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by Eamon Watters and Lewis Roberts


Since the early days of the Third Imperium the Imperial Scout Service had maintained a Red Zone around Thorell to protect the fragile early tech level civilization from exploitation by Imperial citizens. In 1066 under a new policy of public outreach they released a holovideo showing highlights of the Thorellian culture. Many of these pictures were taken by small robotic cameras, so as not to disturb the Thorellians. This video showed the Thorellians to be well adapted to its near-vacuum world, although archaeologists and geologists maintain the atmosphere was thicker at one time. Thorellians are a burrowing race, built long and low, with six limbs. They can see the electromagnetic spectrum from green through microwaves.

Many interconnecting burrows make up a city, which is synonymous with a Thorellian nation. there are at least 300 such nations plus smaller groupings and loners on the planet. Territorial disputes are common but usually non-violent.

During the early days of the Reformation Coalition, the Missisinewa was sent to contact the Thorellians, and invite them to join the Coalition. The Missisinewa was unable to find any traces of the Thorellians. There were no huge burrow cities or anything else to say the Thorellians ever existed. The crew of the Missisinewa spent two weeks in a fruitless search and finally returned home disappointed.

When the news was released to the general public, speculation to the fate of the Thorellians was rampant and still is to this day. Speculation has ranged from the exotic to the ridiculous Suggestions have been made that the Thorellians were exterminated and their civilization wiped out by one of the sides in the Revolution. They might have been a high tech race which had evolved beyond the desire for the display of Technology, and lived at a much more humble level. During the Collapse they might have been endangered and fled to safer territory. Lucan's Imperium was often in search of Ancient artifacts to further his war, he might have been convinced that the Thorellians had some secret weapon, and De-populated the planet in an effort to acquire it. A mad Vampire may have stolen the population and forced them to be its slaves, the Vampire would of the used its robot minions to destroy the products of the Thorellian culture.

None of these explanations are really satisfying. They all require stretching the facts and there is no evidence for any of these. In fact the only evidence for anything, is that the Thorellians are gone.

The Center for Advanced Study on Oriflamme is planning a scientific expedition Thorell. They are currently seeking funding for a six month archaeological investigation of the planet. Dr Janowsky says "This is one of the great mysteries of the Collapse,and needs investigation. If something can make an entire species disappear, it may be a threat to us also."

It seems that the Thorellians were neglected when GDW collapsed the sector for the New Era. This was probably due to copyright restrictions on the old DGP information. Hence we were left with this mystery. Here is one possible explanation.

The Scouts maintained an orbiting observation base from which they operated their robotic probes. It was those personel who were reflected in the 1120 UWP of X510276-0, when there are 300 Thorell nations with undoubtably more than one Thorellian per nation. During the Rebellion the Solomani captured the planet and replaced the Imperial team with their own investigators. During the Hard Times, most of the observers were pulled out, but a few diehards stayed behind with a vague promise that someone would come pick them up in a few years, which they never did. Luckily the base was well equipped with supplies.

In late 1130 a Virus infected Scout/Courier entered the system and infected the orbital base with a fairly simplistic Virus strain. The remaining scouts attempted to land the orbiting base on the planet's surface. The base had only marginal gravitic propulsion for station keeping, and wasn't built for reentry, but the researchers weren't left with many options. True to expectations the base crashed, but a lone scout managed to survive. Perwa-Waapaba was a Bwap who had thirty years of experience with the ISS. Having no where else to go he entered the Thorellian tunnels.

The natives ran into him in the tunnels, and they were able to communicate via the scout's translation package. The natives saw Perwa-Waapaba as a messenger from God. He was able to get them to salvage a fair bit of equipment from the base, and persuaded them that a great danger exists for anything even close to the surface of the planet. Perwa-Waapaba lead an exodus into the deeper reaches of the Thorellian tunnel network. When they had reached a safe haven, the tunnel was collapsed behind them, and they set about living in their new land. Perwa-Waapaba managed to survive for about ten years with the advanced equipment that was recovered from the base, including emergency shelters in which he planted hydroponics in.

The Thorellians were left with an almost religious fear of the upper levels, but some began to suspect that the Scout was not a messanger from god, but just a strange life form. After all, he just died one day. This sparked an enlightement where the Thorellians begin to question their old ways of life. 1202 marks a new era in their civilization when a select group of explorers are sent into the wilds of the old tunnels, seeking to contact more like the scout.

Perwa-Waapaba's remains are kept in a shrine, the near vacuum conditions has mummified the body. The body is seated on a throne surrounded by the remaining high tech equipment that was salvaged from the crashed base. Many of the more conservative Thorellians consider the shrine to be the most sacred site on the planet and hundreds pilgrims make their way to the site each year. When the Thorellians are finally contacted by the Reformation Coalition, it will cause great distress to the Thorellians. Since the only other contact with aliens was with a Bwap and not humans, the humans will not be regarded as divine. Depending on how they react to the sight of the divine Bwap, the humans could be considered to be mearly mortals, enemies of God, or heretics. It is also quite possible that none of the humans will recognize the remains as that of a Bwap and will be as confused as the Thorellians.

The other alternative is that the Thorellians never existed and the Scout Service released the Thorellian story as a cover story for something else. Now what that else is a mystery. I'd stay away from an Ancients site, as that is over used.

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