Stellaris

The Reckoning can be beaten

In Stellaris, making a deal with the End of the Cycle results in + 100% resources from jobs, + 100% resources from orbital stations, + 100% naval capacity, + 5 monthly influence, and + 10 starbase capacity, significantly boosting your empire's economic and military might. However, in fifty years, the Reckoning will take place, in which your empire is completely destroyed, your planets completely depopulated and Shroud-Marked, Shroud manifestations appearing over them, The Reckoning appearing over your former capital planet, and a small group of survivors colonizing a planet and naming it Exile. And if all that wasn't enough, any surviving empires hate your guts for summoning the apocalypse upon the galaxy.

Thanks to the upcoming Nemesis expansion, there might be a way to get all the benefits of a covenant with the End of the Cycle, and then cheating the Reckoning out of devouring your psionic pops and then terrorizing the galaxy. According to a review from PCGames (link located below), choosing the new "Become the Crisis" civic gives an empire the ability to become the galaxy-ending menace.

This is done via the "Aetherophasic Engine", which is fed dark matter from black holes, more of which are created using the "Star Eater", a weapon which collapses stars into black holes, destroying all planets in the system. Once the engine is ready to go, it destroys all stars in the galaxy while your species transcends into another dimension.

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If your empire makes a covenant with the End of the Cycle, becomes the Crisis, uses its newfound economic and military might to gather dark matter, and then activates the Aetherophasic Engine before the fifty years are up, you can avoid paying the price of the Reckoning. Instead of your empire's pops becoming food for Shroud manifestations and the Reckoning, they can transcend this reality and become gods in another, having cheated this devil out of their due and leaving nothing but a wrecked galaxy.

In one game of mine (in which I foolishly used mods before getting all the achievements), I finished the Worm-In-Waiting storyline, transforming the Jehetma (of the preset Jehetma Dominion) from a fanatically pacifist species into a Lovecraftian militarist aggressive race. Later, I chose to Transcend them, gained a Chosen One as an immortal emperor, and made a deal with the End of the Cycle, becoming the most powerful empire in the galaxy (for fifty years). Unfortunately, the Reckoning unmade it all.

Now, imagine this: A species that embraced the Worm, their home star becoming a black hole, every planet in their home system becoming a Tomb world, and themselves becoming Eldritch Abominations (Tomb World Preference, Natural Physicists, and Repugnant). What better way to pay tribute to the Worm than to make a weapon that turns stars into black holes, and then use the Aetherophasic Engine to join the Worm in paradise while destroying those it disdained with the same event? Not to mention cheating the Reckoning out of a good meal? And if the small-minded fools who dared to stand in your way sabotage your efforts, they will be ones that have to deal with the Shroud manifestations and the Reckoning after it has feasted and grown strong on your pops.

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I am so going to try out for this storyline. At the very least, it would make for an interesting Stellaris fanfic. Thoughts?

https://www.pcgamesn.com/stellaris/nemesis-review

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