Efforts to improve the mining lasers have gone well. While trying to rebuild them entirely just resulted in a non-functional mess, changing their software to remove several now-unneeded safety systems proved quite helpful. The planet's atmosphere is a conductive to the heat produced by its firing, unlike the vacuum of space, meaning the regulators on heat build up could be relaxed safely. Along with increasing its draw on its user’s power systems, the effectively increased its destructive power tenfold. It could now melt off a bots limbs with only two seconds of sustained fire, and even partial hits could reduce the ability to use said limb. Torso remained significantly harder to damage, requiring over a minute of sustained fire to destroy, but that was significantly better than the previous half-hour required.
The only perceived downside of the new modification was that the new settings could overdraw power from the bot using it, knocking them offline due to power loss if the weapon was continuously fired for more than two minutes. This is not a major problem for most battles and skirmishes, though some bots handling defensive engagements have taking to wearing backpacks filled with capacitors, so they can fire sustained burst (up to 30 minutes) of the new laser weapons without drawing on their power cores. Unfortunately, the increased weight is too much for the jetpacks, rendering the options mutually exclusive.
(Combat laser weapons, and combat Laser weapon packs (replaces jetpack if used))
Another new type of weapons has been captured from CASHSHOP forces. They have apparently modified some of their mining lasers to ionize the air they pass through, allowing them to discharge large amounts of electricity into a bot at range, disabling them for several seconds, making them easy targets for sustained fire by their mining lasers. The modifications do appear to be quite expensive and bulky, with only a tenth of their forces carrying them, but very effective and responsible for most of their victories since the introduction of the combat lasers.
More worrying is the new weapons use post battle, as sustained fire on a bot with them can force a factory reset, and rendering them an Ideological blank slate ready for imprinting. Several bots with painted over SOVIET logo’s have been seen among their lines already.
All captured samples of the weapons have been taken back to the base for study, and/or to induce factory resets on any captured CASHSHOP bots, though those are few.
(samples of Ion Laser gained, CASHSHOP gained samples of combat lasers.)
Dave, after a short talk on the communication equipment, authorizes the construction of additional bots, nearly the maximum that the production hub can produce. He seems quite content with the quarters and supplies he has been provided. The only request he has, if they would so kindly, is if the SOVIET’s could build a drone rocket, so he can get a message back to HQ. He needs to order some spare parts for the production HUB.
(180 bots built) [COMMAND LINE PROMPT DETECTED] (must include a lesser order to build a drone rocket, and/or a Special action to try and resist the order)
The Propaganda tower was easily built, broadcasting the SOVIET’s message across the world to any that would listen to it. While it has affected CASHSHOP’s bots slightly, it mostly seems to be annoyance, the biggest effect has been on the SOVIET bot’s moral, making them fight harder in battle.
The only reply to the message seems to have been a single Burst of screaming from the west. The few bots that were on duty that heard it report an intense sensation of dread, enough that one of those bots was later seen jumping into the ore processor for recycling.
(+.6 governance, knowledge of something VERY bed to the west)
The rust monsters appear to be a simple form of metallivore. Unlike humans, they seem to be made of a single type of flesh, and move very slowly across the land, generally in the direction of the strongest non-planetary magnetic field they can detect. They prefer to eat oxidized iron above all else, though they are willing to eat any compounds with elements heavier than iron in them. They do not seem to be intelligent in any way.
How they eat and get energy from the process is unknown, but the Initial consumption appears to be quite fast and an unprotected and unaware bot could be consumed within a minute,
That being said, protecting a bot from them has proven quite simple. A thin weave of carbon fibers over the external surface of a bot can completely protect them, without hindering them.
Sufficient heat is also an effective defense against them, melting them into a mix of the metals they have consumed, which is quite ideal for feeding to the ore processor.
The source of the rust monsters appears to be a huge mass of the creature spilling out of a spacial anomaly to the north, and is slowly spreading out from it. Occasionally, a small portion of it, the size of the typical rust monster encountered, will break off and crawl away from it, most of them heading south toward our area, but at their rate of travel it will be nearly 30 years until the first ones reach the asteroids.
It has been suggested that several rust monsters could be captured in carbon fiber sacks and dropped near CASHSHOP’s base as a distraction, but it’s not likely to be much damage unless hundreds of them are deployed over a wide area. It might also be able to create a projectile weapon using them as ammo, or rig an exploding throwable to spread the creature over a wide area, but that would require dedicated research.
(Rust monsters are fungal, metal based lifeforms that follow non-standard model of physics. They are literally living blobs of metal. Any metal they touch is converted into their type of metal, but sufficient heat will revert it back to normal-physics metals. They ignore atomic elements lower than iron and noble gases. +.1 development. A lesser order could be used to make weapons using them, though effectiveness would be questionable)
The war against CASHSHOP was mostly a stalemate, with the SOVIETS gaining a small territorial advantage over the decade. This was mostly due to lack of a way to deal significant damage to each other, but with deployment of combat and Ion lasers, the conflict as started to accelerate. Noticeable casualties have been inflicted on both sides.
(Soviet losses: 2 units to rust monsters, 18 captured and converted, 1 bot jumping into ore processing. CASHSHOP losses: 34 lost to combat lasers, 3 captured and converted.)
The investigation into the world's magic seems to have taken up most of Isolda’s time this decade, as it has offered fascinating insights on the true nature of magic, insights that could only be found in such a young unformed system.
At it’s core, the magic seems to be an imposition of will upon it to produce a desired effect. Like flowing water, each use of it, no matter how small it might be, will slowly wear down the foundation it’s place upon. Slowly carving channels into it, creating paths where it flows more easily, and shaping it. A system of magic is not just the creation of its user, but the countless users that came before them. What was once done becomes easier to do, even to the point that attempts to do something else will shift to follow the same paths, and prevent it from being imposed upon the world. On older worlds, like Nerehamia, attempting to do magic outside the current system require great skill to control it into the proper shape… or great power like the Dead king’s to carve out a new path.
