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Author Topic: Wander Worlds! (now looking for adventurers of all gender!)  (Read 617 times)

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Online wanderTopic starter

  • Cheeky Brit Next Door // Creator of Wander Worlds
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Wander Worlds! (now looking for adventurers of all gender!)
« on: November 01, 2015, 11:40:48 AM »
Welcome to a new solar system grown old... Far from our own world, far from our own time... Where worlds of adventure orbit a star not our own... Where many living things we know today hold fantastic and legendary forms. A place where heroes bound in armour of leather clash with swords and arrows forged from advanced nanotech... Here lies a solar system we can see tonight in our night's sky, filled with legends of the weird of science fiction mixed with the strangest high fantasy... They are...

Wander Worlds

Lords, Ladies and Lieges are all welcome here ^^

Welcome to my request thread for RPs based in Wander Worlds, my very own science fantasy setting!

With this thread my aim is to show you my very own roleplay setting, a speculative fiction roleplay setting that uses science to justify certain fantasy tropes, combining a fantasy aesthetic with space-faring adventure! As stated above, everyone is welcome to come and write in this setting alongside myself. My characters are male and I like a partner's character to have a feminine appearance as personal preference (all gender-alignments and sexes are cool, long as they look feminine)... If you are okay with that then I'm happy to discuss things further with you! There are three Posts here of setting info, check out Post 4 for the actual request pitch!

Also I'd like it if you could please get in touch with myself in a PM (please don't post here!) and I will for sure discuss things with you!

For reference, please do check my Profile for my RP preference page, also the link in my sig to my O/O thread. There you can see the most info in how I like to do things usually (I'm pretty open to suggestion so don't be afraid to let me know a specific kink you like... Or on the other hand, don't like of mine). I can bend on some things if asked so we can write better together... So don't hesitate to ask.

Contents (linked to posts)

Post 1: General history and system occupants
Post 2: The Collected Worlds (info on the planets and life on them)
Post 3: Taking Up Arms (gear and space travel info)
Post 4: The Pitch!

Post 5: optional: the secret history of Tau Ceti's origins

Set across five unique worlds located in the far future of the Tau Ceti system (a real life star system about 12 light years from Earth), this thread details the worlds and civilizations of the four species of people known collectively as the Homonin. Hopefully in this setting co-writers feel able to add their own little marks to form a much more rich and rewarding tale set in the science fantasy of the Tau Ceti solar system. I am always taking on constructive criticism on what's written here, so if something here resonates with you (or not!), please do let me know!

Freeform or System?
Wander Worlds is able to be written as either freeform tales of adventure or used in system play. Originally this setting was built for my home table Traveller games though it eventually moved and evolved past that as I developed more of the lore of the system.
If you enjoy system play or are new to that and would like to try it, I enjoy using the Dungeon World system for rp games in this setting. The public & legal free playkit can be found in the link below from the developer website, detailing all available actions and the playbooks that allow characters to be created for play. All you need to play is to choose one of the included character playbooks, let me know your choices for your character and you're ready to go... I'll take care of the rest in GMing your adventure, simple huh?

That said, I also enjoy freeform games in this setting, so if system play turns you off, don't let that you turn you off the setting as a whole!

The Legend of a Time Passed: The prehistory of the Wander Worlds
Millions of years in the future, mankind faced the end of their reign on Earth... A last ditch effort was made so that humanity would survive by sending their genetic seed off-world so that their genes would carry on elsewhere... Nations came together and the project was launched until Tau Ceti was finally reached... With the data of the far-future Earth and robots acting as their teachers and parents, The First were an advanced civilisation, the bearers of technology far more advanced than anything that has come since, but now long lost to the annals of Tau Ceti's prehistory...
To those who now live across Tau Ceti's worlds, millions of years after their arrival, The First are being forgotten... Even being the common ancestors of the current civilisation, the passing of aeons has all but swept away what humanity once was, with the First most commonly being part of a creation myth that few now in the common age hold any faith in.

Humanity isn't the only thing that has changed... In those millions of years passed, nature changed via the evolving nanotech of the First that has expanded through the system and become something Earth could never have foreseen... Humans, plants and animals alike of Tau Ceti evolved, devolved, claded and adapted... Many empires both rose and fell as over generations the system advanced to where it stands today. The knowledge of using the nanotech that The First originally terraformed the planets with has survived, though not as it once was. Instruction manuals, now millennia in age, have now become treated as ancient tomes by those who hold them... Their applications now used by pseudo-religions and cults as rituals and spells of the art called magik rather than seen as the technology it is.

The First had the power to terraform the planets of Tau Ceti, control their weather and eventually set foot on them... In the millions of years that have passed since then, most of the advanced technology brought to the system has been lost to the ages or continues to be used by those with zero knowledge of how it works or how to maintain it... Carbon dating is something the people do not know how to do, so the few remaining artifacts of The First are rarely recognised as more than some strange enchanted item of ages past, rarely used as they were originally intended, such as electric-powered healing devices being used as 'lightning enchanted weapons'...

Then there is the ark of legend (if it was a singular craft to begin with) that brought these descendants of humankind to Tau Ceti. Whilst it was eventually thrown aside for the far more spacious planets, this cradle of current civilisation still exists (that just has to be filled still with all kinds of advanced technology) if one cared to try and find this ancient base of legend... To the ones who find it, the technology and relics would bring unimaginable power and coin... For example The First were a people who mastered fusion, robotics and genetic engineering, that had brain-computer interfaces and nuclear dampening defences... Such things being far beyond the reckoning of the people who now occupy Tau Ceti...

The Age of Sail: Present Era, Current Year: 1800!

The current date as Tau Ceti stands now is the start of the 19th century in the latest calendar, 1800 AD (After Downfall). It is said that a legendary beast dubbed 'The Tarrasque' awoke from it's aeons long sleep and went on a rampage so fierce it was dubbed 'Downfall'... The devestation the Tarrasque created in Downfall was so legendary that the system marked a new calender to begin after it was over... Now as the solar system has rebuilt after the rampage of this foul monster, for near two thousand years things have fallen into a relatively stable status quo... However a new era may be dawning on Tau Ceti and it's inhabitants...

