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A tale of two worlds

A tale of two worlds

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Arrival on Mars of the Ancient Ones.

Nothing is known of their origins save that they came a great distance and brought with them to Mars a large variety of species and their own servant races. Fossil records on Mars do not record these species prior to this time, though data remains incomplete due to the evolutionary / mutated nature of the species that survived the Wars of Annihilation. Ancient texts give suggestions to the fact that the Ancient Ones were themselves refugees from a War against an unknown foe.

Mars at this time had an atmosphere much closer to that of Earth with some similar plant and animal eco-systems. The appearance of Earth species on Mars at this time attests to the Ancient Ones visiting Earth and collecting species. Rock carvings indicate that ancient hunting parties visited other planets and would hunt and collect specimens, including those from Earth.


The ‘golden age’ on Mars. The inhabitants record this time as the building of the fabulous Nebular cities and the Polar Canal Highways. The Seven Wonders of the Martian World are recorded as being created in this time, including the lighthouse of Xandria, the temple of Nostros and the pillar city of Infinitos. The races have by this time grown and spread across the planet. Although still servile to the Ancient Ones they live as vassals rather than slaves and enjoy a degree of autonomy. Trade flourishes and outposts are established on several other worlds, including Earth.

600,000 YEARS BC

Time of corruption. Increasing disharmony among races leads to small wars and skirmishes. The long period of prosperity has led to a false sense of prosperity and safety amongst the Ancients. Much of their original skill and technology has been lost due to lack of use. They are a race in their twilight and their growing weakness and disharmony amongst themselves further exacerbates that weakness. The 12 keys of power become scattered.

500,000 – 300,000 YEARS BC

The First Rebellion. The Mechanoids rise up in several places and slay their masters. Although they seize several key cities with great destruction, the Ancients still command  support from other races to fight back ad crush the Mechanos, who are almost completely destroyed. Those that remain are banished forever to the Polar Wastes.

The absence of their mechanical helpers who drove the furnaces and services of the great cities leads to a gradual abandonment of the larger ones . During this period a series of great plagues and famines sweep the world. Climate changes cause the Polar Icecaps to extend, crushing and destroying huge swathes of land under their advancing glaciers.

200,000 YEARS BC

The Second Rebellion and time of Civil War. Re-emergence of the Mechanos as a stronger, mechanically adapted race from the wastes. The mechanoids are beaten back only by a grand alliance of races, but at great cost. The last of the firstborn ancient Zar- Ramais is killed at the battle of the Sea of Tears.

40,000 YEARS BC

The Ancients are besieged within their last remaining fortresses, with only the race known as the Seers and some clans of the Drune coming to their aid. The Wars of Annihilation raged for almost 100 years. Weapons used by all sides blasted the atmosphere, poisoned the air and turned vast swathes of irrigated land to desert. Almost 90 percent of all species perish, including 3 of the eight tribes. The air is thinned as oxygen is burnt up and the climate changes to that of the harsh one on Mars today.Seeing the end was near, the handful of surviving Ancients that remain board their last serviceable ship with those servants that remained faithful to them and departed. However, as they did so they invoked the ancient and terrible seal portals which had been created at the polar extremes of the world in the earliest days of the Ancients. These had been created to protect the world from the great enemy, but now acted as a great seal to prevent the inhabitants from escape. The Ancients, their technology now diminished to a point where intergalactic travel was a lost art to them, managed to travel to earth with their remaining artefacts.

15,000 YEARS BC

The last of the Ancients are believed to have perished on Earth. Their remaining servants, without their masters, split up and formed the tribes of the Aegyptos, the Aztecha the Asio and the Aryani and build their own great civilisations on Earth, often using the architectural styles of their masters. Meanwhile on Mars the climate has stabilised and the survivors have all but forgotten the once all powerful ancients.


On Mars: All that remains are their crumbling cities and dry canals which have become the homes for nightmarish creatures. Survivors of the wars of annihilation are scattered and adapt to survive. Some races such as the Mechanos are mutated beyond all recognition. They take over and inhabit several of the Ancients cities, turning them into nightmarish places of fire, metal and ice which look like the pits of Hell .The Martian volcanic Badlands are peppered with their war factories.  They try in vain to batter the seals of the Ancients but without success. The seals cannot be touched from within.

