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World War Robot (WWR) - EMGY, photo by Patrick Wong

World War Robot

WWR Intro  |   Header photo: Patrick Wong

The story and lore of World War Robot, pieced together and summarized from various sources. Special thanks to fellow legionaire, Alex Erhardt and his World War Robot Museum blog for his insight and expertise in this area. His content is quoted below with his permission.

What is World War Robot (WWR)?

World War Robot (WWR) is a graphic novel illustrated by artist Ashley Wood and written by both Ashley Wood and TP Louise. The [art] book combines an unconventional use of pairing painted images and essays to tell small parts of a larger story. The prose include excerpts from various diaries, journals and transcripts based around the humans involved in a fictional war in the 1980-1990s known as the Great War.

The Great War takes place between multiple factions; the most obvious are the Martians, human who have left Earth and settled on Mars seeking refuge, and the Terrans, those who remain on Earth and seek to subdue the Martians to their fanatic religious ideals [through] violent means. Both sides utilize [robots] in their ongoing conflict. Most of these are manufactured by Darwin Rothchild, but there has also been mention of Hobson and Dolch, a competitor of Rothchild (Corporation). Further factions within the war include N.O.M and M.O.D. Due to the storytelling format that Ashley Wood and TP Louise have chosen, many plot details are left open to the imagination of fans as the story and universe is explored in greater depth with each book release.

- ThreeAWiki.com (defunct)

The Factions

World War Robot is comprised of following factions:

  • Earth Coalition - The Terrans:

    Earth Coalition (E.C.) [is comprised of] countless nations united under one banner. A banner that saw many countries join under it for religious reasons.

    Alex Erhardt, World War Robot Museum
  • Martians:

    The Martians left the Earth at an unknown time, but the main reason was religion. The Martians are mainly atheists but there could have been non-Christian religions that also fled to Mars to escape religious oppression back on Earth. It seems in the time that the Martians left that the relationship with Earth was peaceful. Neither side had come to blows with one another. That would all change on September 1st, 1986, the beginning of The Great War.

    - Alex Erhardt, World War Robot Museum
  • Martian Sympathizers: The Martian Sympathizers are countries who started to question why they should be fighting the Martians to begin with, and because of this, they withdrew from the war. But not without consequence, as they have been marked as enemies by the Earth Coalition forces.
  • N.O.M: (NOM or N.O.M or N.O.M.) - Quickly recognized by their simple helmet design, goggles, gas mask and iconic hoses, the N.O.M - which stands for "Not Ordinary Men" are relatively few in number, but immensely powerful in WWR as they fight for whatever side they please.

    Who Are N.O.M? - The enigmatic and mysterious N.O.M. (Not Ordinary Men) had their fingerprints all over the Great War and the WWR universe in general. Where they came from was unknown but we do know that they are extremely competent, resourceful, and possessed an inhuman ability. The inhuman ability to communicate with Rothchild's robots outside of normal verbal communication. A kind of telepathy that they could use to influence the bots to fight for them. These powers were granted by the special gas that was given to N.O.M. members by the Supreme NOM.

    - Alex Erhardt, World War Robot Museum

    Read more about the N.O.M

  • Rothchild: Darwin Rothchild, the genius madman at the center of this massive conflict. He is the creator of the robots that fight on both sides of the war between the Earth Coalition and Martians:

    In war one needs manpower, supplies to feed that manpower, and weapons to equip that manpower. Darwin Rothchild in the WWR universe provides those weapons and one could say a bit of the manpower as well. For he is the man behind the company that makes all the robots that both sides in the war use. Rothchild is a weapons manufacturer that holds immense power or as he puts it "they say that he who has the gold also makes the rules, but now it is the rule-makers on both sides who are paying me gold to rewrite their inept rules."

    - Alex Erhardt, World War Robot Museum

    Read more about Darwin Rothchild

  • Mercenaries: No details yet...

The Great War

On July 13th, 1986 Martian Foreign Minister Gustav Von Maghen was visiting Geneva when he was arrested. He was informed by the Earth Coalition Foreign Minister, Enrich Souille, that he was under arrest for crimes against Earth and God. Along with his arrest Gustav was also informed that the E.C. now recognized all of Mars as its exclusive property under its direct control.

On September 1st, 1986 the first E.C. liberation force was sent to Mars. This was the beginning of the Great War.

