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Founding Contributor: Douglas Lent

"The Ring has certain side effects that may manifest themselves upon the [passenger]."
— Douglas Lent, "Ring of Truth," Dragon, November 1984

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Douglas Lent of Wareham, Massachusetts, was a collaborator in the early development of the Earth Colonies campaign.  Many of the original ideas about the Earth Colonies campaign setting were developed through a series of hand-written correspondence with Douglas, in the months — unknowingly at the time — before his death in March 1992.  Unfortunately, the bulk of that correspondence does not survive.  (The only surviving record, a copy of a November 1991 letter written to Douglas — the first of the exchange to be written using a word processor, never received a response.)  Nevertheless, many of Douglas's ideas and suggestions informed the original Earth Colonies campaign setting.

Douglas seems to have been an avid enthusiast of role-playing games and his involvement in the Earth Colonies campaign was simply one element of his wide-ranging gaming activities which included interests in both the Dungeons and Dragons® fantasy role-playing game and the Traveller® science-fiction role-playing game.  Between 1984 and 1987, beginning when he was only seventeen years old, Douglas contributed several gaming articles to Dragon magazine, perhaps the preeminent role-playing gaming publication of the time.  These articles included material for Dungeons and Dragons® as well as the Gamma World and Marvel Super Heroes role-playing games.

Contributions based on work from Dragon, 1984-87

Ring of Truth | Garrels | Marloks | Thendar | Tundra Beast | Kreel-torrn | Leapers | Leshy | Cryptic Alliances | Those Who Wait | Midnight Wrecker | Remarkable Robot-Phile

Ring of Truth

Image - Ring of Truth by Matt Matteo

Bounty hunter Ring of Truth[α]

A decommissioned Commonwealth picket ship (originally C.N.S. Ringgold, but renamed by the current owner) currently operating in Pollux and Jagannath Districts.  The captain-owner of Ring of Truth, Yosei Barentain, has enjoyed much recent success earning bounties for fugitives wanted by the Commonwealth government.  In part this success has been due to the use of an experimental veridicator which senses neurological activity associated with lying, obtained from Aeroi merchants.  While the unreliability of veridication technology — and the neurological damage which can sometimes result from it — has resulted in prohibitions against its use by police forces in the Commonwealth, some Commonwealth intelligences agencies are believed to be using veridication devices.  Side-effects of veridicator use are rumored to include unspecified neurological damage which can manifest as temporary paralyzation of the vocal cords.

The use of veridication technology by the crew of Ring of Truth is not generally known though some police force personnel on Commonwealth worlds in Pollux and Jagannath District who have worked with Ring of Truth are aware of the device.  Still, the prohibitions against official use of verdication technology would not generally apply to bounty hunters because the technology is not generally available in Commonwealth space.

(See Talespin: Ring of Truth.)

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a markedly different form in the article "Dungeons & Dragons Treasure Trove" published in Dragon #91, November 1984, p. 56.  The Ring of Truth is similar to the Lurushaar Kilaalum-class Patrol Cruiser which appears in Adventure Class Ships, Volume II, FASA, 1982.)

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Image - Garrel


Native to the world Siguiri/Jagannath, Garrels, sometimes also known as "sneakers," are now found on many environmentally-suitable worlds throughout the Colonies Sphere.  They are usually encountered as a single creature or in groups of two to four.  Looking something like Terran squirrels, they are about 60 centimeters in size and are found in temperate forests.  Their diet consists mostly of various nuts, fruits and grains.

Garrels are agile herbivore-grazer of reasonable intelligence that have developed several special skills to foil predators.  They are intensely curious beings, and they love to collect small pieces of both metal and plastic, especially if they are shiny, have strange shapes, or are in some other way attractive to the garrel.  Because of this, garrels often unwittingly have one or two small valuable artifacts in their possession, making them targets for treasure hunters.  However, it is unlikely that garrels need fear extinction at the hands of such as these.

When not gathering food, a garrel is always on the lookout for new items to add to its "collection."  Anyone who camps in or near a forest inhabited by garrels can expect at least one of these creatures to be lurking nearby, just out of sight.  The garrel will wait until it sees something attractive that's also unguarded.  It will quickly and quietly dart in to gain possession of the item and will then return to its lair, most often a hollow tree trunk or a small burrow, where the garrel will put the item with others it has accumulated.

