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Author Topic: Hunters of the Eldritch (F/Any. Sci-Fi. Humanity F-Yeah! Possible System.)  (Read 148 times)

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Offline Lustful BrideTopic starter

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"Mankind has had ten thousand years experience of warfare and if he must fight he has no excuse for not fighting well."~T.E. Lawrence.

"Man is the most Dangerous Game."~Krivneky Hunt lord.

"The Universe is a yawning chasm, filled with emptiness and the puerile meanderings of sentience. Why should humanity deserve special consideration within it, above all else?"~Ulyaoth the Unbidden.

"If it bleeds. We can kill it." ~Unknown Human warrior.

For as long as mankind can remember, we have all looked up into the stars with wonder. We looked up to them with hope and our aspirations always returned to sailing out upon the black seas of infinity, and leaving behind our little island that we once called home, this little island known as Earth. For so long mankind dreamt and hoped and strove to go out into space. Then we finally did. Not all united, and not all at once, but little by little, the dominant species known as Human left their homeworld and began to settle their solar system, before reaching out even further. Our progress would not be stopped. With the shackles of gravity now broken nothing would prevent us from ever sailing through the stars again.

As the years turned into decades, and even centuries, we wondered at the lack of contact with any other species. Was the void really so horrible and lifeless that we were the only species out there? To some it was a terrifying thought, to others it was an opportunity, to claim all of creation for ourselves. If we were all that there was, then every last atom and molecule was our property by the fact of our existence.

So we continued on, settling worlds, building stations, and seeking to push ourselves to the furthest extremes of our territory. Yet the farther we went from Sol, the more we began to see just why the universe was a cold and empty place. The Stars were never meant for us. Horrors waited in the darkness, watching with unblinking eyes, and mouths eternally agape in search of new meals, of new souls to swallow and spit back out. Local infections and outbreaks of strange creatures picked up on the periphery of our territory, as did the signs of long destroyed civilizations. At the very frontier we saw the signs of the death and annihilation of other civilizations. It was then the fear of the stars began to creep into the hearts of many. Was this our fate? To fumble the darkness in ignorance until we were one day devoured by a seemingly endless horde of nightmares?

But mankind would not be dissuaded. We were all alone out here, and we had to pick ourselves by our bootstraps. While other species had been exterminated, we would not suffer the same fate. We deployed soldiers, fleets, dropped bombs on the hives of the creatures who defied the laws of physics, we dissected them, burnt them up, and bit by bit we cleared out worlds infested by their ilk. It wasn't easy, nor was it without a cost in lives. But through our sheer determination and unwillingness to surrender, we hunted the abominations down, and we pushed further out. Sometimes we even managed to cleanse worlds that showed sign of habitation once, and we began to learn more of the horrors that lurked in the darkness.

Everywhere we looked, every planet we scouted, every ancient ruin we spelunked, and every cold space station we studied, we always found the same message. It was written in blood, left in video messages, spouted by holographic ghosts, blasted onto the surfaces of long dead planets, even cut into the walls of bunkers as the last dying words of soldiers and politicians of a million worlds.

The darkness of the void was not silent. It was deafening, we simple could not hear because we were being bombarded by the collective screams of thousands, millions, trillions, of civilizations that were shouting to the uncaring heavens, all of them declaring one single message with their final breaths.

"Beware the Great Destroyer."

Yet no matter how much we looked, we found so little information about who these terrible destroyers were. We knew nothing of their tactics, their appearance, their weaknesses, their intentions. Were they referring to the various anomalous entities that mankind had already purged out from several worlds? Or was there something else out there, something that man was as amoeba in comparison to?

We knew nothing about them, only that they left no survivors in the wake of their passing, and that one day they would come for us. The greatest minds of Earth and all its colonies thought and planned and studied what little we did know, and always we came up short, with only guesswork to show for our efforts...that is...until the discovery of the murals on Signis Octanis 7.

A planet that seemed seemed an orphan in an otherwise dead solar system, hidden away in a gas nebulae where it rolled in darkness without meaning or purpose. In the dark yawning universe, many religious xeno races had flocked here for one grand, final work of art. Where they would pass on a final message to all that came after their extinction cycle. Do not pray to any gods, for they are all dead. The Great Destroyer killed them all.

These pilgrims had given their lives to create a final masterpiece, a set of murals that were carved, painted, nanofabricated, onto the walls of an ancient temple complex. It was built deep underground, hidden away and secured with the kind of forethinking that would make any military bunker designer orgasm with jealousy. Yet it did nothing for the survivors there, as they were all together in a pile of corpses, long since mummified around what we can only assume was a priest, their arms outstretched to point us to the murals they had created, the swan song of their civilization.

Of them....only two murals survived, and those that discovered it trembled as they saw our very first glimpse of the feared, and terrible Great Destroyer.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide


Their throats went dry, and the empty cavern could not hide the whimpering sounds of some of the science team...but it was not because of the Destroyer, but instead because of the other image that was there. The priests' hands were not pointing to it, his open eyes were looking up to it, and when they saw it...they saw Sol.....Earth.

The news was not well received. People were sobbing, praying, there was at least one person who swallowed a bullet without even waiting to hear back from Earth, panic was spreading so fast among the science team that almost no one heard as one of the younger researchers began crying out for everyone to shup up! It took him nearly blowing his vocal chords out to get the others to calm down, as he raised his own hand and pointed towards the mural of Sol.

"Why does it look like its coming from Earth?"

The fear was genuine, and the top brass on Earth nearly collectively soiled themselves. Either Earth was the target of future invaders...or it would be the source of those invaders. Either way, plans had to be made, and mankind needed to establish itself farther and farther from our birth=world if we had any hope of surviving what was to come.