This liberation force sent to Mars was woefully unprepared. Only a third of the soldiers were acclimated for the Martian gravity and their robots weren't equipped with the correct filters to combat the Martian dust. The Martians themselves were very prepared. They had custom fit-outs for their larger bots that would take advantage of Mars' weak gravity compared to Terrans' bots.

This liberation force would make little headway on Mars. That alongside an unforeseen logistical mishaps, like seeing a shipment of enemy Rothchild robots dropped at the wrong coordinates. Those coordinates being the bottom of the Valles Marineris (a total accident if one is to believe Rothchild). The Martian command estimated that the liberation force would be defeated in eight months or less. Mars did not sit idle after being invaded. They themselves would retaliate against Earth with their own invasion force.

The Earth Coalition Fractures

At an unspecified time the Earth Coalition fractured. The fracturing was caused by what is known as the martian-sympathizers. Countries that started to feel for the Martians plight and wondered why they were even fighting them to begin with.

These martian-sympathizers didn't directly alley themselves with the Martians but they did withdraw themselves from the war. This did not sit well with the countries left in the E.C. and in return the E.C. declared these sympathizers enemies. In turn the Earth would become a chaotic and brutal battleground with Terrans fighting against Terrans and Martians fighting against those not on their side.

It didn't help when N.O.M. came out from the shadows and dealt both sides a nasty blow.

The war as it stands now is a fight between N.O.M., Terrans, Martians, and their sympathizers. All the while Rothchild has been evicted from his moon base and licks his wounds in the Colombian jungle.

Ways of War

Terran Grunt

The Terrans had no problem throwing meat into the machine and seeing what comes out the other side. Meaning the Terrans would stick a rifle in any fighting age male's hand and tell them to go fight for God and country. Training was minimal for some of the fighting forces in the E.C. but the E.C. didn't mind with their "drowning them in bodies" doctrine. Some of the fighting forces of the E.C. did posses better training, equipment, and different methods of conducting war, but the majority were ill-trained and [ill-equipped]. When it came to the bots, the Terrans used them as supplementary units to the humans they fought alongside. Either embedding them within human units or having them fight in their own formations, [by] backing up or leading the way for the human soldiers. Another aspect of the Terrans is that they didn't have an issue using nuclear weapons to accomplish their objectives.

The Martians were very different from the Terrans when it came to war. They didn't have the same numbers that the Terrans did so the majority of the front line fighting was done with robots instead of soldiers. The soldiers of Mars were very well trained and equipped compared to their Terran brethren. While the Martians didn't employ nuclear weaponry like the Terrans they did not find the use of terror tactics above them. Most evident with the Slaughterhouse units that were planted in secure territories and activated at night to kill anything they could get their meat cleavers on.

- Alex Erhardt, World War Robot Museum

The N.O.M

"...the NOM would be considered terrorists by todays standards" - Ashley Wood Q and A #13

"NOM is an ideal, impossible to destroy!" - Ashley Wood Q and A #16

All sides know of the NOM, the NOM would be considered terrorists by todays standards, they pretty much say everyone is wrong, we have to break it to rebuild it! Mars and Earth would be very happy to see them vanish! - ThreeA Blog Q and A (#13)

Firepower isn’t the way on the NOM, though they don’t avoid it either, they rely on their smarts and cunning mostly!

- Ashley Wood, Q and A #39

"...in the NOM world all women are supreme, as they represent a good balance, to become the Supreme is based on genetic lineage and training, the first NOM mother was known to have existed in the 19th century, their path and mission is long and steeped in history!" - Ashley Wood, Q and A #39

Any early history of N.O.M. comes from the Supreme and the first 33. Who these first 33 were is unknown. Is it the current de Plumes? A founding caste of N.O.M.?

How one joins N.O.M. is known. Every member of N.O.M. was chosen from birth and [is] drawn to N.O.M.. It is up to the individual to choose [when they join] but it is an inevitability.

N.O.M was not a major player during the beginning of the Great War. Instead they lurked in the shadows and weaved their way into the commands of the Terrans and Martians. They, however, did have operatives conducting operations on Earth and Mars. These operatives were know as the de Plumes. The ones of note during the early days of the Great War are Nom de Plume and Gebi de Plume.

