Treasury of Games: Erriapus Harvester Post A58.

This irregular satellite of Saturn was captured and nudged into a more stable orbit to provide a staging area for harvester barges making runs up and down the gas giant’s gravity well. Saturn’s atmosphere and rings provide rich sources of a variety of elements and minerals, essential to the Solar system’s heavy industry. It’s also a battleground, the first place extrasolar fleets coming for humanity’s homeland must secure. Historically, no fleet which failed to secure Saturn’s harvester posts succeeded in claiming Terra. Currently, the debris of past battles is just one more resource to harvest.

The post is run by an old spacer named Garth. He comes across as a solid, stubborn, capable organizer. Stubborn he is, but though he trades heavily on his reputation for having held the post through the past two wars and three attempted invasions in the course of them, he tends to overcompensate for the way technical details of engineering have outpaced him by using bureaucratic details to frustrate others. Ship captains don’t look forward to having to submit requests to him, because they inevitably come back two or three times for clarifications or corrections. However, his crew like him because of his quick and jovial wit, and this makes him popular with not only the few others on the post but the barge captains who work with him enough to know the quirks of how he wants the paperwork done.

The newest barge captain to come out to Saturn’s rings is Hyman Ward. A 19-year-old graduate of the Ares Piloting Academy on Syria Planum, Ward is a shining example of the first class to come out of that school, founded at the end of the Solar-Gliesean conflict 5 years ago. He has an open and forgiving command style, while still keeping his crew of six adhering to regulations and getting the job done. His major flaw is his naïvete, a trait which old Garth finds endless amusement in by turning the boy’s head with pranks and tall tales.

Possible dangers or encounters at the harvester post:

  • One of Garth’s pranks went a little too far, and Ward’s barge ended up losing engine power. It’s falling towards Saturn!
  • A leftover mine from the last war was mistaken for scrap metal, and it went off inside the harvester post. Can anyone be saved from this catastrophic mishap?
  • All transmissions from the post have cut out. What’s wrong? They could be jammed because of an incoming attack, or it could be a simple electrical problem.

Treasury of Games: Contains Unsavory Illustrations

Some books are banned for good reasons. The Comics Code Authority was founded by conservative moralists, but it found a greater purpose than censoring skin and blood. On rare occasions, something dangerous to more than the morals of children would be published, if not for a small team within the CCA. The “unsavory illustrations” label sometimes has this deeper meaning: that the publication so labeled has been censored to remove images with real magical meanings.

Naturally, when subversive cults or warlocks look to publish their spell-symbols to put into effect some grand-scale ritual or to alter the minds of millions or whatever the reason, they would rather not see their publication censored by the authority. However, none of the major distribution channels will pick up a non-CCA-approved publication, so the scope of other publications is limited to local markets. The team in the CCA is independent and can’t help with local problems directly, they specialize in recognizing occult symbols so they can ensure none get into mass publication.

The CCA symbol has been modified over the years to contain a hidden cipher. It serves dual purposes – as a warning to rogue occultists seeking to publish damaging materials, and as an offer to other groups seeking to curb those publications. The CCA occult team exists to prevent the widespread distribution of materials which could cause memetic contagion or a massive reality altering event. Though they can’t reach directly to at-risk communities and the hiding places of the warlocks who might publish these materials, they can offer resources to like-minded groups who might be able to do something, while deterring the less venturesome cults from raising their heads. The message of the cipher to those who can decode it is, “We are watching.”

It may be an empty message, but the team does what they can to provide information to others like them who fight against the darkness.

Ian Price is the creator of Kitsune: of Foxes and Fools and Bad Decisions, and has contributed to the Ghouls, Carthians, and Chronicler’s Guide books for Vampire: The Requiem.

Treasury of Games: Dragon Altar

A cliff overlooking the eastern sea, six miles from the town of Layton (known for the roast boar prepared at the inn of the Bowman’s Pony), “Dragon Altar” is said to be where kings and queens of old were joined together by no lesser officiant than a true dragon. A weathered stone monument at the highest point describes the ritual in the ancient tongue of dragons. Only a few scholars can read the marks in this fallen age, but the ritual not only binds two souls in matrimony, but involves the dragon’s pledge to protect them and their lands. Since it is said that when dragons pronounce their own speech, the words are magic itself, enforcing the truths pronounced by the dragon, the ritual is thought to have made a mystical connection between the dragon, the monarchs, and the land. Some scholars believe this accounts for the reported longevity of these ancient rulers, when they were not killed in battle.

Sadly, dragons have been absent from the land for many years. When the king from beyond the eastern sea came with his men and ships and the power of foreign gods and conquered the land, his people knew nothing about the traditions linking the dragons and the kingdom, save that dragons were in service to their enemies. Then, later, the remaining dragons were seen as feral menaces to be eliminated, because they had lost their connection with the land and the people had forgotten the traditions which would have made dragons their allies. Now, dragons are legends, and haven’t been seen near these settled lands in generations.

Weddings are still held at the Dragon Altar cliffs, though, in front of the slab where the words most cannot read are inscribed. High ranking officials of the land travel to these cliffs to be seen honoring the old traditions, not knowing what those really were. If a pair were to find a true dragon and enact the true wedding ritual of this altar, they could obtain a connection with the land which has been absent for centuries. Besides being able to command the loyalty of a dragon, the lands belonging to a pair so mated will be blessed with fertility (as will the pair themselves). The humans in the bargain gain the ability to properly pronounce the speech of dragons, and thus perform magic in their way. The dragon gains the ability to transform into a human at will, and may dominate the minds of any humans who owe loyalty to the pair it is joined to. The three may speak to each other in the tongue of dragons at any distance as well, though they may not lie in that speech – for attempting to do so will levy a curse, because peaking in dragon language makes magic, and speaking lies in it will thus twist the speaker. Dragons might learn to lie to each other without twisting themselves, but between those bound by oath at Dragon Altar, the oath ensures any lies among the three will be punished. Some possible ways the liar might be twisted:

1 Hears all speech as lies.

2 Sees people who are not there occasionally.

3 Fails to see people who are there occasionally.

4 Can’t hear people who aren’t first perceived by another sense.

5 Colors are muted and hard to distinguish.

6 Both eyes change to random colors, and hair changes color and natural shape.

Ian Price is the creator of Kitsune: of Foxes and Fools and Bad Decisions, and has contributed to the Ghouls, Carthians, and Chronicler’s Guide books for Vampire: The Requiem.