Outside of nanotech that has enabled what locals refer to as 'Magik' and the space-faring treeships of the system (see more in below posts), technology has found itself roughly matching the year 1800 CE of Earth history. This tech level is also with a flair more towards to how technology was in Edo Japan, where katanas and bows are used over blackpowder weaponry (more on weapons downthread). With a variety of worlds with a variety of biospheres, fashion is completely anachronistic and many different styles are abound, including present day Earth and cyberpunk fashion. Currently, leather is most fashionable and garments made of this are worn by near all, with freedom towards wearing less clothing as the worlds get closer to the heat of Tau Ceti. Due to this and planetary cultures, it is often common to see full nudity on the two worlds closest to the star.

In regards to advances of technology unique to Tau Ceti, whilst Earth was exceptionally ahead and advancing in regards to communication, at Tau Ceti the advances ahead are instead in flight transportation. Due to some of Tau Ceti's worlds having little water and dangerous landscapes, transport to other settlements is made by dirigible when beast-drawn transport is unviable. This gives a mix of airship pre-steam clockpunk to the fantasy Edo setting. As such, by water or flight, this period at Tau Ceti is known to the species in the system as the Age of Sail!

Coin acts as the currency of the entire system now, which is the catch-all term the collective of Homonin species use for the shiny metal pieces they use in trade for goods. Coin can be gained in varying ways, such as inn-work, farming or in the factories of planet Decadent (see downthread), prostitution is legal through the system too... Though in the Age of Sail, nothing pays like the life of an adventurer!

The System's Inhabitants
Our people (The First) have been survived in this far future setting by the Homonin, a clade split between four species; Humans (Homo Ascendit), Elves (who can and do interbreed with humans successfully), Dwarfs and Halflings.

Picture Below; The Four Species of Homonin
Whilst the species are named here after their fantasy counterparts, this is more for simplicity. The Homonin actually have their own linguistic terms for these species names. As the Homonin are all claded off the genetic code of Earth humans, each species will grow and age at the same rate as Earth humans do. As such, many adventurers go seek the world in their late teens or twenties and if they survive tend to retire in their sixties. Few Homonin live past their eighties, though it can happen that a few may reach a hundred or just over.

Also, each species has separate races, just like humanity today. For simplicity, the four species of Homonin will have the same races about today on Earth, this makes sense due to Homonin being based from the genetic seed of many humans which of course would be made up from a variety of races. Side-note; This most humble author does have a bit of a preference for dark skinned elf babes! Finally, due to The First's mastery of genetic engineering and cyberware technology, all Homonin are naturally born with a bioware brain-computer interface that allows universal translation of language. This means that all Homonin understand each other and there are no language barriers on Tau Ceti.

Humans (Homo Ascendit)
The Homo Ascendit are the closest to real-life humanity due to evolving in circumstances close to present day Earth. However the 'humans' differ from us today in an expanded range of eye and hair coloration and other mild adaptations to their new environment (such as slightly less body hair and larger eyes with cat-like inner eyelids that offer slight low light vision and protect from solar rays). Tau Ceti Humans also differ from the other species as they have an expanded number of human-owned Guilds and so hold a more varied mastery of nanotech Magik. Homo Ascendit are also the most varied people in regards to religion, culture and physique, so no pursuit is closed off to these varied people who come in all shapes and sizes... There is an equal variety of humans that live in more rural farming settings as those who were raised in urban locales and have knowledge of those.

It is thought that the word 'Elf' comes from The First's word for 'High', which is how the elves see themselves. The 'High Folk' are more varied in their pursuits than dwarfs and halflings, perhaps from always having the indulgence of following whatever pursuits they wish. Elves are also generally more literate than the two short species, being natural and gifted historians. Unlike humans and dwarfs (who have their own gods), Elves have no real secular religions; instead they occasionally look to 'the spirits' for guidance. Now depending on if these are 'nature spirits' or nanotech 'sprites' is down to the spirituality and knowledge of the elf in question.
Being essentially low-G raised humans, Elves (like rural born humans) are able tamers of the strange wildlife of the system. Elves are also gifted hunters, with many being skilled with bows, as archery tourneys and wild hunts being their foremost favourite pasttimes. Elves that are not gifted in archery often actively specialize in magikcraft (many tomes on the working of magik are passed down through the Elf bloodlines) either split between spell study or musical application of Magik (consider the clapping lights we have today, to an elf mage this is a simple nano-powered cantrip).
Other Elves instead train in melee, to take part in melee tourneys. Training in a single skill to master it is a specific of elven culture, Elves take pride in the one skill that they have honed over their whole life and love to show off their talent as proof of their worth and level of attractiveness. Elven duels, whether by weapon, spell or bardic performance are often held as tourneys as a method of courting or entered with the motivation to impress a specific paramore.

One of the first speciations from The First's blood, Dwarfs are slowly becoming more rare in the system today or are at least harder to find. Many dwarves have maudling or dour personas and this has led to their numbers falling more through the years... Dwarves are known mainly by the other species to hold grudges all their lives. It is said that this is because in dwarf culture the young are taught very early not to trust other people but instead coin and payment, to learn a craft for this way of life. That said, many a dwarf youngster has a dream of wanderlust and many gain a taste for drink and carousing when young in their path to adulthood. Infact it's not recommended to try outdrinking a Dwarf, due to their stout compact builds and nutrient-filled diets, they find it much harder to get drunk whilst becoming more socially open. It is often thought a happy dwarf is a drunk dwarf because of this.
Often though there is a loneliness one can clearly see in a Dwarven eye as they crave social connections but struggle to make them without drinking first. Due to this and payment of debt being important to a dwarf, if they are wronged their attitude will be quick to hold a legendary grudge until things have been equalled... Plus, if the wrongdoer dies, then their family must pay the debt, as such some grudges last for generations. There are currently two types of dwarf that occupy Tau Ceti; those gifted in magik, seen as teachings from their gods (dwarf clerics) and then the more traditionally known dwarven fighter. Often the clerics will smith family heirloom weapons for the fighters which are used in 'slaying', killing those who wronged their clan. The most famous being trolls, monsters that have long attacked and fed on Dwarf settlements. There are dwarven clerics that will Slay for their god also, depending on the one they pledge to.

