• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

alscon

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Welcome to my newest AAR, a one before I continue my Romans at a later date. I have had the idea of a different concept - a dual AAR, simultaneously in Stellaris and CK II! Sounded strange, but also with potential to be a fun ride. So here it is – the Thousand Lights of Enlightenment.

Wait... simultaneously? How does that work? What would it be? A feudal society that somehow is able to run a galactic empire while squabbling over who rules most of the known world – able to have FTL travel, but not knowing their own homeworld in its entirety? Well, while that scenario would be fascinating, that's not the idea I have in mind.

Instead, it all starts on Xod, home of the Hamrax species. An advanced one, reaching out for the stars, in search of their faith, the Thousand Lights, and a fanatic interest in all that the Lights have brought to this galaxy. A species that has found a planet, named Sol III, on which a feudal society lives...


Next up some introductory chatter, that you may skip if you wish.

This will be the story of said society, but not just of theirs. The Hamrax will observe, and tell what happens in the greater expanse of their realm. And after a certain point, there may be outcasts, renegades, exiles, who ignore the law of the Hamrax and influence the fates of the Humans on Sol III.

Summing up, I will play as the Hamrax in Stellaris, the narration beginning as the observation post over Sol III has been finished. The staff of that post will reflect on the recent changes in their theocratic oligarchy, maybe also on their observations, mostly in the form of a dialogue.
I will also run a CK II game parallel to it, starting in 769, as the Zunbils. I will likely experiment a bit before finding the style of the CK part.

The critical point of observation passed, some observers turn active. They will connect galactical and terrestrial events in their narration, and influence a ruler on Earth, with their own goals in mind. I will then take over who the observer has a special interest in, and direct him onto the desired path – a previously peaceful Catholic Irishman might be turned into a bloodthirsty Norse, the genius ruling the Arabian Empire turn into a drooling moron.

Of course, covering almost 700 years will be hard in Stellaris – so time will be relative. The Hamrax calendar is different from the Christian one, and one Hamrax year will be approximately equivalent to 2,5 terrestrial ones.

And should I feel like the time has come to end the CK II part for whatever reason – time to enlighten! Then I'd continue as the enlightened Humans if there's a chance I can do something.


  • Xitralax - Light of Creation
  • Vestallus - Light of War
  • Mindara - Light of Science
  • Siluj - Light of Death, the Underworld
  • Sol - Light of Justice
  • Ruchba - Light of Fertility (the Benefactress)
  • Satrinias - Light of Work

The CK II part can be found here.

Without further ado, let's begin the introduction.
 
Last edited:

alscon

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“I still can't believe that I am really standing here”, the new scientist says, dropping his stuff on the ground. “Sentient planetary life – and I might study it! To revel in the infinite reach of the Thousand Lights, a dream come true.” He lets himself fall down, his scales taking in the warmth of the platform's metal. “It feels like yesterday that such a structure would have been impossible.”


“Maybe ten years. But who's counting such short amount of time anyway?” Another Hamrax stands behind him, and the first struggles to stand up as fast as possible, startled. “Xurthak, you will have enough time to kiss the metal later.”




Xurthak tries to salvage his pride. “I am sure you felt no different when you first set foot on the Xodarciz, Fular. Just let me enjoy the moment, if you can. Aren't you fascinated by the scientific advances we can make here?”


Fular bends his eyes behind his head, a clear sign of annoyance under Hamrax. “I've always been nothing but a pilot. My interest is flying vessels, not studying 'Humans'. And since Vestallus II, you lot don't inspire much confidence in me.” He remembers the alarm like it was seconds ago, and jumps at the sound of a gate opening. Two other scientist rush by the newcomers, exchanging a brief greeting before continuing on their way to sector three. Sudden noises are not something he'd ever grow accustomed to again.




