06-17-2001, 02:49 PM
i copied this outta the manual so you can get a idea of the storyline. please read the whole thing.
And so the race begins...
The debris riddled mass of space known as the Dark Cloud hides an incredible secret - Xythra, the mysterious homeworld of the Ancients. Colony leader, you must guide an expedition deep within this unexplored region to locate this planet. Since navigation within the cloud is difficult and Xythra's location is so remote, habitable worlds will need to be colonized as way stations for our space craft.
It is unfortunate that the Skirineen have forced us into this race. After the Gallius IV conflict, they obtained coordinates of Xythra, selling this powerful information to all space faring races. This set off an urgent competition to be the first to claim Xythra. Doubtless the Skirineen's cloaked ships will shadow us as we head toward the center of the Dark Cloud. Whoever captures Xythra will possess all the knowledge and technologies the mysterious Ancients once knew.
Luckily, all seven races claim that they will still observe the Compact of Gallius IV's core principles, signing the Xythra Accord to formalize the agreement. Thus combat will only occur on planetary surfaces -- and all races still will stop hostilities when an agreed upon number of City Center are built or all other colonies are driven off. Through intense negotiations, I have also convinced the colony leaders that they should observe a special combat victory on planets with shrines. Whoever controls the most shrines shall be declared the owner of the planet.
Use caution though, colony leader. There are whispers that some may not honor the more peaceful elements of the old treaty. Be prepared for any eventuality. The mystery of the Ancient Ones awaits!
--Oolan, Observer of the Xythra Accord
1 Place your Deadlock II: Shrine Wars CD into your CD-ROM drive and close the drawer. When you see the question "Do you want to install Deadlock II", select "Yes". The opening setup screen will now appear, reminding you to close all other Windows(r) 95 programs before proceeding with the installation. It is especially important to close all memory resident programs such as virus protection, desktop utilities and automatic backup programs.
2 Click "Next" to begin the DirectX(tm)5.0 installation. If you have not recently installed DirectX 5.0 during another game installation, select "Install DirectX 5.0" to update your drivers. If you already have DirectX 5.0 on your system, select "Do Not Install DirectX 5.0". In either case, you will move to Setup Type.
3 Select "Typical" to install 60 megabytes of game files to your hard drive. If you do not mind sacrificing a little more hard drive space to improve performance, select "Full" to install all of the main files to the hard drive.
4 Click "Next" to accept the default destination directory, or click "Browse" to select another directory. File transfer will begin at this point.
5 The Electronic Registration Card provides an opportunity to instantly register your copy of Deadlock II. If you have a modem connected, click "Register Now" to proceed with registration. If you do not wish to register your game at this time, click "Register Later" to complete the installation.
6 You will next see the question "Do you wish to read the README file now?" Click "Yes" to view the README file, or click "No" to skip the README file.
7 The Setup process is complete. If you installed DirectX 5.0, click "Yes, I want to restart my computer". If you did not install DirectX 5.0, select "No, I will restart my computer later".
8 Click "Finish" to end the installation.
LOADING THE GAME
Place the Deadlock II: Shrine Wars CD in your CD-ROM drive and close the drawer. Click "Yes" on the opening menu screen.
If the Deadlock II CD is already in your CD-ROM drive, click Start on the Windows 95 desktop. Slide your mouse pointer up to Programs, and select Deadlock II (substitute the name of your folder). Click Deadlock II to load the game.
HOW TO PLAY RIGHT NOW!
Select the Deadlock II TUTORIAL from the Main Menu. This tutorial is designed to introduce you to the basics of colony management. Once the world is loaded, open the Tutorial Guidebook. As you follow the book's instructions, this tutorial will take you through the first few turns. Your Help button on the interface also gives you valuable information.
You may wish to use this manual after you have played the tutorial. This book gives you detailed information on all parts of the game - including statistics on the technologies, buildings, military units, and individual races.
DEADLOCK II TERMS
This manual uses mouse terms to explain how to play the game. Here are all the different command terms:
Click -- Press and release your left mouse button.
Click and drag -- Press and hold your left mouse button. Move the mouse pointer to another
part of the screen and then release the left mouse button.
Double click -- Quickly press your left mouse button twice.
