This post is part of the series The Warden
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James M. Ward has decided to do a new version of Metamorphosis Alpha. This means that the starship Warden will soon be traveling though space again on her long journey to another star and the planets she may find there.
Back in 1994 E. Gary Gygax presented the adventure guide Changeling in Mythic Masters Magazine. Set in a Solar System that had seen a few unexpected changes, one feature was a starship under construction, the Warden. But the Builders never got the order to launch.
Having “inherited” Changeling from Gary I did some thinking and decided that the Builders, having no orders to launch or even stop construction, decided to keep building until the Warden grew to engulf the Solar System and thus form what amounted to a Dyson Sphere.
Modern Times: Curse You Physics
But lately I got to thinking about this and I remembered that objects of a certain mass will form a sphere no matter how strong the material it’s made of is. In my Changeling the Builders aren’t stupid, and I figured that they would figure this out and stop adding to the Warden. But now what?
Rethinking the Problem
It did take awhile, a couple of centuries in fact, and in that time the Builders discovered that they had a problem. It seems that a Dyson Sphere around their Sun would require more material than the Solar System could provide. To get the stuff to build they had to find other planetary systems. But the only thing they had to go out to other Stars was the Warden, and they didn’t have the orders to launch. Some hard thinking was required, or computation in the case of the computer Builders.
Now keep in mind that Urth’s reality has a speed limit, nothing with a mass greater than a photon can travel at 1C, much less greater than that. But keep in mind that as with the other guides in Dangerous Journeys Changeling is not limited to just the physical. There are other planes of existence that may just allow for faster than light travel.
Taking a Detour
Fortunately for the Builders knowledge of the Changeling Universe had grown to the point there was enough information available that a library search could find the information necessary. (The Builders do have one of the largest in the Solar System, just after the one owned by Lady Computer back on Urth.)
Well, after about a year of work the Builders decided on the Astral Plane as being the most likely candidate. (People had been travelling the Astral for awhile by this time, though never for any great distance really.) Using DJ mechanics it appears that for every point in Mental Trait a person can travel one thousand miles every second, and this is cumulative with the number of people aboard the craft. Which means that with a crew of ten, each with a Mental Trait of 100, the ship can attain a speed faster than light.
Though not everyone has an MTrait of 100, but still a Trait of 50 can still take you places.
Let it be noted that this all meant the people involved (the crew if you like) do need to cooperate, and that means a ship of some sort. A starship if you would. So that’s what the Builders set out to do, build a starship and put together a crew to man it. This first ship (The Discovery) took about a year to build, and it took another year to train the crew. Other starships would follow and in time there would be many ferrying construction material to the Solar System from other planetary systems. What it amounts to is, the Warden was now redundant.
But seeing as the Warden was to be the keystone in a Dyson Sphere (the gravity problem had not yet reared it’s crushing head), construction proceeded apace and the Builders were happy.
Unfortunately for their peace of mind one of their own was about to rattle a few cages and deny some souls their comfort zones. However that will have to wait for the next installment.
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