The story is simple. There was a boy who bought the planet Earth. We know that, to our cost. It only happened once, and we have taken pains that it will never happen again. Cordwainer Smith


More than one insect had shown them the horrors of singularity as if they were proud of themselves. -- Michael Moorcock

Old North Amber is the richest planet of the millions ruled by the Lords of the Instrumentality. Now the power vacuum created by the disappearance of Emperor Oberon is threatened by Lord Brand, who has bought Old Earth and made a pact with forces from beyond human space. An Amber Space Opera, inspired by Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality, with large dashes of Moorcock's Second Ether and Lucas's Star Wars. Six players to take the role of pregenerated Elders.

Ten thousand years ago, mankind conquered the stars, using ponderous slower-than-light travel. Then war tore apart Earth, throwing the entire empire into darkness.

Noramber stepped into the void. Two discoveries there revolutionized the galaxy: Stroon, the secret to eternal life, and planoforming, a primitive system for faster-than-light travel. King Oberon used them to reunite the far-flung offshoots of the human race, under his rule.

Today, Noramber is the richest of planets, and the most heavily protected -- the secret of Stroon is jealously guarded. The Instrumentality of Mankind, the empire Oberon created, spans a hundred thousand planets. The Chiefs of the Instrumentality rule over it with an iron fist. The golden age of mankind has matured into a quiet decadence: people live out their alloted four hundred years in luxury and boredom. Labor is provided by genetically engineered Underpeople, animals granted intelligence and molded into human form.

Yet change is in the wind. Oberon disappeared a decade ago. The Lords squabble among themselves. And young Lord Brand has bought Old Earth, the cultural center of the Instrumentality.

Noramber's Solar System

Noramber itself is mostly dry, grassy plains. It is perhaps the most backwards of planets, kept at an intentionally low population and low level of technology. A harsh psuedo-medieval training ground for those who must rule mankind.

Going outwards in the solar system, next comes the forest moon of Arden, orbiting the gas giant Ardencenter. Julian lives there, with the Hellhounds which are Noramber's last defense.

Next comes what appears to be a large asteroid belt. It is, in fact, Noramber's fleet, commanded by Grand Admiral Gerard.

Finally is the immense Kalma Station, an artifical planet which is the center of the galaxy's trade.


"I'd rather die than be mistaken for an underman. The disgrace of it, the contempt!" Vomact

Genetically engineered from Old Earth animals -- many long since gone in their natural form -- these intelligent animals form the labor backbone of the Instrumentality. They were constructed to serve mankind, to very nearly worship it. Many are nearly human in appearance, just different enough that a human can tell at a glance what he is dealing with.

(By convention, Underpeople names are prefixed with the first letter of the animal they are derived from. C'rod, for instance, is a cat's name, while D'elise would be a dog's.)

Underpeople are not allowed on Noramber, but they are essential on Arden and Kalma Station. The latter was the site of an unprecedented insurrection several years ago, led by a young dog named D'joan. She preached a message of love, peaceful rebellion, and freedom. As per longstanding Instrumentality policy, the lot of them were rather brutality put down by Lord Bleys. Lord Benedict resigned over this incident.


The techology of this world is that of classic space opera. Think of the ideas of the 1950s, projected forward millennia. Sophisticated computers are measured in cubic miles of tubes. Portable thinking machines are based around the brains of small animals, and are not terribly bright. Routine menial tasks are usually performed by Underpeople.

Interstellar travel is done through Space2. It takes a day to travel to the nearest stars, three days to travel from Noramber to Old Earth, two weeks to travel from one side of the galaxy to the other. It is rumored that the Lords have access to faster technology.

Blasters are common enough weapons, good enough for mowing down commoners. However, historically they have lagged behind personal shield technology. (There are rumors that scientists who build a better blaster have an extremely high mortality rate. Experimentation is very rare these days.) Because of this, blasters are almost completely useless against serious enemies.

The personal weapon of choice for a Lord of the Instrumentality is the Ihmaldsen Relay, usually shortened to IR. Picture a rapier with a micro black hole at the tip. Normally kept in special scabbards, drawing one in atmosphere leads to the instantly recognizable shriek of air being dragged into the singularity. Molecular bonds crumble at its touch; the time dilation effects enable it to waltz through force fields.


The usual four-stat system is in effect. However, psyche is distinctly different from the ADRPG version. It is perhaps most akin to "The Force". It has three basic components:

Because of the first two, psyche is an extremely useful combat stat. The greatest warriors -- ex-Lord Benedict, for instance -- are masters of both warfare and psyche. For hand-to-hand IR combat, which relies on both stats, the lowest of the two stats is used as the comparison point.

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