Thursday, September 7, 2017

Forward Garden



Jezoflorids are sapient plant creatures. They are serpentine in form, with a network of root tentacles at the anterior end. They use these tentacles for feeding and as manipulators. The posterior end has a leafy shrub like growth. This is where the eyes can be found. They can have between 2 and 5 eyes on flexible stocks, as well as a similar number of flowers. They communicate through body language amongst themselves, and use voice box translators to speak to non Jezoflorids.
Their racial government is known as Mother Corp, an immense commercial polity that protects and furthers the interests of the Jezoflorids. They practice expansion through commerce. Mother Corp sells Jezoflorid sproutlings and seeds as indentured servants. For their first 20 years of life, Jezoflorids are intelligent but monomaniacal, intensely focused on one area of expertise. . They are a cheap alternative for professionals that require years of study and training, as they are fast learners, and they are generally content to be merely useful, at least in their adolescence. They grow larger and their interests diversify as they age. Most Mother Corp contracts expire after this period, and the adult Jezoflorid will make a pilgrimage back to Mother Corp space. Jezoflorids never stop learning or growing as they age. The largest Jezoflorids are formidable intellects who are masters of many skills.

Forward Garden is the closest Jezoflorid planet to human space. The Jezoflorid capital is on the other side of the galaxy, virtually inaccessible. Thus, forward garden serves as the most convenient location to do business with Mother Corp.  The whole planet is covered in a tangled grid of vegetation to the depth of 2 kilometers. In its forested depths, there are locations of great natural beauty and splendor, making it a premier resort for galactic aristos. The planet also hosts massive farms and processing facilities that grow luxury food items for galactic consumption, as well as farms where Jezoflorids are grown and trained. Jezoflorid servants are a major export, as they are renowned for their loyalty and dedication.  The planet has a criminal underworld, literally, as the deep reaches of the tangle are free of any sort of legal oversight. There is a thriving drug trade, as well as an effective network of assassins who call this planet home. At the bottom of the forest there is an "acid ocean" a double misnomer, as it is actually composed of powerful enzymes, and it is a more like a network of swamps and lakes than an ocean. In some places there are ancient ruins from before the coming of Jezoflorids. There are persistent rumors that there is great wealth to be found in them.

Law: There is little "official" law. The official settlements have Jezoflorid militias to respond to most crimes. They spend most of their time chasing pickpockets and catching sloppy criminals. It's an open secret that Mother Corp employs assassins to eliminate threats to their power base. Beyond the borders of "civilization", the biosphere itself protects the planet. Any threat or disturbance is met by hostile fauna. It should be noted that this does not eliminate all "illegal" behavior, but instead keeps the  criminal underworld in check. The best way to think about it is as a tax on criminals. The tax is every year a certain number of them are eaten by hornets.

Ecology. The tangle is one massive floral superorganism that covers the entire planet. There is a plethora of symbiotic flora that live on it. The fauna are mostly invertebrates, and mostly flying ones. A staggering variety are pollinators . Many more are parasites and parasitoids. Almost all are subject to the subtle influences of Mother Corp.
Police Hornet. Man sized and aggressive. Can shoot a bolus of acid further than you would expect.
Tax Collectors. Tiny bloodsuckers that travel in swarms. When killed, release tiny amounts of attack pheromone. Kill enough of them and you become a target.
Night apes. Pink, rubbery and incredibly stealthy. They carry off their prey in the middle of the night.
Tangle Dragon. A flying mollusk. It floats by means of hydrogen filled balloons. This also lets it breathe fire.
Feral ferry spider. A barge sized spider, related to the domesticated variety. Will grab victims and throw them into its passenger compartment, then make off for parts unknown.
Cystpillar. These caterpillars make large cysts in animal hosts. After several painful weeks, a butterfly will emerge.

Many of the floral species here are related to the Jezoflorids, and are motile.
Spongeway. A massive tunnel filled growth. Pockets of sweet smelling nectar lure in animals. Most are tagged with pollen. Some are eaten.
Moss wave. A rolling carpet of plant life, migrates from spot to spot, chasing the sun. Will drown you if it can.
Grass star, A crawling plant. Some species have a parasitic stage, where the adults implant flowers into their hosts.
Grass Drake. A serpentine plant with leaf wings. A slow, graceful glider. Is a popular steed.
Catapult trees. Fling cannonball sized seed pods long distances. You're unlikely to be hit by a lone pod, but groves will fire together in volleys 

Travel: Every official township has a spiderport, where large domesticated arachnids are kept. Silk lines connect destinations, and the spiders effortlessly carry goods and passengers between them. Some of the more remote tourist destinations lack a spider route, and instead are connected by "roads" built through the tangle. These pathways are rarely flat, and can consist of only a set of handholds and a safety rope. Somehow, the Jezoflorids can control the planet's fauna and keep the more dangerous animals away from these roads. There exist "under" roads, unsanctioned paths that lead to unofficial settlements and hidden locations. These illegitimate routes do not enjoy the protection of Mother Corp


Drugs. As a premier vip destination, Froward Garden has a thriving drug culture. Drugs are nominally illegal, though this is mostly a gambit to drive up the prices.
Evolo: Temporarily gives the user biokinesis. They trip out as they become aware of their metabolic functions on a deep level. It is possible to irreparably alter yourself if you choose to do so. Long term users become increasingly mutated.
Master plan: An upper that gives the user an obsessive eye for detail. Any plan that is made while on under the influence will have a higher chance of succeeding. Long term use causes megalomania, delusions, and eccentric fashion choices.
Revelation!: Causes the imbiber to experience contact with some sort of divine entity. Hated by most religions, embraced by a few. Long term users began to receive mandates and holy teachings, becoming prophets. Most people experience a deity they are familiar with culturally, some do not. Junkies tell each other that some people see long forgotten gods that they could never have known about, or that two people have seen the same unknown god. These are probably just rumors.

