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Spectoris, the Bray Lexicon and post-Dead Stars

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 Hello all!

I'm currently doing a spot of procrastination between studying for my latest batch of exams next week. My thinking is "Spectoris" as the gaming group in which we cycle GMship around has currently branched out properly into the Bray Lexicon and the serious aftermath of a Haarlock-stopped Dead Stars result.

At the moment, I'm taking tentative steps with the 'Cthulhu-esque' themes. I don't want a proper elder god hanging around, by any means, but I am nevertheless intrigued by *some* of the aspects involved.

At the moment I've got idea for a few scattered mutants in the Spectoris populace, half-cultish actually. I've called them 'Dreamers' (Cthulhu Fhtagn, and all that jazz), with their wyrdling powers being Resist Possession ('claimed' by Spectoris) and Weaken the Veil, their 'thing' being that they slightly commune with (or communed at by) Spectoris, sometimes, when they sleep. And, as well as mutating them a little, it's also addling their minds.

Otherwise, I'm keen to flesh out the planet itself, hopefully writing up a little gazetteer and maybe a wee campaign to go with it. But this is all just formative stuff at the moment, and largely side material to the real issue:

 

What is Spectoris?

My take at the moment is this: It's a sentient planet, that much is feasible, to me. Not a sentient ocean, but the whole planet, the ecosystem too, to an extent. Not like Pandora, though. Different. 

The idea of it being sentient links in with other 'problems of sentient things' in 40k. Namely: C'tan, AI and the Castigator (the Titan from Dark Adeptus) and so forth. In the latter cases, there's good reason to think 'normally non-sentient stuff becoming sentient is a *bad thing*'.

So the thinking is that Spectoris becomes sentient and manages to get itself possessed. But by now it's only in the stage of being assaulted, it's retreated into itself to fight the spectre from the warp...in doing so becoming convalescent, perhaps. Thus the Dweller in the Depths is a multi-pronged reference, not just to a specific entity (indeed there's two, sortof!) but to the event itself. Whilst Spectoris resists the warp-thing (an echo of itself, a shadow in its soul, could it really be described as a daemon trying to possess it? No, I don't think so, I'd prefer something much...odder, as if the PC Spectoris was recently on 99 Corruption points, has gained another, but has the talent which holds off the effects of corruption 'til the end of the encounter...but since the encounter's still ongoing...).

Sorry, rambling. Whilst Spectoris resists, the 'thing dwells in the depths', the echoes of it mildly influence and shape what's going on on Spectoris itself in many ways. How it relates as a Hyades Lock or part of the Bray Lexicon? I really don't have a clear idea yet, but I'm getting towards something I'm quite enjoying.

 

Anyone got much in the way of input to this? Suggestions or ideas you've had yourselves?

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Have Spectoris provide some needed service to The Imperium. 

I was playing with an idea of an entire agri-planet being corrupted, and its food being sent all around the imperium.  Luckily, the export is a highly rare delicacy only enjoyed by a few.

This is so that when The Party blows the lid on the planet, Exterminatus gets called, but the warped food is out.  Then you do a bit or two to convey that

1) The Inquisition is hunting down every customer of the Spectoris Caviar and executing them for the good of humanity

2) The Inquisition is wiping all the records to make it look like Spectoris never existed, they 're-educate' anyone who is too insistent about the deception.

The Inquisition's efficiency at this suggests this has been a problem observed before....

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I've always liked Spectoris to be the kind of alien intellect like we saw in the movie Solaris. A vast, but unknowable intelligence/entity that studies mankind because it is fascinated by us. Spectoris will enter the dreams of the people it studies and observe their reactions to the impulses he gives them. He can create simulacra or illusions that only the senses of those in its thrall perceive. Spectoris is not eeeeeeeeevil like Chaos entities but he is wholly alien and uncaring.

Furthermore I see these bioluminescent sea creatures that serve Spectoris, kind of like movies as The Abyss or even the underwater chase in the much-maligned Phantom Menace .. but then less cheesy.