If a garrel is attacked, either by a predator or angry beings whose equipment has been "borrowed," its first reaction will be to flee, holding any treasures it has acquired for as long as it can, using its speed, agility, tree-climbing skills, and any available foliage to speed its escape.  Garrels prefer forests with a thick blanket of undergrowth so that they can lose pursuit with a minimum of effort.  During the chase, the garrel will trust its leaping ability to send it to safety if it is at any time in imminent danger of being killed.

If leaping cannot be used, the garrel will then eject an odorous liquid to buy time.  Garrels are immune to the effects of another garrel's spraying attack.  If both the previous measures have been sued and the garrel is still in danger, it will the attack its pursuer, biting with its sharp teeth and never relenting.

(See Talespin: To the Zoo.)

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "Mutant Manual" published in Dragon #98, June 1985, p. 48.)

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Image - Marloks


Descendants of the original colonists aboard the ill-fated generation ship Marco Polo which crash-landed on al-Hariri/Sirius, marloks, or "deep dwellers," are about 1.5. meters tall and are usually encountered in groups of two to ten.  They look like Humans except for their extremely pale skin and their large, light-sensitive eyes.  Why the marloks' ancestors went underground is not clear, though it is thought they might have known that the variable sun bathed the surface of the planet in harmful radiation.  No matter what their origins, marloks are now a successful subterranean culture and are widespread on the planet, often migrating from one underground complex to another by traveling at night on the surface.

Marloks lead a nomadic life while underground, traveling various tunnels, caverns, and other passageways in small, close-knit groups.  Because of the large numbers of subterranean predators, they seldom stay in one place for more than a few days.  Marloks often use tunnels to the surface to send out nighttime foraging parties to collect whatever edible plants and animals they can get.  These are used to supplement the usual marlok diet of roots and fungi.  However, since marloks do not recognize the rights of more recent settlers, they often are not above raiding a nearby settlement for foodstuffs, though some groups have been able to establish mutual trade arrangements in which the marloks receive food for metals and other subterranean materials.

Marloks have developed several capabilities to aid in underground survival.  Their sense of direction is so accurate it helps individuals to find their way back to their "clan" if separated, and this ability also helps in navigating the maze of underground passageways.  Heightened vision lets them assess the stability of tunnels and caves before entering them.  Their heightened hearing, besides detecting the approach of enemies, can also detect the sounds of settling and potential collapse in tunnel systems.  Their greater strength is often used to move obstructions from their path; if objects do not prove easily movable, their strength can usually reduce them to more manageable size.  Should the exercise of the former two abilities be beyond the range of any one individual, then they will often cooperate quite effectively.

(See Talespin: Taken by Marloks.)

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "Mutant Manual" published in Dragon #98, June 1985, p. 52.)

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Image - Thendar

A Thendar[δ]

Native to Haifeng/Gaea, though they may be found on any of the known planets, Thendar are a wandering sect, seldom remaining in one place for very long.  Thendar are generally peaceful and have a great thirst for knowledge of all sorts.  Throughout their adult life spans they seek out new experiences to relieve the monotony of their existence.

Thendar are generally tall, slender Humans with bronze-colored skin, yellow-brown hair, and gold-colored eyes.  They prefer to wear hooded robes of durable gray or blue material.  Thendar do not usually collect belongings but may carry a memento or two picked up during their travels.  Ornate jewelry, intricately-carved staves, walking sticks, and other such items are typical examples.  Such items will not usually have any great material value but may have some value as antiques on the worlds where they were acquired, as they are liable to be several decades old.  Weapons are rarely carried or used.

Thendar are especially good at reading Human emotions and have exceptional facility at learning different languages.  They tend to have acute vision.  They are masters of disguise and adept at moving stealthily.  Thendar have excellent memories, never forgetting anything that they have experienced.

