In November of 1893 the renowned Egyptologist Lord Conway made an amazing discovery in the Qattara Depression. It was in a previously unsurveyed temple complex, buried beneath the floor of what appeared to be a great tomb. In his journal he described the artefact as ‘a giant quoit of an unknown metal, some 8 yards across. Accompanying it were a number of other artefacts also of great antiquity.’
Lord Conway arranged for the artefacts to be taken secretly to his estate in Yorkshire via Tobruk, to avoid the attentions of the antiquarian community until he could decipher its purpose. He quickly came to the conclusion that it pre-dated any previously known Egyptian finds and that it was a machine of some description. In order to further his research he engaged the brilliant young Scottish engineer John Macfarlane. Over the next year Macfarlane laboured day and night until he worked out how to power the quoit up. Conway meanwhile, with the help of his daughter Felicity, had set about deciphering the many inscriptions upon the quoit and ancillary equipment.
From here on in the story is somewhat confusing and is based on the somewhat unreliable evidence of a surviving footman, one Joseph Higgins, and Macfarlane’s hurried notes. Late in the evening of 19th December 1894 Macfarlane powered up the gate and Lord Conway pressed several of the panels on the circular control device. A ‘pool’ appeared vertically in the quoit and after a few seconds the generators overloaded and the quoit went dark.
The following evening, after Macfarlane had repaired the generators, Lord Conway prepared to make a second attempt. Before he was able to press any panels the quoit lit up on its own and after that there was chaos. Apparently a number of large men in ancient armour, with the heads of Jackals, came through the quoit. They blew a hole clean through Macfarlane and took Lord Conway, Felicity and several of the staff captive, departing to whence they came.
Baffled the police alerted the Government who in turn handed the situation to a Special Under Secretary at the Foreign Office, one Mycroft Holmes. He has seized control of the estate and has summoned a number of eminent scientists and others to his aid.
The newly formed Office of Exploratory Studies has recruited the players as an exploratory team. Their first mission will be to follow the Jackal-headed men, and to attempt to recover Lord Conway and his daughter.
Stargate 1895 is a roleplaying game where the emphasis has been placed upon simplicity and ease of use. Characters are intentionally two-dimensional yet allow you to develop them into old friends. The Game Engine upon which is based is the D20 Microlite system.
The game is set in height of the Victorian era. When the British Empire was the world’s only superpower, but as yet unprepared for the extraordinary conflict to come. An era subtly different from our own history where the tales of H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and Jules Verne were closer to reality than the average person would like to admit.
The rules can be found here: Stargate 1895
Feel free to comment on them. Further episodes, campaigns and other supplements are planned.
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