The youngest of all speciations from the First Men, halflings are a populace that grew from an ambivalent former elven leadership. Like elves, halflings have no religion and look to spirits for guidance, having long been in touch with nature from their origins as hydroponic gardeners for the Elves. Through lack of education and mainly being left to their own devices, they are the only race that has no real grip on magik... However some are born with the blood of monsters in their veins as Druids who can be noticed by their carefree nature and their soothing songs. Many people have been saved in the wilderness by a beautiful and curvaceous female halfling druid.
However, these Druid Halflings have unfortunately made a stereotype for Halflings as a people who have no stress, only get involved in conflict when they feel like it and are soft and fat, though this is simply not true. Another aspect of this species is that many early halfling communities never involved coin in transactions, instead the people simply borrowed items when needed in a simple form of anarchism. Some halflings take this habit from their home settlements without knowing better and so the species as a whole also has a reputation of being thieves, though not every halfling is one. Halflings are mainly split into two types, the agile fighters who seek to challenge their species stereotype (known as the fleet-footed 'Stronghearts') and those who turn their 'borrowing' into an art, with a side in assassination, (the dark shadow dwelling 'Lightfoots').

Monstergirl Hunter: Or a solar system of Monsters

Not only does each planet have it's own theme and is colonised by the Homonin, there are also various Fauna, the creatures of the setting. The Fauna were related but are now different to the creatures found on Earth today. This is down to a mixture a few million years of evolution, the odd planetary extinction event and clades being knocked back and rediverged due to radiation. Couple that with the air-based nanotechnology used to terraform planets causing an influx of adaptive mutations (these nanos have also shifted and changed through the years...) and there is now a mix of basic wildlife, fantasy creatures both legendary and monstrous, together with (generally sexy on the whole) monstergirls and monsterboys on every planet in the system.
Whilst hybrids known as Druids are a part of the Hominin civilisation, the true Fauna are not civilized like the Homonin and are wild, base and often sexual creatures. Some are not able to communicate with words and live on instinct alone. Some can be quite benign, though others have earned their names as Monsters due to their predatory actions.

Oftentimes more powerful Fauna find themselves a target of a Bounty, this activity fast becoming a fairly common way for groups of adventurers to gain coin in the system today. Many Inns have a Bounty Board hung on their wall where patrons offer coin and cargo for a specific Monster's head.

Monsters in the System
There are Fauna linked to the Fae-like (faerie-kin), Orcs, goblins and other greenskins, Kobolds (lizard-ratfolk), Gnolls (hyenafolk) and other Beastpeople (some examples; Centaurs and Minotaurs), Undead (living dead girls!), Lizard/Snakepeople (the odd tentacled people too), Lycanthropes (there are more than just werewolves in Tau Ceti!), Medusae, Slimepeople, Treants, Yeti, even the odd (rare) sighting of Dragons! These being just some of the Fauna who are more human-like (not including those that look more like wild animals), with more besides being discovered by adventurers every day.

« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 01:54:44 PM by wander »

Online wanderTopic starter

  • Cheeky Brit Next Door // Creator of Wander Worlds
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Wander Worlds
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 11:43:06 AM »
The Collected Worlds

There are five planets that orbit Tau Ceti, each with it's own flavour and stories to tell... Stories can either be set completely on one of these worlds, exploring it's lands and settlements or they can be planet-hopping adventures. Below are descriptions of each world, from the one closest to the star Tau Ceti (Balrog), moving outwards to the system's cold edge (the aptly named Frozen).

I've also included Planetary Issues in each world's profile in red that make good sample adventure and plot hooks for games set there, outside of the bunch of hooks I've seeded through the entire thread.

Tau Ceti Vehicles for Dirtside Transport:

Airships aka Dirigibles: With hydrogen as a ready supply (see Frozen below), every world uses these blimps, built with bird-like wing-fins to aid flight.

Sailboats: Nano-enforced wooden sailboats can be found on the outer three worlds to travel their waters. Of course there are many tales of pirates that sail these seas...

Cart: Commonly pulled by hooved beasts called Equus, this is a common land transport across the four outer worlds. People also ride Equus as they are and they are a common steed and pack animal for adventurers to this day.

On Decadent, some experimentation is being undertaken using steampower to create smaller scaled combustion engines. Some prototype trains exist on that particular planet, though for now people enjoy the romanticism of sail and steed still.

A Common Life
Life in Tau Ceti veers toward that of medieval fantasy, importantly common slavery does not exist (prostitution is a legal occupation where Companions can be found in inns and hired for the night for a steep price) however serfdom for low pay is incredibly common. A worker such a fuedal serf or factory worker will gain a single coin a day and many will stay in their family hovels. As such, many adventurers are disenfranchised youths that break away and risk the monsters of the wilds for a much more grander life! The printing press is a thing and people can read daily gazettes which are essentially the same as newspapers.
People write letters with ink and quills. Also settlements can communicate with each other using large semaphore line signal towers to spread news between other towns and villages. Basic mechanical alarm clocks are available that wake people for work each day (as are wrist-watches), whilst people cook their food on brickwork fire stoves with stove-top kettles for their coffee/tea. Even toast can be made with special wireframe tongs heated using their stove. Continued refridgeration is still a mystery that magik has yet to practically implement, at least in mass production. As food cannot be refridgerated or frozen long-term (food can be frozen using actual ice, -ice cream is a popular desert of the rich- however ice melts unless burying food on Frozen), any kept food not immediately eaten from street vendors is mainly sold dried out or cured with salt, though sugar-coated fruits and jars of pickled foods such as onions and gherkins exist.
Indoor lighting is achieved through a fireplace using coal, oil lamps or by candle, with many places such as inns having candle chandeliers hung from the ceilings. Bathrooms have washstands (actual sinks don't exist), pull-chain flush toilets and bathtubs with steam-powered showers. Deoderant and shampoo don't exist, though alum powder deoderises the body and is applied via toothbrush to clean teeth. Soap bars exist and these can make shavings to help wash hair. Plumbing is in it's infancy, pumps move waste-water through wooden pipes that flow into nearby rivers or seas. To this end on the desert worlds where liquid water is in short supply and mainly drank, cleanliness is achieved near completely with alum powder applied to the body.