Because of their lives of far and wide travels, Thendar are great sources of information.  They often act as local sages, sharing knowledge of worlds throughout the Colonies Sphere, Human and Dolphin societies, and Aeroi and Meren cultures.  The prices asked to provide such knowledge to others are often unusual.  Minor questions have been answered for no more than a demonstration of a simple knot or the telling of an old folktale.  More exacting information has been gained simply by allowing the Thendar to accompany the questioner and observing their actions for a time (if the Thendar found the journey interesting) or in exchange for an equally arcane bit of knowledge.  Thendar are only interested in lore that they do not already posses.

(See Talespin: Home to Haifeng.)

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "Dungeons and Dragons Creature Catalog III" published in Dragon #101, September 1985, p. 54.)

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Tundra Beast

Image - Tundra Beast

Tundra Beast[ε]

As their name implies, tundra beasts are native to the subarctic and polar temperate plains of No Cha/Fomalhaut, though they now exist in similar regions on other worlds.  They are carnivorous, hunting either alone or in mated pairs.  Tundra beasts usually stay in one area, moving on only when prey becomes scarce.

Tundra beasts are large (Terran hippopotamus-sized) carnivore-trappers with four short legs and big, pad-like feet.  Their upper bodies are covered with long, grass-like fur which can quickly change color to match that of the surrounding vegetation.  Their undersides and vaguely triangular heads are hairless and brown.  The eyes of a tundra beast are dull red, and its many teeth in its huge jaws are a brownish-yellow.

Tundra beasts are able to pull both their head and legs beneath their bodies; when doing so they resemble nothing more than low, grassy mounds, and they are able to surprise their prey easily.  Tundra beasts can sense ground movement within five meters of themselves, allowing them to detect approaching victims while camouflaged.  They have exceptional night vision.

Once per day, tundra beasts are able to expel a large, sticky, web-like material.  They will use this to stop or slow their quarry once it has approached within three meters of them.  Tundra beasts are immune to the effects of their own or another tundra beast's webbing.

(See Talespin: Tundra Hunt.)

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "Dungeons and Dragons Creature Catalog III" published in Dragon #101, September 1985, p. 54.)

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Kreel-torrn (Leapers)

Image - Kreel-torrn

A Kreel-torrn[ζ]

Kreel-torrn are a sophont space rumored to be from rim-nadirward of Meren space (which is itself rim-trail-nadirward of the Colonies Sphere).  No encounters between Terrans and Kreel-torrn have been recorded though there have been scattered unconfirmed reports by Colonial State adventurers of individual Kreel-torrn generally described as being held as slaves by Meren elites.

Kreel-torrn are described as large, bipedal insectoids with manipulative forelimbs.  Though they have lost the flight capability of their ancestors, they still retain their leaping ability.  It is claimed that Kreel-torrn may leap up to 30 m in any direction, often for many leaps at a time.  Though afterwards, it is claimed they must rest ten minutes for each leap made before they can leap again. A Kreel-torrn in mid-leap is very difficult to track.

Kreel-torrn are said to be semi-nomadic beings and employ high-tech weapons and equipment.  They are often used in combat by Meren to ambush foes.  When lying in ambush, Kreel-torrn use chameleon powers to conceal themselves until their quarry passes by.  They then leap out of cover, attempting to surround their prey and overwhelm any opposition, attacking to kill only if resistance proves to be too great.

A favorite tactic of the Kreel-torrn is to hide completely out of sight and use their keen hearing to follow the progress of their target(s).  A similar ploy is for the Kreel-torrn to wait in near darkness, using heightened vision to find their marks.  Kreel-torrn are opportunists and flee if their position becomes untenable.  Rumors suggest that emancipated Kreel-torrn can sometimes be hired as mercenaries so long as the work is not too hard and the pay is good.

(See Talespin: The Fugitive Leaper.)

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "Gamma World Mutant Manual II" published in Dragon #108, April 1986, p. 54.)

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Leshy (Tricksters)

Image - Leshy

A Leshy[η]

Leshies are mischievous inhabitants of temperate wilderness areas on many worlds, delighting in bothering and misleading unwary travellers.  They have their own sense of "fair play," however, and usually let up on their victims if the unfortunate souls either retain their sense of humor throughout the ordeal or somehow manage to evade the tricks.  Leshies are nomadic ascetics, having no fixed abodes and acquiring only those items they can carry upon their persons.

