Introduction To Black Sun: Part One

March 5, 2019 by dracs

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Lee from Crucible Crush Games introduces us to the world of Black Sun, their new game based in a Vietnam War gone weird.

Welcome to Black Sun

In 1968 the Vietnam War rages. The communist supply line known as the Ho Chi Min Trail, cuts through Cambodia, attempting to avoid the fearsome American air power. At the height of the hostilities, a set of ruins in Cambodia, the ancient Khmer temple of Angkor Sek, becomes a massive underground storage depot for the Ho Chi Min Trail, at least for a time. That is until an ancient evil awakens and alters the destiny of members of both sides of the Indo-China conflict and hurls them into an alternate dimension of savage peril and ancient horror.

This rift in space-time is called Black Sun and it is another earth in a separate dimension. As such this world resembles our world geographically but is within a completely different reality with its own set of physical laws. In this alternate dimensional version of the South Asian jungle evolution has taken strange turns and many nightmare creatures exist that defy the rules of Earthly logic. In Black Sun the rules of physics are not always consistent with our world. Sometimes rivers flow upwards, rain falls as razor shards of ice and time behaves in unpredictable ways. Uncertainty prevails. It is called Black Sun because the sun, which never sets, is black at its core and yet sheds a withering bright radiance which fosters a steaming and humid atmosphere.

In November 1968, Charlie Company of the 4th Division Engineering accompanied infantry units of the 4th Infantry Division on "Operation Tollroad," planned with the goal of deterring North Vietnamese traffic from using the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The units deployed by helicopter from the base at Polei Kleng. The operation was then completed in two parts; the first team started near the Ia Drang Valley, moved into Cambodia on the Trail and moved North until crossing into Laos. There they were relieved by the second team which continued North until December 1st. The operation blew bunkers, constructed abatis and performed other deterrent actions along the Trail. On Thanksgiving eve, Turkey dinner was delivered into Laos by helicopter.

This is the official document of what occurred on Operation Tollroad. In actual fact, the second team had to be sent in because the first team had disappeared mysteriously somewhere within Cambodia.

Deep in the remote reaches of the Cambodian jungle lies the lost city of Angkor Sek. The ancient Khmer people constructed their city on the ruins of a much older city, Tau Tau, an outpost of the legendary Lemurian Empire. Beneath the Great Pyramid of Angkor Sek is the Lemurian Heart of the World, a giant crystal of immense power once used to alter time and space. This living jewel still breaths, and at intervals alters space-time creating dimensional rifts. One of the rifts leads to Black Sun.

100,000 years ago the Lemurian civilization rivaled Atlantis. Lemurians, unlike the Atlanteans however, were not a human species but were instead reptilians descended from the age of the dinosaurs. Both races were highly advanced in the occult metaphysical arts which were based on a science unlike our modern technology but immensely more powerful than anything humanity has since achieved. Both civilizations simultaneously vanished in a cataclysm of their own making, perhaps a great war between the two. The Ice Age ended, the glaciers melted and oceans rose, swallowing the remnants of the Atlantean and the Lemurian continents leaving little behind but legend.

Over the surface of our earth, ley lines of power were laid down by the human Atlanteans and the inhuman Lemurians. The advanced technology of these elder races still exists across the planet, drawing energy from the Earth’s core. These lines of power were a transportation grid which not only moved items and beings across the globe but also allowed movement between dimensions and thus across universes. No one now knows how these lines of power work but a few researchers have come to realize they are powered by crystals that exist within the Black Sun universe. The temple at Anghor Sek lies on one of these power lines and it is a main transit station in the antediluvian Lemurian transportation grid.

Group 559 was a Logistical Transportation unit of the People's Army of Vietnam. Established on the 19th of May 1959 to move troops, weapons, and material from North Vietnam to Vietcong paramilitary units in South Vietnam, the unit created and maintained the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the supply line that helped the North win the Vietnam War. After the commitment of U.S. and allied forces to the conflict in 1965, Group 559 moved a volume of supplies nearly equal to the total volume of the preceding five years. Increasing North Vietnamese involvement, including the introduction of large ground units, in the southern war and U.S. interdiction of the People’s Army of Vietnam’s logistical system at sea sharply increased the need for the group's overland route.

Company B, 71st Regiment of the 559th Transportation Group was headquartered in Binh Tram 35 near the Cambodia border in the Ia Drang Valley. This location was within a few days march of the temple at Anghor Sek. In November of 1968, they were patiently observing American Army Engineers as they invaded their area of operation and destroyed a section of the Ho Chi Minh trail that the Transportation Group had jurisdiction over. These Americans were to disappear into the first Black Sun event of the war.

Once you are transported to the Black Sun dimension, the rules of life have drastically changed. It is a constant battle for survival within a realm of alien beings and hostile reality. The only link between you and the world you come from are the ley lines of power that are energized by the crystals at the heart of the Black Sun universe’s ancient technology. In fact, the collection and use of the Heart Crystals as they have become known as one of the keys to survival in Black Sun. These crystals when placed on a Lemurian Power Machine cause a contact point with the homeworld or dimension of the Machine Operator. A reaction occurs and items are transported to or from the waypoint and into or out of the Black Sun dimension. This is generally the effect. Sometimes however a much more sinister reaction can occur. Feeding the Black Sun machines has become a dangerous game of Russian roulette. However, it is the only way out of Black Sun and back home for the men that are trapped within the event.