Where are the Place Names and History of individual places?
You'll notice I haven't gone too much into the history of the worlds, what happened to the First and how the current occupants rose to be how they are now. I've left a few hints on ways this could have happened but I've purposefully left it fairly open and ambiguous. This is partly as the people have been in the system for a good few million years and recording a history like that is beyond the scope of this thread and what I consider fun, secondly I wanted cowriters who make their characters to tell me about where they came from and what sort of places were nearby to their character's place of birth. I want detail to be fluid in Wander Worlds, to have as much detail as me and my cowriter would be comfortable with or feel is neccessary.

Standard Tau Ceti Years
Because each planet orbits Tau Ceti at different speeds, each planet has different year lengths. As such, time is measured a little differently for what the people call Tau Ceti's System Standard Year. The year is split amongst the old Earth term known as 'fortnights' (an equivalent of 14 Earth days, each 24 hours in length). Whilst every planet has a different orbit, it has been agreed since ancient times that 26 fortnights (364 days) make up one Standard Tau Ceti Year, when it comes to a person's age and measuring historical timelines.

For those who like: Dark Sun, Bioshock Infinite crossed with Mad Max

Faction: Degenerate Anarchist Society.
Designated Trade Codes: Desert, Non-Industrial.
Planetary Issues: Hordes of Chaotic Islands, Decadent Warships are Coming, A Cult seeking a Downfall
Unique Goods: Crystals & gems, Oil, Pharmaceuticals and Drugs, Radioactives, Spices, Textiles, Rare Elements (gold, silver etc).
The closest planet to Tau Ceti. Only 0.1 AU from the star, it is a roasting world temperature-wise, whose year equals a fortnight. Liquid water is a rarity. The atmosphere is incredibly dense going down to the hellish surface, so the populace tend to live on floating settlements. These are on the whole village sized and supported by nano-enforced balloons, centred around where water can be gathered along with dredging up soil containing valuable elements and the native squat spice-cobs here. It is home to Incubi and Succubi-like folk who live without law and as such is often seen as a wondrously chaotic hive filled by what the Balrog peoples call their 'Scum culture'. Animal life tends to be small due to the size of settlements and kept for distinct purposes. The most popular being the pair of carnivora known as Felis and Canis, as both are good at killing pests and are excellent companions on the harsh world.
Population numbers are unknown; Decadent estimates them to be tens of thousands though not so numerous to be near a million. Notably none of the locals outside of militia (known mainly as warbands, raiders or reavers) wish to go to the nearby Crusade, instead doing grey market business on other planets in the system. The world seems plentiful enough for it's people despite it's flaws and a real lack of rule, though there are rumours of a Demon Royalty located in a larger town-sized floating settlement. However, the existance of such rule has so far gone unproven, despite the ongoing raiders that sail to Crusade.
Balrog is a boiling lava world with large balloon supported floating villages, known for a more lawless populace.
Balrog characters tend to be more skilled at larceny, though are fairly blunt and intimidating socially.

For those who like: Dune, the history of the Middle Age Crusades.

Faction: Austere Merchant Society.
Designated Trade Codes: Desert, Non-Industrial.
Planetary Issues: Guild Credits on The Silk Road, The Mystery Cause of the Crusades, Demons spreading in the Sands
Unique Goods: Same as Balrog, though different types of the items are available. However there are in some locations drug laws and smugglers, if found, can be punished.
A hot world, where temps are around 30+C, so cooler than Balrog, though still it's very much a desert world of rolling sand dunes, arid plains, steppes and the odd oasis filled with reeds and spice-fungi. It is 0.2 AU from the star and has a year of just over two fortnights. Here the atmosphere is too dry and short in the rocky hills that dot the landscape, so the population (which numbers just under a million) keep to the sandpits and craters of this vast desert world. Crusade has a Balkanisation of government, with a 'Silk Road' of villages and towns dotted through the planet's craters. No central authority currently exists and it has no planetary Navy, leaving Crusade to be fought over by the demons of Balrog and the Homonin forces of Decadent, in a plight known as The Crusades (aka The Crusade Wars and The Inquisition).
Some of the people of Crusade do actually venture to visit Balrog, due to that world's lax (read: non-existant) contraband laws. It's a lesser number than those who venture to Frozen for their coin and many more wish to find work on Decadent, though they do exist. This is in comparison to Balrog whose average citizen has no wish to visit Crusade. Unfortunately due to being caught as the battleground for two other worlds, only certain fearless Free Traders will venture (outside of Militia forces) to pick these locals up. It is unknown just what could be on Crusade that has the other two planets fighting over it... Crusade has a vibe of Middle Eastern culture with it's home residents and of the historical Crusaders fighting Sumerian demons in dark blood-pitched sands.
Crusade characters are charismatic and get good deals in stores, though aren't so good at melee fighting.

For those who like: Clockpunk and Magitech fantasies.

Faction: Underhanded Industrious Consortium.
Designated Trade Codes: High Population, Industrial.
Planetary Issues: Vermin & Depravity in Dark Alleys, A Secret against Chaos in the Supercities, Sunless Cabals infiltrating Kingdoms
Unique Goods: Advanced Nanotech, Technological advances, Manufactured Goods, Weapons and Vehicles, Luxury Goods, Medical Supplies, Drugs & Pharmaceuticals, Polymers.
Another hot world, though here is a place with a Victoriana gothic Industrial Revolution cyberpunk feel. Orbiting 0.38 AU from the star, it's year equals about six fortnights. Decadent brims with the ancient sealed cities constructed by The First as their original settlements here, whose sizes can be as large as supercities, though there aren't any skyscrapers about. The technology behind these sealed environments is unknowable today, classed by the people who have never known anything but these large domed settlements as some kind of warding magic. Because of this belief, it has become over the many thousands of years impossible to maintain them, though luckily few breakdowns have occured... yet. There are small oceans of water that dot the surface, many sealed cities are coastal or on riverway edges and so have docks for water trade. However, for those who would venture outside, a filtermask is required, the barren and tropical heated wastelands hold a tainted atmosphere that is filled with carbon dioxide.
Decadent is named as such for it's strong industry and for the sheer amount of Homonin itching to come to the planet to find their fortune; however it is also a smog-filled hive-world, overpopulated by billions of Homonin in gas-lit undercities. As it's cities are sealed, there are a number of kingdoms across it's vast surface. It's local culture differs from place to place, though it is consistently most similar to Victorian London and Paris mixed with the dark feel of the cyberpunk genre... Despite this being the home of nanoproduction and innovation, technology is still low on this planet, such as people carrying crossbow pistols as their weapons... This is very likely due to underhanded corporate sabotage that is also widespread with many adventurers taking freelance jobs from fat cat patrons...
Decadent characters are skilled with technological lore, but suffer when it comes to lore on nature.

