Tonight we played Archives of the Sky by Aaron A. Reed, although we were a bit rushed so used fast play mode throughout. We had to shoe-horn a dilemma together as time was running short but got a taste for how the game works through the evening—we didn’t quite master it but it is promising.
We are the bold House of Maps, dedicated to exploring and never turning away from a challenge. Our crew consists of Apogee the biologist who values free will above all, Ember the pilot who always follows her gut, Vela the linguist who always follows the trail no matter what, Raya the codebreaker who finds the truth at any cost, Orion the scout who always seeks glory, and Irida the archeologist who always questions dogma.
After our first scene, we take off to Gamma Obscura to determine what is spurring the Exodus of civilians from this seemingly peaceful system. When we arrive, we discover cascading waves of time anomalies, falling into loops and shifting willy-nilly through time. We think it best to evacuate, to flee along with the refugees, but before we can even begin we discover an ancient castle or temple filled with advanced technology and hear a telepathic cry for help. When we break the code to open the castle’s vault, a swarm of light escapes past our A-Team and invades our ship. This quantum anomaly explained that its mission was to protect the Obscuran population, but that it could no longer complete that mission once they left the planet. Just as it began to demand we let it take our ship to continue its mission, the planet beneath the ship begins to crumble, possibly due to the presence of the swarm.
Unable to decide if we should continue following the path of this mystery to its end or fly away to explore another day, our hand is forced when the quantum anomalies begin ripping the planet apart as the fundamental forces of physics threaten to unravel. Ember grabs the controls and flies us to safety, but both Orion and Vela are forever changed by the experience. Vela comes to understand that exploring is our House’s central mission and nothing should threaten that. Orion reacts in the opposite way, moving away from our House because we had selfishly sacrificed the glory of saving the planet, perhaps the universe, just to run off to the next unexplored planet.