Happy Aether Tuesday, Voyagers! We've been focusing on adjusting and testing the game as per usual, and last sunday we had a... curious character in our playtest that might just become an in-setting legend.
The Hostile Environment Recon and Scavenging Unit (H.E.R.S.U.) Mk. 1 'Teddy'
He was the prototype of an experimental model of robots that was built on earth before the Albatross launched. His line was originally intended as a sturdy and reliable recon unit that would be capable of surveying hostile land and hunting for food and resources. Only this one prototype managed to make it into the cargo of the ship.
Imagine the face above, but one of the eyes is horribly scarred and half-melted from some unknown attack or accident. He carries a custom wood-panel laser rifle that he calls 'The Winchester' and a sword that has the words 'Big Stick' engraved into it. He almost exclusively communicates through Theodore Roosevelt quotes and he emits an eerie, how radio hum at all times.
Our test was pushed forward due to a family event on my end, so we only began with two players, a jolly rotund Mikwa and Teddy. Right out of the gates of the base they find themselves attacked in a crystal clear swamp, waylaid by bandits wanting to steal their meager supplies. Teddy is ready.
"No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it." Teddy lets out after the Mikwa expresses that they barely have any supplies as it is. The Bandit leader cocks his head at his men and tells them they'll be taking their supplies the hard way.
One of the Bandits tries to stab Teddy in the back during the fighting, but deals no damage. He turns back at him, his normally green eyes flick yellow and he says "The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly." then his eyes flick red and he turns to one of the other bandits that had gone to take cover with his pistol and shoots him dead in the chest and takes him out in one go.
Later they ended up back out in the swamp and stumbled upon a heavily injured Fulgori rebel. He told them that he was attacked by some kind of huge creature and pointed into a thick wooded area he had come from. The Mikwa tries to convince him that it's too dangerous, but he just turns to him and belts out "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." and waits patiently for the Mikwa to give in.
They went into the forest after that. The forest canopy was so thick that it blocked out the daylight, and the only light was given by glowing plants near the forest floor. They tracked the Fulgori's foot prints back to where they saw another set of tracks split off from his. They followed THAT and eventually figured out that they had been stalked by some creature that was leaping between trees and had attacked and half-eaten the other Fulgori.
They didn't find it, so they went back to the swamp, tried to patch the Fulgori up but neither of them were really trained in medicine. Luckily a third player joined in around then, a Fulgori doctor.
They proceeded further in the swamp and stumbled on an Albatross Escape Pod, but the human that should have been inside was absent, and the door showed signs of having been torn open. They proceeded further south into some sparse jungle and found him in the bushes, seizing up and foaming at the mouth.
They figured they would take him back to their base in hopes of fixing him up, and remembered that he escape pods have supplies in them that they could use, but as they turned to leave they were attacked by a large flying predator with a poison tipped tail; a Miyu'moko'chi.
The Fulgori Doctor froze up when he saw it, and the Mikwa bolted in terror. Once everyone got their bearings, The fight dragged on for a few turns with the PCs managing to avoid any significant harm and the beast's agility and resilient hide letting it shrug off most of their attacks. Teddy backed off to get a better firing position, leaving the doctor to fend for himself.
When the doctor tried to get some space it whipped around and stabbed him right in the back with its poison stinger, then grabbed the dropped human and flew off. Teddy managed to shoot and injure it as it flew off, but not badly enough for it to drop the man.
The doctor almost succumbed to the poison, but the strange healing properties of the swamp, and their quick thinking let them get to the pod just in time to administer antitoxin. He'll probably out of commission for a few days, though.
As for Teddy? Some say he's still hunting the beast through the wilderness. After all,
"Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering."
If you want to have the chance to tell your own wild stories, you should consider joining our Discord and participating in our weekly Playtests!
That's all for now, Voyagers! See you next Aether Tuesday!