Saturday, February 12, 2011

We, The People [Session 4]

They had already seen the news broadcast. Twice over by the time they had left the train. It had only been two days since the hostilities at the dam, and already the news of their actions had spread across Arcan, probably through the entirity of Drex. All three of them, Darius, Clay and Zackery, had been accused of being terrorists, their actions having been distorted by TOWERs complete control of the media to turn them into the enemies. That supply train they had attacked and robbed to feed their dying town? Apparantly is was supplying the very towns they were, even though Clay had downloaded evidence proving otherwise. 

They were changed with theft of aid supplies, destruction of TOWER property, murder of TOWER employees, and worst of all, sabotage of the Ulysses Dam, resulting in the power-loss throughout Cain. They had explain all this, 24 hours ago, to Major Peterson back in Viradenne Drop; he had listened to their liberal telling of the truth, explaining how they had to shut off the dam to prevent the entire area flooding. He agreed with their need to keep this information quiet; the last thing they needed was panic. For now, it would be decided that the group would take the supplies they had acquired over the last few missions, and attempt to sell them in the city. 

They were just stepping off the train, over a day later, when they were confronted by Newarth. One of the largest cities on Arcan, and containing the largest space-port in Drex, the city was a site to behold; many miles of slums and social dwellings, suddenly arching upwards into huge TOWER-controlled factories, open and active 24/7, pumping out some of the finest goods Humanity could produce. Just beyond that came the TOWER HQ itself, together with the space-port; the skyscraper stretched high into the clouds, and even at this distance and this early in the morning, there were thousands of ships of every shape and size buzzing around it, like bee's around a hive. It was incredible.

The security checkpoint was heated; the news reports didn't mention that it knew who was behind the atrocity, but who knew what TOWER was capable of? Clay remained calm, casually strolling through as if nothing was unusual. Darius, a few steps behind, and a little more nervous, managed through without issue. Zackery, despite trying to fit in amongst the crowds, made a poor job of it; the guards noticed, frowned, and thought nothing more of it.

The team was confronted; the main market street infront of them was filled with people, despite it being morning, but was relatively low-class. The more money they made, the better Viradenne Drop would do, and the larger their cut would become. Clay, sensing that the already-warm day would only get warmer, set out to find a store immediately; the supplies he needed to be rid-of mostly consisted of water, an item it shouldnt be difficult for him to be rid of, even with his rather anti-social mannerisms. 

Darius and Zackery both took the second option; down a large street filled with pubs, clubs and bars of all varieties and types. Some had been open all night, some were only just opening for the morning rush, but everyone in the area seemed relatively well dressed, including the assorted bouncers and guards they saw, mostly Human. The two came across a pawn shop opposite the largest building they had seen so far, a club named Talisman, open all hours.

As soon as they entered the pawn shop, the subtle scent of decay was overwhelming, and the source was obvious; the Ghoul standing behind the counter was well into the stages of decay. It was already obvious that the Ghoul rarely got fresh customers, as he didn't even turn to look at those who had just entered, assuming they were his regulars. He half-grunted a hello. Darius felt the smell cling to the back of his throat; an Onatan, he was sickened at the thought of disease and uncleanliness, but he had goods he needed to sell. He looked around the store, and seeing little of interest (an disgusted by the smell) he left it at that, and went in search of Clay.

Zackery, meanwhile, already a Ghoul, thought nothing of the scent, and tried to get the other Ghouls attention. He was no idiot though; the Onatan didn't know that Zackery was a Ghoul, and things would go a lot smoother if he didn't figure it out. He waited patiently till Darius left, and approached the Ghoul storekeeper. "I'm interest in selling some items, good sir.."

The Ghoul simply hand-waved him away, with a grunt about being uninterested in buying desert scrap. A little more forcefully, Zackery repeated his proposal, this time adding; "And I thought us Ghouls were meant to stick together." This seemed to get the others attention; they shook hands, and he introduced himself as Dustin. "Listen Zack, I like's me Ghoul's, we need's to stick together here, right? You prove's to me you can sell five items to those fleshies out there, and I'll buy half your stock. Deal?" They shook hands and Zackery went to work.

