Welcome to the Introduction Chapter!
Are you are caught up with who Karne is and what has been happening? Excellent! Then it's time to begin this thing for you.
Looking around the ship and the surrounding, The Century pauses. He looks back at the Chinese scout ship, the Tiāntáng de Yǒngqì, and investigated it. He discovered the dead bodies of the captain and teacher. He laid them aside and covered them with the broken plastic chassis of the front part of the ship. Both the physical structure of the ship and the engine quite damaged.
A quick inspection showed that the parts of the engine that enabled it to move through hyperspace were completely destroyed and unable to be repaired. The engine could be repaired, but without the advanced plastic alloys on the chassis, would not be space worthy. The only thing that the Tiāntáng de Yǒngqì would be capable of, with just parts for repairing, would be atmospheric flight. The nuclear power system is operational, but currently shut down. It could easily be brought back up with maybe an half hour of work.
It will take advanced electronics to repair the ship. It will also need some metal and basic plastics to get the base chassis back. With the damaged front, the front of the chassis will have to be bent back into shape, and that will require significant and detailed pressure from some sort of equipment.
He was in the foothills of an unknown range of mountains in the distance. The grass has a yellow-ish tint to it. It was not any grass Karne could identify. Bushes and shrubbery marked the landscape. There were no signs of civilization.
Further inspection of the craft turned up several items that could be of use. The small bag of 1000 gemstone chits which weighs very little, and took up no space, is secured. Karne knows their value in many space faring economies. They have a square cut in the center, and then eight cuts around it to make an octagonal shape. The other side is the same. They are about 1.4 carets in size, which is a universal standard.
After that, the only major items that Karne could find were pieces of plastic and metal that broke off from the ship. The major electrical systems were destroyed, such as the food maker. The cryogenic chamber is fully functional, and Karne believes that parts from it could be pilfered for the repair of the ship, but many more would still be needed. The universal translator was attached to the computer, and thus currently out of service, just like the rest of the main computer. One of the red lights on the side of the ship is on and detached. Since it has its own power source, and it is about 1.5 feet long, it can be taken and used as a light source. Despite it’s bulk, it weighs virtually nothing.
The rest of the items are collected and hidden underground behind a nearby boulder. A quick dig and dirt cover up the broken items. He can always return later to use them, and this will stop them from spreading, being exposed, or being stolen.
He moves the bodies behind nearby rocks and builds a quick cairn for them. None had any items save the typical space faring jumpsuit that Karne is wearing. It is a red and blue jumpsuit, with some parts in each color. He leaves the dead their clothes.
Finding food, water, and some basic tools are his first concern. While he can protect himself with his martial art skills, he will have difficulty killing animals and such without them. Using his survival skills, ideally he will find food, shelter and water, but his knowledge of what to eat will not apply to a new world. Basic rules, such as bringing water to 150 degrees for 25 minutes to remove pathogens and such should still likely apply.
The large sun has moved its way across the sky, and the day grows long. The first of four moons begins to peek through the sun lit sky. As Karne moves in the foothills, he makes a quick spear. He uses a rock to shave a staff to a point. He will harden it in fire if he gets the opportunity.
He comes across a cave. Looking around, he decides to move in. He has light, he has a weapon, and he needs shelter. He has no idea how long night is here, or how cold it gets. While his jumpsuit’s material should keep him warm if it gets really cold, it still should be uncomfortable. Plus, without knowing weather patterns, there is a possibly of a storm that could tear through his clothing. As such, he deems shelter to be of a higher need than in a normal place. This cave system looks deep, and there should be food in here too.
He moves into the cave, and with the light in front of him, he begins to hear something else inside. He moves in a little deeper.
In order to play this, you will need to own Might and Magic VI. It’s a bit older, but I thought it would be fun to begin the campaign with a classic game. We'll be doing older and newer games throughout the story, but I wanted to start with something older and classic, in order to retain the sci-fi classics and important modern franchises for later in the story.
It's a great fantasy RPG from the mid-90s, and it has awesome classic feel. It's the best in the 9 game series by a long shot. And it even has that amazing art by Larry Elmore.
Check out M&M at gog.com for super cheap. It's part of a collection of fantasy stars. You need to create a new game from your M&MVI. You will be able to choose four characters in your party. Select a male knight as the one in front. The other three won‘t matter. Change the stats so that Karne, the male in front, begins with a 25 in 3 each stat save Luck, where 10 is the starting. In order to do this, you will need to reduce the stats of other characters. Begin with these skills: body building and spear. You should already begin with swords and leather armor.
Begin the game. You will be in front of a town. Equip the spear and leather armor, which represents the jumpsuit. Make no modifications to your party members.
Turn towards the west and walk along the road. When you see goblins, keep going forward and ignore them. Turn north after the town wall ends and follow the river to a bridge, cross the river and head west down a path into the mountain that has a building at the end. Skip past the goblins. Enter the building. You are in a room. Fight through the room and other connected rooms to the east and west. Allow your party members to die, save Karne.
Once you have cleared out the three rooms of the bats and snakes, the dungeon moves down and into a cave system, save the game, and that’s where we start. If your Karne is damaged, you can run back out and find healing at the temple, or rest away from anything. Your goal is to clean out the caves leading to the first large cavern, and then the cave leading to the second. Once you have cleared out the second cavern, this cave system is considered finished, (even though in the game it continues).
Karne enters the caves, but runs into some bats inside. After taking them out, he runs into giant spiders and bats after the cave widens. He begins to kill more bats and large spiders, but there are too many, and he starts to get injured. Before It becomes something serious, he retreats and regroups. He is not chased, and uses the opportunity to plan further exploring.
Beyond the newly killed spiders and bats the cavern widens and a large chamber with natural light and a central energy dispersal area looks back. This is an unknown phenomenon. On Earth, this would have been artificial, but here, it could be natural. There are exits from this giant chamber, and Karne decides to skip the scientific analysis for now to focus on exploring this cave and being safe.
Both exits lead to the same tunnel and Karne continues to explore. While the naturally illuminated cavern is a good spot to rest the night, the presence of giant spider creatures leads him to believe that further explorations are necessary for his safety.
Another pack of bats and some more of the 20 centimeter long spiders attack and he takes them down. The cave widens again into another giant cavern and snakes appear.
They are fairly large. While they have a superficial resemblance to cobras, their coloration is different and they aren’t the same. They have two tails - a bit odd. All of the snakes are killed and Karne grabs the bodies of two and moves back to the first cavern.
After double checking to ensure that there are no issues with snakes, bats or spiders Karne moves to inspect the energy dispersal. It is occurring at a regular pattern, which is unusual. After inspection, it appears to be mechanical in nature. He can’t tell where the electricity goes, but the slot in the ground shows it is manmade. Or sapient-made rather.
The cobra-ish creatures are skinned and gutted. Exposing a flammable object to the energy discharge lights it on fire, and he has one burning quickly. He cooks the snakes, fire hardens the top of his spear, and drinks from a dripping wall to one side of the cavern, where water filtered and cleaned by the bedrock tastes clean.
He considers the planet he is on. There have been many theories explaining that under similar circumstances, similar evolutionary tracks may be followed at times. Clearly, this is a likely candidate for a Class M planet, and snakes, spiders and bats appear similar to those on Earth. The spiders were a lot larger, and the bats both larger and aggressive towards humans. The snakes were not exactly like those on Earth. There is differentiation, but also a lot of similarly. The rocks here are sedimentary ones, but the structure of one of the main ones is different than the ones he knows. Another is limestone, and that‘s an interesting fact. The planet has similar grass, but yellower, similar snakes, but with two tails, and similar rocks. In the area he has explored, it certainly is similar to Earth in some ways.
In the Cave
Karne has pondered his situation. The energy release was clearly artificial, thus indicating habitation of intelligent life. He had nothing but a light, a spear, some gems, and a jumpsuit. Sure, he could remember his life in the lab, it was not something that drove him. What should he do next? While he could not stay here, was his lot to make a house, hunt and fish, make his own clothes, and live in quiet solitude?
He felt a yearning to explore. Not just because he was on a new planet, and information was the key to survival. He might justify his need in those terms to another, but this was something deeper. He knew he was a clone, and that this desire was not given to him. Cloning always resulted in random feelings, personalities, and such. The technique was not perfect, and was not intended to be. He still had his essential human-ness.
Clearly, something had happened between him going to sleep and him waking in the destroyed heap of the ship. What was it? It must have been something. He could only guess, but it was clear that he was being sent somewhere. He recalled a conversation about the nature of his cloning. He was the first of a new wave of clones that would have the skills and abilities that he had. Were they spread throughout the galaxy? Were they a vanguard of scouts and explorers?
He considered and then dismissed that idea. It just didn’t seem likely. At the time of his last wakening, he was the only one still made, the prototype. If there were many others like him out there, then that would take a year at least, perhaps longer. He doubted they would have waited that long without a single defrosting.