Weapons. The local Fauna will eventually check out any major disturbances. Explosives, supersonic projectiles and loud engines will draw their ire, making quite weapons a must for anyone planning on fighting. Automatic crossbows and dart throwers are popular, as are chain and whip weapons, as they can also be used as climbing aids
Moss Thrower. A blunderbuss shaped weapon with a back mounted fuel tank. Shots wads of nutrients laced with a quick growing moss. Targets hit are tangled in vegetation and rendered immobile. The planetary militia also uses these weapons to do spot repairs on the tangle's superstructure.
Forrest curse. A liquid pheromone that marks a target for consumption by the local fauna. Typically used in grenades, but can also be sprayed in close range, which risks the attacker accidently hitting themselves
Sapling whip. A motile plant, related to the Jezoflorids but not sapient. When it strikes a target, it comes alive and wraps itself around  it, inflecting continuous damage.
Wasp bomb. Unleashes a swarm of angry wasps. They see Jezoflorids as flora, and ignore them.
Wasp gun. Same principle, but shots a single deadly wasp a long distance. Air powered.
Fungal darts. Laced with dangerous spores. Deadly to organics, and will also damage the superstructure, making it highly destructive.
Blister stick. A wood that produces noxious oils that cause painful lesions. Used by the local militia for crowd control.

Assassin's guilds. There are three related but rival guilds that have their bases here. The Guild of Creeping death, which specializes in assassination through faunal agents, the Guild of verdant Death, who's members kill with flora and the guild of moldering death, who use fungus. All three are mystery cults, with inanition rites available to any who seek them out, though they are notoriously deadly to non-Jezoflorids.  These guilds exist to not to kill, but to strike fear into the enemies of Mother Corp. The killings are really a byproduct of that mission. To that end, they are very theatrical, and will often warn their victims beforehand. Every kill is a production, designed to leave a strong impression. (Some analysts believe they are capable of subtly, though it is hard to tell on a planet with as many accidental deaths as Forward Garden.)
Soft Rain: First comes a small horde of caterpillars, to let the target know they're coming. Then comes the large horde. Most targets are eaten, some have been found crushed or suffocated.
True loyalty: Uses fungus to subvert the target's allies. Tries to arrange ironic deaths, but a plant's conception of irony is a bit loose.  
Path in the woods: A master martial artist who uses living whips. Sends a whip to discreetly kill a target, then makes a show of beating up underlings. Heavily fictionalized accounts of their exploits are popular in local culture.



Industry. Mechanical manufacturing attracts unwanted attention from the local Fauna, limiting the scope of traditional industry. The Jezoflorids compensate with bio technology, growing most of what they need in specialized farms. These are some of the more common facilities that can be found on the planet
Drug lab Apiary. Here, aliens in thick suits tend irregularly shaped hives. The many bee species kept here have one thing in common; narcotic honey. These places are sometimes raided by police hornets.
Soil Farm. These farms are where Jezoflorids turn  organic matter into soil for their consumption.
The compost. A hidden soil farm, staffed by heavily indoctrinate Mother Corp employees. Those Jezoflorids Mother Corp deems defective are dosed with a parasitic fungus. They are compelled to travel on secret paths to the compost, where they through themselves onto a giant pile of their dead kin. The compost is a one of the more productive soil farms, and if its dark nature was revealed, wide spread revolts against Mother Corp would spring up.
The Stump. A city built above the acid ocean in the decaying remains of a support tree. This close to the surface of the planet, there are fewer hostile organisms, and the sound of industry is muffled by the decaying wood. Here, the Jezoflorids manufacture the metal and ceramic tools they can't replicate with organic constructs. This is the lowest official point in the Spider system, making it a good jumping off point for those that want to explore the depths of the planet. A scared human named Kim Olan runs an Inn called The Spider's Dinner, which acts as a sort of guildhall for explorers

Notable locations. These are major tourist destinations, Mother Corp holdings or other sites of note. All have spider ports unless stated otherwise.

Falling petals. A vertical settlement lined with tiny blossoms that periodically shed in great clouds, giving it its name. This resort town is known for its gambling games, where players can place bets on all sorts of strange diversions.  Bets are placed using the house currency, tokens known as bulbs and petals. (there 24 petals in a bulb). Bulbs can be used to buy a random Jezoflorid bulb from a bubble shaped displacer. Some of the possible cultivars are sold nowhere else, making them quite valuable to a collector.
Stump: Players take turns sticking their hands into holes on a stump. They receive payout based on how painful the sting was. 1 in 20 chance of a fatal sting, if you live through it you get the jackpot.
Garden: Players take turns issuing orders to insect servitors, trying to grow the best garden. Fast growing plants are used, so the games only take about a day.
Alms: Beggars are given signs with point values and are released into a gallery. Each player has a different color fruit to throw at the targets.

