Tyranny short story series sheds light on Obsidian's dark new world

Obsidian's recently-announced RPG Tyranny takes place in the aftermath of the world-shaping events that often form the basis for such games. Because of that, as we wrote in our GDC preview, it sometimes “feels like a sequel to a game we haven't played or a story we've never read.” To address that unusual gap in the fiction, Obsidian and publisher Paradox Interactive are releasing a series of short stories based on the game world, the first of which is available now. 

In Tyranny, Kyros the Overlord has emerged victorious from a great war between good and evil—and as his name suggests, evil got the win. You, the player, are his Number One Guy (one of them, anyway), wandering the realm and dispensing (in)justice, in Kyros' name, as you see fit. It's an unusual reversal, and one that will probably be well-served by some backing prequel fiction. 

“With Tyranny, we are creating a world where evil has won and the player was complicit in that victory,” Tyranny Game Director Brian Heins said. “In this series of short stories we want to give everyone a glimpse into daily life in Kyros’ Empire.”   

The first story, written by Narrative Designer Paul Kirsch, is called Under New Management—subtle title, that one—and introduces the Scarlet Chorus, one of Kyros' armies and a potential player ally. “My goal was to give readers a first glance at the brutality and community that go hand-in-hand with the Scarlet Chorus,” Heins explained. “To the untrained eye, they might look like hardened, bloodthirsty killers. Viewed through a filtered lens, you find something very different—a complex, self-correcting ecosystem with a rich and diverse culture.” 

Under New Management can be read at the Tyranny blog.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.