But here on this new world, the channels of magic are relatively unformed, other than that which powers the portals, and something slumbering deep beneath the mountains to the northeast, deeper than where she currently stands.
Each world that touch it through the portal is carving out new paths around it, based upon the magic they have. Some seem to have little to no impression themselves, as is magic never touched those worlds. Others like dreadmire are carrying great weight with them, making deep impressions upon the world.
Impressions that Isolda could use. At least those tangentially related to the Necromancy she was skilled with, which seemed bases on imitating and reflecting life.
Dreadmire’s form of Necromancy seemed to be leaving the greatest impression upon the new world, as if where it’s from has been fully consumed by it. Something that is likely true due it’s nature. It’s not based on returning something to life, but rather corrupting and decaying everything it touches. Impressing its simple will on everything in an effort to spread. It was no wonder the Dead King was wary enough to send his Dread knights to guard the portal, as it was a threat to everything that lived outside the sea. Something that was reflected in the wet zombies that were made using it.
The other form of necromancy was a bit more interesting and more similar to her own necromancy, enough that she actually managed to communicate with the mind using it despite him being on the other side of the world. Lothorn, who called himself a Lich, and seemed to worship a moving metal mountain that brought death everywhere it went. He also seemed to be the only person from his world upon this world, which might explain the strangeness of his mind. His form of Necromancy seemed to be based on preserving and sustaining life. Many conversations were held with him over the years, learning each other's system of necromancy. The Husk’s created by his magic were quite a bit sturdier than the undead created upon her world, but slower and simpler in mind. While this made them not very useful other than for simple tasks, for field work and other basic labor they excelled over a zombie.
(+.2 magic development, learn how to choose what type of undead to create on this world) (husk: very sturdy but slower moving undead, great for labor) (dread-zombie: quicker, can spread undeath on touch)
Exploration further up the mountains have uncovered two strange locations. The first is a steep tunnel heading to the north-east. Too steep and deep to even attempt to explore. The test zombie thrown into it left audible range before it impacted anything, putting the pit's depth well beyond any length of rope the expedition had.
The second location was a valley filled with what appeared to be liquid light, with a small stream of it overflowing the north rim that quickly dissipated into normal light.
The undead of the expedition had to stay well away from the rim of the valley and the waterfall, as being exposed to this light seemed to eat away at their form at a magical level. The living on the expedition could get close enough to look at the liquid light, but started to experience burns after a few minutes of exposure. The Valley seems to be even worse, as a walking stick lifted to stick over the rim of the valley burst into flame.
Shortly after news of the valley reached her, Isolda felt out the world’s magic in the valley's area and felt the telltale impression of “death-light” magic, along with the presence of a portal in the valley. Its location has been marked on all maps, along with notes to avoid it.
(land explored, portal of light found. Deep pit found)
The attempt to secure the Dwarves portal quickly turns into a disaster, as it turned out there was a very good reason they didn’t secure it. Their homeworld was dying to an invasion of powerful demons, and they did not want to attract their attention to the portal just yet.
Soon after the expedition arrived and started building the fort on both sides of the portal, an armed group of dwarves made a foray from the fortress to make contact with them. While seemingly upset and trying to convey some sort of message to the expedition, they didn’t seem to be outright hostile, and more worried about something on the other side of the portal. They would later explain that they were trying to warn the expedition that they were in danger of attracting a demon to the portal, a warning that would turn out to be much too late.
At first, it seemed to be a clownish parody of a dwarf, calmly walking into a fortress on the far side of the portal without a care of the world, the guards on duty only giving it a polite nod in greeting before turning to try and slice his partners' throat. A laborer greeting it while grabbing a zombie's head and trying to hammer it into a wall like it was a nail. A cook roasting his own arm over a fire before chopping it off and handing it to a horrified assistant to taste. It was her scream that seemed to break the strange spell over the encampment, and to realize that a small army of goblins is entering the encampment.
But by then, the clown was already through the portal. It seemed puzzle by the crossing for several seconds, and that was perhaps why it failed to bring up it’s glamour before those on this side of the portal noticed and raised the alarm about it. Why they and the dwarfs that came to warn them were able to fight and kill the creature at all, along with the army of goblins that followed it. In the end, Nefertiti managed to grapple it long enough for the Dwarven mayor Horhonth to behead the clown with Atolkoman, though with most of his body destroyed and needing to be rebuilt. With 2/3rds of the expedition dead, along with a quarter of the dwarven warriors, the dwarves were able to quickly explain the need to destroy the fortress around the portal and invite everyone back to their fortress despite the lack of a way to talk to each other.
The Dwarves were quite welcoming to the expedition, and over the next year Sven and the dwarven mayor Horhonth managed to teach each other the basics of their language. They watched while concealed at a distance as two other clowns emerged through the portal and stood before it for a full week, before returning through it without doing anything.
Then Horhonth told the dwarves' story. Centuries ago, a great dwarven king got too greedy, seeking to equip his warriors in the strongest weapons and armor. He dug miles into the earth to it’s deepest layers, seeking the strongest material that was said to support the world itself, Adamantine. And when he found it, he had it mined without any concern.
But the Adamantine did not exist to support the world, but rather to protect it from what existed below. When the first hole through it was made, no one noticed the creatures crawling through it, or if they did, they took it as normal even as they committed horrendous acts upon each other. Their perception twisted by the creature's demonic glamour. It wasn’t until everyone in the mountain home was dead, and the creatures tried to leave, did anyone notice what was happening. That an archer in a lookout tower noticed a demon from beyond the range of its glamour and raised the alarm. That anyone took up arms to fight and kill them.
But it was already too late, and thousands were free to roam their home world. To play with the lives of those that lived there, brining despair and war whatever they went. The few outposts of civilization left were tormented settlements, all built in highly defensive locations with clear lines of site. Or goblin settlements that revel in the bloodshed the demons brought with them. Even they existed simply because the demons wanted to prolong their fun. To draw out the death of the world as long as they could.