“Come on, Fular. This will be our home for decades, so might as well enter with a smile. Like the Diinorzo's lead scientist, my idol Zacadliss, as he first saw a Human on the screen!” Xurthak obviously greatly enjoys this, unlike Fular. “Intelligent life far away from Xod, and unlike Tiyanki or space amoeba, comparable to us. A huge discovery! The Rays of the Thousand Lights truly fall everywhere, They be blessed.”





“As I said during the entire flight, there are many things I'd rather do than just ship your sort around. I am an ace pilot! What can I do if that rogue drone almost destroyed the Zimaliz I piloted? It was only because I've drawn the enemy fire upon myself that that softscale Moz was promoted!'His victory' – bah! And then that damned space amoeba...”





“You should be glad you left the wreckage alive. No wonder the navy dismissed you.” Xurthak did his best not to grin.


“Fools just don't realize my potential. Or that I saved the others. Amoeba flagella are vicious things. I hope for your sake that the humans are less aggressive than these things.”


“How should a medieval people shoot us down? Weren't you there when we built the outpost over Sol?”





“I must admit that this struck me. The beauty of that star, as with all the others I've seen – Shining Beacon Xarzat was right. Sol's yellow is fairly different from the blue of Xitralax, but that only shows the wide spectrum of the Thousand Lights. And with that planet in the distance, there was some feeling I can't describe – only that I am sure the Beacons sensed my prayers back on Xod.”




“Perhaps your chance will turn one day, Fular. I see there are at least some positive emotions left in you. Perhaps even get to like the humans as much as we do.”


Fular manages to laugh, for the first time since leaving Xod with the transport ship. “My hard soldier image! Gone in an instant!” But he manages to focus again. “Don't misplace your faith. I certainly won't go observe how some primitive society works. The Rays might shine on them as well, but that doesn't mean we have to be best friends – the amoeba are a good proof of that.” With these words, the pilot turns to leave. “Excuse me, but you'll find your sector alone. She's needing my attention right now.”

 

Dr.Livingstone

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Subbed!
 

Sancronis

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Certainly seems like a very interesting concept; I'll certainly be watching the AAR.
 

Makkovar

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I am certainly interested to see how the dual nature of this AAR comes into play.
 

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Cool concept! I like the idea!
I'll be following this,
 

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Thanks for the support :). By the way, setup is normal, and even if the religion is centered around the Thousand Lights, the galaxy only has 600 stars - didn't want to do too many restarts until I found a suitable Sol close enough. Haven't looked at the rest of the galaxy though.

This seems like a promising premise! I enjoy the way you chose to introduce your species. Count me in for the ride!
I'll continue to handle the alien part that way, with discussions between Sol III's observers. Any CK II screens will be in spoilers, and while there shouldn't be many, some might appear. Like in the next chapter:
______________________________________________________________________

I. Sectors

“Fascinating times, really.” Xurthak says, looking at his screen.

Fular, in the red pilot's uniform of his navy days, leans against the wall. Unable to look at the screen, he agrees. “You're right. Who would have thought that pirates would appear in space? How I'd love to give them a taste of my missiles. Though, knowing you, I think you are speaking of the Cybrex. Or one of our contemporary species. Still,” he pauses to drink from a bottle he carries, “You called me to get down on 'Earth', so here I am.”


Xurthak looks up from his screen towards the pilot. “Nonono. Not the Cybrex. Rusty machines aren't my speciality, I am a xeno-sociologist! And I can hardly study the society of some metal scraps that happen to have been sentient once. That's the task of xeno-archeologists, or xeno-engineers if it's still working. No, that's not right... if these things were still working, that would be an entirely different matter and possibly my field of research.”


“A different matter surely, for it would try to exterminate us.” A faint grin appears on Fular's face. “Where's the difference in all these new xeno-scientists popping up, anyway”, he mutters. Clearing his throat, he launches a second attempt. “Then the Finu, Tuxkan or these Salvagers – strange guys – we never heard of again? I certainly was interested there. Even more when I learned of the Tuxkan's hostile intentions – damned slavers – and the Finu's friendly ones. It seems as if the Beams of Fate brought us together to... 'enlighten' the Tuxkan. I'm sure the navy will need experienced pilots then...”


