Palomar 14

Beginning of the End

2.39 mg Sr-90

[From Kelp, Tripe Chronicler to the Howl]

Since they first mastered nuclear physics the Howl have known that one member of their binary star system, Intersoles, was unstable and dying. As many know, this fact, coupled with their ancient genocidal war against the other native sentience of Intersoles, the Hiss, was a major contributing factor in their pursuit of the Perihelian war.

Now, the gradual decay of the star has progressed to the point of rapid acceleration and it’s super nova is imminent. Howl physicists predict that the star will die around SY 27 and they are making the preparations necessary for a vast exodus. They report that their population is over 20,000,000,000 is preparing for an exodus from the homeworld and report that they have entered high level negotiations with Amuutseba of the Harmoon to affect this evacuation. They are asking for resettlement rights in any and all systems that will accept them.

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HOPE SPRINGS ATTACKED

4.77 mg Sr-90

[From Blek, reporting from the TNN headquarters on Kapo]

It is with heavy heart that I must report that the Abo colony of Hope Springs appears to have been attacked. Orbital cameras recorded a single blast and subsequent dimensional analysis suggests that it was generated by a fusion bomb. Sadly, Hope Springs is an extremely hostile place where driving rains of molten glass continuously rage through the atmosphere forcing the colonists to live in close proximity to one another in reinforced hab-spheres. As a result, the death toll was catastrophic. Preliminary reports suggest that of the nearly 900,000 residents of Hope Springs only 20,000 who were out on mining missions when the attack occurred have survived. At this time the Abo government has made no official announcement regarding the incident, but security footage broadcasted from the hab-sphere near the time of the incident show 4 non-Abo individuals, suggesting that this was a terrorist attack. At the request of the Abo government , TNN will not release any information regarding the race of the individuals involved at this time.

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Hydra Communique

9.54 mg Sr-90

By now all races have received and can decode the following weak message which has been received over radio frequencies (not QEC):

This is an automated broadcast in all known languages, digital binary, and standard Milky Way semaphore. It is currently being sent by a robotic vessel on the fringe of the mass concentration in which you reside. We are theHydra Tetrarch from the mass concentration that we refer to as the Milky Way Galaxy the coordinates of this place are [coordinates correspond to UX-001, the brightest object observable from the Palomar Cluster, long known to be a medium sized spiral arm galaxy (not pictured on your map)].

Our people are currently hibernating in cryonic sleep and we do not wish to begin the revivification cycle until we have verified the nature of this mass concentration. We define the kilogram as the mass of 6.02 × 10^26 protons which are the hadrons that are composed of 2 up quarks and 1 down quark. Our total biological mass is equal to 1.24 × 10^11 kilograms. For sustenance we require water and carbohydrates. Water is defined as the molecule that is formed from 2 instances of the atom containing a single proton covalently bonded to 1 atom containing 8 protons. Carbohydrates belong to the class of molecules that contain long chains of covalently bonded atoms that contain 6 protons.

An electron is the lowest mass lepton that carries an electrical charge. A second is defined as the temporal duration required for 9,192,631,770 periods of the transition between the ground states of the electrons of the atom that contains 55 protons. During each interval composed of 86,400 seconds we require an amount of carbohydrate equal to 1% of our total biological mass and we require an amount of water equal to 3% of our total biological mass. Our metabolism consumes carbohydrates, but returns water to the environment.

If we do not receive a response to this message we will presume that this mass concentration is uninhabited by higher order life and will proceed accordingly. If you can receive and respond to this message, but are incapable of interstellar travel please provide us with the coordinates of your planet so that we may avoid it. If you are capable of interstellar travel, please direct us to a star system that you believe will fulfill out biological needs and minimize competition for resources with your or any other star faring civilization. Once our people are revived we would love to conduct a cultural or technological exchange with you.

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Solar Harvest and Collapse of the Howl Empire

19.08 mg Sr-90

[Press Release from the Soja Astroengineering Committee]
The Harvest of Asha’s Cradle is proceeding more or less according to plan. Due slightly anomalous behavior of the field lines the harvest has been somewhat smaller than expected, but still massive. All told, 435 mm was collected. The metal spheres are now being cut into appropriately sized portions and loaded onto the Abo’s cargo vessels. You should expect your materiel to be delivered in the coming SY. We thank all of the participating races for their assistance.
All told we consider this to be a great success, but we are somewhat perturbed by the anomalous readings. We would like to send the data gathered from the nanobot clouds to someone skilled in computer modeling to determine what went wrong so that a similar miscalculation will not be repeated in any future solar harvests we may have the good fortune to participate in.

[From the Asha’s Cradle Monastery]
We are fully cognizant of the logistical challenges inherent to any attempted evacuation and, therefore, bear the Cluster no malice for leaving us to our fate at Asha’s Cradle. We are at peace in the knowledge that our adaptations live on in the Super Ego.