For those who like: Edo-era Japan, yokai, samurai and ninja.

Faction: Secretive Trade Federation.
Designated Trade Codes: Agricultural, Garden, Rich.
Planetary Issues: Cults of Feudal Edo Debauchery, The Emperor is Coming, Chaos behind a Hidden Truth
Unique Goods: Gas, Live Animals, Luxury Foods, Spices, Textiles, Rare Elements (gold, silver), Wood, Poison, Debauched Luxuries.
The planet in the most habitable point in the system. Sat at just about 0.55 AU, at the lip of the hot end of the habitable zone. Excess has a year of about 11 fortnights. Whilst still as tropical as Crusade and Decadent, Excess is a world where a resident does not need a filtermask or choose a sealed place to stay, the lands are verdant with all kinds of plant ecosystems and the cavern mines on this lush world are also built to be more temperate for it's settlers. A success of terraforming in the past, Excess is a wet world and has large oceans, not as much as Earth, though easily half the world's surface holds water now. With a population measured in the tens of thousands, Excess holds small feudal villages mixed with a few larger towns, ran by the competing Daimyo Houses.
A line of oligarchal rulers known as Shogun, stemming back from a single bloodline seems to rule over each continent, though it is rumoured that Excess' central authority is actually a captive government... Hushed rumours may be heard of an Empire of Elves that originate from the deep space of the system, holding sway over how the world is run, though most fob this off as a conspiracy theory. Economy-wise, Excess now has it's trade mainly in the feudal farming of the local flora and fauna here. The mines that are still producing now look for materials that go to minting coins or jewellery. Being the most Earth-like planet in regards to it's garden world state, Excess has a mix of culture depending on where one goes on the planet, though it does have a stronger feel of the historical Edo period of Japan.
Excess characters specialise in a chosen trade, but tend to suffer in regards to leadership qualities.

For those who like: North of The Wall in Game of Thrones, At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft

Faction: Secretive Merchant Society.
Designated Trade Codes: Fluid Oceans, Low Population, Water World.
Planetary Issues: Ancient Ruins Promising Power, Let Sleeping Gods Lie, Sites of Incomplete Blood Rituals
Unique Goods: Gas, Luxury Foods, Oil, Pharmaceuticals, Precious Metals (gold, silver), Radioactives, Spices, Poison, Drugs, Debauched Luxuries.
The fifth and final natural planet of Tau Ceti, this is a Mini-Neptune water world, a ball of mostly iced over water. It's orbit has it flit in and out of the cold lip of the habitable zone at 1.35 AU from the star. It has a much more sweeping orbital period than the other worlds, a year takes roughly 1.75 Earth years for this icy planet. On it's cold surface it holds a small community of a few thousand, who mainly work as hydrogen skimmers, others are strange alchemists of the various fungal spores and compounds found here, so rare 'wizard towers' do appear in the tundras. Due to the small number of people here, only a few skim-villages can be found across it's landscape, leaving masses of unexplored mountains of madness and freezing cold seas and rivers bridging gaps between the skim-villages.
Frozen's skim-villages are survivalist by nature, governments are localised to them and exist as a tribal/collective sort. Locals bound for other worlds notably only wish to venture to Decadent or Excess. Some seek better work conditions, others save their coin to live pleasureably on a warmer and more habitable planet, safety being another reason to not bother with the pair of amber desert worlds after braving the colds.A secretive place where not too many eyes watch, trade does occur with anyone who would venture out this far...
Frozen's food is seen somewhat as a rare delicacy with others in the system, such as the Gigantic Cetacea and Cephalopod meat, along meats from the blind man-sized albino Aptenodytes which live in the ice-crags. However, Frozen is far more well know for various other useful things that can be found by the right buyer... Law is a bare minimum enforced here, village guards do exist, though a 'don't tell' mentality pervades, maybe down to the hushed tales of strangeness that may exist in the icey mountains... Culture varies from skim-village to skim-village, though blue collar worker culture and 1930s antarctic pioneer feel is felt fairly strongly with many expeditions taking place here.
Frozen characters are good with self-sufficiency, though really suffer in the hotter climates.

The Sunless Sea; everything past Frozen
The area of space past Frozen is known as the Sunless Sea, a vast amount of barren cold space that leads outward to a vast Debris Disk ('The Diamond Belt', 30-50 AU) filled with asteroids that marks the very edge of the system. Any ships attempting to find anything past this disk have either come back empty-handed (save for finding prior hulks of ships that tried before) or have not returned at all.
Because the inner three warring planets pay well for ore that may use it in their war economy (moreso than what would be paid for raw materials taken from Excess), there is a small trade of asteroid miners that venture into the far off Disk to earn their fortune. These ventures are more long-term affairs due to the time and distance (a journey into the disk takes years from Frozen) needed to reach these asteroids, laying out farther than any of the interplanetary distances in the system. It is also not without risk; due to gravitational forces it is known for asteroids to get pulled from the Disk and flung into the system. The risk is somewhat offset thankfully by the exceptionally good pay for those Treejammers who'd work a full term as miners.

Also past Frozen, in specially known deep places in the system there are specially crafted crystalline moons which act as pit-stops for Disk Miners. It is thought that behind closed doors that Elves lead in a feudal capacity and Halfling servants tend to the hydroponic fields, forests and gardens on these advanced nano-crafted wet worlds. Whilst this was assuredly true in Tau Ceti's past (infact the Halfling's first real homeworlds were the crystal moons), the Elves and halflings of the crystal moons seem fairly timid and reserved, if somewhat uniform...

