'What is it, my boy? Ah, you are studying the starmaps again. Good, learn and make your father proud. What the symbol means? Why, it is a forbidden zone. There are some out there, places too dangerous to visit or even pass through, and each of them hides a story... well no, I don't know all of them. But this one, this I know well. Come, close the globook, and I will tell you about the Biridia System.
It was a while ago, centuries I think is the timeframe, when the Bedalan and the Frylis waged a war in these parts. The first ones look a bit reptilian, the other like... ah, I don't know anymore. Doesn't matter anyway.
Well, and the Frylis, they were loosing. I have been around for a while, and I can tell you, there are two things desperate folk will try when they lost all of their brains: to win in the lottery, or travel in time. The Bedalan had the better technology. And the Frylis tried their luck with time travelling.
The Biridian System, well, there was a sun, and a few rocks resembling planets, an empty place without life or any trace of it. But many strange phenomena were reported: messages that came too early, or too late, ships have noted deformed readings, and bizarre events. Well, all kinds of weirdness. Some ships were reported as vanished, one arrived years later without noticing anything wrong.
To the Frylian scientists, it was clear that in this system were the barriers between time and space thinner than in most places, and time travel was possible with the right tools. There was little to loose in a lost war, anyway. And so they have started an experiment, that should do the impossible: an automated probe has broken through the barriers... don't know how, and don't care. But shortly after the start, the probe has reported a massive upsurge in energy everywhere in the whole system. Nothing like that was noticed by the outside observers, except for its immediate destruction.
But the system has changed unbelievably... it is called a temporal singularity, you can find it your encycloped later. It works like this: the space is still there, but its time is shared, so in this single moment there is everything from all the time periods it went through... hard to explain, I know, but the anomaly was still developing at that point, so looked almost normal from outside.
The Frylis could not win the war. Nor could they send ships back in time, as they hoped, as anything that entered the system, could only exit in its own time frame. Matter could not be sent back or forward in time. But energy could.
And so they hatched a plan of revenge, like the galaxy has never seen. They have not lost, but capitulated, begging the Bedalan for mercy. They were spared, and heavy reparations crippled their economy, their military and business fleet reduced to a shadow. Suffering the heavy hand of winners and constant observation, the Frylis were secretly researching Bedalan technology from the few wrecks they have recovered, and what little could they see in action.
It took them over twenty years to fully study and understand the Bedalan war machine, their own world basically destroyed in the time. At last, they have sent a small scientific starship to a place far from the Bedalan influence... the Biridian System.
There, long ago was sent an automatic probe to wait on a signal - and it was sent all the data the Frylis have gathered.
Hand me a glass of water, boy, now it gets tricky.
Twenty years back, the Frylis have sent their probe to wait on a signal - and it came immediately, from their own ship that arrived from the future! In a nick of time, they knew all the Bedalan secrets - their shield frequencies, weapon specifications, full construction plans of ships, and all the weaknesses along.
It took the Frylis but a month to be winners on every battlefield, and in a year were the mighty Bedalans beaten back to their homeworld. They have modified their specifications as they could, but with the amount of classified information revealed, they were overwhelmed. Desperate, and torturing the few higher officers they could capture, they have learned the secret of their sudden defeat.
Sending the remains of their once great fleet, they entered the Biridian System, several Frylis ships on their heels. With little time remaining, they have revealed their greatest secret, one that was never supposed to be used: an ancient relic of some forgotten race, a powerful particle generator, too unwieldy for a weapon. But in a last suicidal effort, they have turned it against the local sun... creating a sun storm of the largest degree, the outermost layer shed as a small nova was born. Everything in the system was annihilated.
And that was the last jump of the story as far as we know. Two things happened afterwards, or, well, after the moment when the Frylis initiated their first experiment: first, all messages relayed from the system during the whole anomaly's existence burst out again, with the nova following soon after. And second, the Qreshian were attracted to this sector. But let me finish this story first.
The war was a long and brutal one, the Frylis knowing now all the Bedalan secrets, and they in turn knowing the weakness and their cause. But in the end, the Frylis have lost, wiped out to the last, their home system subjected to the very same nova-inducing weapon that stopped their plot in the first place.
Afterwards, there were Qreshian ships found around the Biridian System, patrolling and repelling everyone, soon revealed as the most advanced race of the sector, of unknown origin, beyond retribution. Even the Bedalan, hot on revenge, were persuaded to stay clear of the place.
And today? Well, the Qreshian are still there. They claim the anomaly spans only across a few thousand years of our time, and timespace will return to normal after. Until then, no one may enter it or mess with it, or be prepared to deal with them. They don't seem to enter it either.
And what is in there? Well, I have already told you! It is the nova, of course. Exploding still after those years... well, that's our years, inside, there is only one moment, and that is filled by the nova. No ship known to us could survive it anyway.'
1. Delayed - one Frylis ship has escaped both the nova, and Bedalan crusade - and it has returned from the system right now, all thanks to some rogue time distortion. You meet them, and have a few things to explain, like what you do in their (now nonexistent) territory, what happened to their race, and so on. Have a nice talk, at least until the Bedalan arrive (having their probes hidden all around), and mean to correct this oversight.
2. Smuggler - a small ship with crew of one calls for help, apparently having engine problems. Moments after that, the Qreshians arrive and force their way on board, send in shock troops composed of highly advanced androids, and grab the man. With a strange device they turn him literally inside out, and remove a tiny implanted chip. Turning him normal again (that guy still lives!), they wipe out his memories, and leave with apologies. No one of them robots even scratched. Now what about that living wreck?
3. Message - your ship accidentally captures a message from the time-deformed war, from one of the Bedalan crews that went to their death, sending their last greetings to their families, should they live. As the message is from a timeline that was never realized, delivering the message may earn the characters high respect among the Bedalan, and/or cause all sorts of trouble, like revealed family secrets, love and marriages in the alternate timeline, and even last wills.
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? Responses (11)-12
It turned out a _little_ longer than I've thought, too bad.
Hat tip to Murometz for the name of Qreshians.
We come up with a codex, and Murometz just cannot write a short plot for it. Muro comes up with a codex, and we just cannot write a short plot for it.
Muro is obviously more devious than we suspected...
He is very tricksey precious
I particularly liked options one and three. The idea of all sorts of hell-bent fanatical aliens accidentally targeting the poor PCs appeals to my cruel sense of humor.
Option Three has the potential to go wherever the GM wants; wise players may be leery of delivering the aliens' final messages. It would be cruel to punish the PCs if they do so out of some sort of honorable obligation. I suspect that a little of each outcome would be in order. 'You have the heartfelt thanks of the Bedalian people for bringing the last words of this brave crew to us. Unfortunately, you will now remain as our honored guests indefinitely; you know too much.'
Rule number one of time travel is to leave time alone, and for good reason.
gah, that was me above (apparently commenting on that 'fun voice' at the same time as Wulfhere was :))
Updated: In praise of the newest extension, the location has become one of 'Space'.
Mmm. Time Loops.
I like it !
Fruit Loops are better.
Causality making my head hurt.
I could of sworn I wrote a comment on this. mabye someone went back in time and erased it. Then it could be... ahh no.
bangs head against wall.