Clay, meanwhile, had found himself a nice store near the higher-end of the market, next to a Sigurn; usually small and fleshly creatures, this one was encased in a hulking 7 foot Golem, not unusual for the technologically-advanced race. The Sigurn showed little attention to the Exohuman, as he went to work selling his water. Business was slow, but he made a few sales, and things seemed to be going well.

Darius had arrived now, and set up opposite Clay with his assorted goods; clothes, shoes, watches, and other trade goods, general items of interest to many. His sales pitches were well placed, and he attracted the attention of many who were just browsing, getting those sales thick and fast. Things were going well.

Zackery, now leaving Dustin's store, decided to try his hand in Talisman; it looked like a quality establishment, and the people going in and out seemed much better dressed than most there. He had no trouble with the bouncers, and after greasing the palm of the barman, an otherwise friendly Human, he went to work. Convincing the drunks on the lower levels to buy food wasn't a difficult task, and utilising assorted watches and bracelets, he managed to use the women on the arms of some of the well dressed men to convince everyone to indulge in his wares. It was going well, but Zackery needed more, and faster; he ascended the stairs, where the highest class of patron resigned.

As the clouds cleared from the sky, and the midday sun burnt hard and hot above them, Clay's business began to skyrocket. Water was flying from his stand at such a rate that Clay didn't notice the Sigurn approach behind him until the creatures shadow was upon him. "You're doing well friend," spoke the Sigurn, sophisticated and gentle beneath all that stone. He introduced himself as Garrett, who had been working here for some years, on and off. His food stand was popular, selling assorted foods for specific races, and doing well for himself. "Perhaps, those who eat need a drink, and those who drink want some food. Yes?" They would send each other patrons, and both would benefit. Clay offered his word and a shake of his hand as proof; as gentle as they are, no one would willingly betray a Sigurn.

Darius was having similar luck. Beside him, a Indrafil named Duranne had taken an interest in some of Darius' items, of a much higher quality than the usual tat sold in the market. The lofty and dazed looking Indrafil dealt with Darius, an equal trade of goods, to diversify both stalls and attract more customers for each of them. Duranne chose a few assorted goods, and offered a view of his stall for Darius; he immediately recognised the tint of the Unreal on some of the items. "I make them all myself!" Duranne beamed, probably unaware of the sorcerous taint on the items. Darius was fair, taking some of the magically-adept items, and some of the regular, before returning to his stall. He pushed aside two of the sorcerous bracelets, and left the necklace on the stall, just to see it's effect.

Zackery was finding his wears popular upstairs, after bribing the guards to let him through. He sold a bracelet to a merchant hoping to attract the attention of a pretty pole-dancer, and a watch to a large man surrounded by women of various species. All seemed to be going well, until a better-dressed bouncer grabbed him harshly on the shoulder. "The boss wants to talk." Zackery calmly nodded, and followed his way through the back door onto the third floor, the top of the building. Down a long and open corridor, filled with men and women enjoying assorted drinks and drugs, sat a Kai-ka-Thear. The insect was almost 7 foot tall, a huge and hulking creature that would give a Sigurn a run for it's money; it was covered in scars and burns, obvious signs of combat, and it's two scythe arms were folded low behind his carapace; he was missing of his front arms, his lone claws hand clasped tightly around a bubbling blue drink. He downed it in one, and glanced with insectile eyes at the Ghoul.

"You've got balls. Selling in my club. Off-wordler, right? Don't know the rules? You're lucky you're not selling crap gear; this is good stuff. TOWER stuff, right? Hah. If my guys downstairs hadn't spoken for you, you'd already be dead. So.. what have you got to say?"

Zackery thought fast, and spoke faster. He was calm, apologetic, and respectful at all times, and graced the Kai-ka-Thear crimeboss with some of his earnings, to smooth things over.

"I like you." The boss replied, introducing himself as Logant. "Most people don't have the right respect when they come into my town. My slums. Infact.. there are two there now. An Exohuman and an Onatan. Think they can set up shop and not pay their dues. Get the bastards to pay up for me, and maybe I won't rip your arms off and feed you to my patrons.." Zackery nodded, and left quickly.