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Hmm, perhaps Spectoris's alien intellect is actually a Slann, one of the few that remained behind after the war with the C'Tan.  It has slumberd for many millenium and it is slowly waking.  the creatures that people see are servitor races that are arising to explore the world around it.

 

 

Salcor

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 OnceFatal: Intriguing points. I think that'd be a great thread for luring the players towards Spectoris, and certainly a viable 'ongoing' trouble.

LaughingGod: Good point! I knew the whole thing seemed familiar, Solaris seems to be exactly the novel and movie I need to look into. (As a break from studying tomorrow I might go an poke about in charity bookshops and second hand, see if I can acquire it quickly. Handy distraction from studying too, keep the brain moving!)

Similarly, I really like the allusions to The Phantom Menace. As dire as the prequels were, they still had more than a few good ideas and the gargantuan fish stuff is certainly a good one. (Used to great effect in "Darths and Droids" with the perennial favourite power "Summon Bigger Fish", which I can see leading to hilarity. Perhaps the Dreamers should have a choice/random-one of Weaken Veil/Summon Small Creature/ResistPossession?)

Salcor: I'll go one better than you, let's say Spectoris/The Depths is a sentient planet, but a sentient planet of the kind which might have contributed a kind of planet to the Old Ones? Or a planet whose sentience had been 'awoken/cultivated' by the Old Ones? In similar thread, the Radical Hanbook's Bray Lexicon lists Drusus Shrine World/Sentinel as 'home' (ish) to the place where the residual malignance of an extinct xenoform lingers. Think 'Lord Kroak gone bad', or even perhaps the corrupted 'shell/remains' of an Old One? I rather like the idea that the whole thing has an 'echoes of the War in Heaven' style to it. (Many subscribe to this sort of vague notion now, myself just being one in a long line!)

 

Also, other things I discovered re:Spectoris today. Took five years to get a proper settlement on it. Spectorin Coral-Paste was the key. Magos Genetus Redole is a significant figure, possibly not dead (as a plot hook)! It also transpires that in a previous (albeit badly ran) campaign our group seems to have been critical in allowing Drusus Shrine World to secede from the Imperium. We manage to miss that...

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Also, wasn't there a connection between Spectoris and the genetic manipulations of the now-vanquished Adrantians?

The Adrantians always make me think of Atlantis. Some underwater refuge city, which might look like the city of Rapture in the Bioshock game, erected with the best intentions in mind but ofcourse now empty, leaking, dark and inhabited by foul things ...

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Yeah that is true. I forgot about the connection to the Adrantians.  So the question is did the Adrantians alter Spectoris, or did Spectoris alter the Adrantians?  Perhaps the Adrantians were descendants from human colonists during the Dark Age of Technology.  Their small empire grew around the Adranti nedula, until the arrived to settle Spectoris.  When they settled the planet, the humans there began to 'realize' that their technology was harmful to the enviornments that they were inhabiting, so the colonists on Spectoris began to alter their genetic code to better coexist with the planets that they were colonizing.  Initially these thoughts were viewed as an underdesirable underculture that began to grow within the Adranti Empire, but over time the the 'altered' come to power and eventually require all Adranti to undergo genetic alteration.  After the destruction of the Adranti, Spectoris hides its true nature until such times that it can bring its forces (the serrated querry perhaps) to defeat the imperial humans that are draining it like a parasite.

 

Salcor

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just to throw this out there, in the inquisitor's handbook it talks about the Umbrian Heresy:

deep in the drusus marches lies the world of spectoris. an ocean planet, its surface almost completely covered by waves, its inhabitants farm the sea and export their bounty to surrounding planets abd systems. Years ago it is recorded that a cult rose on the world of spectoris, which worshipped the emperor in his aspect as a mighty sea god, dwelling deep beneath the waters. The cult would sail out to places where the ocean grew deep and throw sacrifices into the sea. As the cult grew in power so too did its practices darken and whispers of human sacrifice and other blood rituals abounded. eventually the ecclesiarchy intervened, and though they lost several agents in their investigations, the cult was unmasked. it was revealed that they worshipped a xenos being known as the Umbrian, which livedin the deepest of the world's ocean trenches. After a violent conflict, both above and below the waves, the creature, its children and many of its human followers were destroyed. as a precautionary measure, all marine life not essential to food production was purged.  Rumors still persist, however, that all of the Umbrian's children were not found and some of the creatures live still in the deep waters of spectoris, waiting and watching for the time when they shall rise again.