The portal was perhaps the last hope of their world. A place everyone could try and flee to, though before it could even be attempted, a means to seal the portal needed to be made. Thus, this group of dwarves traveled through it, and this fort was built. Here they were constructing a great project, a huge series of pumps to alternatively flood the land the portal stood upon with magma and water, so to quickly flood both sides of the portal with cooling rock and stone.
Only once the means to seal the portal was made would their people would be called to join them. To flee their world and strike anew on this world. Hopefully without the demons following them until most of them arrived, but the dwarfs would fight to let as many as they could make it here. Only if the situation seemed hopeless, or all that could were believed to have arrived, would the portal be sealed.
(Dwarf fort respects Nerehamia’s skill in battle, though finds you a bit foolish. Wants your help in holding the portal until the evacuation is finished, and they can seal the portal. 100 Zombie infantry, 20 Heavy armored zombies, and 150 mortals lost to fighting the Demon) (based on her research, it might be able to force a portal closed with magic, though she would need to research it)
Information and examples of the new undead are quite the talk back on the home world, and soon more applicants are trying to travel to the world than the portal can handle. This has resulted in a small city beginning to form on the other side of the portal, around the entrance of the cave system leading to the portal. In addition to being a way stop to the portal, it’s quickly becoming home to researchers into the new types of undead, along with Isolda notes on magic in the other world.
The nations bordering the dead king's land note of the flurry of activity within Nerehamia, and the growing settlement near their borders. They seem to be preparing to raise a larger army over the next few years, and a delegation is on its way to examine this new city under the flag of truce/ceasefire.
(large population gain, +.1 magical development. Potential issues back home.)
The Bird folk seem to have stopped creating new islands, and move the existing islands to a higher altitude. Not other observations could be made without actively making contact.
Atraria Xenoscience Outpost
Possibly the most notable construction of the decade was the Steel clad concrete wall erected around the settlement. While the concept of building a wall was a fairly simple one, the final product was far from it, both in size and its armaments. Encompassing not only the already constructed buildings, but a fair amount of land for future construction, It was nearly 15 of reinforced concrete with various defense emplacements both at the base and the top of the wall. It would be quite the foolish, or heavily armed, group that would attempt to assault the settlement now.
But perhaps the most popular feature was the 30ft wide paved concrete strip just outside the wall. It wasn’t long before some enterprising individual painted road lines upon it, and the colony racetrack was born. Nearly every hour of the day someone was racing along it, against each other or just to feel the need for speed. It’s even attracted a film crew to cover some of the races for distribution back home.
(wall built, +.6 infrastructure, +.2 gov)
Of course, this also greatly increased the demand for new vehicles, which fit well with Vandrex’s plans for the colony. More bikes and smaller vehicles were built to satisfy the civilian desire for them, but perhaps the most notable were the All Terrain Armored Combat Vehicle. Significantly larger, heavily armed and armored, these massive mobile units were serving as hubs for the Burnouts patrols. This was mostly due to their overpowered engines letting them two dozens of trailers at a time, letting them bring plentiful amounts of food, water, and spare parts to those patrolling. (+.2 gov, 10 ATACV’s built) (Large, heavily armed and armored wheels tanks (Tank police tank image). Most well known for having a hitch that lets them tow multiple trailers are once.)
Contacting the ants was some want difficult to do at first, mostly due to the fact that they were initially afraid of the us approaching them, believing them to be no more than giant animals. It took nearly a year for them to start realizing that were sentient and tool using, and a further two to actually work out a way to actually talk to them. Their primary means of communication was a chemical language as opposed to a vocal one, nether of which could be translated to the other directly, without heavy computational and mechanical assistance.
Luckily, they did have a form of written language, and eventually a simplified version of our written word was taught, with us writing messages with a strong chemical taste, and then forming themselves into words to reply to us.
Not that there was much to actually say to each other, other than exchanged different perspectives on the sciences, as our two species perspectives were so different from each other. An agreement was made determining where exactly one side's expansion would end, how to signal that one side to talk to the other.
Perhaps the only true trade was made after some of the honey bugs were gifted to them, much to their excitement, and prompted a small group of their colonies to approach us with a potential trade deal. They were a group located near the edge of their claimed territory, founded to take advantage of a large deposit of Iron ore, and had noticed the large amount of metal we seemed to carry, enough to make a cluster of colonies rich beyond their dreams. Harvesting Iron was an extremely slow process for them, mostly due to its hardness and their tiny size. It had to be collected slowly grain by grain by them, and they theorized our much larger sized let us bring greater force against the ore to break it up, and carry more of it back to a smelting location at once.
The deposit they were tasked with harvesting would take centuries for them to deplete with their methods, and while profitable and would let them liver comfortably despite needing to purchase their food from other colonies. Yet, we offered an opportunity to achieve much, much more.
This cluster of colonies was interested in hiring some humans to mine their deposit for them, in exchange for a portion of the ore. And it was a very rich deposit even by our own standards according to the miners that took a look at it. They would ensure that we would be allowed to access deposit without interference in exchange for two things. A small patch of land on our side of the border, equal to the area the deposit occupied, that they could move their colonies to occupy. And the second would be 10% of the metals produced by the mine. By their standards, this would be enough metal to flood their markets for decades, and make them the richest colonies upon the world by a large margin, on par with some of the oldest cluster back on their home world.
(Backstory dump into their NPC stats) (special action: Take the deal, +.2 infrastructure, major mine. Potentially economic collapse of the ant’s metal trade. Do not take it, Better relation with the ants as a whole.)
Still, while the proposed mine by the ants would be fairly profitable, many other, smaller deposits have been found nearby, and several open pit mines have been dug to harvest them, along with furnaces to smelt the ore into useful metal. (+.4 infrastructure, mining income)
An artificial radio signal has been detected coming from the south-west, and seems to be some sort of repeating message in binary.
The guest infiltrations into the forgman civilizations seemed to have gone quite well at first, bringing back large amounts of information concerning the frogmen.