The Century looked down at his weapon. He desired something more than a fire hardened stick. This was not his destiny, his fate. He did not know what had happened to send him here, but he knew it had to have been something very serious.
He left the cave and cut some branches from nearby bushes. He did not know the type, but he brought them back. He cut some chitin off the largest spider that he fought. He began to use the fire to straighten the wood, and then trimmed the bark. More sharpened points followed, and in a few hours, he had made a few long flexible darts. Two more hours passed and he used animal parts, water, fire and wood to construct an atlatl. He now had four javelin like weapons he could fling at a distance, plus his spear for close in combat.
It was a beginning.
Meeting the Cetaxi
He left the cave and found that day was strong. The heat was definite, but not oppressive. The night had been roughly 10 hours long. He had awoken near mid day, and the combination of exploring, fighting, sleeping, building a cairn, and making weapons had kept his internal clock a bit off balance. He wasn‘t sure how long the day had been yesterday.
Now he moved off to explore. The light was still on, and would remain on for at least a few years. If he connected it to a electrical switch, he could turn it on and off again, but it was in a set on position when the Tiāntáng de Yǒngqì has crashed. Unlike US vessels, the Chinese prided themselves on their ships being able to take off and land on planetary bodies. The US vessels had been built for space in space, but even the largest Chinese vessels were built on earth and launched. Lights along the vessel were needed, and had self contained power sources. The result was the one split off from the ship that he carried. During the day it was a bit bulky, but he had tied a bit of vine around two of the broken parts and was carrying it slung across his back. The spear was tip up, and used as a staff, and the atlatl and javelins were at his side. The snakeskins were wrapped and tied around his right ankle, he had cooked the other snake and the meat was in one of them. He wore useful boots that would last a while. Finally, he had prepared a fire bundle with local items, and hopefully should be able to start a fire quickly on the next night.
As Karne moved through the foothills, he saw the land below him was forested. With mountains above, foothills to the left and right, and a forest far off below, he still saw no signs of intelligent life.
Two days passed and Karne ate a creature that appeared to be a furry snake like thing. It cooked well, and had no poison glands or anything that would denote bad meat. He drank at several streams he passed, and yet he still saw no signs of civilization, until he heard a noise from above him on the third day of his journey. It was a few hours after midday, and he had timed the days here at around 25 hours, and it must be summertime. Above him, he saw an unusually shaped aircraft flying in the distance. It was only in the sky for a short period of time, and it looked to be rising as it flew. It looked like it was shaped like a perfect aerodynamic foil. It left the sky for some other part. Now Karne knew a lot more about the land around him.
He had chosen to remain in the foothills due to the good views it had given him. He was attacked an hour later by a giant snake and he killed it from a distance with his now twelve darts from the atlatl and again gutted and ate serpent flesh.
Another day passed without incident. It was now five days since his crash, and he saw his third sign of civilization.
Karne spies a cabin among the hills in front of him, over a ridge. He cautiously approaches, and sees no signs of anyone around. After investigating, he knocks, and then announces his presence. There is no answer, and the door opens by pulling it open. It has no lock - it’s too primitive. Entering, Karne notes that there is not a lot of the usual things one might expect here. No food, no clothes, nothing ephemeral. This may be someone’s temporary abode, perhaps when the fish bite or It a certain season. Or, perhaps this was abandoned, either by choice or emergency. The only items Karne takes are a knife and canteen made from a gourd. Nothing else would make his survival more likely.
The cabin is one room, low to the ground, and The Century has to bend over inside. There are two bedrolls with straw and blankets on the floor. It’s still morning as the local sun is moving up from the horizon, and there’s no reasons to stay the night tonight. He heads back out.
Outside of the cabin is a trail. Karne takes it as it moves towards the forest. After an hour of moving, he sees the beginning of a large lake. Two more hours and there are other signs of civilization along the trail. It has begun to widen, and he has passed a campfire site and several shelters made of wood. The trail is winding towards the lake, and the trees from the forest have embraced it. He doesn’t recognize any of them, but one of the trees, fairly common, resembles the oak family pretty closely.
Another hour passes and the lake is just in front of Karne. It appears to have a number of large islands on it. As Karne approaches, he finds a small group of people that appear to have landed on the shore. Their boat is destroyed and they have very little in the way of items. Karne decides to help them survive, and learn their language and more about the place.
These people call themselves the Cetaxi. The Century stays with them for a week, helping them to make fire, make weapons and tools, and build some huts, so they can make this their new home.
Making a Village
In order to play this part, you will need the casual game Virtual Villagers: The Tree of Life.
You can download it here for free: You get it free for one hour, which should easily cover the goals here. My recommendation is to make your own villagers and skip the tutorial. Experimentation should give you a good idea where to put your people for value. Skip mothers and children, and focus on gathering, building, and so forth. You can figure it out from there.
Make 15 knives, Build a fire, Gather 200 food, Build the two huts
The matriarchal society of the Cetaxi show Karne what mushrooms in the area are edible. In return, he helps them to make fire, and then knives, by taking bone from a giant fish skeleton on the lake’s beach, cutting parts for a knife, and then fire hardening the bone into a cutting device. He helps them to build the huts and gather food from the mushrooms, berries, and hard fruit in the area.
After a week with them, everything is set. They have shelter, food, tools, and fire - all of the ingredients for success. He has learned Cetaxi at the proficient level. They tell him that they live on a few of the islands in the lake, and that they were sent here by their shaman to help bring a tree sacred to the Cetaxi back to health and life. It sits above the village, and helping it is their ultimate goal.
The lake has several Cetaxi settlements around it in various places, but the islands are their true home. The ones on the coast tend to be settlements that have left the Cetaxi ways behind and embraced the ways of the past. The people fight against several large carnivorous beasts in the lake that will attack them, but all of hem are rare. One of them was spotted and they abandoned their boat and swam to shore while a beast tore into the boat, hoping to find one of the Cetaxi in it. These Cetaxi have no knowledge of this world beyond the lake and its shores. No other creatures visit it on this side, but there are rumors that the other Cetaxi settlements on the shores who abandoned the ways of the people have made contact with outsiders. Contact isn’t frowned upon, and strangers are welcome.
After further discussion, they talk about a taboo island in the lake, smaller, with ruins. It makes screeching noises during the day sometimes and they believe that these are the legendary sunghosts. Karne spent the last day fixing their boat, and will be taking it to Sunghost Island to explore it in detail.
The next day, The Century sets out on the boat. He arrives at Sunghost 2 hours later, and parks his boat. On the island he sees an old, corroded parabolic antenna which begins moving about ten minutes after he arrives. The old joints screech. This must be the source of the “sunghosts.”
Karne grabs his spear and begins exploring the island more fully. Behind some trees are signs of an old station. It may have been low tech, like radar, or used for astronomical purposes, or perhaps was designed to connect with satellites and spaceships. The door that entered the area is covered by rocks, since it was right under a hill. He explores, kills a giant rat, and then finds a place where the corroded wall was open by a large tree falling against it. Karne grabs his spear, and moves in.
Island of the Sunghosts
These ruins will be represented by Vault 92 from Fallout 3.
It’s in an out of the way place and just one minor side quest takes you there, so it’s likely that any saved game you have from Fallout 3 will have Vault 92 fresh and virginal. If you’ve wiped it out, just load an earlier save.
For this, you will drop all items prior to entering the Vault. Feel free to leave them in your house. Weightless items staying with you are fine, such as medicines. You are only allowed to enter with a Knife and Pool Cue. (representing the spear). It doesn’t matter what level you are, because you will not be doing the full Vault. You will only be doing the top parts. Remember that any items you find in the Vault you can use in the Vault, but you will not keep them afterwards, so you can find a gun and use it under the rules (only if you want, of course).
You will enter Vault 92, and then save the game. You will need to fully explore and clean out the top level only - just the level with blowflys. It is not my expectation that you head deeper and clear out the mirelurks. Wear a quick jumpsuit of some sort with a DR 2 or 3 thing, and that’s good enough. Leave behind any companions you may have. (The sections that take you away from this level do not exist, you only need to clean out this one)
Exploring the Sunghosts
Karne heads in and finds a few medical supplies inside. This building goes into the hills and is deeper than the roof would indicate. Much of the area is collapsed. The electricity is causing a few minor things in the walls to glow, but nothing else is on. It must be at least 100 years since this place was abandoned, and perhaps longer.
He moves in and immediately runs into a flying insect that shoots stingers. He kills it, but detects a mine. Using his skills, he deactivates it and moves in. He finds two more of these primitive mines. He goes right and opens a door, heading out.
He explores for a bit in this direction before the corridor bends to the left. He has defeated several more of these insects. So far, there doesn’t appear to be any other creatures in here besides them. His spear and darts are tearing into them.
