When players enter the world of Planet Archipelago it has been about 200 years since the first group of colonists came to the Planet from Earth. Gunpowder has just recently been reinvented.
200 years earlier.
In the Earth standard year 7094 Captain Meecher felt he had found the perfect way to get rich. Like many he had tried to do a little unauthorized deep space exploration between legal trips hauling merchandise between the outer systems and Earth. It was in October of 7094 that he found the planet he called “Archipelago” the entire planet was covered with small islands; the largest was perhaps the size of Great Britain back on Earth. Despite this, the water to land ratio seemed to be only a few percentage points less than Earth and the planet was 1.05 Earth normal in size. Orbital scans showed massive amounts of sea life with no trace of modern technology or any cites indicative of sentient life.
All scans showed no trace of toxins or microbes that the humans would not be able to vaccinate for. Captain Meecher even landed his shuttle on an island to find it uninhabited and filled with tropical fruits, berries, and vegetation. Since the planet was almost a hundred and fifty light years from Earth, he felt he could smuggle a million colonists or more past the Inter-stellar Scouts before there was much risk of the authorities finding this planet. He knew that his cargo ship could be retrofitted to hold thousands of colonists, and so his adventure began.
In 7096 he brought the first load of seven hundred colonists from the slums of northern Italy and London. They brought with them, tens of thousands of earth life forms, animals, and plants, in small embryonic cryogenic stasis to begin the terraforming of Archipelago. They also brought modern technology to live on a world of islands. These seven hundred established themselves on four islands in the sub-tropic zone and began to build. It was after Captain Meecher had left that they discovered the Duarf and that the harmonic vibrations of motorized ships brought the giant Cardun to the surface to investigate this new sound. Two years later in 7098 Captain Meecher returned with more colonists; however instead of a few hundred colonists and more equipment and industry he brought two thousand poor from England and Italy most with no more than they could carry in personal baggage, each having spent their life savings and everything they could sell for cash to pay their passage out of the slums to a new world of fresh air and clean water. Meecher also brought four large, motorized ships, the one piece of equipment the newly discovered Cardun had rendered useless on the seas of Archipelago.
Not only were the numbers of new colonists more than the meager resources of the new colony could handle, but even before they were all unloaded Captain Meecher’s ship the “Stellar Survivor” was hit by an annual meteor shower that he had not charted in his brief visits to the planet. The ship’s hyper-drive was destroyed with an implosion that left a thirty-foot diameter hole in the hull where the hyper-drive had once been. All of the ship’s boats were used to evacuate the remaining passengers and crew onto some twenty different islands scattered over the surface of the planet. The “Stellar Survivor” was left abandoned in orbit its sub-space radio broadcasting a radio mayday and SOS that would take 142 years to reach Earth and then only be heard if someone were listening at the right frequency and with a deep-space filter to block all of the natural radio radiation that fills the reaches of space. At the edge of space, it became the planet’s new second moon; a new bright star that crossed the sky twice each night.
Perhaps if the Inter-Stellar Scouts had not been busy with the Churrchizin War, and the rebellion of the North American Alliance against the Right of Sovereignty Act of 2086 giving colonized planets independence from Earth, they might have found Archipelago, but they didn’t.
Captain Meecher had transported only one of the 200-foot motorized ships to the planet surface before the meteor shower, this he supervised the assembly of and despite the warnings of the first colonists christened the Stellar Queen and in broad daylight and in view of some fifty colonists sailed it out to sea where it was attacked and sunk by a giant Cardun within three miles of shore. Neither Captain Meecher nor any of the twenty men on board the Stellar Queen were ever seen again.
The Leadership of the first colonist recognized the need by the end of the first six months and began to make plans, but it wasn’t until the last of the antigravity shuttles failed three years later that the general populace realized they would have to revert, by choice, to a lower technology level if they wanted to survive. They didn’t have the industrial equipment, spare parts, and infrastructure to maintain their advanced technology. The radios and video phones began to fail and by the tenth year of their colony the only way to communicate between islands was by old fashioned sailing ship and a written letter. By the year 35 the last of the hydrogen power generators failed and for most fish oil became the only way to light the darkness of the night. The last of the solar cells failed in the year 69. The last of the plastic skinned ships was sunk in a storm in the year 73. After that, only wooden ships remained. Only on the island of Survi was some semblance of technology maintained in the Temple of Remembrance. And this maintenance was largely that of non-use with a once-a-year display of the old power that was slowly being forgotten. Learning to fish, sail, and farm dominated the education of the young so that they could survive. Physics, quantum mechanics, and Aero-space technology was replaced in the education system by the more necessary skills of survival, archery, spear-throwing, pottery, spinning and weaving. By the year 174 most colonists never travelled beyond the few miles of sea surrounding their home island, fishing for their dinner. Only the Kingdom of Kor battled the duarf for control of mineral resources and claimed an empire of several dozen human controlled islands.
By the year 225 the religion of Aday is at its height with the expected coming of the “others” to rescue the “faithful survivors” who had not gone “ative”. The ridicule of those who didn’t believe as being “foolish eechers”; and the very word “Earth” as a kind of lost Paradise or Heaven.
The only real success was the fact that because many of the native life forms were hermaphrodites, they proved very susceptible to the genetic codes of Earth’s plants and animals so that now many of the plants and animals on Archipelago are hybrids of native creatures with plants and animals brought from Earth. It is now the year 384 and your adventures b