There are vending machines throughout this settlement that take bulbs and dispense seed packets. Roll 2d6
2.Brain baby. This cultivar can read surface level thoughts of any being within 50 feet..
3.syzygy. This one is two bulbs fused together. When it grows, it will have two minds. The upshot is it can learn two specialties as a juvenile. Requires periodic relationship consoling to remain whole
4.Big Sib. A plant of unusual size.
5.Dank. Its leaves have a potent psychoactive effect. Sometimes can be found smoking itself.
6.Tasty boy. Even as a juvenile, it grows sterile but juicy fruits.
7.Forward garden regular. The basic local cultivar
8.wise one. Even as a juvenile it grows bitter fruits that have nootropic properties
9.Eye flower. Has working eyespots on its flowers, giving it exceptional eyesight.
10.Liquid color. Has chromatophores in its flowers, allowing to change its color.
11.Pallid devourer. Lacks pigment, but can digest almost anything
12.Push boy. Can move things with its mind. If you want it to be good at it, it needs to be trained, taking up its specialty slot

The Celestial Orphanage. This temple complex hosts idols and avatars of gods that have been displaced by wars and disasters. This place sees brisk business from pilgrims. The library here is one of kind, as it’s the only place to view the unexpunged blog of the being that would be come to known as the atomic messiah. The  complex is overseen by a high priest known as Elder Careful Care, a venerable and large Jezoflorid. They are soft-spoken but subtly menacing. They keep the disparate priesthoods in check through quite blackmail and intimidation.

Flesh 7 Village. An unofficial settlement, the Flesh 7 here are reserved and secretive. They favor arachnid bioforms, and are continuously exploring the tangle. A guide from this village is invaluable for anyone that wants to plumb the dark reaches of the planet. Their leader is Klarg, an impetuous young warrior who was the daughter of the previous leader. She wants to find a way to get her people off planet, but something is keeping them there. She will only divulge their secret mission to find an ancient crashed spaceship to those she trusts. There is no spiderport here.

Garden of commerce. An open air market where the stalls are built into flowers. Guide hives dot the walk ways. If you tell the hive what you're looking for, a bee will guide you to it.

The Spawn Flower. A massive bromeliad-like flower full of water. Home to race of frog-like aliens who have been living here for generations. No one knows what their deal is, and they are generally hostile. There is no spiderport here.

Honey Springs. An exceptionally productive apiary. Rivers of honey flow out of the hives and into intricate channels. A must visit for any sapient with a sweet tooth.  This place is a haven for candymen cultists. As long as they don't plot against Forward Garden, Mother Corp leaves them alone.

Data Hive. Here, the bees function as one vast super computer. It is from here that Mother Corp manages the running of the planet. Here is the best place to find Elder  Long Term Plans, the planetary governor. While not rude to outsiders, they are enigmatic and reserved. They give off the impression that they don't need outside help for anything.

Leviathan Pond. Another bromeliad lake. A resort village is built on the flowers that float on its surface. Sapients dreaming here have vast, incomprehensible  dreams that are said to come from the creature that lives in the lake. Some find these dreams inspiring, some just want to see something fucked up. No one is ever exactly the same after a leviathan dream, but it's hard to tell what changes about them.

Wave Grove. A patch of fungus like growths. Named for their constant, gentle movements. A wide variety of psychoactive chemicals can be distilled from the flora here, making this a popular resort destination.

The soup pits. A famous gastronomic experience, this town is home to cauldrons of soup, some of which have been in continuous use for hundreds of years. These are soups with personality, with histories as complex as some nations. The Militia regiment here is known as the Chef's Guard. They are exceptionally well armed and exist to protect the soup pits from foreign contamination, as well destroy any illegal soups. They have their work cut out for them, as candy cultists are always trying to horn in with their own sweet stews. At any given time, there is at least one candy speakeasy in operation. Elder Virtuous Flavor is the head chief and ecologist, a position that has more power than the local mayor. He is responsible for directing the evolution of the stews, and as such is his very interested in any culinary innovations.
Noted soup pits:
  1.  Iridescence. Has a bright, oily sheen. It has an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of flavor
  2. Heartache. Emits a thick, clinging fog. Tastes of forgotten nostalgia
  3. Hunter. Filled with assorted creepy crawlies and slimy things, all still alive. Not favored by many humans, but popular with those that eat live prey.
  4. Victor and Vanquished. A half a day's hike from the center of town there is a fighting pit. The Arena is a catwalk above Vanquished. Losers are thrown in. The winners get a substantial purse, in exchange for a portion of biomass to be added to Victor. Vanquished is a murky, rowdy stew, while Victor is clear and refined. Of the two, Victor is the more expensive, served in the VIP booth, while the hoi pollio guzzle mugs of vanquished in the stands.
  5.  Dragon's Bowl. Full of cooked "noodlings" a starchy and savory motile plant creature thought to be a close relative of the Jezoflorid. Every day huge baskets of them are caught and sorted, with only the most perfect specimens added to the soup. They bud off of the "eel dragon", an enormous serpent that lairs somewhere below the pits. Every year it ascends and is given Dragon's Bowl as tribute. It is said the without this sacrifice it would destroy the town. A small kaiju cult has arisen. Currently they are try to feed one of their number to the dragon. So far, they have been unsuccessful.