Shift click -- Press and hold your keyboard's <Shift> button. Then press your left mouse
Control click -- Press and hold your keyboard's <Ctrl> button. Then press your left mouse
Right click -- Press and release your right mouse button.
OOLAN'S ADVICE: Right clicking part of the screen or an icon almost always helps you some way. Right clicking either brings you a greater level of control or reveals more detailed information about the item you clicked on.
SETTING UP GAMES
There are different ways to play Deadlock II: Shrine Wars. You can play on a random map, an established scenario, a campaign, or even create your own maps and scenarios.
Scenario - A single map or game world. Scenarios can either be created in the Editor or randomly generated by the game.
OOLAN'S ADVICE: Find out how to use the Editor on page 71.
Campaign - A number of scenarios strung together in a group. Once one scenario is complete, you move on to the next one in the campaign sequence.
World Map - Created in the Editor, this sets up the basic geography of a world. Unlike a scenario, it does not feature any pre-selected choices, such as the races involved or the victory conditions.
PART ONE: THE SEARCH FOR XYTHRA
Colony leader, here are the events that have lead us upon this risky journey to Xythra. I am sure some of you already know many of these details; however this will fill you in on any events you may not have known previously.
THE DEADLOCK OVER GALLIUS IV
Habitable planets are rare in this corner of the galaxy. Many worlds are rapidly overpopulating, filled with social problems and diseases once thought conquered long ago. Considering this, it is easy to understand why the Kesing Runestone drew so much attention. When the two halves of this artifact pointed to an earth type world orbiting Gallius, a star near the edge of the Dark Cloud, all space traveling cultures sent colony ships to that system. Soon all were in conflict over lush Gallius IV -- their aggressive posturing threatening to destroy this world! If the Compact of Gallius IV had not been created, the resulting squabble would doubtless have been reduced this world to ashes.
But there was more than breathable air on Gallius IV. There were primitive natives who had never even considered the concept of space travel. And then there were the shrines. At first it was believed that the natives built these structures - hieroglyphs carrying the natives' images were found everywhere on them. However, some hieroglyphs on these structures matched the markings on the Kesing Runestone. These shrines had to actually be hundreds of thousands of years old! This lead to an even more perplexing problem. If these shrines were that old, why had they not been ground down to dust ages ago?
Probing more deeply into the shrines, scientists began to form some answers. Underneath the shrines' rocky facade they found an organic core. The shrines were living, yet unintelligent, bio-constructs! These living shrines seemed to have been created as tools, whose true function is not yet understood.
THE SKIRINEEN MAKE A SALE
A slow and detailed process began, separating the ancient hieroglyphs from the native ones. After many months, this study was complete -- forming an incomplete picture of a past long gone. Passages vaguely describe a far advanced culture that employed massive, mythical technologies. These technologies seem almost magical in their power. But most exciting is the discovery of an actual map of the Dark Cloud - the first map of its kind ever known.
Several planets on this large map are labeled with the symbol for "air," indicating that they are habitable. And in the exact center of the enigmatic Dark Cloud is a single planet. The word above the planet translates to "Xythra." The Ancients gave it great significance on their map. If this world still exists, its potential wealth of knowledge would be amazing. Whoever owns this planet could technologically leap above all the other space faring cultures!
The scientists who made the discovery wanted to keep this knowledge from their empires. Eventually they planned on launching a small expedition of their own. Unfortunately for them, a cloaked Skirineen ship was still in orbit around Gallius IV. Their advanced surveillance equipment captured vital images of their research -- including the map of the Dark Cloud.
Secretly contacting the leaders of all the seven major races, the Skirineen offered the revelations chiseled from Gallius IV's shrines. They demanded a large sum from each official, assuring the leader that he/she/it was the sole owner of this knowledge. The Skirineen empire now has abundant wealth.
Will the Skirineen try another conquest? Many fear this will happen. However, the Skirineen learned many cruel lessons from their previous attempt to dominate the galaxy. Perhaps their sole ambition is to rebuild the great empire they once controlled. Their true motivations remain a mystery to all outsiders.
