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Hellstrom's Hive

 Post subject: Hellstrom's Hive
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:20 pm 
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This, by any accounts, is not a story written by myself. At least not in words, and certainly not as of yet. It is more of an idea to drive the storyline behind a campaign. Not that I am sure that this topic belongs here, but here seems to be a good enough start.

I am by no means an avid reader. Ironically, for some epic few years not long ago, I was at University studying English. Like reading books and stuff, right? Well, sort of. I was near the Canada/ USA border (on the northern side) near the great state of Vermont and doing alot of skiing during the winter semester. And drinking away my money (and that of my parents who were foolish enough to support the idea of me getting a University education)...

I was a big fan of wikipedia, classes which studied film rather than text, synopses found on the internet, you name it. If it were a way around reading a book, I was keen. Some five years later with some wisdom (who am I kidding) I've found myself reading some science fiction literature, aptly going hand in hand with the work I've been putting into Necromunda. It was early this August when I took my mother out for brunch when the point of this starts to form. I paid for the meal, and when we stepped outside there was a small bookstore nextdoor. I proposed that she could buy me some books to call the morning even. She liked the idea, partially because she could read the books after I was done (you can't do that with breakfast) and that she could buy her own paperback pulp fiction (Clive Cussler-esque reading I believe, not my schtick but hey).

The two books I got were Jack McDevitt's A Talent For War, which was good and the second of the two I read (although meaningless to this story), and Frank Herbert's Hellstrom's Hive.

I had read Dune with thorough enjoyment within the past 12 months, and was not sure what to expect from a contemporary (1970's) setting on earth. Herbert had in my mind been a master of deep space conflict, and here is a rural Oregon valley? Needless to say I was quickly set agasp.

Not to ruin things, but the novel is an examination of a cult many generations old with an insect approach towards society. Breeding, formed work roles, you name it. It occurs in an underground hive and is lead by Nils Hellstrom (as is his above ground name anyways). Thats where the title comes from. Nifty, ain't it? Without dealing much further, its a detective style mystery involving disappearances and suspicions around Dr. Hellstrom which can not be dealt with overtly due to the nature of the power systems at bay.

What I found interesting was the ability of the subject matter to transfer over to the Necromunda setting: the hive's are mega-urban centres within the Imperium, which provide soldiers for the ranks of the Guard (most directly the Necromunda Spiders). If certain recruitment officials in various levels of the Hive City and Underhive were so ambitious, they could enforce kidnappings of females from the family lines of noteworty gangers from any number of houses, matched with developing their own drug trade of sexual stimulants and memory inhibitors to induce target males into breeding situations.

The whole thing has that beautiful stench of conspiracy and could be written into any particular set of house rules tailored to any gang. Even to the precincts of the AA. They could be stumbling upon something that is unbeknownst to the Inquisition, a selling of cultivated DNA strands to any race ambitious enough to pay for warrior zygotes. The depth is really something as massive as one would be so intrepid as to make it.

There MUST be other transferable ideas such as this one to the Necromunda system. Is there any possibility of having various campaign backgrounds shared on Eastern Fringe, molded by the community based on the input of individuals, and creating limitless open-ended situations applicable to a gang from any house?

I've been toying with this one for my Escher gang, as several members of their house in the areas where my gang holds a presence are disappearing during seemingly normal routine business. The underhive dome they are located in is very close to the barrier between Hive City and the underhive. Controlled by a member of the Cawdor house and feeding resources directly into the chemical and medical development sectors of Hive City, this particular dome is one where crime is often smudged out by a network of Cawdor gangs, known as the Lower City Citizen's Militia, well before the local precincts can post any further inquiries. As such, any attempts at cooperation with the local Arbites made by the Escher are met with mere speculative uncertainty. Needless to say, my Escher gang begins poking the bear until they are immersed in all sorts of nasty business.

Having read some of the rulebook for Mord-40k-heim I feel as though this inspiration need not come from any specific novel or film, but the chances are that one or more players in a given campaign might have a 40k army in their proverbial back pocket. These campaign ideas are perfect groundwork for involving them, whatever their race, in someway, whatever that scale may be (bring on genestealer hordes, baby), into the hive setting. For those "odd Wednesdays when your Orlocks end up taking on a small battalion of orks from a tactical vantage point in terrain catering to the smaller group of local hivers" sorta common-day :lol: occurrences in the hive.

Whatever the storyline might be, wherever it may take our beloved underdogs and antiheroes, I think they should be shared on this site to make finding background fluff easy, driving small games into feeling like something bigger or, for the truly ambitious, setting up a narrative for your zero to hero tribe to take on. Now I merely wait for squevil to tell me I'm an idiot for posting this here and redirecting me (or not) to a proper thread location.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:47 am 
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a bit random, but dont you think the suits they wear in the movie dune. when they are in the desert look like van saar?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:41 am 
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haha yeah, the one thing I could never get over about the still suits was that they drank their pee. It makes perfect sense to the water preservation aspect of the novel, but yeah, they drink pee. I always thought that the Van Saar looked like Eldar Guardians with Space Marine Scout heads. For Shai Hulud, of course.

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