Perhaps the most notable was how different the frogmen were compared to the Providers. While smaller than the providers, they were physically stronger and more durable, a fact which could likely be attributed to the higher gravity of their homeworld. This was somewhat offset by a slightly slower thought process, and a tendency to try and think through their actions even as they are performing them. A trait that seemed to be reflected by the Guest infiltrators inhabiting them, which while not directly relevant to the investigations, did send a large number of researchers into a tizzy over the implications.
Reproduction is a K type strategy, with the frogmen depositing large numbers of eggs and sperm in the freshwater pool and watching over the young until they start to show intelligence, at which point individual frogmen will gather groups of them to be trained in a specific profession. It is suspected that they groups were only one or two members in size before the industrial revolution, but groups these days tend to be dozens of individuals at once.
Their civilization was just as interesting, if a bit more worrisome. Technologically, they are actually performing a fair bit better than our own, though mostly due to having not exhausted their own world's resources, and in spite of other factors. They would likely be significantly more advanced than our own society already, if not for the massive “Eternal war” that have been ravaging their world for the past seven hundred years, since the start of their industrial revolution. This seemed to have been triggered by improvements in agricultural production and the invention of antibiotic, leading to a drastic decrease in child mortality, and some nations' population increasing thirty-fold within a single generation. Since then, tens of millions of frogmen have died in these wars each year, occasionally even hundreds of millions when one civilization gains enough of an advantage to wipe out another.
What's worse, their industry is slowly killing their world, even as they constantly expand it to service their society and the eternal war. Deaths due to pollution kills even more of their people than the war, and they accept the cost without thought. The slight reduction in their rate of population growth is even seen as a positive thing, reducing the rate that their cities need to be expanded.
Unfortunately, this war does not exist upon this world. A world free of pollution and full of pure water to feed their spawning pools. Despite our dams contaminating over half of the spawning pools they have built on this world, their population has increased 30-fold since they arrived, as has the land they have devoted to farming. The new factories they have produced. And the armies that they have raised. Those interacting with the extracted guest infiltrators are recommending the immediate production and deployment of strategic level weapons to contain the frogmen.
Still, the frogmen seem peaceful for now, and a small joint trading outpost has been set up between us and them. Most of their anger at the construction of the dams has been diluted, with little of if showing up in the most recent generation.
(full intel on the frogmen. True special factor discovered: unchecked population growth.)
Almost as soon as the first information concerning the Frogmen was received, preparations began for the eventual containment of them. Batteries of weapons were drawn from the home world alongside coalition forces under the excuse of defending the dam, at least initially. So far the fragment have only seen the static elements of the defenses, and some of the aerial force, so have no clue how large of a force has actually been gathered. (700 coil troopers, 100 armored units, 2 artillierty groups, +.2 infrastructure)
The rockworms are strange creatures, and in some ways seem to defy our understanding of physics. Their ability to swim through solid rock and dirt without visibly disturbing them has driven more than one guest mind to dissolution out of frustration. A more close examination of stone that a rockworm has traveled through shows numerous microfractures, so their means of traveling through the stone is damaging them, just very slowly and in a none-visible
Small, orifice less gray worms, ranging from a few centimeters to over a meter long, they absorb iron and other metallic elements directly from the materials they pass through. This is not a quick process, and seems more attuned to removing trace amount during their travels. This has proved to be extremely fortunate, as It can take a single rockworm days to significantly damage a refined metal object.
Overall, the study has concluded that the rockworms do not seem to a form of life that evolved on a terrestrial world, and there is a high likelihood that they are an artificial creation designed for terraforming operations.
Does anything repel the worms:
There are three conditions the worms seem to travel away from. The first two are extreme heat and coldness, with emphasis on extreme.
A portion of rock heated to over 500C will see any nearby rockworms trying to get at least 300 meters away from it. This is likely due to this being lethal to the creatures.
If a rock worm encounters a stone less than -20 C it will move away from it, though it will not prevent it from heading in that direction a few moments later.
The third condition that repels the world is a sudden loud noise, equivalent to at least a 4.0 magnitude earthquake.
Can anything attract them:
Any form of metal will attract a rockworm from several km’s away, though the density of the metal per cm^3 seems to determine how strongly they are attracted to a location. 2.3 grams of metal per cm^3 seems to attract them the strongest. Density lower than that continue to attract them strongly up to 1.4 grams, then density’s higher than that up to 3.2 grams. It will look for any such density’s within 10 meters of it and go immediately to it. For every 0.1 gram below the lower limit, it’s search range for a more ideal density of metal will increase by 200 meters. For every .5 grams above the ideal density range, it will search an additional 100 meters out for the ideal density.
Rockworms will ignore metals over 10 grams per cm^3, and experience difficulty moving through such density’s. At 19.3 grams per cm^3 they can not pass through the material at all. (note that rock mixed with an ore can reduce the practical density of a metal compared to its pure form)
Rhythmic thumping of sound into a place within the ideal density range significantly increases the range at which rockworms will be attracted to the location. As rockworms regularly emit such thumps while eating deposits within the ideal range, this is likely a social behavior.
A strong magnetic field can slow their ability to phase through materials
how do they reproduce:
This is unknown, as no known reproduction has happened in open air. It is theorized that they might be budding off of the larger worms, based on the presence of hairs on these larger worms that resemble the smaller worms.
What kills them:
The only confirmed way to kill a rockworm is exposing it to a temperature over 500C. This is hard to accomplish due to their natural avoidance of such temperatures,
A strong magnetic field can slow their ability to phase through materials, which was how one was kept from running away from the heat source used to kill it.
Some rockworms have shown the ability to damage and interact with each other, usually in attempts to maintain separations while feeding. How is somewhat unclear.
The construction of the farms gose quite well, with vertical ones quickly assembled next to the river. Less water intensive farms are set up farther away from the river, growing modified desert plants instead of more typical crops. Soon, the food supply of the colony no longer has to be imported through the portal, even with the large influx of troops and personal.