Back at the store, and people had begun to close up shop. While Darius sold a few final items to people browsing, Clay caught up in a conversation with the Sigurn, Garrett. "It usually dies here late afternoon. Might get a big crowd come through, factory workers, early evening. I'll stay till then, sell the last of my stock for cheap; they need any help they can get, then go home. Besides, Logant doesn't like people blocking up the street and distracting his patrons." The Sigurn laughs nervously. "You got stock left? Listen, I got a guy, Granth, apparantly the last of his species. He buys bulk, better than taking it home, right?" Garrett jots down the address on a piece of card, and passes it to Clay. "You be careful, hear? You're a nice guy."

By the time Darius had finished packing, already with a hefty sum in his pocket, Clay had the time to explain about Granth, and his new concerns about someone called Logant. They had already decided to see this Granth by the time Zackery showed up. 

"You need to pay Logant. He's got too much power to piss-off!" Their argument was getting heated. Zackery had seen the sort of influence Logant held sway over, and had respected his power greatly; a tithe to appease the crime-lord, and they could be on their way. But Darius had flat out refused. "This money is for Viradenne Drop! I'm not paying some oversized bug! You go back to your new friend and you tell him he can fuck off. C'mon Clay, let's go to Granth."

With that, the group split. Zackery returned to Logant, who was enraged at the news of Granth's involvement; a rivalry between the two had grown over the last few months, and Logant was tired of it. "Go. Get the credits from those friends of yours, and make a damn example of Granth, that four-armed bastard!" With a Helos, a Dravn, two Humans and a Cendran in tow, Zackery nodded, and the group boarded a transport.

Meanwhile, Darius and Clay had found Granth; the Ship'n'Shuttle Autorepair store was relatively unspectacular, and although the two large steam constructs outside were imposing, the skinny four-armed Granth was now. He was talkative and friendly, but distant, until the name Garrett came up; his dispossession change, and the three retreated to Granths office to talk business. Talk was short, and before long, Granth had a wealth of new supplies, and Darius and Clay had a new supply of wealth, and a new contact for the future.

As they were leaving the office, though, things began to look a little more dangerous. Logant's team had held back, but Zackery was approaching with cocky enthusiasm. He ushered the others back inside, and warned that this guys weren't playing around. "Listen, I've got a plan.."

Zackery led out the other two, their arms held high in surrender. The Dravn and the Humans began moving in opposite directions, as if circling their new prey. The two constructs had begun to slowly advance from the building behind them. The Helos strolled forward with the unbridled rage that only a species of slaves can truly manage, while the Cendran began to speak into his helmet radio. They were 20 feet from the Helos when things really went down. And it started with Zackery..

..Sadly, not how anyone had expected. He span, drawing his pistol, and firing at Darius. Everything seemed to go to hell imediately after. Clay, always willing for a good fight, practically challenged the Helos to a dual, and the two began to brawl, sorcery and fists clashing between the two of them. Darius and Zackery were exchanging shots and blows, with the Humans firing into the combat wildly. The Cendran hung back, still on the radio, oddly calm. The Dravn, meanwhile, had found his target; his warhammer descended upon the sluggish Constructs, abominations in his eyes. 

Zackery lunged at Darius, pinning him to the floor, hands tight around his throat. Darius managed to hold on, to remain conscious, and kicked Zackery off from ontop of him, laying into him with his axe. With a struggle, Clay managed to finish off the Helos; first with a pair dragonheads, soaking the wolf-like creature in flames, and then ending the creatures life with his dagger. The Dravn had crushed the leg of the one Construct, and while it was incapacitated, the reptile turned to the other, and descended like a beast possessed.

That was when the Cendran strode into the fray. With the calm motions of a trained soldier, he pulled the pin from a smoke grenade, and rolled it into the centre of the combat, activating his visor in the process. As Clays dragonhead rose up for another shot, the grenade was caught in the intense sorcerous heat; the pressurised can, before it could go off, simply burst, as smoke filled the area, choking and suffocating all within. The Humans fired wildly, and even the Cendrans pinpoint shots were meaningless.

The radio on Darius' side burst into life. "On the way gentlemen!" The blast from the cutters engine blew the smoke towards the Humans, leaving them gasping for air. The back ramp opened, as Darius and Clay leapt from their prone positions, ignoring the smoke, and dived into the storage area of the space-faring craft. And like that, it was gone.

