Origins of Peril
Peril is more than a game, and you’ll be dying to play it. Peril is a source of danger; a possibility of incurring loss or misfortune, and involves risk. It is a venture undertaken without regard to possible loss or injury. Peril is a disadvantageous position. Peril is random. Almost everyone falls into peril at some time in his or her life. Peril the Game is risk, skill, and adventure.
The origin of Peril stems from immortals intended to be the greatest warriors ever created, and who lived up to that expectation far too well. In the Terran year 2250 AD, humans discovered how to reproduce living organisms from base matter. Though dubbed Alchemic Molecular Manipulatory Specialization, the science of AMMS became known as MARDing, after the unit that accomplished it: the Molecular Alteration and Replication Device. Within two hundred years, research breakthroughs affected space travel, aging, terraforming, and humanity’s genetic code. Humans eliminated most disease and enhanced physical traits. In a highly controversial move, human-like servants were created for specific jobs. Considered soulless, the so-called gens had few rights, and were expected to serve mankind in docile obedience. The exception were the Reborn. Virtually indestructible, these warriors were, for all intents and purposes, immortal. Within eight hundred years, mankind’s genetically perfect creations had overrun their creators. Panicked purges drove out the Reborn, along with telepaths, empaths, and any recognizable gens, no matter how servile their nature. The Reborn fought back with brutal ferocity. The desperate humans, with the aid of a few sympathetic Reborn, pretended to offer a peaceful surrender. The ruse of a meet on neutral ground helped them capture more than half a million warriors.
Imprisoned in stasis pods, the immortals were transported across the galaxy to a world dubbed Sempervia, a Latin-based term meaning ever-living. The merciless humans released them from their prisons by remote control from a safe distance above the planet, and abandoned them.
Exiled with nothing but a small supply of seeds, and the most rudimentary farming implements, the Reborn starved until the first harvest. The ragged immortals had no choice but to survive. Eventually, the world thrived. Thousands of years passed. The Reborn were sterile. No children were born. No one died. They built a society, created technology, and regained the stars.
A small group still harbored hatred for humanity, chief among them, Pietas ap Lorectic. When his radical ways brought expulsion from his own people, he led a group of 101 followers to the stars, seeking to avenge himself on mankind — and rule them. He eschewed the peaceful, placid society built by the Reborn, and called his followers Sempervians, after their world.
When Pietas destroyed a planet full of people for failing to worship him, his followers recognized the folly of supporting him. It was far too late for retreat. They designed the game Peril to keep him engaged and protect humanity.
The game pitted his followers against the nimble mind of Pietas in real-time role-playing scenarios during which they lived forty-year lives. Rules developed. Roles formed. Consequences for losing ensued. Each penalty became successively more harsh. The gamers of Peril created protocols, sought referees, and bonded with select humans they called the Chosen who served them in exchange for protection and wealth.
Complicating matters, the Reborn on Sempervia secretly watch those whom they exiled, using an even more clandestine group of humans called the Elite, who watched everyone else.The Risen, fellow warrior immortals who’d fled the Terran Crescent and had never been imprisoned, were allowed to join the Sempervians after a test of fealty. Some brought their own followers, the Light, with them, adding them to the ranks of the Chosen. Not all immortals desired a joining, and clashes between the Sempervians and the Risen ensued. The Chosen and the Light rivaled one another for layers of surreptitious power.
All of the Elite know all of the Chosen and each other, and have heard of the Light. All the Chosen know who the other Chosen are, and have not heard of the Light. Those Chosen who are also secretly Elite have heard of them. Most of the Light are unaware of other members of the Light, only a few have heard of the Chosen, and none have heard of the Elite. Keeping it that way is a constant source of work for the Elite, whose number is small.
Spiritual Aspects of Peril
The immortals do not acknowledge the presence or power of dieties, having been taught from creation that they were not spiritual beings and did not possess souls. Their interest in religion and spirituality is nil. No place is given within the game for a spiritual aspect. There are no gods or goddesses, and no higher power to whom the immortals pray. The religious belief of non-immortals (called mundanes) is of no interest to the immortals, other than the possibility of being worshiped. Pietas himself has eschewed the practice, finding it impractical and boring.
The current game is set in the Tarthian Empire in the tradestandard year 4664. Peril’s present form is sophisticated. It’s enforced by impassive android referees who report only to Pietas. To ensure no one cheats, and to make sure life is worth living, at the end of a failed game, a player must submit to Penance. The penalty is as harsh as Pietas can make it: death at his hands every day for a Sempervian year, in any way he determines.
Gamers in Peril do not play to win. They play to survive.