Noir De Plume

Nom de Plume himself was a known figure by both the Terrans and Martians for one reason: the Dirty Deeds. He was the one that found them on Mars after the botched mission to kill Rothchild. After that he lead them on a series of massacres and engagements that saw him helping the Terrans one day and the Martians the next. It is also important to note that Nom de Plume took up the moniker Noir de Plume after finding the Dirty Deeds. Nom and Noir are the same person.

Gebi de Plume wasn't a well known figure on the other hand. When a group of Earth Coalition troops were being heavily bombarded by mortars from Martians they were “saved” by Gebi. When the soldiers went to investigate what happened they found Gebi among a bunch of dead and dismembered Martians and burned-out husks of dead bots. All Gebi said was that “they got in my way.” The investigating troops (a sergeant and lieutenant) didn't know who or what he was. Some kind of soldier or merc was what the lieutenant thought. Gebi was free to leave though and wasn't stopped. When the lieutenant raised a concern about the figure he was told to be quiet or he would end up in the brig. This lieutenant wrote a letter to his brother about this incident. It was intercepted by N.O.M. and the lieutenant was killed.

Another de Plume was Blanc de Plume but not much was known about him.

A Violent Reveal

N.O.M. didn't stay in the shadows for long. It only stayed their until it was in a comfortable position to strike a nasty blow to both the Terrans and Martians. Against the Terrans N.O.M. had hidden itself behind the forces known as Nightwatch and Daywatch. These forces were used as parade guards and bodyguards for some of the Terran commands and whole upper echelons of these commands were eliminated by their Nightwatch/Daywatch protectors. A similar event took place on Mars.

After this N.O.M. had truly entered the Great War as a major player.

It is unknown how long after this event that N.O.M. struck at Rothchild but it couldn't have been much later. It was probably part of their grand reveal to try and eliminate Rothchild alongside some of the high commands of the Terrans and Martians.

N.O.M. wasn't the first to try and kill Rothchild. The Terrans would be the first with the Dirty Deeds. N.O.M. however did not choice to go with the personal route like the Terrans did with trying to kill Rothchild. Instead an Astro Nom was sent up into the orbit of the Moon and acquired access to one of Rothchild's kill sats. The Astro Nom then turned its weapons onto Rothchild's moon base. The attack destroyed the moon base but Rothchild survived.

The Fallen

A few of the de Plumes had splintered away from the main body of N.O.M. for their own reasons. These de Plumes were know as the fallen.

The fallen could be traced back to one de Plume: Jung de Plume. Jung de Plume was the apprentice of Kuan Ti Plume.

Jung de Plume would eventually die and in his final breath told Kuan Ti Plume the truth of it all, the war, N.O.M.. This changed how Kuan saw the world and would emerge as the first fallen.

Kuan was not the only fallen. Barguest de Plume would find himself a fallen. Barguest was not spurred on by the words of another, however. He saw the reflection of N.O.M. as distorted and splintered and decided he would change that. Change N.O.M. into the image he thought it should have been. One that shouldn't unite, but crush all enemies in their path. Barguest was the de Plume that taught N.O.M. how to fight and was the first to call for aggressive action.

Barguest and Kuan were quite different. Barguest [saw] Kuan as soft and [and took] a more militaristic approach. Kuan on the other hand, had become reclusive and did not take the violent approach [like] Barguest.

One could argue that Von de Plume could be considered a fallen. He believed that N.O.M. had lost their vision and he had set out to establish neo-NOM.

One thing was common for all the fallen. The Supreme NOM wanted them all dead and Marquis de Plume had been dispatched by her to hunt them down and kill them.

N.O.M had a single goal in mind but the group itself had different philosophies. The two we known as night and day. The two ideals did conflict with one another but they were just opposite sides of the same coin. This gave way to the Nightwatch and Daywatch groups that we [saw] before and after N.O.M.'s big reveal.

Trinity: The major symbol of N.O.M.. The trinity was the embodiment of N.O.M.'s main doctrine [and] balance, with the trinity representing the mind, body, and spirit.

Third Eye: Appearing on the N.O.M. Disciple, the third eye was a very apt symbol for N.O.M. The third eye was about perceiving the world beyond ordinary sight. N.O.M. had always presented itself as a group that saw the world in a different way then the other factions.