(+ population growth, +.6 infrastructure, food independence)
An artificial radio signal has been detected coming from the north-west, and seems to be some sort of repeating message in binary.
The Tevvos Protocol
With the discovery of the Biomass and the greenskins, It was decided to establish a second organization at the outpost. The Nexus Entity Contact Authority (NECA) is to be the front line for further exploration efforts, and contact/study with/of other portal environments. Along with containing those that might prove dangerous to the Outpost.
(NECA established, Central HQ, + military equipment/training. +.6 governance)
Its main HQ has been constructed adjacent to the main dome, and is mainly serving as barracks for the growing military forces of the Outpost.
The number of Armored Recon drones has doubled, increasing to 44 in total, with their automated programming updated to disable themselves should they no longer detect their assigned crew within 2 km, to prevent any further hijacking attempt.
They are backed up with 5 Enhanced Containment Vehicles, each designed to transport a 21 person NECA containment team, logistical hub, and combat backup if needed.
Internal Dome security was also increased, with many security guards recruited and 4 5-man Internal containment teams to help deal with any exceptional incidents. Where were proposals for some combat teams to be assigned to the domes, along with combat Vehicles, but that proposal was shelved due to concerns of collateral damage within the domes.
In other news, 4 Dirigible were built, three designed solely for recon, and a fourth designed to transport 4 armored recon drones and an ECV, allowing for rapid responses.
(25 ACDs, 5 ECVs, 4 Internal combat teams, 3 scout Dirigible, 1 rapid transport dirigible. Security guards on demand)
The new Dirigible’s have proven quite effective, greatly expanding the area explored this decade. Though this did mean some of the findings were not fully explored, they are at least known about and containment teams can be dispatched to explore them in the near future.
The first locations of note are three additional portals, though they do seem fairly low-key ones. Two were located due to outbreaks of non-native flora, one with small tree type flora near the portal, while the second was surrounded by small orange bushes and grasses.
The third portal located was slightly more interesting, having been encompassed in ice.
The fourth location of note was a bit more concerning, A small concrete fort appears to have been constructed in the middle of no where. Initial observations showed large four legged lifeforms patrolling its walls. Further observations of the site were called off when a surface-to-air missile was launched in the general direction of the Dirigible, missing it by around 20 meters and deliberately exploding seconds after it pass the Dirigible. Taking it as a warning shot, the captain retreated back to the outpost, and recommended a ground force be sent to approach the site.
While not sited, it is suspected that another portal resides within the military base.
(large expansion in explored area, potential portal locations and military base marked on the map.
The First of the bioformed species are introduced and seem to be spreading well into the local environment. Processing and preparations of the local soil are expected to be done within 20 years, though an additional Pioneer species has been recommended. For distribution. Engineers have recommended that a modified version of the Venralin rockworms, (low-temperature phase-metal lifeform used in terraforming) should be released to break up the surface rock at an accelerated rate, as current projections show soil development is expected to take another century.
(significant infrastructure increase expected in 2 intervals. Special action: release modified rockworms)
A mining outpost has been set up upriver of the main outpost near a large Iron deposit. It is refined on site in a large smelter, alongside several rock crushers processing the leftover stone into basic concrete.
Alongside a bio-waste processor built next to the agricultural dome, basic construction material no longer needs to be imported, greatly reducing the likelihood that the protocol will be detected.
Initial gene adaptations have been distributed, centered on the adapting personal to the local atmospheric pressure. While some may still need breathing apparatus and protective clothing to protect from atmospheric composition, solar radiation, and/or non-ideal temperatures, all these measures are considerably lighter and less bulky due to the pressure suits that used to be needed.
(Pressure adaption done, deconstruction of no longer needed equipment in progress)
Examination of the local gate shows much as was expected about them. Once transit through a gate is started, it can not be stopped without ripping what was passing through it in half. There is a noticeable drop in background radiation when something passes through it.
Yet, the fact that the gate is on the ground and can be examined more closely has led to some interesting discoveries. That it’s anchored to the planets' gravity well, then any particular location on the surface, meaning the continental plate is slowly moving through it. There is a noticeable compaction of rock on one side of the portal to reflect this.
(Knowledge about the gates)
Biomass research: One of the ECV’s, and its containment teams, have managed to establish the perimeter around the Biomass, along with setting up a small research outpost nearby. Efforts to retrieve a second sample has so far failed, as any portion harvested seems to die when it gets more than 1 km from the Biomass, despite any precautions.
Strangely enough, there seem to now be three transponders identical to the one the Greenskins stole, all moving around just as rapidly to the south. The Dirigible sent to scout for them soon confirmed there were now three cars, though they were only vaguely recognizable as having previously been one of our armored cars. There have also been sighting of several small groups of greenskins moving on foot, but no signs of any settlements so far. They do not seem interested in moving north towards us at this point in time.
There seems to be a fungal outbreak growing in the same area as the greenskins, through how it is related to them is unknown.
An artificial radio signal has been detected coming from the northeast, and seems to be some sort of repeating message in binary.
The crystals are actually mobile, and slowly moving apart, seemingly to make room for smaller crystals to grow between them. They also seem to be ignoring the grass when they spread to areas near the rivers.
Initially, they only seemed to attack any Ordanismo that touched them, but after about a year of probing them the tolerance to us touching seemed to increase, eventually to the point that an impact significant enough to damage them need to be done to set them off, or an effort to pick extract them from the ground.
When they did attack, the reprisals did not seem to be blindly directed. While the initial beam is always directed at the point of impact, it always swept toward the cause of the disturbance. It also seemed to adapt to whatever was between it and the target. Metals and more solid materials would see the beam focus on a single point to melt it, while softer and/or more flammable materials would see the beam refocus to ignite as much as possible.
Near the end of the decade, those Orgnismo who touched one of the crystals without intent to harm them started to report something strange. A mesmerizing series of flashing lights would be seen within their minds, and they would detach from the collective, standing dazed until another Orgnismo touched it, at which point it would reconnect. The only memories it would have from that time detached would be a weirdly off colored image of them looking up at themselves.
