Crusaders of the Dark Savant

Crusaders of the Dark Savant
Scanned by Chris Brune

The Story

With the disappearance of the Cosmic Forge, a pen with the power to alter destiny, the Cosmic Lords had temporarily lost their ability to completely control the fate and destiny of the Universe. In an unexpected occurrence far out in space, a Miner’s ship, lost due to a navigational malfunction after being attacked by space pirates, stumbled upon a small world which was uncharted on any map of the known galaxy. As it so happens, the Cosmic Lords were aware of the presence of this small planet and had safeguarded its existence by using the Forge to prevent any discovery by outside worlds. Once the Forge was stolen by the Bane King and Xorphitus the Wizard (the story of Bane of the Cosmic Forge) the planet’s obscure position in space could no longer be protected from discovery.

When the Miner’s vessel returned to its own home world, news of the discovery began to spread. It was rumored to be the Planet of Phoonzang, "Lost Guardia" by legend, and the secret resting place of the famed "Astral Dominae," Phoonzang’s only known record of his final and greatest discovery.

The legend of the Astral Dominae dates back to a prior millennium. It tells of a great artist and scientific genius, Phoonzang, and his discovery of some deep secret, rumored to regard the power of the universe and of life itself. Phoonzang decided this secret was too powerful for anyone else to know, for if it could create a universe, it could also destroy one. So, he was faced with a choice: either destroy his discovery, his life’s work, or hide it in such a way that it would not fall into unscrupulous hands. He opted for the latter, knowing that a day might come when the secret could be safely revealed and the universe could ascend towards a new destiny.

The legend continues that he created a stellar globe, called the Astral Dominae, and encrypted his secret therein. Using the power of his secret, he created a new world, Guardia, designed to safeguard his work. He himself had become a god, for his was the power of life itself, and as he created the planet, he also created creatures to live there and to protect his secret. Entombing the Astral Dominae somewhere on this world, he made a map, consisting of many parts and then spread the parts throughout the lands of his world. Convinced that his secret was secure, Phoonzang disappeared forever.

With the discovery of the lost planet, Lost Guardia, news traveled fast that the legendary tomb of the Phoonzang’s last work, the Astral Dominae, was a reality. But while there are many who might covet the great secret, only a few have the power and resources to undertake its recovery.

One of these is an enigmatic traveler of the stars, known only as the "Dark Savant." Navigating all frontiers of space in his legendary black ship, not much is known of the Dark Savant except that he is considered by most worlds to be one of the most powerful entities alive, pledging alliance to no one but himself.

At the forefront of all known Galactic worlds, two rival species dominate the space trade. First, the militaristic Umpani - a lawful race of stout pachyderms who, while considered to have the greatest assemblage of military war power in the Galaxy, are known to be fair and reliable traders. Second, there is the feared and unscrupulous T’Rang - a repulsive spider-like race who will do anything if the buyer is willing to pay the price. While the T’Rang can never be fully trusted, they still manage to control the greatest trading network in the galaxy, surpassing even that of the Umpani. The T’Rang will stop at nothing to procure what they seek, and have always fulfilled their contracts, no matter how dirty the deed.

Naturally then, the Umpani and the T’Rang are strict competitors and strongly detest each other. It is suspected by some, however, that certain alliances exist between the two that prevent any third parties from entering the space trade picture, thereby strengthening the suspected cartel which, in turn, keeps the prices of their wares profitably on the high side.

There is a rumor that the T’Rang are actually in the service of the Dark Savant, who has held a long standing contract with them to find Phoonzang’s missing world. Naturally then, if the T’Rang are involved, the Umpani won’t be far behind. For it needn’t be said the affair would bode them no good fortune should the T’Rang obtain the Astral Dominae … no good at all.

There is one other, Vi Domina, a young girl with a reputation of being a rather fierce and deadly warrior, and who is also rumored to be a far distant descendant of Phoonzang, himself. Her lineage was traced by the T’Rang to repay a favor to the Dark Savant, and she was taken into his custody shortly thereafter. It is unknown whether her connection to the Dark Savant is willing or coerced, but it appears the Dark Savant believes she may hold some yet unsuspected key to unlocking the secret of the Astral Dominae.

The lands are also populated with a variety of native sons, and although they appear to be simple and primitive, there are indications that a great technical civilization may have evolved on Lost Guardia in the ages since the planet was created by Phoonzang. It is not known what role, if any, they may play in uncovering the Astral Dominae, or what secrets they may hold for those who venture in from outside worlds. And, with the startling appearance of the travelers from the stars, some have begun to suspect that their own legends may be unfolding, and the prophesied end of their world is at hand.

These are the players then, that inhabit the world of Lost Guardia, and play a role in the quest for the Astral Dominae. Thus it is that our party of brave adventurers shall set foot on Lost Guardia, and themselves seek out the truth of the Astral Dominae.

Created, maintained and by John Hubbard (write to me). Disclaimers. Hosted by Dreamhost. Last modified: January-04-2003.