In the year 2095, a dying Earth was abandoned by the last of its human inhabitants.
Once just a fantasy, the prospect of thriving out amongst the stars began to become a reality. Major advancements in spaceflight technology presented mankind with the opportunity to explore the unknown reaches their home galaxy, in search of resources to accrue, places to call home - and for many, alien life to meet, though that still remained just a mere fantasy to most.
When the branching outward first began, all parties were united under the Central Galactic Government, formed on Earth before its fall. However, as more and more planets were claimed and colonies were formed, the CGG’s rule began to falter in the wake of the myriad factions electing to declare independence instead of sharing their bounties. This later escalated into full blown war, ending with the CGG being quashed by the many allied factions in the year 2137. From then on, the galaxy was at the whims of the separated forces that had fought for their independence, and all the benefits and detriments that came with it.
Megacorporations and weapon manufacturers soon became the leading parties across known galactic territories, their many licensed products having been used previously for the war against the CGG. High-end ships, profitable colonies, and later entire planets
became market-viable through methods of diplomacy, bargaining, and in some cases, all-out force. While the galaxy was no longer at war, it had then become a splintered land.
Over a century has passed since the fall of the CGG. The galaxy has reached a point of general stability, with conflicts between the various ruling parties having become far less frequent, and far less lethal. In 2188, the Galactic Trade Agreements were established in order to facilitate more civilized transactions between the major groups, and to maintain peace within their controlled territories. Black markets maintain their own methods of business of course, having learned to better hide themselves. Independent drifter colonies made up of fleets of old, scavenged ships still cling to their solitude, but do business when they must in order to survive. Many smaller groups, even lone individuals, often take up work as freelance workers and mercenaries, scouring open ports and colonies for work, be it legal in that given area or otherwise.
This had all been the galaxy’s sense of normal for decades. Until, in the year 2240…
In one distant stretch of a newly acquired territory somewhere along the galactic outskirts, something unprecedented had been discovered - an entire planet being slowly broken apart and consumed, piece by piece, by a small, obsidian moon. Once the initial shock wore off, observation revealed a series of openings along the surface of the moon. An expeditionary team was formed to enter the moon and report their findings, none of them expecting to find what actually awaited them inside.
Past the outer metal shell, inside the moon was discovered to be completely hollow - and brimming with life. Described then as ‘an inverted planet’, an entire ecosystem was present - jungles, fields, waterways, and appropriate bizarre and alien fauna, all covering the interior surface. Six obsidian pillars evenly spaced around the interior held aloft a massive core, illuminating the wilderness surrounding it, feeding on the extracts from the broken planet that the moon was positioned near.
This was the first sign of alien life, architecture, technology, ever discovered by humans. In the awe of the moment, a simple name was given that would later become the official designation of the entire structure.
They called it ‘the Hollow Moon’.
Two months have passed since the initial discovery of the Hollow Moon. The secret, of course, did not last long at all. Drifter colonies, crewships, and megacorp proxy vessels arrived and formed a sizable gathering around it, all looking to see the phenomenon for themselves and, as should be expected, plunder its bounties.LAY OF THE LAND
The stretch of space that the Hollow Moon resides in, however, is owned and legally acquired property. The controlling party remains anonymous, allowing visitors to the Hollow Moon to explore it and take from it, albeit with one restriction - none of the Hollow Moon’s wildlife, from the smallest vermin to the gargantuan apex predators, are to be killed. Only capturing is allowed, and study is to be performed in the immediate vicinity of the Hollow Moon. Violation will be met with being banned from the entire system forever. As expected, this declaration aggravated many of the rather violently-dispositioned mercenaries present, but the law stands firm. Besides - very few of the larger groups would prefer to study carcasses.
Dozens of ships of varying sizes and origins are positioned around the Hollow Moon, chief among them being the Thermopylae - a drifter colony assembled from one heavily modified freighter, and a host of smaller vessels merged with it. It acts as an open house for all independent and representative parties, facilitating market trade, bounty assignments, and even residency to any who desire, granted that they follow the posted ordinances.
The Hollow Moon itself is a monumental vessel, far more advanced than anything mankind has ever produced. The wilderness covering the interior is lush, vibrant, and bountiful. Much of it resembles a jungle, overgrown and abundant with multicolored flora, with streams of teal water cutting through many stretches of land. The early brave souls who have tasted the water have described it as being very sweet, with no other observable differences from normal water.PREVIOUS OCCUPANTS
Collected samples of various plants have displayed a myriad of both beneficial and harmful effects. Some provide rapid regenerative capabilities when ingested, or bestow someone with temporarily heightened reflexes, enhanced eyesight, adrenaline boosts, and so on. Many more plants, however, bring about violent bodily reactions, internal bleeding, temporary (and in some rare cases, permanent) blindness, bone decay, and other such unpleasant effects. Some plants carry both positive and negative traits, so knowing which is which has become a major requirement for working in the field.
The wildlife, like the plant life, is just as varied. Creatures great and small, skittish and extremely hostile. Some of the larger beasts possess potent abilities as well - turning invisible, breathing fire, manipulating electricity, spitting acid, these and many more things that the mercenaries working in the field have to contend against. And standing above all else, the titanic apex predators that have claimed their own pieces of the Hollow Moon as their nesting grounds, that have already been the cause of many mercenaries’ deaths since the beginning. Larger and more ambitious groups maintain active bounties on these specific monsters, yet so far none have been captured, and all attempts to do so have ended in immense failure.