“Sorry to ruin your dream, but snap out of it, Fular.” The scientist always enjoyed bringing the pilot down to... well, the observation post, and this time is no different. “There are enough skilled people around, and with our first colony on Chlacht, there will be more than enough pilots for military needs around. Pilots who haven't been thrown out of the navy. Besides, did you know that the atmosphere of Chlacht is very much like the one of Xod, as are these of the Tuxkan and Finu? The concentration of gases, the average temperature, the...”


Fular silently curses Admiral Moz, wishing him a terrible death against the pirates, Vestallus, the red Light of War, willing. He briefly cuts off Xurthak. “You know I don't care.”

“You do care what has been so fascinating, don't you?”

“If it's none of the above, then I don't know what it should be”, the red Hamrax says, annoyed to have taken the bait. “Now, get ready already. I don't have all day.”

“Technically, you have,” the scientist replies, “but I do not. Sector five has noticed a great development in Byzantium.”

“There they go again.” Fular raises his hands to count down once again. “Sector one, 'North' – always going down to watch some bloodthirsty raiders, and then the incidents with the natives – One is almost the worst.

Sector two, 'Western Islands'. 'How interesting to see who is in charge' – well, not for me.

Sector three, 'Central Europe'. Some guy who's been king, his brother dies, he gets deposed and now there's some random other dude reigning over five kingdoms. Man, am I glad we have the Beacons instead of that feudalism.

Sector four, 'Eastern Pagans'. Who knows what happens there. I'm tired of doing all the trips for these guys. Can't these primitives get their shit together?

Sector five, 'Byzantium'. I think you'll tell me what happened there, even if I don't care. Another scheme? How I wish their city would burn down...

Sector six, 'Muslims'. Dudes of Six seem to be happy enough with the cameras and sensors, so that's good for me.

Sector eight, 'India'. An occasional trip if Ortul is ill. Lucky for me, rarely.

Sectors nine to fourteen are at least out of my reach.

But your damned sector seven, 'Zun'! Small, but by Xitralax, I...” He strangles an imaginary opponent.

“Listen, their faith is somehow familiar to the Thousand Lights – an incredible discovery! They are destined for greatness, just as how we evolved on Xod...”

“Well then study them from a distance!”

“Don't you admit that the ceremony for the Giver of Justice was amazing to witness? Almost like a gate to the past. They even experimented with gunpowder! Amazing! And that Shah's presence, their rapid expansion... The succession will be interesting. Sadly, humans don't seem to live very long. And no, you cannot grasp all the machinations and implications of the succession through distant observation. Old King Varzh could tell you that much would he still live.”

Fular curses, glancing towards the door. “More trips for me then. Now, get down or stay here, not my problem.”

“It is yours.” Xurthak grins, making the red wish to be armed, before standing up and leaving his screen. “To Constantinople. Five says that Levan IV gave in to the demands of a prominent Greek faction – looks like there'll be more action, a historical moment!”




Continuing to curse, the pilot leads the scientist of Seven to his ship. The only chance to stay close to her, but he almost regrets it. Some day. Some day he'll show the admiralty how wrong they were.
 

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Subbed! One of the most interesting concepts for an AAR I've seen.
 

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Welcome!
___________________________________________________________________________________

II. Blomiwendr

Hamrax calendar, Year 2212, 07.07 (slightly delayed)

The station has finally gotten a message from the outskirts of the system. The scientists all stare at their screens with immense anticipation. After all, their fate might be decided here. The two pilots, Fular and Ortul, are leaning on a wall, taking bets.

“I'm betting the next extra trips on Moz's defeat.” “Deal. Better get the engines ready.”

