The Earth That Is
This is the main page for The Earth That Is, a Pendragon conversion on the rpg.net forums.
Man's hubris has caught up to him, and nothing will save him now that the earth itself is dying. The nations of the world came to this realization centuries ago and began diverting all of their depleted resources to the construction of massive ark ships, meant to transport as much of humanity as possible to a new home in the stars. All technological research, all agriculture, all industry was funneled towards this single goal. Hundreds of millions died as society itself collapsed beneath the weight of this all-encompassing drive. Governments fell and were replaced with feudal dictatorships reminiscent of the monarchies of old, separated into brutal caste systems. Mankind's last generations lived and toiled and died in support of those at the top - the technocrats building the great ships and the soldiers who protected them.
As larger and larger proportions of Earth's diminishing resources were concentrated in those ships and spaceports, the rest of the world grew more diminished. The fabulous technological weapons developed at the height of man's greatness were worthless - no nation on earth would maintain its fusion-powered air fortresses when those materials could be repurposed for the construction of another portion of an ark ship. And what was there to fight over? The wastelands outside the spaceports? No. Nations became city-states. Presidents became kings. And soldiers became knights.
Outside the spaceports, men found the things that had been left behind, and they fought each other over those things which the new monarchs had abandoned when they withdrew to their steel palaces. The world grew colder. The air grew foul. Men told stories of strange and hideous creatures which preyed on the poorly armed parties sent to scout and scavenge. As in days of old, a man's fame and glory grew through such questing, through strength of arms and devotion to one's lord.
Nobody knows what went wrong on Launch Day. The fractured nations of the world had planned it for decades. The day when a hundred hundred ships would break free of their housings and launch into the stars. The fulfillment of a dozen generations who lived and died knowing that they would never see what they had helped to bring about.
The command crew of your ship does know that theirs was the only one to reach orbit at Pluto. Nobody else was coming. Without that fleet, there was no way to navigate beyond the solar system. No way to survive the journey and certainly no way to colonize an unknown planet with unknown dangers. The AI had only one recommendation - a long sleep. A sleep of unprecedented length. The systems should hold. And perhaps the Earth can heal.
Background creation was a collaborative process, with the GM providing several scenarios and the players determining outcomes. The background page contains a record of that process.
Knight-Captain Samantha St. Croix
Edison Hawking, Great Librarian and head of the Technothurge Council
Cecil Noether, member of the Technothurge Council. Has Loyalty (Sir Anders) 6.
HANDMAIDEN, the ancient and enigmatic AI which shepherded Diogenes's sleeping knights through the millennia and still advises the king and his council
Marie Galilei, technothurge adept at New Corinth (app 16+, orate 16+)
Lord Merriweather, Duke of Brestwell
Sir Lodham, vassal knight (1 Demense Manor) (strength 20+) Hold the manor of Mistcradle
Dame Francine, household knight (1 minor holding) (worldly 16+) Owns scavenge rights at Deepfall Gorge
Brestwell is the Duchy owned by Lord Merriweather. The Duke's castle is called New Albion, and is notable for the large geodesic dome that encompasses its lands. The rest of the Duchy consists of roughly thirty manors, though there is more potentially suitable land that might one day be granted to his vassals. The Duke maintains two hundred household knights at New Albion, and they constantly jockey for any favor or glory that might lead to becoming landed nobility.
Author's note: much of the formatting for this page (and children pages) has been cribbed from The Great Castlemourn Campaign.