Remnants of a highly technologically advanced alien society exist all over the Hollow Moon. Multiple structures dotting the wilderness bear the makings of outposts, residential homes, field laboratories, and so on. Many strange artifacts have been found in these locations, but their individual purposes yet remain unclear, and attempts to activate them have been unsuccessful. All places and objects share the same composition - obsidian metal, unevenly textured, as if carved from some greater source.
Standing above all else is the core, a monumental obsidian structure supported by the six pillars, situated in the very center of the Hollow Moon. Believed to be the control point for the entire structure, few attempts have been made to approach it, all halted with extreme force by the surrounding automated security drones - henceforth dubbed by the local community as ‘Custodians’.
Large, airborn, and virtually indestructible. The Custodians lie in wait around the Hollow Moon’s core, self-activating upon any party approaching, implementing focused beams of energy emanating from their central ‘eyes’ to reduce all targets to dust. Upon the expiration or retreat of all offending parties, the Custodians return to the core and self-deactivate. Custodians, as their name implies, can also be observed performing regular maintenance on the core itself, the six pillars, and any patches of land that have been damaged due to mercenary and animal activity, able to miraculously regrow any destroyed vegetation through unknown means. All attempts to destroy a Custodian have met with catastrophic failure, and until better means are discovered, mercenaries have learned to leave them be, for their own sakes.
Genetic reconstruction storms, colloquially referred to as ‘mixer storms’ by the local populace, are a regular and very dangerous phenomenon observed within the Hollow Moon. Every three days, fourteen hours, nine minutes and twenty-two seconds - counted to the exact number by researching parties - the core will discharge a massive cloud of blue-colored smoke, with bright arcs of energy coursing through it. This cloud will proceed to blanket the entirety of the Hollow Moon’s interior, and remain for a period of two minutes and sixteen seconds before rapidly dissipating.
Any organisms caught in a mixer storm, the only exception being the various apex predators, will be subject to rapid genetic mutations. Wildlife will instinctively seek shelter, usually in the forms of caves and burrows, minutes before the storm clouds form. Animals caught in the storm have been observed to undergo intense physical alterations, often adopting greater body mass, extra appendages, and in some rare cases, new biological abilities. As stated, apex predators are immune to the mixer storms’ effects, seemingly allowing themselves to be enveloped by them with no observable changes to their bodies afterwards.
Human beings are also subject to the mixer storms. If caught outside of a prefab shelter and not protected by fully sealed suits, they will rapidly adopt alien physical features, and oftentimes, gain additional superhuman abilities - however, these have been observed to be accompanied by severely detrimental side-effects, such as loss of one or multiple senses, limb failure, intense aversion to things such as bright lights or extreme temperatures, and other such traits. Being exposed to multiple storms causes further development of all changes, both positive and negative, and has been observed to rapidly deteriorate the victim’s mental state after a varying number of exposure instances, eventually to the point of ferality.
In what has become a local issue of new-age quasi-xenophobia, the anonymous party that holds the Hollow Moon’s location has put those affected by the mixer storms (dubbed ‘mixups’ by locals), whether by accident or completely intentionally, under the protection of their enforcers. This, of course, has led to the gradual separation of most humans from mixups, with vendors and bounty managers often refusing to do business with the latter entirely. Mixups are often left with little choice but to do their business through proxies (if they can find any who will work with them), or to simply strike out in the Hollow Moon’s wilderness, either on their own or banding together.
OOC RULES AND INFORMATION
If you are indeed interested in joining, you have the option of either playing as a human mercenary or a mutated mixup, the difference being that mixups have a lot more modifiers expected to be displayed in any IC posts involving them.
If your character is a mixup;
- They get cool semi-alien physical features (just look up any humanoid-shaped alien for reference and run it by me)
- They get a superpower (just the one, not a whole batch)
- They will have an equal weakness to go along with their superpower
- They will be ostracized by the in-universe locals, and won’t be able to do business with most vendors and bounty managers
- If they get caught in multiple mixer storms, their physical forms and power/weakness will be further developed, which is both good and bad
This is a list of sci-fi technology concepts that don’t exist, or are otherwise not available to humans, within this setting (be warned this list may be added on to depending if examples I haven’t previously thought of are brought to my attention);
- Digitally re/constructing in/organic material (commercially among humans, that is - Custodians can do this)
Following are some examples that are
present, but I want to put some notes on;
- PROSTHETICS - Go hog wild with this one if you feel so inclined. Limbs, organs, eyes, just sprinkle them all around. I dig it. If you want extra limbs and cool features like arm blades and shit, we can talk about those separately.
- ENERGY WEAPONS - Anything involving a laser or plasma or what have you would be considered higher grade than conventional bullet-shooting firearms, but are still found among many parties.
- MECHS - They definitely exist, but the intention is that they’re extremely expensive and normally not found in the hands of every other mercenary out there. So unless you’re planning on playing a very wealthy one (and you’d have to make a fairly solid case for yourself), keep that fact in mind.
- ROBOTS - Are present, but I’m somewhat iffy on having them be used as player characters since they effectively bypass some IC obstacles. If you really wanna play one, we can talk it over.
- NANOTECH - Extremely advanced and expensive, and not likely to be found in the hands of the vast majority of mercs.
Now as far as character sheets go - I don’t need a sheet from anyone. Just a name, an image (optional, but highly recommended), and a paragraph or two for a description. All the finer details of your character, you can figure out during the course of the RP itself.
And that should about cover it, barring any future amendments.Oh and here’s a Discord server to mingle on.