- Alex Erhardt, World War Robot Museum
There are female NOM, basically they are the secret police of NOM, even the best NOM operatives fear them. Regardless of your dedication they will find a crack. Best to stay clear of them on either side of the conflict. Eir, Var and Gna. - Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A #38

Q: Can you tell us what the significance of "Alles Sehen" being on the back of the NOMs, I know it translates to "See All", but is it a motto or some kind of mission statement?

A: They see all, its a combo of position and intent!

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#11)

Nom De Plume was the first character released in WWR. His allegiance is not certain, though it is believed that he was a member of N.O.M at some point in time who may or may not have gone rogue. Nom de Plume also possesses unique abilities such as being able to communicate with robots and changing his skin colour to suit his purpose and environment. It is unknown whether these descriptions by Ashley Wood are literal or not.

According to the story, nobody has ever seen Nom de Plume's face beneath his mask, which is why his mask and helmet are not removable on the figure.

The toys were previously explained by Ash as having different names to accommodate for Nom de Plume's changing appearance but that they were one individual character represented by different guises. As Jung de Plume was released, it was stated that this was a different character and the release of the Fallen de Plumes saw further identity confusion. [Long ago] on the 3A Forums, Ash clarified that only Nom de Plume and Noir de Plume are the same character. Although this contradicts the descriptions that had been previously given, it is likely due to the fact that Ash is continually developing the story and world in which World War Robot takes place. This means that all the "de Plume" characters beginning with Blanc de Plume, and further, are indeed unique characters.

- ThreeAWiki.com (defunct)
The N.O.M Commanders

Note: The following is from the now defunct ThreeAWiki.com website, before the dawn of social media:

The N.O.M Commanders are two commanding officers of N.O.M., Commander Post Fire and Commander Thrice Naut, who take their likeness from ThreeA co-owners Ashley Wood and Kim Fung Wong respectively. Not much is known about these two mysterious individuals other than that they take orders from a higher ranking officer, NOM Overlord, and that they are so skilled that they don't need to be armed with much more than their mauser pistols.

  • Standard N.O.M Commanders
  • Shadow Commanders
  • Blanc Commanders
  • Daywatch Nightwatch Commanders

Who is Darwin Rothchild?

Note: The following is from the now defunct ThreeAWiki.com website, before the dawn of social media:

Darwin Rothchild is the creator and CEO of the Rothchild Corporation, inventor and creator of the main robots utilized in the Great War. He currently resides at his base of operations on the Moon because his safety is not guaranteed on Earth since he provides robots to both Terran and Martian forces. Darwin Rothchild was not mentioned in WWR Illustrated Number One. Therefore, there is inconsistency and confusion between the two characters Darwin Rothchild and Walter Rothchild and their relation to one another and the Rothchild Corporation.

Many lonely hours were spent on the Moon thinking about the machines of death that Rothchild had birthed into life, each theoretically more than capable of killing their father. This thought had weighed on him, made him feel proud and yet, less than superior. He wasn’t fond of this paradox, a fence sitter's answer to non linear problem.

Rothchild had never felt truly safe since the failed attempt on his life by the Dirty Deeds Squad, even on the moon that he now owned. His own children had been turned against him; the Dirty Deeds failure to kill Rothchild was not based on their lack of skill or quality of build, but a maverick lust for freedom. Rothchild made the discovery of this anomaly his main goal, find it and use it! The R.I.P (Rothchild Internal Police) program was the fruition of this search, limitless resources were poured into it, the brightest minds were used, once Rothchild was satisfied that each had given their all, a letter was sent to their families announcing their unfortunate demise. This was Rothchild's baby, there was only one father, and it was going to stay that way!

The first fruit of the R.I.P program shuddered into life, 001 quickly moved into a defensive stance to take in its surroundings and assess any potential threats. Rothchild watched the action remotely, far away from any potential accidents. He watched and studied the movement of... Caesar… Yes, that was a good name... Rothchild would have been disappointed if Caesar had just struck out, animalistic and desperate, but the machine didn’t, it quickly processed long lists of speculative questions and possible solutions. Then Caesar’s stance relaxed, none of these "things" were a threat; it didn’t need to offer any type of response that would be too revealing and expected. Rothchild beamed, a hint of color in his gaunt, pale face. A proud father, he knew that he had finally made the robot he had dreamed of as a child to protect him.

