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 Post subject: Mars 1900: Game Thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:56 pm 
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Location: Near Frankfurt, Germany
Arrival

The date is January 11th, 1900 AD. After almost four weeks of travel, the Martian flying disc finally reached its destination just after local sunset the previous day, touching down in the outskirts of a ruined structure in the southern part of a large lowland region that the scientific team assume was once the bottom of an ocean.

Mars isn´t quite what it seemed to be when viewed through telescopes from Earth. Just from looking out of the flying disc´s viewports during the approach of the red planet, it quickly became obvious that Schiaparelli´s "canals" were nothing but an optical illusion - although some of those manning the viewports during the final descent swore that they saw a more reasonably-sized canal during north-to-south perhaps a hundred miles west of the eventual landing site. Other that the ice caps on both poles, the surface of Mars is an arid desert, much like those already familiar with several members of the expedition.

Night was falling quickly at the time of the landing, as were the local temperatures, leading the expedition´s leadership to decide to postpone leaving the ship until the next morning, when sufficient illumination was available and temperature were more reasonable. That time has now come, and the members of the expedition are eager to get out of their vessel and see for themselves what wonders Mars may have to offer.

***
Date: January 11th
Time: Around 9 AM
Location: Landing Site
***

The first of these wonders, no doubt, is the structure outside which the flying disc had touched down - or rather, what was left of the structure. The disc sits near the center of a large open space, perhaps half a mile long and one quarter of a mile wide; although much of the space was covered in wind-blown sand, enough of it is visible to suggest that the entire expanse is paved, and still in fairly good condition other than a few cracks.

The structure itself is awe-inspiring, and would be even more awe-inspiring if it wasn´t in such a pitiful state. It is surrounded by a circle of twenty broken inward-leaning pylons that, this much is obvious, once formed the foundation of a polyhedron - or rather the top half of one - about one-third of a mile in diameter, with something similar to the pylons forming the edges of the polyhedron, although it is not clear what the polyhedron´s face might have looked like.

By now, few of the pylons reach higher than about two hundred feet. At ground level, the gaps between most pylons - but not the two closest to the disc´s landing sport - have been closed by walls which, too, are now crumbling from the effects of time and the elements. Whereas the pylons look more advanced in construction (and certainly in the engineering needed to construct the original polyhedron) than anything the British Empire could achieve at the time, the walls were clearly constructed in a far cruder fashion, without even the use of cement or any effort to fit the individual building blocks neatly together.
Through the gap between the two closest pylons, and above the top of what remains of the wall, three large buildings loosely resembling ziggurats or Mayan step pyramids can be seen, two smaller to either side of the gap, one larger on the far side within the area surrounded by the pylons, with a smaller plaza, perhaps similar to the one the disc landed on, between them.

Although nobody had really expected to encounter a bustling city right after stepping out of the flying disc, the lack of any sign of inhabitants (at least as far as can be seen from the landing site) is disappointing - as is the complete lack of visible signs of life, not even a few weeds that might have encroached on the abandoned structure.



It is fairly early in the morning on the first real day on Mars. The air is thin, much like in high altitudes on Earth; it is cold, but not unbearably so when wearing the winter clothing the expedition brought along. While the thin air will no doubt impair the physical capabilities of the expedition members, even after they have grown accustomed to it, the lower gravity means that physical activity will be less exhausting, perhaps making up for that disadvantage.

_________________
Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards. Sir Frederick Hoyle
Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Man has earned the right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone completely bat**** insane. xkcd #556
Just like people, stars can be very important without being terribly bright. Phil Plait, "Bad Astronomy"


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:42 pm 
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Professor Jonah Caine, the leader of the expedition, steps out of the flying disc and walked up to where Major Barclay is standing, surveying the terrain.

"Ah, Captain", he says with his usual absentminded indifference to military terminology, "there you are."

He looks at the ruined structure next to which the flying disc had landed.

"Impressive, isn´t it, Captain?" He sighs. "It must have been even more impressive when it was still intact, I´m sure. These pylons must have supported some kind of dome which covered the building complex. What wouldn´t I give to be able to have seen it back then... A marvel of architecture that, I´m afraid, would have made all we have done on Earth look the work of a child playing with toy blocks by comparison."

_________________
Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards. Sir Frederick Hoyle
Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Man has earned the right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone completely bat**** insane. xkcd #556
Just like people, stars can be very important without being terribly bright. Phil Plait, "Bad Astronomy"


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:58 pm 
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Location: Oklahoma, USA
Matty shakes his head, tearing his eyes away from the majestic ruins in front of him.

"Rright Sirr, Ya kin build 'em high herre in this grravity." Matty says, making a standing jump and clearing almost three feet above the red soil. "Yee could put a rroof on Ben Nevis herre."

Giving the Professor a quick nod, Matty turns to the troops standing near the ramp to the saucer.

"Sergeant-Major, set up the perimeter patrol and get a couple of the lads ready for Escort duty into the ruins!" All traces of his scottish accent gone as he uses his full 'military voice'.

