When I am too scattered to write, or need to chew on some design or description problem for a bit while occupying my conscious mind with busy-work, I spend time going through old files on my hard drive. I try to keep archives and backups of everything, each time I move computers especially, but the orignaization hasn’t always been consistent. I literally have a folder under OwensWork/OldWork/OldWork/Games/OldGames/Unused/OldWork.
The files in there are between 20 and 25 years old. Many haven’t been cracked open this century, just being copied and moved and copied from machine to machine to machine.
Every once in a while, I find something that I absolutely do not remember writing, and kinda like. Sometimes I can see the genesis of trends and ideas I have played with since. Here’s an example, which was saved as a WordPerfect document in 2002.
Virago leader and champion of the Argive League (for which the third king of Argos was later named), a technologically advanced society in roughly 10,000 BC. Defeated the Atlanteans and Gorgons. Was betrayed in the Battle of Thermondon by the sorcerer-demigod Thrax and badly injured. Thrax’s dark magic drove the Argive forces back, and did significant damage to the land and people around its use. As a result of the betrayal and loss, the Argive League dissolved and, not wishing to fight a war where both sides loose, the Viragos retreated. Myrina convinced the Waves, also known as Enesidaon, to create a city beneath the sea, named Mytilene, where the Virago could live peacefully away from Thrax and his chaotic empire. Having done this, Enesidaon is also moved to grant Oceanic Cities to the remaining Atlanteans and Gorgons (naming the cities Cerne and Neith, respectively).
Once her people were safe, Myrina succumbed to her wounds and slept in stasis for thousands of years, until she was awoken in 1920 by the chaotic energies unleashed in random and half-understood rituals performed by occultist members of the Ultima Society who were attempting to wake the Hyperborean divine champion Donar. Myrina discovered Mytilene had waged numerous terrible wars with the Cerne and Neith, which had left all three Oceanic Cities significantly diminished. Upon discovering the Surface World had been broadcasting radio for decades (a technology long though exclusive to the Argive League and a sign the Surface World might be finally advancing to the same technological level as the Oceanic Cities) Myrina choose to travel to the Surface World. She wished to understand how and why the Surface had evolved, and seek any sign of Thrax. She became a costumed adventurers, and when World War Two broke out fought against the Axis.
Myrina is tough, swift, and powerful, as all Viragos are, and is a master of all forms of combat and strategy. She also possesses the Areioi (a divine girdle that grants its wearer the strength of titans and flight of the gods), Ancile (a shield that can turn away any force as long as it is held with conviction), and Harpe (an indestructible adamant blade that can pierce any magic defense).
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I’ve never been particularly happy with the term “Diesel \Punk,” because it often seems to be missing any “punk.” You perfectly well CAN add the punk philosophy to a superscience 1920s-1950s setting, but most people who make a run at it don’t seem to. Mostly, they are just doing flavors of pulp.
Now, I like pulp. A lot. I have mostly squared that circle by calling my own setting Diesel Pulp, which I feel helps convey more of what I am going for. But I have always wondered what a real effort to inject punk into a diesel-driven superscience setting would look like. And, personally, I think it would be more interesting to look to the movements of the era, and inject a big dose of Dada into a diesel-drvien superscience setting.
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