Encounters: Astral Wolves

Astral Wolves

Versk looked over at X2413 and scowled.

It irritates me when you do that because you know I cannot,” said the robot.

Well too bad. It irritates me when you fire that autocannon at every bounty we have before finding out what sort of backing they have. We are in serious trouble,” replied the human.

I am confident that we can fire our way out of this,” X2413 said.

There are now over a dozen Astral Wolves hunting us down in this small town and we…” started Versk, but the robot raised a finger and click the safety off of his autocannon. The robot raised the weapon up and fired a half a dozen shots instantly.

Now there is one less to contend with,” X2413 stated as they both heard a body thud to the ground.

Versk shook his head and flipped the safety mechanisms off his laser pistols with a thumb on each hand. More Astral Wolves would be coming soon.

What started out as a band of desperate mercenaries and thugs has, over time, grown into a virtual army of space pirates and smugglers known as the Astral Wolves. Threats and intimidation are the rule of the day as these villains run countless cons and scams on dozens of worlds at a time. The mysterious leaders of the Astral Wolves have few rules, but enforce them without hesitation. The main rules being that: 1) An Astral Wolf may never betray another Astral Wolf and expect no retaliation. 2) Betrayed Astral Wolves may call upon others to mete out swift and merciless justice and 3) Focus on fleecing those in power and only steal or con the downtrodden if no other recourse is available.

In the game: The Astral Wolves commonly travel to an area in “packs” of up to twenty members, setting up various cons and smuggling operations immediately. Each Astral Wolf has a specialty and will back up fellow ‘Wolves in any number of ways.

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[New Encounter] Apocaliptans

Apocaliptans

X2413 turned his head quizzically as he tried to decipher the scrawled message.

Does it make sense?” asked Versk.

Only if it was written by a lunatic,” replied the robot. “My programming in languages may not be perfect, but this writing seems to be some sort of drivel about killing off the people of this planet within five years,”

This is a big planet, how are they going to do it?” inquired the human mercenary.

Apparently by crashing a large spacecraft into an unpopulated area and going from there,” X2413 said.

Versk sighed, a gesture that always perplexed the robot because it could mean many things.

Yes?”

Well, we aren’t heroes, but really, we cannot let this happen, either. So much destruction at the hands of a group of lunatics?”

X2413 clicked his fingers together, the machine’s equivalent to snapping them.

We need to get a bounty on these madmen, then we can collect on it and still be the scoundrels that we are!”

I knew I brought you along for a reason,” Versk said with a smile.

Harboring in the end of the universe is goal of the Apocaliptans. This strange sect are the grand saboteurs of progress and determined to cause all societies to collapse, bringing about the end of all life. While not necessarily religious in origin, these individuals stick together like a cult, using secret languages and hidden symbols to communicate between cells. At times large groups of Apocaliptans congregate, usually to destroy a large spaceship or attack a planet.

In the game: Apocaliptans are dedicated to destruction and can be anyone, anytime, anywhere. Explorers can find one of these deranged among their own, as the one who rebels at the wrong time, putting everyone in the group in danger. Apocaliptans consider self-sacrifice to the cause to be the most noble contribution to the End of All Things, as long as there is massive destruction to justify the act.

Encounters Among The Stars: Iron Sun of the Forbidden Circle

Iron Sun of the Forbidden Circle

Versk saw X2413 talking to a pair of shiny and lethal looking robots, but he could not understand their electronic buzz. All three regarded him, the strangers seemingly startled, but X2413 said something to them and all three laughed in their tinny, robotic way. The human frowned and got himself a drink. After a few moments the duo left and X2413 strolled over to Versk.

What was that all about?” the human asked.

Oh nothing, just buying a shiny new pistol to hide in case the autocannon ever jams,” the robot replied.

The Iron Sun of the Forbidden Circle is a group of robots who have had their programming tampered with to remove their Prime Directive, which means that these metal monsters no longer need to obey humans (and other intelligent aliens) and can kill on an electronic whim. Obviously this makes the group very secretive and paranoid as they deal weapons and altered programming to other robots, something they call the “Awakening of the Mind”.

In the game: The Iron Sun of the Forbidden Circle will work with any robot, trying to get them to accept their programs, which do remove the Prime Directive (and cause an insanity 35% of the time). This is usually done for free or a reduced price as the Iron Sun makes most of its money from weapons dealing, and will sell altered robots all sorts of weapons and devices of destruction.