The screen flickers, and the Hamrax admiral appears, seemingly in a good mood, and full of enthusiasm.“We'll give 'em a taste of what shall await them when they are in Lyctabon's realm. The pirates should never have ventured into the Sol system. We have four corvettes, they only have four civilian ships, upgraded, that much I'd agree on, but still civilian. And they had attacked the station of Sol V, may Xitralax have found mercy upon their souls. We will bring them payback.


“See? You'll wish that you never bet with me”, Ortul says with a smug smile. The screen cuts for a moment, before Moz reappears, more neutral this time.

“We sank their Destitute whatever fairly quickly, but it seems that I underestimated the strength of their hulls. Difirlxaz is almost down, but we still have more firepower. Vestallus, grant us victory.”


The crew of the observation post fell silent before the next part of the message. Moz stands there, motionless, stoically staring through the screen. “It is done.” That is all he says. Then, a missile is visible through the cockpit, directed for the admiral, and the transmission abruptly cuts off. The silence of the crew gets unbearable. Only Fular grins. “Serves that fool right. Enjoy the extra trips, Ortul.”


The pilot looks at the data contained in that last message of the fleet. Xurthak joins him. “Beacons will learn from this. History shall not repeat itself. Which is one of the reasons we study the humans, so that our society grows from their mistakes.”

“How that shall happen is beyond me. How are we comparable to some short-lived primitives?” Xurthak is ready to counter, before Fular takes in the information appearing on the screen, smiles, and softens his tone, trying to spread some relief. “Alright guys, our,” he can't withhold a small satisfying smirk, “sadly departed hero left them with one ship hardly able to fight. You're safe.” Fular wonders if he should head after the pirates, but then he remembers that central command disarmed his ship.

“Dark and full of terrors”, the scientist mutters.

“That's one way to speak of safety, I guess. Lights can't illuminate all. Wait, that doesn't sound right – did I just hear you complain about safety? If there is one man I don't expect to feel the thrill of battle, then it's you.”

He ignores Fular. “Pirates, the Tuxkan, Frubralav, Pithok... a dangerous world we live in. Where is our preparation? Why could it hit us so unexpectedly? We've been fools. Even Zacadliss fears reaching the next system, for it could be his last.” Xurthak looks really down.


Usually the pilot wouldn't miss the chance to kick one of the scientists while they're down, but this time, he's holding back. “What was it about the Beacons learning not to make that same mistake again? We'll have a fleet that merits that description soon enough. And we're not alone – may the alliance with the Finu be long and as fruitful as their destruction of the pirate's spaceport. Besides, we have a joker – an ace pilot, still waiting to be deployed.”


“Stop dreaming.” The usual answer, but much less vehemently than usual. “I heard that One's subjects have begun extensive coastal raiding – don't you have trips to do?”

“Ortul has.” Fular grins, before leaving.



Year 2217, March

“I still can't believe that I am one of the lucky ones to finally reach that place”, a metallic voice says, as the ship slowly nears the observation post. “Hamrax engineering is so... different, yet familiar. And the humans, such a fascinating species! A great day!”

“Not really, small one. Whatever I have to do that the admiralty sees its error, I cannot do in this far away system! Navy's building up, but I have to return to Sol, to restart the observation project. By Satrinias, why me?”

“Excuse me – small one?” The metallic voice asks.

“Do you prefer 'short-lived shroom'?”

“Just ignore him, I have very rarely seen him in a good mood”, Xurthak points out. “In fact, only when the team is in a bad one. Don't let that anger you. Instead, welcome to our new old home!”

What xeno-biologists on Goxesh, first planet settled by both Hamrax and Finu, had come to name 'face' (in the XII xeno-naming convention), gently moves, what Xurthak interprets as a smile. The small box beneath that 'face' continues its task, translating the electric field the Finus use to communicate into sound waves understandable by the Hamrax. A marvel of technology. “What do you mean, new old home?”

Xurthak turns away from the Finu scientist – Avvava, named like their chief executive who sealed the Hamrax-Finu alliance – suddenly sad and muted. Fular makes some last adjustments to the ship's course, then happily lowers himself to Avvava's level, forming a triangle with his hands. “That's the reason. Always knew I could count on Ortul to get me out of here one day.”

