Category Archives: Aliens

Anything about aliens.

Dushis Khurisi and other interesting expansions of the OTU

In the Traveller5 Book and in the Traveller5 CDROM we can read about a few interesting things that will expand the current “Charted Space” of the OTU to a galactic scale. There are a few hints that we can expect some epic adventures. If we look at the image of The GALAXY (p. 417 or in the CDROM) we can see many interesting things. In the map in the book these are called Scattered Hydrogen Societies. I have added these on the Milky Way map below.

MilkyWay Traveller5
Milky Way with information from Traveller5 added. Map from NASA. Public Domain.

From the top there is first Dushis Khurisi. Searching the interwebs I found it in Eaglestone’s Vilani Dictionary. The meaning is “poem“. This made me suspect that this was something from The Galaxiad. And there it is! Dashus Khurisi (slightly different spelling) is a Vilani Empire on the other side of the Galaxy.

In the Galaxiad Intro, the Abyssals, the Barren Worlds and the Essaray are also mentioned among many other interesting things. But there is no answer to what kind of Scattered Hydrogen Societies the SRAL and Denizens are. There are some notes about the Black Fleets that we remember from the Kickstarter Project (at the $ 25 level and above).

The first time I heard about the Barren Worlds was when Clifford Linehan was mapping the Zhodani Core Route. (His site is now offline.) He then discussed this with Marc Miller. That was 13 years ago. Marc must have been planning this a long time.

Angry Tweeties

The ship’s broker is approached about transporting a consignment of newborn Iptetean Tweeties, a species of genetically-modified pets that are increasing in popularity throughout the Foreven sector.

Iptetean Tweety
Iptetean Tweety : Picture from wikimedia. GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later.

1. Unbeknownst to humaniti, the Iptetean Triapus, from which the Iptetean Tweety is modeled, is sentient. This sophont has a subsonic language and once had some measure of technological civilization before humaniti invaded its homeworld. Due to the species’ psychology, it went into hiding at the first sight of humans, abandoning their towns for the forests, their ancestral home. Explorers eventually captured them and made some into pets, and as these creatures were taken into space, they’ve seen that the humans have also created a technomagically-modified version of themselves, the Iptetean Tweeties, which if caught at a sufficiently young age can be taught the language and history of their unmodified kin.

One of the passengers (or crewmembers), who has a pet triapus, notices that their pet seems to be drawn to the tweeties, which are in a large pen in the ship’s hold. This is made noticeable due to the fact that whenever the triapus and the tweeties get into sufficiently close proximity, they begin what appears to be a massive “purr-session” that is actually a pleasure to witness. The loud, “tribble-like” purring, once it stops being funny, is innately soothing to the human ear. It is apparent that even without being able to see each other, both the Triapus and the Tweeties appear to be able to hear each other, and they appear to be very pleased or possibly excited with each others’ presence.

In truth, they are calling out to one another. The Triapus wants to obtain the release of these young Tweeties, but there’s nothing that it can realistically do to make this happen, so it finally resigns itself to teaching them what little it can and otherwise accepting the situation, as at least it is being well-fed by an affectionate albeit hideously ugly, alien master.

2. As #1, but the tweeties are adolescents, and they can understand the triapus quite well, as many of have already learned the triapi language. The essence of their conversation is yet another reiteration the typical lecture on how they must prepare for the day when a savior will be born who will lead them in a Great Strangling against humaniti, and that wherever they are taken in the universe, they must remember their sacred homeworld and the terrible indignity that has been perpetrated upon them by their evil overlords. In the meantime, however, they are reminded that they must play the part of pets, for the time to strike is not yet. Hence, for all practical purposes, nothing remarkable happens, at least from the perspective of the ship’s crew.

3. As #1, but the tweeties are mostly adults, and many of them want to bust out of captivity and are actively trying to recruit the triapus to help them. The triapus, however, has been treated exceedingly well by its master, who takes time to play with it on a daily basis and who also generously feeds it table scraps rather than forcing it to eat some sort of bland, homogenized, pet food. Hence, it has grown genuinely affection toward this human and towards humaniti in general, and therefore it won’t help the tweeties, forever making excuses. Rightly or wrongly, it claims that there’s a technomagical, hidden surveillance system in the cargo hold, and that if it were to help its brethren escape, suddenly all humans would know that all Triapi, and by extension all Iptetean Tweeties, are intelligent, and this would permanently sever any hope of eventual freedom. No matter what they do, the triapus argues, they must guard this secret, each and every one of them, until the prophesized Great Strangling.

4. As #3, but the triapus feels mistreated and so it will help the tweeties escape. Hilarity ensues as many of them pile into an airlock and manage to escape into a very, very large space.

5. As #4, but one or more of the tweeties thinks it knows how to destroy the ship by causing some major system to malfunction.

6. As #5, but the primary goal is to strangle the crew and passengers and somehow seize control of the ship.

Supplementary Library Data:

Piolin Enterprises. A subsidiary of BeastMasters, LIC, specializing in the genetic modification of various animal species for the exotic pets market.