AND SO, INTO THE CLOUD
With Xythra's location revealed to all races, the starlanes became a mad tangle of starcraft. It was obvious that everyone was preparing expeditions into the Dark Cloud. Skirmishes broke out along borders. No race would let another enter the Dark Cloud, causing a massive interstellar deadlock.
I, and my Tolnan brothers and sisters, arranged for an emergency meeting with all the political leaders on Gallius IV. Once again the races agreed to honor the old Compact of Gallius IV - if for the sole reason of allowing each of their expeditions to proceed. They also endorsed an addition to the Compact, now known as the Xythra Accord. This provision protects all shrines that may be found on planets within the Dark Cloud.
Rumors abound that the peaceful elements of these treaties shall be abandoned once planetary conquests begin. Because of this possibility, we Tolnans have decided to accompany the various races to Xythra. Our role is simple: we are to observe and advise. Hopefully we will do justice to these tasks.
Previous expeditions into the Dark Cloud have been few, because of the difficulties of traveling through this space. But with habitable planets used as way stations, we can eventually reach Xythra, uncovering all the secrets that this mysterious world conceals from the galaxy.
THE AMENDED COMPACT OF GALLIUS IV
We, the leaders of the ChCh-t, Cyth, Human, Maug, Re'Lu, Tarth, and Uva Mosk, agree to stop hostilities in space. Since we all wish to claim the terran planets found within the Dark Cloud, the conflict will be moved to each planet's surface and resolved there.
There are no limits on weapons or technologies. The colony leaders should develop resources and military units as fits their strategy. Any colony or colonies that builds the agreed upon number of City Centers or drives the other colonies away is declared the owner of the planet.
Intentional contact with the Skirineen is a direct violation of this treaty. Only Oolan, a Tolnan, may be contacted in space. She will give advice to all colony leaders.
THE XYTHRA ACCORD
Since our primary mission is to examine the ancient shrines found on Xythra and other planets within the Dark Cloud, special provisions will be observed on planets with these shrines. Any colony that finds and controls an agreed upon number of shrines will conquer this planet. As was a agreed upon in the Compact of Gallius IV, there are no limits on weapons and technologies in achieving this goal.
Destruction of these shrines is expressly forbidden. Colony leaders that destroy ancient shrines are in violation of this treaty.
PART TWO: THE RACES
Nine sentient races live in this region of the galaxy. Each race has their own history, culture, and personality. See Table 1 on page 80.
Home Planet: JkNd-d
Years in Space: 65
This insectoid race rapidly increases its population, letting them overcrowd territories without severely hurting morale. Unfortunately their colonists despise Cloning Centers - these buildings cause huge morale problems. Their land and sea military units are weak, but also very fast. Having developed flight long ago, their aircraft are superior to other races. Because their Hive mentality organizes labor quickly, they also manufacture military units at a faster rate. They do, however, research technology slowly. ChCh-t Scouts can steal resources from enemy territories.
All ChCh-t hatch with instinctive knowledge for a specific profession. Since most ChCh-t only live between six to nine years, putting a young ChCh-t immediately to work is very important. Usually there is little trouble for a young ChCh-t to find a place for itself. Once its instinct takes hold, the hatchlet has five intense weeks of training. After this brief education, the hatchlet begins its life work. All work is for the hive and the divine glory of the Mother Queen.
Reproduction is handled by the Mother Queen and her Lesser Queens, so the main ChCh-t populace have no gender. The Queens hatch several hundred ChCh-t at a time.
While the Queens provide the ChCh-t with a spiritual focus, the day to day government affairs are handled by the Hive Imperius, who oversees the progress of the drones. Several hatchlets are always born that have potential to become the Hive Imperius. Each of these candidates are evaluated for their administrative skills. The most intelligent hatchlet is given the title "Hive Imperius" while the others become the Hive Imperius' advisors.
ChCh-t society is very fast paced. They waste little time on words, devoting most of their time to work. However, even the busy ChCh-t must eventually slow down and relax. They have great passion for a dangerous sport called stingboxing. Matches are set up between five warriors, their stinger tails dipped in a numbing poison. Each warrior fights for itself, but with five in the ring eventually two must gang up on one. Culture Centers are always packed when a stingboxing tournament begins.