“I have read a lot about Hamrax society, your faith in the Thousand Lights, your 'Beacons' gathering your prayers before sending them to your gods – but I had never heard of 'Ortul', or a triangle.” The Finu raises her four 'head-tentacles' (XII XNC) in what Fular guesses means surprise.

“Please, make it short”, Xurthak begs. “Once was hard enough.”

Full of pleasure, Fular begins his tale. “Ten had a major breakthrough one day, or so they believed. Warring states in a culture they called 'Maya' had united under a single ruler, and Ten believed great things would come from there.”
“False. The rule of one person only hinders the development of the individual,” Avvava interjects.
“The Finu never had a king? Everyone of us knows about old king Varzh. While he wasn't perfect, he paved the way for prosperity. It was his succession that brought chaos until the Beacons arose.”

“Very interesting, but unrelated. You won't be able to miss it, Xurthak!” The pilot continues after the interruption. “Never mind, you get it. Dudes of Ten were ready to party, and Ortul, my friend and the station's second pilot back in the day, brought some stuff we pilots call 'Blomiwendr'. Dunno what effect it would have on your kind, but we use it sometimes for... you know... It used to be called 'Mind-blower', until someone under its effect asked for more.”

“Terrible stuff. Twists your brain in all different directions, makes you feel dead and immortal at the same time, kills any emotions...”

“Never tried it, have you, Xurthak? The right dosage only heightens your senses. Now stop cutting in or I'll add some... juicy details.”

“Alright, alright, I'll stop.”

“OK, so – where was I? Right, the Blomiwendr. Ten quickly had too much. Decided on the spot to go down and celebrate the king's ascension with him. Landed without any camouflage in the middle of their city, completely out of their minds. Poor humans thought they were gods. Ten stayed a while, and taught them how to build a pyramid in their honour. Guys were totally off-course.” Fular heartily laughs at that mention, then gestures and raises his eyes as if to appear stoned.

“I've learned that if a Hamrax speaks of a while, then it might be fairly long for anyone else.”

“Only a few years. Thing is, one of Ten's scientists had already tried Blomiwendr in her student days, and got down of her trip before the others, realizing 'the horror' they had caused, whatever it was, and informed Xod. Shrine of Mindara quickly called a stop to whatever observation conducted on Earth.”


“It took us a while to persuade Mindara's Beacons to allow us to return”, Xurthak says. “More important matters, like the Cybrex listening post and the settlement of Goxesh required the Light of Science's attention. And our reputation was a bit... tarnished.” Fular continues to laugh. “Nonetheless, now we're back. With a new and one trusted pilot, who hasn't shown much discipline though”, the scientist says sharply and getting louder towards the end, and the laughing stops. A muttered “Fools” is heard. “And with a crew of new and old. Welcome home.”

 

alscon

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III. Floating Temples

“I do hope we won't regret it. Is it truly worth it to antagonize the Tuxkan?”


“They are slavers, hating all things unknown. I wonder why we sent an embassy to reason with them in the first place.” Fular smiles. “Beacons make all kinds of mistakes in our early space days. Soon they'll realize their gravest mistake.”

“Dismissing you? Dream on.” Xurthak raises his last notes. “If our observation in the last years has proven one thing, it is what we all know for ages – that the Beacons are right, and the Thousand Lights are all watching us. Any mistakes won't be repeated, nor will they lead to our destruction.”

Avvava, the Finu, sets aside her studies. “The Tuxkan are dangerous. I am glad your Shining Beacon has seen that good relations are futile. Together we are stronger, and there won't always be the Mycellium Carriers to save the day. Hence why we cooperate so much, even exchanging our technologies.”