With a quick "Aye Sir!" the Sergeant-Major starts barking commands to the wandering soldiers, who quickly begin setting up the security around the saucer. With another almost incomprehensible bark, two of the men disappear back into the saucer and emerge a few minutes later with field packs and rilfes.

Turning back to Professor Caine, Matty says, "I assume you'll be wantin' to visit yon castle now Professor?"

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My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:59 pm 
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"I wouldn´t quite call it a castle, Captain", the professor says. "It seems to have served as one, at least for a while, if these walls are any indication - but I´m sure you can see that the walls aren´t nearly up to the same standards of workmanship as the rest of the structure."

For a moment he seems lost in thought, then he goes on. "I imagine that, after the civilization that built the original structure collapsed, some kind of less advanced successor culture moved in and fortified the place - much like early medieval cultures made use of surviving Roman structures on Earth."

He shakes his head.

"But, don´t let me lecture you, Captain. I would indeed like to take a closer look at these structures - as would others of our expedition, I´m sure."

_________________
Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards. Sir Frederick Hoyle
Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Man has earned the right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone completely bat**** insane. xkcd #556
Just like people, stars can be very important without being terribly bright. Phil Plait, "Bad Astronomy"


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:51 pm 
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Matty nods his head and turns to shout, "Sergeant-Maj!" but is stopped by the non-com standing behind him fully loaded and carrying a smaller pack and an extra rifle.

After a bit of a start, "Erm, Thank You Sergeant-Major." Matty takes the offered pack and quickly adjusts it on his shoulders. He takes the rifle, checks that it is loaded and the safety is on, then puts it over his shoulder. As he turns back to the Doctor, he unconsciously checks the seating of the pistol on his hip.

"Ready when you are sir!"

_________________
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:25 pm 
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As Matty is putting on his gear, Victoria Quartermain strides down the ramp onto the red Martian soil. Matty can only shake his head as he notices that Victoria is wearing stout boots and woolen pants in addition to a heavy parka. Her hunting rifle and a pack slung over her shoulder.

Why can't that woman ever wear a dress? Matty thinks to himself.

_________________
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:35 pm 
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Location: Near Frankfurt, Germany
Professor Caine smiles at the new arrival. "Ah, Miss Quartermain... there you are."

As usual, the professor seems utterly oblivious of her completely un-ladylike attire.

"I think we are just about ready to go."

He turns towards the other expedition members who will be coming along. "Let us do what we came here to do."


(A couple of other nameless and undefined NPC expedition members will accompany the professor and the named PCs - both in case some skill is needed that the PCs don´t have, and to allow PCs of players joining later to have been there all along.)

_________________
Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards. Sir Frederick Hoyle
Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Man has earned the right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone completely bat**** insane. xkcd #556
Just like people, stars can be very important without being terribly bright. Phil Plait, "Bad Astronomy"


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:12 pm 
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Location: Near Frankfurt, Germany
Over the course of God knows how many centuries, the wind has blown drifts of the rust-red Martian sand against the walls of the building complex, some of them at least ten feet tall. More than one expedition member finds themselves fervently hoping that the entrance to any of the three large buildings isn´t hidden behind one such pile of sand.

Just beyond the gap in the makeshift wall between the wrecked pylons, Major Barclay notices something sticking out of one of the smaller sand drifts. Upon close inspection, it turns out to be some bones, presumably the remains of a hand; the bones show a great deal of decay, but are still recognizable as what they are.

From her experience in archeological digs, Victoria knows that this is what bones look like when they have been exposed to the elements for a long time, but she is still at a loss to say how the different conditions on Mars influence the speed of decay. Clearly these bones are centuries, perhaps millenia, old - but how many centuries or millenia, that is a much harder question.

_________________
Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards. Sir Frederick Hoyle
Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Man has earned the right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone completely bat**** insane. xkcd #556
Just like people, stars can be very important without being terribly bright. Phil Plait, "Bad Astronomy"


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:02 pm 
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Location: Oklahoma, USA
Unzipping the top of her parka, Victoria reaches into one of the pockets of her vest and removes a small magnifying glass. Kneeling down next to the skeletal remains, without touching anything, she begins to examine the bone structure and any clothing or jewelry that might remain. Specifically, she is looking to see if it is a human arm or an obviously alien arm and whatever details can be seen without disturbing the remains.

Almost to herself she says, "Well you've been here for a while haven't you."

_________________
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:38 pm 
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As Matty is looking at the skeletal remains, that woman steps in front of him, pulls something out of her clothing and kneels down in front of the arm, complletely blocking his view.

In a huff, Matty turns away from the skeleton and catching the Sargeant-Major's eye says, "Sargeant-Major, lets see if we can find a door around here." He vaguely waves his hands toward the nearest buiding.

With several shouts that are mostly incoherent, the Sargeant-Major directs the two privates to start searching along the edge of the building. As they begin to probe slowly along the edge of the building, the Sargeant-Major turns his back on the building and begins slowly scanning the rest of ruins, looking for threats.

_________________
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.


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