The Flitter Circuit. The name is a bit of misnomer. This small city contains lodgings, stables, guest accommodations and smaller race tracks as well as the famous Flitter Circuit. A treacherous text of dexterity, the Flitter circuit winds through the tangle, following a path of tight turns and frequent obstacles. The racers in the circuit are employed by Mother Corp and live at the Circuit full time. They are mostly retired galactic prix racers, with a couple eccentric oddballs thrown in to make it more entertaining. The Circuit has a reputation as an elephant graveyard of racers. The most famous racer here is Blag Soner, a Pertanguan who was a second place finisher in the Galactic Prix. He is still a competent racer, but otherwise he is the very image of a washed up superstar. When he's not racing he is drunk, and even more scandalous for a  Pertanguan, he is frequently stationary.

Flutter meadows. This tranquil area right below the canopy is formed by a horizontal weave of branches, upon which a thick layer of soil has formed. It is famed for its wild flowers, as well as its beautiful flying insects, who have intricate and colorful patterns on their wings. This is a peaceful resort town, home to an order of shape changing escorts known as the Mercury Flowers. Their origins are obscure, but they are currently in the employ of Mother Corp. Their power to assume any shape has given them a sinister reputation, but they've never been linked to any shady business. Their leader is Red Templar, who isn't an individual but a persona. It is only channeled by a flower when a customer needs to be reprimanded.

Fruiting Station. An organic space station in geosynchronous orbit with the planet below, which it is connected to by a space elevator made of super strong vines. This is the only official entrance  to the planet, and it has the heaviest militia presence. There is a small community of foreigners here, doing the sort of shady business you would expect in a major spaceport. This is the safest place to be a criminal on forward garden, and most major crime lords have at least a safe house here. The station master is Adult Diligence, a mid level Mother Corp functionary who is quick to accept a bribe. What most don't know is he is still loyal to Mother Corp, and he gives his ill-gotten gains back to the company.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Emphrina

A beautiful water world, Emphrina is occupied by the Agredeem empire, albeit willingly. The Agredeem are a normally peaceful race of amphibious star fish people who suffer from a chronic case of god emperors, who rule through powerful subconscious mind control. They control many auxiliary races, though that requires consistent visits from the god emperor and his psychic advisors. Emphrina is unique in this aspect, as it is never visited by psionic Agredeem, yet the natives remain loyal to the empire. This makes the planet into a sort of embassy town, where other galactic powers can deal with the Agredeem without worrying about brain washing. For their part, the rank and file of the empire see Emphrina as the premier resort spot of the empire.

Green Landing.
The first thing a visitor to green landing notices is the astounding beauty. Lush trees and shrubs line grassy streets. Large buildings covered in green support a leafy canopy. Ethereal flying creatures slowly strobe bright colors. During the day, dappled green light falls on elaborate water features; at the night the whole landscape is lit  up by bio-luminesces. The eco-engineers of The Emphrina have pulled out all the stops to make green landing a wonder to behold.
The second thing some visitors, particularly human visitors notice is how wretched Green Landing is. Built on the planet's equatorial belt, the temperature rarely dips below 35 Degrees Celsius, and thanks to all those lovely water features, the humidity is quite high. All those ethereal flying creatures are rather unpleasant when they're flying in your face , trying to drink your sweat. The whole island reeks of decay, in a million different ways, from knife-sharp ammonia to a subtle fungal mustiness.
The island was designed to be appealing to the Agredeem, and they don't mind the heat and the bugs, and they find the humidity and the smells delightful. Some analysts suspect that the Emphrina designed green Landing's ecosystem this way to get some physiological advantage over alien visitors. Others think the Emphrina are just sort of dumb.
The ecosystem is flawed in other ways as well. The constant influx of off-worlders makes it difficult to keep it in balance. They're always touching things they shouldn't, and leaving garbage all around. To compensate, the Emphrina use periods of readjustment, where they use biological carefully controlled biological upheaval to rebalance the ecosystem. It is hazardous to be outside during these periods, as the normally docile fauna can react unpredictably. Sapients out in the open during a readjustment might be stung by a horde of air jellies, or savaged by a rabid squirrel-beetle. Usually the Emphrina ecosystem engineers give advanced warnings, but sometimes adjusts are need so urgently there's no time to plan. That’s the story, anyways.
Below The island is a system of caves where the really dangerous organisms live; the predators necessary to keep ecological balance. Ecological reviewers describe these creatures as "unnecessarily cruel" and "extravagantly nightmarish". Monsters like the giggling ripper and the snaggle-tooth man-fisher fuel a side business in the dangerous hunting expeditions popular among Agredeem elites. They enter the caves through special security sphincters that protect the upper areas from the under denizens. Casualties are high, and the Agredeem wouldn't have it any other way.  Sometimes, a high ranking Agredeem officer will drag along a party of outsiders, as a sort of trust building exercise. It rarely goes well.

The native Emphrina resemble cuttlefish, and are entirely aquatic. They get about on land in biped and triped "bubble walkers", named from their spherical water tanks. Their "names" are simply job titles. Most Emphrina an outsider would encounter are name things like "bartender" and "waiter" particular interesting Emphrina might have adjectives, like "friendly shopkeeper". Outsiders who have ventured deeper into Emphrina have reported strange titles like "daring spy" and "plucky orphan".

