image from Frobidden Planet

image from Frobidden Planet
Graves of Altair IV

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sub-etheric location The Beautiful Face

Sub-etheric location
The Beautiful Face

Far beyond the imperial border, somewhere below the Third Sub-ether it is said by certain, perhaps more philosophically minded spacers, lay a profound transformative experience that allows one to touch – and be touched by – a God.

Finding the right set of coordinates should find the PCs and their vessel some one thousand lights into the Rimward Beyond where, in an analog to otherwise empty interstellar space (there are no star systems for 8 - 10 lights in any direction)  
A brilliant white light will seem to emanate from a distant patch of dense mist of etheric ‘matter.’
Penetration of this ‘fogbank’ will reveal a sort of mini domain approximately half a light across – inside which, the ship or any voyages will be mystically drawn toward the nucleus regardless of intended heading or engine configuration.   (Exception: turning the ship round 180 and going to full will allow a ship to leave relatively unmolested so long as they do so prior to encountering the nucleus.)

At the nucleus, which could take anywhere from 2 hours to five days to reach depending, they will seem to be in an endless expanse of white that stretches off to infinity in every perceived direction; Have they been dumped unceremoniously into some far sector of the White Sky? No.  This close to the nucleus, time and space apparently go on forever, both sensors and mystic information gathering will reveal much the same thing.
Some 2d3 hours after arrival at the nucleus, the crew will see the Face.  Best viewed from a distance, it will appear around 800,000 kilometers ahead, in the ship’s intended path of movement – a pale, made up, humanoid face about 8000 km high, surrounded by balls or bubbles of coloured light that ripple and change texture constantly.

On approach, the most startling transformation occurs.  Those who have been touched by the whims of fate and the winds of luck (the Player Characters) are intriguing to the thing that appears as a face, and it will seek to draw them out so as to better examine them.
Flesh flows like wax as all of the party are simultaneously ‘blended’ – their flesh ‘flows’ off of their bones and slides into a central pile where it combines with the other flesh of the party.  Unless the resident skeletons of the PCs exceed a DC 20 Will save, said skeletal remnants will be compelled to gather the now roiling pool of shifting flesh into a ball, whereupon they will roll the ball down to the nearest airlock.  Eventually the ball will be ejected into the Sub-ether and the skeletons will, one at a time, leap into the jelly-like ball and be consumed by it until the last skeleton has done so.
IN the meantime the ball of flesh continues to generate a bizarre array of sensory information to the fully aware and strangely not riddled with pain brains of the PCs.  IT will slowly be drawn toward the face itself, at which time a voice will seem to ripple from the face, whose lips do not move,

Be One Flesh

And so they will become.  In moments, the characters will flow together, experiencing a temporary feeling of oneness and the death of their ego.   The face, if any can perceive it, will seem to close it’s eyes and derive some sort of satisfaction, possibly pleasure, from the experience. 
Then as soon as it began, the characters will, one at a time, be reconstituted out of the flesh ball and, in a kind of stasis, returned to their vessel.  Once all are aboard, the ship will be propelled out of this region, often emerging 1d3+7 days later at a point some (roll %d000) lights distant in a random direction.
Further, the PCs will find that not all of their qualities have come through intact, in fact it does seem that they have traded certain aspects of themselves with one another.  These do seem to be permanent.
System – For every PC who experiences this bizarreness, pick a single ability score (randomly works), this score is about to change, rather permanently.  Consult the other PCs record sheets; from them determine (pick or roll randomly) which one swaps that ability score out with the PC.
Repeat this process for all Player characters so affected.  Stats may be swapped between multiple parties.  If this means that some all wind up with one character’s 14 strength (or whatever) then so be it.  All of them will seem to have inherited bits of the strength donating character, and vice versa.
This will probably prove pretty unsettling for them. 

Ideally this should be an unsettling encounter that leaves the party a bit closer together, one way or another.   At the Judge’s option and with the full cooperation of the players, possibly other character attributes could be swapped out. Alignment, class, race, in theory it’s all possible depending on how far you want to take the remixing of the player party.