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Prophet without honour

June 3, 2011

Back when Anarchy Online was released, there was also a novel released called Prophet without honour, referred to as the first chapter of the Anarchy Online story. This was something I never read back then, but as I resubscribed to the game recently I decided to read it.

I was not sp sure what to expect and did not have any high expectations – would it be a somewhat independent story perhaps explaining some game elements, would it be some kind of teaser or advertisement for the game or something else?

The answer is a bit of a mix. It is no stand-alone story in that it has a definite ending and conclusion – it leaves a number of story threads open and in the very last sentence it points to the game for continuation of the story. It does provide a background for Omni-Tek and the Solitus race and some hsitorical as well as contemporary characters – at least contemporary back when the game was released. I have no idea yet what the situation is for Philip Ross (who was leading Omni-Tek back in those days) in the current time for the game, for example.

Prophet without honour was a better read than I expected though. It spans over 27000 years, starting from 1949 until present day Rubi-Ka, with each chapter providing a shorter story along the timeline and providing a link between the previous story/chapter and the next. I liked most of it and the kind of multi-layered puppeteer/puppet elements of the story. There is a clear notion what is the good side and the evil side in the conflict (from a human perspective) both ultimately being controlled. It kind of reminds me a bit about the philosophy of the two opposing sides in Babylon 5 (Shadows vs Vorlons).

The novel will not get you any particular benefits or advantages for the game itself; if you are the type of player who rather enjoy the journey than reaching the end, then this book might be something for you. If you are more of one than want to get to the end game as soon as you can, then this will not be for you. This novel really just about a more in-depth journey of the prologue to the game.

There is a TL;DR version of the story and more than that on the page The Story So Far; the story of the novel is essentially covered under the headline Earth and the other sections explains some parts that are left unanswered in the novel itself – probably because that page have been updated a few times as new expansions (and story elements) have been released.

I do not know if I will learn what happened with some of the characters in the novel that did not quite end there; I guess that some of these were probably covered back in the early days of the game with the live events they were running then.  Other pieces may be in the game, just need to find them.

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Categories: Anarchy Online
  1. June 3, 2011 at 15:09

    I never read the book, but did read through the entire timeline. It makes the game even more fun to play. There are plenty of changes on Rubi-Ka that could fill Book Two. Or at least the timeline could be extended with the alien invasions, the discovery of lost eden. But also smaller things that don’t necessary impact daily play but are just fun to read. Like some struggle for power in Omni-Tek. Where the new agencies in Rome and Athen came from. Why leets are being used as waiters. I just devour back stories like that.

    Is that book still available somewhere in print?

    • June 4, 2011 at 10:17

      I have started to read the timeline as well and am pretty much in sync with the time I originally left the game (summer of 29476).

      It is good to read the story progression with various bits and pieces. It is also apparent that there has been a significant drop in activity in the past 2 years – no updates for this year and one last year about new uniforms for ICC.

      Not sure if the book can be obtained in printed form anymore; I use my eReader most of the time for books nowadays.

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