Horrors in space

There are two things one should have in mind when talking about horrors in outer space:
  1. Up til the first physical exploration of space, we were all alone in the universe 
  2. Any life out there since then - no matter how twisted or unreal - has its origin down here on Earth 
That is, anything encountered up there is a bastardly remix of something we once sent up on purpose - or just lost by accident somewhere in the thermosphere.

The V-2 rocket (1942)
The first rocket to reach outer space, actually never returned to Earth despite common belief. Became sentient and suicidal after being exposed to a stellar flare in 1981.

40 mice (1960)
Part of the original all animal crew of Korabl-Sputnik 2, these mice never did return safely to Earth. Gnawing through their cage at re-entry, they suddenly hit a power cord just as the shuttle passed through an aurora - causing them to switch places. The caged aurora was never made official.

Имре́к (1962)
Just one of many unofficial and unknown cosmonauts lost during the Vostok programme. At the time, a large translucent mesh passed through our neck of the universe, causing these poor souls to be collected like fish in the sea.

In 1978, a thin purple cord shot out through deep space, attached itself to the mesh and started pulling it in. The cord bumped into the Soviet satellite Kosmos 954, causing it to malfunction and later crash over northern Canada.

Ticks in Space (Santicore 2015 entry)

(Since I haven't seen any signs of life from the Santicore hellves yet, I thought I might as well dump my entry here on the blog)

The request I got for Santicore 2015 was:
"O Secret Santicore, what random horrors could unfortunate adventurers encounter in the darkness of space?"

And I thought, ticks of course! If you want to make your own custom tick mini for your game, just take a potato and stick some toothpicks in it (or just leave them out in the sun a a couple of days, and it'll grow its own appendices).

1. Celestial Tick
A celestial tick ranges in size from a small space shuttle, to that of a moon - or larger. Soft celestial ticks are attracted to magnetic fields and will harvest electricity, while hard celestial ticks are drawn to heat and will attach to anything from warp cores to smaller planets.

It’s possible to remove a celestial tick by force, at risk at infecting the host. Rumour has it that tick pirates comes from a planet infected by a vicious tick bite.

2. Tick Ambergris
When a larger celestial tick consumes something it can’t digest or doesn't want, its gastrointestinals will cover it in a thick secretion so that it can pass without harming the tick. As the ambergris leaves the tick’s body and enters space, it will harden and travel indefinitely, sometimes even protecting the unwanted thing in a forced cryosleep.

Things known to have been found in tick ambergris:
  1. Lava and pieces of a volcano
  2. Small space shuttle containing a crew (living but cryosleeping)
  3. A mountain top
  4. A smaller celestial tick (see Tick Miners below)

3. Tick Pirates
There’s a remote relative to humans in outer space that’s been successful in utilizing celestial ticks as transporation vessels, from the smaller ones as two-man shuttles, to the rumoured interstellar tick that drifts through the multiverse and houses several thousands of pirates.

On the larger ticks the pirates tend to burrow a bit into the body, to shield against the worst radiation of space.

Things possibly found on a tick pirate:
  1. Spear with tip smeared in a mixture consisting of celestial tick nymphs and random droppings
  2. Semi-living sextant
  3. Boots made of the shell of a hard tick
  4. A metallic plaque depicting the Arecibo message

4. Tick Miners
It is rumoured that tick miners are a cybernetic race aiming to regulate the efficiency of celestial ticks. Why they would do that is unknown - maybe they suffered from a planetary tick themselves, who spewed out diseases into their perfect feedback society?

Tick miners - being more robotic than organic, yet lacking a fully-fledged AI found in other parts of the multiverse - perform experiments on celestial ticks of all sizes, without hurting or killing them. At least not intentionally.

Some known augmentations/”corrections” made by tick miners:
  1. Drove a planet-sized tick into a sun by increasing its heat fixation through medication
  2. Constructed a life supporting exoskeleton for a tick about to die. While the tick didn’t die, the exoskeleton became sentient and soon took over, changing its role as a supporting unit to that of master controller.
  3. Constructed a lattice of equally sized, smaller ticks to see if they could fill the gap after the death of one enormous celestial tick (and see if they as a “hive” had a better chance of surviving)
  4. Bred a race of smaller ticks that could cover itself in its own ambergris during stressful conditions

One Page Dungeon draft I never got around to use

An old map I probably meant to send to the OPD contest but forgot about.

TL;DR: a monster that collects head. One player loses one at the entrance. The monster wears it when they encounter it. Slay it and get it back.

The good folks over at G+ seemed to like it, so why not put it over here as well.


Yeah so what's so old and computery about this UmberWasp, you wonder. Well it's tiny as hell and burrows into MonitorHeads and other hardwares and introduces BUGS.

It loves nibbling on electronic impulses, and inverting logical patterns (it hates AND-gates).