Saturday, November 9, 2013

Psylons : Protectors or Predators in Planets in Peril ?


Of all the races which inhabit the multitude of worlds orbiting the Sun, the Psylons may be the least understood by the nations of Earth.  While it is true the Jovian Overlords are the greatest mystery, as no man has ever laid eyes upon one, at least with them it is known they are the Great Threat, and their purpose is clear, so much the greater woe for mankind.  But with the Psylons much remains to be known.  Are they friend or foe?  What are their goals? How do they view themselves? How do they view us? Are they a true 'people' or are they mechanical puppets, their strings being pulled by an unknown power?

These questions can not be answered in full, but there is some information to speculate on.

The Psylons are mechanical beings: robots.  They come in many shapes and sizes, and it is not altogether clear that there are not rival factions within their numbers, as the nations of Earth. If there are factions, or nations, it is not known if this falls along lines of physical differences or if loyalty is determined by some other criteria known only to themselves.

It appears the Psylons inhabit as their home the many asteroids of the asteroid belt.  Rockets have brought back pictures to Earth of what appear to be small cities and spires on asteroids and it is speculated that these are like icebergs, where the majority of the city is underground.  The fact that there is no atmosphere and little gravity would have no bearing on robots, so this speculation has merit.

The peoples of Barsoom, known as Mars by Earth, have a legend that may hold the key to understanding the Psylons.  They tell of a time when there was a fifth rocky planet, beyond Mars, where the asteroid belt is today.  This planet was of comparable size to Earth and was the first Inner Planet to fall to the Jovian Overlords.  This planet, named Thurnoom by the Barsoomians, was home to a race known as the Thurn.

The Thurn fell under the sway of the Jovian Overlords readily, as they had much in common with them, in the way they think and organize their society.  Once dominated by the Jovians, the Thurn in turn invaded Barsoom and began a period of conquest which would subjugate many of the races of Barsoom and wither their growth.  The Thurn were so successful they began to think of themselves as the rightful rulers of the inner planets.  Indeed, they supposed they could separate themselves from the control of the Jovian Overlords and planned to invade the rest of the Inner Planets.

Before the Thurn could turn their attention to the planets closer to the Sun, they needed to defend themselves from the wrath of the Jovians.  On their home planet they began to manufacture robotic armies, to defend Thurnoom against any of the terrestrials from the outer moons the Jovians may unleash. This would divide the solar system, leaving Thurn the undisputed masters of the Inner Planets.  With such a large force the Thurn were confident in their imminent success.  This Hubris was their undoing.

Around the time the Roman Empire was falling, another great empire on the rise was falling as well.
The Great and Terrible War saw the complete destruction of Thurnoom.  The Thurn boast they destroyed their own planet, better to spread defenses to keep the Inner Planets safe, but many believe it was the full might of the Jovians unleashed in anger at the Thurn rebellion.  But still others speculate that it was another rebellion: that of the Psylons who served the Thurn.  It may be that the Psylons were responsible for destroying the planet.  Why? To ensure their own freedom?  To revenge themselves upon their makers? Or perhaps, as some hope, to offer protection for the Inner Planets?  We can not know, and if the Psylons know, they are not saying.

Today, the Thurn are a shadow of their former power.  They are hunted by the races of Barsoom, but remain relatively safe in their strongly defended underground cities.  Their most recent attempt to build a new center of power for themselves, the Tripod Invasion of Earth, was not successful. Some say this successful defense of Earth, with it's rapid progress in technology was due to donations of technology and weapons by the Psylons.  If true, does this mean they are friends to mankind?  Or is there more, unknown, in a grand plan yet to be unveiled? 


Simon Quinton said...

Great background loving the Mars links.

Sam Wise said...

Impressive and good story !
(I suppose that you have write it perfectly because is the translator is not crazy with your story ! )
Superb pictures and very good painting work on the colourful figures.
I love!

commissarmoody said...

And the mystery only deepens!

Scott said...

Wonderful stuff, very imaginative! What rules are you panning to use with these races?

Scott said...

Panning = Planning, sorry.

Pierre le Poilu said...

I liked this, very much

Michael Awdry said...

Very few do 'back story' as well as you!

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks all :) Glad you are enjoying it

Simon: I've been having fun taking threads from many different concepts like burroughs, war of the worlds, battlestar galactica, planet of the apes, uplift saga, & more & my own ideas and weaving it all together around one sun.

Scott: The background could stand alone and use any rule system someone wants, actually a lot of the races could even be represented by 40k minis, but I'm writing some simple skirmish rules that should work for both my pulp projects: sci-fi & prehistory. The rules are pretty simple, beer & pretzel style, but with a pre-turn game within a game that effects your tactical options for the turn, so it could turn out to be a bit different than what most minis & dice games tend to be. I'll be testing it I hope and I'll find out.

There are only 5 stats and a short list of skills, so the combo and quality balance will be what distinguishes races from each other.

Thanks Michael.. I probably spend more time musing on backstories than is mentally healthy, but glad it has a good effect ;)

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