TRANSFORMERS: SEEDS OF DECEPTION - THE ROAD MAP
THE GOLDEN AGE
The main goal of the SoD project is chronicling the cybertronian Golden Age. The planetary social evolution, the shaping factors of the Underground Movement, the Cybertronians which led it to its final "Decepticon army" phase, their reasons, the pre-war occupations of the characters, the legacy from the Nova Prime age and much more.
The continuity milestones can be found in the The War Within books, Stormbringer, the -Ation books, Maximum Dinobots and the Spotlights written by Simon Furman, plus the flashbacks from The Last Stand Of The Wreckers.
The core of our saga is SoD: Omega Supreme. This chapter goes from the Omega Supreme Interregnum (which began when Nova Prime and his First Ark disappeared) to the rise of Sentinel Prime and the murderous beginning of the Civil War, thus covering the whole Golden Age and providing a frame into which all the other stories can be placed.
Its twin chapter is SoD: Sentinel Prime, which covers almost the same timeframe, but telling the events from the point of view of the new Prime (which is heavily based on the concepts described in The War Within and Spotlight: Optimus Prime).
Being the project about the Seeds of a Deception, there is also the evil twin counterpart SoD: Shockwave/Soundwave: the Golden Age is now seen through the eyes of two of the most malevolent and dangerous (future) Decepticons. The secret, hidden side of the perfect Cybertronian society is revealed: greed, hunger for power, fanaticism, obsessive individualism and selfishness are what leads to the gathering of the early groups that will evolve into the Arenas and the perfectly organized Underground Movements. Far from being improvised, this movement has leaders, allies, supporters, resources, all to be found in the various branch of the planetary society.
These three chapters show a recurring structure: they open with the Liberation Epoch and then move to the Golden Age, until they touch the first, tragic events that trigger the Civil War.
The Underground Conspiracy is the main theme of SoD: Magnus: a detective story that turns into the sheer violence of the largest battle ever featured in this saga (so far).
The apex of the conspiracy has not been reached, yet: in SoD: Jetfire/Grimlok, it will be revealed that the opening strike of the Decepticon Army is a multi-layered one; should one attack fail, a backup plan would be initiated.
This chapter also explores the frustration of two very different social classes: scientists and warriors, which ultimately turn out to be more similar than one may suspect.
The grey shades of the alliances of Jetfire and Grimlock are based on clues revealed in The War Within.
For the first time, this chapter reveals the concepts on which the Decepticon Propaganda is based. In fact, it's time to move from plain organization to ideology: which reasons lie behind this Movement? Who defined them, and who spread them?
The answer is the main theme of SoD: Ratbat, a story where irresponsible greed for profit and lack of ethics lead to a concerted and willing destruction of a fairly democratic system.
The ideological facade, though, hides something else. An ego of unfathomable proportions, described in SoD: Trannis. Its final evolution is already hinted in some dialogues from The War Wihin.
As ancillary backups (because they were written in a following stage), SoD: Blaster and SoD: Starscream explore other facets of the Golden Age society. Independent journalism for Blaster and (hear hear) a brilliant career in a Law Enforcement division for Starscream!
THE GULFS OF CONTINUITY: CIVIL WAR AND EARTH
As it is widely known, The War Within and the -Ation universe do not match perfectly. There are various continuity glitches, which can be easily fixed by some careful writing.
This is one of the main goals of the Short Stories, which explain the backstory of Blitzwing's triplechanging abilities, the evolution of Bludgeon from goofy dark-scientist to sinister worshipper of destruction, the secret odissey of Gestalts throughout the millennia, the loss of data about the Nova Prime age and more.
This section also provides a spotlight for characters who don't have their own chapter: Swindle, Fistfight, Boltax, the Deluxe Insecticons, Octane, and more.
Special crossovers with the main chapters involve Grimlock, Soundwave, Jetfire, Sentinel Prime, Ratbat, Shockwave.
The Short Story range extends beyond the Golden Age, reaching the Nova Prime Age (in the past), the Civil War, the Interplanetary Cold War (Impactor), the current era (Macabre) and even the distant future (the Micromaster on Gorlam Prime).
The structure is the same of the Omega Supreme chapter, only on a wider timescale.
THE AGE OF NOVA PRIME
The Age Of Nova Prime is also the age of Galvatron, Cyclonus, Jhiaxus' twisted (and endless) experiments, Arcee and more.
Their feats are told in Special: The Evil That Mechs Do, a detailed and ever growing chronicle of that distant and corrupted era.
For each answer given, new questions will arise. Was Nova really evil since the beginning? Why did the Matrix choose him? Who was Arcee before being turned into a female? Were there more than one Female? Who inspired Thunderwing's experiments?
Strictly tied to this era, but featured in his own section, it's Paradise Lost, a pivotal step in the Constant Moons saga, telling the genesis of a very unique Cybertronian species.
Constant Moons is a sub-project of SoD: it chronicles the history of the Cybertronian moons throughout the ages.
A similar sub-project is There Were Giants: the secret history of the Gestalts is not just Jhiaxus creating Monstructor in the Nova Age and Shockwave re-discovering the technology just when The Dark Ages are about to descend. They existed before, in the legendary past whose memory is lost in the mist of time: the Lawless Times.
The closure of this saga is already known: it's told in Short Story: Supreme Recall, but the main event is still to be revealed. An epic battle between two Gestalts that have yet to appear in their cybertronian version.
FROM CIVIL WAR TO INTERPLANETARY COLD WAR
The past is not the only theme of the SoD Specials. With the destruction of a certain Moon, Cybertron changes its face and natural sustainment for Cybertronians begin to dwindle.
What will replace Energon? Who will save an entire species from starvation? This is the theme of Special: The Drought, a miniseries set during the Civil War, after the events that led Autobots and Decepticons to sign the Tyrest Agreement.
More information about the wide cast of the saga can be found in the Profile Gallery: Profiles, Bios, Tech Specs, Tech Files, Historical Files and Betting Cards which sometimes reveal details never shown in the actual comics.
Hints of things to come (that is, more stories, sub-projects and so on) can be found in the Characters Art Gallery, a section where artists are free to create their own vision of the SoD characters.
What happens after Revelation and Maximum Dinobots? Is reality able to withstand the devastating weight of a whole (Dead) Universe trying to overwrite everything that is? And what is really the Magnificence? The Magnificent Saga storyline will answer these questions and project the saga towards new horizons.
To be continued