Some Of The Old Beings
The Kystroni & The Seeders of Lebinin by
These mysterious and intriguing creatures come from the planet Kystron. Alas, only they know where it is, but it is believed to be in, or near, the vast dust clouds or the nebulae that surround the galactic core. This region is much too dangerous to even approach for most species; sane astrogators absolutely refuse to risk it. The immense black hole in the core there twists tunnel space into an unnavigable labyrinth.
All information about Kystron is speculation. The planet is believed to be 'cloaked' so that no one but its ancient inhabitants is able to find it. Kystron is believed to be a large planet at least 3 times as massive as New Khazan. It is thought to have a dense atmosphere made mostly of carbon oxides, methane, and ammonia. Gravity there is at least 3 times normal, and would make it uninhabitable for most other species.
The Kystroni are thought to be quite sizeable, and shaped like large fried eggs. One source describes them as very dark in color and covered with numerous tiny glowing gem-like sense organs. They are not a numerous race; they breed slowly, dividing like amoebas once every two or three centuries. Experts believe they are possessed of psionic and magical powers that beggar description. This race was probably old when most of the galaxy's current races were still pond scum. They have never shown any inclination to conquer or enslave other species.
The only real contact other races have had with the Kystroni is through their synthetic cyborg constructs which they control mentally from their cloaked ships in orbit. (They cannot survive in low gravity environments in their true form). Their technology appears to be dependent on a rare crystalline substance called 'Geecium' which can only be found on planets near the galactic core. Unfortunately, Geecium rays are very destructive and kill living tissue and destroy sensitive electronics. It can only be mined and processed by magically animated entities (called 'zombies' on New Khazan). This leads the Kystroni to 'recruit' the bodies to make such creatures by running their 'game' on planets where suitable beings exist in abundance (See "Gamesmen Of Kasar" for an example). The only other traffic with these enigmatic beings is from traders who do a lucrative business trading various items (including corpses) with them for Jet Krestle or rare metals which appear to be abundant near the core.
Kystron ships are almost never seen, but those that have briefly appeared are huge dark spheres of a plastic or fluid material the size of an asteroid. They have been observed to change from spheres to ovate shape or saucers, and one observer saw smaller spheres pinch off from the main ship and fly away from it. The surfaces of the observed Kystron ships were covered with small glowing multicolored gem-like structures. One ship was described as having a sparkling nimbus or halo around it. Kystron ships routinely warn other vessels not to approach them. No known ship has ever survived an attack on a Kystron vessel. Though they deny it, one large Ogre Horde ship is said to have declared its intention to attack a Kystron ship near a planet it was 'protecting'. The empty hulk of that unfortunate vessel was later found. But every crew member was gone, apparently taken by the Kystroni to mine Geecium as punishment for their aggression.
The Seeders of Lebinin
There is another apparently ancient race thought to be associated with the Kystroni. They are even more reticent and shy. They are called the "Seeders of Lebinin" though no one seems to know where this name originated or why. The so-called Seeders are very rarely even seen. Their ships resemble large long glowing crystals, and, at the first sign of any other ship headed in their direction, they immediately jump to tunnel space and disappear.
Astrobiologists studying all the different kinds of living things in the galaxy have come to an interesting conclusion. They have noted that all living things they have looked at have such features in common as to suggest that they come from some kind of common source. All seem to have some common genetic similarities and gene sequences. The theory has been advanced that that the "seeders" seek out worlds wherever life is deemed possible and "seed" those planets with organisms tailored to survive and thrive there. This would appear to be the "seeder's" sole raison d'Ítre.
In addition, planetologists have looked at a number of developing worlds where life is in the beginning stages of evolutionary development, and have found startling evidence that not only had the planets been moved to a more life friendly orbit, but there was evidence of significant life friendly terraforming done to enhance the planet as a nursery for developing species. Recently miners in an asteroid belt of an isolated star system claim to have observed at long range what appeared to be several Seeder and large Kystroni ships actually moving a planet into a more favorable orbit. Unfortunately the vids they took of the spectacle were of poor quality, and are thought to be frauds by some experts.
Kystroni (Kystrone - singular) need a planet with a solid surface. They might establish gas mines on gas giants, but seldom do so.
The Seeders may be the creators of the Kystroni; hence the friendly long standing relationship between them.
Scholars believe there is a 'religious' reason for the Seeders preoccupation with spreading life throughout the Galaxy; they believe it is what God or Whatever wants them to do. Like God or Whatever, they are loathe to directly interfere or intervene once they have 'seeded' a world (though they may leave devices around just to observe and keep an eye on their work; these are almost impossible to find or capture).
Kytroni are pretty much dedicated vegetarians and adamant pacifists. They have no population pressure to force them to seek out the rare worlds where they alone could thrive.
They accept that mortal species have limited life spans, and are happy since that gives them the bodies they need to make 'animates' (their view of zombies) which are needed to mine the essential Geecium- the substance that gives them power to control gravity.
They fight only in self defense, but woe to those who provoke them. They are scholars and philosphers and would be appalled at the thought of trying to rule the other species; it would be like herding cats to them.
One can only imagine what space pirates or mean spirited races would do to get bodies for trade to obtain the rare 'Jet Krestle' the ultimate Kremm source which powers the magic using ships and devices of the rest of the galaxy. Savage wars are fought to control the few sources of this potent crystalline substance, and a significant amount of it comes from those brave traders who dare to trade with the Kystroni. (And get filthy rich, if successful).
Kystroni do like 'games', and may indulge in gambling for fun (through their constructs, of course). And they do not really approve of races that kill other races (murder is a sin to them) to get bodies to trade.
Like the Seeders, they too are a religious race with a strong belief in kindness and tolerance. All life is sacred to them, but they will intervene or interfere with others only if whole planets or species are threatened with extinction. They can kick ass royally when they have to, but hardly ever do.
Suggestions for scenarios:
- Kystroni seldom show up or interact with other species except through their constructs which set up the 'game', but they can be used by GM's as a deus ex machina for players who have gotten into a really bad bind or potentially lethal situation. They may answer a sincere distress call and help players in dire need. They do like to 'buy' any dead crew members and will trade aggressively for such prizes. But they are not fools, and will bargain like good traders for what they would like to have. Don't expect them to be overly generous in their trading.
- Any kind of Seeder device or probe (most likely damaged or defective if found) Even if very old, would be of great interest to the major powers and their agents.They would compete aggressively to buy or steal it. Highly advanced alien technology could significantly increase the power of its possessor.
- On a distant world there is an abandoned city. It was a mining town and prosperous for a time, but then all contact was lost. Now there are no (or maybe just a few) survivors. It seems the Kystroni were running a game here, and the main ship just suddenly picked up its constructs and left. But the game left there apparently decided in its complex cybernetic mind to evolve, and now this has become deadly. Getting out of this death trap is the goal, but if the party can find a way to shut the game down, there is a wealth of Kystron technology here.
- It is rumored that Kystroni have been seen hovering at the edge of conflicts, swooping in and snatching dead ships - or maybe just ships that have had an "accident" this could lead to the possibility of the adventure party still being alive on such a derelict ship and being accidentally snatched by the Kystroni.
Copyright 2012, Roy Cram
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