Sunday, July 03, 2011

Borrowings from Sapphire & Steel

I ran across a post called "The Time of the Metalanterns" which talked about Sapphire & Steel, (thank you, GreyWulf!) which reminded me that I absolutely love that series and wanted to borrow some of the ideas from it for my World.  In case you don't know, it was a British Science Fiction TV series that I think of as a cross between 'Doctor Who' and 'Dark Shadows'.  It never failed to give me the creeps, while wigging out my mind with incredibly awesome science fiction concepts.

The outlines of my adaptation (or borrowing as the case may be) is that there are super-sentient beings in the Elthos Universe, and a host of inter-dimensional creatures / monsters that are scarcely comprehended by mankind.  One of these beings is Time.  Most beings live within time, but do not understand that it is a sentient force that lives off of the life energy of those within it by devouring them in bizarre and often hideous ways, often by trapping them in the folds of time and strangulating them metaphysically.  When it does this it often causes rifts in the space-time continuum.  There is a shadowy Order of Time Keepers whose task it is to repair the rifts, and rescue those who may be caught in Time's traps before they are devoured.

Edit:  Another aspect that I glean from S&S is that Time will tend to be attracted to beings who are fixated in some way on Time, or an object that has deep significance to Time.   Some examples are:  1) a Scientist who invented a Time Machine, 2) the Oldest Photograph in the world, 3) a Race from the Future who wanted to transport a Monster they accidentally created into another time to escape its Civilization destroying wrath, 4) a ghost who refused to leave the hotel where she was killed by clinging to a Grandfather clock, etc.   As it happens Time will devour every living thing eventually, and if you consider that life spans typically do not last very long in big scheme of things, Time can be seen as a ravenous monster indeed.  On the other hand, some races live very long lives, and so have found ways to evade Time's traps.   As such the vast majority of Time's conquests are quite normal, and really amount to dying of Old Age, which everyone takes as natural.  However, mankind in Elthos was not intended to be a mortal race originally, but through the original deception in Eden, Time gained a foothold on the race of men, and so every person is doomed to die, at some point in Time.  And thus, the Time Keepers know that even natural deaths of Old Age are really the Serpent Time devouring its victims.  However, dying of Old Age does not cause any temporal rifts, and so the Time Keepers do not involve themselves typically with Old Age deaths at all.  That is just beyond the scope of their duties.

Along with Time, there are other forces and entities that are aware of how Time operates, and are able to either manipulate Time in order to advance their own agendas, or have malevolent objectives which entail the destruction of sectors of the Universe by the twisting of Time in ways that cause all kinds of havoc in the ordinary world.

An example of some of these beings would include a race of beings that pinch time causing it to fold it's coils, which they use to escape dangerous situations, and which usually leaves mind boggling havoc behind them as time retaliates in the local area.

Another example are Time Spies, a race of beings who use the coils of time to spy on the events taking place in past and future, and report back to their shadowy order.  These beings work in conjunction with the Time Keepers.

The Time Keepers function like The Time Lords of 'Doctor Who', but since I don't use that Universe, I renamed them Time Keepers, and have them operate similarly to the Time Lords, but with significant alterations as to their methods and goals.  Essentially they are Time Tamers, whose purpose it is to keep Time flowing forward, and without injury to the many countless beings within it.

Other large scale beings include things like Gravity, another sentient being, as well as Space, a being so horrific as to eliminate the minds of those who perceive it, and Judgement, the Ultimate Knower of the Universe.  These gigantic Metaphysical entities will hardly ever come into actual play in my world, I'm sure. However, the concept that they exist, and that Time in particular is a kind of wrathful and hungry serpent, will lead to a certain segment of adventures which will involve Time, and the Time Keepers.

While I don't actually anticipate running a Time Adventure anytime soon, it is still very interesting, and something that I will jot down Campaign notes on, and create a few adventures for anyway.  It's just too fun a concept not to salt my world with.



greywulf said...

Excellent! The world definitely needs more Sapphire & Steel love. I might just have to resnarf some of this back for my own campaign plans.

vbwyrde said...

Feel free to snarf away, GreyWulf. As you come up with new ideas I look forward to reading about them on your blog. Cross-snarfing works very well! :)