When ChCh-t reach the age of six, they are evaluated for participation in the Dance of Devouring. Invitation to this celebration of life is a huge honor. The ChCh-t are brought before the Queen and begin to dance around her as quickly as they can. Soon, the dancers tire and the Queen eats them whole. These complex proteins give the Queen the needed nutrients for more hatchlets. Several hundred new ChCh-t are born after a Dance of Devouring. This ritual is at the center of the ChCh-t's belief in immortality. They feel their essence -- knowledge and personality -- is reincarnated to the next group of hatchlets.
First discovered by the Cyth, the ChCh-t had not developed space travel yet. They had not even begin serious studies in astronomy! The Cyth were eager to have the ChCh-t join them in space -- Cyth scientists wanted to meet their Mother Queen -- so they gave the ChCh-t space travel before they were fully ready to understand this technology. Since that time, however, the ChCh-t have made great strides in both air and space travel.
Home Planet: Unknown
Years in Space: Unknown
The Cyth never become too unhappy, so you may risk taxing them heavily. Because of their special nutritional needs, they do not eat much food. Their Command Corps mind blast enemy military units - turning an enemy's brain to jelly. Cyth Scouts poison land, which destroys half a settlement's food stockpile.
As the founders and instigators of the former Quadra Alliance's more horrific activities, the Cyth have a harsh reputation. This important but destructive pact was between themselves, their ChCh-t wards, the curious Tarth, and the reluctant Maug. Certainly they committed more than a few atrocities during the Quadra Alliance's heyday -- among their most notorious acts was forcing the Maug off their homeworld -- but many of their actions have been merely misunderstood. The goal of most Cyth is to transform themselves into beings of pure thought, reaching an age of new existence.
Driven by this belief, the Cyth find their bodies a ridiculous nuisance -- they even hate using their feet. Through self-discipline, many Cyth can move by levitation. Older Cyth are so good at this, they can fly through the air for short distances. However, most Cyth never achieve this much mental prowess, they instead combine levitation with a sort of shuffle walk.
The natural psionic ability of the Cyth is small -- almost nothing. They get their psionic powers by ingesting a rare concoction of fluid squeezed from spider eggs. The arachnid that they get the juice from remains unknown; apparently it is a spider only indigenous to their also unknown homeworld. They drink this juice constantly. For some reason, digestion intensifies its psionic effects, so the Cyth apparently regurgitate the fluid and drink it again. After a number of these cycles, the liquid becomes toxic, even to the Cyth, and the foul smelling stuff is jettisoned out of a chest tube.
The Cyth are governed by an appointed psionic master, the Veil Lord, who always the strongest Cyth with the highest mental powers. Only a strongly disciplined Cyth can reach this level.
The Cyth developed on an unidentified planet somewhere just inside the border of the Dark Cloud. Thus, they are highly interested in finding Xythra, as it would be a great place to continue research into their transformation...
Home Planet Earth
Years in Space 318
These economic geniuses gain high income through trade and taxes. Resource transportation costs are much less for them than other races. Human infantry have a berserk battle order which doubles their attack strength, but kills the infantry off after a battle. Their military units cost more to maintain than other races. Humans are highly susceptible to Skirineen scandals, which severely lower their morale.
Early Humans had a strong sense of patriotism. Most of their cultural history recounts war after war. As Human technology developed and their civilizations matured, these conflicts grew in size and intensity. The Humans repeatedly rebounded from their self-inflicted carnage, displaying the vitality of this species.
While the power of Human weaponry grew, so did the need for a stable economy. Gradually their bloodlust was channeled into economic battles. Often these trade wars created huge difficulties, particularly when relations broke down between countries and embargoes were put in place. However, these economic hardships rarely became life threatening and most armed conflict ceased. Human expertise in trade conflict grew as they battled against each other to solidify economic prosperity.
The Human were anxious to get into space. Thanks to their nearby telepathic neighbors, the Re'Lu, they literally dreamed about space travel. Starting around 1914 ( Human date), Re'Lu telepathy beams began probing Human minds. Unfortunately very few Humans are telepathic. The messages they managed to receive often arrived damaged.
