The story and lore of World War Robot, pieced together and summarized from various sources including books, 3A newsletters, blog posts and fan contributions. 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.
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)
World War Robot is comprised of the following factions:
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
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
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
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
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 ally 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
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
"Germany does play a major part in the WWR universe, its one of the founding members of rebel countries that eventually stand up against the Earth coalition and say all this war shit against Mars is nuts, stop now or will annex ourselves from the coalition etc. which leads to a sticky situation as you can imagine and cool storylines. Evol is the umbrella for this, not just Rothchilds change but Earth's as well. The NOM come from everywhere!"- Ashley Wood, Q and A #18
"...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
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.
Q: How does N.O.M replenish it's ranks?
A: They actively search for new members that fit their cause! Like any organization! Granted most don't meet the minimum standard...Ashley Wood, Q and A #22
Truly a force of nature, NOM de Plume is a mystery and a threat in the lore of World War Robot. His name is whispered amongst soldiers on all fronts. Spoken of as bat-shit crazy, a madman, a terrorist, and a freedom fighter. A morally gray character that fights for his ideals and is an enemy to any that oppose him. Wearing a blood stained single sleeved shirt, shrouded in a stahlhelm-like-helmet, his face encased in a hosed mask with glaring red ports for eyes, NOM looks like a guerrilla warrior from a terrifying nightmare. The striking first painted images depict NOM de Plume in the middle of battle beating down on armies of robots with his gloved fists, smoke, metal, and rubble spewing all around. The weight of his fists the force of his movement - felt in every kinetic pose. Brief snippets of information from the letters of soldiers bring the lore of the character to life. The paintings and illustrations continue his tales. From him leading armies into battle, to braving the elements, to stopping for just a moment to view the path of destruction left in his wake. If something got in his way, it wouldn't be for long. Nothing seems to be able to stop him. NOM de Plume is known in certain circles to have appeared leading the infamous Dirty Deeds squad, a dozen vicious Berties with a reprogrammed AI set to kill their creator, Rothchild. It was during this time that NOM de Plume encased himself in shadow and took on the guise of NOIR de Plume. Black on black with emerald eyes, like a panther. Using the guise, he tricked the Berties into thinking he was one of them. Thought to have been an urban legend, the Dirty Deeds led by NOIR were a menace to mercenaries, armies, and residents of Mars. Wherever they roamed, certain death followed. None were safe from their programmed lust for lopping off heads. These stories and characters were only the beginning and just begging to be brought to life in a new medium.Ashley Wood and TP Louise, 3A Adventure 001 (digital), April 2014 (page 34-35)
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
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
Rothchild's Moon Base
Rothchild's Jungle Base
A robot originally secretly developed as a bodyguard for Rothschild. There are two models, the 0G and the 1G, where "G" refers to gravity - the 0G was designed for use on the moon, whereas the 1G was designed for use on Earth.- Goodsmile.com
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)
Bramble - MK2, MK2.5, MK3
ROTHCHILD BRAMBLE Mk2
Height 2.5m; Width 1.9m
Armor: 120mm; Plates 130mm
Armament: J Holmes 80mm Spit Gun
Power Plant: Brink Twin Diesel 600hp
During the siege of Madrid, the Rothchild Bramble Mk2 made its historic debut. Mobile, fast, and an ability to pack heavy firepower the Bramble Mk2 made a formidable opponent. Early models did encounter engine fire problems due to poor cooling and featured an overly bullish A.I. which led the Bramble Mk2 to have a rather gung-ho persona and was seemingly unperturbed by superior enemy firepower and unwinnable situations. This behavioral anomaly led to the Bramble Mk2 gaining a near legendary status with both Earth and Mars ground forces early in its commission.
Bramble Mk2 was developed by Rothchild as an answer to Bertie's vocal critics. With an ability to traverse most terrains easily and fast while utilizing its heavy armour and firepower, the Bramble Mk2 could go and fight and win where Bertie faltered. Bramble mk2 are still manufactured in high numbers making them a common sight in the battlefield and private security, Bramble Mk2 was the first Rothchild model to be given the A.F.R. (Armored Fighting Robot) classification.- From the WWRp Bramble MK2 Deep Powder (1:12) box art.
Large Martin's Successor - Large Martin was a major success for Rothchild, its ability to bring down sustained, very accurate death was lauded. BUT the price of a Large Martin unit, made it not so attractive to some factions. Rothchild never wanting to let a potential market be wasted, devised an upgrade scheme for the Bramble MK2. With an arm, head and engine upgrade, the newly christened Bramble MK2.5 Heavy was able to wield the P.O.R.N.S.T.A.R RPG, the first AI driven weapon introduced to the theatre of war. This combination of budget upgrade and leary RPG made the MK2.5 a popular addition to all forces.- Toys R Evil, blog post 8/11/2010
Harold - View all WWR and WWRp Harold toys
With the close release of Harold (the first Rothchild Robot) and the Nom commanders in 1/12th, WWR series one comes to an end. Moving forward the next phase of the story called WWR EVOL takes over, upcoming books, toys and other mediums tell the story of the middle act EVOL. EVOL see’s an evolved line of bots, not just by Rothchild, and key events extrapolated on such as Darwin being driven from his lunar lair, the NOM ascending to dominance on Earth and Mar’s bring as much of the war to earth and the Moon in conjunction with their partners!"- Ashley Wood, Official Facebook, 8/15/2013
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)
Still compiling information on this topic. Here are some snippets:
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)