A Brief Introduction to Coriolis: The Third Horizon.   Posted by The Whisperer.Group: 0
The Whisperer
 GM, 2 posts
Fri 13 May 2022
at 21:22
A Brief Introduction to Coriolis: The Third Horizon

Coriolis is a sci-fi RPG described by its authors as "Arabian Nights in space". It is set over a thousand years in the future, in the Middle Eastern-inspired Third Horizon, an area of space comprising about three dozen star systems cut off from the rest of inhabited space.

There are several tropes that define the Coriolis setting:

  • The PCs crew a space craft, which is their base and their home, their most valuable possession and most important asset. With the help of their ship they carry out a variety of missions to survive and build a better future. Together they explore the Third Horizon, a gigantic cluster of stars full of mysteries and secrets, linked together by mythical portals.
  • The many factions of the Third Horizon are wrapped in a never-ending struggle for power and influence. At the center of this contention is the titular Coriolis space station, where the scheming and dealing are the most intense.
  • Throughout the Third Horizon the worship of the Icons is the smallest common denominator among the people, and the only thing keeping the light of civilization from being extinguished by the unspeakable horrors stirring in the Dark between the Stars.

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:02, Sat 14 May.

The Whisperer
 GM, 5 posts
Sat 14 May 2022
at 09:59
A Brief Introduction to Coriolis: The Third Horizon

A thousand cycles ago the first generation ships were launched from Al-Ardha towards the distant stars. Among these ships two, the Zenith and the Nadir, were launched towards the star Dabaran. At slower-than-light speeds, the great arks were to travel hundreds of cycles through the emptiness of space before reaching their destination.

Soon, however, a number of portals were discovered in the vicinity of Al-Ardha. These portals led to a network of interconnected star systems, collectively called the Horizons. This gave rise to the exploration and colonization of the First and Second Horizons. Little factual knowledge of that era remains, but it's a fact that at one point in time a bloody war began between the imperialistic First Horizon and the independance-seeking Second Horizon.

About five hundred cycles ago fortune seekers, religious dissidents and rebels were the first ones to arrive at the newly discovered Third Horizon. None of them had any love for the empire-builders of the First Horizon, or any means of competing for resources in the rapidly overcrowding Second Horizon. These Firstcome laid the foundation for the Third Horizon of today, colonizing the larger systems, building magnificent cities and creating a free and tolerant new order. It was the Firstcome who introduced the Third Horizon to the Icons and the Dark between the Stars, the largest religion of the region today. It was a civilized era. There was peace and commerce between the peoples, cultures flourished and evolved. But like all good things, the peace couldn't last forever.

How and why the Portal Wars began, no one really knows anymore, but the enmity between the first two Horizons spilled over into the Third Horizon. After a long and bloody campaign, the peoples of the Third Horizon managed to push their enemies into the Odacon system, where whole fleets and eventually the entire system were destroyed. The Third Horizon emerged victorious, but the portals back to the older Horizons collapsed, cutting the Third Horizon off forever. The portals connecting the systems of the Third Horizon still worked, but trade diminished rapidly. Many cultures became planet-bound. Thus began the Long Night, an era of darkness, isolation and decay.

It was in this period of time that the Zenith, launched from Al-Ardha a millenium ago, finally reached the Dabaran system, while its twin ship, the Nadir, was lost in the darkness of space forever. The crew of the Zenith were astounded to find that mankind had already colonized the system more than five hundred cycles earlier. Moreover, thirty-six linked star systems were home to a myriad of scattered outposts and colonies. The crew eventually put their ship in orbit above Kua, debating the future of the failed colonization effort while the colonists were kept in stasis. The captain family, the Quassars, proposed to carry out the mission despite the new situation, while others, led by the Yriedes family, argued that everyone should be free to decide for themselves the directives were redundant and thus, the contract void. A third faction within the crew lost patience as the discussions dragged on, and woke the colonists from stasis on their own.

Complete disorder seemed imminent, and the captain of the Zenith responded to the threat of mutiny by offering all crew and colonists the choice to go wherever they pleased and to bring with them the resources they needed for survival. The Quassar family themselves descended to the planet below and founded a colony there. The remains of the Zenith, meanwhile, became the basis for the construction of Coriolis, a giant space station dominated from the very beginning by the Yriedes clan and their faction, the Consortium.

