Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dead Planet Underworld



The Humanspace starship Vathek is damaged in a mysterious z-ray storm and crash lands on a barren planet with no sign of life.  As repair of the badly damaged ship is considered likely impossible, the crew erects condenser units, rations protein pills and searches for a solution.

The science officer discovers that rare wavium crystals present in a network of caverns nearby could be used to repair the Vathek.  A party from the ship is dispatched toward the caves and they encounter a series of what appear to be advertising signs written in an unknown alien language which lead them to their intended destination.   Under tall palms, on a low lithium salt dune near the mouth of the cave stands a weird alien bazaar run by a space trader.  The trader informs the party that he is sole local agent of Gidj and Sons, an interplanar mercantile corporation.

The trader materializes exotic and seemingly delicious foods, drinks and intoxicants from across known space.  Subsequently, the trader repeats the performance creating a used Mark 50 interfogulator, a weather-controlling machine, an atomic bomb, other incredible super scientific devices and bizarre artifacts from other dimensions.  It becomes apparent that the trader is capable of materializing almost anything, including vital equipment needed to repair the ship.  Any attempt to touch the merchandise will result in the item vanishing,  If the trader is attacked he instantaneously teleports to safety.

The trader will accept no ordinary payment for his wares.  He will allow the party to sample the feast table or acquire certain lesser items (though nothing that would enable repair of the ship) in exchange for weapons, valuable equipment, or through other arrangements, such as having members of the crew agreeing to become his slaves.  

The agent of Gidj and Sons informs the crew that he will trade the items that they need for certain treasures that may be found within the caves; unfortunately, the ship’s sensors inability to locate life on the planet was not the result of a system failure; the caves are teeming with the living dead.

11 comments:

  1. Great space-opera feel! Thought you were going for the Fafhrd/Gray Mouser Bizarre at first, but this is more fun.

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  2. I agree it reads like fun, a smooth blend with a little something for each of many tastes.

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  3. Put me down as regular reader. Love this stuff!

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  4. Did I forgot to mention the green Orion slave girls at the bazaar?

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  5. Gidj and Sons? Love it.

    Just keep it coming, you are knocking it out of the park so far.

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  6. Excellent stuff. It would be a blast to play in a game like this...

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  7. I really appreciate the encouraging words.

    Thanks to all.

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  8. By the way--naming the ship Vathek was priceless. Nice touch, that.

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  9. From the article "Tekumel 301" published in "Seal of the Imperium" Vol I. Issue 1.:

    [M.A.R.] Barker: The only option which people seem to have is one Gijj and Sons in Dlash in southern Livanyu, a firm which as been in operation since sometime in the Latter Times or even earlier. [Emphasis added]

    So yes, I think that Gijj (or Gidj) could be a reasonable party in in Humanspace Empires.

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  10. I feel that such an established and well connected firm would have a very long history.

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