The Re'Lu's miscommunication was compounded because most Humans saw these messages during their dream state. These contacted Humans imagined themselves being abducted into Re'Lu hovercraft, getting paralyzed with stun rays, watching cattle get dissected, and so on. The Re'Lu could not precisely tell what effect their messages had, as they only received strangely violent and bizarre return images. When the Re'Lu and the Humans finally met two hundred years later on Inalga VI, they had a good laugh over these early "close encounters."
Despite this telepathically induced early contact, space travel had been the goal of many a Human scientist for centuries. Several writers (the Humans call them "science fiction writers") during the twentieth century nurtured this interest in space travel. The popularity of this dream led to the creation of many entertaining diversions depicting great battles between the Humans and other unknown aliens. Sadly, many of these predictions came true.
The Quadra Wars nearly brought an end to their civilization. Despite the best efforts of themselves and their Re'Lu allies, Cyth, Tarth, and ChCh-t forces nearly overwhelmed them. If the technologically adept Maug had not switched to their side, the Humans and the Re'Lu most likely would have been conquered. But perhaps the biggest blow to Human culture happened during the Skirineen Conquest. A quarter of their homeworld's moon was blown apart. A white ring of moon debris now permanently encircles their Earth - reminding them of just how delicate life is in an overcrowded galaxy.
Home Planet Originally Maug-hau, now Arganis X
Years in Space 424
Maug colonists rapidly develop high-tech buildings and units; they even refine larger quantities of metal than other races. Their Scouts steal technology with ease and can also sabotage enemy units and buildings. Maug military units are very good at catching spies; however, their infantry have poor defensive abilities. All Maug are chronically afflicted with a variety of ailments, so when their morale drops, it drops quickly.
Technological skill has always been the guiding strength driving Maug civilization. Most Maug have a great love for gadgetry of all kinds, and this engineering skill lets them conceptualize complex machinery quickly. When the Cyth forced them off their homeworld to unpleasant Arganis X, this technical aptitude became their only way to survive. If it were it not for the diverse artificial means they developed to sustain themselves, the Maug would now be extinct.
Maug horns have always been a symbol of health and vitality. Sadly, few Maug still carry the stately horns that distinguished this race -- these days they are usually prosthetic. Chronic horn loss and ill health afflicted most Maug immediately upon settling on Arganis X. Now they cannot survive without respirators and environmental suits. Within three to four weeks, all newborn Maug start having incurable health problems.
The reason for these illnesses is still unknown. Somehow Maug DNA has been massively rewritten, perhaps caused by the unusual V9 rays emanating from the sun in the Arganis system. All Maug are chronically afflicted with light ailments such as colds and sore throats, and many spend their whole lives suffering from a mild fever. The average Maug lifespan is half as long as it was during the days of happiness on their former homeworld, Maug-hau.
The glories of their past life on Maug-hau are well documented. They once had a nearly perfect society, free from major warfare and intrigue. Most arduous daily tasks were taken care of with a multitude of automated systems. These systems varied from Maug to Maug, as each individual effortlessly customized their computers to fit their personal needs. With the elimination of most drudgery, many Maug were free to pursue scientific and technological disciplines -- rapidly advancing their society. Now they are a shattered culture, still recovering from their damage inflicted by their forced allegiance to the Quadra Alliance.
The Maug try not to dwell on their problems. Almost all of them believe that healthy minds will eventually create healthy Maug. Maug greetings and farewells echo their dedication to positive mental health. Shouts of "May all your earaches heal!", "May your gallstones be small!", and "To you and the health of all Maug-kind!" are heard everywhere.
Even though the Maug have adapted to their troubles, it is the great hope of every Maug to restore their lost health. Maybe one of the mysterious planets within the Dark Cloud will offer a cure to the Maug-pain.
Home Planet Ye'Midi
Years in Space 268
Re'Lu have telepathic powers which let them view the entire planet's surface, giving them a unique source of information for planning devious strategies. Re'Lu Scouts can subvert morale in rival territories. Their Command Corps can mind control other units, making them fight for the Re'Lu during a battle. Their military units are relatively weak compared to other races.
The Re'Lu are a symbiant race: the Re'ite is the humanoid half while the Lu'ite fang beast is the animal half. Most Re'ites are quite weak and depend on the strength of their fang beasts for personal defense. The eyeless Lu'ites also have a strong dependence on the Re'ite, needing to psychically "see" through the minds of their humanoid partners.