He finishes down this way and heads back to the room with the mines and bugs and decides to go left, but runs into a door that is locked. He looks around and finds a loose wire to trip the electronic part. It opens, he kills another of the bugs, and then disarms a fourth mine. Karne moves this way, moves down a flight of stairs, and finds a medical room with a pair of the bugs, and clears them out.
He returns and goes forward from the first room. He heads down stairs after spearing another of the buggies, and arrives at a large room, which looks like it was used for recreational purposes. He takes damage from the five flying insects he encounters in this area, but manages to kill them all. He explores the area and finds several adjacent rooms, including a kitchen which is guarded by a gun trap and has many eggs of these insects in it. He disarms the trap and investigates it. Whoever built it used an metal pipe to put shells of an unknown gun and would fire them out of the pipe. The trigger was along the ground and against the wall. He takes the four shells and continues to explore.
Eventually he finds an office, and while nothing is in here that is hooked up to power, he does manage to find some log books. They are not written in a language he knows, so he takes them with him. After a full search, he finds the following things he takes:
4 shells of an unknown gun
5 mines, which can be reset
3 logbooks from Sunghost Island
2 bottles of unknown pills, cannot be identified by his skills. One is almost empty, the other full.
1 metal canteen, supplement the gourd one for now
1 metal knife replacing the bone one
1 wire, used for lockpicking
He spends the night on the island, and eats some mushrooms and berries. The dish only moves during the day, which suggests that it is tracking something that can only be tracked then. From this island, he can see movement on the other side of the lake, and something is moving at the top of the trees. The following day he makes for the main Cetaxi camp on a centrally located island. They welcome him with open arms, after hearing about how he lent aid to the ones sent to help the sacred tree. He greets them in Cetaxi, and gives them back their boat. They give him shelter and food for as long as he desires, and they continue to seem very friendly.
A few hours later, he overhears that word has just reached the central tribe that a group of nearby Cetaxi settlements are having some serious hardships. The ruler of the Cetaxi is just a short distance away, so Karne walks over to her and inquires about the Cetaxi. She explains that the Cetaxi on the shores have left the ways of the Cetaxi long ago, but still are Cetaxi. They don’t heed her as their ruler. A diplomat from them has arrived a few days ago and discussed competition with two other races of creatures on the planet. The villages there were getting out muscled. Karne asks to talk with the diplomat, and she agrees. Karne is taken to the diplomat’s hut and greet her.
The diplomat is wearing clothes and carrying tools beyond the technology of the Cetaxi that Karne has met thus far. The diplomat expresses the need that her people have for assistance, and Karne agrees to help. The next day they ferry him to the opposite side of the lake from which he came, with all of his things intact. The diplomat comes with him.
While the general Cetaxi he has previously met are farming hunter gatherers with a level of technology roughly equal to 2500 years ago, these seem to have technology up to 500-600 years ago. However, the society of these Cetaxi is much different than would be expected. While they have strong technology in some areas, such as clockwork, they are weak in others. In fact, they don’t raise animals, and they don’t farm. They instead rely on a hunter-gatherer style of providing food. This lack of an agrarian economy is highly interesting. After consideration, Karne believes that the Cetaxi society could not have formed naturally like this. The concept of things like houses, fences, schools, government and more all come from agriculture. A society could not have developed naturally along these lines without it. He should be observing long rows of plants being harvested, massive pastures for animals for clothing and meat, and more. Fruit trees grow randomly instead of orchards, berry bushes similarly, and these large fruit plants he sees on the ground are also uncontrolled. There are random animals just walking around, such as large lizards, with no domestication.
It is much more likely that Cetaxi society is a result of a society degrading rather than going forward. Perhaps agriculture or something similar became taboo, or perhaps something happened to devolve their society. Whatever the cause, the result is an odd society with brick and glass and steel and clockwork, and yet people going out and gathering berries and killing animals they find in the woods and wearing their furs.
This is the first time in this storyline that we will be playing through an entire video game through multiple games and scenarios. From womb to tomb. The first few games were just preambles to get you used to how this works. I have a few video games planned for here and there that will played all of the way through, and I wanted to kick things off with a more relaxing strategy game, rather than the super intense games that will be coming down the road.
This game is called The Nations, Gold, from roughly 15 years ago It is a strategy sim with a very tongue in cheek and humor laden storyline. Feel free to play along, if you wish, by grabbing it from GoodOldGames. Knock your way through the tutorial, and then start the Amazon campaign, with Paradise Lost, in the original game campaign. The Amazons in the game are, in fact, the Cetaxi. You will play several missions, up to and including A New Age.
Building Up the Cetaxi
Karne’s arrival at the island, just off the shore, with the core settlement of one of the Cetaxi settlements in the area is a major affair. A banquet is held in his honor. Normally, males are not accorded much of an honor, but since he is clearly not a Cetaxi (for example, they are a little under 5 feet tall, he is well over six. They have emerald eyes with a shockingly diverse amount of green eyes, but that is it, with a unnatural pale pink pale skin for this area with outdoor lives, and so forth.
He is informed that there are other major Cetaxi villages nearby. They have worked stone and wood to make very comfortable lives, and in this area, no village acknowledges another as an overlord. They are all independent of each other. This is shaken by the competition from each other, and two other sources in the area - the blue-skinned humanoid Pimmons and the insectoid Sajikis. Karne learns a bit about each of them.
The combination of completion from the Pimmons and Sajikis, as well as many other Cetaxi tribes, means that each Cetaxi village is losing a battle for resources, trade, and warriors. After consideration, Karne agrees to help this village, and will try to help them grow large enough to become a threat to other Cetaxi. Consolidating the Cetaxi is the first long term goal of The Century.
Karne begins by getting the 12 residents of this island to work to build a schoolhouse where he can train people away from the grind. After that is complete, he works to erect another building to use to teach the locals how to improve themselves and build new types of buildings. While other Cetaxi may know how to make wood into lumber or other things, these do not.
By the end of the first week, he has built another house, a schoolhouse, and a laboratory. He has taught them how to build houses with room for four families instead of two, increasing his space - this is a small island. They already have a dock, so he is working on teaching them about carpentry. Meanwhile, he taught a couple of locals how to get useable stone from large rocks and how to get wood from trees and this village now has people actively gathering more than food from the area.
His next goal is to build a carpentry, work on teaching fishing, and then destroy a house for a better one. There’s just not a lot of space here. He has docks, but needs to build boats big enough for more than transporting one or two people very slowly.
The second week, the carpentry is up and running, with steam power, and he teaches a local how to use it. The village’s prosperity has attracted a few people to join them. He does destroy a house to build a better one, and it’s almost done at the end of the week. Meanwhile, he teaches them about fishing, hunting in more detail, and the value of trade at set shops or marketplaces for commerce.
A couple of days into the new week, Karne learns that you can trade with these cross tribe merchants. He trades some rocks for a rare greenish metal translated roughly as verite, which can be used to hire and keep researchers as a source of money. He also has built their first major boat. We arrive at the mainland and start exploring and harvesting here. Karne orders a warehouse and 4 family house built here as the start of a new camp. Another boat is ordered. Meanwhile, a fishing hut is built on the island, and a fisher and hunter are trained. Ore veins have been found on the mainland, so it’s just a matter of expanding there. Karne taught them about military lessons, such as palisades and barracks, and now moves to a 6 family home.
By the end of the third week, the village has two boats, completed the warehouse and 4 family house on the mainland, started work on a tavern there, laid the foundation for a barracks there, and discovered a bandit fort to the south. Additionally, how to build strongholds and quarries are taught, and Karne is working on teaching them mining. The population is now at 34.
The end of the month arrives. The village has 5 operational boats, and has built a barracks, 6 family house, witch doctor’s hut, tavern, warehouse, 4 family hut, and well in the south. A plague hit and 5 of the Cetaxi are sick, so the witch doctor will hopefully assist with that. 47 people are now in the tribe, as more flock to the expanding group. Discoveries taught include the wheelbarrow, temples, witch doctor huts.
A few days into the next month, a bazaar has been ordered on the island and a 4 family house is finished on the mainland. Soap making has been taught, and then the village hits 60 people, and Karne is summoned. A feast is held, as this small village has become pertinent in the politics of the region.
Karne noted how easily the Cetaxi acclimated to the new technology. When he brought steam power to the carpentry, it wasn’t even questioned. They adapt quite quickly to new things. This tribe is setting up a new village deep inland and by a running stream. They’ve already started, and Karne heads in to join them. The other two races are nearby, and contact between this particular tribe of Cetaxi and them could happen anytime.
He arrives and begins to look around. There are more dangerous animals nearby, and a wolf-ish creature attacks almost immediately. It leaves, but wounds one of the people. Based off the prosperity and prestige this tribe has gained in the last month, this splinter village has 24 people in it already by the time The Century finds it.
