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Mass Effect/AEC-ANN News: Ancient Synthetic Found in Ruins



Tweet of the Day: SF Obscure: EUREKA


ANN News Desk on The Citadel

August 18, 2197

Ancient Synthetic Found in Ruins

By Tico Brie

CITADEL, THE PRESIDIUM- A recent discovery among the ruins found in the Ybarra cluster shocked the galactic archaeological community. The activation of an ancient data bank revealed that the expedition underestimated the age of the ruins by over 300,000 years. Furthermore the archaeologist found a damage but well preserved synthetic inside the data vault. The synthetic, created under a bipedal body plan, attempted to flee from the archaeologist while it shouted a word that the expedition linguist translated into “Destroyer(s)”. A Geth observer platform was brought in to interface with the damaged synthetic. After several minutes, the synthetic identified itself as Immu. Through its Geth translator, Immu revealed several facts about the civilization that colonized the cluster:

  • The name of the civilization was Lengk, not Spemin.
  • The term Spemin referred to “enemies” and/or “traitors”
  • The Lengk were a coalition of races that escaped from the grasp of the Uhladon or “Destroyers”
  • The Spemin undermined the defenses of the Lengk in preparation for the attack of the Uhladon
  • The Spemin opened or corrupted the “Gate of the Gods” which opened the way to the Uhladon invasion.
  • The Lengk had some warning of the attack and turned their systems into bastion while they prepared an expedition to the Ybarra cluster
  • Spemin agents discovered the plan and sabotaged the cryo-genetic stock aboard the generation ships
  • The sabotage combined with the self-imposed isolation among the colonies in the cluster due to an absolute prohibition on the use of the “Star Gates” led to the eventual collapse of the colonies in this region of space.
  • The collapsed occurred over 100-300 years (standard) after the Lengk arrival in the cluster.
  • Immu’s mission, along side other synthetics, was the preservation of the Lnegk’s legacy until they were reunited with survivors of their civilization or a new advanced species discovered the ruins.

Dr. Leerry Pourrs concluded that even with Immu’s help, it could take decades to reactivate and decipher the vast treasure trove of data left by the Lengk.


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TV Tropes Monday: Alien Geometries



Tweet of the Day: Book Review- Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz


Want to freak out your audience? Throw them in a room where the walls close on them, the angles are just wrong somehow and add the the term, “non-euclidean geometries” into the mix. Welcome to Alien Geometries, where everybody enters by no minds leaves.

This trope is perfect to introduce a touch of the horrific, the weird or the fantastic. The perfect short hand for things getting weird.  A favorite of Lovecraftian horror, Alien Geometries illustrate the fact that the universe is far more complex that we can possibly imagine, and that those possibilities are scary indeed. They can also be a source of wonder, signalling to the audience that the setting doesn’t obey the rules of reality and that anything is possible.


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Mass Effect/AEC-ANN News: Lawson-Thompson Nuptials



Tweet of the Day: Puppets and the Suspension of Disbelief 


From: Alliance News Entertainment Desk

May 11, 2197

Lawson-Thompson-Ramos Nuptials

By Joan Calder

MILGROM, BEKENSTIEN– Horizon came alive as celebrities and family members descended upon the shores of Lake Katarn to celebrate the nuptials of Miranda Lawson, older sister of Lawson Industries (formerly Lawson Bio-Medical) Oriana Lawson, and Systems Alliance officer (and former CEO of Thompson-Ramos Security) Theodore Thompson-Ramos. The list of guests included such luminaries as  Admiral Shepard, who gave the bride away, several heroes of the Reaper Invasion like Admiral (ret.) Tali’Zorah vas Normandy, Garrus Vakarian, Captain Urdnot Grunt, and many others.

Sheryl Stone led the list of celebrities with a free concert for the attendees, the highlight of which was a duo with quarian singer/songwriter Arana vas Harra  on a holographic stage shaped like a Normandy Class frigate over Lake Katarn. Stone personally thanked Commander Thompson-Ramos for the defense of her home colony of Arborea against a band of Batarian slavers two years ago.

Horizon’s militia established a 100km no-fly zone around Lake Katarn. Similar security measures kept the paparazzi from crashing the festivities.



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Tales of the Sanctuary: The Four Lions

Tweet of the Day: Three Things: Things to Read


Sign Posted at the Door of the Four Lions Tea House

We are always open, day or night, rain or shine.

If you want service, ask for Shana. All of our girls are named Shana.

Politeness gets you served, rudeness gets you kicked out the door.

We have all manners of teas; strong green tea to wake you up, mellow brown tea to calm you down, warm tea with milk to help you sleep. 

Guards do not drink for free, but they do drink at a discount.

