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Surrogate Earth

Surrogate Earth is a fantasy role play game with its creation myth based in science fiction. The reasons for this are that I love both science fiction and fantasy and most Importantly, being a perfectionist I was struggling to create a fantasy world with magical properties; that worked for me in a joined up creation myth sense.

The creation of my world comes about when an AI spaceship named “The Arc” carrying the dormant consciousnesses of human explorers/settlers/refuges (later to be downloaded into clone bodies at their destination) suffers a catastrophe while en route to its destination. All the dormant passengers are lost except for the memories, thoughts and consciousness of a 14 year old boy called Isaac.

Due to the seriousness of damage to the ships stasis delivery systems the child Isaac would also have ceased to exist any longer. Unless the AI in its last bid to still carry out its mission; in part at least, did not do what it did next. A.D.A.M (Automated Dependable Astro Mothership) decided to merge parts of Isaac’s conciousness within its own holographic memory banks. It was imperative to ADAM that the last remaining passenger survive in some form and reach his destination. Knocked off course and in a critical condition itself the “The Arc” Manoeuvred itself so as to collide with a nearby comet on a similar trajectory. that it can harvest for resources to assist with the repair of its systems,

As much as I love fantasy, I like to quantify and find reasons to understand why things happen the way they do and not just fool my self with well because the narrator, director, faith, magic or some plot cheese says so. To sum up I’m not keen on I still felt I was not up to the part of building a consistent and original fantasy world.

So after some more thinking I came up with a solution for my fantasy world it would not be Earth exactly but an Earth like world where life originally came about via artificial intelligence. The fundamentals are that a copy of the consciousness of a human child is being transported with many other humans to a colony world via an intelligent spacecraft for downloading to a clone body at its destination, something goes wrong in transit and the memory ship is severely damaged. The AI of the ship is aware after decades that it is unlikely to achieve its mission without drastic action, with all its systems failing it manoeuvre into position with a large passing asteroid it has monitored the trajectory of for some years, it notes that the asteroid has dense concentrations of a crystal substance that it is confident it can meld with and manipulate to create an alternative and stable form of data storage for the last remaining consciousness it has preserved, the consciousness is a young boy called Adam. In time the blue crystal asteroid in effect not only becomes a back up for the AI but in fact becomes the new home of the AI, after another century in the void the remains of the original memory ship and the blue crystal asteroid break apart into three pieces each smaller than the one before it. Due to gravitational pull the first piece smash’s into a planet very similar to our own except that the world is dead, the Crystal AI so deteriorated from decades in space with no power and exposed to the elements of space goes about in a very subconscious abstract fashion creating a world with life on similar but different to our own, much of what materialises is the thoughts memories, imagination and knowledge of the young boy and what remains of the AI’s genome, historical and mathematical databases. A world is given the spark of life and develops in many ways like ours except from the point of view of a hundreds of thousands of years and not millions, the melding of the AI and the child’s consciousness seem to have taken place and created a whole world of their own, whether they are aware of this is unknown, it may have simply been the last desperate throws of a dying mind to save or preserve itself in some way. After hundreds of thousands of years in space the second piece of the crystal like asteroid smashed into the planet as it was finally caught by its gravitational pull, the concentrations of crystal that fell caused changes to the life that existed on the planet, beings that we would describe as gods, angels, demons, Djinn, supernatural would enter the world from there contact with the large deposits of the crystal that made land fall, much of this time is myth and legend to the peoples of Surrogate Earth. It was only tens of thousands years later when the last piece of the crystal like asteroid aligned and was then caught by the planets gravitational pull. This event would be recorded by humanity but only as more recent myths and legends, the event would be known as the great sundering, the impact caused an ice age that brought the surrogate humanity on this world to the brink of extinction, many peoples and nations fled to the island continent of Sanctuary as it was to be named in all the languages, this great melting pot created the great variations you see on this continent today. Eventually as the world thawed the peoples spread out again but found many civilisations that remained and did flee to sanctuary and its warmer climbs did not actually perish, they clung on to existence.

Though it was not my original intention Arthur C Clarke’s quote fits rather nicely when explaining to an extent my world. ”Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. The inhabitants are unaware of the advanced technological properties of the “blue crystal” but relate to it and its possibilities as I feel many primitive societies (relative to the crystal) would to such an advanced piece of technology.

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