At one point in their adventures The Misfits encountered a ship from the future in the Tears of Selune. After having their bacon pulled from the fire they were brought aboard the Stormbreaker. Before returning to Dragon Rock they were brought across the solar system and into a battle in which the spectacular fury of Spellfire Bombs created a new fixed point in the system: The Boneyard.
Here is the other side of that tale, as seen from the perspective of Realmspace in the year 2008 DR.
Admiral Icarus Leafbower waited patiently for the video report. At 873 years old and counting, the elderly elf was well on his way to meeting the late Queen Amuril’s record, and thanks to similar life extending magic, he had plenty of time to be patient. But he still had a few hundred years to go.
If he’d cared about politics, the admiral would’ve been Commander of the Imperial Elven Navy by now, but his lack of ambition kept him in charge of a meager Armada Battle Group. But that’s the way he liked it. Besides, the Realmspace Armada Battle Group 6 was no ordinary Imperial Elven Navy fleet; by pulling strings, Admiral Leafbower made sure that he got the latest toys to play with, and as a result, his battle group became state-of-the-art before the rest of the fleet did. He also had a few extra ships permanently attached to his command, ones not officially listed on the records, such as the one currently overdue for a report.
Commanding Battle Group 6 was a plum assignment, but sometimes the higher ups give him menial work to remind Leafbower of his place. He shouldn’t be chasing down terrorists with his level of experience, but what could he do. Icarus thought that (reluctantly) sacking the Stormbreaker’s captain and command crew three weeks ago would appease the brass, but apparently not. The Imperial Navy Ship (INS) Stormbreaker, namesake ship of the Stormbreaker class guided missile destroyer, mysteriously disappeared for several days after venturing too close to a wildstorm, only to reappear just as mysteriously with a spent load of Fire Tongue tactical spellfire missiles as well as more conventional ordinance.
Her captain and crew claimed they’d traveled back in time to 1374 DR and blew away a Scro battle fleet never listed in the history books, creating the Boneyard in the process. (The Boneyard is a region of wild-magic where, oddly enough, explorers claimed to find small pieces of ancient Scro ship wreckage). But that was sheer lunacy, wasn’t it? Nobody jumps 634 years into the past, takes out ancient Scro, and then jumps back as if they were destined to do so to preserve the timeline. That sort of thing only happens in fiction.
Sure, the ship’s computers and bound dryad claim Stormbreaker launched her missiles, radar data shows a siziable fleet being wiped out, and gun camera footage clearly shows an engagement with ancient goblin arrows in pristine condition (at least until the Mk 7 flitters chewed them up), but logs could be faked and dryads compelled to lie. Still, there was a lot of compelling evidence that Icarus found hard to ignore. Maybe he shouldn’t have sacked Stormbreaker’s command staff after all…
As far as the top brass was concerned though, most likely Stormbreaker’s command crew did the unthinkable and sold off her deadly cargo to some terrorists. So now Leafbower and his battle group had to go hunting down terrorists and recover the apparently lost Fire Tongues. They were probably the same ones methodically hitting pirate asteroids out past Glyth for the past few months, so Battle Group 6 was ordered to investigate.
To figure out who was doing the raiding, Icarus picked a likely target and sent one of the undocumented ships under his command, the INS Blackbird, to lurk in the shadows. Hopefully Blackbird could catch them in the act and follow them to their base. She was a Blacklight class man-o-war that had the same special stealth upgrades as regular Blacklight Boomers had but Blackbird retained her conventional armaments.
Normal Blacklights had fast spelljamming helms and state-of-the-art low-observable technology that let them quickly sneak behind enemy lines and hit them in the rear. Though expensive, the Boomers took that stealth one step further for total concealment while replacing all their missiles with 24 Doomsday strategic spellfire missiles, each with four 10-megaton independently targeted warheads. They were another deterrent in Realmspace’s mutually assured destruction pact that all nations unofficially agreed to when they joined the spellfire club.
Blackbird’s armament was conventional, but not her sensors. Her experimental Class III sensors (IEN ships, like most others in Realmspace 2008 are PL 5-ish. They have at best class I; there’s a typo in the specs I made) could do some amazing things like determine what weapons and armor a ship had- when they worked. Lots of times the sensors just didn’t show anything. Fortunately for the admiral, today they worked, but Blackbird’s experimental point to point laser communications system broke down just before showing some important recorded video.
The waiting drove Captain Aujin Strongbow- the Arrow of Justice’s commanding officer- mad. He tried passing the time by requesting status reports from the Retribution class armada’s various department heads, but that frustrated him as well. Admiral Leafbower simply smiled and left him to his own devices while remembering similar frustrations. Besides, the third ship to bear the name Arrow of Justice was the captain’s responsibility. Icarus had the whole fleet to manage.“They’re they are, it’s coming through now, Sir,” the communications officer said. “Finally!” Strongbow leaned closer to the monitor but respectfully gave Icarus a good view. “Show us what you got, lieutenant.”
After a brief report from Blackbird’s disturbed commander, video streamed onto the monitor. The camera panned left and up to show about two dozen unidentified metallic black fighters descending upon the pirate base. The flag officers watched in silence, unable to take their eyes off the scene. Something about the metal looked familiar to the admiral, but he couldn’t place it.
They looked like huge trident heads trailing thruster fire going in for the kill. Captain Strongbow estimated them to be about the same size as a flitter. The camera zoomed into one fighter-sized trident and focused upon the central prong. It had a pair of blue-white glowing lights on the front. As the camera zoomed outward, the trident-fighter shot a stream of powerful energy bolts that looked similar to magic missiles. They struck a delta-winged pirate fighter putting up a feeble defense and blasted it apart.
With most of the pirates shot down, the black tridents dove for the ground and took out air defenses. But rather than hit them from the air, the tridents slowed, bent in half, and landed on the ground with a cloud stirring thump. Once on the ground, the tridents shifted form, stood upright and bent part of their central prong downward while pivoting their weapons until parallel to the ground. The flyers became walkers, metal titans of destruction forged for war.
As the flag officers continued watching in silence, the scene played on for several minutes as the titans wiped out any resistance and secured the area. Then a flash of light appeared in the upper right corner of the camera.“What was that?” the lieutenant asked. As if hearing them, the camera panned right and zoomed out to show an enormous metal monster made of the same black metal as the fighter craft. “My gods, Admiral," the captain exclaimed, "what is that thing!”
Icarus gasped. He’d seen its like centuries ago floating in the Phlogiston, an ancient crumbling hulk called a Space Leviathan. Only a handful existed, all of them shipwrecks, all with mysterious origins. This particular Leviathan looked to be in pristine shape and sporting a pair of glowing lights on its bow just like the walking constructs on the asteroid. And it looked modernized and well armed. Somehow, fighting terrorists didn’t seem all that bad…“Captain,” Icarus slowly said, “I think missing Fire Tongues- if they are indeed missing- has just become the least of our worries.”