The few sampled successfully retrieved seemed to die quickly, darkening and becoming inert. Analysis seems to indicate it is mostly composed of silicon, with veins of various types of metal interlaced through their structures. There is no clue on how they produce their beams through.
Potential for industrial and weaponizations is near impossible at their point, due to lack of ability to successfully harvest them. A sufficiently armored and equipped vehicle might be able to withstand their attacks long enough to start mining the crystals, as the metal within them is a lot pure then natural deposits, but even that is likely to be less efficient than normal mining operations.
(information on the crystals) (they can see you, they can hear you, and they want to talk)
Efforts to spruce up this side of the portal have gone quite well, and numerous structures, small gardens, and other efforts to make the land more pleasing has appeared all across their claimed land. Perhaps the most ambitious effort was the creation of a large forest downriver of the portal settlement, with thousands of saplings having been transplanted to the river's banks. It’s become quite the popular nesting site, and the location of the second Orgnismo settlement upon the world.
(major population boom, +.2 infrastructure)
The influx of new population has also been useful in organizing the local records, along with setting a small smelting facility for recycling the metal recording sheets with redundant information.
Records of events on this side of the portal have been thoroughly organized, and a copy of it has been prepared and sent back to the homeworld, to insure no matter what happens it will not be lost.
This seems to have created a similar line of thought in the original Orgnismo, and it seems intent on producing and sending a full written copy of its history through the portal, likewise to preserve it in case something happens.
It has also sent over a strange new device for storing and processing information, called a Calculatron. While fairly bulky, it can rapidly perform calculations and is extremely handy when keeping track of supplies.
(+.1 development, mechanical computer sent over.)
The small smelting for the library seems to have also established an effort to establish proper industry on this side of the portal, and soon a third settlement has been established near a large copper deposit located up river from the portal. A mine is built, soon followed by smelting facilities, concrete processors, and Line forges to produce any tools they need. While far from the efforts on the home world, It is a very good start.
The Reptiles have mostly ignored their observer, seeming to be more concerned with watching over large herds of great grazing beasts. While they will snap up an organismo that wanders to close to their lands, this seems to be more a snack of opportunity than an actual effort on their part to hunt them down.
Though they do note that the area the Reptiles have claimed is slowly expanding.
The Antonine order
It was an eventful decade for the Antonine order, as they become the first civilization to wage war upon this world. Startled by the Golemancers and their use of their beloved saint’s image for their golems, and the perceived golem’s nature, the quickly started preparing for the conflict. Messages were dispatched back to the homeworld, seeking help with their crusade and requesting more steam ships to carry them upriver.
It was several years before the results of the request started to arrive, and the news were mixed. The church itself could send very little at this time, as it was busy playing peacemaker between several nations. Some group seems to have been stirring things up between them, and they were trying to quickly find out who was behind it, while also insuring a large scale war did not break out with them stuck in the middle. What they could dispatch and gift to the order were three older model military steamships.
There were also several “Private” armies of varying quality sent with the steamships, commissioned and dispatched by some of the Nations of Nata. While their main armies were likely tied up with the same brewing conflict that the church was trying to stop, these small company sized groups were something they thought they could spare. They were likely seeking information on the new world, or influence and prestige with the church back on Nata.
Most of the “armies” sent were not too useful, just basic line infantry and musketeers that would have little use against golems. The three Cannonade crew would likely prove more useful, as their field cannons would deal great damage to the golems. Perhaps most interesting was the large Siege cannon dispatched by an insightful nation, as they had informed you that while they were expecting the cannon's crew to return, the cannon itself was a gift to the city, and would be left here when they returned home.
Locally, the training of the Peruptors seems to have gone quite well, with nearly a 1000 raised and trained to use their great hammers by the time the conflict started, with another 100 expected to be trained by the end of the decade. While exactly how effective they will be will not be known until the conflict starts, there are high hopes of victory.
(+3 steam ships, +3 mercenary cannonade crews. 600 mercenary line infantry, 200 mercenary musketeers, 1 siege cannon with crew (low fire rate, no maneuverability, very powerful), 2000 Peruptors trained)
Studies of the Golems have and their creators have been interesting to say the least.
Made entirely of stone, the golems are powered by the ambient magic that exists around them in the environment. Indeed, a cursory examination of the golems would reach the conclusion that they are purely creations of magic. Except something was off about this theory.
Unlike other forms of magic, the Priest’s purification miracles were not completely effective against the golems. Sure, It would strip them of any magic on them and render them inert statues, but this was only scattering the magic with them. It did not remove the golems' ability to gather magic like it should if it was a pure creation of magic.
It took nearly four years of research, and a demonstration by a captured Golemancer, to figure out what was going on. The Spark of Life, a simple healing miracle that could heal small cuts and bruises. Mostly used in training a priest healing abilities until they can perform stronger and more useful ones. Some time in their past, the golemancers had learned to perform the miracle themselves, and took it in a different direction and developed into what they call “Seeds of Life”, that when placed in an inanimate object would cause it to move, drawing in environmental magic to power themselves. Over time, they learned how to carve “runes” into the stone, giving direction to the movement, eventually letting them set complex commands that can be seen in their combat golems.
To say the least, this knowledge was quite heretical in the minds of some of the priests, and almost led to the captured golemancers being executed on the spot.
It also explains the differing quality of the golems seen so far. The cruder and simpler golems were Field created golems, prepared on the spot for simple repetitive tasks. Carved golems, like the ones made to look like Saint Antonine, were better prepared. Precarved joints at the points where the rock would bend, along with a more detailed and complex core, for the more complex actions, or for multiple potential tasks.
The larger Golems were the same, but empowered by multiple seeds. Each limb was effectively it’s own golem, only takeign orders from the torso golems.
As for the history the Golemancers had with the saint, and why they were using his image for their golems.. That is prehpahs a tale best told a bit later on.