By the end of the first week, 9 more people have joined this new venture. Karne ordered and completed a Lab, Carpentry, 4 Person Dwelling, 2 Person Dwelling. Research on the 4 person domicile, and carpentry are complete. He also trained a pair of huntresses to deal with the many wolfs after several more attacks.
Contact was established with both tribes, as they sent people to gather food from the same places. Both are experiencing food issues where they are. Karne sent a gift of 30 pieces of fruit to the Pimmons. The Sajiki prefer meat, and he doesn’t have enough yet, but hopefully, with two huntresses, he will get enough next week to send over a similar number to assist them.
At the beginning of the second week, the Pimmon Chief sends us 50 bottles of mushroom juice as thanks. Karne gets the merchants on the line and trades most of our stone mined by two stonemasons to the merchants for fish and meat. He gives both to the Sajiki. They are very pleased and send back 50 cactus milk bottles. Apparently they wanted to match the Pimmons. With good relations with our neighbors, and a large stock of valuable goods that the Cetaxi don’t know how to make, this village is doing well enough and Karne is thanked again.
Timeline - 1 month, 1 week, 4 days
They move a bit south, and set up another town hall and houses. They want to find verite, since it is hard to find on the islands, but quite valuable as a commodity. No mines have been found outside of Pimmon and Sajiki territory, so trade will need to be the way that the Cetaxi will gain this valuable material. Unfortunately, the merchants have heard of this need and have raised their prices for verite, suggesting that trade with the Pimmons and Sajiki is the way to acquire it.
Karne notices that the village is fairly vertical in here. He orders development of technology for barracks, palisades, carpentries, fisherman, 4 family houses and warehouses. He builds a warehouse at the southern end of the village. He also builds a fisherman’s dock, two houses, and a carpentry. To the south is a strip of land that Pimmons constantly cross to gather food in his area, so he begins to build a palisade there to cut off them from the resources by his tribe. He also trains an additional lumberjack and stonemason in order to gather resources necessary. By the end of the week, he has traded some extra stone for verite, and begun to complete his mission. The population had begun at 22 and finished at 37
During the second week, Pimmon stonecutters cross into Cetaxi land to take out stones, and Karne orders the Palisade finished first, which cuts off the Pimmons from the Cetaxi land. A witch doctor hut is built, as are two more 4 family house, a well, a quarry and another tavern. Research includes quarry, mining, temple, marketplace, and a 6 person house and 44 people now. More trades of stone and fruit for the gaol - verite.
Week 3 begins with the construction of a temple. We also work on a second fisherman’s hut, a third well, a marketplace, a 4 person, a soap factory, and a palisade to the north. We also start work on a second temple after the first is too crowded. 52 people. Trades for steel and verite occur. Research on strongholds, soap, water pumps, wharf.
Karne begins week 4 by building two more soap makers, and a water pump. Fish is traded for steel and verite, and we build two 6 person houses and another marketplace near the end of the week. Research on walls, police, wheelbarrows, retraining and metallurgy. At the end of the month, we have 73 people.
Using his knowledge of agriculture, Karne brings the first farm to them. They build three of them, a third inn and temple, and 6 family house and a bakery. Research: agriculture, pastry, ranching, sausage. Population is 106.
At the beginning of the next week, Karne focuses on trading. Although he does build a new 6 family home., nothing else is built., and a few days later, they village has 256 verite pieces and his task is completed.
Timeline - 2 months, 3 weeks
After establishing this tribe of the Cetaxi as the prominent one, they begin to consolidate with the others. A few islands off the coast of this lake have various small factions, and Karne volunteers to head out to an inland and begin to bring the Cetaxi there together. The village he has holds a wharf, lab, houses, school, 25 people, and is a good starting point. He suspects that many boats will be needed to connect the people of the islands together.
Karne finds the place thick with trees. At the end of the first week, the population is 44, and he has built three boats with lumber traded for with stone. He has built: Witch-Doctor Hut, 3 4 family houses, carpentry. Being worked on - Temple, 4 family house. Researched - Palisade, witch doctor, carpentry, 4 family, temple, currently working on 6 family.
Early in the week, he orders a warehouse built by the wharf and builds a pair of 6 family home and 2 soap makers, market, quarry, an extra tavern and a water pump. He teaches people how to harness steam power to turn a giant spatula thing at the soap area. Researched - 6 family house, warehouse, water pump, quarry, mining, marketplace, fishing. Plots are laid out for two fishing huts, and the population is 69.
The third week sees research in agriculture, pastries, metallurgy, barracks, retraining. We build two farms, a bakery, a third tavern, two 6 families, a second market, and then open up a new area on another island, by an ore vein. A warehouse, ore mine, 6 family house, and tavern are planned, and supplies start coming over. We have maximized number of boats running around. Then, as the week nears its end, we have well over 120 people, and the tribes meet to coalesce.
Elapsed Time - 3 months, 1 week, 6 days
The Cetaxi are now converging under the banner of the matriarch in this area. As thanks, Karne is offered a woman as a mate, but he declines. The next day, he hears of trouble by one of the Cetaxi camps, as a bit of muscling has occurred between the three races regarding supplies. Karne steps in.
Watch the video in the game, and then choose the A New Age campaign. If you want, you can choose the other fight-y one, but that will not be the canonical path Karne chooses. (It might be more fun though!)
In order to get some space, Karne decides to push for peace and more distance between the villages. In order to show his plan, he allows leaders from all three factions to meet for dinner. During that dinner, he uses his diplomacy skills to get everyone to agree to no hostilities. Afterwards, he realizes that the Pimmon language is the tongue used in the three books he kept from Sunghost Island. Right now he has too much to do, but later, he anticipates coming back to the Pimmon language and learning it.
For now, he pushes to build up for a new establishment and strikes up relations with the Cetaxi main village, the Pimmons and Sajikis. He finds one already built, and heads for it.
While the Pimmons welcome Karne openly, the Sajiki here are a bit more cautious. After hearing from a trader that they trade for soap a lot, he trades some fruit for soap and sends it as a gift to the Sajiki, and they happily accept, and begin to warmly embrace the increased settlement. Otherwise, he is developing this village the same as most - huntresses, 4 family house, carpentry, etc.
Buildings include 3 4 family homes, carpentry, two fishing huts, and a warehouse. A bazaar and witch doctor hut have had their foundation laid out. Population has risen to 42 from 25. A good week.
A third fishing hut, and a 6 family dwelling follow. Meanwhile, research grants temple, barracks, palisade, and many more cool things. Another well is drilled. We start working on a palisade to the north to keep us isolated from the other groups, and allow us to harvest in peace. The population is up to 69 again. 2 temples have been built.
Week 3 sees 97 residents in the village now, and a lot of effort on finishing the northern wall. 3 soap makers, a few 6 family houses, a verite mine and another marketplace are built.
Karne starts out in week 4 working on farms and a bakery. A third temple and bazaar are needed as well, and built. Another pair of houses, another well, and more are added. Population is at 127 by the end of the week. He gifts soap to each of the nearby races.
After ten more days, and more infrastructure, he builds a few military buildings, and with a population of 171, the Cetaxi call it.
Elapsed Time - 4 months, 3 weeks, 4 days
With a happy tribe, fully under one banner, and good relations with the Pimmon and Sajiki, Karne’s job is finished. With friendly relations established, Karne is allowed to move to the Pimmon camp for a week, and then the Sajiki camp for a week. (He learns both languages Pimmon and Sajiki, he is now essentially level 2).
Similarly to the Cetaxi, the Pimmon have no idea about what happened to their culture. They just assume that things are done the way they’ve always been. The Sajiki, on the other hand, have a belief that they were born in fire, generations and generations ago. With a fast gestation period, and childhood, twenty generations would be 75-ish years here on this planet.
Winter has arrived. It’s still not that cold, and Karne has worked out that he is in a warm place, probably closer to the equator of this world than not. It’s not too hot, but the plants around the lake have a rainforest feel and it rains a lot here.
After learning Pimmon, the books are opened and read. They are log entries. This dish station monitored and communicated with a space station whose name translates roughly as Fortune’s Five. At night, the station was not above the dish and communication was more difficult, so the dish did not move. That’s why it only moved during the day, to follow the station’s path.
The log entries document its position. They are simply a scientific journal. They do not state what happened to abandon the outpost decades and decades ago. He does learn the calendar of this planet.
The days are just short of 25 hours (which he had already figured). There is a ten day period, and five of those is roughly equivalent to a month. There are 6 such months, and then 4 days between one year and the next. Therefore, there are 304 days, 25 hours per day. Karne has been here for 166 days. When he arrived the night was 10 hours, and now it is about 15. Now that he knows the calendar, he realizes that he has been on this planet for more than half of a year.
It’s fairly obvious that some sort of catastrophe occurred somewhere on this world. Perhaps it’s localized, or perhaps widespread - unknown at this time. The log books in Pimmon demonstrate that they had the ability to operate high tech equipment a while ago.
