System: Zebrefron (Terran Disgnation: Odessia)
Planet: Zebrefron IV (Terran Disgnation: Odessia IV)
Gravity: 0.87. 88% water. 21 hour day (10 daylight, 11 night).
Zebrefron is a moderate Earth-twin with 0.87 G gravity and 88% of its surface covered in water. It has an average temperature of moderate to warm, and it has fairly cold polar regions. The majority of the land centers on the main continent, [UPF Designated] Hignus Major, where most of the indigenous life forms reside. Hignus Major is located in the western hemisphere with several hundred thousand satellite islands surrounding it. The Eastern hemisphere is a scattering of large and small islands.
The indigenous life (collectively called the Thrid) includes two intelligent species – Alpha and Beta. The designation is strictly base on order of discovery and not order of superiority. Both are fairly advanced in technology, being roughly post-industrial level of tech. However, it is not uniform throughout each type, ranging from tribes of barbarians to advanced city-states throughout the planet. There are also several species of animals, aquatic and land.
Both Alpha and Beta Thrid claim to be the original Thrid and sovereignty over the other “inferior subspecies.” The two factions have been entangled in a global war over this notion, for centuries. The war has gone on so long that now, there are fewer that a few hundred thousand beings left on the planet. They are both driving each other to extinction.
The UPF has deemed it necessary to violate its Noninterference policy and interfere with a genocidal war between these two species. The PCs are to join a delegation from the Council of Worlds to help bring peace back to the Zebrefron 4.
The [Sovereignty of Man] have known about this world for years. They have been hiding it as they see it as an embarrassment to the great history and glory of the Terran Empire (that some hope to return to some day). They have stationed Imperial Marines on the moon, watching for anyone that might stumble across the world. They are also interested in recovering any lost technology and knowledge left behind by the planetary corporations of Odessia IV.
The Imperial Marines will attack anyone that enters orbit around the planet. Upon attack, the PCs and the delegation will be loaded on a lifeboat and send down to the planet to complete the mission. They will land on the ocean, and be stranded for days. Encounter Options are:
(1) Sea battle between Alpha and Beta Thrid
(2) Capture by Imperial soldiers on planet
(3) Thrid Patrols of one kind or another.
Example Encounter: The PCs are captured by a massive Firmnid assault carrier. They are interrogated by the captain, treated as prisoners of war. After a few day at sea, before they can make the case with the captain, the carrier comes under attack by what is called a “surface breaker” – a massive submarine tower that shoots straight up from the ocean with the intention of spearing a sea vessel or two. The tower is bristled with cannons and gun ports. Once surfaces, the top of the tower opens up for boarding parties to leap on to nearby ships.
At some point, the delegation will be captured by the Imperials, while the players will be saved by their Thrid allies. They will discover that the Imperial Terrans are hiding out in an old T.H.R.I.D corporate fortress on an isolated island. The PCs find evidence that there is a backdoor to this fortress, long forgotten. An old docking bay hidden on the south end of the island.
Encounter: Along they way to the “backdoor”, they find the ruins of an old graveyard of Terran colonists from the Corporation. (more evidence that this was a Terran Empire colony).
Encounter: A holographic “keeper” will greet anyone that enters, as a guide. They will travel through the base using maglev transport tubes.
Unknown to the UPF or any Frontier corporation, the planet Zebrefron 4 was once Odessia 4, an Imperial Terran colony. It was once a prosperous mega-corporation planet, with many surface as well as undersea colonies. The mega-corporation that colonized this world genetically experimented on the colonists to make them more adaptable to the planet. This of course was done outside Imperial visibility.
The first gengineered creation was the firminids, a beast-of-burden stock. These were large humanoids that combined human genetics with some of the local larger land creatures. This created a slave race for many of the land operations on the planet. The second was an aquatic gengineered race called the aquanids. Combing human genetics with local aquatic genetics, they created a slave race for the undersea colonies as well.
Several versions of the firmanids and aquanids were created over the centuries to the point that they outnumbered the colonists. This continued on for several generations until the war the war that ended the Terran Empire. On Odessia 4, a rebellion broke out, slaves versus masters. The Terran corporation was abandoned during the war, and the two gengineered species were left behind to die out. Some colonists were left behind as well, only to be wiped out by the genetically engineered slaves. Odessia 4 faded to a memory, purposely covered up by the mega-corporations involved due to the quasi-legal methods and standards they used to create the firmnids and aquanids.
