Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Recent History of the Ancients

After their final war a few Ancients scrabbled for survival in the nuclear wastelands they had created. During the following 10,000 years pre-war tech got used up/broke, mutations stabilized, radiation died down, and the former ancients devolved into primitive tribes all but forgetting their former glory & armageddon. These tribes were just starting the slow crawl back to civilization. When strange lights began to appear lifting people into the night sky. To be returned some days later, deformed, mutilated or transformed. Over the next dozen generations The Greys abducted, experimented on and genetically manipulated the former ancients eventually settling on a swine/human hybrid. The Greys also pushed their technological development. The hybrids rapidly reached the steam age. A few hundred years into the hybrid's Golden Age of Steam, after they had spread across the world and formed several constantly warring empires The Greys obliterated all of their cites, released species specific mutagens, etc. Decimating the hybrids and their civilization. For the next hundred years Greys deposited several hundred thousand humans they had abducted from various points in Earth's history. These humans were encouraged to kill the human/swine hybrids and take their stuff. To escape marauding humans the hybrids hid underground and in the least hospitable wildernesses. Today we call these former ancients / swine hybrids orcs.

[1 in 12 orcs have enough ancient DNA to activate ancient tech and get ancient AI's and robots to obey them. Pure Strain Ancients are not aware of what happened to their less fortunate brethren but will recognize the genetic relation after a simple medical scan.]

Rise of Man, Fall of Elf

Posing as various human gods The Greys conducted medical and social experiments on and generally jacked with the human cultures they had transplanted. Creating grotesque hybrids, helping one nation conquer its neighbors only to inflict famine and plague on it later, forcing the most capable humans(heroes) to participate in death games, survive trials, or complete bizarre "labors". Thus giving rise to the various legends of capricious and fickle gods. Soon Trans-dimensional Beings of Pure Thought (TBPTs) decided Grey meddling had reached a point they could no longer ignore. They weakened dimensional barriers creating many connections and coexistences with a fey dimension. This brought the fey, true magic, made The Portals possible, and overtime caused the various human gods and demons to become "real". Unfortunately, this weakening also attracted Cosmic Alien Intelligences which rival TBPT's power and whose "meddling" is far worse than The Greys. The TBPTs also created a belt of energy around the world which causes Grey technology to fail. Several Grey star ships malfunctioned and crashed before they figured it out and kept away. The crash-landed Greys exacted some small revenge. Posing as Asgardians they convinced the Elves to abandon Alvar ways and take up science. As punishment the TBPTs transmogrified these Greys into true Aesir/Vanir but left the Elves to decide their own future. TBPTs are generally responsible for giving gods their power and they are the primary means the TBPT hope to contain Cosmic Alien Intelligences and eventually drive them away at Ragnarok.

Had a note "orcs are fallen race, Mesopotamia/Babylon" and a quote "Orcs live in Dungeons to HIDE from marauding humans". Decided to add some flesh to those bones and all the above fell out of my head.

Nicely ties together lots of ideas I've been having; fey/mythic wilderness/dungeon being not of "this world", elves as fallen fey, mixture of real history cultures/gods slightly twisted, Ancients as high tech civilization, Portals to every setting/campaign world/game system, Stargate SG1, high-tech (got both kinds Grey and Ancients), Cosmic Alien Intelligences, Jeff Rients Threefold Apocalyptic Alignment, oh and orcs as a fallen race.

I like to have a "big picture" of the campaign/world/cosmos. Something that lays out the where tos and why nots. Players never need to know this stuff. Probably never will. For me it's a framework from which to grow ideas. Non-orc humanoids can be from the other hybrid experiments The Greys abandoned. Monsters are mutants left over from the Ancients' GammaWorld, genetic manipulations of The Greys, or come from Fey dimension. Old orc fortress dungeons are filled with steam tech. And ya just know some lucky 1 in 12 orc is totally gonna find himself an Ancients gravtank.

BTW This is what Greys look like, and they weren't all turned into Asgards by TBPTs ;)


  1. Hey RPG Bloggers,
    I've got a blog where I feature a different genre of webseries
    every month. October is RPG shows like "The Guild."
    Please check it out (& hopefully blog about it) at:
    ~ Justin

  2. (Thanks for that spam, Justin)

    Your campaign history is wild! Feels very Gygaxian. But it also feels a little fanfic-ish at the point you bring in the TBPTs through to the end.

    It would have been more satisfying to just say that the Greys involved were not the entire race, but just a small research group, and they largely left for whatever unfathomable reason (lost their funding) and only a few remained as gods among the humans.

    I know you needed a way to put magic back in. But it got too convoluted.

  3. @1d30

    Oh, I don't think I *need* a way to put magic in. Other options (it's really science, always been there, hand waving) and other ways to get it in besides the TBPT's.

    The TBPT's idea originates from SG-1's "the ascended" and from SFB universe.

    It was a freeform brainstorm. I'm not strongly attached to any of it. Thanks for the feedback. There's a lot to be said for not having omnipotent dogooders like the TBPT's. Darker more S&S to only have dobaders like the Cosmic Alien Inteligencies aka Cthulhu. And the more I consider it the more TBPT's feel like a Deux ex Machina TV plot device. I like your idea better.


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