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Goblin nations of the Midden

The Midden is a massive garbage pit created by a lost empire that is several miles deep. During the height of the empire, the pit was actually inhabited by priests of a pantheon of fungal gods. They lived in a network of subterranean shrines and tons, making a living recycle garbage into useful products. When the empire fell, the servitor wurms that served the decay gods seemed to go rouge, and they covered the Midden with rubble, sealing it off from the surface. Now, hundreds of years later, the people who lived in the midden are gone, but parts of their strange civilization have survived. Ancient temples and fungal farms are still buried down there, as well as the secrets and discarded wealth of an empire.

The Midden is infested with goblins, rot spirits that take physical form out of decaying organic matter. Beings of an ephemeral nature incarnate in gross matter, goblins can seem manic and unhinged to normal people. They do not fear death, as a slain goblin can fashion a new body for itself out of the original mess it can from. Goblin nations form around their spawning pits, because by feeding and protecting their pit, they ensure their own immortality. The goblin pits in the Midden have had ample time to develop their own particular culture, which would be the envy of wild goblins around the world, where they not buried in a colossal garbage heap. Each nation has its own spawning pit, and an impressive city built around the pit. Every nation sends scouting and scavenging parties into the Midden. Goblin politics is a confusing mess, as every nation is both at war with and allied to every other nation. Large scale battles are sometimes fought, but these are more recreational than strategic. 

Goblin nations of the Midden (1d8)  
  1. Yab Tribe. Paint their bodies in one solid color. Different colors may represent different social castes. They understand the common tongue, but only communicate in wurm song, badly. Believe they are wurms, will never acknowledge their arms and legs. Mid-rate worm handlers, shockingly competent libraries. Yab city has a massive library of discarded imperil texts
  2. Crib Clan. Pierce themselves with a single long metal rod. Location of the piercing denotes rank, with leaders pierced in the head. Grow only carnivorous plants. Under a constant siege by their own agriculture, every citizen both a farmer and a solider. Little energy for fighting outsiders. 
  3. Lib Confederation. Cover themselves with dirt and mud, even more so than the average goblin. All lib Goblins act as spies, either hiding in plain site or clumsily trying to infiltrate the party. They send reports back to Lib city, but the confederation never seems to act on any information they receive. Lib Goblins will never admit to being lib goblins, will instead claim to be from some other nation.
  4. Iob Corporation. Have somehow managed to build a cyberpunk dystopia out of iron age garbage. Distinguished  by their crude cybernetics. Bands of Iob Street samurai wander the midden, looking for undead to destroy. 
  5. Jub Kingdom. Wear fancy outfits. Greet everyone they meet for the first time with a pet name such as professor bubblkins, or mademoiselle fussybritches. Will never use someone's real name, under any circumstances. The Jub are masters at insect husbandry, and every single one of their charges has a ridiculous pet name. They are friendly and hospitable at all times, which makes it hard to tell when they're planning on feeding you to a giant bug.
  6. Ib Party. Have painstakingly constructed an undersea. Their society is one continuous beach party. Strangers can join in, but they need to bring a gift. Booze that isn't made out of "sea water" is preferred. Ib party goers are recognizable by their crude sun glasses and outrageous shirts. The Ib sea is noted for its excellent fishing.
  7. Grub pact. Dark alchemists, the Grub have found a way to transmute garbage into other garbage. This would actually make them a powerful goblin nation, if they didn't spend so much time on useless rituals. Grub pact Goblins recognize each other through secret handshakes, though they are so elaborate they rarely remember the whole thing. A talented liar could bluff their way into acceptance.  
  8. Sab Monastery. Practice asceticism and shrub-ga, a goblin martial art. Shrub-ga involves leaping onto your opponent and biting them while screaming, so it's not significantly different from the default goblin unarmed style, though they have a special breathing technique that allows them to scream and bite simultaneously. They have detailed knowledge about the old decay shrines, which they will share with outsiders after they survive a kumite.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cheese Covered Planet

Politics
Cheese covered Planet has attracted a large population of Flesh 7, a "race" of cyborgs who consider the odd cheese-like soil of the planet a delicacy.
The governing body of Cheese Covered Planet is the Cheese Covered Planet Cheese Syndicate, hereafter known as the CCPCS. Their primary objective is protecting the massive profits they make exporting cheese to Flesh 7 settlements around the Galaxy, so it’s a little strange that they are the closest thing the Flesh 7 have to a racial government. As cyborgs, Flesh 7 don't need to eat to live, but they consider the pleasures of the Flesh important to their mental well-being. If they don't take joy in their organic parts, they might as well be robots.
The CCPCS ruthlessly protects  their business interests
The Black Cheese Club is either a parasitic criminal organization, or a deniable subsidiary of the CCPCS, depending on who you ask. Many law enforcement agents across the galaxy are loathe to talk about it, if only because they feel stupid discussing a powerful cheese smuggling operation. The black Cheese Club deals in cheeses that have properties so strange and dangerous, the CCPCS refuses to acknowledge their existence.