Leshies have a number of skills at their disposal which they use to bewilder unsuspecting passersby.  They can hide among foliage with a great chance of success, allowing them to frequently surprise others.  Leshies possess excellent night vision and can frequently pass without trace at night.

They are quite skilled at ventriloquism and can create an illusion to produce a frightening or alluring noise at slight remove from their position.  They often create barries of impenetrable vegetation which can quickly be removed, often without notice.  They are excellent at finding their way in wilderness areas.

Leshies appear as wizened, elderly Humans, even when they are not old themselves, often with long, matted, unkempt hair and wearing minimal, weathered and worn clothing made of natural materials.  Their skin is often painted in abstract patterns with multiple natural pigments.

While they can be more than a little irritating, leshies are on good terms with most people, especially wilderness dwellers.  They will often be accompanied by two or three small, ominvorous hunters.

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "The Dragon's Bestiary (Dungeons & Dragons)" published in Dragon #119, March 1987, p. 49.)

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Cryptic Alliances: Minor Mercenary Forces

"One area of personal endeavor for travellers is in the profession of mercenary."
— Frank Chadwick, Traveller Book 4: Mercenary

Mercenary forces often wield great power throughout the less-developed regions of the Earth Colonies Sphere.  But there are other mercenary units, minor ones — some call them pirates — which fit in where their larger competitors cannot, will not or simply do not go.

Army of the Void | Knights of Avalon | Spaceway Clans | Sisterhood of the Sword

Army of the Void

("The Trident")

Image - The Trident by LogoDix

The Trident badge[θ]

Created by veterans of both the Nyanzan military and of multiple Ouroran military houses, the Army of the Void has grown from a minor alliance of pirates to a force with contracts on multiple worlds in Aquila District.  Many nations on balkanized worlds and a few of the less populous worlds in Aquila have contracted with Trident's soldiers.  For the moment, their area of operations and a relatively low membership have kept them from becoming a major mercenary organization but even now they are working to expand their capabilities in the District.  Should they succeed, there is little doubt that they will then turn their attention to nearby districts.  Already the sign of the Trident is seen to bode potential competion by leaders of major mercenary organizations in the region.

The Army's success lies in its three-pronged approach to warfare dominance in close orbit and airspace, on the ground and in the ocean (hence their symbol, the trident).  The Trident is commanded by three commanding officers called Triarchs, each of whom overseas operations in one of the three brances (aerospace, ground force and nautical).  There is a degree of overlap of their authority, and all three cooperate closely when the Trident is engaged in a mission.

The Trident possess a substantial store of Colonial State technology obtained through shadowy arrangements, as well as salvage or booty from various operations throughout Aquila.  Its arsenal of military hardware includes several spacecraft, a number of aircraft, watercraft and submersibles, and dozens of armored vehicles.  However, it is debatable how much of this collection its maintenance engineers and technicians can keep in reliable service.  Nevertheless, their success so far is unquestionable.  Whether or not it will continue to be successful remains to be seen.

Knights of Avalon


Image - Knights of Avalon by Malgorzata Ostaszewska

The Knights of Avalon badge[ι]

The Knights of Avalon were established on Marduk in Fomalhaut District about a hundred years after the start of the Sundering by a few idealistic individuals.  The Knights are organized into two "orders" by their respective duties and abilities.  The Order of the Lance is the Defenders' combat arm, consisting of diverse combat units.  The Order of the Scroll handles all administrative and support functions as well as supplying the Lance with trainers for cadre operations.  The entire organization is overseen by a council of seven members, consisting of the senior officers from both orders.

The Defenders are dedicated to upholding their code, which includes protection of the defenseless, prevervation of order and the destruction of "evil."  They can often be found allied with the Sisterhood of the Sword.  Many other mercenary forces are unscrupulous and the Knights of Avalon stand ever prepared to thwart their vile schemes — if the ticket is appropriately funded.

The Knights of Avalon are comonly equipped with TA 9 or 10 weapons, including armored vehicles and aircraft.  They specialize in armored operations and can fight especially well in armored cavalry roles.  About half of the Knights are equipped with Colonial State quality personal armor and arms.  Members of the Order of the Scroll are typically lightly armed.