Granth, piloting the craft, was disappointed; at the loss of his building, the loss of his constructs, and the betrayal of Zackery. The flight back to Viradenne was long, and they had much time to talk..

Logant, meanwhile, was significantly calmer than expected. Granth had gone, and the supplies locked up within that building bolstered his hold on the city significantly. And with the loss of the Helos, it seemed a new position was opening in his group; Zackery accepted, finally making his way in life..

Saturday, February 05, 2011

We, The People [Session 3]

Morale was already scattered for the group. After a few good mercenary missions for the town of Viradenne Drop, things seemed to be going great; they had liberated a holy statue of Sammael from a gang of goblins intent on causing trouble, rescued an altruistic mercenary trapped by TOWER grunts, and liberated a well-stocked store-keeper from TOWER oppression, gaining a healthy new ally in the process. But the smoke rising from Viradenne Drop as they returned home was ominous, and their day had taken a turn for the worst.

Three days had passed. The smoke still clung to Clay Coté's chest, his mind contemplating burning memories as he ran through the blazing building. Darius Gould had mourned through typical Onatan-artwork, painting a picture of the young girls life he had failed to safe, an abstract image of powerful colours coupled with mournful shades. And the ghoul, Zackery, had done what any true follower of Anubis would have done; revelled in the destruction, accepted that this girls time had come to an end, and moved on.

Mr Dorsey, the Inn-keeper, had provided them with enough free drinks to keep them on a lofty haze, as thanks for helping him build his temporary tavern on the outskirts of town. The place was somber. Until Mayor K. Peterson had burst through the door; the overweight man was barely fit, and he was gasping for air while the three adventurers accosted him for the information he obviously knew; "Guard outpost. Outside town. Scouts.. watching. Cans of.. petrol.."

And they were gone. Vengence and bloodshed strong in their mind.

But things has only continued to take a turn for the worst. Where Darius' weak mental state and powerful new hatred for TOWER managed to stay in check, it was Zackery whose conscience let slip, as he simply strolled through the drizzle and approaching-darkness, through the front door of the outpost, and began firing off shots into the crowd of guards and TOWER employees. Bloodlust had overtaken him, and Anubis smiled in secret.

Clay and Darius used this to their advantage; they ran upstairs, where they found a youth, a new employee for TOWER, oblivious to the scene downstairs. They tore the headphones from him, weapons at the ready, and the boy simply panicked. Answers came out of him like the puddle of urine around his ankles, and it wasn't long until they had the information they needed, and the print-outs to prove it. Clay found solace in Sammael's guidance, and convinced  Darius to let the boy go unharmed, simply filling him with the fear of God, ensuring he never came back to work for TOWER; they didn't want to have to kill him in some future life.

They returned to the firefight downstairs. The TOWER grunts were no match for a trained Knight, a Schoolman of the Gnostic sorceries, and a fully-trained and well-equipped Soldier. The place was a graveyard when they left; burning desks, beheaded foes, and broken limbs all round. Again, Anubis found a reason to smile in his new-found follower. Even AORTA approved somewhat of the justice bestowed by Darius.

They had the information they required, but had gained a new morsel of information; the TOWER Administrator for the area, a young man called Albert Simms, was in the area at the local dam, a facility which powered the entire area, and a place TOWER had taken early in it's campaign in the region of Cain; they had shut it down completely, hoarding the water for themselves, trying to starve the people of the area out, so they could move in and expand their already-powerful corporate empire. So far, it was working. The profits they were making from the water alone reached into the billions.

They gave a copy of the information to the scouts they encountered earlier, and sent them back to inform Mayor Peterson; they were going ahead. The documents they had detailed a campaign of arson and bullying across the region; the people here were hardy, finding water from different sources, so TOWER threw brutality and murder into the mix in an attempt to win them out. This had to end.

The approach to the hydroelectric plant was less than easy. The rain had picked up into a mighty storm, the winds racking the side of their buggy. It was dark, and the lights from the facility were visible from miles away.  They approached in silence, parking their buggy a small distance back, and formed a plan. Letting arcane energies seep into his sage stone, Clay replicated the lone stone into a handful of almost a dozen, and forced them to shine brightly in the darkness. Darius and Zackery readied their weapons.