Ecology

The dominant flora are the milk trees, so named because of the creamy sap they leak during weeping season. This goo pools on the forest floor, where it nurtures a complex community of biota. The resulting "cheese" is more like loam than any human foodstuff, but Flesh 7 love the ecological diversity and the mineral content.
Much of the dry land on Cheese Covered Planet is taken up by cheese farms. Carefully managed forests of cheese trees surround small farming communities. This idyllic landscape is more dangerous than it seems though. At night, large mole-like predators emerge from the cheese and hunt anything that smells edible. These "cheese moles" are vital  for the microbial ecosystem that makes the cheese, so they are allowed free range. Every community has a "mole-watch" system, of some design or another. Occasionally there are holes in the surveillance.
 Along the coasts, you can find salt water cheese marshes, large flat expanses where reed-like milk tree flourish. Salt cheese is an acquired taste among the Flesh 7, due to its high salt content and sea shells. Still, there is enough of a market for it that cheese harvesters will brave the monster infested coast. There is a semi-aquatic relative of the cheese mole that is both fast and clever. Sea moles are found of traps and ambushes. Attempts at communication have so far proven futile.
The two largest settlements are built on and under the crashed alien space ships. The area around the ships are the oldest cheese forests, and home to some of the rarest cheeses. Information control around these cities are tight, as the CCPCS has many secrets it wishes to protect, chief of which are the presence of dangerous cheese creatures. Resembling a living hunk of molten cheese, these ooze -like super-organisms are colonies of remarkable biota, similar but more advanced than the ones that make the ordinary cheese. They periodically squeeze out of vents in the spaceships, and go own to wreak havoc in the city before they are contained. The entrances to the ships are heavily guarded . There are rumors that groups of outsiders are sometimes permitted inside, but even the name of the department that authorizes such trips is classified. In unassailable criminal logic, there must be something really valuable inside if they go to such great lengths to keep people out. 
Space
The CCPCS is found of hiring mercenaries to handle system security. Currently, Dame Alg of the Order of the Silent Sun has the job.

The two crashed craft on the planet's surface could possibly be bastard in origin; they share some surface level design sensibilities, though they could just as easily be successor bastards, from the period immediately after the disappearance of the original bastards. Roughly spherical with a "skirt" around their equators, they resemble old fashioned flying saucers. One of the ships is stuck into the ground at an angle,  creating an overhang in which Shadowed City is built. The other is buried up to the skirt in cheese. This craft is home to Ship City. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

The planet Dirt


Dirt is the ancestral home land of the human race. Humans have been through several cycles of golden and dark ages, the last major fall wiping out most records of their history. Dirt is a deeply damaged planet, bearing the scars of multiple wars and disasters.

Ruling polity and other factions

Until about 60 years ago, the Dirt was ruled by the technocrat kings, despots who used their monopoly on ancient technology to dominate the few remaining human arcologies. Their reign came to an end with the rise of the prophetess Apple, who came preaching the end of Dirt. She believes that one day Dirt will be destroyed and that the only hope for the human race is to settle other planets. With her followers she overthrew the technocrats and synthesized a single rational technological praxis out of their disparate and cultish knowledge bases . Now, Dirt is ruled by the Seeder Initiative, a group that approaches human colonization with a religious Zeal. Just as autocratic as their predecessors, the Seeders use mass surveillance and draconian law enforcement to hold onto power.     
The arcologies of Dirt have been economically depressed by the polices of the Seeder Initiative, leading to an increase in crime. The most powerful organized crime syndicate is the Old Guard, a collection of minor science priests and flunkies of the Technocrat Kings who survived the purges of the Seeders, along with disenfranchised youth who are young enough to romanticize the old regime. Currently not powerful to threaten revolution, the Old Guard mostly sticks to old fashioned protection rackets and contraband dealing.
The Mu-Boll are bobble-head humanoids with a possible relation to humanity. The Seeders have entered into an optimistic partnership and sold them Dirt's moon, Satellite; more specifically, they've sold it to Happy Hominid Habitats, a powerful new corporate polity. Mu-Boll tend to avoid the blighted surface unless they have important business there. Instead, they can be found in the thousands of new habitats they've helped the seeders build in Dirt orbit. They're currently hallowing Satellite out in order to use it as a giant habitat. Tensions between humans and Mu-Boll can be high, as Mu-Boll have taken to eating lab grown human meat.

 Ecology

The biosphere of Dirt is old and scarred. The boom/bust cycle humanity has gone through means that in several points in history, the ecosystem of Dirt was controlled by sapient life, then allowed to go feral, resulting in flora and fauna nastier and more dangerous than normal wild evolution. The disaster blasted landscapes of Dirt are hard scrabble places, where organisms have to contend with all sorts of pollution.
The Great Trash Reef is an impressive structure in Dirt's oceans. Composed of billions of tiny bio-mechanical creatures, it process the great quantities of refuse into the basis for a robotic food chain. The shear variety of garbage mankind has produced during their time on Dirt has given the inhabitants of the reef a wide range of powers and abilities, though they are poorly understood, as any probes or vessels that approach are turned into scrap and assimilated into the reef. Thankfully, if there is a machine intelligence behind the reef, it’s an unambitious one, as the reef grows little year by year. 
Kud if a form of fast growing algae that dominates flat landscapes. This thick green fuzz covers a vast plain on one of Dirt's continents. Other flora  that tries to grow in the Kud Plains is smothered under the green carpet. Few animals eat Kud, as it has a foul taste. The major exception are the  giant snails that lick the kud off of rocks. The snails are in turn preyed upon by snot weasels, which burrow into the snails, as well as anything else that doesn't run away fast enough. There are rumors of snail riding pigmies, but that probably isn't true.
There are about a dozen abandoned  arcologies on Dirt. Some were sacked and ruined during Apple's rebellion; others fell victim to mismanagement  by the Technocrats. Without human intervention, the normal arcology biome spirals out of control. Mold quickly takes over the interior, and the normal vermin and scavengers grow in size. These city fauna are especially dangerous, as they have little fear of mankind. Arcologies are rich in useful materials and loot from the previous inhabitants. Scavenging in abandoned arcologies is against Seeder law, but the ban is seldom enforced, as the Seeders have other priorities.


