Saturday, December 14, 2013

348: Ymir

ENTRY 348: Ymir

On one end of the Fissure Gate, gatecrashers stepped through onto an icy, airless moon orbiting a great banded gas giant - and stared up at the shapes moving along edge of the storm fronts. They called the gas giant Ymir and the extraterrestrials frost giants, and the name stuck. The frost giants are huge non-sentient invertebrates, some hundreds of meters long, armored in methane ice against the winds and could, their bouyancy controlled by internal gas bladders, filtering the gases they "swim" through for water ice and other nutrients. The frost giants travel in throngs with the oldest, largest frost giants in the front, and sometimes make group "dives" into the lower atmosphere, only resurfacing hundreds of kilometers away. Most xenobiologists believe that the creatures are native to Ymir, and speculate that the upper atmosphere contains myriad smaller organisms that the great frost giants feed on, but studies have been extremely limited so far, and an opposing camp believes their biology is based on the metabolism of methane. For the most part, portable telescopes have captured video feeds of the frost giants "swimming" through the upper atmosphere at the forefront of the storms, which have proven very popular on the Mesh - even spawning the expected commercial clothing and toy lines from their images.


  • An expedition has been planned to travel through the Fissure Gate, travel to Ymir, capture one of the smaller frost giants (only 8-9 meters long), transport it back through the gate, and from there release it "into the wild" of Jupiter's upper atmosphere. It's a dangerous, technically difficult operation with quite limited scientific impulse behind it, but a Mesh crowdfunding initiative has raised over 200 million credits for the plan, based more or less solely on the idea that having frost giants swimming around Jupiter will be awesome. The player characters are hired on to help wrangle the frost giant - or maybe just as bait for one.
  • There are other mysteries of Ymir than the frost giants - notably, whether the planet is suitable for gas mining and other commercial exploitation. An anarchist collective with hypercorp partnership is exploring the possibility of turning the moon the gate is on - really, just a largish asteroid - into the anchor point for a space elevator that could be used to pump gas up to station for processing and transport back to Chat Noir. Opposing groups of anarchists use the guise of environmentalism to try and get the PCs to disrupt the operation for free, claiming that the project will endanger the frost giants.
  • A giant-watcher - one of those transhumans who has set up camp on the moon to monitor the strange extraterrestrials - has detected a solitary specimen that has drifted far away from the other throngs of frost giants and behaving very erratically. Enlisting the PC's help to investigate, they discover the errant creature is long dead - a floating corpse kept aloft by its intact gas bladders, tossed about by the winds. A tremendous prize for science if they can get it out of the atmosphere, certain to cement a rep among scientists and gatecrashers.

1 comment:

  1. Ymir's frost giants have a nice resonance with Blue Planet's aborigines: more good stuff, Bobby!