Saturday, March 12, 2011

Concepts! The O.Z. Chronicles

The O.Z. Chronicles
(as in, Outer Zone)

Space territory is expanding by leaps and bounds but there is a lot of money to be made mining ores which causes people to take a lot of risks. It’s a hard and dangerous job, with great reward – Dorothy lives with her uncles family and they have been mining for some time, recently expanding a new operation into the very edges of newly mapped space.

Dorothy is an independent, strong willed young woman, brought up with engine grease under her fingernails and is a natural tomboy. She usually pilots the delivery ships, even though it can be a dangerous job, with her determined nature and engineering skills she's the natural choice.

The latest load of rich and rare ores is ready, and she's tasked with taking them to the nearest port base where one of her uncles distributors will pick it up.

Shortly after starting out on her run, marauders after a quick profit target her transport. Normal procedure is to stand down and allow borders, her uncle always said that she was more precious than even their rarest ores. However ToTo, her on-board AI flags up a warning, the signature of the marauders ship matches some known slavers. Dorothy decides to try and evade them, despite the age of her transport vessel. After some nifty moves and attempts at evasive flying, she realizes that she's not going to outrun the pirates and the only way she can get out of this situation is to try and trick them.

She takes the transport into a dense gas belt which ToTo reads as being disruptive to tracking systems. She figures that if she can lead the pirates through it long enough they will eventually give up and she will have given them the slip.

The gas field is larger and more unpredictable than ToTo was able to read through the aging transport vessels sensors, they actually cause the ship to start failing as turbulent forces start to cause damage to the ship. The pirates are left far behind as Dorothy struggles to bring the ship through the gas ribbon – thinking that once through it she can reboot the ship's systems and get back into trafficked space. However the instruments are even more damaged than she realizes and when she eventually manages to limp the ship out of the gas cloud, it's far from known spaceways and deep into the outer zones.

Her ship is so damaged that she has no hope of getting it to make the return journey, especially since the ships nav unit was fried so completely she's not entirely sure what direction they're even traveling in. To add to her problems, the ship is being pulled into the gravitational pull of a planet which thankfully ToTo reads as being habitable and having some orbital traffic at least. Dorothy hopes that they can crash land there, and maybe get some help.

Planet is divided up into territory's which are controlled by various warlords – force is the most common way of holding power. Her ship tears up in entry, and Dorothy crash lands on the planet. Her escape pod kills the consort of the territory she lands in, known as the Wicked Bitch – the Bitch is more angered that a possible rival has fallen from the sky than that her consort was killed, whom she thought was angling to take power from her anyway. The Bitch decides to solve this possible problem by sending her hitman after the newcomer.

Image: The Emerald Sector concept

After assessing the situation she finds herself in, and realizing how the balance of power is held on this planet, Dorothy decides that her most logical way of returning home is to either create a zone of her own to control and wait for possible rescue, or to go to the Emerald Zone and either beg, borrow or steal a ship from the Wizard to get off the planet.


Dorothy: human, independent, strong willed tomboy. Has a strong practical sense and is good at problem solving.

TinMan: Ruthless cyborg hitman for the Wicked Bitch – Gradually augmented himself with tech to make him a more efficient killing machine, now considers himself to be practically inhuman and unable to feel – see's his death-dealing as an artform, something he excels in. When sent after Dorothy he doesn't see it as a mission different than any other, however he's been increasingly dissatisfied with the jobs Wicked Bitch has been giving him, the hits have no meaning, the targets are petty and worthless to his eyes. When he see's Dorothy, he finds he's intrigued, that perhaps he's finally found the hit worthy of his skills. He decides to savor it, to take his time... what better way to know his prey than to befriend it? However over time he finds himself not so heartless as he thought, and that his constant putting off of doing the hit is less to do with wanting to do it perfectly, and more to do with not wanting to do it at all.

