This is my planetary romance setting that I’m working on. My original concept was “gamma barsoom”, a light-hearted gonzo mashup of Mutant Future and Burroughs’ Mars. However it soon took on a life of its own (to no surprise) and grew to a kind of synthesis of everything I like about the genre. Today I’m using Swords & Wizardry with many house rules, some of which betray lingering influences from MF.
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Introduction to Xuh’lan:
Hundreds of thousands of years ago the godlike and undying Primordials assimilated the planet known to its latter day inhabitants as Xuh’lan into their intergalactic empire. By adjusting its orbit and seeding it with creatures gathered from all over their far-reaching stellar empire they reshaped this once hostile and almost lifeless rock into a paradise teeming with life.
Then came the Cataclysm. There are few facts but many myths and legends regarding the fall of the Primordials. Most accounts are vague and they seldom agree with one another, but many speak of apocalyptic wars, entire star systems being destroyed and a plague of madness forever eclipsing the minds of those few Primordials who survived. Zeenu (or Xanu or Zano depending on which source one consults), Devourer of Stars, once and future conqueror of the galaxies, supreme and eternal ruler of the Primordials was deposed by his subjects and imprisoned in a black hole (or went into self-imposed exile outside the common space-time continuum, again depending on the source).
Mankind, brought to Xuh’lan by the Primordials to satisfy some playful whim or other, fought with many other sapients from across the universe for survival in the ruins left behind by their fallen masters. Millennia have passed, empires have risen, only to degenerate and crumble and come crashing down into barbarism again.