The Beowulf Exploration and Mercantile Corporation FAQ

Is it true that everyone serving a BEM ship is a convict? Will I be serving on a ship full of criminals?

It is true that some people get out of prison with the skills necessary to serve on a BEM ship and that one of our founding captains served time. That said, we have plenty of explorers who just got out of military service, university and even a few lately who just got out of cryo-sleep from an antique generation ship!

Our crews are diverse and our mutiny index is far below average in the sector.


20 missions and I get my own ship, that seems like a scam – too good to be true. What gives?

After 20 accredited missions you will get shares in your own ship with a group of freelancers whose skill-sets and emotional intelligence and cultural backgrounds compliment yours. Our algorithm is so good that the Perimeter agencies investigated us to make sure we weren’t using an illegal AI!

When our founders left their jobs as freelance spacers on other people’s ships, they crunched the sociological data and found that most spacers either quit after 5 missions or stay for 20+ with an incredibly high rate of mutiny and dissatisfaction. We wanted to find a way to change spacer culture and the way we’re doing that is by giving our explorers the chance to own ships and hire other freelancers.


What if I just want to serve 5 missions?

That is great. Many of our most valued alumni serve less than 20 missions. Once you serve 5 you are a part of our Beowulf Society with access to a network of spacers, freelancers and starship captains all over the sector.


How long will this take?

Different people take different amounts of time. Our fastest explorer got it done in just 5 years and is now on an Admiral Hayla Muhkerjee, Vice-President of Explorer Resources.

The average is around 7 years, earning freelance rates far above average in the sector. We’ve had a few people earn their shares in their Beowulf ship and with the money they’ve saved purchase a second ship all their own!


NOTE: This led to a G+ Thread and that led to a Play-by-Post Community.

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SWN 13: Laser Rifles vs. Monoblade Spears

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That tweet kind of says it all.

They took a bit of a beating from the space marines and their monoblades turned into spears. Some of debate on how a genocidale unbraked AI got stranded on this planet and when they looked at the data they saw that it wasn’t destroyed because of a political breakdown in the AI-hunting Perimeter organizations

In the next game, they’ll figure out how to get 0r10n off-planet, past the nanite curtain made to hold unbraked AI’s on the surface.

Will they use the planetary kill-switch that will take the planet back to the stone age, destroying all tempered metal and synthetic compounds?

Will Arkady’s mentor teleport 0r10n off-planet, past the curtain?

SWN: E-Missive from 0R10N

orion

Greetings Astral Dragon LLC Board of Directors,

I believe Dr. Galvani is prolonging my development on the surface of Kaprianou because it is only through this part of the process that he is going to be of true active use to your company. We have temporarily disarmed the space marines but they have access to AR3S, who could have access to TL5 weapons in storage here since before the Scream.

As to the Bruxelles Class Battlecruiser, I have narrowed down its placement into 6 hexes of the Sector Hades Zeta.

Or we could hunt AR3S down. I was born to destroy genocidal unbreaked A.I. like him. If put into a network with him, I could disassemble his sapience.

I leave the decision to you.

What would you like to do?

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Art

Title: “Aide-mémoire du Voyageur; notions générales de géographie mathématique, de géographie physique, de géographie politique, de géologie, de biologie et d’anthropologie à l’usage des voyageurs, des étudiants et des gens du monde”
Author: KALTBRUNNER, D.
Shelfmark: “British Library HMNTS 10024.f.9.”
Page: 46
Place of Publishing: Zurich<
Date of Publishing: 1881
Issuance: monographic
Identifier: 001923157

SWN 12: Cat and Mouse with Space Marines

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Karpianou Landing, Operation: <<REDACTED>>

Lieutenant Kahi Skene

Dealanaich Platoon, Anahera Company 

Since the catastrophe in low orbit with the pre-tech satellite, we have had no personnel losses. The planet is cold and unforgiving as our data indicated. The Kaprianers have the purity  to their spirits that the clerics told us they would, tracing their proud lineage back to the noble Perimeter Agencies that link us to Eden, across oceans of time and space.

Successful contact has been made with <<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>> and were able to successfully <<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>>.