The Consortium began opening the trade routes again, with Coriolis station becoming a place where the Firstcome groups, long isolated from each other, could meet and interact with the newcomers, the Zenithians. From their remote headquarters, possessing strange knowledge and mythical technology to back up their ideological strength, many factions sent representatives to Coriolis. With few exceptions, they all bought seats on the station's political council to try and influence the fragile, reborn Horizon to their factions' benefit. This became the foundation of the Council of Factions.
The Whisperer
 GM, 6 posts
Sat 14 May 2022
at 10:00
A Brief Introduction to Coriolis: The Third Horizon

The political landscape of the Third Horizon is dominated by two large opposing camps - the conservative and deeply religious Firstcome and the materialistically pragmatic Zenithians.

The Firstcome venerate the Icons and value strict adherence to moral codes. They are often seen as stubborn, inflexible and incapable of compromise. There's no clear leader among the Firstcome factions, but the most influential among them are the Church of the Icons and the Order of the Pariah. The Church is the largest religious organization in the Third Horizon, combining ancient beliefs with modern influences, seeking to unify all under the banners of a single faith. The Order of the Pariah, meanwhile, is a strange amalgam of philantropy and fanaticism. Their Samaritans work with sick and the poor on Coriolis, while their Martyrs relentlessly hunt down religious dissidents in their home system, Zalos. Other Firstcome factions include Ahlam's Temple, an old cult focusing on the systematic exploration of the mysteries of experience and the senses, best know for their inimitable courtesans; the mysterious Draconite philosopher warriors with access to leading edge technology; and the Nomad Federation, a collection of families, clans and alliances unified by a nomadic way of life and the largest fleet in the Third Horizon.

The Zenithians, meanwhile, have a clearcut leader in the Consortium, the most powerful faction in the Third Horizon. It consists of a number of large corporations dominating trade, manufacturing, media, science and colonization, aiming to consolidate all power in the Third Horizon. The Legion is comprised of a diverse collection of mercenaries and armed skippers, gathered around the remnants of a fleet squadron from the Portal Wars, acting as the Consortium's military ally. The aristocrats of the Zenithian Hegemony, descendants of the Quassar dynasty and the elite of the Monolith on the planet Kua, work to increase their political, economic and military might. Smaller Zenithian factions include the Free League, which is a union of free traders organizing the small actors on the otherwise Consortium-dominated market, and the Syndicate, an underworld network with a handful of families and their respectful gangs controlling organized crime across the Horizon.
The Whisperer
 GM, 10 posts
Fri 27 May 2022
at 07:27
A Brief Introduction to Coriolis: The Third Horizon

A standard Coriolis cycle (CC) is 336 days long, based on the time it takes Kua to orbit its star. Each cycle is divided into nine segments, each named for one of the Icons. Segments are 37 days long, with three additional annual holidays after the third, sixth and ninth segment: the Founding, the Pilgrimaria and the Cyclade.

  • 1. The Messenger
  • 2. The Dancer
  • 3. The Gambler
  • The Founding
  • 4. The Deckhand
  • 5. The Merchant
  • 6. The Judge
  • The Pilgrimaria
  • 7. The Traveler
  • 8. The Lady of Tears
  • 9. The Faceless One
  • The Cyclade

Each segment is divided into four nine-days novenas called the novena of grain, the novena of water, the novena of light and the novena of incense. Days of the novenas do not have names of their own. Thus, you might say "The second day of water, segment of the Deckhand", or abbreviate it to "2 water Deckhand" in written form.

The final 37th day of each segment is the day of settlement, or the day of accounting, when ship loan payments and other bills are paid.

Note that the words week, month and year are not used in the Coriolis setting.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:12, Wed 15 June.

The Whisperer
 GM, 13 posts
Sun 29 May 2022
at 10:58
A Brief Introduction to Coriolis: The Third Horizon

The language of the Zenithians, the lingua franca of the Third Horizon spoken by most travelers in addition to their native tongues

Dabaran and the the systems along the Dabaran circle

Mira and Aiwaz

Kua and Coriolis

Algol, Kua and the systems along the Algolan route