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Cult of the Malformed Fork Posts

Outrider

A close call with a Thargoid Hunter left hull marks, scoring that seeped into the armor plates. The usual trick of dumping my heatsinks and thrusters at full didn’t fool this one. Several missiles hammered the hull as I pulled into FTL. I’d thought i was safe until the hull breach alarms flashed, something was eating the outer plating.. quickly.

The problem with briefings are the timing. Always at some ungodly hour, in some byzantine format about a foe you’ll likely never see. Years later, hundreds of light-years behind me and I was struggling to recall even a scrap of those ill-timed dispatches. It was reported that sufficient heat at a short duration would burn off the enzyme eating at my dwindling hull. Now was that 120 or 150?

I pulled hard at the helm, diving into close range of the star I’d just arrived at, the hull groaned as the heat built up. I watched with more than a little concern as the thermal registers climbed.. 85, 90.. 98.. 100..

Alarms blared, warnings about internal damage and system failure.. 105.. 110..

Registers cleared 120 and moments later the unexpected corrosion of the hull cleared. I ordered a full service on the hull at port, having that much alien gunk eating at the structure mandated it.

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Hupang, part 2

After a little cat-and-mouse I was able to join up with my friends at Brash’s Folly. Intense fighting lit the sky over a darkened planet. Brash’s Folly burned while Thargoid Interceptors and Scouts buzzed about it’s perimeter, harassed by human opponents. Anti-Xeno spread thinly as some mixed with the scouts, screening their allies for attack runs against the larger Interceptors.

Thargoid munitions ripped through ships as fast as they could be repaired and put back in the field. Docking crews worked hellish shifts keeping the threat at bay.

One of the Interceptors hit me, sudden and intense staccato of enzymatic blasts and caustic ozone from a destroyed scout, and a sinister groaning took up in the hull. I put up for repairs one last time as I considered my options.

36 tonnes of medical escape pods loaded I plotted a course for a rescue ship and braced myself for the escape. Two of the larger Interceptors had stationed themselves on the exit path from either bank of launch pads hungry for whatever prey it could catch. Docking clamps released and I punched the throttle, low and fast across the surface. Weaving to avoid a straight line, 5 clicks out I angled for jump and made the first of many leaps away from Hupang.

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Hupang, part 1

I was called to join some friends in the Thargoid fight early in the afternoon. With little preparation I was off to Hupang. I’d heard of variant Thargoid ships appearing near their motherships. I was lucky enough to encounter a Hunter as it pulled me out of witchspace on approach to Hupang.

The helm pulled and the hull groaned as conventional space welcomed me back into it’s bleak and chilly embrace. Alarms blared as signatures were partially deciphered..

..Frameshift Anomaly detected..

I pulled hard on the controls, thrusters burning as hot as I could make them. All to no avail. Thargoid Hunters are fast and as much distance I gained I lost just as fast when it decided to make another run at me. Some kind of missile, dripping in enzymes that make terrible work of human spacecraft, hammered into me again and again. The ‘Oracle groaned as bulkheads started to suffer the deleterious effects of exposure.

Luck won out, as I found running did me no good I tried to fight. Some hits scored seemed to have scared it back. This gave me the margin of time necessary to make a short hop to another system and patch my wounds before trying again.

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Time

Does not heal all wounds. My scars from the spellwork are a grim testament to the futility of my actions. Yet they do not heal. Not in the centuries I have searched for myself, though the time to reflect has mended outrage and tempered my focus.

Somewhere near Neo Rome I caught wind of mystics who’s renown exceeded the normal legacies of time. I’d been skirting the boundaries of Neo Rome for months and yet I’d seen markings of their power long before and long since. Not unheard of, but curious.

That they knew my plight and knew how to help was more curious. Centuries I’d spent plumbing timelines, haunting ruins and scouring libraries. For a time I had thought this a futile effort.

What they asked of me was more curious.

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X-N248 – Silent Oracle

I refit into the Silent Oracle, her codes still active in some quirky database of GalNet. Reports of Thargoid attacks were appearing all over civilized space and opportunity abounded for entrepreneurs such as myself. With the barest inkling of a plan I set off to see what kind of adventure I could find.

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Religion

When the priest threw incense into the brazier, I was expecting a vision. A sight among sights, perhaps a shred of inner-peace.

Instead I was introduced to Gre’thor. Complete with Fek’lhr. A very vivid Fek’lhr.

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..something in red

Space is vast. Impossibly vast. With shades in every flavor of the rainbow.

The Errant Song had been patrolling nebulae in search of probable colony sites when we happened into system. Without a pressing schedule it was an opportune time to indulge in deep-system scans to further our research goals.

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Gloomingdeep

The casual rush of water coming in from overhead covered the noise of nearby conversations too well. While I tried to maintain a level of anonymity it was hard to do so and discern who I might be trapped with. A handful of Humans, a couple Elves and a scattering of the shorter folk all made this refuge our home for the moment.

Some of the braver folk had scouted ahead and reported patrols, Kobolds brandishing crude weapons and a scattering of goblins working a great pit. Nobody could tell what they were mining for which made some more nervous. The air was quiet and lacked any of the telltale markers of mystical pooling common in some caverns.

I disliked a stand-up fight. I was much more inclined to subterfuge and trickery but the circumstances looked worse the longer I sat there. Pulling about me a cloak of Invisibility I set to seeing for myself what these goblins were up to..

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I, Dhamzic

I awoke without much fanfare. The skull around my soundly ringing mind ached like I’d been on a three-day binge again. The looks from my companions in the dim cave gave the impression I wasn’t alone and their feeble groans confirmed it. One of them spoke of Kobolds while I looked to myself. A quick enchantment in the dark ensured none would know too much of me before I was ready to share.

As the pain subsided it came back to me, a fog peeling slowly away revealing truth. Kobolds had attacked a handful of refugees, myself included. Captured for slave labor we were drug through dark maze-like tunnels to a prison of sorts.

Not that any of this had worried me. I’d been in trickier predicaments and I’d yet to find a prison that could hold me for longer than a hand of Kelethin Folly.

..wait.. never heard of Kelethin Folly? Oh, remind me when we can taste fresh sea air again and I’ll show you how.

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