The system of Tau Ceti has moved on a long way from their origins of an exploring feudal colony of miners looking to make a new home for themselves... Whilst the various locations have all become something quite unique, rumour spreads of strange sightings of overtechnology, where science and Magik seem to mingle into the truly strange, which occasionally finds it way into certain hands... Whether the legendary High Elven Empire of old that apparently could and may hold vast power through the system is real or not may be able to be discovered by the bravest of Tau Ceti's adventurers... If they dare to venture that far out into the Sunless Sea seeking to challenge such a well-armed and clearly shadowy Empire...
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 02:00:13 PM by wander »

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Re: Wander Worlds
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 11:48:29 AM »
Taking Up Arms

All adventurers have a melee weapon of some kind on their person these days, laws are actually pretty lax on carrying weapons throughout the system due to roving monster attacks. Because of defence against such everyday threats, everyone you might meet in the system has at least one type of weapon...

Magik (or sufficiently advanced science)

A few groups also have the extra talent to tap into the nanomachine clouds rife across the system to perform feats that the Homonin call Magik. There are a variety of places across the system that teach various ways of being able to perform Magik and control it's effects, though due to it's complex formulae, not everyone can master this ability. Through the system some Guilds, or in some places Cults, have formed around the years of ritualized use of an ancient and technologically advanced asset... There is little one can't do with Magik given the right formulas, though it is hard mastered and awesome ability to tap into.
Magik is considered (falsely) a seperate thing from technology, whilst Magik is nanomachine based and therefore technological, the general people don't see a person doing the specific commands to activate the microscopic nanos in the atmosphere to make combustion and create fire... Instead, they see a person do a spell to throw a fireball. If a relic is discovered that does something unexplainable in the eyes of the late 18th to early 19th century level of tech that Tau Ceti is accustomed with, that artifact is considered 'enchanted' by Magik. Whilst there may be specific clerics or mages that use tech combined with their Magik, they don't call themselves 'Tech Mages' or 'Nano Mages' (Tech and magik mixed is the art of enchantment and 'nanos' are simply unheard of in this era), they'd simply be normal Magik users that have enchanted items.

A brief note on enchanted weapons
As an aside, yes there are Laser Guns buried out there in the system and these would be considered to be enchanted ranged weapons if found. Like any relic, these are suitably rare if they still even work after the millennia of being left buried and probably are found deep inside the mountain of gold a dragon sleeps on, so do not expect to be running around in power armour and firing fusion guns after a single adventure... ^__^'

Any old weapon beats a Flintlock...
Weapons-wise, whilst there are black powder flintlock rifles (sans percussion caps) about and 'one shot and dispose' zip-guns, with rare cases of steampunk-styled adventurers gallivanting across the system (see enchanted gear above), guns are more treasured trophies than a weapon one can actually call useful most times in this era. This is mainly to do with the reload times, incredibly common jamming and misfires... Because of this, bows and crossbows (the latter for those who need to pull triggers), are the ranged weapons of choice for those who are trained in ranged combat throughout the system. Bows are tried and tested, with little found to work better so far until flintlock technology can be perfected.
As not everyone is trained in archery, near everybody carries (at least) one melee weapon, even an archer carries a side-arm with their bow... Arrows can run out on an archer and roving monster bands are a common enough threat. As an aside, few monsters tend to have ranged natural attacks and tourney-fencing is the newest pasttime, so using a sword rather than a bow has become a big trend to show off one's martial skill... This also means that few people actually bother to learn the less fashionable archery as they grow up.

Protection; Leather, Scale or Plate
Whilst nearly everyone carries a weapon at Tau Ceti to proactively defend themselves, adventurers combine this with their outfit as a more passive way to protect themselves from attack. There are three main levels of armour;

Leather is the most common protective outfit you'll find. Leather makes a very attractive material for clothing and also acts as decent armour due to the general lack of decent firearms in the system. These outfits are often tailored to be both as fashionable and sexy as much as they are functional, coming in a whole variety of styles and colours. The one flaw is items of leather that cover the top half, such as jackets or corsets are seen often as common, antagonistic or brutish so are rarely worn openly in high society. The material Leather is made from comes from the hide of the widespread cloven-hooved vegetarian Fauna known as Bos, which are often farmed through the system.
Alternatively, Homonin that are more likely to see combat in places that perhaps they shouldn't (see above, but also where obvious armour will perhaps cause suspicion behind someone's intent) tend to wear cloth shirts over a chainmail vest with their usual leather breeches or skirt, which offers around the same protection as normal leather, but is well concealed. Perfect for assassins!

Those who act as Fighters and Paladins can be found to wear to Scale armour (a Paladin always can be found in this), which often takes the appearance of a layered fishscale mesh that has a sort of 'Ninja' feel to it, though there is also a biotech styled Scale created from a symbiote lifeform doing the rounds also. When people in Tau Ceti think of and name something as Armour, they're referring to this. It is known that some female Fighters and Paladins employ scale bikinis, using their bodies to distract their opponents whilst offering some protection still. Rumour speaks of a particular gifted red headed woman that does just this...

Then the final type of armour is known to the populace as Plate... These suits of armour are rare masterwork treasures and are hard earned, many have some nano augment built into them and are worth a high price if found for sale. Plate can be easily recognized as looking either like a Knight's suit of armour or a particularly heavy looking Samurai armour, often complete with helmet and facemask. Many suits make their wearers look cybernetic or robotic in appearance, so encompassing they are, others look like a suit made completely from bone, as if carved straight from the monster these suits have been won from! Women prefer the knight's look and men prefer the samurai look, though there is some crossover as each is a unique piece of art and worth the attempt in gaining.

The Space Byways
The Homonin are able to travel through space, despite the reduced level of technology Tau Ceti has that would otherwise allow them to do so. This is thanks to the crystalline 'Tree-ships'; natural flora biomass that has been infused with the First's nanotech and cultivated to function as spacecraft. As Tau Ceti became settled, adventurers used treeships to travel through the system looking for profit and adventure. A Free Trader and Mercenary community arose from the pioneers. Adventurers in the present still take Tree-ships to venture out to each of the planets like ship crews sailed the vast seas back on Earth.
'Treejammers' are the folk who make a life out of crossing the spacelanes and see worlds beyond their own. However treeships are an advanced and expensive vehicle to own, with the creation of their inner workings being a well guarded secret of their skilled crafters, found only at the space-ports (this is why the engine is only used in these vehicles). The vast majority who wish to sail with the Treejammers and venture to the other worlds often pay a small amount to a ship owner for offworld passage. Adventurers are well known to join a Treeship for a few weeks, some even gaining a decent number of coin as Guards like with the Earth caravans of old.

