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Space Travel

            Space travel was once the province of the Ktal Technopriest. Golem crews set out for the stars under the guidance of Mechanist shipminds. The goal was discovery and exploration, the ships carried no weaponry, although their reaction drives and excavation tools could be used as weapons.

            The discovery of Time stasis allowed the Mechanist shipminds to survive indefinitely in suspended animation. While warrior Mechanists were volunteers, shipminds were raised from birth by the Technopriests to control these ships. The shipminds were stationary units, early experiments in Mechanist technology, the brain and spinal column of the subject were removed from the body and place in a life support unit. Sensory hookups from the ship‘s internal and external sensors were then connected to the shipmind, followed by a battery of psychological tests. Failures were terminated without fanfare or remorse, the early failure rate was 90% and never dropped below half while the program was ongoing.

            Successful subjects were then wired into a simulator of the ship they would eventually operate. Failure at first during this stage was expected, it frequently took ten years to train a shipmind to operate the incredibly complex Ktal starships. There were some who were just not capable of controlling the complex vessels alone. Most of the failures of this sort were partnered another shipmind as a companion to a marginally stable unit. Advances in technosorcery allowed these less capable but more psychologically stable shipminds to create elaborate mindscapes, indistinguishable from reality, to live, work, and even play in with the slightly unstable controller shipminds. As a last resort, the companion was outfitted with control over a self-destruct device and emergency burst transmitter. In the case of irretrievable failure of the controller, the companion would transmit all gathered data, then destroy the ship, to prevent it from attempting to damage colonies or other ships.

            The initial ship designs were bulky, slow, and poorly built. None survived to this day except the museum ship, currently deactivated on the dark side of the moon. The shipmind aboard is long dead, killed by a life support failure after the War of Thought. The second wave of ships were faster, sleek, and had a Time distortion generator, a device which used Time Elemental Force to ‘fold’ space and teleport interstellar distances. Most of these ships are still out exploring the universe, designed to operate with no support, they are even unaware that their creators are long dead, and their descendants currently incapable of reaching even low orbit.

            The third wave, however, was different. Sent out shortly before the War of Thought, the third wave ships sent colonists and the resources needed to build self-sustaining colonies on the habitable worlds the first and second waves had discovered. Each third wave ship was outfitted with three shipminds, two female and one male. Typically the male shipmind served as a companion, but was also trained in psychology to serve as a counselor for the colonists. The other shipminds served to control the more complex ships and as colony planners. The fates of the third wave are unknown. The colonists’ transmissions, if they made any, can no longer be picked up, as the receiver equipment was destroyed during the revolution against the Technopriests.

            The other two habitable planets in this system are Secundus and Quadrus. Secundus is a warm, humid world, most of the native species are insectoid or reptilian in nature. The higher concentrations of Air, Water, Fire, and Nature Elemental Forces are a boon to the native creatures, many of whom grow to incredible size. Only a few scattered ruins are all that remain of the Ktal colony once placed here. The vine-covered cities stand as mute testimony to the folly of the original colonists. Quadrus, on the other paw, is a dark, chilly world just barely habitable. The Ktal colony on this world was built underground, both to protect the colonists from the cold, and for defense against the native species. Frost Wolves and Wendigo scrabble to survive, many of the first wave of colonists ended up as food for these savage creatures. The fate of the Quadrus colony is unknown, contact was lost even before the receivers were destroyed, and scans indicated that they tunneled ever deeper towards the core, but the colonists themselves erected jamming screens, which prevent the scans from penetrating to the colony itself.

            The final type of spacecraft constructed by the Technopriests were warships. Advanced technosorcery and specially trained warrior Mechanists were combined into sleek, deadly, humanoid fighter craft aboard massive carriers outfitted with advanced Time distortion field technology. The few of this type of ship built are currently stored inside stasis fields inside the Technopriest base on the dark side of the moon. If one were to awaken, any enterprising individual or group which could decipher the command codes would be capable of conquering the entire world in a matter of days.

            Records point to a hidden shipyard, somewhere in the Ktal mountains, where the secrets of space flight were stored for future generations. Every few years some young Technomage thinks they’ve found the location of the ‘chariots of flame’, as they are called. Usually, they assemble a small team or depart alone, and come back with nothing, but sometimes they fall prey to the hazards of mountain travel, and never come back.

 

First Wave Ship

Health: 30, Armor: 10, Mecha Points: 60

Extra Capacity 5

Extra Endurance 5

Flight 4 (Hover)

Heavy Armour 1

Sensors 4

Space Flight 2

Subordinate Mecha 6 (Golem Type I)

Telekinesis 6 (Tractor Beam)

Weapon Attack 1: Mining Laser (60 damage, Inaccurate, Short Range, Slow)

Defects

Awkward Size 5

Mutual Damage 2

No Arms 2

Not So Tough 1

Poor Manoeuvrability 1

Restricted Ground Movement 2

Volatile 2

 

Golem Type I

Health: 20, Mecha Points 6

AI 3 (Body 6, Mind 4)

Space Flight 1

Special Equipment 1 (Toolset)

Defects

Not So Tough 2

Reduced Capacity 2

 

Second Wave Ship

Health: 40, Armor: 20, Mecha Points: 70

Extra Capacity 5

Extra Endurance 6

Flight 5 (Hover)

Heavy Armour 2

Sensors 6 (Normal, Analytic)

Space Flight 3

Star Flight 1

Subordinate Mecha 6 (Golem Type II)

Telekinesis 6 (Tractor Beam)

Weapon Attack 2: Mining Laser Mark II (60 damage, Inaccurate, Short Range)

Defects

Awkward Size 4

Mutual Damage 2

No Arms 2

Restricted Ground Movement 2

 

Golem Type II

Health: 20, Mecha Points 7

AI 3 (Body 6, Mind 4)

Sensors 1 (Analytic)

Space Flight 1

Special Equipment 1 (Toolset)

Defects

Not So Tough 2

Reduced Capacity 2

 

Third Wave Ship

Health: 40, Armor: 30, Mecha Points: 80

Extra Capacity 6

Extra Endurance 6

Flight 6 (Hover)

Heavy Armour 3

Life Support 2

Sensors 5 (Normal, Analytic)

Space Flight 4

Special Equipment 6 (Colony Modules)

Star Flight 1

Subordinate Mecha 1 (Golem Type III)

Telekinesis 5 (Tractor Beam)

Defects

Awkward Size 5

No Arms 2

Restricted Ground Movement 2

 

Golem Type III

Health: 20, Mecha Points 8

AI 3 (Body 6, Mind 4)

Sensors 1 (Normal, Analytic)

Space Flight 1

Special Equipment 1 (Toolset)

Weapon Attack 1: Mining Laser (60 damage, Inaccurate, Short Range, Slow)

Defects

Not So Tough 2

Reduced Capacity 2

Restricted Ground Movement 2

Volatile 2

 

Shipmind (40, 42, or 44 CP)

Body    6                      Health  40        Shock 8

Mind    8                      Energy 60

Soul     6                      CV: 6/4

Attributes

Highly Skilled 10 (Skills as needed, Space Opera costs)

Mechanist Body 1

OBM 3-4 (12, 14, or 16 points, depending on ship type)

Defects

Not So Tough 2

No Arms 2

Restricted Ground Movement 2

Mechanist Attributes

Life Support 2

Special Defense 2 (Ageing)

Special Equipment 3 (Neural Link to ship)