[From Kelp, Tripe Chronicler to the Howl]
As most of you are no doubt aware, since their ancient war against the Hiss, the Howl have been driven by a sense of manifest destiny. They believe that their gods have given them the divine right to expand as far as possible in order to protect the race as a whole from any calamity. It is this motive that led them to exterminate the Hiss, to take to the stars in the first place, and then to wage the Perihelian War once there.
The steadfast resistance of the Isanthians and Abo, backed by the greater interstellar community, has deeply shaken the Howl’s ancestral philosophy. Behind the unified front that they have presented to the cluster great unrest has been brewing at all levels of Howl society. This SY, the unrest has boiled over and the Howl government has collapsed. In the ensuing chaos I made my escape to Kep-Tal system where I have gathered additional information regarding the restructuring of the Howl state.
The systems of Kep-Tal and Cydonia, no longer wishing to be pawns in Perihelian war have each declared their independence from all empires and are seeking recognitions of sovereignty. Additionally, the Pantheran Empire’s long relationship as a client state to the Howl Empire has now become apparent. The noble Pantheran people are shamed by the great failures of their leaders in allowing the Pantheran Empire to be so manipulated and then failing to adequately execute a victorious strategy. The ruling tribes of Panthera have been over turned and a great civil war has erupted on Panthera, Leo, and Tigris as the nobles of rival tribes each seek to fill the power void.

[Note from the GM: This introduces a new city-state mechanic to the game which I will post in the Rules Stuff Subforum this weekend at the latest]

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Kelp's Poem

38.15 mg Sr-90

The Howl government has published a poem by Kelp, Tripe Chronicler to the Howl, that glorifies the Howl’s recent military activities. Literary scholars quickly recognize the mimicry of Lob’s style, but wonder about the appellation to Asha in the first line of Kelp’s poem. The academic consensus is that Kelp appeals to a god in the long abandoned bronze age pantheon of the Abo in order to draw attention to the fact that Howl sentiments are not so much alien as they are archaic with respect to modern interstellar society. The fact the the star system known to the Abo as Asha’s cradle was in its death throes when this poem was published makes it particularly apropos:

Tell me, Asha, of prudent Diomedes, wise among the chaos,
He, who, before Elizabeth, died. And of skilled
Endymion, architect of noble ships who
Yearned for freedom from the Council’s hegemony.

Against the serpents and their appeasing allies,
Raw ability was sent, clad in armor of
Endymion’s artifice. Resplendent in kit

Wrought of rare crystal, the soldiers of Intersoles
Endeavored to win a high seat of honor
Among base merchants of Palomar. For this they
Killed honorably at Kep-tal, Cydonia, and

At the Daystar. Gains were made and lost; the skill of
Tiresias, blind, against cruel economy.
The final push on Isanthia, vengeance bent,
Allowed Lupi Morsu to strike its blow, veiled by
Chryses’ command: scions of Intersoles land on
Ka-Tesh to die; foremost character of every line.

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Updates from 3 Corners

76.30 mg Sr-90

[From Hike, Tripe Chronicler to the Manowar]
The Cluster Council on Kapo can reasonably be seen as the political capital of Palomar 14, but Sky’s Gaze is rapidly becoming the spiritual capital. This SY has seen the arrival of delegations from both the Visaol and the Abo bringing the total to 5 species participating in peaceful contemplation in the Philosophers’ Garden.

[From Leif, War Correspondent]
After the successful recapture of the Daystar by the Abo counter insurgency force hostilities along the Abo-Howl border seem to have subsided for the time being. As such, I am moving on to a new assignment. I plan on investigating these purple flashes that were witnessed by Drum at 10,000 mg and me at 610 mg. I plan on travelling to the location referred to in the Drum Report and would like to request the assistance of any race that would be willing to commit a science vessel to this mission.

[From Opal, Tripe Chronicler to the Pog]
The “Wisdom of the Pog” that we have long been promised appears to finally be realized. On the surface of some of these magnificent creatures, massive structures called “intellect nodes” are growing. The unusual species known as The Crass, which I would compare to the blood and lymph cells of smaller creatures, does not allow visitors to get close to these intellect nodes, but from what I can gather from a distance they are essentially massive networks of silicon pathways that serve as supplementary brains.
Additionally, the Pog now host within their bodies thriving communities of Visaol colonists and a race that I had not previously known of that calls itself the Hydra Tertrarch.

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Statement from Kep-Tal

152.59 mg Sr-90

[From Kep-Tal]
We, the free-willed Isanthian citizens of Kep-Tal, hereby renounce the Hegemony of Elizabeth and pledge allegiance to the Howl Empire. We make this statement under no duress or coercion. Our great-grandfathers may have suffered at the hands of the Howl, but we now see the errors of the old ways and we no longer have any desire to participate in the rigged “democratic” elections that see Elizabeth elected perpetual president of the Isanthian people. Furthermore, we encourage the citizens of Ka-Tesh, Narguild, and sigh Otterworld to join us in our declaration.

