“Their best can hit a sparrow’s eye from forty paces. Their worst… they still can, but they might have to use that third hand.”
The Exiles never risk their own precious lives in combat. Instead, they spawn warriors from the growth vats nestled in the bowels of the Spires, which draw directly from the massive stores of biomass and mineral resources siphoned by the Spires’ root structure. Among these creations, Clones are a valuable and much favoured commodity. Unlike the unsophisticated, almost mindless Drone troops, Clone flesh is grown directly from Exile tissue. Time and effort is actually spent in the shaping of their minds, bodies and weaponry. These elite creations became the champions of the Lineages, a display of power and Biomantic competence.
Almost since their arrival on Eä, the Lineages have been preparing for the Reclamation of the lost homeland. For that purpose, the Sovereign has tasked them with developing new types of troops, hosting tournaments for them to be displayed and evaluated. During these tournaments, the Lineages pit their finest troops and creations against each other in ritualized combat, more akin to sport than actual battle. As centuries passed, the strict, militarized character of the Lineages degenerated into a vicious and cruel competition for prestige and the Sovereign’s favour. Despite the petty motives, the products of the Lineages are frighteningly effective. Marksman Clones are a prime example of this.
Spliced from a number of tissues to ensure their keen eyesight and flawless hand-eye coordination, these Clones are amongst the most effective ranged troops one can encounter on the battlefield. The addition of a third arm was pioneered by the Fourth Indigo Lineage, which traded the marginal increases in accuracy that other houses blindly pursued for a significantly increased rate of fire. Despite underperforming in the sharpshooting challenges, the dominant superiority in their rate of fire brought glory to their Lineage in the melees for decades, until the other Lineages stole, bought or perfected their technique.
Unleashed on the outside world for the first time in millennia, Marksmen Clones are reaping a bloody toll on the battlefield, providing withering salvoes of accurate fire for the monstrous throng the Spires call an army.