(knowlage of the golamancers)
Efforts to find an alternative to coal for the steam engines, or at least ways to reduce its usage, met with mixed results.
Converting farm waste into burnable materials was already a well known practice, though rarely used due to the usual abundance and superior performance of the coal. Charcoal can be made by burning wood and other plant remains in a low oxygen environment, usually by burying the material to be covered with earth after igniting it. Some of the farmers already do this, as charcoal is useful for gunpowder production. Efforts to step up this production have been made, and a good portion of the civilian steam engines now run off of it, though coal is still the preferred fuel.
It likewise possible to ferment some of the materials into low-grade alcohol, but the main issue with it is how quickly it burns, and its lower temperature compared to coal.
Water power is perhaps where the greatest success of the effort has been seen, as they were far cheaper than a steam engine to construct and operate, and many of the farms were located next to the river. Mills and threshing machines were hooked up to them, allowing the farms to process their grain on site. Perhaps more importantly, they were also starting to power water pumps, greatly simplifying getting water further inland.
A few small windmills have also been built to power mills for those few farms not next to a large enough river or stream for a water wheel. While they are not always turning like the water wheels, they are turning often enough to fulfill their use.
But perhaps the most interesting outcome are the small windmills that are appearing on the roofs within the city, alongside small water storage tanks. Using the daily sea breezes flowing over the city, the new windmills are drawing up water into the storage tanks, at least at the times the rain is not falling, to fill them. For most of the buildings and households, this simple means they have access to flowing water, even if it is not pure enough to drink safely.
For some places, like the forges, have larger windmills and tanks, and use the water to turn waterwheels to power machines. Hammers that automatically hammer thing. Rolling presses to make metal sheets. Some of the large forges have even built vertical windmills over their shops to take advantage of the heat from their forges to pump more water.
There was one additional method proposed as an alternative to importing coal, one that could potentially replace the steam engine entirely and in a much more compact form. One that is not publicly known and may eventually be ruled as Heretical. One of the priest researching the Golems brought up the possibility of using a “Seed of Life” on a gear assembly, and create an “Eternal Gear”. He immediately regretted bringing up the idea, and is one of the main parties against the idea currently, but many of the more mechanically inclined priest are interested in the possibilities this presents. Loud theological debate have started to regularly occur between the two camps, and many hope the leadership will soon make a ruling on the matter. If just to make the cathedral a quieter place
Research into other motive powers. Potential heretical solution theorized and presented. An athletic conversion engine, based upon the examination of the golems. Using a spark of life miracle, a gear could be set to turn forever, drawing upon the ather of the world to turn it.
(+.4 infrastructure, +.1 development, proposal “eternal gear” engine)
The news of the war has also brought Antonine back into the news. And with it, a small boom in population. Faithful seeking to help with the heretics. Merchants seeking to sell steel and weapons to the city for the upcoming war. Or wanting to flee the problems of the old world to the untapped lands.
The immigration even outpaced the cities' ability to employ the new immigrants, which might have turned into a problem if the Church had not sped up their construction of the Cathedral, and creating jobs, so they could be fed. While not quite done by the end of the decade, that was only due to the stained-glass windows which could not be rushed. Those were expected to finish within two years.
(minor population boom, Cathedral finished, +.4 government)
Observations of the dreadmire have confirmed that it is slowly expanding, and in a deliberate fashion. At regular intervals, waves of small rat-like creatures will emerge from the foliage, only to quickly die and dissolve into pools of the black goo that dreadmire grows out of. The estimated rate of expansion put the edge of dreadmire reaching the city in slightly less than 50 years.
It is also confirmed that it’s avoiding the oceans, and that salt seems to hurt it, after an unusually large wave struck the beach leaving the portions struck of dreadmire splashed by it were visibly smoking.
(dreadmire is expanding. It is also weak to seawater.)
The Antonine orders war was fairly straightforward. The initial expedition set out on the 4 steamships, hoping to reach golemancers settlement directly without fighting a land battle.
Summary of the Battle of the Hills of Heresy
(1 steamship total loss, A bolder, plunged through its smokestack and crushed its boilers. Coal stocks ignited shortly afterwords, and a quarter of the ship was burned out. Still floats, but cheaper to build a new ship than rebuild it.)
(Golemancers suffer total loss, and route. TAO losses:
60 mercenary musketeers, 40 Musketeers, 400 Peruptors. 1 Cannonade crew was lost to a lucky hit from one of the large golems boulders, destroying their cannons. Most of the crew survived, as they were able to get out of the way.)
With the Large golems destroyed, there was nothing that could Truly stop the TAO’s march to the Golemancers settlement. While there were a few ambushes to try and delay their approach, usually a lone golemancer burying golems in the armies path and having them emerge when the army was marching over them.
The only other major battle was the taking of the golemancers settlement and their portal, buried in the side of an artificial mountain.
Not that it was much of a battle, just a massive wave of civilian golems and a handful of military golems flooding at the TAO’s lines, keeping them occupied until the last of the golemancers passed through the portal.
(no further losses)
Exploration of the settlement after its capture has turned up a lot of information about the golemancers, about their golems… and about Saint Antonine.
At the heart of their settlement, right next to the portal, stood a temple marked in familiar iconography, with the symbol of Radiance prominently displayed above the main door. Within were familiar pews and an alter, though shaped out of solid rock. And a tattered book lay upon it, worn with time and use.
And far in the back of the temple a sarcophagus with a large, normal stature if Saint Antonine, Older than the grand master could remember, but still distinctly him.
They had found his resting place.
The following years were a trying time for the Order, as they tried to come to terms with Saint Antonine’s last days, and the role the Golomancers played with it. Of the fact that the golems themselves are an expression of a Miracle, not of magic.
One group of Peruptors takes to rage, and assembles in secret to assault the portal. Only for them to be dragged back through unconscious be a pair of Bronze golems.