Now there is a healthy space economy so passenger coin helps many a ship owner pay the mortgage taken out to pay the Tree-crafters for their ship. Whilst spacefaring has become a common way to travel, space voyages aren't casual hops to get to another planet... Space piracy does occur and so Planetary Defence Forces, Navies, exist to combat this ongoing menace. Space pirates tend to be opportunistic; many hold bases in the vast empty space between Frozen and the Debris Disc where few Treeships tend to venture... Others hide in plainer sight among the vast dead trunks and smashed branches of destroyed and long dead Tree-ships that in parts litter the system.

Specs-wise, Tree-ships are usually equipped to manage thrusts of 2G and hold reaction fuel for an hour accel, same for deccel and a bit over for mid-journey manouvres. Journeys between worlds take time, being modelled around old-time sailing trips, so distances usually take a week or more. The 2G thrust acceleration into a drift and same again to deccelerate is comfortable, thanks to Homonin adaptation to the higher G that the larger sized planets of Tau Ceti have, compared to Earth. Because journeys can take many days to complete, everyone that chooses to venture onto a Treeship tends to have some reason for doing so. Whilst it's not for all, noone sees more of the system than a Treejammer does, making for a very appealing calling to sail onboard these amazing feats of biomechanical nanoengineering...

The Journey Time Estimates!
The below times are rounded estimates of how long journeys take across the system, give or take a few hours. The actual time a journey can take in a story can be taken from these from these numbers and decided on for narrative purposes, from the shortest journey time (when both planets are in alignment on the same side of Tau Ceti's star) or longer journeys (when more of a sling shot manouvre is needed) depending on what is required from the plot. Short journeys are good for when travel is unimportant or may heed the plot, longer journeys allow character development scenes on a treeship or can act as a narrative device to increase tension or drama.

Blast off from Balrog!
Balrog/Crusade = 2.5 days (nearest) to 7.5 days (farthest)
Balrog/Decadant = 4.5 days (nearest) to 12 days (farthest)
Balrog/Excess = 11 days (nearest) to 16 days (farthest)
Balrog/Frozen = 30.5 days (nearest) to 35.5 days (farthest)

Blast off from Crusade!
Crusade/Balrog = (2.5/7.5 days)
Crusade/Decadent = 4.5 days (nearest) to 14 days (farthest)
Crusade/Excess = 8.5 days (nearest) to 18.5 days (farthest)
Crusade/Frozen = 25 days (nearest) to 38 days (farthest)

Blast off from Decadent!
Decadent/Balrog = (4.5/12 days)
Decadent/Crusade =  (4.5/14 days)
Decadent/Excess = 4.5 days (nearest) to 23 days (farthest)
Decadent/Frozen = 24 days (nearest) to 42.5 days (farthest)

Blast off from Excess!
Excess/Balrog = (11/16 days)
Excess/Crusade = (8.5/18.5 days)
Excess/Decadent = (4.5/23 days)
Excess/Frozen = 19.5 days (nearest) to 46.5 days (farthest)

Blast off from Frozen!
Frozen/Balrog = (30.5/35.5 days)
Frozen/Crusade = (25/38 days)
Frozen/Decadent = (24 days/42.5 days)
Frozen/Excess = (19.5 days/46.5 days)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 02:11:29 PM by wander »

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Wander Worlds
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 11:55:43 AM »
So... What am I After?

I am looking for co-writers to explore the setting detailed above and to allow me to show off some cool things to those who are interested in seeing the sights of it's solar system. I want people to come and add some new ideas to the general feel of Tau Ceti and most of all, to have fun!

The different Guilds (read: character classes) for your character are listed below and through them and the plot hooks I've seeded above I'm hoping stories can be made... Take a look through them below and let me know which type of adventurer appeals to you most!

If you've gotten this far and you're interested in adventuring across the worlds of Tau Ceti or even just visiting the one, then please... Pass me a PM and show me your interest!

The Guilds of Tau Ceti.

Bard: (Human or Elf) charismatic holders of lore who can cast spells on others from their musical performances, including heals and buffs. They may use bows. Bards choose an area of knowledge they excel in and in speaking frankly to those they meet they can find out a person's desires and allegiances, making them excellent manipulators.

Cleric: (Dwarf or Human) worshipper of a deity, they can petition their deity through a specific action based on the precept of their religion to gain spells and lore based on their deity's domain (tapping a forgotten net-sphere of Magik). They can turn the undead. Their spells include buffs and heals. Some clerics through their power are known to be able to speak to the dead through mysterious means.

Druid: A halfbreed of Hominin and Monster, they can shift into animals and can speak with them, the Druids are akin to the 'spirits', augmented via the nanos in Monster blood to need no food or water to live. They are never dwarfs. If a dwarf lies with a monster, they birth a halfling druid.

Fighter: (all races) wielder of a weapon that has been nano-augmented, known as enchanted, they're adept with armour and can use their strength to great effect.

Paladin: Human Crusaders with auras of command, they can heal others through touch and can detect nearby 'evil' (a sort of monster radar). They gain abilities through dedicating themselves to quests of slaying, defence or discovering truth. Whilst under vows they gain mythic boons, similar in manner to clerics.

Ranger: (Human or Elf) expert hunters and trackers, they are adept with their bow and can paralyse unsuspecting enemies for a short time with a well aimed shot. A Ranger keeps with them an animal companion which is often trained to help the Ranger's actions. Many Rangers discover at a later time that they are half-elves, a gifted speciation rare in this era.

Thief: (Halfling or Human) Those who can see and disarm traps (along with other hidden things), thieves can greatly damage targets, create openings or damage enemy armour with a well-placed blade attack on a defenceless foe. Morally dubious, they can explain themselves as any alignment they wish, thus able to avoid a Paladin's wrath. They are expert poisoners. Thieves have with their melee sidearm either throwing knives or a bow.