Karne ponders his next move. He could live here with the Pimmon, Sajiki and Cetaxi for the rest of his life, or at least for a while. He searches his feelings. With no history of who he is, he has no established pattern of behavior. Why did he stay for months, helping the Cetaxi? It’s clear that his time was a lot of fun, but now, with few challenges on the horizon, it is time to leave.
There is no question that he has a bit of wanderlust, at least right now. He doesn’t know why, or for how long, but he wants to see more, go do more. He’s happy to help out folks where necessary, but he wants to explore, to find, and to be.
He gathers his things and wishes the various peoples of the area well, and moves on. He takes a canoe up a river that ended at the lake. By day, the vegetation shows the glow of the orange sun (clearly a Class K, main sequence star) against the water. By night, the moons are out and spectacular.
Down the River
Every so often, Karne notices signs of more advanced life. A plane in the sky, a visible satellite, or something else. It’s not common, but it does give him hope that someone is out there beyond this area. Five days pass. The Storn River has a strong current, and fighting it is not easy, but it gives him more mileage than walking would. He has managed to fish for food, and used his atlatl to kill another of the small furry snakelike mammals for the occasional change to his diet. The ground is ripe in mushrooms that he has learned are edible and safe. Each night, he pulls into shore and sets a fire, cooks his food, purifies a day of water, and sleeps easily. There are few predators here, and none that he has found to fear. This is wholly unlike where he landed, which had the large and violent serpents, spiders, and bats, among other creatures.
On the sixth day, he finds a village along the river. It’s a Pimmon settlement, and he stays the night with them. They dine on a bread made from a local grain that does not resemble any Earth equivalent. It’s bulkier and more bitter than wheat. They add a mushroom paste to make it sweeter and moist. After dinner, Karne is quartered in one of several permanent guest tents.
At night, a howling sound can be heard from the river, and Karne bolts awake. He hears sounds of anguish from a Pimmon and cries from several areas. Into the commotion he bolts, and he sees something attacking the village from the river. Even in the torchlight, it hard to make out exactly what it is. He doesn’t have his weapons or anything, but he doesn’t believe there is time, so he rushes out to face whatever is out there.
Fight by the River
In order to simulate this fight, you don’t need to do too much. All you need to do is download M.U.G.E.N. and install a few characters. Here are the links for the files:
MUGEN - http://www.heroesofgaming.com/mugen/p13_sectionid/5/p13_fileid/137
Mars People - http://page.freett.com/deepseacrosscat/marsworks.htm or here http://www.trinitymugen.net/forum/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=item378
Optional - Download A Shack in the Forest stage - http://darktemple.paodemugen.com.br/stages.htm
If the hosts stop, you can find MUGEN easily through Google. MUGEN is a freeware game system for 2D fighting. You will need to manually add the right characters. Keep it, because we will likely head back to it later, although that’s not certain.
Open up all of the files, and extract MUGEN. Follow these steps:
Open up the chars folder in the Win Mugen folder. Open up the mars_people folder and place it here.
Optional - open up the KFM folder here. Open the KFM document and edit the name and display name of the character to Karne from Kung Fu Man. Save and close. Do the same in the Mars People and rename them Larinma.
Optional - Return to the Win Mugen folder and open up stages. Place the two files in the A Shack in the Forest here. Not in a folder, just open in the directory.
Return to the Win Mugen folder again. Open up the data subfolder and then open the select document. Make the following changes:
Paste this over the middle one of the “kfm, stages/kfm.def”: “mars_people, random” without the quotes. Delete the third kfm line. Edit the top one by removing the stages/kfm.def and adding random. Keep the comma.
Optional - Replace both stages/….def lines with this: “stages/TP-SF.def” Without the quotes. Save and close.
Open WinMugen. Choose Survival then select Karne. You must defeat three Mars People aka Larinma in a row without falling to defeat this challenge. Look up the file marked readme in the KFM folder to find out Karne’s moves. (If you are randomly assigned yourself after taking out one, just play through it. Alternatively, you can add Mars_People multiple times to the select document).
Karne heads to where one of the creatures is strangling a Pimmon with its tentacles. The combination of floating body, many tentacles, and a gun in the hand speak massively. So far, this planet hasn’t had anything that couldn’t have evolved on Earth. This is not the same. If it is native to this world, it changes his view of the planet.
Karne dives into combat, but the Pimmon is dead before he arrives. He kicks it and finds that his kick rebounds off the leathery skin the creature has. He sees more of the creatures emerge from the water and move quickly towards Pimmons.
A punch manages to damage the creature a bit, and Karne prepares for a longer battle. Without knowing pressure points and such, this may not be a quick fight. Tentacles begin to enwrap Karne, and he tries to dodge out of the way, but he arrives right in the line of its gun. It fires an energy that he is unfamiliar with, and badly burns his left arm and the left side of his chest.
He manages to leap past the beam and dodge under the belly of the creature, trying to keep out of the way of the tentacles. He searches for an open vulnerable area, but it is covered with tentacles. They grab him, and he cracks one on a rock below him, and breaks free. Another dart of energy spits from the gun, but Karne eludes it. With no visible ears, neck, groin, or anything else, he tries to go for its eyes. As he punches one, his punch rebounds just like off the skin. They have a protective sheath over them. Tentacles grab his head and turn, but he turns with it and evades.
Two kicks in quick succession push the creature away, but he is tripped and falls by a tentacle. Kicks make him too vulnerable, and with such a large array of tentacles, he needs to punch. A few more punches, dodges on his part, begin to tire and wear on the creature. He faints left, goes right, and grabs an exposed tentacle. He scrapes it across a sharp rock and cuts it deeply. There is no blood. The creature roars in pain, and Karne remembers the roar from before. The sound comes from on top. There must be a mouth there.
With his new knowledge, he uses nearby rocks to leap up and on top of the creature. It’s mouth is a thin line, but it’s a vulnerable area. He trades a lot of punches for a few weak tentacle strikes. Suddenly, the creature flips 180, and surprised and off balance, Karne falls and injures his back. He rolls quickly and sharply, ignoring the pain from his body, and rises away from the creature. It has restored itself and fires twice, but he dodges both, moving in. He punches again and again. Eventually, he manages to wear down the creature enough that it falls down. Whether it is dead or unconscious, he does not know.
He sees a gun firing at another Pimmon, and grabs the gun from the dead creature. It doesn’t have a trigger or anything. There are no buttons, knobs, levers, or anything. It’s just a rod with a grip shaped for its tentacle. It has a few lights, and some crystal substance. He doesn’t see any more, and he can’t get it to work. He pockets it and moves towards the one attacking the weakened Pimmon.
Since it is focused on another, Karne moves to a nearby hut and climbs on top. With the extra energy, he leaps on top of it and deals some damage to its mouth area. His right fist penetrates the mouth and damages a muscle beyond it. The creature roars and bucks, and it is impossible for Karne to remain where he is, and he bounces off and rebounds quickly. Tentacles seek him out, and this one is using a different technique to attack. The first creature grappled, but this one is cracking its tentacles quickly, snapping them. A few crack his skin and tear it open. Perhaps these different fighting styles represent different martial arts?
Karne leaps into the cracking and takes two more open wounds to cut inside. He manages a flurry of punches against it’s body before it can regather its tentacles. It snaps his back with several tentacles but he forces the pain out of his mind and focuses one punch after another on the same exact spot on its body. Within a moment, the creature’s side cracks and softens. His punches drive into its side and it falls, without howling.
Badly wounded, but knowing how to defeat them, Karne moves to a third creature, newly emerged from the water. This one has two guns. It has a very fast rate of fire, and Karne is unable to dodge all of the blasts, and he is hit twice, once a glancing blow on his right thigh and another dead and center where the first gun hit him on his left side. The blow and pain stagger him and he falls. The creature moves over him and begins to grab him in its tentacles. Many of its members squeeze quickly on his throat.
He closes his eyes and focuses. He puts aside the anxiety and pain, and focuses on the tentacles. He uses his senses to see which tentacle is exerting the least pressure. Then he moves for it with his hands. He grabs it and the only direction he can move is a strong, hard yank. He yanks as hard as he can, and he moves the creature a bit off balance. That gives him an opening on two more tentacles on his left side, and he manages to break them. The choke hold continues and his vision is fading. He twists into the tentacles, increasing the pressure on his neck, but pushing through the left flank. He pushes free of the other tentacles, and now only the death grip on his neck is the remaining grapple.
Karne ignores the pain, and moves forward. He positions himself and the creature above a large rock, and then he slips backwards and down, under the rock. The reverse direction manages to snap him out of the tentacles and he is free, and the creature is out of position. He rises, unsteadily, and begins to hammer its flank. After the fourth thrust, he breaks its side. It screams, and he is knocked off his uncertain legs before he can finish it off.
