Love and War Under a Starlit Sky

Love and War Under a Starlit Sky
TBD Online, via Discord/Foundry

Content Warnings: References to fascism and authoritarianism, as well as themes of prejudice and oppression.

First, there was the Fall.

Buried under the weight of environmental collapse, humanity desperately sought salvation amongst the stars. Ten giant colony ships were flung into the far reaches of space, tasked with finding new homes for the humankind. As natural disasters ravaged the Cradle, the planet formerly known as Earth, and its population dwindled, the captains of the Ten made a decision - all contact with the Cradle would be prohibited. They had to forget their stranded brethren as well as each other, and forge a new future.

But humanity endured.

Thousands of years in the future, from the ashes left behind by the disasters of its own creation, a New Humanity rose. Disparate tribes banded together to form a new Union, collectively searching out the secrets and technologies left behind by their doomed ancestors. Resources that could have once been used to save humanity, but were hoarded out of ignorance or greed, were now put to use rebuilding it. With the knowledge of the Old Humanity's mistakes, as well as its desperate attempt at its own salvation, the Union resolved to reunite with its lost siblings in the far corners of space. The decision was reached by a democratically elected council of representatives forming the breadth and depth of New Humanity's different communities and cultures.

They were known as the First Committee.

Though they were not perfect, they did care. The story of Old Humanity, and of the plight those aboard the Ten, moved the First Committee, and a passing interest in space became a feverish obsession. Old space stations were reclaimed, the ancient hyperlanes that sustained Old Humanity's travel across space were refurbished and upgraded, and soon inhabited planets were discovered, populated by the brave souls that boarded the original Ten. The First Committee were delighted and enthusiastic.

But the colonies were not.

Some were eager to rejoin their brethren in the cradle. But others had formed their own cultures, societies, and ways of life in the thousands of years of separation. They had grown distant to humanity, and did not see themselves having a role in the Union's new, ambitious plans. Some in the Union argued for their right to remain independant, but a larger majority thought different. Through the ordeal that the people of the Cradle suffered and survived, they considered themselves superior. Chosen. They were New Humanity's leaders by right, and they would reunite it under a great, new, singular nation, no matter the cost.

They are known as the Second Committee.

Taking over the reins in a swift series of, often violent, political takeovers, the Second Committee wasted no time in making its message clear - Humanity would be reunited under the leadership of the Cradle, whether it wanted to or not. The gentle, outstretched hand of cooperation was replaced with the smoking barrel of a gun. Authoritative measures and police state enforcement became the norm, and cultural differences were flattened to mimic those of the Cradle - the strongest, and thus the most "worthy" of New Humanity. For thousands of years now, the Second Committee rules and conquers with an iron fist, an empire in all but name. For thousands of years now, the people put under its heel suffer, their resources exploted and their people treated like slaves.

They will suffer in silence no longer.

In the outer reaches, where the arm of the Second Committee yet struggles to reach, disparate colonies band together to resist their common foe. Though their differences are many, their goal is the same - to protect themselves against the armies of the Second Committee, and reject their dictatorial rule. At the same time, resistance has also sprung up in the Cradle and other colonies in the Core sector - political theorists, scholars, suffragists, common people. Individuals who, one way or another, decided that enough is enough. That there can be a better way. They too fight, either in the outer sectors or within the Second Committee itself, as spies, recruiters, and more. Though they exist light years apart, all these people have a shared dream - a dream of a Humanity that is kind, and caring. A Humanity that strives to unite, not subjugate. A Humanity based upon love, not fear.

But for there to be love in this world, there must first be war. The time for revolution has come.

Love and War Under A Starlit Sky is a long-term campaign ran within the Lancer system. In it, the players create titular Lancers - pilots who take the seat behind large mechs, modularly built from frames and components to suit your own style. Your mech can be reshaped and remade between missions, giving you a large degree of flexibility when it comes to your preferred style of combat or adapting to the mission on hand. The system also features out-of-mech skills for more problem-solving options, as well as downtime activities to foster deeper relationships between player characters.

The setting of the campaign takes place on the Himalayan Line, the Fifth of the many "Rings" which humanity's countless space colonies are categorised into. Although the Second Committee has a tight grip over the region, a homegrown resistance movement has sprung up in many of the system's planets. Meanwhile, the larger general resistance against SecComm has grown into a full-fledged political and military organisation, made up of individuals from across all the different Rings and colonies. They have called themselves the Third Committee, and their goal is to provide democracy and freedom to their people, and respect to all cultures and societies. A recent distress call from one of the resistance movements on the Himalayan Line has prompted the Third Committee to move upon the region, hoping to use this opportunity to wrest it free from the Second Committee and provide freedom to the colonies within.

In the midst of this, the player party is a group of fresh Lancers of the resistance movement. They are the spearhead of the Third Committee's offensive onto the Himalayan Line, sent alongside a small squadron of military experts to establish a foothold on the Himalayan Line, support the already existing resistance movements, and discover the meaning behind the strange actions of the military squadron stationed in the Himalayah Line on the behalf of SecComm. The campaign will offer opportunities for combat, as well as diplomacy, problem solving and fostering relationships between player characters during downtime sessions.

Content Warnings/Game Expectations:

The campaign is aimed to be a generally lighter-hearted tale of a plucky resistance movement fighting against an evil regime. That being said, there will be serious moments, and potentially themes of oppression and prejudice - the Lancer rulebook makes explicit (though cursory) references to fascism and authoritarianism, which some might find distressing.

Many of the people fighting against the Second Committee come from unique societies/cultures formed after millenia of isolation, and this may end up parallelling the experience of real life groups, though no such pararells will be explicitly made and care will be taken to remain respectful on this front. Depending on the general comfort of those involved, these themes can be dialled down as needed.

Sexual content, if desired, will be resolved with a "fade-to-black" approach (no explicit descriptions).

Final Note: There are 5 player slots listed for the campaign, but I would be willing to run for 6 if interest is high. If there are no more slots available, feel free to contact me in PMs or on Discord under Rossendale#2875. Once all slots are filled, I'll be approaching every signed up player with a link to the game's Discord, etc.

Run by: Jakub ( MagicalStardust )

Players: 5/5