Theta Ships and Iron Men
This teaser is the first posting for my “Theta Ships and Iron Men” setting for Savage Worlds. This is one of the four settings covered in my “Savage Characters” project which is available starting in Nov 2014 at DriveThruRpg. The Space Opera/British Naval Fiction setting itself is in development and playtest with some new (alien) races and new skills (starfaring). Sign up for the Dragonlaird Gaming website or like our Facebook group to keep updated on happenings at Dragonlaird Gaming.
Theta Ships and Iron Men
Conversation with Sergeant Major Hannibal Walker, RSN
“Didn’t they teach you nothing ‘bout the Twilight in school? Saints and Admirals preserve us. Fine, our scientists discovered Theta Space nearly a hundred years ago. It was space but not space and it appeared to play jolly with Einstein and his physics. Seizing the opportunity, King Charles convinced Anthony Hargreave, the last Prime Minister we ever had, to declare the discovery a state secret and authorize the Zeus Program. It was kept hush hush for years at least until the trials were successful. The whole world detected a British ship appearing from out of nowhere just a few kilometers from that original space station. We’d made our entrance, so they say. Everyone wanted the secret and our technology but we stuck to our guns. Made a lot of enemies, especially the Americans. It’s funny how they can’t boss you around when you have an advantage over them.
“At first we explored the Solar System, establishing bases here and there to capture key minerals for building more Theta Ships. Improvements came quickly as we learned about the tricks and dangers of the Twilight. We hadn’t forgotten what made us rulers of the world back in the Age of Sail and here we were again. We were more than ready for it. Five years after our entrance, we sailed to Alpha Centauri and back. Farther stars came quickly, at least until we ran head-long into a Spirose trading vessel around Cassius Prime. First came the blue boys and then the skulls, the apes, and more. Suddenly we weren’t the only bright ones in the universe. We’d just walked out of the wilderness and into a galactic society.
“The trade was fantastic. The King chartered Starward as a Royal Mercantile Company with exclusive rights to trade on behalf of Earth. He also became its majority stakeholder. When your figurehead King becomes one of the wealthiest people on the planet, the monarchy starts to have some bite again. Great Britain got rich and was great again.
“Surprisingly, none of these alien civilizations are dramatically more advanced than Earth. They appear to have all too familiar behaviors even if their appearance was bizarre, monstrous, or unexpectedly beautiful. The aliens fight for power, love, jealousy, hatred, altruism, and prejudice while seeking glory, dominance, wealth, enlightenment, and more. The Galaxy is all too human.
“We’ve had our hard times too. The Thod’s Rape of the Colonies woke us to the realities of this galactic society. The King commanded that an armed Royal Stellar Navy be created to defend Earth and the Crown’s interests in the Galaxy. The First Twilight War taught us about battle in Theta Space though at a terrible cost.
“Today, Earth has many rivals for dominance. The reptilian Saurians are cold-blooded and scheming born from a volcanic planet. The Spironetti Empire is millennia old, spans dozens of worlds, and is ruled by blue-skinned humans of astonishing beauty and finely honed treachery. The Thod are a brutal race of simian-like warriors easily swayed by more crafty races. Most disturbing are the Mortos, who come in many shapes and forms though they all appear death-like with bone features right out of your nightmares. Though less in numbers there are dozens more races you can come face to face with across the Galactic Frontier. Quietly surrounding them all are the Androids. Built by the Spirose as a servant class, one wonders what else goes on behind their cold metal eyes.
“As dangerous as the galaxy can be, there is no limit to the number of Earthlings eager to see it for themselves. You showing up in this Recruiting Station is proof enough of that. Signing on with the Royal Stellar Navy is the obvious path to the stars for true loyal and ambitious subjects of the King. There is plenty of adventure to be had as Starfarer flying the Theta Ships or as a Royal Marine fighting pirates, repelling boarders, and protecting diplomats on visits to distant planets.
“If you aren’t up to snuff for the RSN, you might work for Starward. They take second-rates for their fat trade ships. The money is good but there ain’t no honor in it. Just don’t sign up for another nation’s fleet or one of the rogue independents. The RSN has the power and legal right to stop any of them for search, seizure, or destruction if it is determined to be cheating the Crown of its taxes or posing a threat to the Crown, its Colonies, or its citizens. Truly the RSN is the right choice. Just sign on the line and I’ll guarantee your boots will never touch Earth again.”