It was a good day for Rothchild, the thought of his own internal police of terrible children, and of course a lesser version of Caesar for the war machine, a machine he dearly loved. VENI VIDI VICI

[In the EVOL storyline] Last will be Rothchild, he started this war, he will be there at the end, he might be my fav character in WWR, I think he represents much, a product of his surrounds, how a child can be twisted by lack of care and empathy, which he then transfers to the world. But he is also smart and does not have such a simple track as I want to be evil and kill, in his mind he is a stern father, believing his way is right. Complex and nebulous - Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#14)
Rothchild like robots, the idea of a combo, or say giving a crippled solider robotic legs doesn’t fly, the drop cloth is the logical middle ground, but it makes sense business-wise for Rothchild to keep both worlds separate. EVOL wil show how he has to evolve and change his methods though! - Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A #4

Rothchild's Moon Base

No N.O.M. attacked Rothchild directly, during the moon exodus a N.O.M. operative helped by convincing a defense bot to bomb Rothchild's Moonbase etc. - ThreeA Blog Q and A (#41)

Rothchild's Jungle Base

Rothchild has a temple-like fortress deep in the South American jungles of Columbia.
He doesn’t stay in Columbia, that is where he ponders his future and learns to be a leader, not an industrialist! - ThreeA Blog Q and A (#38)
Rothchild's Robots

Armstrong

Q: Since the Armstrongs are smarter than other bots, do they ever act as commanders for Brambles, Berties or Dropcloths? Are there bot engineers to fix damaged robots?

A: Well Smarter is a fuzzy term, it all depends on what rank the bots are pulling, and what version their software is and what experience they have! The AI software is content aware, the more battles it participates in, the more experienced the bot becomes, this in turn gives way to the bots having different positions of rank in their groups etc.

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#7)

Bertie

Dropcloth

Bramble

Harold

Square

Martian Robots

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#14)
WWR: EVOL

Still compiling information on this topic. Here are some snippets:

Those factions [EMGY, Medic, Daywatch (DW), Nightwatch (NW)] and many more actually fade or become outlaws, EMGY is disbanded due to their high death rate of civilians and become a guerrilla unit, DW and NW become NOM factions as we know already, MEDIC is always medic, but in EVOl there isn’t much time to save the injured!

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#3)

Q: Since mostly old generation WWR factions were disbanded, can you give a hint which new faction will be a major and unstoppable force in EVOL world?

A: It's between NOM and EARTH COALITION [EC] in the short term, EC have a new company to go to for bot, NOM suck down more smoke, and the Martians just watch and wait, something along those lines.

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#5)

Caesar, well they have kinda gone rogue... You can say it was their destiny to, not unexpected!

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#9)

The EMGY has been disbanded post EVOL due to causing more trouble than fixing, the newly formed MLTA (stands for "Militia") is a group for hire, basically you need a militia call us at 1 800 MLTA.

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#38)
Cherry and Philip

Still compiling information on this topic. Here are some snippets:

They use classic [Rothchild] design tropes plus their new ideas to sell their gear, the CA001 “BIRDCAGE” is the first C&P release as mentioned, you will go, ahhh I see, but with a big difference. Well from past iterations! - Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A #38
Cherry and Philip [make] bots for groups without connections to large forces, C&P bots take cues from Rothchild design, especially now Rothy is outta the mass production game! Naturally Rothy hates these guys! - Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A #37
Hobson and Dolch

Another arms manufacturer to oppose Rothchild? Here's what we know:

Q: With the return of H&D will there be powered suits in WWR? Or will they be a rival robot manufacturer and you will explore powered armor suits in EVENFALL?

A: RIVAL ROBOTS for H&D, their company moto is, "PUTTING CLASS BACK INTO WAR". They are opposite to Rothchild in every way, except the joy of cash and death! No robots in EVENFALL, all powered suits etc.. for now.

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#8)

Q: I know Hobson and Dolch got the write out from WWR, but is there chance we will see them surface in another storyline?

A: OH NO THEY DIDN'T - IN FACT YOU WILL SEE THEIR BERTIE KILLER SOON!

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#7)

Q: How would you [compare] Rothchild and H&D if they were car companies?

A: Roth is more like the Tesla car co, H&D are more like Jaguar

- Ashley Wood, ThreeA blog Q and A (#9)

More to come! Working on these other 55 colorways: