WORMSKIN

1/25/2016

Star-Teader, the Beta-Gnosis Cluster and the Interplanetary Engine

Been working on some SciFi stuff in the off-hours.


STAR-TREADER is a very streamlined, pseudo-scientific setting book inspired by the (scanty) space opera of H. P. Lovecraft (mostly "In the Walls of Eryx") and the dozen or so interplanetaries of Clark Ashton Smith. Contents include basic procedures for adventure (aka the INTERPLANETARY ENGINE), some sample worlds and their local flora and/or fauna, and a number of space-faring beings.


BETA-GNOSIS CLUSTER is a campaign guide utilizing the Interplanetary Engine. It covers all the major worlds, way stations and anomalies in the Cluster and describes many of the beings that may be encountered there. Here are two of the planetary bodies found in Beta-Gnosis:



Hodge's Planet

A small outpost world, extensively mined and scoured by corporate industrial machines. After its resources were sufficiently exhausted, the planetoid was sold for a mint to an Earthman named Witkin Hodge, who has since dwelt there for at least a thousand Earth years as an eccentric cyborg recluse.


Kurme [kur'm]

Transolar dump-world maintained by xygobotic industrial corporations. ["Dump-worlds" are a widely-utilized means to store solid waste materials, as the practice of jettisoning such stuffs into empty space is actively discouraged by most interplanetary law enforcement agents.] Kurme has the distinction of being a well-known black market in addition to a typical, storm-wracked industrial trashscape.

A black sea, toxic to most organics but well-suited to xygobotic florafauna, rings a partially inhabited sub-continental district situated about the northern pole. There a geodesic Star-Port may be found. Several miles from this smokes a grotto-city called Gulphe. This is where the widely regarded and extralegal black market is located.

Carnivorous xygobot garbage-forms roam much of the planet, feeding on a surprisingly resilient population of quasi-mammalian vermin. Translucent pseudo-lichens flit above the surface of burning swamps and excrement-choked chunnel-systems, teeming in flocks sometimes numbering in the hundreds of thousands. 

Loose tribes of humanoid scavengers make forays into the Southern Caches, occasionally returning with centuries-old parts and components that enrich Gulphe's expansive market. Archaeo-engineers refurbish defunct industrial mechs, bringing them back from Kurme's robot-hell to serve the organics again. The most common conveyance to be found is a bug-like vehicle called a rewreck that crawls on a set of four or eight hydraulic legs, each terminating in pairs of spring-loaded metal hammer-claws.

Kurme's constant precipitation and electro-magnetic squalls make a close survey of the planet's surface from the air an ill-advised plan at best.

Air-quality varies in inhabited areas from passable to aggressively horrible. Zones of radiation and chemical waste may make passage through certain areas deadly or simply impossible.