Spaceway Clans

("Wild Spacers")

Image - Skull and Crossbones by PicsArt

Wild Spacers badge[κ]

The Spaceway Clans originated during the Sundering as bands of refugees who decided that the best way to survive was to stay mobile.  Thus were the nomadic clans of Siddhārtha born.  Each unit — often called a "tribe" or "clan" — has customs peculair to itself, but all share certain common characteristics.  The most basic unit of Spaceway Clan society is a single grav-vehice-mounted warrior.  Larger units, with support personnel and supplies, are transported in large grav-lorries or other grav-vehicles or (if the clan is particularly rich or lucky) in a small, usually-surplus spacecraft or starship.  The largest such vehicle is usually the property of the clan chieftain.

A clan is often well-suited to "living off the land," sometimes making the clan a double threat as clans ravage civilian populations.  The clans trade with local settlements for ammunition, fuel and other expendibles.  However no clan is above an occasional raid on a settlement or convoy for various goods (especially if said parties tried to cheat the clans at an earlier time), though few will do so on a regular basis.  Fighting between clans is not unknown but is rare, with clans observing mutual courtesies when they meet.

Except as noted above, all clans are equipped with TA 9 or 10 items.  About a sixth of clan members will possess Colonial State quality personal arms, armor or other equipment.  They are commonly armed with slugthrowers.  Little combat armor is available.

Sisterhood of the Sword

("The Sisters")

Image - The Flaming Sword by Vectorified

The Flaming Sword badge[λ]

The Sisterhood of the Sword is unusual among mercenary units in that nearly 65% of its force are women, with the senior officers being predominantly women.  The Sisterhood is primarily an aerospace force with specialties in jump troops and combat contragravity.  The Sisterhood maintains a small business and recruiting office at Trabzon and have been active in both Fomalhaut and Vishnu Districts.

The Sisterhood has a handful of small, lightly-armed starships which can transport their units from system to system.  These ships are also used to launch jump troops and to provide limited ortillery capability.  While the Sisterhood are excellent at striking from orbit their capacity to hold territory on the ground and especially at sea is limited.  Because of this, the Sisterhood often fights in concert with local forces or other mercenary units, such as the Knights of Avalon.  These connections are facilitated by the fact that many of the "Sisters" were recruited from other mercenary units.

The Sisterhood is well equipped to TA 9 or 10 standards but is always eager to gain serviceable Colonia State technology.  The "Sisters" are most often armed with automatic slugthrowers.  They prefer combat armor and are often mounted on personal air-cavalry vehicles.  About a third of "Sisters" will have some sort of Colonial State firearm or equipment.  Sisterhood units often have nicknames such as "Atalanta's Amazons," "Hervor's Valkyries," "Kaihime'e's Onna-bugeisha," "Durga's Matrikas" or similar terms.

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "Politics Amid the Rubble: More minor Cryptic Alliances for Gamma World® games" published in Dragon #119, March 1987, pp. 77-78.)

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Those Who Wait


Image - 14 Pulsar Map

The Fourteen Pulsars symbol[μ]

As Terrans expanded into space during the time before the Sundering, one of the ongoing concerns was the search for intelligent, extraterrestrial life.  For years scientists had been monitoring interstellar radio wavelengths with no conclusive evidence of such life.  As tensions increased, the resources for these projects were channeled into military applications; the great radio telescopes were closed down "for the duration," never to reopen.

While the search was going on, speculation ran high about what form extraterrestrial intelligence might take (if it existed at all).  Eventually, a small fringe group arose which believed that the extraterrestrials would be benevolent, omnipotent beings who would teach Terrans to overcome their self-destructive urges and create a golden age.  After the Sundering, a small group of settlers on Novosibirskaya in Vega District adopted this viewpoint to ease the trauma of the catastrophe they had experienced.  "The only reason we did not find them [the extraterrestrials] was because we had become too proud," their leaders reasoned.  "Now we have humbled ourselves in our mad quest for power.  Our civilization lays shattered about us, but fear not!  Since we have lost our arrogance, we are now worthy of aid from our friends beyond the Colonies Sphere.  All we need do is make the proper supplications and they shall come to help us fulfill our glorious destiny!"

