian is still fanatically loyal to the cause (whatever it may be), and will not hesitate to kill unbelievers on sight unless letting them live serves some higher purpose.
Composition and Organisation
Thoughtless cruelty and unreasoning fanaticism combined with potent military might have made the Monolithians even less popular in the Zone than the mutants. Every Stalker either knows someone, or knows someone who knows someone who was killed, or, worse yet, recruited by the Monolith, and will thus in most cases shoot on sight, and fight to the death if escape is not an option.
Of the other factions, the Military have thrown by far the most resources in to defeating the Monolithians, largely unsuccessfully. The assault on the CNPP was nothing short of disastrous, with over 100 soldiers dying and countless roubles of materiel lost or destroyed. After the assault, High Command pursued a policy of cover-ups and consolidation, doing its best to conceal the truth about the failed mission while preparing for another, more ambitious ploy: Operation Fairway - an attempt to secure a beachhead at the CNPP in order for a decisive strike to decapitate the Monolithian war machine. Even with the loss of the C-Con, however, the Monolithians put up more than enough of a fight to decimate the military expedition. How High Command and the government react in the long term remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely that they will reverse their policy of intentionally misinforming their troops on the nature of the threat.
Duty and Freedom share a common enemy in the Monolith, though rarely cooperate on the subject, for obvious reasons – one notable exception being the ceasefire in place allowing Freedom to defend The Barrier unmolested. Both dedicate a reasonable amount of resources to attempting to destroy or even capture raiding parties, though with a cynicism borne of the knowledge that Monolithians will sooner kill themselves than be captured alive. Bounties are from time to time posted on Monolithians dead, and Freedom are especially interested in a live specimen.
Free Stalkers and Bandits have come to view the Monolithians as a sort of bogeyman, many having lost friends and comrades to their forces. Due to the disparity of force, they generally avoid engagements, but some larger or more experienced groups have been known to take the fight to the Monolithians, especially when it comes to rooting out any underground cells in occupied areas.
Ecologists view Monolithians with extreme interest, but also as an extreme threat. In general the rewards of studying one are considerably outweighed by the risks, and it is questionable how much useful data an autopsy within a mobile lab would really yield.
Mercenaries see the Monolithians the same way they see every other breathing thing in the Zone – best avoided. However, their prying around the labs and bunkers of the Zone naturally bring the two factions into conflict. The Mercenaries high value of their own lives and the Monolithians heavy use of guerrilla tactics mean engagements between the two factions typically end with few casualties on either side, much to the disappointment of their enemies.
At the time of Operation Fairway, the Monolith are predominantly present in the city of Pripyat, occupying a number of buildings and fielding an overall very significant presence.
Strong enough to maintain a stranglehold on the city despite the efforts of the military, they regularly infilitrate raiding parties through secret tunnels, gaps in anomaly fields, and the Pripyat-1 Underpass below the Jupiter Plant into areas such as Zaton and Yanov. However, a slow to zero recruitment rate and gradual attrition are wearing even the stoic Monolithians’ numbers down.
Additionally, several territorial holdings and cells were abandoned in the retreat from areas previously covered by the Brain Scorcher, leaving splinter groups disconnected from the main faction in the Zone's extremities. Despite this, so-called 'Death Trucks' are still known to operate under the cover of darkness - though much more rarely than in the earlier months of 2012.
We hope you've enjoyed today's in-depth look into the Monolith faction in Wormwood. If you liked it, let us know and we'll definitely look at doing more faction-focused articles in the future! Trust us, there's plenty more to discuss!
In the mean time, please enjoy the final day of phase one of Mod of the Year 2015, and consider voting for Wormwood - just head back to the mod's front page and hit the vote button!
Thanks for reading!
- The Wormwood Team