It happened fast, although maybe not fast enough. The sage stones brought the guards out of their station long enough for the adventurers to strike. Clay snuck in through the side exit, and used his dagger to end the life of one of the guards, despite taking a few hefty blows in the process. Zackery fired his rifle, and with a few pinpoint shots, managed to take down another of the guards. Darius, meanwhile, let his rage guide him onwards; his axe, Head Cleaver, heaved through the air and struck his one foe clean in the chest, taking him down. He ran in, grabbing the axe and using his momentum to cleave the last guards head from his shoulders, and finished off the guard still bleeding from the axe-wound.

They approached the main facility. As they descended the stairs into the heart of the dam, they found no one else, the place was deathly quiet. Until they stepped into the main room. Applause echoed through the hollow facility, as a man dressed in a smart suit observed their entry. He was honestly impressed they had gotten this far. He was also surrounded by dozens of guards.

"Now.. I can throw these guards at you. I can order them to open fire. But I'm afraid you'd tear through them like butter, albeit with some difficulty due to the sheer numbers. It'd only be a roadblock. So.. with corporate backing, I thought I'd provide something more to your liking." As Simms stepped aside, they saw a familiar site; a Knight, a Schoolman, and a Soldier, armed and armoured, ready to take down their new prey. "Oh.." added Simms, grinning, "You have about 9 minutes until the dam opens up it's sluice gates and drowns every little town built in the hollow basin of Cain. Back-up plans are just darling, aren't they.. Toodles.."

The fight began; they knew it had to end fast, that they didn't have time to take out Simms and his guards, who were beating a hasty retreat out of the dam. The Schoolman was the first to fall; with charm in hand, he approached the three heroes, as a sorcerous dragonhead began to rear up behind him, a searing-mass of flame beginning to form in the creatures maw. Through combined effort, the caster was put down long before the dragon had chance to unleash a torrent of flame, and the creature simply phased back out into the Unreal.

But the Knight had already begun a prayer to his Lord; both he and the Soldier were engulfed in a holy light, their actions blurred as they moved. The Soldier was unleashing shot after shot on the group from his rifle, and the Knight stood before him as protector and guardian. It was only a matter of minutes for the combined power of the three heroes to take down their two adversaries, but those minutes were precious things.

Clay returned up the stairs, to prep the buggy, as Darius and Zackery tried to find the dam controls. They managed to track down the office; the alarms began to ring loud in their ears. Zackery immediately found the control terminal; password protected. He had to draw on his entire technological knowledge to get round this.

Meanwhile, Darius found a chart of the surrounding area. As the dam was opening completely now, almost every major settlement in Cain would be washed away; the sluice gates weren't opening, they were withdrawing completely. But they had three options. Opening the dams sluice gates to their full extent, encouraging a heavy flow, would wash away many of the towns of Cain, but Viradenne Drop would have all the water it needs, as well as a river as a protective barrier. A medium flow would provide some water to Viradenne Drop, saving some towns but dooming others. A light flow would barely help Viradenne Drop, but no other towns would suffer.

Darius argued his point with Zackery before, lacking faith in his colleague, he went to find an alternate option. Zackery had already decided his plan, however, regardless of the options at hand. It was as if his God had spoken to him directly. He was still struggling with the Human computer systems, a language he didn't speak.

Darius went to the maintenance area, attempting to find anything that would help. Alarms roared in his head, warning him that only One minute remained until the sluice gates opened. That's when he found the large-grey box, a lightning bolt on the front in bold yellow. An emergency power shut off.

Clay, meanwhile, had his own problems. He watched the cutter steam off into the sky with Administrator Simms on board, waving nonchalantly, always expecting that the group would win against TOWERs mercenaries. But not all the troops had left with their Administrator; a few stray shots were expertly avoided by Clay. His patience had begun to wear thin; he had had enough. He clenched his sorcerous charm tightly in his grasp, whispered a prayer to Sammael, and strode into the rain with the fury of an Exohuman sorcerer. His body began to burn red-hot, raindrops flaking out of existence as they came within inches of his body. He became a conduit to the Unreal, and flames roared from his hands, washing over the jeep. Under such sustained pressure, the jeeps fuel-tank ruptured, and flashed white-hot into a glorious explosion.