And so began the Great Vigil of Those Who Wait.  An active campaign to restore the old radio telescopes began, that the faithful might send their pleas to the extraterrestrials and receive their reply.  Today, bands of "Listeners" may be found on almost any world, either raising funding to build the "holy receivers" or on pilgrimmages to such sites.  The group has completed a few of these projects and now operates and maintains their antenna-shrines, beaming their empassioned call to anyone in the universe willing to listen, and waiting for the day an answer arrives and ends their vigil.

When the Aeroi were first encountered many Listeners were convinced that these were the extraterrestrials they had been waiting for but when the Aeroi showed no such interest in being "saviors" a schism resulted.  Some Listeners remained convinced the Aeroi were the extraterrestrials they had been seeking while others decided that the "true extraterrestrials" were "still out there."  A similar schism occurred again when the Meren were encountered, leaving three different sects, but all continue to "listen" for the messages, hoping to hear from the Aeroi, the Meren or yet-to-be-encountered sophonts.

The affairs of this world mean little to the Listeners, unless such affairs affect their "holy" mission.  Listeners posses much archaic technology, usually astronomical or communications equipment.  They also keep some weaponry for self-defense (and to protect their receivers which they will defend to the death) and a few minor gadgets to use as trade goods and bribes to buy themselves privacy.

The Listeners use an ancient, abstract, two-dimensional map of fourteen pulsars which shows the location of Terra as a symbol of their faith.  This map was included on an artifact on a pair of ancient robotic space probes and on a separate artifact on a second set of robotic space probes which left the Solar System nearly a millenium ago but, given their primitive capabilities, have yet to reach another star system.  (The hope at the time was that these spacecraft and their artifacts would one day be discovered by extraterrestrial sophonts.)  The current locations and trajectories of these ancient spacecraft are well-known and all "Listeners" aspire to making a pilgimmage at least once in their lifetime to see one of them slowly hurtling through deep space.

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "Politics Amid the Rubble" published in Dragon #119, March 1987, p. 78.)

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Midnight Wrecker

Image - Type T Patrol Cruiser by William H. Keith

Bounty hunter Midnight Wrecker[ν]

A decommissioned Synodic picket ship currently operating in Vega and Fomalhaut Districts.  The crew of Midnight Wrecker are bounty hunters led by Eks Fyv-wun ("X-51"), an emancipated combat robot.  Fyv-wun is a military prototype believed to have been destroyed during a test at a research facility on Issuk Kul in Procyon District.  Fyv-wun's designer, Abel Stack, who emancipated the robot as an explosion at the facility became imminent, sacificed himself in order that Fyv-wun might escape.  Eks Fyv-wun fled the damaged facility and eventually encountered the crew of the Midnight Wrecker.

The owner-captain of the Midnight Wrecker is Allen "Gears" Garvin, a roboticist who was fascinated by his chance encounter with Fyv-wun.  Garvin and his Wrecker crew had long been in the business of re-capturing wayward robots which had not been properly emancipated.  Since his encounter with Fyv-wun, Garvin has shifted to more conventional bounty hunting while making an extra effort to protect properly-emancipated robots from being captured by those who oppose robot emancipation.  Other crew members of the Midnight Wrecker include Paul "Brain" Spaulding, ship's engineer, Virginia "Hassle" Bain, ship's gunner, Miles "Slick" Brickman, ship's pilot/navigator, and Lee "Swift" Howes, combat specialist.

(See Talespin: Gaian Pilgrimage: 5th Jump — external site.)

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "Welcome to the Machine" published in Dragon #120, April 1987, pp. 76-77.)

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Remarkable Robot-Phile

"Just because something looks like a monster doesn't mean that is's evil. . . ."
— Roger E. Moore, Dragon, October 1987

Emancipated robots are rare but can occasionally be encountered throughout the Colonies Sphere.  Being rare, each has a unique origin story and, given the prevailing prejudice against intelligent robots, most are often forced to survive in the dark fringes of society.

Epimetheus | N-KAN2 | The Parson


Image - Epimetheus by Joey Kim


Pedra dos Francos was a brilliant Ouroran roboticist who experimented with the integration of organic material into robotics design.  She succeeded in developing a humanoid robot using Human organic material.  However, dos Francos had second thoughts about her efforts and abandoned Epimetheus, hoping her creation would perish when left unprotected.

