image from Frobidden Planet

image from Frobidden Planet
Graves of Altair IV

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Venture Seeds (Also the Black Book of Ancient Atlantis)

Venture Seeds are inspired more than a bit by the capsule adventures (of various stripes and in different departments) in the old Journal of the Traveller’s Aid Society   Sometimes more a casual encounter, sometimes more of an Amber Zone.

Venture seeds are – obviously – adventure seeds. Which is to say, little mobile elements that the Judge  can pepper throughout their game  to serve as minor encounters or a full session or more of gaming.  From a more in-universe standpoint, they represent ‘opportunities’ for the Player Characters. 
Venture seeds should always, ideally, follow the maxim – “ take a risk, maybe get something.”
Sometimes they are hose jobs, and sometimes there are actual fortunes to be made. More often they will gain in experience both in the traditional gaming sense and in the seeing the universe sense. 
In Galaxy Black, being well-traveled is functionally a superpower, looked at in the right way….

Format  Pretty self-explainatory. Each Venture seed, where necessary will feature a name or catchy title then immediately below list first what the recommended or assumed size of group the seed is for, then what the group will need to qualify, and finally what elements from the game are especially featured should be listed thirdly.  

Other venture seeds already in this blog

Though I'm sure there's more you could use for this purpose.  
For example....

The Black Book of Ancient Atlantis also called the Book of Black Bindings, the White Book of Atlantis, and “the Holding of Darkness in Bands of White and Text”

History and Lore  Is an ancient work of Prehistoric Teranaya.  For much of Teranaya’s immediate pre-spaceflight history, it represented the greatest single sum total work of Black Magick known in the world at that time, a sort of compilation of all of a previous era’s greatest evils.
It is said that one of the first paths of vampiric un-death is due this book and it’s fell incantations and esoteric formulae. The final sinful decades of Last Atlantis saw many occult groups rise in power in that land but only in that time did such a scholarly work of such black evil come to be or could have come to be.

But this is Teranaya, where Hell has come and gone, in struggles both literal and figurative since literally intelligent life has existed upon it’s mass.   Here the first fallen was loosed, and then bound, and then loosed again for final destruction. Here the very prison at hell’s Centre itself was set in the bay of a mortal city in a monumental act of mortal hubris.  Here Hell itself came calling after the bill after Teranaya unleashed the Technarchy on a younger galaxy, a wave of extermination, genocide, and death ending in the comparative purity of hell’s own flame.   Here, Teranaya was burned and yet risen anew.
So, it may be inferred that even at a young stage of development, those Terran sorcerers knew something special about the black arts.

Description and Paraphysical Qualities
The book is wrought of what tests positive for a primitive strain of what the modern Imperium calls Saurid.  IT has been suggested that the theorized Ancient Empire of Saurids may have at some point established an equatorial colony on Prehistoric Teranaya at some point though no evidence currently exists to support such a hypothesis.
Thick black leather that has proven metaphysically resilient to fire, cold and other extremes of temperature (indeed, it is Void rated and could be – and has been – evacuated into the vacuum of space without apparent damage or degradation) notoriously the book also contains (some would maintain primarily exists as a strong magnetic field that is capable of discharging electrical impulses and weak plasma exposures. The upward limit of the book’s tensile strength has yet to be determined.
The pages are sewn together patches of Saurid and other, precursor species, skin, while the ink, the strange white ink used throughout upon it’s black pages tests 98.l9% positive for Homo sapiens recens, a sapiens sapiens precursor known primarily as the periodic inhabitants of ancient Atlantis, esp. in its second and final ages.
The book has been shown to have multidimensional existence and possesses Correct Geometry for a Sacred Vessel.   It bleeds unknown energies and negative energy fields at seemingly random intervals.  Attempts to duplicate the work metaphysically have failed and most spectacularly. At least two Grand Curses await any who attempt it, likely killing the idle curious. It will not scan or upload into virtual modeling.  IT is blank to pure data and most datalife cannot perceive much of the book or its contents. Attempting to fully replicate the book physically have been successful (see below) but even then, must be sufficiently flawed to avoid triggering the second of the two great curses, which even if survived, will pass on indefinitely to one’s offspring and or one’s heirs.

The book is a major work of necromantic and conjuration magic, as well as containing fair insights into self – directed transformation magics of a physical nature, including alchemy.  The book contains lavish summoning’s and invocations for a variety of ancient demons and space monsters, as well as mysterious spectral entities from a primitive Sub-ether.  There is also much metaphysical contemplation of the Void, presented as a ‘behavior guide’ to ‘hardening the heart and soul’ against the nature of the work.

The book contains many formulae for transformation into a variety of necromantic un-death states, though the Blight Curse that one invokes to induce a vampiric state is contained, in precise and complete detail, only within the Saurid skin pages of this Ancient work.

Summonings:                    Invocations:                      Transformations
Succubi & incubi                  Sutekh                                   Blight Curse (vampirism)  
Star demons                         the Black Pharaoh               living mummification prep
Psychopomps                        Yig of the Egg                        alchemy transform H to SF[1]
Lethe Elementals                 Great Cthulhu                      a poss. Path to lichdom
Spectres, Wraiths                various lords of death         alchemy ghoul creation rite
Memory Eaters                    minor Void entities             zombie salts
Space monsters                    Star beasts                             alchemy void mead body

The book also details the ancient-even-then language of the serpent people who were by then largely extinct, having been long hunted for their esoteric knowledge. Further it provides a basis for magic invoking that people’s great powers.  Yig of the Egg among others.  
Also, within the book’s pages are several pages dedicated to the ‘questionable alchemy’ of that people. 
Allegedly the book was used once in prehistoric times to banish all vampires from the world.  Possibly this is an echo however from a similar book in an adjacent Splinter.

When used as a focus for casting magic, +1 to the spell check results. When one with the arcane affinity for Black Magick uses it thus, they at +3 to their spell check results, and likely also unlock other aspects of the tome that are not otherwise observable in normal space-time conditions.

Collection and Location
The book is commonly (and falsely) believed to be on some private display within the Thetyel Family compound on Irzibete. However, this is a forgery, and a known one.  A single use transcription and fabrication copy, lacking any actual enchantments and fragmenting much of the lore inside, exists there instead…created by that noble family, in a private arrangement with the Dean of Esoteric Studies at the Imperial Science Academy. 

The Real book is located at the ISA’s Holdfast pyramid located at Teranaya’s Equator. There, it is under some manner of “contained study” within the Dean’s purview  

The Future and its’ Secrets
It is doubtful that anyone involved realizes how much more effective the book is at what it does on the world of its’ origin.   While the stars of that world’s night sky have changed considerably since this book was incepted, they are close enough to still effectively add 1 to all bonuses previously described while being used and studies on Teranaya itself.

This would effectively mean +4 to all spell check results in the hands of a black magician, and if they were invoking the forces of hell within, they would earn the like bonus from Teranaya’s metaphysical poles (Heaven and Hell respectively[2] +2/+3) making it a +7…bonused by the above to +8.

That could be dangerous.  But surely no one in the Imperial Science Academy would have more than scholarly interest in such a work, right?

Happy Halloween

[1] Human to serpent folk; it’s a one way transformation, you wouldn’t like it.
[2] Teranaya’s double metaphysical poles are well known to the ISA
Heaven & Hell/ Progress & Catastrophie        +2/+3, and (order) +1 (chaos)+2

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