Orbit, system, and Bastard connections

In contrast to the blighted and depressed surface of Dirt, the space around Dirt is teeming with industry. The Seeder Initiative channels the wealth of its extra solar colonies and its technical expertise into the habitat ring around Dirt. Gleaming shipyards make colony ships and warships to protect them
 No direct connection to the bastards is noticeable in the Dirt system, but there are persistent rumors of so called impossible objects. These ancient devices are said to have truly wondrous functions and properties. They were the prized possessions of the Technocrat kings, and now they are jealously guarded by the Seeders. Of course, actual descriptions of the objects are hard to come by, leaving most to believe that they are merely stories. Still, treasure hunters continue to scour the surface of Dirt looking for lost objects.

Nearby telluric planets War and Love are used by the Seeder Initiative as testing grounds for colony designs and experimental technology. The system has four giant planets, all of which have been colonized by the mysterious gas-bag civilization, which is currently on good terms with the Seeders. The closest planet to the sun, messenger, is a Gnomic planet, having been taken over by robots of unknown origin. The seeders are treating them with caution, as they don't want to provoke an unnecessary conflict.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Random Planet Table

Roll 2d10 and 1d4. Planet's level is the first d10 plus the d4. Results are assumed to be Telluric planets. Feel free to spice up systems with giant planets, asteroid belts and dwarf planets.
  1. Barren planet. Truly untouched planets are rare in this day and age. The coordinates of such a planet will fetch a good price from the right buyer, such as an organization looking to start a new colony project, or a hidden outpost.
  2. Tube forest. Covered in lumpy fungal growths that grow from spores that cling to spaceship hulls. The presence of tube forests is a good indicator of space travel. Infamously populated by cryptids, creatures that closely resemble popular urban legends. Most sapients find the air quality farty, but breathable.
1
Tiny little refueling station, visitors need the right clearance.
2
Small facilities across the planet, many home to clandestine activities.
3
One big spaceport. Home to many interesting people.
4
Numerous cities; all manner of space based industry.

  1. Gnomic planet . Level 1-4. Colonized by self-replicating robots. Much of the surface is covered by solar panels. Named after the nearly mythic Gnome Civilization that existed after the time of the bastards. The Gnomes built their automatic servants to last. Many Gnomic planets still participate in an automated trade network created by the now vanished Gnomes.
1
Planet completely covered in solar panels and little else beside a few mines and robot factories.
2
Large mining and construction facilities abound.
3
Sophisticated production chain making delicate and advanced products.
4
Sapient minder robots oversee operations. Planet is a hive of activity.

  1. Ruin planet. The remains of a dead civilization. Prized by scavengers.
1
Carbonized junk. Almost nothing remains. 1 in 10 chance that the planet is currently experiencing the rain of fish, a rare phenomenon where small animals fall from the sky and repopulate the world.
2
Ancient overgrown buildings.
3
Recent, fairly intact ruins, ripe for the plundering
4
Palimpsest, ruins on top of even older ruins. Advanced and weird.

  1. Wild planet. Covered in non-sapient life. Multiple biomes with a wide diversity of lifeforms. Despoiling these planets is illegal in most polities, but criminals do illegal things all the time.
1
Ecosystem created by automatic Tera former. Fauna kind of dopey
2
Average healthy biosphere.
3
Fantastic biodiversity. Many unusual and interesting organisms.
4
Dentata planet. Numerous hostile flora and fauna.

  1. Inhabited by non-spacefaring civilization. While they might have primitive spaceships and satellites, they lack any form of ftl. First contact is big business.
1
Neolithic. Stone tools and agriculture. 
2
Medieval. Metal working and  nation states.
3
Industrial. Mass Production and globalization.
4
Information. Computers and wmds.

  1. Spacefaring race. Has space flight and flt.
1
The culture is just taking its first baby steps off world. No major colonies or trading routes
2
Backwater power, has some influence in its corner of space.
3
Planet is the outpost of a major galactic power.
4
Planet is an important holding of a major galactic power.

  1.  living world. All life on the planet is connected , could be thought of as parts of a larger superorganism.
1
Rocky outer crust, gooey living inside. Is saving energy for a grand metamorphosis.
2
Simple planet sized space hippy. Is content to just sit back and bask in the glow of the universe.
3
Planetary consciousness is playing out a weird religious drama, using the inhabitants of the planet as actors.
4
Highly contagious and mundivorous. Will spread to other planets if it can.