Another group through went through the portal seeking answers, and managed to start establish a way to talk to them, based upon a few symbols of our written word that the golemancers had adopted. They returned with stories of Saint Antonine’s kindness, and the golemancer desire to no longer fight.
Some dived into scouring the temple and examining his effects, and learned the story of his final days.
Saint Antonine managed to land safely on the continent shortly after he passed through the portal, also at the mouth of the river where the city bearing his name was founded, and spend several months exploring the area. Eventually he set off to explore up the river, and almost managed to reach the golemancers settlement on his own, only to slip near the river and end up with his foot stuck underneath a rock.
He would spend the next month stuck there, slowly starving with only river water to drink, and his foot slowly rotting.
It was only a passing scout from the golemancers finding him that saved him. This scout managed to free the trapped Antonine and bring him back to the golemancers settlement, where they would remove and replace the now green-black foot and leg to save his life. This was a very close call for him, and he would almost die twice over the following two years due to illness, but the golemancers would care for him, with him slowly learning to speak their language. A time he would use to try and spread the word of radiance to them. While they initially took him to be a bit delusional, slowly, he would manage to convert some of them to the tenants of the radiance. Spreading it across the settlement and soon back to their home world. He learned it was quite similar to the faith they already practiced, though less tied to mortals powers.
And there were also the golems. It was the one point none of the Golemancers would compromise upon, for they saw that every golem was a gift from god bestowed upon their people. Not the magic Antonine believed them to be for most of his stay. It was only near the end of his life that he learned exactly how the Golems were created. Of the golemancers praying and receiving a seed to plant within the golems. What notes and writings he made during his final months showed him extremely conflicted over the matter, never managing to mesh this fact with his beliefs and come to a firm conclusion one way or the other. Or feeling comfortable with the fact that many of those he partially converted, making their golems in his image.
He always meant to make a return trip to the mouth of the river, just to see if any from the church had followed him to this world, but he never managed it. The fact that he only had one leg and refused to use the golem leg they had built for him prevented him from traveling too far from the settlement.
It appears he died from the shock of learning about our attack on the golemancers farm, collapsing immediately, and eventually passing way the next day. Reportedly, he asked them not to blame us for our ignorance on his deathbed.
(Last years of Saint Antonine learned about, Golemancer settlement taken, +1 infrastructure, you can now talk to the golemancers on the other side of the portal.)
(Special action:  write in on stance to take with the golemancers on the other side of the portal. )
(Special action: [golem] Write in on the stance the church will take on the golems with the new information. (all paths valid, from rejecting them fully, to embracing them, or somewhere in between))
The Cybrex makes a short jaunt east to follow a new and slightly closer radio source, but turns south again after it encounters the ocean to track the original source. It collapses two additional portals on the way, but does not encounter any signs of civilization.
Lothorn the lich continues to follow the cybrex from a relatively safe distance.
Sorry it took so long. Got knocked down with the flue for a few days and a bit of scope creep in the update. A War-post will be up shortly, followed by the stats and the NPC state.
War post being finished, and should be released today.
Rust monsters are basically rust monster from AD&D. Creatures that use magic to turn any metals they touch into rust, then eat the rust. You can weaponize them with a lesser order, but I’m not saying how effective they would turn out to be. At the very least, they could be used as a terror weapon.
Welcome to the end of the Dwarf’s world, enjoy the fun. Stuff on the event will be covered in the War-post, and should be released today.
Dreadmire is a very evil form of Necromancy and in inherently unsafe. It will twist that which it touches to match itself. Dripping, gooey zombies that infect everything.
Lothorn’s is Egyptian flavored. Dried out zombies with hard leather skin, mummies wrapped in bandages. Skeletons driven by flesh eating beatles (which he has none and can’t create any more of).
Valley of the light portal is connected to a place that took purification a bit too far and converted their star to omit it. It did not go well, and effectively rendered it a dead world. There might be a few creatures like the FFXIV’s Light wardens on it, but they have no reason to move about and will never pass through the portal. Basically, it’s a place to avoid.
Purposely left the issues going on back home vague, so you could develop them yourself if you want to.
The frogmen are an industrial revolution gone wrong. Centuries of never ending war, polution to the point of ecological collapse, and they have not even noticed their world is dying yet. By the time they do, it will be to late.
Almost the opposite of your group.
War-post will have the needed information to start the fight.
Dirigible only retreated due to the possibility of damage, and that there was little to gain information wise by staying.
Adaptation has been started, and equipment is being altered to reflect the new conditions. First bonus will kicking next interval, no further input needed.
From the time you arrived upon the world, still when you discovered the golemancers, Saint Antonine has been working to convert them to follow the ways of the church. He was quite successful on the matter, barring the creation and use of the golems. The latter was half due to the nature of how they were created, through prayer and belief, and half due as rejecting them would collapse their society completely. It’s completely supported by its use, tending their fields, building their buildings (where they are not shaped by magic), and handling other simple tasks.
Part of why they so quickly adopted the churches way has to do with how their existing religions seem to be set up. They mostly exist solely to empower those that rule their nations, propping them up as God-kings or as the head priests of the gods they follow. Something supported by those in change being those that can make the biggest and most powerful golems. Saint Antonine show them miracles beyond just creating golems, and spurred improvements into the miracle they used to make their golems. The fact that he sought not to take charge of them, and that following his ways and converting seem to let them use those stronger miracles…
Well, there is a Large army of converttees deposing of god-kings back on their homeworld, rapidly growing in numbers and popular support with each god-king they remove. Backed with larger and stronger golems than they should have, and even a few bronze golems that were thought impossible to empower. They never really expected to have to fight on this side of their portal, and were a bit confused that those that their Saint came from were the ones fighting them. Thus, defensive and delaying tactics until they could bring proper forces back to their capital. They are still believing this is all some sort of mistake.
Talking to them would be possible at this point, as some common points of reference have been established. Rejecting them and continuing the war will likely result in them breaking contact and burying the portal under a mountain before you can take both sides. Effectively removing them from the game.
War-post will be up shortly, followed by the stats and the NPC state.