WORMSKIN

12/22/2010

8th Planet: Overview



History
The human settlement of Chune 8 began nearly 440 cycles ago with the arrival of the Engineers and their humanoid mercenaries to the northern polar barrens of Aegon, the larger of the planet's sibling landmasses. The planet and its possibilities had long been a matter of speculation between the business-like Engineers. Much brooding over certain references in the the cryptogrammary* finally compelled them despite the doubts voiced by factions of high-ranking masters and magisterials. A survey of the world was deemed necessary regardless of current shortages. 

The Engineers were not disappointed. Evidence of prehuman** development and a number of metalogical artifacts*** were located. Augury revealed an abundance of crystallized phlogiston near the planet's crust. 8th Planet and four of its brothers were annexed soon afterward by the House of Exalted Peers. Shares of the venture changed hands at a pace not seen for many cycles. 

Human habitation began near the remains of a prehuman settlement where several important artifacts surfaced during the second survey. The most significant of these metalogues is the Material Converter and its system of teleportational gateways. Careful study and experimentation by skilled artificers restored the Converter to working order, re-connecting the site of the ancient city to its counterpart on Quantique.

The city has grown in population to include nearly one-thousand human persons and hundreds of their humanoid servants. Regular conflicts with phraint cataholds have posed significant obstacles to phologiston harvesting and given the planet a reputation for being dangerous. Resistance to the exploration of Quantique by its indigenous race of culturally-regressive troglodytes presents potential hazards as well.

As a result of these uncertainties the planet's principle settlement -- named Septernis after the celebrated Engineer who championed its development -- has become something of a "frontier town" attracting some less than reputable elements. Unlicensed cartels manage the production and sale of yggoa, the memory-expanding drug extracted from the bark of a local tree of the same name. The armigerous families mutter and frown and quietly speak of revolt against the wealthy landsmen. Phantoms and predators obstruct travel across much of the planet's landscape attracting the presence of adventurer types of all stripes. The relationship between the Chune system and the rest of the Sector is that of a remote holding to its distracted patrons. Embroiled in more pressing and immediate struggles than the welfare of one among a whole array of annexed systems, the Engineers have turned over management of 8th Planet to its local personalities and power groups.
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*cryptogrammary: A metalogical machine that houses a part of the knowledge of the Architect culture that predates the emergence of Mankind and is now the basis of human knowledge. Much of the cryptogrammary remains undecipherable.
**prehuman: Generally, of an advanced race that predates the rise of Man. Specifically, the extinct metalogical cultures and their paradigms.
***metalogical artifacts: Devices and machines fabricated by prehuman cultures.

Technology
Examples of technology currently in use:
  • Ansible* -- A projection screen that allows for instantaneous image- and sound-exchange across vast distances.
  • Disruptor -- A cudgel that discharges a paralytic burst.
  • Landskiff -- A floating barge powered by fractured phlogiston.
  • Psionics
  • Teleportation
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*With all due respect to Ursula Le Guin.

Unrefined phlogiston crystals

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