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Preceptor Archive

wow that's a lot of stars is a sci-fi setting about adventure, exploration, and discovery. Every person, place, and thing has a story to tell, if you listen closely.   Setting Intro | Visitor's Guide | Author's Intentions
The heart of Mithorous is the Preceptor Archive - a library so massive the island it resides on is a country unto itself. The content within dates back to the Terran Mandate, with information on even Earth's history. It's thanks to this archive that Mithorous was the first among these planets to recreate the technology for spike drives.
 

Origins

The Preceptor Archive was started by a group knows as Preceptors of the Great Archive, who were devoted to preserving human history and disseminating it across frontier planets. These archives were present on hub worlds across the galaxy, and at the time of this archive's founding, Mithorous was considered the frontier, having only recently been colonized.  
Though Mithorous is the most heavily populated planet in the Talos sector, with numerous beautiful vistas, vacation spots, academies, and more, the Archive is what it's most known for, and what most assume you'd visit the planet for
By the time of the Scream, Mithorous was well-established but still lacking in many more advanced technological upgrades. This ultimately served to their advantage -- with only a few collections on psitech-based storage, the Archive was able to maintain most of its data through the catastrophe. Once the population recovered, teams of engineers began work deciphering the requirements for spike drives.
 

The Ransom

In 2837, a well-meaning Preceptor arrived at work with a thrilling new item: a pre-tech data disk shipped in from off-planet. The Archive is one of the few places with the equipment necessary to assess such items. The Preceptor gleefully connected the data disk, opening its contents to explore... and promptly infected the entire Archive with pre-tech ransomware. Within ten minutes, each of the thousand-plus terminals in the Archive displayed a cheerful green emoticon on a black background, demanding an ever-increasing sum of money to free the data held within.  
Even if the Archive wished to pay, the person meant to receive the money and thus provide the decryption key had likely been dead for at least 150 years. The services advertised to send the payment had been defunct for at least 200. There were simply no means to comply, and the only solution was to hire computational archaeologists to break the encryption the hard way.
Okay, fine. Maybe I should have scanned it for viruses first. But the entire experience was honestly such a good learning opportunity for everybody.
— The well-meaning Preceptor
  The Preceptors had to repeatedly reign in the enthusiastic CAs, who were only too thrilled to work on such a well-developed piece of pre-tech code. The encryption had to be removed collection-by-collection, and the library was analog-only for the better part of a month before digital areas slowly came back online.   However, the computational archaeologists desperately wanted to keep the ransomware around for longer to continue studying and learning from. This was the first piece of such ransomware they were able to find and activate to such success. Eventually, a deal was made: the ransomware would remain on the collection of Top 40 Music Charts from years 2100-2300, preventing anyone else from accessing it but allowing the CAs to continue their research and use it in curriculum.   This collection remains offline to this day, but there hasn't been a single legitimate request to access it.
This is an expansion on the concept of the Preceptor Archive as depicted within the Stars Without Number rulebook. I claim no ownership of the concept, only this specific interpretation and how it has affected this setting.
— Rin

Information

Founding Date
2482
Type
Library
Parent Location

The Incursion

During the Legion Incursion on Mithorous, the Preceptor Archive was one of the Legion took control of. This was very similar to how they took over Rada, and it took several years for Preceptors to recover all data thought deleted.

Author Commentary

Killed Darling
A mission to help reclaim the Archive from the Legion (or: genegineered soldiers) was a potential for the Night Knights campaign, but ultimately didn't make it in. I'd still love to run it as a mini-campaign.


Cover image: by Aaron Lee, Nick Ong, Norah Khor

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