Using their telepathic link, a Re'ite channels all distracting thoughts out of his/her head into the Lu'ite beast. This allows the Re'ite to mentally focus on a task and solve it quickly. The Lu'ites enjoy the telepathically projected "distractions" -- finding them soothing. Re'ite thought waves cause the Lu'ites to coo. Daily life in a Re'Lu settlement is quite relaxing as Lu'ite cooing sounds are heard everywhere.
A supreme telepath, the Overseer, controls all beginning Re'Lu settlements. The Overseer has total control over a colony until the Supreme Hi'Jer Council feels this telepath's services are no longer required. Then an elected council runs the colony. Often, the Overseer is given a high position on this council.
The Re'Lu mark their entry into the interstellar age by their contact with the Humans. This began when a Re'Lu telepathic beam reached the Human homeworld. Discovering that there was intelligent life in this system, the Re'Lu tried to telepathically connect with them. They projected four images: a Re'Lu extending their arms in friendship, their hovering aircraft flying through the air, a Re'ite petting a Lu'ite, and a Re'Lu exiting a landed ship.
The returning images they received from the Humans were very disturbing. Humans were seen hurting themselves by running away and tripping. A common image was that of Humans firing some sort of crude metal projectile device in front of them. Of course the tiny bits of metal thrown by this device would pass right through the Re'Lu's telepathic projections, resulting in the weapon being thrown to the ground and the Human running away screaming. Many Re'Lu thus concluded that these aliens were partially insane.
The Re'Lu argued whether or not it was worth contacting these strange beings or not. However, the Re'Lu Overseers felt it was worth the risk. When the Re'Lu warily met the Humans on Inalga VI, their tense intergalactic relationship began. They even allied with the Humans to break apart the powerful Quadra Alliance. This age of Human - Re'Lu détente ended when some Human activists felt that the Re'ites should release their link with the Lu'ites. Although not all Humans believed this should happen, the Re'Lu were highly offended with this suggestion. Some Re'Lu saw the Humans only as sophisticated savages and began to regard them with contempt. These prejudices, however, never turned to violence until the Re'Lu and Humans started fighting each other over Gallius IV. Relations between these two cultures have now been completely broken.
The Re'Lu quest for knowledge never stops. They are very curious about the ancient civilization that was on Gallius IV and Xythra. Once they get control of Xythra, they will finally carry out their archeological excavations in peace.
Home Planet Korga
Years in Space 344
The Tarth are the behemoths of the battlefield. Their military units and defense fortifications all have massive attack and defensive bonuses -- although their sea units are not as powerful as other races' fleets. Tarth infantry units have a juggernaut battle order that quickly crumbles enemy buildings. Driven by the huge Tarth appetite, Tarth farms excel at food production. Their clumsy Scouts make poor spies and are often caught.
War has always been the drumbeat of Tarth life. Their giant tanks, impressive fortifications, and devastating infantry have plowed through opposition time and time again. A Tarth soldier's grasp is strong enough to turn rocks into sand -- a technique they merrily apply on enemy soldiers' limbs. This warlike tendency has spread to their concept of the universe, believing that the more planets they control, the stronger they will become.
Who controls the government is also decided through combat. When a new settlement is established, all eligible Tarth engage in a battle for the title of Ubergeneral. Combatants fight each other in vicious battles with no rules. The last Tarth left standing becomes the Ubergeneral.
Modern Tarth society was founded by Guh, a warrior-turned-astronomer. Guh was a huge brute, a fit soldier in the swelling ranks of a powerful band. One battle red morning, Guh was running down a large mountain to a attack some rival warriors. He tripped over a rock, impaling himself on a five pronged spear. Presumed dead, his soldiers rallied over his demise and, fortunately for Guh, beat back their enemies.
Darkness fell and the severely wounded Guh regained his senses and gazed into the heavens at the seven beautiful moons that floated above him. As he watched Tunt, a small moon, he saw a volcano erupt. Intrigued, he squinted his eyes to look closer and saw small clouds moving across the moon's surface. Guh decided he needed to see more, so with extreme willpower, he pulled himself loose from the spear and crawled into a ruined Azarga berry field, munching on the crushed fruit. He became the first Tarth astronomer.