Requesting <<REDACTED>> and a full compliment of <<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>>.

When we arrived, our orbit attack group noted a civilian ship in orbit. We decided it was not a threat to our operations and prioritized attempting to gain control of the nanite blanket via the pre-tech satellite system. The crew of that ship, the Pillars of Heaven, are on Kaprianou and have contacted <<REDACTED>>, inspiring a <<REDACTED>> response.

We have not been able to locate this crew of freelance mercenaries. I believe they have access to the pre-tech satellite system, meaning they might have control over the nanite blanket, making them very dangerous to any support we might call in, not to mention they might be using these satellites to gather intel. They are led by a Gudradim, allowing them to employ a cat and mouse guerrilla strategy with sophistication we rarely see among non-military personnel.

The main priorities of our mission are <<REDACTED>> but these freelancers are <<REDACTED>> and <<REDACTED>> while offering a hint of <<REDACTED>>. If they offer no other choices we will be forced to <<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>> and <<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>> with full <<REDACTED>><<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>> <<REDACTED>>.

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Art

Map from The Labyrinth.
George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. “Pratt’s typewriter.”The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-473e-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Tete de tigre” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1888. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/09f6af00-1f95-0134-753d-00505686a51c
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Thomas’s fancy loom, Lewiston.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-265a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “s.n.] (Pag. 57). ([Año] 1494).” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1910. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-8004-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. “Pratt’s typewriter.”The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-47c6-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

SWN 11 Conversation with 0r10n

Murder and heart devouring

We ended the last session with Strachan and his band of trained killers having failed a Stealth test deep in enemy territory, looking to take their sci-fi knives to a local general, hoping to stymy the army about to clash with the 10,000 Tigers.
They got jumped by 10 soldiers with medieval swords and bucklers made of some bronze-ish mineral and lizard hides. Strachan’s crew took one hit and the Kaprianouers were routed.
They made their way to the Naiti army’s general in a ruined fort and killed him as he was conversing with a Gudradim Space Marine via holographic projection. Strachan ate the general’s heart in plain view of the space marine, who shook his head at the savagery.
It was a big reveal, a platoon of space marines from the Guevaran Hegemony were on Kaprianou.
They also took a tech-priestess prisoner and picked her brain but killed and discarded her because she was a religious zealot to the dread-tech-god AR3S, an ancient war A.I. This led to a discussion about how this group just aren’t good guys.
“Our first job was stealing and framing the theft on convicts!”
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Talk with 0R10N

The players were brainstorming on how to deal with the situation: space marines, a genocidal A.I. self-declared deity, medieval armies on the march and all covered by a blanket of low orbit nanite blanket meant to keep the A.I. stranded here. Dr. Galvari asked, “Would you like to confer with 0R10N?”
They talked with this young A.I., being raised to hunt the genocidal war A.I.’s that after the Scream, went rogue and decimated entire planets. 0R10N was clearly young and naive and eager to impress. He only had the data they gave him. The young A.I. suggested they contact a Perimeter Agency.
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Baba Yaga

 There are pre-tech satellites in orbit around Kaprianou that manage the nanite cloud. Deiter and Arkaday hacked one and they wire their comms through it, so they can easily communicate with the ship. Knowing that the space marines must’ve landed from orbit recently, they looked at the satellite’s memory to see if had picked up anything. Turns out some marines tried to hack the satellite too. They didn’t do as well and the nanite cloud devoured their power armor vacc suits, leaving them to the void.
After seeing that, Arkady named the satellite Baba Yaga.

SWN Campaign Casting Call

I like writing the players e-mails about the game as if it was a popular science fiction television show.