The race of peacable Nool who once tended the astral paddy fields have mostly perished, but their descendants have been forced underground and lead a cannibalistic, termite style existence. Their bodies and eyes have adapted to the murky environment and they have tamed some of the nightmare creatures found underground in their termite style cities. Mostly they are content to fight amongst themselves as each termion kingdom seeks to extend the city realm. Many of these fierce fights are underground in the phosphorous murk. Occasionally however there will appear a strong clan leader who looks further afield and raids against other races are increasing, especially in the southern part of their realm where they brush against Drune outposts and caravanserai.

Morlogs in vast numbers have formed squalled communities as they struggle to develop from their neanderthal like society.  Fashioning crude tools from wood and stone they slowly carve themselves a place in the future of Mars.

The Drune, once the shepherds and beastmasters of the Ancients have now become a nomadic people, forced to move between dune sea to dune sea, following the rains in the wet season and the dung fields of the Astral Architeuthis in the dry during their island migration. They remain on good terms with the Seers, who they regard as akin to Gods, though they tread their own path. Only in the Jebel areas of the southern dune seas do they retain large static settlements. Here the inhabitants are known as the Jebel Drune or Jebalis. Here, large underground water reservoirs fed from the mountains have been located and are closely guarded in cities hewn into the great cliffs, almost impregnable from all sides and protected by many hidden watchers. The Drune do not allow outsiders into their kingdoms. They remain and respect those who are self sufficient, but do trade with others and their laws prohibit the harming of outsiders while under their protection or whilst trading. However, some of the deep dune Drune have turned to piracy. Their great desert ships with full sails skim the surface of the dunes and are an amazing sight.

Lastly there are the Seers. Little is known about these secretive people save that they are few, they live among the floating islands of the archipelago, they have telepathic powers and they have a symbiotic relationship with the large astral architeuthis. Some believe the seers to be an original race that lived on Mars prior to the Ancients, others that they are themselves members of the the race of Ancients, or that they acted as their most loyal and intelligent advisors. The Seers have the power of mind control over certain creatures. They live in cooexistance with the Architeuthis who act as their transport and their guards. The Architeuthis feed on the blossoms of the floatwood trees, which exist in large numbers only on the great floating islands of the archipelago where the rarefied altitude allows their pollination. The Seers have several cities with their largest  Dinae Aesor built on the largest of the floating islands.The Seers have relations with the Drune (with who they trade) in the Market City of Korbat, a floating island city anchored to the mountains. They have nothing to do with the Termions (who fear them) and nothing but hatred for the Mechanos. The Mechanos have attacked them in the past but were driven back each time with great loss, often turning on each other as the Seers exerted their considerable mental powers. However, there are rumours that the Mechanos have developed mental defence mechanisms to combat this. Apart from the Mechanoids, the Seers are the only ace to retain the knowledge of Astral travel, and their cities are themselves great ships.


The Earl of Redgrave’s mission to Mars aboard ‘The Astronef’ is a success. However, while investigating a notable structure at the Southern Martian Pole’s surface the craft lands. The Victorian explorers enter the southern seal portal and unwittingly de-activate it by removing power key of the Ancients. As they do this the portal starts to collapse around them and they are forced to flee for their lives, taking the key with them. What the Mechanoids have tried to achieve for almost 40,000 years has been achieved by the Humans in a split second. The seal is broken, although it is a while before the races (aside from the Seers) realise this.


By this time human trading posts and outstations have been set up on Mars by Britain, Germany, France and Russia.The discovery of large Gold deposits on Mars sees the landing of many human settlers and the setting up of prospecting camps. Many prospectors die from the very harsh conditions and violence that besets the camps and Earth forces are sent to control them. In a few years these camps have transformed into sizeable towns and trading posts. The majority of contact is with the Drune ,though limited contact is made with the Seers. Several expeditions and prospecting caravans go missing during this time as Mars is charted. The Mechanoids capture and study these new human specimens. Meanwhile an exhibiton of Martian artefacts is put on at the British Museum in London entitled ‘Relics of Mars’. Unwittingly they include 1 of the 12 keys of power left by the ancients. During this time, another key is discovered whist on an archeological dig in the Marmarus Sea. Drune join the various imperial navies and astronef fleets where they prove capable and reliable at all tasks and exceptionally resilient.

The first Martian conflict occurs when German ships clash with Astral- Architeuthis while escorting logging vessels to the floating archipelago. Several ships are destroyed though the survivors are allowed to depart by the Seers. Germany plays down the incident as a misunderstanding. Meanwhile, a small British garrison at O’Malley’s Drift beats off a large Termian Horde, though sustaining many casualties. This is the first contact with the Termians.