However, the Black Sun dimension is not void of its own life. It is a living environment and eco-system like any other. It also has its own history which dates back to the time of the Lemurian and Atlantean civilizations. However, the Atlanteans and Lemurians no longer exist. Despite this, they have left a legacy of technology within and about their scattered ruins that are similar to ancient civilizations from earth’s past. The hyper-competitive environment here is deadly. Dinosaurs, and creatures far worse, roam the jungle. Semi-intelligent plants, some capable of movement and others with grasping tentacles, fight over prey with creatures from this prehistoric era gone berserk. As well, Alien creatures populate the dimension; species that have lost contact with whatever world they originated from but now rule or at least survive in the horror that is the Black Sun.

No one knows from where the Adaro creatures originated but they thrive here in Black Sun as possibly the most dominant race. It is possible that they were imported by the Lemurians for a purpose long forgotten. Colonies of Adaro inhabit the waterways and swamps of the jungle valleys. These sentient amphibians are strong, cunning and as deadly an opponent as any human adversary. They live in vast and extensive mud warrens, well hidden within the deep forests. While commonly equipped with primitive weapons, certain Earthly influences have imported modern weapons which they have acquired and have become proficient with. The Adaro, or Frogs as the army grunts have dubbed them, practice a religion that venerates the Heart Crystals. In the constant fight for survival, the Frogs fanatically fight for the Crystals as they have existed here for thousands of years and know the terrors and benefits that they bring when combined with the Lemurian Power Machines.

The Lemurian Power Machines play a dominant role in the anarchic environment of Black Sun. Sometimes resembling stone dais platforms, at other times these machines appear as strange columns engraved with twisting patterns of hieroglyphs. As this world was once a centre of Lemurian civilization, strange ruins abound within the jungle environment, and usually within these ruins, or even occasionally standing alone, are the ‘Machines’.

The Heart Crystals are shimmering blue, resembling quartz but with quantum energy that the Lemurian Technology can tap to provide a highly volatile, seemingly magical power. These Crystals are usually hidden in years of overgrown jungle. They are also found on the surface as they regularly rise or bubble up out of the ground. Underground, in tunnels, ruined buildings, and mines, the crystals are even more pervasive.

The Lemurian civilization populated all reaches of the Black Sun world. Ruins of their cities abound. This race had mastered inter-dimensional travel and had an impact on the early human civilizations of Earth before the cataclysm that befell them there. The Cambodian architecture with which we are familiar reflects the Lemurian colony that once dominated the prehistoric Pacific regions of our world. The architecture in the Black Sun event bears striking similarities in style to that found in the South Asian civilizations of earth. That there has been cross over to the Black Sun dimension in the past is obvious. That the ancient civilization of Lemuria existed at some time on earth is also evident to anyone that has interacted with the Black Sun event. The Ruins here are an important feature of the world, providing shelter and technology to stranded strangers. No other piece of technology is more important than the Lemurian Power Machines that occur along Ley Lines throughout the expanse of the Black Sun world.

The Machines, dubbed “Bus Stops” by the US soldiers who have encountered them, are a source of supply and a source of hope to the survivors stranded in this world. No one knows with any certainty how these Machines work, but as you supply them with crystals, eventually an event occurs and objects in the surrounding area are either pulled into the machine and are transported elsewhere or something from somewhere else arrives. The energy fields generated by the Machines act in what almost amounts to a random fluctuation. It is similar to a group standing in an open field during a thunderstorm, wherein some people are struck by lightning while the others right beside them remain untouched.

These machines only transport material that is made by man or some other living being or the living beings themselves. It is suspected that the technology recognizes the genetics of the user and the genetic traces left by the user on their material possessions. The machines do not affect the surrounding flora or fauna or buildings. At other times the machines, seem to misfire and bring things into the Black Sun dimension from other points in the cosmos of both our universe and the Black Sun Universe. Again, the science behind these incredible mechanisms is long lost and those who are either foolish enough, desperate enough or simply unlucky enough to activate the Lemurian Machinery take an incredible gamble with both their lives and sanity.

Due to the random effects of the crystals and the transport machines, the physics of the Black Sun event can be particular. This allows for weird events within the Black Sun event. It is possible for a Huey-1B gunship to fly over and either deliver supporting fire or pick up wounded soldiers for a medevac. The Huey could then fly off and head back to the real world and may not even know that it was within the Black Sun event. Pungy sticks and pit traps can appear in areas they had not previously occupied. These occurrences can only appear to be perfect happenstance to those that get a ride home in this manner. For others, it can provide the hope they need to keep functioning within the event.

The Vietnam War is a perfect storm of circumstance that propels our modern human protagonists into the Black Sun Universe. Sometimes objects as large as helicopters and aircraft become transported as well though most seldom last very long. There are no runways for a B-52 to land in Black Sun. Intelligence agencies of the major powers have known of the Black Sun rift since the South East Asian jungle warfare of World War Two and while the average person on the street in America, Britain, China or Russia have only the vaguest notion of the reasons for the war, Intelligence agencies of the major powers are in a race to secure an understanding of Lemurian technology before their rivals can gain the upper hand.

For the Grunt on the ground, he only wants to get out of this place.

Keep an eye out for Part Two, where we find out more about the different factions of Black Sun.

Let us know your thoughts on this world in the comments below.

By Lee VanSchaik

"An ancient evil awakens and alters the destiny of members of both sides of the Indo-China conflict and hurls them into an alternate dimension of savage peril and ancient horror."

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"A constant battle for survival within a realm of alien beings and hostile reality."

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