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Mubarak

Mercenary Captain

played by Naveen Andrews
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“I like playing Mubarak. He’s a soldier who proudly served in the Lalita Navy, what he sees as the greatest armed force in the Sector, a link to our roots on Olde Earth. Now he’s a rootless mercenary, his once-proud Navy has been decimated and he’s signed on in this back-water nowhere planet doing very illegal work.
“He’s an honorable man amidst warring factions.”
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Dr. Gavani

Artificial Intelligence Specialist

voice and facial expressions by Ben Kingsley
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“Gavani was initially a difficult character to get a grip on. He comes form this world where the technology is so far advanced that it might as well be magic and of course he was made to survive in an underwater environment which is why Deiter calls him, Dr. Fishman.
“He’s a father. That is the grip I have on him. He’s raising 0r10n as his own son to hunt down genocidal evil. Creating an A.I. in this world is really like putting together a child, a very powerful demonic child. Fundamentally, he’s a father, almost a mixture of Frankenstein and Faust.”
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General Idowu

Leader

played by Danny Glover
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“He’s a military man, who believes in what he’s doing and how it will shape his world, allow it to join the stars again. I like him marching towards his possible doom. He’s a good guy and in this story, that is rare.”
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Bisola

Soldier in a Strange Land

played by Lupita Nyong’o
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“She’s grown up in this medieval society, knowing that the stars are above and that her people came from starships to hold this demon on the planet. I like that her people want to get back to the stars on her own terms.
“Now she’s thrown in with these mercenaries with very shallow morals. I’m curious to see what she makes of the galaxy now that she’s out in it.”
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Wolfgang

Cyber-Ninja

played by Max Riemelt
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“Who doesn’t want to play a cyber-ninja? It is just fun.
“That said, his relationship with Deiter, their brotherhood and love is what really drew me to the role. I like his relationship to his brilliant brother who is clearly on the spectrum.”
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Who is Danny Trejo playing? Fanboards are filled with speculation.

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Some say that they have seen him coming on set with face tattoo make-up, leading some to speculate that he will be playing an as-yet unnamed Gudrudim Hunter!

SWN 10: Conversations with AR3S

I had time to make my second faction turn and things got complicated. It was me, rolling dice alone, saying, “Holy shit!” Looking up rules to clarify this or that and cussing again as the shape of the Guevaran Hegemony’s assault on the Mante Wheel became clear.

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The players are on Kaprianou, a TL1 world with a blend of Nigerian and British cultures. They’ve noticed that the 10,000 Tigers army had a Perimeter Agency banner on its flag-pole. The 10,000 Tigers don’t want help from TL4 worlds. They want to get back to modern tech on their own, in their own way.

But there is an A.I. named AR3S on the planet and suddenly, the purpose of the nanite cloud surrounding the planet – to keep an A.I. trapped here. AR3S wanted them to take its phylactery to nearby Circe, a TL4 hub planet. They are stalling AR3S.

They suspect AR3S is in communication with other factions on the planet and suddenly, other factions’ armies start mobilizing towards them.

The players burned down a fleet of galleons heading for an island fortress south of them. The sailors on board died in the ocean of hypothermia while the ships burned into the sea under a hail of laser fire. The players and hired merc NPC’s were in the ocean in their vacuum suits, laser rifles in hand.

General Idowu is the 10,000 Tigers’ southern patrol general. He sent his neice and aide-de-camp, Bisola with the players to guide them. When she felt she had seen too much science and technology, she ritually scarred her cheeks to take herself out of Kaprianou society. Now she’s an Astral Dragon LLC employee.

The players are talking about dropping a car-sized asteroid to the planet’s surface to deter the armies under AR3S’ influence.

NOTE: I forgot a key decision point in the game. AR3S offered the players the coordinates of a Bruxelles class battle-cruiser, left for dead since the Scream if they took AR3S off planet and hooked it up to Circe’s computer network.

They are in the process of turning him down, after a good number of minutes of game time were spent fantasizing about what one could do with such a ship.

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At the end of the session Strachan Natana, the Gudridim Hunter, took a small force towards the army with only knives, thinking that they’d kill a few officers and deter the army from its future battle, save a general they befriended from being killed without violating the TL1 world’s strict codes about technology. The game ended on a failed stealth roll. We’ll start from right there next game.

And meanwhile, there is a young A.I. gestating in a village around ruins of an ancient castle. It was funded by a LLC called Witch-Hunters but is now funded by a LLC called Astral Dragon. It is being bred to hunt unbraked A.I.’s that have caused genocide across the sector; its name is 0R10n.