I’m starting a blog to share and get feedback on my various projects.
This first offering is the opening text of a role-playing game I’m designing using the Savage Worlds system called “Advent of Carcosa”. Inspired by the works of Robert Chambers and HP Lovecraft, it’s set in the distant future and is meant to be both scary and darkly humorous.
This first piece contains the intro and a short glossary of terms. Feel free to comment on any aspect of the writing – I’ll post more in the future along with other bits of projects, game reviews and other topics.
For now, though here’s:
Advent of Carcosa
In 2120, the solar system has been colonized with automatons that can brave the vast silences that humanity cannot. Colonies on the Moon and Mars were attempted and failed, falling prey to madness, ennui and despair. Only a few hardy souls, possessed of a rare ability to face the void for years at a time, thrive in the measureless distances that lie beyond the fragile Earth.
Glittering cities populate Earth’s Lagrange Points, designed to mimic their home world’s biosphere as it existed in its pristine state. These habitats each hold hundreds of millions of human beings, while the ring that girdles Earth’s equator holds a billion more.
In these places and on the planet’s surface, a global government called the Corporate Unity (also CU or just ‘Unity’) and its regional proxies struggles to maintain control over a restive population that has begun to define itself increasingly along hostile memetic lines. Cells of organizations called affinity groups (AGs) ranging from the bio-conservative Temple to the nihilistic Post-Humans exist in every city, the larger ones having power rivaling that of the exo-global corporations and even some regional governments.
But the Sun is just one element in a vast body of stars that has been shifting for millennia into a new alignment. . .dormant intelligences that exist outside of space and time have begun to stir. Pieces of the puzzle keep falling into place, hinting at the larger picture – the disenfranchised calling on powers that can’t be fathomed or controlled, spacecraft being sent into the black beyond Jupiter’s orbit never to be heard from again, AI research centers being attacked by an unknown agency wielding overwhelming force that vanishes once it utterly destroys its targets.
Unity’s mission is to hold the fragments of the world together through the coming storm – humanity may well be unrecognizable once it’s finished, assuming it survives at all.
Affinity Group (AG): Any organization whose main purpose for existing is a shared sympathy among its members to a particular memetic construct.
Augmented Reality: Normal visual input modified to include layers of symbolic/textual information about people, buildings and objects.
Humanity: The sum of intelligent creatures on Earth, including AIs (who may object to this classification) and Uplifts (who will almost certainly object).
Maker: An advanced 3D printer capable of manufacturing nearly any item or substance. It must have molecular schematics (templates) and the necessary raw materials (which is provided by different types of base blocks) in order to function.
Outsider: Any life or thought form that is not a product of Earth’s planetary evolution.
Prohibited/forbidden information: Any data relating to the existence of Outsiders.
Societal Memetic Model (SSM): Different means of organizing industry and distribution of resources, each with its own set of values and social mores. Examples include scarcity/pre-transitional, transhuman/technosocialist, post-scarcity/post-humanist, theocratic/bio-conservative etc etc.
Subversicorp: Any corporation engaged in activity that falls outside of an AG’s SMM.
Example (CU usage): Any corporation whose activities threaten the continued existence of humanity.
Trans-dimensional (Trans-D) Gate: A method of instantaneous travel between any two points separated by time/space and/or other physical laws.
Uplift: A non-human animal given intelligence/sapience via genetic and/or physiological manipulation – current known examples include octopi, monkeys, apes, dolphins, crows and ravens. Unsubstantiated rumors persist of gestalt insect intelligences existing in the N American SW.
The Zoo: A high security facility orbiting the Earth that contains Outsiders, lifeforms infected by their influence and artifacts inspired or created by them.