The Third Age of New Areth

As civilization brought itself back from the brink of war, the Elder Council took control of the very world of Areth, making Shuma its capital city. The Third Age of Areth continues to this day, but who can tell when it will end and the Fourth Age begins?

It was the dawn of the Third Age of Areth. Twelve years after the Elder Council became the supreme planetary governing body, the Travellers' Foundation detected a small disturbance in interdimensional space. It was a spaceship, a freighter piloted by a Klingon named Mog, who brought his son Worf with him in search of a world where a truly Klingon way of life could be had. The Klingon empire had reached a stage of cultural dilution and moral decay so great that leaving it behind was the only way to ensure their children would be Klingons instead of terrans with ridges on their foreheads. Worf's freighter departed from Kronos filled with colonists seeking a new home outside. Along the way, the ship had entered a weak section of space-time and its warp drive had pushed it through into interdimensional space near Areth s gravity well. The warp core instantly lost stability, and was ejected prior to detonation. The ship's remaining power was barely sufficient to maintain the structural integrity field during the ship's crash landing. The survivors found their ship had plowed a deep furrow through a jungle, burning out most of its systems along the way. They rapidly found themselves under assault by hordes of orcs and trolls; their energy weapons were drained within a week and they were forced to resort to melee weapons. Their Klingon blood sang in combat as Mog realized they'd found the ideal new Klingon homeworld. The Elder Council surveyed the activity and sent a diplomatic contingent through a Traveller portal. Mog met with the contingent and readily accepted an alliance with Shuma. During one of the orcen skirmishes, Worf had been badly injured, and agreed to return with the diplomats to serve as a Klingon liason. In Shuma, he discovered a new market for Klingon trade in weapons and exotic foodstuffs - he also recommended to the Klingons back in the colony that some of their young visit Shuma's ninja and samurai training centers. All in all, Klingons integrated flawlessly into Areth.

After this incident, the Travellers developed a warning system to notify the Council in the event of life force approaching the world from outside. The Klingons were a welcome addition to Areth's culture - but they had no guarantees about the next arrivals.

The next arrivals, ten years later, didn't come of their own free will. An un-piloted spacecraft carrying hundreds of stasis modules dipped too close to Areth's gravity well inside of hyperspace, and spiralled inwards until its automatic threat-handling mechanism took it out of hyperspace. It materialized too close to the planet for its weak propulsion system to counter its gravity, and slowly spiralled into a crash landing. The Council's contact team was astonished to find the stasis modules strewn about the smoking wreckage of the spaceship, their occupants intact even though the ship was devastated. Without power, the modules slowly shut down and the stasis modules' prisoners awakened. The ship had apparently been some manner of menagerie; among the new species discovered were a nimble felinoid race known as Kzinti, an insectoid race known as Mantids, and winged humanoids known as Raptors. Although the new arrivals had no knowledge of how they came to be in Areth, they were fairly manageable and adapted well to their new conditions. The Council quickly located unoccupied lands for the new colonists and had them relocated to their own individual areas. The ship was pure mystery to all of Areth, but curiously enough it seems that anyone who decides to go and examine it changes their mind and goes back before arriving. Psionicists in the surrounding area have also reported the occasional sense of a powerful presence lurking in the starship's shattered husk.

Twenty years later, the council's worst fears came true. A starship assumed a static orbit, apparently without concern for how it had arrived in Areth's space, and casually launched a pod into a city. Three days later, the city was a seething hive of deadly insectoids, a hostile non-sentient species which gestates inside a living host and has concentrated acid for blood. When the starship landed nearby, Shuma prepared to launch an all-out assault - but the ship's occupants slaughtered the insectoids before Shuma's legions could get close. A second contact team was sent out, but this one was skinned and left to hang upside down from treetops. The best efforts of magic and swordsmanship failed to dislodge the hunters from their retreat; in fact, the ship departed after a while - but then landed somewhere else and began to hunt the locals. Again, Shuma's best efforts to stop the hunters proved themselves futile - until they took off again. A team consisting of a dozen master psionicists was able to exert enough telekinetic force on the ship to alter its course, pushing it into a nearby mountain. The force of the impact was sufficient to kill or injure most of the occupants, and Travellers were able to summon them out of the bowels of their ship. Immobilized by web spells and incapable of accessing their technology, the occupants had no choice but to cooperate. They were called Yautja, or Predators... they lived for the hunt, and to pit themselves against worthy prey was the purest form of life there could be. When they were dragged before the Council for judgement, naked, restrained, and shivering (their native climate was hotter and more humid than Shuma's most blustery summer day), Worf spoke on their behalf. He saw in them something that his Klingon heart could respect and acknowledge, even as the rest of the council voted for summary execution. Worf's solution was simple - the Yautja were sentenced to live in the jungle bordering the Klingon settlement, without weaponry and with the further injunction that they were to learn from the Klingons how to co-exist with the other cultures of Areth. At the first sign of returning to their old habits, the Klingons would annihilate the Yautja without mercy. This seemed a fair solution to the Council, and it was adopted. The Yautja numbered thirty, mostly females who'd been in the rear parts of the ship instead of being crushed in the front during the impact with the mountain, and a few battle scarred veterans. After some initial misgivings, the Klingons and Yautja got over their disgust at each others' features and found the same cultural ties Worf had sensed in his first dealings with them. Unfortunately for Areth as a whole, the Yautja ship was thought to have been rendered lifeless after the crash, and the Yautja believed that it had been destroyed as well. Among the undesirable survivors of the crash was the monster which had laid the eggs the ship sent down in its first surface pod.

And now the story of Areth, up to the present, is done. A century after the cataclysm made one world out of two, only the ancient remember Old Areth or the Second World, and the populance is still exploring, discovering new wonders day by day. There've been hundreds of noteworthy occurrances along the way, not many of which have even been touched upon in this narrative. But instead of being consumed by the past, Arethians have learned to take the future in their hands and mould it to their will. Do you have what it takes to be one?