1879: Deep Mysteries 1: The Anunnaki
In any game world, there are secrets. Some the players can discover with relatively little effort. Others may form the basis of an entire campaign. Then there are things that the players are Not Meant To Know. The Gamemaster determines what these are, to some extent, but the game materials themselves can also set the parameters for these by simply not providing the information. In some cases, the developers of 1879 have deliberately chosen to not provide details, creating rigorously defined areas of doubt and uncertainty. These are the Deep Mysteries.
Not all Deep Mysteries will be clarified either in published materials or in player campaigns. A game world based on the idea of exploring a new frontier should always have some blank spots on the map. Our sourcebooks may explore these areas, provide some answers, and possibly reveal that learning one thing leads to more questions. Some of the Deep Mysteries have been left open ended quite deliberately, and will never be officially explained. These are hooks for the Gamemaster to hang plot on, doors with a mysterious land beyond that the Gamemaster can map according to their own wishes. Let’s have a look at a few of both, the dark and terrible secrets that will trouble the player characters for years to come, and the unanswered questions that the Gamemaster may decide to explore.
Nobody knows much about this forerunner race. They existed a long time before humanity, well before the Saurids. Their technology and abilities were so far beyond anything the human species has thus far achieved that giving them the name of the Babylonian pantheon seems appropriate. In-game, the Samsut started calling them the Anunnaki because they assumed that this ancient race must be their gods.
Very little has been revealed of the Anunnaki. No pictures or remains have been found, so no one knows what they looked like. No one has found cooking utensils or preserved foodstuffs or garbage pits, either, so there aren’t any clues as to their biology. They didn’t die out, as the traces of their presence seem to indicate an orderly departure, with a good deal of packing up and moving on to someplace else. How they came to the Grosvenor World, how they left, where they went, if they still survive, all remain Deep Mysteries.
The ruins of their cities, here and there on the Grosvenor World, are vast complexes of massive rooms not built on a human scale. Either the Anunnaki were physically larger than humans, or had massively inflated egos, or had some means of subdividing the rooms that didn’t survive their departure, or just liked really big living spaces. The arrangement makes no sense to the human mind, sequences of chambers seemingly strewn at random. There is no representational art of any sort in these ruins, and very little writing. Apparently the Anunnaki weren’t into decorating their walls. Oddly, the ruins are always located near the exit point of a portal. Not every portal location has Anunnaki ruins, but most do. Each of the ruins locations has yielded up strange technology.
The Samsut ruins provided substantial pickings, including the Naptam-napishtu technology, contra-gravity, and the magnetic technology that led to rail guns. The Samsut have other Anunnaki technology that they have not exploited, and occasionally find a previously undiscovered cache. Some of this will be explored in the Samsut sourcebook. A few mysteries will always remain.
The Anunnaki ruins near Camp Burlington are partially buried under an ancient lava flow. Their true extent has yet to be determined, but they run at least forty miles from east to west, and climb up the side of the mountain for several thousand feet. Thus far, the only bit of technology found there has been the Hat, but really, isn’t that enough?
There may be some odd space-time effects deep in the Mount Somerville ruins. One of the Adventure Hooks for Camp Burlington involves a survivor turning up from an expedition that hasn’t happened yet. This provides the opportunity to move characters through time, but no explanation of how this works has been provided. This has two effects. First, it keeps the effect a Deep Mystery, so that the Gamemaster can use it however they see fit. Secondly, it keeps the player characters and the other people of the game world from gaining control of it. If someone does investigate, and persists in their efforts, they may eventually find some sort of control mechanism or anchored spell or other contrivance, but it will always be well beyond their capability to understand, much less control. Not all Anunnaki technology is usable by the lesser races.