Many of the firmanid/aquanid did die out but some survived and formed social groups – tribes, towns, cities and then nations. Both races evolved separately, unaware of the other. The evolved rapidly because of the engineering techniques used to create them. The aquanids had legends of land dwellers but they were the boogieman stories told to children. Firmanid had similar stories of mermen. However, both took on the same name drawn from the creators – Terran Habitat Resources & Instrumentation Developers or THRID).
Eventually, the two Thrid societies grew large enough that they clashed. Long forgotten was the Terrn Empire, the Genetic Civil Wars, and the mega-corporations. Humans were a myth. Leaders were gods or legendary heroes. What they did not forget was the human ability to wage war. And wage war they did.
This racial were was entirely motivated by one side seeing the other as inferior. It waged on for generations, peaking and declining throughout this time. The latest peak could be the last for both sides as they have developed more and more destructive weaponry.
The Firmanid – Alpha Thrid
The Alpha Thrid are what evolved from the surviving Firmanids, the land-roving genetic engineered mutants used as beasts of burden and hard labor workers. The stand bipedal naturally but can travel on quadruped just as naturally. Double jointed below the knews, they can easily switch from a bipedal worker to a quadruped riding beast.
Firmanids stand between 2 and 3 meters tall, hairless save a thick main that runs from the back of their head along their back to a small snub of a tail. Since the start of the Thrid War, they have coalesced into city-states along the coast. They have developed a considerable navy to wage war with their enemies. The Alpha Thrid senses are also well evolved beyond their genetic cousins and creators, humans. Their eyes can zoom in like telescopic lense, their hearing can tune into wider range of frequencies, and they have natural nightvisions.
The culture developed without influence of their humans creators over the centuries since the humans left. It is strong, harsh and honor bound. They are skilled in both land survival and sea-faring. The naval clans are the harshest of the society almost to the point of barbarity. They divide themselves by clans, in a semi-feudal system where noble clans rule over minor clans, all residing in city-states throughout the land. The Noble Clan Council rule over the clans benevolently and wisely. There has not been inter-clan conflict for centuries because of the council. Firmanid on firmanid violence is rare, but not unheard-of. At one time, the lands of the firmanid lands were torn in inter-clan conflict. This violence lead to the formation of the council and the new enemy refocused the violent tendencies of the firmanids.
The firmanid religion centers around two gods representing two aspects of their society – guidance and unity. Etress is their seafaring god of navigation and the high seas. The naval clans hold him in the highest regard. Ekross, the god of loyalty, was “introduced” by the Clan Council with some controversy. However, with the strong societal push for unification, the Nobles “modified” the faith using a supposed ancient text and some so-called artifacts found in some ruins.
The primary industrial complex are hidden in the mountainous areas of the land masses, hidden from aquanid attack. All bodies of water are lined with fortresses and patrolled by warships.
The Aquanids – Beta Thrid
The beta third or aquanid evolved from amphibious creatures used as deep water workers. They had high tolerance for depths beyond human normal. There was a strong need for maintenance labor for many of the undersea colonies and the aquanids fulfilled that need.
The aquanid are usually thin, lean and as tall as a Firmanid. Instead of legs, they have long tentacles that use for guidance while in water and locomotion while on land. A Beta Thrid cannot stay away from water for too long, however. If they spend more than a day without being submerged, they begin to dry out.
The aquanid senses are highly developed for aquatic travel, including marine nightvision and hyper sensitive hearing. The race can communicate in the water with a high-pitched sonic language that is usually out of normal human hearing range. They also have a highly developed sign language.
The aquanid society is strong on individualism and a strict honor code. They have a strong respect for nature and feel they inherited it from the Old Ones. The Old Ones are basically what the aquanid religion center around – the ones that came before. One part ancestor, one part precursor, the aquanid seek their guidance in all their knowledge they left behind.
The aquanids dwell in the ruins of the underwater colonies. There are many secrets held in these colonies, which survived better than the surface installations. Many treasures lay in these ruins, especially in the ones that the aquanids have not found.
T.H.R.I.D Island Fortress
Within the fortress are stored some survivors of the wars on Odessia (Gene Wars), stored in stasis. They were executives of the original corporation (T.H.R.I.D). The Imperials Marines are hesitant to free them as they may lay claim to everything they have recovered and cause a political nightmare.
However, one of the Terran survivors in stasis is the executive developer of the original firmanid and aquanid. She knows how to gain control of them, assuming that her design was not corrupted. Each Thrid have a genetically implanted slave-mode that she could engage to for them to obey her bidding (creating a moral dilemma).
There is a Third Thrid (optional)
Hidden in stasis in the fortress is a third Thrid type – a four armed hulk of a creature. There is virtually an army of these that could conquer the entire planet if released.