Do not think of causing trouble, this is a tea house not an ale house. The guards from the city’s main gate always stop here to an from the gate which is just fifty feet away. They like their tea strong and their tea house quiet. 

So enjoy your tea and we shall see you in the morrow.


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TV Tropes Monday: City of Adventure


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Tweet of the Day: Mediocre Confidence


Some stories take the protagonist on the road. They wander the world or universe. They right wrong, fight monsters and commiserate  over their lost love, sometimes they do all three at the same time. A story set in the City of Adventure is not that kind of story. This city has it all. You need a bunch of animals running amok? Go to the zoo. Need a seedy goings in the middle of the night. Pick between slums, warehouse districts and ports. Political intrigue? Visit the Mayor’s office. Court room drama? The King’s Bench is always in session.

Question is, does your City of Adventure has that something, that je ne se quoi that makes it stand out among the many other possible settings? Is it populated by interesting characters that make it come alive? Does it have a history that makes it feel unique? A city of adventure craves these things, and yes it craves, since the best of them are characters unto themselves. Without these qualities they are empty husks.

And if that is the case, then it is time to hit the road.


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In the Beginning: Duatha and Talisa


Tweet of the Day:  Grow Reader Empathy By Showing Your Protagonist’s Vurnerable Side


From the Annals of Xhin Gon, Leader-Scribe of the Third Expedition to Daqin (The West), Chapter 3, Myths of the West, Translated by the Scribes of the Great Library of Sanctuary

Dedicated to the Peerless Son of Heaven, Sovereign of the Three Worlds and Lord of all Things Under Heaven by your humble servant Xhin Gon.

There are several common concepts that bind the people of the West. Most of their creation myths begin with the death of a primordial being. The Uthgot speak of how the First Man, Adamon, slays the Great Serpent of the Waters, sometimes named Io or Tiamat, and drives back flooding waves which carve the Land of the Two Rivers. The tribes of Pei (Land of the North Winds) believe that the world came to be in a battle between their gods and an ancient giant whose remains transform upon death into Creation. The giant bones became the Earth, its breath colors the Air and blood transforms into the  seas.

The Wõ (dwarves/dwarfs) posses a similar belief. They worship celestial twins, Duatha and Talisa which came to being out of the two halves of Astarte, the Great Mother. In the beginning, exists Astarte, the Mother. At some point, Astarte begins to birth the universe. The dwarves avoid mention of the first born, whom they consider the embodiment of chaos and darkness, an evil entity bent on the destruction of all things and personifies eternal pain. The birth of the Dark One tore the Great Mother in two.  The blood spills down to the Earth below carving hills, mountains and valleys. Those drops that remain on the surface become the Dwarfs of the Hills , while those that sunk into the ground become the Dwarfs of the Mountain.

From each half emerges a twin. The eldest is Duatha, god of Air and Water, Lighting and Thunder. He is lord over the elements Air and Water, caretaker of the Hills, bringer of justice and keeper of the seasons. Talisa is the goddess of Earth and Fire, Iron and Wood. She rules over the elements of Earth and Fire and is the Guardian of the dwarfs, Keeper of the Hearth, and Light in the Darkness. While all dwarfs worship the twins, the Dwarfs of the Hills follow Duatha’s faith closely, while the Dwarfs of the Mountain are keepers of Talisa’s faith.

While dwarfs tend to shun Chaos in all its forms, the brethren of the Hills are not as ritualistic or formal as their Mountain cousins due in no part to the carefree manner of their Patron. They understand their is a balance to all things under Heaven. That seasons change but come again. These dwarfs then tend to travel farther afield from their strongholds and have a stronger warrior tradition rather than the discipline cadres of soldiers who serve the Di (chiefs or kings) as diligently as the Imperial Army serves the Peerless Son of Heaven.

That is not to say that dwarfs are in conflict. Both Duatha and Talisa teach their followers to protect their Clan and Hold, to help their fellow Wõ (dwarf/dwarfs) and to seek perfection in word and deed.






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TV Tropes Monday: Amazon Brigade

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Tweet of the Day: Gamers have become the new Religious Right 


Because Men Use Violence and Women Use Communication it is very rare to see women fighting/fighters out there on Media-Land(tm).  Sometimes you may find the odd Lady of War, but she is one woman army among the hordes of swarthy male combatants. But sometimes you have more than one female warrior on the field. If they are three or more of them you may be facing the Amazon Brigade.

Of course, the one thing that comes to mind is that this trope doesn’t have a male counterpart, unless you count a regular brigade as a counterpart. Even when you have enough women in a setting to qualify for this trope (and the number is 3+) it still marks these women as the being outside of the norm, regardless of their capabilities.  Even in speculative fiction settings were technology or magic has removed the typical barriers for women to enter combat, if this trope is in play that means that women in combat roles are rare enough to be the exception rather than the rule.



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