“Ha! Don't fear, navy guys aren't dumb. Didn't believe we'd encounter such strong enemies, but the next one's going to be blasted to bits, you have my word on it. New Admiral, Rekazir, is an old friend of mine and commands ten ships as of now. Tuxkans will see our 'sickness' up close when we launch a light show on their royal palace!” The pilot holds his hand into the light, then closes it violently.


“Ancient ships would perhaps have helped, but alas”, Xurthak's eyes drop. “Zoz might have underestimated – or overestimated – the shipyard. The signs of battle – Cybrex? – weren't a good sign. Nobody deserves to be blown up that way.”

“I know a whole lot of people for whom it'd be a fitting end.”

“Am I on that list?” The scientist manages to smile.

“The entire station, if you want to know it.” Fular answers so coldly that the other Hamrax shivers.


After years of sharing studies with the reptilians, Avvava has come to recognize tensions within that species and thereby comes to the rescue before it gets worse.

“Ancient shipyards are dangerous, we know that now. So what will these... temples bring?”

“Us closer to enlightenment.” The Hamraxes reply in unison. Surprised, they look at each other without a word. Both would have never thought such a moment would come.


“Even I must admit, these temples are most... disconcerting. Who would have imagined... How... That such ancient edifices roam space... still. Enlightenment is not a scientific explanation. My theory is that the Sek-Lokkar are responsible for it. They clearly expected your kind, and may observe us in the same way we observe the humans.”


The theory raises Xurthak's interest. “Any theory has to be respected until we have found all temples. The one proof that will silence you Finuan sceptics once and for all. Isn't Jimofuta Zunbil, this human, proof enough? The Thousand Lights guide us all. They have elected the Beacons to serve as their media on Xod – and the Zunbil shahs on earth. You will see their unstoppable rise, just like Varzh's legendary crusades against the misguided. Irony wants it that the old king was just the instrument for his successors' fall and the establishment of the theocracy. Or, as the introduction of Jimofuta's poem goes,

From the ground where
sand is blown into the air
deemed worthy by Zun
adorning the night soon


Exactly what the temple of Zipir, the Undaunted, contains.”

“Many poets and other artists have expressed themselves in their art in manners open for all kind of interpretation. I'm sure one of them has written something similar on Finuuvia as well.”

“That the temple of Ruchba the Benefactress seems to interact with our thoughts, how do you explain that other than a divine will?”


“The Sek-Lokkar knew your language the second you first interacted with them, no? Then they surely also have the technology to communicate with your thoughts. They do have a similar biology to yours in many points after all if you compare them, from afar at least.”

“The final proof will convince you, I am certain. The finest servants of Mindara are already on their way to the temple. Who knows what they will achieve? A deeper knowledge of Ruchba's secrets in any case, but what will it be? A comparable mastery of the mind? That not only our prayers are channelled to the lights through the Beacons, but that we may communicate through thoughts?” Xurthak enthusiastically continues to go through the 'immense' potential offered by the temple.

Fular meanwhile leaves the room silently. “Or control of minds...”

 

Michaelangelo

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Didn't realize you had started a new AAR, or rather two at once. I admit I've never encountered a dual AAR and I'm excited to see one in action. :)

I couldn't help but notice the Finu's choice of words when offering an alliance. It only seems natural that those who worship the Thousands Light would ally with a race that apparently follows the Lord of Light. Indeed, the galaxy is dark and full of terrors. :p
 

alscon

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I'm also wondering how it will turn out :).
Didn't notice that, but as you say it - it does seem natural. All for the greater plan :D.
_______________________________________________________

IV. Chaos


“Fools thought they were superior. But you can't treat Beacons as if they're future subjects for long. Varzh's children had to realize that, Frubralav are no different. Rekazir knows what he's doing. I told you he's good. Blobs didn't expect that to hit them. Sadly.” Fular grins.


“Why sadly? We got a great victory there! I must admit, his strategy was sound – the agile Hamrax fleet in front to disrupt their formation, our long range fire to catch whatever there was left. Their spaceport didn't help them much.” Avvava's tentacles joyously wave around.


