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Old 11-27-2016, 10:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

The Storm and Key Society

A high-mana worldline with alternate geography, Luna-Lani is covered by sea and dotted with islands and archipelagos. Humans (and a number of homeline-standard animals) have been transported here by banestorms, as have more exotic creatures and near-humans. The banestorm activity has slackened off over the past 5,000 years or so, although spectral ships appearing out of the mists with alien crews remain common legends; perhaps once in a decade there will be a new people-fall somewhere in the world, usually from a historic echo.

The current TL is 4+4, with the +4 in this case being omnipresent magic. Technical magery is seen as nothing more special than computer use or practice with industrial machinery is seen in Homeline. The standard of living really is much the same as TL8, even for the lowest classes. The largest differences are social, and those very extremely widely from island to island. One particular port, Drowner's Bay, is a notoriously libertine and colorful city. Not the largest, nor the wealthiest, but it is one place where a lost traveler would feel right at home.

The Storm and Key Society is a secretive college of natural philosophers. They are scientists; in fact, a banestormed Laura Bassi was a founder of the college. They just happen to use magic. The organization's goal was to uncover the nature of the world in relation to the origin of spectral ship legends and the people who claimed to have come from other worlds.

It took decades, but the Society eventually discovered the overall nature of the multiverse. Many of the founders and those who joined directly after had died or retired, and the new generation began to suspect that it was possible not only to return people to those few other worlds, but in fact to explore many fabulous new ones. However, there was conflict in the college leadership about the best way to pursue this potential; this was 1790, and a series of escalating conflicts were threatening the political stability of the world. Some felt that the introduction of new resources could halt the coming war, while others felt that it would only spark the conflict and fuel it fiercer.

Ultimately, the already quiet college went fully dark rather than reveal what it knew, and began serious research into practical crosstime science. The global tensions finally broke in 1802, but the war (forty years of fighting between two major alliances) failed to resolve the geopolitical tensions. For the society, there were setbacks, sudden insights, and long doledrums of grim prognostication that it could never be done, but in 1884, the first hominid departed Luna-lani and returned safely (Albright Yee, a Homo Floresiensis staff member and volunteer, selected due to low body weight). The celebrations were brief; a second war broke out only weeks after the successful test, and this one lingered for sixteen years of previously unseen violence. This second war actually had higher casualties of the first, as it had more sustained fighting, and a technomagical shift brought heavier weapons into regular use.

The Society spent this period refining the process and developing spells and equipment. Before the war was out, many of the practical rituals needed for worldline travel were refined to something reliable and practical. The existence of low- and no-mana worlds was a challenge, but it was eventually discovered that a standing gateway situated in Luna-lani could serve to power rituals to bring someone home, even if they were stranded on a no-mana worldline. The peace that followed the 16-year war was welcomed by the people of Luna-lani and the Society. As the society took its first steps into the larger world, political changes took hold in the largest Luna-lani nations, shifting rulership from the monarchies of old to a variety of new, experimental forms. These revolutions were fairly peaceful, but also forced the Society to step carefully to avoid uncomfortable questions; this was the beginning of its modern effort to hide much of its infrastructure on a worldline called "Limnus," a misty, smother high-mana world that is otherwise uninhabited. Unwanted pursuers generally don't think to bring their own air...

The Society grew underground in this way until the early 20th century. It is now 1930* in this worldline, and the lifetime of peace since the 16-year war seems to be at its end. Many in the Society believe that it was a mistake to hide the potential of alternate worlds from their own rather than use it to bring peace to the world. Now they are reaching out quietly to the leadership of the largest nations, hoping to find a way out of the coming and quite possibly apocalyptic war...

*This isn't meant to be WWII, (it's actually more like WWIII) but heck, if you want it to be, go ahead.

Last edited by PTTG; 11-29-2016 at 10:26 PM.
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