After Guh's discovery, moon watching became a major pursuit of many Tarth. Better seeing devices were made and more of the details on Tunt were discovered. Eventually five Tarth astronomers decided to build an immense catapult to launch themselves to Tunt. They thought that if one threw a Tarth far enough into the sky he would pass through "the falling point" where a Tarth would start to fall in the other direction towards the moon.
Unfortunately the moonwatchers could not agree as to who should get thrown to Tunt, so all five ended up on the catapult. The cord was cut and the five Tarth shot up fifty meters into the air before landing into a dead heap on the rocks below. Tarth wisdom from then on stated that "Wise moonwatchers take turns."
Within a few hundred years of Guh's observation, the Tarth were in space, roaming far and wide over the galaxy. Eventually they met the Cyth and helped form the Quadra Alliance. Naturally, the Tarth established a colony on their livable moon, Tunt. The capital of the Tunt colony, Guh, has a giant statue carved in the likeness of their hero. Guh is shown, impaled on a spear, looking up through a telescope at the heavens.
Home Planet Moska Bost
Years in Space 470
Abilities: Their tie to nature lets the Uva Mosk produce more natural resources than other races. Their Command Corps shaman dance, creating resource bonuses in territories. All Uva Mosk infantry units may spy on other colonies, and they have an improved chance to detect enemy spies. Their military units cost less to maintain, gain experience faster in Military Training Centers, and have an excellent chance of causing damage during combat. The Uva Mosk do pay less taxes than other races, though their commitment to The Cause makes it unlikely that their colonists revolt.
Uva Mosk culture believes that planets are living things that support life and are always to be treated with absolute devotion. Nature worshippers, the Uva Mosk are horrified by what they feel is the wanton waste by all the other galactic races. Dismayed that these polluting, wasteful beings escaped their homeworlds, the Uva Mosk believe that their way, the Uva Mosk Revolution, will slowly convert all other races to their proper enlightenment.
The Uva Mosk only allow one individual to guide their revolution -- the high shaman, called the Grand Hortus - who watches the well being of the Uva Mosk colony. All military and economic actions become the Grand Hortus' responsibility. Once the colony feels they that no longer require the services of this great shaman, the Grand Hortus retires to tend lush gardens. No official government exists after the Grand Hortus retires.
The name, Uva Mosk, literally means "Of Tree". They believe their species originally bloomed from the Tree of Life. According to their main legend, most of their homeworld was covered by desert. Only a small area supported life -- a tiny, fertile oasis surrounding the Tree of Life. This belief states that the Uva Mosk were created by the Great Tree to tend it and protect it from harsh sandstorms.
Unfortunately, one gardener, named Tuka Dimx, was very lazy. He would rather bask in the shade and dream about all the care he would give the Tree of Life when done napping. The tree grew weak on that side as the slothful Tuka did not work to keep it strong. A fierce sandstorm arose and tossed the Tree of Life about. His weakened section snapped and the Tree of Life crashed on top of the napping Tuka. His name is still reviled in many an Uva Mosk gathering.
Over time the Tree of Life rotted away leaving a deep canyon where it had once lain. This huge canyon is called the Bed of a Thousand Tears. Rotting pieces of the Tree of Life were cut off and moved to other parts of the desert. Small oases sprang up and soon the Uva Mosk turned their planet into a hospitable world.
Uva Mosk civilization developed with little conflict until the time of the Disbelief. A group of sophists came to question the existence of the Tree of Life. They felt the Bed of a Thousand Tears was actually formed by the many rivers that ran through it..
Two factions thus emerged -- the Moska (Treeists) and the Burka (Riverists). Several wars broke out, devastating both Moska and Burka alike. Years of tradition gave the Moska stronger support and the Burka were eventually beaten. Many defeated Burka felt that they were wrong for their sacrilegious beliefs and fled the sophists in droves. Finally even the original radicals decided their beliefs were wrong and came out of hiding. The Moska leadership welcomed their fallen brethren back into their settlements and the sad time of the Disbelief came to an end.
