Although both GURPS Atlantis and Blue Planet both feature undersea settings, it takes a little work to make them go together. Of the three settings provided in GURPS Atlantis, neither The Orichalcum Age setting nor The Lords of the Deep setting really meshes well with Blue Planet. But the Heirs of Minos setting, with its conspiracy of telepaths? That’s a different story.
There are no overt psionics in the Blue Planet setting, but that’s fine – the Minoan Conspiracy is supposed to be secretive, after all. Clearly, they’ve done a good job of hiding over the years, no doubt aided by their powers. But as the science of biomods develops, the chances of someone developing artificial psionics grows ever greater. Now, merely human companies can relatively easily be controlled by the Minoans, but non-humans may prove more difficult.
Cetaceans guard their privacy jealously, and although their scientific research capacities are limited, that’s not to say they couldn’t engage in some conspiring of their own, with hidden research stations outside the conspiracy’s reach. And what of the Aborigines and their mysterious Creators? Has the whole of interstellar history been the sideshow distracting us from the hidden struggle between the Creators and the Minoans? Or are the Minoans also servants of the Creators?
In the year 2199, things on the Blue Planet of Poseidon are only gettting more interesting. Meanwhile, back in the Sol System, Earth is living up to its name as the World of Darkness.
The declaration of victory in the Ascendance War by the Technocracy at the dawn of the 21st Century set the tone for the two subsequent centuries. As the years went by, the rule of technology and science, through both success and failure, became more and more apparent, and deviation from reality became less and less common.
The rest of mage-kind were not slow to fight back, and as increasing numbers of Tradition mages either went Marauder or were corrupted by the Nephandi, the war only became nastier. The terrorist acts of Zero Nation, the inexplicable failure of El Nino to form in the 2030’s, the Big One that wiped out California in 2033, even the apparently impossible jump of the Blight across species – all these and more were the doing of Nephandus mages and their allies.
The Blight changed everything. As it grew worse and worse, numbers of Vampires grew and grew and grew. Even after the human population topped out and began to fall back rapidly, vampire numbers continued to grow. And as they did, the number of Hunters called to fight them grew also. As global population stabilised at less than half its previous level, the vampires were left increasingly exposed, falling to a combination of Hunter onslaughts, their own savage in-fighting and organised Technocracy pogroms. A last dicth effort, allying themselves with the Marauders, only saw both groups decimated by the Technocracy’s superior power and numbers.
As the worst of the Blight receded, the new status quo arose between the factions of the World of Darkness, as yet unaware of the dangers posed to it by the aborigines of Posiedon.
Increasingly cut off from humanity – and crushed along with the dreams of the mortals they depended upon, the changelings have almost entirely retreated to their freeholds or into the Dreaming. Only recently, with the reports of possible alien intelligences on Poseidon, have many fae returned to the worlds of mortals – and only in limited numbers. The only exceptions to this have been those fae most intimately connected to the oceans – the Selkies, Merfolk and Murdhuacha have always thrived on Poseidon.
In addition, strange new fae have been reported in the Dreaming and in mundane reality. Reports are sketchy at best, but these new fae may have been brought into being by the dreams of the Cetaceans of Posiedon.
Called in record numbers to fight the vampire armies of the Blight years, the Hunters remain relatively common among humanity – certainly vastly more common than at any previous time. But as always, they are divided and factionalised over more human concerns than any other group. There are those who are Poseidon separatists, and those who believe in unity. There are Hunters who believe that the aborigines of Poseidon are simply another kind of monster to fight, and those who think that they are potential allies in the fight against the unnatural.
As a result of the Blight years, the majority of Hunters in 2199 care deeply about environmental issues – and a large faction of these have made a Faustian bargain with the few surviving Bete, striving to clean up the Earth of both pollutants and monsters.
The Technocracy rules pretty much uncontestedly over both the Sol and Serpentis systems. While there are isolated Tradition and Orphan mages, they are necessarily circumspect. But with the Technocracy’s control stretched ever thinner over both Earth and Posiedon, they are finding it easier to escape detection – and even to fight back. For the first time in centuries, the Traditions have the initiative in the long war with the Technocracy – and they intend to push it.
Vampiric bloodlines have been hunted almost to extinction. Only the very oldest and the very youngest vampires still survive – nearly all members of the 7th through to the 14th generations have been wiped out. The major factions of Kindred society are no more – all vampires are, to some extent, Anarchs now. But as the vigilance of their two greatest scourges, the Hunters and the Technocracy, is trained more and more at each other, the vampires are making a slow comeback.
The genetic screening of the early 21st century made things harder and harder for all the shapechangers. The day was only won at last when the Glass Walkers, acting alone, managed to place a virus deep within the computers of the Human Genome Project that would effectively mask the existence of all Bete. By this time, however, it was already almost too late. Although the Glass Walkers, Bone Gnawers , Corax and Ratkin thrived, several other races of Bete seem to have been wiped out altogether, including the Gurahl, and the Kitsune. (The Nagah were reported destroyed, but they have been reported destroyed before now). The Bastet were decimated, and several of their breeds became extinct – only the Swara and Celican have managed to remain at more or less the same populations.
Then came the Blight. Hard-line factions within most of the surviving Bete saw it as a golden opportunity to re-institute the Impergium, and many gladly gave their lives towards this goal. Perhaps half the deaths attributed to Blight-induced rioting or wars were under the claws and fangs of the Bete. In the wake of the Blight, Gaia is in a better condition, in many ways, than she has been since the Industrial Revolution hit its stride. And now that humanity has been reduced to a more manageable level, the Bete are preparing to take this world back from the Technocrats.
Things are different on Posiedon. The few Bete to make it here have almost always been found out and destroyed, with one significant exception: the Rokea. The were-sharks have adpated quickly to this ocean world, although their efforts to communicate with the Aborigines have met with, at best, mixed results. Still, the more isolated reaches of Poseidon are dotted with tiny human settlements that are actually composed almost entirely of weresharks and their kinfolk.
But they are no longer alone in these oceans, and their dealings with the uplifted Cetaceans have been almost entirely a matter of war. Deep out of sight of most humans, and genocidal three-way struggle is fought, too-finely balanced for there to be an end in sight.
The first Wraiths to find their way to Poseidon did so involuntarily. When their fetters were moved there, knowingly or otherwise by mortals, the Wraiths found themselves drawn through the Tempests to this strange new world. Over time, more and more Wraiths joined them there, as colonists began to die. The new arrivals noted two strange phenomena: first, that there is no Labyrinth at the bottom of the Dark Kingdom of the Seas (although there are still a few Spectres – some souls are naturally drawn to that end), and second, that there is a strange kingdom inhabited by the departed spirits of the natives of Poseidon, the so-called Aborigines.
Back in Stygia, the Blight years created an almost constant Tempest, even greater than that of the World War Two years. The Kingdoms of the Dead, all of them, are filled night to bursting, and more souls are drawn into nihils every day. Fortunately for the Wraiths, the rate at which Spectres fall prey to their own natures has mostly kept up.