Zackery had managed to fight his way through the firewalls and cryptic defences, and finally found the dam controls. He had three options infront of him. His hand reached for the screen.

Darius tore the front off the emergency shut-down panel. This dam powered the entire Cain region; could he risk shutting it down? He let his faith in AORTA guide him, as he reached for the switch.

The alarms wailed, counting down the seconds until the dam opened completely.

The screams of those TOWER employees caught in the blast were cut short by Clay's pistol shots, an act of mercy, not hatred. He ran to the buggy, knowing the hadn't got time. He could no longer hear the alarms, the storm was raging around him. He knew there couldnt be long. He stepped into the light cast from the security office... the whole dam shook and rumbled. The light flickered out. The sluice gates remained closed. The region of Cain went dark.

It was a melancholic journey back to Viradenne Drop. No one but themselves knew of their individual actions in the last few minutes on the dam, how close Zackery had come to drowning many innocent lives.

They returned to Viradenne Drop in the early hours of the morning. Only the drunks were still awake, and they paid no heed to the well-armed strangers. Each wordlessly went their own way. Revelling in his Onatan heritage, Darius picked up a brush, and tried to paint away the anguish and confusion in his mind. Clay, considering himself a failure for not staying, had began to lose faith in Sammael; where was his God when he needed him? More a show of faith to himself than his God, he struggled alone with the statue of Sammael in the buggy, lifting it onto the pedastal of the dry fountain in the centre of town, and wondering; What if? Zackery, meanwhile, had simply slinked off into the darkness, to surround himself with depravity and filth in the local exotic merchant.

And morning slowly came to the region who didn't know how close they had came to death.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What Is DreX?

So, I hear you all beg... what IS DreX?

DreX is many things.

Firstly, and most of all, DreX is a dissatisfaction. I had tried my hands at many roleplaying games across the years, together with my (patient) group of friends. Everything, from Dungeons and Dragons, to Mutants and Masterminds, from Dark Heresy to Gearkrieg. GURPS, too. We'd seen it all, and our wardrobes were overflowing with those damn t-shirts, here in the form of rule books, taking up acres of valuable space. They all had something excellent, some spark of beauty within them, and don't get me wrong, they were all fantastic games in their own way. But they were all fantastic in different ways, and this.. annoyed me. Yeah, let's go with 'annoyed'. I would be spending a lot of time with these games, living in these artificial worlds, playing to these organic rules. I had a right to be selfish!

So I looked at them all. Deep and hard, I looked at every single one of those games, and began to contemplate; how hard would it really be to make my own game?

I already had years under my belt as a forum-RolePlayer, through a multitude of internet web forums, playing more characters than I dare count! I'd won awards (which I still claim I do not deserve), I've hosted awards ceremonies, I've played the devils advocate and Gods right hand man, and in some rare cases, playing God Himself! I'd designed sites, and with that, had designed worlds. True, they were shallow worlds, fitting around the character I'd played, and whoever interacted with me, but they were there, right?

Another thought had struck me. Why start anew? Why not take these years of experience and create a Frankensteins monster of a game! So I started. And, I admit, I've hit many roadblocks along the way. My loyal group will recall the countless-thousands of directions I went with DreX, from space-tactical-warfare (both with-and-without ships) a strategy fantasy wargame (with icons representing units), to a high-fantasy roleplaying game, even to a zombie-apocalypse survival horror game. It mutated with my tastes, until, as always, it returned to my first love; Science Fiction.

But, almost equally as important, I am DreX. Not just as omniscient (hah!) creator of this world I've laid out infront of me, piece by piece, but by name also. It was an ironic joke, a mockery of a name that became a source of strength and even inspiration. See.. my names Dan. And I'm not afraid to admit that, proportional to my body, I have rather small hands. Like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. See where I'm going here. Dan. T-Rex. D-Rex. And there it began.

But wait! For years, I had been going my the name Mr eX on various chat forums and online gaming platforms (most notably, Steam and Xbox Live.) A subtle promotion to Doctor (to which I justified to myself as being through my tireless work examining and questioning the philosophical nature, both of todays world, but also the various fantasy worlds I had come to grow up in during my roleplaying years), and we had Dr eX. Right?

