Custom Card Game Design
“It is the 24th century. The humans made great progress in space travel and many planets in the solar system, such as Mars and Europa, have been colonized. Humanity evolved to a civilization able to use the resources of an entire solar system. But despite that great progress, no spaceships other than small unmanned vessels, sent to proximal stars like Alpha Centauri, ever left the boundaries of the solar system. And even with the most powerful telescopes, they never detected any signs of alien life in the universe. However, that changed when the astronomer Thomas Feynard aimed the largest earthbound telescope in the direction of the orion constellation and made an astounding discovery. In the light spectrum of a planet orbiting a sun-like star a molecular oxygen line appeared as clear as day. This was clear evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life. New, even larger telescopes were constructed to search for other “second earths”, but none were found – the great orion nebula made such subtle observations in that region very difficult.
It wasn’t until 200 years later that humanity’s desire to travel to the stars became reality. The FTL drive was invented and soon the first science vessels were sent to Feynard’s Planet to clear away all doubt. What the “New Horizons” discovered, was beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Feynard’s Planet was inhabited, but it was a very boring planet – at least compared to many other planets in its proximity. In a volume with only a few lightyears diameter, countless worlds inhabited alien life of all possible appearances. Even completely dry or frozen planets, planets exobiologists previously thought could not possibly bear any life, were populated by lower organisms. All these planets were shrouded from sight by the great orion nebula the entire time.
Only a few decades later, a large colonization fleet set off from earth in the direction of the orion constellation. The fleet consisted of science vessels, huge transporters and military ships. Expeditions were sent to many planets, studying the native lifeforms and establishing the first outposts in this sector of the galaxy. Mining bases were constructed on asteroids and on rock and lava planets to support the massive need for resources.
During the expeditions, they encountered many different species, and though they were all unique, none of them challenged the human’s conception of what an extraterrestrial lifeform should look like – until they encountered a species that was later named the Iamurans. These colossal beings could travel through the vacuum of the galaxy by bending space and time at their will. They resembled marine creatures from earth, so it was theorized that they evolved in water and later in their evolution learned to travel through space. This theory was confirmed, when the planet of their origin was discovered and with it lower-evolved species, yet to ascend from their aquatic nature.
Human spaceships often encountered Iamurans on their journeys and each encounter with these colossi was a memorable event. They aren’t a sentient race and rather act based on instict and may see that unidentified object in front of them as a threat – or as a snack on their way to the next planet.
These gargantuans were often accompanied by a swarm of smaller creatures, which due to their resemblence with earthen insects, were called insectoids. They appeared to live in a symbiosis with the Iamuran, traveling through space as hitchhikers and thus spreading to many different planets in the inner realm. Their planet of origin could be determined, a world completely covered by an alien jungle and embedded in a weird cosmic ether: Paiura.
Though this insectoid breed was composed of many different varieties, they all seemed to act as a single hive. They became the dominant species on Paiura somewhere in the past and wiped out all other species on the planet. They were extremely adaptable, being able to survive in space, and on ice planets and lava planets alike.
At the center of the inner realm, a small group of explorers discovered a planet that appeared ordinary at first – a simple ice planet, orbiting a young sun-like star. But when the scientist team landed on the planet, they discovered what was later described by the popular media as greatest mystery ever to be encountered by mankind. Though this was stated countless times within the last few decades, this would be the last time: Inscribed hedrons scattered over the surface, and ancient technology hidden in caverns pointed towards the existence of a civilization that predated all life in the galaxy. But except for the writings and the machineries, nothing seemed to have remained of that civilization. Soon, the icy planet became the focus of all scientific attention and countless expedition teams explored the many caverns scattered over the surface. Geological studies were made which showed that the planet was old – very old in fact, much older than its parent star. Electronical databases were found within the main complex on the planet’s south pole, containing thousands of pages of text and holograms depicting the milky way and the orion arm in particular. The interface of the database was the holographic avatar of an AI. In time, despite initial problems, the scientists were able to acquire a basic understanding of the AI’s language and logic. The holograms depicted this planet, the AI named it Kaskala, at the center of a celestial map and showed how life spread from Kaskala to other planets, whose names were taken from the database as well:
Paiura, Iamur and Esparand were already known to the humans, but the holograms pointed towards the existence of even more inhabited planets in the outer realms.
While determined pioneers begin to build the first human colonies outside the solar system and biologists explore the planets of the inner realm like children a candy shop, the greatest mystery remains unsolved. Who are these ancient people and did life on earth descend from their creation as well? Explorers are already on their way to the outer realm to find new pieces of the puzzle.”
Today’s bonus card is Astral Unity. For one turn, this Ability brings two planets so close to each other that units can move between those two planets without being exhausted. This is a keyword-ability called orbit. Note that you can play this card while you’re the defending player and after your opponent already declared his attacks on your planets. A handy trick – he didn’t expect that your units could fire back as you move them to defend the planet he attacked (remember that exhausted units can’t attack)!
“Two allied planets” means two planets controlled by the same player.
Hope you enjoyed this short story. Until next time!