Both wounded, the creature moves up and fires at him while he rolls. It predicts his movement and nails him across the back as he rolls. It takes all of his concentration to not fall unconscious. He rolls up and runs back, flipping his direction and catching the creature off balance. The exposed area is on the other side of the creature, but he moves right, and grabs a tentacle, and then goes left, just like he did with another. It works, and he manages to get around and pulls it a bit. Exposed, he puts everything else out of his mind and drives fist after fist into the side of it. He connects five times in a couple of seconds and its momentum pulls the creature away. It is drifting limply, but its tentacle turn and fires a gun and nails him in the chest, dead center. He is blasted back a bit but pushes forward and catches up with the creature, hitting it twice more and felling it.
His wounds begin to surmount his consciousness, and he falls, gently, at the side of the creature he defeated.
Oblivion is a welcome mistress.
A piercing ray of sunlight creeps into the enclosure and falls across Karne’s face. The pain of it shocks him awake and alert. Without moving, he slowly opens his eyes and looks around. Karne is inside of a stone building. There is no door on his side, but there are two windows, facing the sun. Torn curtains blow breezily around, and one caused the light that raised him back. The building appears to be quite old, and was not built for Pimmon habitation. He sees no items or people, just the wall and windows and beyond, a cloud and sun.
He is laying on his right side. The pain in his left side, arm, and back is debilitating. He must have taken severe wounds. He hears nothing beyond the breeze and the gentle sounds of animals outside. They don’t sound like domestic animals.
After flexing his fingers, it appears that his left is bound, but his right is free. He remains in his old clothes. Slowly, he turns, keeping his eyes as closed as possible, to survey the surroundings. In the building, to the other side, is a stone and wood door, closed, and two more windows. In the building lie the bodies of three Pimmon and two of the creature that attacked. A quick look shows that all were injured, and the Pimmon are breathing. All appear to still be unconscious.
There is nothing else in the building, and no one appears to have any blankets, mattresses, or pillows - just bindings for their wounds. Karne flexes and feels massive pain. His left arm is bound to his left side, with large amounts of soft bandage material between the two, to keep them from touching. He cannot use his left arm at all. He manages to sit up, and the world goes dizzy for a bit. He’s not hungry, but he is quite thirsty. Karne moves his tongue around and moistens it. Slowly, he begins to rise. As he does, his head gets level with the window, and outside the building he sees a fire with something cooking over it on a spit. He shakes off the dirt and moves to the window.
As soon as his head reaches the window, he is warmly greeted by one of the six Sajikis sitting and working in the area. He speaks to them in their language, and after exchanging hellos, he leaves the building and sits with them. The insect Sajiki language is quite difficult for humans to speak, but he was able to learn in a while ago with his language skills. Despite the awkwardness of many inflections, they are able to have a good conversation. These Sajiki are a group of merchants who travel between the various towns around the River Storn. They arrived at the Pimmon village and found most of the inhabitants had fled. They looked and found several Pimmons, Karne and the others alive, and they did the best they could to bandage them. They admit that they are not experts in healing. They brought everyone to this place to convalesce. It’s by a large brook that flows into the Storn. It has plenty of game, mushrooms, fish, and clean water. They are cooking several fish over a fire for everyone else, once they awaken and revive.
Karne asks about the village and what they saw. The Sajiki tell him that there were a few corpses of both races, but not more than ten total. It appeared that most people fled. The Sajiki prepared the dead for the burial rite of their people - cairns. They took the dead, cleaned them, and then piled many rocks on top, by the water, until all of them were covered by a large cairn. The village did not appear to suffer physically, the buildings were the same from the last time the Sajiki came by. Karne asks for his items, and they only have what he had on him when they came by - just the weapon that he confiscated from the creature. He takes it back.
After asking about the creatures, the Sajiki tell him that they are called the Larinma. Supposedly they are a race of creatures that live along the tops of a mountain chain in the distance. They point it out to him. They keep to themselves and there are not many of them. While they are friendly to visitors ,they are also supposedly distant. However, rarely, a Larinma raid will occur after a group descend into the valley and attack. The Sajiki do not know why, but they are certain that these Larinma will pose no danger once awoken. Whatever causes them to attack also seems to wear off. Only one or two raids are heard of a year, and considering the large number of villages and people living all throughout the Storn valley, that is a really small number.
The Sajiki move off, and begin to eat themselves. They have collected a large number of tree nuts that grow at the top of a local tree. They are about hand size, and the Sajiki call the tree a “pakata,” but that word has no known translation. They have a foul-smelling paste inside that the Sajiki find quite tasty, but Karne has never been able to bring himself to try it. It has the odor of decay.
One of the Pimmon in the old building has risen, and Karne goes to help it. It seems to bear the Larinma no ill will, and Karne escorts it to the fire. After greeting the Sajiki and thanking them in Pimmon (which only one Sajiki can speak), it sits down. It appears to have been the lightest wounded of the group. With a damaged right leg, it seems to have a limp from the wound. Karne inspects it and determines that the Pimmon broke one of the two bones in her lower leg. Unlike humans, Pimmons have two bones in the lower leg, much like humans do with their arms. It gives them more dexterity and a stance that looks awkward to Karne‘s human eye. After finding strong enough wood for the very muscular Pimmon, he binds her leg with a split after setting the bone. During the whole process, she never showed any sign of discomfort.
After talking with her, Karne’s curiosity moved to the Larinma weapon, and he pulled it out for an inspection. It was made of a crystalline substance he did not recognize. It appeared like a rod, rather than a pistol, but it was gently bowed. While there appeared to be two lights on one end, which he recalled was the one energy shot from, there was nothing else at all. No barrel, no marks, no buttons, levels, no markings of any sort just a smooth rod with a pair of non-functioning small lights. He asked the Pimmon and Sajikis, but none knew anything about them save that the Larinma used them for things other than weapons - such as making light or fire.
Karne headed back into the building to double check the bandages of the other Pimmon. He didn’t know enough about Larinma physiology to be useful, but the Pimmons all appeared to be okay. Unlike Sajikis, they were tough creatures, and healed rapidly. The Sajikis were weaker, and healed quite slowly, but they could also regenerate limbs.
Near night fall, the first of the two Larinma awoke. It was taken down by Karne, and appeared to be the second one he fell, based on its coloration. It wobbled for a bit, then began to hover again. It blinked, and moved towards Karne. None of the others made any defensive move, but Karne stiffened, in case it was needed. The Larinma arrived, and stopped, looking down at Karne. It reached out a tentacle slowly towards him, and he moved defensively. The tentacle stopped, and hovered. It begin to move it again towards Karne, slowly, and he understood. It reached down and plucked the rod from his belt. After doing that, it pointed it towards his head, and placed it against his right temple. Karne stiffened, but believed that communication had occurred, and it was trying to tell him something.
A piercing pain shot into Karne‘s head, but the weapon had not fired. The lights were glowing brightly, but a different color than the other night. Within a few seconds, the pain dulled, and Karne felt the mind of the Larinma communicating to him. The communication was wordless, as if hearing a foreign language but being able to make out what was being said by tone and body language. The creature was sorry, and was apologizing for its attack on the Pimmon village and Karne.
Many questions flung into his mind, but this communication was unable to be that precise. He got he apology, and sent back an acceptance and curiosity. The creature sent back a feeling of confidence. It broke off contact with the rod.
With a basis of communication begun, over the next few days, the Pimmons, Larinma and Karne healed. After a few days, the Sajiki merchants had to leave, but they left some extra food, bandages and weapons. The Pimmon settlement was a day’s walk way, and when everyone was up to it after eleven days they made the journey. Many Pimmons had already returned, and they were all greeted warmly. Only a few seemed to dislike the Larinma. Overall these people forgave easily, but like in every society, there are those who appeared to not follow the custom.
By then, Karne had already learned a significant portion of Larinma. The two began to speak to him, and they were each learning languages. They spend another week in the Pimmon village, finishing healing. The two Larinma are very reluctant to talk about themselves much, or where they come from. It is a cultural taboo to be too inquisitive. He doesn’t even know their names. All that Karne can get from them is that each year, some biological process occurs that drives a part of their number crazy with a blood-fury. He asks to return to their home with them, but they politely refuse.
Karne also learns that they are powerful psychics. They are able to float through a combination of strong tentacles moving them along and psychics. Their attacks were enhancing by psychic powers, and the rod is an amplifier for psychic power, and can be used for many purposes. The Larinma return home, but before they do, they spend their time using their rods to repair items around the village - a broken wheel, a torn dress, a squeaky well, a frayed rope, and more. They apologize to the Pimmon and Karne for not being able to heal their bodies, because it takes a Larinma’s full strength to mend living tissue. They don’t have it right now, due to their injuries. With their gifts of repair as a thanks and apology to the Pimmon, the Larinma move on. Karne stays two extra hours to gather his strength and then he moves on as well, bidding the village goodbye, with gifts of their strange bread, canteens of fresh water and a ceramic jar of mushroom paste in his boat.
