Originally posted June 2008

Because Harbinger of Doom demanded it… (Mild spoilers for Wall-E)

Rookies (D&D)

In the last century of man’s residence on this plane, Archmage Forthright brought forth wonders. Great cities rose, forged of pure magic, and enslaved outsiders and permanent enchantments raised the standard of living of even the lowest peasant to a paradise. Mankind bent the wilderness to suit itself, and the world became a work of art.

But the world was not meant to be so twisted for so long, and the walls of reality grew thin. Demons and devils spilled into the world, wreaking havoc. Creatures were twisted into monstrous forms and lashed out against men. And magic could not be used to solve the problem, as the mightiest workings needed to face down the invaders merely opened the door for more.

The Archmage proposed a desperate plan: the greatest of cities gathered the peoples of the world into their hearts and the greatest mages of the lands worked in unison to break through the weakened walls into other dimensions: safe places like the Feywild and the Astral Plane, where protective magics could be worked to keep humanity from the dangers it had wrought on its world.

And left behind were the Rooks: warforged golems, bound elementals, geased faeries, oathbound undead, and any other creature that could be trusted to fight eternally for the vanished humanity. They were entrusted to clean the plane of foul creatures, seal any portals left open, and prepare the world for mankind’s return.

That was centuries ago. Your band is amongst the last of the Rooks, hundreds having fallen in the drive to take back the world. But take it back you have: though the ruins of civilization still gape to the sky, only rare pockets of terrors remain in the wilderness.

Soon, the strange crystal golems will phase into this plane again, and you will share your success, telling them to summon man back to his world. But what happens when you find out that much of humanity has long been warped into demihuman races by its stay amongst the planes… and that the extra-planar hosts aren’t yet ready to let their guests leave?

The Spider Clan (Mechwarrior)

Albert, “Khan of the Spider Clan,” was an elderly scholar of the Lyran Alliance. He had a thirst for knowledge, a way with people, and an excellent eye for Mechs. Over the years he traveled the stars, meeting with Inner Sphere and Clan alike, even before most of the worlds knew of the Clans waiting in deep space. He recorded details about all of his subjects in a codex, including details of their technology that he had mastered. Many considered him a friend, and the Clans even jokingly did him the honor of creating him a clan of his very own.

That was decades ago. Now, it is 3050, and the Clans force their way towards Tukayyid. Albert’s blood family has returned to his compound on a world near the new Jade Falcon border. They know little about the compound, save that it features advanced defensive technology to face off the greatest of heavy mechs, and comprehensive gene-locks to keep out spies and saboteurs.

And then a child of the family finds the long-buried codex, and its ancient systems engage with others on the network. Responding to long-buried sensors, the Clans realize that the secrets contained in the codex could ruin their assault, or give them the edge they need to punch a hole in the Inner Sphere.

Can a small family of scholars with a high-tech compound hold out against the massed Mechs of Clan Jade Falcon, and their mighty Khan Malgorath?