Scar3crow: human, drug addled hacker genius – painfully thin and vibrating with energy, Scarecrow is so drug sodden that his intellect is almost completely gone, however it shows up in flashes of almost savant-like genius. He was deliberately addicted to a dangerous drug which keeps him so loosely connected to reality that he is very easily directed and docile – Dorothy finds him in a computer farm, where he was being used to steal deeply encrypted information from various power factions on the planet, that info was then being sold to the highest bidder. His “owner” had addicted him to the drugs to keep him malleable and from absorbing too much of the info he was stealing, so he wouldn't get any ideas about using it for his own gain. Dorothy and the rest of the group find him in a confused and burned out Scar3crow in a computer farm, as they journey towards the Emerald Sector.

Lion: An artificially mutated beast man, created by Wicked Bitch who wanted to engineer a powerful fighting force which would be bigger and stronger than any human, intelligent enough to follow orders, but not smart enough to think for themselves. Lion was a failure, he was big and strong enough, but far too smart. Rather than culling him, Wicked Bitch kept him around for own amusement, till she grew bored of him and sold him to a slaver. The slaver however was unable to sell him because even though he looked fearsome, he was extremely meek and timid, the Slaver simply abandoned him in one of the towns he'd failed to sell the monster in, and Lion - as he's been named by the locals & shopkeepers - now lives basically as a hobo, begging for food and being tormented by daring youngsters. He's often picked on by drunks and yobbos who want to impress their friends or make a name for themselves. Dorothy picks him up when she see's him being robbed by a group of mischievous hudlums of some food he'd been given by the rare kindness of a shopkeeper. She stepped in and fought them off, only to be completely baffled as to why this strange behemoth would not fend for himself... Taking pity on the hulking creature, but seeing the intelligence and gentleness there, she befriends Lion and brings him along - besides, he needs someone to look after him.

ToTo: Dorothy's mobile LAI (learning artificial intelligence), a handy technology which is completely portable and designed to be carried around by it's user and plugged into whatever tech they need it to control. ToTo is specifically programmed to assist with Dorothy's ore transport runs, although as an LAI it is capable of adapting to the situations its user finds itself in. Dorothy called it ToTo because it's number is LAI-Z22-22 : 22

22 = TwoTwo - ToTo

More Character designs coming soon, will edit this post with the new additions as I crank them out.

The 'munchkins': Basically, the villagers that Dorothy liberates from one of the Wicked Bitches, when her transport crash lands on her...

Wizard: The larger than life being who dominates the flow of information, distribution, trade routes & ports, infrastucture, & rule in the Emerald Sector. Wizard is a LARGE man, who is only seen floating around on his golden chariot, a high tech hovering vessel of sorts. A rival of the main Wicked Bitch. Rumor has it, that the Wizard is actually not a man at all, but a puppet... Though none have been brave enough to pry, as Wizard is both feared and respected.

The Wicked Bitch: Also known as 'the Bitch'. Though none would dare call her this to her face. the Wicked Bitch is one of the warlord witches on this small backwater planet. She controls various territories, and is feared for her dark technology, as well as the sorcery many claim she's a master of. She is constantly vying for control of the O.Z. It is also said that she is behind all the pirate activity in the O.Z., as it helps her attain funds and valuable resources for the research that she oversees... From experiments & development in genetics (see Lion), robotics, mutations, cybernetics (see TinMan), to computing and gadgets (see Scar3crow), She is constantly driving her empire to stay one step ahead and dominant. Though there are other witches - rumor has it they are actually sisters - in other corners of the land, they still compete indirectly with one another, though not through open warfare. That kind of force is implemented to keep the inhabitants under control, in check, and in fear.

And of course...

The Flying Monkeys: Need I say more? Some of the more perfected results of the Witch's genetic research. The Flying Monkeys are excellent hunters, retrievers & seekers. They gather information, and will quickly swoop in to make people disappear if directed. The biological tools they have at their disposal are quite impressive... from their sense of smell, sight (especially their night vision), and hearing. They can be a bit impish at times, but the Bitch makes sure she keeps them well in check.

Stay tuned!


  1. Replies
    1. Hey, thanks! I had no idea there was a comment here, sorry about that!