And when I needed a name for this world, this system, this.. everything of mine, it came to mind. And so we have DreX.

But DreX is more than just me. Drex, lowercase 'x', is a world of infinite possibilities. When the hyper-advanced Exohumans fled their original home, they settled in a bare and barren expanse of space. They built a star, constructed planets, and surrounded their new haven with an internally- and externally- shielded dyson sphere. They named their system Drex. This would become the home of the events of DreX, providing safety for the Exohumans, disease and dying though they may be. Protector of the species growing up within her, Drex would be the source of a million adventures, passing unknown through time or affecting the lives of every single living being, born before then, or raised on stories and tales afterwards.

A dream. An ideal. A freedom of thought. A source of inspiration and energy. A place to escape the hum-drum activity of every day life and start something new, something endurable and eternal, where the only limits are the words you use and the actions you describe. A person, but not just that, every person. A galaxy, a swirling mass of planets and asteroids, around a sun built for the sole purpose of providing life and light to all and sundry.

This. This is what DreX truly is.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Big Announcement

As the first post of this blog (with no introduction, explanation, or description involved), I'd like to make an announcement!

In the act of converting DreX to a less 'real-world-references' setting, I've changed the name of the primary star in the centre of the system of Drex; this dyson-sphered hub of light-and-life is no longer named Eta Carinae (a name used in the old days, when Drex was a binary-star system, and wasn't even called Drex nor DreX). The name has served me well, and I wish a fond farewell to Eta Carinae (who is, infact, set to self-extinguish in the [astronomically] near future due to SCIENCE! and all). I hope we can still be friends.

There was a little competition (see: Facebook thread) that lasted about 4 hours before it became utterly derailed (at the moment, by Dragon Age) where I asked people to select their name for the new star in this little world of mine. Most came by post, a few came through private message, and I even had one text pertaining to this astronomical wonder. I'd like to give a run down of the top three, and then announce the winner here! (Who wins, as I promised, something nice.)

4) Schtig - posted by Rachel 'Gary the Slug' Atkins

At first I was wondering if she'd just seen the Facebook advert about the Stig and thought, "Why the fuck not?!" It didn't take long for the name to grow on me, and looking up to the sky and muttering about the brightness of the Schtig on a glorious day seems like an interesting prospect (which I may one day do, to the confuddlement of co-workers). In the end, it took a hefty fourth place.

3) Qliphoth - posted by Thomas 'Clay Coate' Dunn

My 'WTF?!' gland has grown pretty strong over the year, but when I read that, I WTFed big time. It just seems like a random jumble of letters. But as I did my research on stars, I realised their names generally were random letters unified into a word. Reminding me somewhat of a Lovecraftian horror, I shall use the name in the near future (probably for a Lovecraftian-esqe horror), but it sadly won't be the name of the star.

2) Dys - submitted by Emma 'No-I'm-Not-Adding-You-On-Facebook' Reese

Submitted by text shortly after the opening of the Facebook thread, Dys struck me with it's simplicity, but also by the simple fact that, the first time I read it, I read it aloud as 'Dice'. What greater sense of meta-humour is there than naming something important 'Dice' in a pen and paper roleplaying game? Dys may not be my star, but it's almost certainly going to be a new God.

X) Honorable Mention - Sphincter - by Shaun 'Dirty Jew' Watts

Seriously, Shaun? Seriously?!

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for..

1) Eta Aristillus - by Obi-wan 'The Amazing' Mikenobi

So.. it's not a huge secret, nor suprise. Look at the hyperlink for this blog.. see it? Yeah, Eta Aristillus. But still.. as soon as I saw the name, I thought it fit in perfectly with my idea of DreX; you can see and explore the surface as much as you want, but the moment you begin to look deeper and discover more, the more you realise that nothing is as it seems, that everything has a meaning or a direction seperate to what you originally saw.

To add meaning to the name, Aristillus  was a Greek astronomer who created the first star catalogue in approximately 300 BC, with the help of Timocharis. He worked in the Great Library of Alexandria. And I think he is a worthy and fitting individual to name my star after.

Eta Aristillus, I will forever look at you and think of your namesake.