Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Future Martian War of Ten Million Years & Lovecraftian Extinction Events In Alternative Timelines & 2d6 Time Travel Campaigns

 “But Ransom, as time wore on, became aware of another and more spiritual cause for his progressive lightening and exultation of heart. A nightmare, long engendered in the modern mind by the mythology that follows in the wake of science, was falling off him. He had read of 'Space': at the back of his thinking for years had lurked the dismal fancy of the black, cold vacuity, the utter deadness, which was supposed to separate the worlds. He had not known how much it affected him till now-now that the very name 'Space' seemed a blasphemous libel for this empyrean ocean of radiance in which they swam. He could not call it 'dead'; he felt life pouring into him from it every moment. How indeed should it be otherwise, since out of this ocean all the worlds and all their life had come? He had thought it barren: he now saw that it was the womb of worlds, whose blazing and innumerable offspring looked down nightly even upon the earth with so many eyes-and here, with how many more! No: Space was the wrong name.”

― C. S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet"

Let's pick this up right from here on the blog.  If Mars is the destiny of mankind then in several million years are we going to be the Martians or have we already been so according to those famous ancient astronaut theorists!? The struggle to colonize Mars might be more then we realize. Now let's backtrack here for a moment. If the Yithians have gone uptime then it stands to reason that we're looking at epochs of time for other human species to evolve. And this is where the   real nasties are  so to speak. Let's flash forward ten million years after Zozer Games Outpost Mars. 

Let's say that in ten million years from now a terraformed Mars is home to a race of Martians that were once mankind. And by this same token a highly evolved race of humanity takes umbridge with these Martians & covet Mars as their own?! Such is a very small part of the plot of the Science Fiction classic  W. Olaf Stapleton's 'Last & First Men' 1930.  W.Olaf Stapleton's 'Last & First Men' isn't in the public domain at all. But it's one of those Appendix Science Fiction classics. 
According to the 'Last & First Men' wiki entry; "Stapledon's conception of history follows a repetitive cycle with many varied civilisations rising from and descending back into savagery over millions of years, as the later civilisations rise to far greater heights than the first. The book anticipates the science of genetic engineering, and is an early example of the fictional supermind; a consciousness composed of many telepathically linked individuals."

The Second Men of 'Last & First Men' evolved out of the remains of mankind; "
Second Men. (Chapters 7– 9) The Second Men came into existence ten million years after the fall of the First Men. "Their heads, indeed, were large even for their bodies, and their necks massive. Their hands were huge, but finely moulded...their legs were stouter...their feet had lost their separate toes...blonde hirsute appearance...Their eyes were large, and often jade green, their features firm as carved granite, yet mobile and lucent. ...not till they were fifty did they reach maturity. At about 190 their powers began to fail..." Unlike our species, egotism is virtually unknown to them. At the acme of their highly advanced civilization, just as they are about to create a superior human species by genetic engineering, a protracted war with the Martians finally ends with the Martians extinct and the Second Men gone into eclipse." This genocide creates the perfect cover for the flying polyps to set off a series of extinction events against both the second men & the Martians. What impact does this have for an Empire of Time campaign?!  Quite a bit actually. The Empire of Time rpg PC's have the option to interfere in the Martian genocide. 

If you get into variations & alternative time lines of the events of the Martian genocide then the PC's might find themselves face to face with a very nasty technologal level 9-11 civiliazation in the form of the second men! 
And this brings up the fact that  British writer and lay theologian C.S. Lewis not only objected to W. Olaf Stapleton's 'Last & First Men' 1930.
C.S.Lewis objected strongly to ' Last & First Men' with the following coming out; "C. S. Lewis in his own preface to That Hideous Strength, notes: "I believe that one of the central ideas of this tale came into my head from conversations I had with a scientific colleague, some time before I met a rather similar suggestion in the works of Mr. Olaf Stapledon. If I am mistaken in this, Mr. Stapledon is so rich in invention that he can afford to lend, and I admire his invention (though not his philosophy) so much that I should feel no shame to borrow".

The reference to objecting to Stapledon's philosophy was no accident. In particular, the Christian Lewis objected to Stapledon's idea, as expressed in the present book, that mankind could escape from an outworn planet and establish itself on another one; this Lewis regarded as no less than a Satanic idea – especially, but not only, because it involved genocide of the original inhabitants of the target planet. Professor Weston, the chief villain of Lewis's Space Trilogy, is an outspoken proponent of this idea, and in Out of the Silent Planet, Lewis opposes to it the depiction of the virtuous and stoic Martians/Malacandrians who choose to die with their dying planet, even though they possessed the technology to cross space and colonise Earth."

So the last human descendants die out or do they?! In deep time we've got many alternatives to this except for the fixed point of the flying polyps awakening. Adding in  the virtuous and stoic Martians/Malacandrians to a time travelling crew in Empire of Time is an option. Mars may or may not be able to be saved but it can add a twist or two.
 Could far future corporations actually be the ones developing the 2nd men sealing our own fate?! The 2nd men could be far more important then they seem & it could be them who actually awaken the flying polyps! 
The tangling of timelines could kick off a time quake that destroys the barriers between history & dimensions kicking off an apocalypse that leads to a post apocalypse wasteland kicking off the events of Afterday rpg

This might be the far future of Shadowfall as time breaks down as history unravels. There is far more to this then at first it seems. We'll get into this next time. 

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