Along the Storn
Later that day, moving against the current, he arrives at the junction of a fairly large tributary and the Storn. It heads up towards the mountains. He can see up the river some way, and spies the two Larinma under attack from several Pimmon. They appear to be throwing spears at the Larinma, and one is panicking as it was speared by a Pimmon. Karne banks and runs to help. They are roughly ten minutes away, so he shouts. It takes a minute, but eventually they look and see him. The Pimmon melt away into the woods. Karne arrives as the healthy Larinma is using his rod as a focus to heal his comrade. All he can do is stabilize the wounds after Karne removes the spear. It hit center mass, and while Karne is unsure of what organs may lay behind it, he is fairly sure that it must be something serious. The wounded Larinma is gently mooing its pain.
It can’t move under its own power, so Karne and the other Larinma agree to get his boat and bring it over. After a discussion, the Larinma will not allow Karne to paddle the wounded one up the river, so they lash the wounded Larinma to the boat. Karne takes all of the items out that he needs, and the other uses the rod to enhance his psychic powers and push the boat with its wounded comrade up the tributary and back towards its home. Before it leaves, as a sign of thanks, the healthy Larinma confides its name to Karne - Fellice. The giving of a name is very intimate in their society, and Karne thanks it. The Larinma don’t have genders or children, but Fellice never told him more than that.
Back on foot, Karne moves to the smoother side of the Storn. After two days of traveling, he arrives at a fishing hut on the river. A family of Pimmon are here, fishing for their food and trading the extra for what they need. Karne is welcomed and allowed to stay the night. That night they tell him of a nearby town, which is quite large. It is the central trading spot of the area, and many different types of races and merchants go there to trade. After getting directions, the following day Karne sets out, and takes a tributary. Later that day, Karne sees signs of traffic on the river - small boats, people traveling, houses and more. The farther he goes, the more settled and populated the area looks. Farmland stretches instead of forests, and he spies a mine. A local Cetaxi village has a large working clock in the center, adverting a clockwork maker. The technology here seems to be even higher than that in the villages he saw before.
Karne sees the town in the distance, with several docks, largely full with various sized boats. Despite the bustle of activity, it is clear that the town itself doesn’t have as many permanent residents as Karne hoped. As he gets closer, he notes the lack of a large residential district, suggesting that this town is more of a trading post than anything else.
Here, the three species seem to be living in harmony. While each have their own living districts, they are living close together without appearing to have any major issues. He notices that they are speaking a sort of blended dialect of Pimmon, with both Cetaxi and Sajiki influences. He can make it out easily enough, since he knows all three.
Arriving at the gates of the town, Karne is asked to pay a toll to enter, but he has none, so he agrees to work for a bit for the town, hacking firewood from fallen trees that were brought in earlier today. Across the river there is no farmland, and the trees are used for lumber for building, charcoal and fires - as well as a food source with fruits and nuts in there.
After cutting the wood and placing them in five piles, Karne is allowed entrance. The three guards at the gate including one of each race in metal plate armor. The presence of advanced and heavy metal armor and a town wall and gate suggest to Karne that they seek to protect themselves from something. Perhaps the Larinma when they get blood thirsty. Karne recalled the attack from the water, and realized that this wall would not protect them from the Larinma, so it must be something else.
There are three taverns here, one for each of the species, and he goes to the Pimmon one, since they are roughly his size in height, and thus their furniture and tables feel right. The roughly five feet tall Cetaxi have tight furniture, and the Sajiki have oddly shaped furniture with holes for legs in the wrong places.
The Pimmons welcome him, and he dines well. Again, his lack of currency is hand waved away when he shows that he kept some of the fish he caught for himself. They happily trade a meal and lodging for the night for two river fish that have already been filleted and treated with a local mushroom that is used as a spice to preserve the meat.
He eats a mushroom sliced and cooked over a fire. The fire-roasted slices are then treated with a sweet jam and eaten with two knives (Pimmons and Cetaxi appear to have never invented the fork, while the Sajiki just use their fingers - there‘s no heat, cold or mess through the chitin). One knife is flat and without an edge. It is thinly cut, and you press down with the blade over food, and it bends and holds it down, while the other cuts.
After eating his meal, Karne relaxes and enjoys light conversation with the local Pimmon. He is treated as a bit of an oddity here, which Karne considers unusual, since he wasn’t gawked at by other Pimmon he has encountered. A small crowd of ten or so have gathered around him and talking to him. After a bit more conversation, Karne learns that he is in a town called Atawi, which translates as Bywater. It was set up in the last thirty years as a central trading point for merchants, farmers, miners and fishers and others in this area. It includes a military outpost, several small villages surrounding it, docks, and certain businesses, such as blacksmiths, tanners, and more.
Once the initial conversations are complete, Karne steers them to discuss the town. Why is there a military outpost here? He is told that this area is by the foothills of the nearby mountains. Near here are several cave systems that house unusual creatures. Sometimes these creatures emerge and attack, taking several of the locals with them back for food. Once they’ve eaten them, they come back out again. Every couple of months an attack occurs. The last one happened almost a month ago, so right now, they are almost immediately between two attacks. Therefore they are more relaxed around him, knowing that he is not one of the creatures.
They say that none of the monsters look alike. Some are humanoid, and some are pure beasts. Others are perhaps a mixture. The Pimmon have no more information besides an idea of where some of the caves reside. Karne inquires as to what creatures are in the area, and gets some useful information.
In the morning, Karne decides to check out the caves the Pimmon mentioned to him last night. He moves out of Bywater, and into the wilderness. It doesn’t take long before Karne has found a creek and followed it to a hill, beyond which the farms start and the forest has reclaimed its mastery.
Saving the Village: In the Caves
In order to play through this, you will need Fallout: New Vegas. Take any character (preferably a newer one) and give him a knife spear and a knife. If you don’t have a Knife Spear, because you do not have that expansion pack, just use a pool cue, like we did before (and if you don’t have that, any long, minor damage hand to hand weapon works.). You’ll also need a suit of armor that has very little DT. I will be using a Boomer Suit.
Fast Travel to Goodsprings Cave. We will pick up with fighting the coyotes just outside. Then move in, and clear out the cave. It will take you just a few minutes to kill all of them. Your first cave is complete.
A few hours pass and Karne finds where the creek hits the caves. The first one is right by the creek, and outside of it are a small group of wolf-ish creatures, but they are larger and more aggressive than the ones of Earth, much like those they had to deal with when building villages for the Cetaxi.
They move in, and Karne readies his weapon. He attacks the three wolves, and kills them. His spear easily takes them down, and he looks at the cave carefully. He hears the sounds of more wolves inside, and waits, but none come out. He plunges in.
After entering the cave, Karne pulls out the light from his ship. It illuminates the way in front, and a wolf is near the entrance. The cave bends to the left and Karne moves towards the wolf and dispatches it with two swings of his spear. He senses more and cautiously moves around the bend and arrives at a large wet area. Three more wolves approach and move aggressively. Karne lunges at one and kills it in one swing.
The other two attack, and one bites his left leg, but the other misses. Karne swings back around and stabs the loose one with his spear. He leaves the spear in the wolf’s side and grabs his knife for close combat. The one keeps tearing at his leg, and his brings his knife down on its head and drives it into the brain. The wolf stops and slowly slides to the ground.
Karne bandages the leg and investigates the area, and finds no more wolves in here. The bend opens into a small cavern roughly twenty or thirty feet wide and here is where several Pimmon and Cetaxi corpses lay. They do not appear to find the Sajiki tasty, because there is no evidence of any of them here. Karne searches through the corpses and finds little. He does grab a few personal items, which he will return, and a Pimmon axe. Because of their bulkiness, it’s a very thick and large axe, probably used for wood. Karne grabs it and will use it as a weapon. It should do a lot more damage than his spear.
Karne leaves the cave and moves on. The locals mentioned four caves in all. They are all above him, so he leaves behind the spear and begins climbing. After a few minutes, he hears the sounds of buzzing around him, and he reaches a ledge, where five or six nasty bugs start to attack him, many with poison stingers.
For the second cave, and all subsequent ones, you may use a fire axe as well. If you do not have one, then use a hatchet. You are to fast travel to Cazador Nest, (on the east side of map by Ranger Station Delta) and you will fight all of the Cazador around the nest. You should find five or six in all. They poison you if they sting you. Karne knows how to cure the poison, so you may use Antivenom to help yourself after the combat. Fighting these with just a melee weapon can be rough.