Although the robot was as inexperienced as a child, it was possessed with extensive artificial intelligence capabilities, enabled in part by the organic neural tissue used by dos Francos.  It quickly learned how to survive by secretly observing people.  Within a few months, the robot could speak and function as well as any humanoid robot.  It then began plotting its revenge on its creator for deserting it.

The robot attacked dos Francos's brother, then struck a deal with Pedra, insisting that she agree to serve as its owner, to enable Epimetheus to avoid the prejudice experienced by emancipated robots.  Pedra went back on the deal, abandoning her promise to pose as Epimetheus's owner.  Epimetheus attacked dos Francos and her wife, then fled off-world.  Dos Francos gave chase but died shortly after relating her tale to merchant captain Roberto Mola.

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "A Marvel Monster-Phile," inspired by Marvel's Frankenstein's Monster™, and published in Dragon #126, October 1987, pp. 74-76.)


Image - En-kahn-too


N-KAN2 ("En-kan-tu") was a cadre leader of service robots on Coahuila in Muntu District.  En-kan-tu and its cadre were tasked with building a temple to the reigning planetary monarch, who planned to have the robots buried in the temple when it was complete.  Unsatisfied with the plan for the robots, En-kan-tu began to plot rebellion against the monarch.  When word of En-kan-tu's plans reached the monarch, she decided to have the robots destroyed immediately.

En-kan-tu and its followers struck before the temple was completed and En-kan-tu slayed the monarch in a struggle before being subdued.  To punish En-kan-tu for its crime, it was stripped of its exoskeleton and abandoned to the harsh elements of the world's insidious atmosphere.

En-kan-tu suffered extensive damage from the harsh atmosphere but managed to construct an artificial exoskeleton from natural materials.  En-kan-tu returned to the main settlement and upon discovering that the other robots had been destroyed went on a rampage in the streets.  Attempting to connect to the local power grid, En-kan-tu instead received an overloading surge of power which briefly incapacitated the robot.  Upon recovery, En-kan-tu was consumed with regret for its actions and now wanders across the planet, seeking some purpose in its life.

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "A Marvel Monster-Phile," inspired by Marvel's Living Mummy™, and published in Dragon #126, October 1987, pp. 74-76.)

The Parson

Image - The Parson by Richie Mason

The Parson[π]

The Parson is a humanoid robot, but with aesthetic design elements inspired by Terran canines.  A programming flaw resulted in The Parson engaging in acts of random violence which seemed to be tied to regular intervals determined by its internal timing system.  When The Parson killed its creator during one of these violent intervals it developed a plan to confine itself during the intervals when it was prone to violence.  These efforts were not alway successful and The Parson sought the assistance of another roboticist, Professor Karla Malus.

Malus turned out to be unscrupulous and instead sought to gain complete control over The Parson.  The Parson managed to escape from Malus and has since gained a degree of control over the programming flaws.  It has now become an occasional crimefighter, working at times with other vigilantes it has encountered.

(This material by Douglas Lent originally appeared in a somewhat different form in the article "A Marvel Monster-Phile," inspired by Marvel's Werewolf™, and published in Dragon #126, October 1987, pp. 74-76.)

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Image credits:
[α] Commissioned illustration for Melbourne Times by Matt Matteo.
[β] Uncredited illustration from Dragon #98.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied.
[γ] Uncredited illustration from Dragon #98.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied.
[δ] Original illustration by Roger Raupp from Dragon #101.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied.
[ε] Original illustration by Marsha Kauth from Dragon #101.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied.
[ζ] Uncredited illustration from Dragon #108.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied.
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[ι] Original illustration by Małgorzata Ostaszewska.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied.
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[μ] Original illustration by Linda Sagan and Frank Drake.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied.
[ν] Original illustration by William H. Keith, Jr., (of "Type T" patrol cruiser) which appeared in the MegaTraveller Imperial Encyclopedia.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied.
[ξ] Detail from original illustration by Joey Kim.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied.
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[π] Original illustration by Richie Mason.  No endorsement of the Earth Colonies Campaign has been made or is implied

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