  1. Deus planet. Is host to one or more god-like entities.  Visitors stand a high chance in being pulled into their schemes and intrigues.
1
Solitary supercomputer sits on a desolate planet, playing weird games.
2
A psychic crystalline entity is manipulating the local life forms for its own enigmatic ends.
3
Two competing demiurges try to perfect their vision for the cosmos on a small scale.
4
A pantheon of classically god-like beings engage in mortal folly.

  1. Bastard planet. A planet sized big dumb object left behind by the bastards.
1
Planet is just a big hunk of some amazing metamaterial.
2
Planet is a device capable of altering the fundamental laws of reality in inexplicable ways. Is currently behaving erratically. 
3
Planet is one huge abandoned "city" full of machines of unknown function.
4
Destroyer world. A berserk war machine from the Bastard era. Will attempt to destroy anything that enters its system.


1-5
Nothing strange
6
Hidden pirate base
7
A bastard installation of unknown purpose
8
Solitary war-bot
9
Colony of berserkers, hostile self-replicating robots
10
Planet is protected by a Kaiju

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bastard Galaxy, a cypher system setting

The Galaxy used to be a barren place, nearly devoid of life. This was because of the great filter, a vast and impersonal entity. The filter would snuff out any planet that developed intelligent life. It wasn't always 100% percent effective though. Sometimes some small remnant of a civilization would survive and escape. Having your entire world shot out from under you is a transformative experience and the survivors would remake themselves into stronger and stranger forms. These forgotten and misbegotten children would call themselves the Bastards and band together against the force that created them. After an inconceivable battle, the Great Filter was destroyed and the galaxy was made safe for intelligent life. At least that’s the story everyone tells.
Nowadays the galaxy is full of intelligent life, and even more unintelligent life. In many ways it resembles a loaf of bread left out on the counter,  all spots and weird colors. As far as anyone can tell, greater galactic culture stretches all the way back to the time of bastards, but no one civilization has lasted all that time. Records get spotty the further back they go, and no two accounts ever seem to agree. Good book-keeping was not the legacy of the Bastards; instead they left their legacy in the void for all to see. Big dumb objects liter the cosmos, incomprehensible monuments to an incomprehensible time. Their legacy walk among us as well; numerous races claim to be descendants of Bastards, some of these claims might even be true. There are tens of thousands of intelligent races and galactic culture throws them together in a big heap. Though faster than light travel exists, it's not fast enough to connect all the corners of the galaxy. These local corners are connected with their local region, and these local regions are connected to other regions. Galactic culture exists everywhere in continuous chunks, though this culture is a weird and tenuous thing. Misunderstandings and wars are common, as are plagues and autonomous weapons from an earlier age.

Now here's where you come in, captain. You and your colleagues have shiny new starships, and it's up to you what opportunities you want to exploit. You could become mercenaries,  selling your services to the highest bidder. You could become pirates, taking what you want from the undeserving. You could become scholars and explorers, joining the galaxy's seedy academic underworld and plumbing depths perhaps better left unplumbed. Or maybe you want to become merchants, plying rare goods across the cosmos, dodging pirates and space monsters.

Dame Alg 8(24)
Dame Alg is a knight of The Order of the Silent Sun.  She stands three meters tall on four legs. Her body is muscular, like a bear, and she has pale blue fur. Her head is an otherwise featureless maw of sharp teeth. Two long whip like Tendrils extend from her shoulders; she uses these for dexterous tasks. Between the tentacles is a ridge of waving hairs. Those are her sensory organs.
Like any member of the Silent Sun she is fastidious about fulfilling the letter of any contract she undertakes, and she is devoted to following her code of conduct, even to her detriment. Her specialty is the construction and destruction of orbital blockades, but she is also an excellent pilot, and more than capable in ship to ship combat. She is gregarious and merciful, only killing when she dictated by her contract, or when she is annoyed. The persona she uses when engaged in combat is flirty, but she will not broach the subject of marriage first. Once the subject is brought up, she will fully explain the terms and conditions of courtship.
Her starship, The Color Null is a heavy fighter about 30 meters long. Its most unusual feature is the Contradiction Engine, which allows the ship to stop existing, or at least that’s how Dame Alg describes it. An easier explanation is that the ship is shunted to a pocket dimension. The Color Null may spend a turn ceasing to exist. While it doesn't exist, it may not be affected in anyway. It can begin existing anywhere it could have conceivably traveled in the time it didn't exist. It may begin existing and attack in the same turn, and the difficulty of such attacks are increased by two steps
Usually, Dame Alg is accompanied by ten Auxiliary wives in fighters. They operate in two wings of five each. Treat each wing as a level 7 creature. Some pilots might have special abilities  

Her code of conduct is as follows
*She will only accept living things as payment and gifts
*she will agree to any marriage proposal she receives, on her terms and her definition of marriage
*Preceding the Marriage there is a courtship period, where the suitor may attempt to woo her with gifts, feats of strength, and poetry. The courtship is then graded, and the suitor is then assigned a wife rank. The lowest rank is meat wife, which are immediately eaten. Auxiliary wives assist her in battle to the best of their abilities. Full wives are free to live their lives independently of Dame Alg, conjugal relations optional but encouraged  
* Any wife may veto any contract Dame Alg makes.
*Dame Alg may divorce a wife who uses their veto power. Divorced wives are free to do as they wish, but strongly advised to fuck off
*Dame Alg will not attack any opponent with an odd number in their ship pool, leaving them for the auxiliary wives.