We researched better jump drives, faster ships, stronger weapons, and even Powered Exo-suits that could help any human soldier go toe to toe with some of the horrors we had already faced. Even if we didn't survive, we would make damn sure that we would fight against the dying of the light. We would populate our dead galaxy with more humans than even the Great Destroyers could kill, and we would thrive no matter what!

And then we made contact....by pure happenstance one of the expeditionary fleets searching for worlds to establish human colonies was contacted...something had been watching us for almost a decade now, and had called us up to ask one simple thing. 'How are you alive?'.

We were not alone, the universe was populated by many species, an entire menagerie of them in fact! There were cruel star empires, great galactic unions, and everything in between. All of them simply existed outside of the Orion-Cygnus Arm of our galaxy. Much to our shock it seemed that we were not alone, we had simply been quarantined from the wider galactic community for almost 15 thousand of our years.

They all know of and fear the dangers of the Great Destroyers, many have died fighting them and containing the outbreaks that occur...but no known species out there can actually safely enter the Orion-Cygnus arm of the galaxy without being slowly driven mad or homicidally violent by the endless whispering of the many ancient non-Euclidian gods that lie sleeping...on Earth no less. But somehow mankind has not only managed to live among them for its entire history, but also been able to wipe out smaller species directly connected to these terrible monsters, maintaining its own sentience and independence in ways that none of the galactic community can explain.

In the nearly 70 years since then some of the galactic community fears and even hates us. Yet other parts of our galactic neighbors have welcomed and embraced the primitive, yet noble people of Earth. They have seen what we have to offer the wider galaxy, with out different points of view and new perspectives, as well as our seeming immunity and natural rivalry with all species connected to what they call 'Ahn-Raku'. The Consuming Shadow.

In those 70 years, Terran soldiers, fleets, and mercenaries have engaged the horrors of the Ahn-Raku and bravely given their lives to vanquish them, so much so that several mercenary companies, specializing just in eliminating cosmic anomalies, have sprung up and rake in the galactic credits with their protection packets and responding to distress signals by aliens under attack by interdimensional horrors and anomalies.

Despite the suspicion many may still have of us, humanity has earned a place at the table among the galactic nations, and many worlds and aliens owe their lives to the bravery of humans taking part in stopping the horrors of the dark, enough so that some have even bestowed a new title onto the human species.

"Eldi-Ahn-Raku' 'Hunters of the Consuming Shadow."



So this whole thing is inspired by a tumblr post I saw which made a fun concept, and I have been batting it around in my head for a while now. (i will post the concept below).

I just really love the idea of this being 'You got your Space Opera in my Cosmic Horror!"  "You got your Cosmic Horror in my Space Opera!". A delightfully fun juxtaposition of ideas. I'm thinking of maybe doing this freeform, or using the system for Traveller along with the game Cthonian Stars (which is compatible with Traveller). But I don't really have any ideas for what kind of story I'm looking for, or what sort of character I want to play as. I'd love to discuss it and work something out, or even just play a typical traveler adventure while  always knowing eldritch horrors are hiding in the dark corners of the galaxy, waiting for un-weary prey or loyal cultists to bring them meals.

If it interests you just send me a message and we will see where it takes us.

(Some more Sources of Inspiration for this game.)

One.

Two.


Concept: combine the “you don’t know you live on a death world until you leave it” trope with the whole Cthulhu-in-space genre of weird fiction, except in reverse: humanity’s Special Thing™ is that humans (and, by extension, all terrestrial life-forms) are weirdly resistant to reality-bending bullshit, which is what lets us survive and build a relatively functional civilisation in spite of hailing from a world that plays host to multiple Other Gods – which is, of course, otherwise unheard of; having even one of those squamous bastards in the neighbourhood is generally enough to ruin a whole star system’s day.

Non-human vessels can’t approach within a dozen light years of Sol without their crews being driven mad by the corrosive psychic resonance emanating from Earth’s deepest oceans, and we’re wandering around living our lives and not noticing. Aliens can never travel on human ships because our FTL drives kind of maybe tunnel through Hell, a process that horribly warps non-terrestrial life, and we just think it looks pretty when the n-dimensional hellfire coruscates across the viewports.

This sort of thing kept humanity uncontacted for a long time, until the aliens’ observers eventually figured out that we weren’t a bunch of weirdly normal-looking elder thralls, we just straight up weren’t aware there was a problem. It’s only then that they arranged first contact – remotely, of course – to basically ask “dude, what the fuck?”

(Humans are reasonably well-integrated into the galactic community these days, though most worlds enforce strict screening and quarantine procedures before allowing a Terran traveller planetside; it’s just like a human to have a class 7 epistemivore hitchhiking in their brain, and when informed, go “you know, I have been getting these headaches lately”.)

-----------
Once the humans got settled in, it was only natural that they’d be in high demand for dealing with reality bender infestations on other worlds, a profession that most aliens regard as horrifyingly dangerous, but which humans tend to approach as a sort of glorified animal control. Your capital city’s got a case of nightgaunts? A team of humans’ll be more than happy to go in and poke them with laser-sticks until they leave – for a fee, of course.

(In one famous incident, a kilometre-high pillar of paradimensional flesh manifested on Arcturus IV and began singing the Song of Endings, causing every living creature across half a continent to bleed from their auditory receptors. Upon arrival, the human first responders were observed to complain that they’d heard that one before, and soon set off in high spirits. The tower later caught fire and fell over; nobody’s entirely sure what the humans did, but they announced that their work was done and quickly departed – the ensuing biohazard cleanup, they said, was someone else’s department!)

« Last Edit: May 30, 2021, 08:51:09 am by Lustful Bride »