Thursday, February 20, 2014

Baroque Space

Sustained on tales of heroes and finding little solace in the numbing pleasures and controlled comforts of Earth, some youths seek escape to the stars. They buy passage (or stow away) on the barrel-shaped lift-boats of Earth, luminous fungal vessels of Venus, or a swift clippers from the outer worlds and go to seek an adventurer's life.


Some will find a swift death and others a somewhat slower end on a penal asteroid, but some will eventually find means to arm themselves with energized sword and phlogiston pistol and armor themselves against the weapons of foes and the harshness of the void. So arrayed, they can find work. Ever bellicose Mars is always in need of mercenaries. The heliocephalic Mercurian Emperor welcomes new armigers to his court, so long as they dress as well as they fight. The Doge of watery Venus seeks to employ guards of cunning, able to devise (and survive) intrigues both real and simulated.

Beyond the asteroids, the outer planets loom, and there are monsters to be slain and fortunes to be won by the fortunate and the daring.

Art by Einherja

10 comments:

Simon J. Hogwood said...

As I always like to say, if it's not baroque, don't fix it.

Lame puns aside, this is an interesting mashup of space and swashbuckling themes - it practically demands some swaggering, cavalier pirates hanging out in the asteroid belt.

commissarmoody said...

Swash and buckle in space. I like this idea.

John Till said...

This is a lovely prose poem that opens up an evocative setting. Love it.

Jack Headland said...

I like the combination of elements here. Sword & Planet amped up to 11.

I read "Mercurian" as "Mercurial," which one hopes would be the temperament of the Emperor.

seaofstarsrpg said...

The Solar Contract Code is widely observed by these venturers into the mercenary trade. These rules of contact and decorum are enforced by the extremely well-dressed Judicial Enforcement Tribunal

Trey said...

Thanks guys.

@Jack - Of course!

seaofstarsrpg - Only the lowest of the low would stray of them.

Chris C. said...

That's great -- the "Doge of Venus" made me grin from ear to ear.

Gus L said...

I would play that game. I would enjoy it.

I remember reading a space opera retelling of the voyages of Sir Francis Drake with kludgey ceramic ships and lots of grimdark, descents into bloodthirsty madness, alien enslavement, zealotry and generally dung ages in space. It was pretty ok. Can't remember the name or author - I think it would be good source material here.

Trey said...

@Chris - I confess to being proud of that pun. Glad you like it.

@Gus - Interesting. I'll have to see if I can track down that book.

Kitchen Wolf said...

The series in question is "The Reaches", by David Drake.