[From {Encrypted Location}]
It has come to our attention that the Tripe Chronicler, Kork, recently dispatched to Intersoles, has been placed under house arrest for unknown reasons. Our sources say that he is being treated well, but is not being permitted to publish or transmit.

[From Kapo]
The now curmudgeonly Garmond found that retirement did not suit him. Hovering about in his grav-chair and escorted by a cadre of well armed and able bodied Abo and Tripe youths he has completed one final tour of the Cluster. His final essay was published posthumously by TNN.

The New Measure of a Man:

The Grand Pog
The Great Abo
The Mighty Soja
The Effective Isanthians
The Capable Manowar
The Average Visaol
The Not Average, but Their Parents Think They Are Howl
The Pessimistic Draconians
The Despondent Harmoon

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Passing the Torch (watch out loyal readers!)

305.18 mg Sr-90

The now wizened, but still prolific Garmond has released his final issue of the Palomar Quarterly. Due to Abian property laws his son, Blek, will only be allowed to hold a 49% share of the Tripe News Network (TNN). Garmond makes this perfectly clear in the editorial section of his final issue and warns his audience to carefully scrutinize the facts presented in future issues of the Palomar Quarterly. Prompted by the vigorous debate in the Cluster Council this SY and repeating the feat of investigative reporting that propelled him to the lofty position of managing editor and then full owner of TNN, Garmond has written a final essay on the ecological disposition of the races of Palomar 14. In it, the following list appeared:

The Protectionist Visaol
The Custodial Howl
The Mindful Harmoon
The Compromising Manowar
The Capitalistic Soja*
The Exploitive Abo
The Neglectful Isanthians
The Abusive Pog**

“*” The Soja fleets have well designed recycling and waste management facilities that tend to cause their vessels to be much less polluted than the planets they harvest from.
“**” The Pog consume planets by inducing vast tectonic stresses in them and then “scooping” up the vast plumes of volcanic ash that are ejected into space as a result. Pog “ecology” therefore is very difficult to compare to the ecology of the other races.

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Regarding the Third Battle of Daystar

610.35 mg Sr-90

[From Leif, war correspondent, daughter of Lob, Tripe Chronicler to the Isanthians]

Based on my observations I believe that there is more to the Perihelian War than meets the eye. The official reports will no doubt describe mass troop movements, sub-orbital maneuvers, and the efficacy of this weapon system or that, but I was there in the thick of it and have a different story to tell.

While an attache to an Abo regiment on the front lines during the Third Battle of Daystar I witnessed the deployment of the Manowar Pridespawn. Elegantly simple, the Manowar charged the Howl line and, heedless of casualties, they entered close combat where their prowess was able to finally reverse the tactical retreat that the Abo had been fighting all these years. The Howl were driven back towards Cave Entrance 32, but, upon reaching it, it became apparent that the Howl had deployed merely 50% of their strength to defend the Landing Zone (LZ).

The objective of the combined Abo / Manowar force was to drive the Howl into the tunnels of Daystar and secure a safe LZ for future reinforcements. The fact that the Howl had copious reserves effectively spelled disaster for this effort. As Howl reinforcements advanced through a secret tunnel dug behind the Pridespawn lines a purple flash occurred, similar to that described in the Drum Report. Once my vision had cleared I saw 4 Howl soldiers and 2 Pantherans faced off against 3 Abo, an Isanthian, and 3 Manowar. I cannot adequately describe the battle that ensued. The Manowar fired weapons that dissolved the Howl armor, the Howl used swords that cleaved through Manowar armor like it was tissue, the Pantherans fired hand held laser weapons with rates of fire that exceeded our contemporary gatling cannons. When the smoke cleared a single Abo and a single Manowar were still alive. They affixed a device to the tunnel wall and then were gone. Seconds after their flight their device activated and the tunnel collapsed. The Howl reinforcements did not arrive and the day was won by the Manowar.

There are forces beyond our ken in play here. I caution all readers to carefully consider my report and form their own opinions about the powers at play here.

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Philosophers' Garden

1.23g Sr-90

[From Hike, the Tripe Chronicler to the Manowar]:

Far from the battle lines of the Perihelian War lies the Manowar shrine world of Sky’s Gaze. By Manowar mandate no mining is permitted and each race is limited to the construction of only a single permanent structure. In a peaceful archipelago under the weak light of this system’s giant red star a philosopher’s garden has been constructed. Here the prophetic sermons of Draconian pilgrims are debated alongside the natural philosophy of the Manowar and the carefully measured science of the Harmoon. The total population of this place is considerably less than 2,000, but the free exchange of ideas generate innovation that rivals the subterranean data processing centers of Ka-Tesh. Truly we see here, in the cooperation of three diverse forms of sentient life, a model that we, the citizens of Palomar 14, should strive toward.

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