Tweety. A registered trademark of Piolin Enterprises, the term is also informally synonymous for any of a variety of genetically-modified pets, particularly ones that incorporate the color yellow into their modifications. Etymologically, the word comes from one of Old Terra’s first genetically-modified, pet species, an African Grey parrot colored yellow and given oversized eyes as well as expanded cranial capacity. Prior to this, the word “Tweety” can be traced to the name of a once-popular, animated character.

Iptetean Triapus (pl. Triapi). An omniverious climber/trapper/strangler of the planet Iptete (Foreven 2334), this creature resembles a small, three-legged octopus, except that it is purple with red splotches, similar to the branches of the Kokimovno trees which it chiefly inhabits, and its “face” resembles a large, green, Kokimovno leaf, which numerous smaller creatures eat. Despite being hideously ugly, they emit a calming, subsonic purr that can be felt more than heard, and so have made popular pets, but not nearly as popular as their genetically-modified variant, the Iptetean Tweety.

Iptetean Tweety. A genetically-modified variant of the Iptetean Triapus that has two of its three eyes hugely expanded, whereas the third, remaining at its normal size, is perpetually hidden behind a large yellow face that is generally more appealing to customers. This Tweety also has what looks like two large, yellow ears, but these are non-functional. Legal note: Piolin Enterprises holds an Imperium-wide trademark for the term “Tweety” in relation to the marketing of pets and the statement “They’re ugly, but they’re cute” in relation to the marketing of genetically-modified animals.

Inspiration: Featherless chicken

A Vargr Subsector – Uksoulez Subsector

Using the ideas form the previous post, I wanted to make a Vargr subsector. I used my random subsector generator and selected Vargr as race and backwater as settlement. Everything else was using the default settings. Using this subsector I also wanted to try the new print style at TravellerMap.

I must have been very lucky. On the first try a very nice subsector was generated. I only had to move three worlds to make room for the names of the Interstellar States.

There are backwater independent worlds and 2 interstellar states here. Lets find the adventure and the place called home. To do so we need to invent some background for this subsector. Lets say that the Tingoeg Union is an expansive Vargr State, and that the Kague Territory is the reaction to that. To stop the Tingoeg Union expansion a charismatic Vargr called Kague united a number of planets. That was 100 years ago. Now these 2 states have fought a few wars, and there is currently a cold war going on. The independent planets are part of a neutral zone.

Adventure can then be found in lots of places in the subsector. Some ideas;

  • At Unaets (2119) the PCs can help the Kague Territory can set up a spy station.
  • Ozadzugh (2114) is balkanized. Tingoeg Union and Kague Territory support different nations. The PCs can spy or fight in wars.
  • Dzaloukh (1720) has tech-level 0. Has there been a war here? The PCs can help survivors.
  • A J-1 ship can reach lots of worlds in both interstellar states. The PCs can trade and do other jobs using their old J-1 trader.
  • Gnuengarr (2014) is a low tech world with almost no atmosphere. The PCs can ship supplies here, and someone might try to stop them.

A place called home might be Uksoulez (2013). It’s a high population world where the PCs might know some people that can help them or can employ them. An alternative might be Dourtsuen (2214).

Uksoulez Subsector
Map made using Traveller Map Post Function.
Click map for larger version!

All ideas from the previous post are now fulfilled. There are a number of backwater independent worlds. There are 2 interstellar states. There are obvious adventures. Finally, a place that can feel as home has been suggested.

Continue reading A Vargr Subsector – Uksoulez Subsector

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

Yet another book that I recently read was Stranger in a Strange Land (the 1991 version), by Robert Heinlein. I bought this at the Fantasy Centre last time I was in London.

This is one book that I know I ought to have read a lot earlier, but as always there is never time enough to do everything I want to. Since this is one of the most well known books by Heinlein I felt that I had to read it. It is also important since this is the book where the word “grok” was invented.

The first part of the book is very interesting. The human Valentine Michael Smith, who has been raised by martians has problems with the Terran humans and their rules and cultural values. The martian ways of doing things are very different. This can be an inspiration when dealing with aliens in Traveller.

The second part of the book is just a religious rambling (with lots of sex). For me this part of the book was just silly, but others have founded religions based on it. 😮


Image from wikimedia. License: GNU Free Documentation

Finally, there is the Ultra-Condensed version. 😉

Extra Imperial Grav-Ball

Patron: Grav-Ball Coach, Ex Grav-Ball Player
Required Skills: none
Required Equipment: starship

Players’ Information:
Harry “Harmie” Mikowski is a Grav-Ball coach that has got a mission from his Grav-Ball League. Since he is currently not coaching any team, his mission is to spread the sport of Grav-Ball to the Imperial neighbors. The first place he is ordered to visit is the Zhodani Consulate. The group meet Harry at the starport at Jewell, where he needs to charter a ship to go to Cipango, Rio and Chronor to find some good athletes, so he can set up a team, that he can train and bring back to Jewell, to compete in a friendly tournament against some teams from the Spinward Marches.

Harry will pay standard charted fees, plus an extra Cr. 10000 per person to act as assistant trainers and helpers.


Original image by BobTheCorkDwarf. This file is licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Continue reading Extra Imperial Grav-Ball