Wizard: (Elf or Human) A collector of spells for their own book of collected Magik effects, they can cast or dispel various magiks and are one of the most powerful classes as they can perform rituals that can do whatever effect they please, though for a price... They have either a dagger or staff as their weapon, they can learn the 'Magic missile' magik to do ranged damage, although magik formulae are too complex to be repeated often.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 02:39:25 PM by wander »

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Wander Worlds
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2015, 12:02:04 PM »
The information below is long and detailed. It is not needed to be read by those who would like to write stories in this setting as it deals with history from millennia in it's past and the origins of the terraforming of the system. If you are interested and already writing with myself though, maybe you'd like to see just how elves, dwarves and halflings came to live among humanity in these futuristic scifi times...

The truth of how Tau Ceti came to be as it is today: WARNING: LONG, OPTIONAL READING.
The facts behind Tau Ceti's colonisation are thus; millions of years from real-life today, the closest system with exoplanets that were close to Earth-like was Tau Ceti, near 12 light years away. Because no spaceship could go faster than light and resources were not numerous enough to sustain people for such a lengthy trip (which would take decades) a plan was put into motion to get around this.

It was called Project SEED.

Enough samples of eggs and sperm from around the planet to make a human genepool large enough to sustain itself were sent off into space by robot crew, to the far away solar system. SEED would drift through space slower than light and once Tau Ceti was reached and prepared for colonization, the children of mankind would be created and raised by the robots. These robots would educate the growing humans through extensive databases in their formative years, learning of Sol's history, people, locales and cultures. Earth would live again, in a brand new system.

Historians in Tau Ceti today do not know whether SEED was a single ship or a fleet... Either way, as the unifying project of mankind, it acted as a metaphorical ark for the children of Sol. The plan for SEED stated that contact would be made with Earth on successful arrival and setup in Tau Ceti; there were high hopes for the colony and Earth wanted to stay in touch. If the journey proved viable, Earth could be vacated for the new system. The initial message would take 12 years from Tau Ceti to Earth, thanks to specially prepared quantum communication at a specially made space station outside of any country's jurisdiction, to confirm success. Every form of life on Earth at the time of launch was placed on the seeding Project. Life changes through the ages, future extinction events and mutation meant already there was some difference to the flora and fauna around today in real-life modern Earth as we know it.

At first, mankind lived on Project SEED itself as it orbited at the outer system's Debris Disc. It was hoped when the firstborn were 24 years old that the initial response would come in from Earth's quantum communication array to the ship. As the Project and wait continued, the humans born in Tau Ceti became parents themselves, the first natural births in a new home system. Eventually plans were made to house the burgeoning First Men of Tau Ceti on it's various the worlds as physical free space slowly began to take up value on SEED.

Projects went underway, the SEED robots and nanotechnology being the main technological applications used to help initial terraforming. As the plan for this was discussed, one faction emerged that felt it was easier to create their own Haven in the system and so projects began to be planned towards this end too.

Time passed.

Societies began to form well enough that a simple barter economy was in place. Feudalism was beginning to form on SEED, the people learning of such things from their old computer databases, already The First (as they called themselves) were splitting apart in class and culture. Such differences down the road eventually gave rise to a large enough rift that a faction of serfs set about a revolution. Due to the richer nobility having a monopoly now on SEED's nanotechnology, these serfs were eventually defeated. As punishment they were sent to the world that would later be known as Excess, where they were to mine materials for the noble's plan of a spacious moon-like space station to live on, rather than the more extreme planets of the time.

Excess had minimal need of terraforming and the serfs were able to live as miners there fairly easily. There the miners found a growing biomass that they called Creeping Coral. It was a crystal like living moss that had the texture of rock though softened when cooked and was nutritious to eat. It was the perfect resource to send back. Creeping Coral due to it's abundance and taste when cooked soon become a main food and workable substance for these miners that worked constantly under high G, due to the size of Excess being larger than Earth.
The miners on this world down the years speciated from The First, becoming a short and stout people down the generations. They were the first Dwarfs. Eventually the Dwarfs sent enough Creeping Coral mined from Excess, a mass which regrew as much as was mined, to construct into the first Crystal Moon space station. However on this Moon, the nobles did not have the artificial gravity-rings of SEED... They grew to become extraordinarily tall and thin as they stayed there. They became the first Elves of the system.

At this time the nanotech terraforming and need for hydrogen (found and mined from Frozen, with Excess and Decadent also being mined for it) to fuel freighter cargo of Coral to the Elves meant that the other worlds were settled. Flora and fauna were brought to the planets for farming and resources and over time through mutation and nanotech infusion, new forms of life emerged through the system. A catch all term the people of Tau Ceti called such things as predator races developed, was Monsters.

Time passed until another Dwarf uprising emerged against the Elves. By now tree-ships were being developed from Creeping Coral and space travel was far less restricted numbers-wise than it was in times past. The Dwarfs were able to face their Elven masters in combat. There were great battles and deaths on many sides. The conflict was resolved by the following convention; that Dwarfs would be free and live where they wished, though a number were ordained to come to the Crystal Moon as crew. Some elves took advantage of this to leave their Crystal Moon and finally join back in with the rest of the Homonin. As for the Dwarves taken in by the Elves, nanotech and breeding between the two species, with a bit of inbreeding due to their small numbers adding to genetic mutation led to the speciation of the Halflings, who unlike their Dwarf forebears led an idyllically clueless life of gardening and self-sufficiency on the Crystal Moon. Eventually these Halflings too gained the freedom to venture to the other planets to quell any potential uprising.

It was 50,000 years ago when Halflings gained freedom from the Crystal Moon to venture the system with the other Homonin... Across the system empires rose and fell as Tau Ceti has advanced to where it stands today. The knowledge of the nanotech used by The First survives to date though not as it once was. Instruction manuals, becoming treated as ancient tomes by those who hold them, saw their applications become used by pseudo-religions and cults. The sufficiently advanced technology in Homonin's eyes is now call Magik. SEED may or may not be out there still, though the Homonin have long since left their gateway into the system for the more spacious planets.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 02:22:51 PM by wander »

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Re: Wander Worlds! (now looking for adventurers of all gender!)
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 06:33:03 PM »
Here's that (over a month) bump!

I've finished the travel times for space journeys between the five worlds of the system and also done some various tweaking of things to get things more how I want them.

As always if you like what you see here and want to know, please PM me! Thanks for your time!