Their homeworld, Moska Bost, is located far away from all the other races, so the Uva Mosk were unknown until about eighty-eight years ago. When the Uva Mosk met Human Scout ships, they reluctantly started to trade with these bipeds. However, the Uva Mosk's deep mistrust of other races kept their interstellar involvement low, watching the Quadra Wars from a distance. Only when the Skirineen began their conquest did they actively join the galactic community.
Home Planet Krinsk
Years in Space 3331
Abilities: Black Market Traders. If you want something, the Skirineen probably have it...
They sent only one message to the shocked Humans: "We begin." Supernova Warheads sped to Earth's moon, blasting off a quarter of its surface. The debris made a ring around the Earth that still exists to this day. All Skirineen believe in their philosophy of domination called Galactic Qua. This philosophy has three principles: 1) All that a Skirineen sees becomes the property of the Skirineen Empire. 2) Any species that is in Skirineen space must be eliminated. 3) All space will be Skirineen space.
This devious race originally claimed that they were peaceful traders, setting up small trading space stations everywhere. The Skirineen were (and still are) ruthless traders that paid little and charged much. Though all races became frustrated with these poor trade deals, they continued trading with the Skirineen in the interest of galactic peace. Too much bloodshed had happened during the Quadra Wars, and no race wanted to provoke another conflict.
These Skirineen trading bases all attacked their host races simultaneously. A strike force invaded the ChCh-t regal hive, capturing the Mother Queen and holding her hostage. When ChCh-t soldiers tried to rescue their Mother Queen, the Skirineen cut off a piece of her and sent it back to the ChCh-t!
Their strategies against many of the races were equally ingenious. Skirineen space fighters flew over Re'Lu planets, filling the air with a deadly gas that killed many Lu'ite beasts. Large polluting bombs also decimated some bordering Uva Mosk planets, severely intimidating the reclusive Uva Mosk. Much of the Skirineen's cloaked armada massed first against the unprepared Maug, swiftly defeating the developing Maug armada. They had also sold the Cyth special tablets which nullified their fluid, making many of the Cyth's psionic abilities ineffective. It took a long time to restore the potency of the Cyth juice.
The Tarth were attacked conventionally, as the Skirineen felt that they were worthy opponents to confront directly. They did not count on Human resolve, however. The near destruction of Earth's moon worked the Humans up into a near berserk frenzy, and soon the Skirineen were battling against two huge forces on several fronts. When the Uva Mosk unleashed a guerrilla attack and the Maug assisted them with their many technologies, the Skirineen were eventually beaten back to their original space.
Many fear that the Skirineen will rise again. These fears may now be very real, since they recently received a huge influx of wealth for their rebuilding empire.
Home Planet Koelia III
Years in Space 9
Abilities: Xythra Accord Advisors
My people, the Tolnans, fell victim to the Skirineen nearly two hundred years ago. The Skirineen mercilessly attacked our planet. We had barely learned space travel and so our weapons were way behind theirs. Those Tolnans who did not escape fled to unknown parts of the galaxy in crude spaceships. A small group of approximately one hundred Tolnans hid in a deep bunker on Koelia III to await an evacuating rocket. The rocket never took off and these Tolnans remained trapped underground. My great-grandparents where among this group.
When the Skirineen were defeated during their last Conquest, Re'Lu and Human archaeologists started excavating Tolnan ruins. A group of them was digging under the city where our bunker was located. A few of us were still living in the slowly failing, contained environment. Our lighting systems and our agricultural plots were becoming infertile. There were only fourteen of us left.
We had never seen the sky, stars, suns, or even horizons -- knowing only of these things from song and story. Thus we all have great interest in your "Above World." Most of us have decided to become ambassadors to each race, though our ultimate quest is to discover more Tolnans or to find clues to where our people may now be.
Tolnans are not humanoid -- our actual appearance has been described as "three oval-shaped spheres connected by a thin orange membrane." We have a limited psionic ability that lets us project different appearances to light-seeing creatures. We never become the actual organism -- the image simply reflects off the surface of an eye. You can identify Tolnan projections by the blue spots that often cover us. We have all taken the form and voice of a Human in honor of the archaeologist who discovered us.
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