OK, this is the (very rough) outline of my planned Eclipse Phase campaign. Please feel free to expand on and criticize my material as much as you like! I’m looking forward to your comments.
Note #1: This campaign will violate some of EP’s usual setting assumptions!
Note #2: This campaign is intended as a sort of cross-over between EP and the Blue Planet setting. It also features a heavily modified version of the adventure Polyhymnia, which was written for SJG’s excellent Transhuman Space.
Somewhere in the outer fringes of the solar system, beyond the orbit of Pluto, is a Pandora Gate or similar mechanism big enough for space vessels to pass through. It leads to the Lambda Serpentis System, 35 light-years from Earth. Discovered during the early stages of the Fall, a secret expedition was sent through the wormhole to establish a colony on Lambda Serpentis II, also known as Poseidon. For reasons unknown, there was a time differential between both ends of the wormhole, so the expedition did end up several decades in the past (about 80 years) and cut-off from Earth. Also, most records about the wormhole and the expedition were lost, and nearly all people in the know killed during the Fall.
The colony on Poseidon, however, did not only survive, but thrive!
Problem: I realize that forgetting such a monumental discovery and loosing an entire expedition is highly unlikely, even when considering the rather apocalyptic Fall of Earth. Therefore, I’m open to alternate suggestions that would allow me to have a secret lost colony in Eclipse Phase...
The Factors use this and other wormholes to travel between the stars in their lighthuggers. They have special devices that allow them to “dial” different wormholes in different systems (basically, they have DHDs as seen in the Stargate TV-franchise). The connection between Earth and Lambda Serpentis was not correctly dialled, which explains the time differential and the fact that the original expedition could not return to Earth.
About 65 years after the initial landing on Poseidon, the Factors come across the colony and establish reserved but friendly contact with the Poseidon-humans. After several years of delicate negotiations, these humans manage to persuade the Factors to take a small group back to Earth. Both sides agree to keep their existence secret from Transhumanity, for different reasons – the Poseidon-humans want to investigate the situation in the solar system before they reveal themselves (or not), while the Factors want to hide their access to the wormhole network.
The Factors arrive in the solar system three years after the Fall. The Poseidon-humans begin to infiltrate Transhumanity.
A militant and isolationist faction of Poseidon-humans establishes a base of operations on a secret aerostat on Venus. They want to suppress all knowledge of the original expedition and the wormhole. Maybe they are somehow influenced by the Factors (or not).
Problem: I need a cool name and a bit more background for the militant faction. They are, after all, the main antagonists!
Charoen is a pre-Fall AGI (maybe even a Promethean?) and a high-ranking Firewall proxy responsible for operations in Earth-Luna-space. Recently, a sentinel brought him some encrypted data containing information about the Poseidon expedition. Charoen has not yet realized the significance of the data, but the militant Poseidon-humans are alarmed. They don’t know enough about Firewall to attack the proxy directly, but they manage to locate a newly minted router codenamed Router 42 and murder him. Using his identity, they assemble a team of sentinels (the PCs) and send them to investigate Charoen and his Polyhymnia nightclub, hinting he could be an unrestrained AGI and threat to Transhumanity. They plan to follow the PCs trail, eliminate Charoen (or let the PCs do the dirty deed) and retrieve the data.
In a perfect world, the PCs will realize in time that they were manipulated and decide to side with Charoen to investigate the Poseidon-humans. This would be the first story arc, concluding with a daring raid on the militant faction’s secret aerostat. I could also imagine a mission where the PCs have to infiltrate a Factor lighthugger to steal a DHD for Transhumanity!
A second story arc would be about a transhuman expedition to Lambda Serpentis and the exploration of Poseidon with the PCs in central positions. Maybe there is a connection between the Factors, Poseidon’s Aborigines and the creators of the wormholes? How would the humans of Poseidon react to a visit from Earth?
So, what do you think? Fun? Rubbish? Too ambitious? Would you play in this campaign? Please let me know!
"You're gonna carry that weight"