The third cave we will be going to is Coyote Den. This is near Jack Rabbit Springs and Hidden Supply Cave. Arrive and kill everything at the entrance. Enter the shallow cave and kill everything inside. Hopefully we’ll have something more than coyotes (err…I mean wolves!) here. (Make sure you don’t come across any legionaries here, or if you do, kill them and then reequip for the regular stuff.
This last one is a bit more difficult. Fast travel to Wolfhorn Ranch. There are no bad guys right here, so yay. You are going to start walking west to Hidden Supply Cave. When you come across a group of Bark Scorpions, fight them. Then fight any other groups you encounter. (If you can’t find any, just fast travel to Hidden Valley and fight one of the many groups there.) You can enter Hidden Supply Cave and explore if you want, Karne will. But there are no fights in it.
They move in. Karne is quickly surrounded and takes several stinger hits. He has been prepared for a major fight like this, and he calms himself and focuses on one target. His axe chops once, and then twice and kills one of the large insectoid creatures.
A stinger hits his head and he is woozy. They are poisoned. He can feel the poison enters his bloodstream. He blocks everything but his next victim, the smallest of them. His axe cleaves it in half and the next target is right in front. One axe swing shears off a wing and the other kills it. Two hits to a fourth cause it to fall as well. Finally, he has the largest one in front. He slashes down, but the poison has knocked his rhythm off and he misses. The many poison stings have shaken him, and the bug stabs his left shoulder. He slashes into its thorax and carves deep and the bug retreats. He follows and two more swings put it down.
The final one has fallen, and Karne waits for 30 seconds, but cannot detect any more. He lowers the axe and grabs his knife. He carves out a stinger and gland from one and looks it over. He puts some of the poison on the ground, other plants, and finally his skin, but its not caustic. Karne grabs a few sticks and logs and makes a fire, cooking one of the poison glands in his water. After he has done this, he takes the boiled poison and adds it to the water, cools it off to drinking temperature, and drinks the nasty concoction. After thirty minutes, the poison is no longer affecting him, and he silently thanks his preparation ahead of time.
He cuts off the poison glands of the other four and keeps them. He knows the Pimmon will want them. A quick inspection of the “cave” shows that it really just an impression in the rock. It goes back a way, but it never truly reaches the status of a cave, since it was not made by water eroding rock. It’s very short, and only the nest of the creatures he slew is here, and nothing can be found.
Karne moves on. After resting and bandaging himself, he is still pretty healthy. The major damage these creatures dealt was poison, and the cuts and punctures are very shallow. He moves further up the hill. His fingers dig into the landscape as the minutes pass. About a half hour of climbing brings him to the third hill.
He arrives at another cave with more wolves, and they move out to attack him. Once again, his axe cleaves through the local creatures, and once again, he kills the four wolves with little interference. There is nothing here but bones and a few strips of cloth and leather.
Karne finishes his climb a short while later and reaches the top of this large hill. He hears the noise of clicking and spies a group of three large brownish scorpion-like creatures. They are moving around, hunting, and one notices him, and clicks. All three begin to move toward him. His axe is out in one clean motion and he moves up.
The chitin of one easily breaks before the crushing blow of an axe and he kills one and dances away from the tails of the other two. However, while trying to dodge both tails, a claw from the darker brown one manages to crush his right foot and he falls, but escapes from the two. He gathers himself and pus all of his effort into his next swing and plants his axe deep into a second scorpion. He can’t pull it back out, because the chitin has wrapped it tight. He leaps away and grabs his knife. The final scorpion charge in and tries to stab him with its tail. Once, twice, Karne dodges the attacks while slipping into knife range. He manages to slide his knife in behind the armor on its head and eyes, and kills the scorpion, but not before taking another hit from the claws.
He manages to pull his axe out after wrestling with it a bit and again bandages his wounds. They remain fairly minor, but he has sustained some damage. He’ll stay up here a bit. The top of the hill has some small gulches and hills of its own, and he finds the fourth cave. He heads in and explores, and finds nothing but a small number of electronic devices of unknown purpose. All of them are broken and smashed, save one.
Karne heads back out and sits down. He makes a meal and inspects the item. Using his time to rest his body, The Century pours over the object and tries to discern its reason for existence. It is powered with a battery that still works despite a lot of age. The wiring appears to be intact, and he peers at it more closely. The device has three buttons on one side and a gauge on top with symbols on the gauge.
After making sure it has no obvious explosive devices or anything dangerous, Karne tries the buttons. All of them are red and bereft of any markings. The first button does nothing, and the other two do not as well. He plays with it, and discovers that pressing the first and third simultaneously turns it on, and the middle one turns it off. He turns it back on and tries to discover what the gauge is. Symbols flash, and part of the screen turns red in the background, about one fifth of the gauge is full. Karne keeps the device and will work on it later.
He makes camp on top of the hill and spends the night. He strips wolf meat from a carcass and cooks it over the fire. The light of the four moons shine overhead and give a milky contrast to the night below. As this place turns into spring, winter is mostly gone. The air is warming and day is gaining ground against the night. Claws of black streak the night, and stars explode on the canvas above.
Karne has spent many nights looking at the stars, and trying to find similarity from them to the Earth Constellations that are a part of his skill set. However, he is too far away, and nothing looks the same. The brightest stars in Earth’s sky could easily be dim here, while darker stars have brightened. As proximity and atmospheric conditions change, the intensity of stars does as well.
He spends the night against a large rock, with his knife in hand. With the many creatures he has encountered today, he knows he may need his weapons in the night. Before retiring, he set up a few small piles of rocks on both of the approaches to the campfire, and any creature coming up one or the other would knock them down and scatter them. The night comforts him, and Karne’s sleep is very restful.
The following morning he returns to the village. Based on the local descriptions, he had expected more than some wolves, giant scorpions and flying bugs. This is how rumors and myth get started. However, the wolves were very large and used to Pimmon and Cetaxi meat. Perhaps the scorpions came down too, and the bugs could have flown over and attacked as well.
He spends the day descending and returning up the stream and through the woods and then back to the habited farmland until he reaches the town. He arrives and gives the news. They are quite happy and he trades his poison glands for more food and provisions for his next journey. The local apothecary can use the glands for antidotes if a local gets poisoned by them. A few locals mentioned that more creatures live in those caves and on that hill than he saw, but he remains suspicious of those claims. He did a thorough search, after all.
He stays in the village for a few days resting and healing. During this time, he figures out that the device is a meteorological piece of equipment. The screen shows the humidity with the amount of red that covers it. Certain symbols appear at certain times of the day and the fog that the village has experienced three times has each had the same set of symbols shown for it. The language is nothing he knows, and he does not have enough to translate it fully, but knowing its function, he’ll be able to figure it out with time.
On his fifth day back, a cry is heard at the gates and commotion bubbles in the streets. The Century emerges from the local apothecary to investigate. Several Cetaxi are carrying a dead Sajiki back into the village. The Sajiki corpse has weapon marks, and looks to have been slain by a slashing sword-like object. The locals question the Cetaxi severely. All they know is that the Sajiki was found dead about 20 minutes walk to the north, away from the stream and river, and towards the forest.
The town is gathering a party, and Karne volunteers to scout it out, and see what he can find. They agree, and he moves out. His goal is to find what slew the Sajiki, and either take it out, or return to the town of Atawi with answers.
Fighting and Killing the Skales
For this section, you need to load Guild Wars. Create a male warrior named Karne Century and start the Ascalon campaign. (Guild Wars: Prophecies). You will start with a big hammer, and that’s okay, we’ll just pretend it’s an axe. Take off the armor, since Karne has virtually none right now. Talk to the town crier, and then Sir Tydus. You want to active the War Preparations quest. Head out into Lakeside Country and follow the quest. Talk to the guy and get the quest to kill the skales, and then move into the river and kill the ones down there. Once you’ve cleared out all of the skale, you are done with the first part of this.
For the second part, head left along the river (east) and follow it until you hit a giant lake and head right. Keep following that right until you run into Duke Gaban. Talk to him to get The Egg Hunter Quest. Head into the cave and kill all of the Devourers in there, and then you are done with this quest.
Karne slipped into the forest after leaving behind farmland. This area is being heavily timbered for firewood and lumber over at the town, so Karne gets past a few open areas. The forest deepens as he goes, getting thicker and thicker. The trees have a typical green-yellow tint to them, but these are more green. Winter does not touch this area as much, since it is warmer and milder. The leaves did not fall from the trees.
While moving around, Karne has camouflaged himself. His jumpsuit has been rubbed with dirt and mud to brown it, and sticks and leaves added to the structure. He moves cautiously but determinedly. A sword attack is not a normal thing - like a creature. It’s something else entirely.
After moving about for about forty minutes, Karne has arrived at the destination that was originally just twenty minutes away. His pace was slowed. He is fully in cover and unable to be seen. Karne arrives at a large bush by the edge of another clearing where wood was being claimed from the forest. He peers in and after a minute, he notices movement on the far side. He spots a creature that he has not seen before.