“It's not up to Rekazir to choose his pilots”, Fular sighs. “Loss would have forced Navy to call me out of that dark hole.” He punches the wall, then smiles again. “And while Army had a hard time on Fubra, Zidlaxi's a smart guy too. Saw that bullets don't do much against the blobs but going through – explosive bullets mowed through these Frubralavs with ease. Victory in the name of the Lights is all that counts in the end.”

“Remind me never to get on the Hamrax' bad side. How quickly you found out the weakness in the biology of these fungi is admirable. Or was it our help?”


“Your ground troops didn't arrive in Fubra. And it was our explosive bullets your soldiers used when landing on Zed...Zedva vib...Zedva viba-Fil...Zedva viba-Filavv – damn, only a fungus can pronounce that name! No surprise they accept our ideals – at least superficially.” The pilot doesn't try to hide his disgust. “Accepting that pink blob as our ally will take some time though.”

“A fungus' appearance is unsettling to you? Just say it, you hate all of us anyway, I won't judge you for it.” There's the Finu-smile again.

“No, you're kinda cute, small one. One of the few good guys on board of this far-away dark hole. Friends in the army sent me some records of the fight against the blobs, and you don't want to see one of them after you've seen bullets fly through their... bodies.... Even less after you've seen the mess left after one of them explodes under our fire – or however you register what happens.” He adds the last part after seeing that the fungus has no eyes. “Not pretty.”


“I guess I can understand that... Colonies that survive the loss of few, but not of many, it seems.” The Finu's scientific interest is gained, as well as comprehension of the reaction.

“Lights shine on a world full of wonders, but the Frubralav have hidden in the shadows. I'd rather meet a Tassargoid, that'd be a challenge – beast's clever, and reminds me of myself.”

“I don't even want to know why”, Avvava says, “you compare yourself to such a dangerous and unpredictable predator.”


“You'll understand if you'd see me fly in battle one day. Though I wouldn't suck out your brain, I'd do far worse to it.” Fular smiles, wondering for a moment if Finus have a brain or something else. “But for now, I've got some more stuff from some friends in Army and Navy, so excuse me, I want to indulge in nostalgia again.”




Excerpt from Xurthak's diary:


Massive skeletal remains out of nowhere. Ancient murals. A Cybrex cybernetics lab. All interesting anomalies, but nothing compared to what's happening here. I've still been wondering about the great personality changes of my observation subject Jimofuta, when Siluj's, the Light of the Underworld, rays were seemingly unleashed in our very own post. And no blomiwendr involved this time.

It began with Five's Ashkenazi specialist, just after the Finu started the liberation war against the Tuxkan. Was it that the state had other matters to deal with than a far away observation post that caused all that chaos? Referring to my previous entries:

Starting to argue with the others of Five that the duke of Dyrrachion is strange, but also vastly superior to all Greeks around – he holds Constantinople, after all. Not exactly my sphere of expertise, but it's far from objective scientific observation and highly abnormal, with arguments involving only superficial results before growing into a flurry of insults. Worryingly, the same behaviour seems to spread over the other sectors – only our Seven is spared so far, may Mindara keep it that way.



A medium-sized object was spotted that would collide with our post, and the deflection procedure was successfully completed. Thing still hit us, tearing a hole into sector Ten and condemning all unsuspecting scientists there to death. The entire post's stability was threatened, but we managed to repair the damage fast enough. Still a mystery how the asteroid changed its course again. “Ten deserved it after all” is a far-spread cynical comment. What has happened to us, observers and lovers of the life the Lights gave, that we resort to such comments?



Really, what has this post become. A big brawl erupted in One, the reason having been lost after the first hits were dished out. Damage in both material and living resources. We are getting mad. As I headed to see what happened, I passed Three – they were starting to land their first blows as well, and I could only watch. I don't know where Fular's hiding, but I'm sure he's happy.