The Mechanids, having amassed years of observation of Earth and her forces now, launches a huge offensive against Earth. Within the first week most of the conventional forces fall prey to the huge Astronef barrage fleets, which bomb the major cities and destroy most of the aeronef fleets before disgorging tens of thousands of their mechanical ground weapons which walk, crawl or swim across the planet. Once proud earth armies are reduced to tatters and play a cat and mouse guerrilla warfare style trench and urban war against their foe. The Martian forces are defeated during some notable minor actions through the use of new weapons, unconventional tactics and sheer guts. The majority of Martian activity is in Europe at this stage, though some actions are fought in America and the Far East. Ultimately a deadly virus is created by  French Scientist Louis Pasteur which annihilates most of the Martian ground forces and several Martian Astronef squadrons, forcing the survivors to retreat to Mars.

In the aftermath of the invasion the Earth (and especially Western Europe ) tries to pick itself up amid almost 2 million dead and 10 million displaced people. There follows four years of re-building. During this time, contact with the Mars Settlements is re-established, new classes of larger more powerful astronefs are completed and some scientific advances are made into understanding aspects of the Mechanoid technologies, but their weapons remain a mystery. Many scientists are killed trying to open Heat Ray devices or Smoke projectors in massive explosions that rip apart laboratories.

During this period America and Japan, left relatively untouched by the invasion, become the main super- power states, though Britain and France, supported by raw materials from their vast territorial Empires are quick to bounce back. Japan and America both send Astronef expeditions to Mars and claim sections of it. Seeing her chance to claim world dominancy and angered by American interference in her plans, Japan begins to plot ‘the Pacific Solution’.


War breaks out on Mars between the Termians and Drune. The Termians are found to be using German built weaponry and it is not long before British, Russian and French forces become involved. German Luftbattalion forces annihilate the Russian garrison outpost of New Minsk. Relief forces are sent from Earth to relieve several cut off settlements, the most famous being the French Legion Espacial fort at Wadi Rouge, which holds out for 121 days against a Termian force of over 10 thousand.

Northern Europe, embroiled in Martian affairs and with diplomats doing their best to avoid conflict spilling onto Earth, ignore the move Japan starts to make to massively increase her Naval power. Both Japan and Germany are being supported by Mechaloid involvement, her Kaiser and Emperor given visions of easy victories by the mechaloids gift to them of various weapon technologies. These are but carrots….


Japan’s aeronef fleet destroys the majority of the American fleet at Pearl Harbour.

Russia enters the war alongside the Americans to fight to increase her Pacific holdings. They fight an inconclusive action at Johnston’s Atoll.

Germany joins the war on the side of Japan and Britain joins her old allies Russia in the fight with America. France declares her neutrality in agreements with the other powers that her territorial boundaries will be respected. The First World War rages.

Having started the conflict that has weakened the major powers, the Mechaloids send their second major invasion force. This time their attack is coordinated with Japanese and German forces, which act as their ground troops (a lesson learned in their first invasion).

War rages on both Mars and Earth.

Russian troops revolt on Mars, forming their own city state and driving out their imperial officers. Their city is renamed Stahlgrad. It is soon besieged by Luftbattalion forces.

Seeing the Mechaloid involvement with the German and Japanese forces, the Seers use their forces to try to drive off their fleets. As the Termian attacks have all the hallmarks (and increasingly the technology) of the Mechaloids, France can bear neutrality no longer and joins Britain, Russia and America.


German Luftbattalion Mechaloid – enhanced troopers are seen for the first time, proving nearly unstoppable on Mars. They soon reach Earth.

The Seers reveal to the British ambassador Sir Hector Wilkie the true threat of the Mechaloid is their search to gather all 12 keys of the ancients to gain their full powers. They already retain 3 of the keys. The others are scattered in archeological sites around Egypt, the Yucatan, the Gobi, the Paris sewers, the jungles of Cambodia and in Antarctica, as well as in several similar locations on Mars. The Drune retain one, as do the Seers. With the seals broken they are able to use their mind powers to locate the remaining keys.

Messages sent back to London are intercepted, and as expeditions are sent out to the sites to try to reclaim the artefacts, other parallel expeditions are sent by dark forces…


The fate of two worlds hangs in the balance.

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