i would like to point out that if this is talking about the dweller in the depths from the bray lexicon, then not all of the 7 devils are deamons, as this is a xenos threat. sorry, just my two cents, and not trying to derail any discussion.  

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Well, the Dweller in the Depths is described as an autochtonic entity, but that doesn't say it can't be a daemon. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Daemon is just a term that mankind slaps on a category of entities, but our understanding of such creatures is probably quite limited.

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I totally see your point, laughing god. But imo i think it is a xenos entity, as if it was a deamon, then the ordo malleus would have been involved in putting it down. I do know that other orders do tend to deal with threats that are outside their respected enemies, but i don't think the ordo xenos would have been able to "kill" it, as it was an almost planet wide cult, which the text says it is a xenos entity, and not a deamon.

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The Laughing God said:

Well, why haven'the Ordo Malleus put down Tychak Crowfather, or the Dusk Hag ...

well my thoughts are thus: Tychak Crowfather was banished by Saint Drusus during the crusade to retake the calixis sector. that happened over a thousand years ago. Also all knowledge of this event was repressed, and even the natives consider it a myth. so Tychak Crowfather has been gone for a thousand years, and until the GM runs a homebrew adventure or illumination, Tychak Crowfather isn't a player on the board so to speak, of threats in the calixis sector. Thus they go after entities that are active threats in the sector.

as for the Dusk Hag, i have two thoughts. the first is that the ordo malleus does know about the dusk hag, but they are of the radicals factions that seek to use her/it for their own ends, as compared to the puritans that would put her/it down at the first chance. second what if she is not a deamon. if not then the ordo malleus would not persue her/it as it is not regarded as a deamon which they go after right away, and would let the ordo hereticus go after her,(as i don't think she/it is a xenos at all) and the ordo hereticus doesn't go after her/it cause they think she/it is a deamon and under the purview of the ordo malleus. **** politics!!!!!

 

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yes i have read that to, and i like that decription. I like that not every dark power is a deamon from the warp. Thats why my thoughts on the seven devils incorporate deamons, xenos, and powerful warp users.

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I just got a thought, and wonder what others have done. If in your version of the seven devils in the bray lexicon, that the Night Traveller is indeed Erasumus Haarlock, and if your PCs have prevented his return, does that mean they have ended the threat of the seven devils as well?

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VladdImpaler said:

 

I just got a thought, and wonder what others have done. If in your version of the seven devils in the bray lexicon, that the Night Traveller is indeed Erasumus Haarlock, and if your PCs have prevented his return, does that mean they have ended the threat of the seven devils as well?

 

 

That would rather depend on the nature of the threat of the seven devils...if there even is one.

The seven devils could all just be unconnected, merely a category for the seven most powerful threats in the sector.

If they are somehow related, and the number seven is relevant, then its worth keeping in mind that the "seven" have been six for a very, very long time prior to the events of the Haarlock legacy campaign.

I don't think there's anything (yet) definitive about the devils or their purpose, or even if they are connected.  Even the "Bray Lexicon" isn't really covered in all that much detail.  So this kind of thing would be for the individual GM to decide.

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 Bladehate said:

 

I don't think there's anything (yet) definitive about the devils or their purpose, or even if they are connected.  Even the "Bray Lexicon" isn't really covered in all that much detail.  So this kind of thing would be for the individual GM to decide.

I agree with you, and it is always good to get others take on a subject like the Bray Lexicon, as it helps generate ideas, that a GM can use to fleh out what they want to do with it.

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