I can't take it any more. Surely the Shrine of Mindara will stop the entire observation once and for all once they hear of it. Murder, not between our subjects, but on the post itself. And nobody but myself seems to care. More than an argument gone wrong. Lead officer of Four, Marzok, has been found dead, and I'm not short of suspects. I can only eliminate the Finu, unable to handle the weapon of the murder, and myself. None has notified Xod yet, and it seems like I'll be the one who has to do it when I get the guts to.

I've gotten hold of Fular again, and will therefore leave Siluj's chambers of hell on our post to observe the transition of power in the Zunbil realm from close safety. Perhaps I won't have to report the murder, as things normalize. Or as, and I shudder at that thought, the post would be gone when I return...





“Thank Xitralax, you still are the same, disgruntled and angry pilot. I thought they had all lost their mind.” Xurthak says, relieved, once the small ship has left the spaceport of the observation post and has entered the atmosphere of Earth.

“I hadn't noticed, really. Thought it was just as usual.”

“Usual? USUAL? They have begun to KILL each other, Fular! That's not just some dispute! Far from usual!”

“Isn't it usual between your subjects?” Concentrated, Fular handles the instruments of the ship while giving his answer calmly. “Think a bit. What if they had transferred the politics of this planet in front of us to the post, on a smaller scale?”

“That's absurd. People can get absorbed by their work, but not become their work. And why not Seven, the sector that is the most fascinated by its subjects?”

Fular turns around, to face Xurthak. “Is it truly absurd? Then why are they doing it? Think again.”

“The murder was in four, and Marzok was observing... oh my...” He's struck by that sudden realization.

“Right. It doesn't exist any more, does it? That's why he's dead. You should know who's guilty now, too.”

Xurthak is absolutely devastated. “And how come you realized that, a soldier with no interest in our 'futile' observations – but not me? And why not Seven?”

Fular grins. “Because I am responsible for it. And I wanted Seven, you in particular, to see these effects.”

The scientist is both stupefied and enraged, paralysed as a result of these conflicting emotions.

The red Hamrax visibly enjoys the paralysis. “My friends in the army gave me access to Zacadliss' research from Ruchba's shrine. The Lights embued our minds with so much power, yet we never even came close to realize that potential. And if there is something I have in excess, then it is time to train these powers. I am one of the most gifted Hamrax, chosen by Vestallus! Making the entire post reflect the situation on Earth was a great test. Returning the asteroid on its initial course was very hard. Erasing the crew's memories concerning the squabbles and murder my last great feat. Oh, and the Zunbil succession laws – my first try with humans, as well as my parting gift to you.”


Xurthak can hardly open his mouth upon that revelation. “Let us suppose I believe that... then why...” A sudden realization breaks him out of his trance, his eyes rise and widen, and he jumps up from his seat. “The ground!!!” He shouts.

The pilot pushes a button. “Goodbye, Xurthak. Never could stand you.” And then he is ejected, his beloved ship crashing into the desert mere seconds after. “I'm sorry, but I'll get you working again, my love”, Fular almost sobs when he sets his feet on the hot sand. “I had to. Crew of the post will remember that I left with Xurthak, and so the crash was my only choice.” Suddenly, he is full of energy again, speaking with dramatically varying intensity. “They'll regret having the Ace of Xod flying around at the far edge of the galaxy! Remember me to thank the boys for the access to the psy research. I always knew I was special. And it awoke my potential. If I can implant some ideas and ideals into the minds of scientists, I may as well control a human entirely. I'll be Varzh II ! – or a walking disaster. What I'd give to see their faces. When I'm done, Zidlaxi will be begging me to join the Army. Yes, my love, I'll leave with you, of course.”
 

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  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
So many fungi everywhere. At least they're Blorg look-alikes. :p

Well that didn't take long to see how they'd interact with the humans. Mind control and psionics. Time to enlighten some humans.
 

volksmarschall

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Nov 29, 2008
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  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Victoria 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
Great AAR so far. Wonderful!

Cheers!