The people of the Sphere use the underground to frighten children. Childhood faery tales on Terra Prime are filled with monsters, dwarves and ogres that inhabit the world under the plates. In reality the world under the plates is a complex and intricate culture that provides the life force of the entire Sphere. It is the place that generates the gravity and turns the cornucopia of stellar energy absorbed by the plates into material and power for living. But that does not mean that it is not a place fraught with danger, intrigue and mystery. Because it is. Priman Mythology by Antos Clarke et al., Univsersity of Pangea Press, Volume 1, Intro.
Chapter 11: Plate Dwellers
“Step back behind the Rhets,” said the red haired beauty. She and Toreus ducked behind the two big mammoths that stood blocking the doorway. Vhan soldiers charged into the opening and fired weapons, which bounced off the body shields of the humanoid elephants. Trunks lashed out knocking soldiers right and left. A few lay on the ground with necks obviously broken by the prehensile noses of the creatures. “Let’s go,” said the woman. “They have it under control.” Toreus and the Thulian followed her into the darkness of the corridor. At the back they came to a broad wall with a portrait of some ancient Wallace Lord hung on it. The woman slid the portrait aside and pulled a lever. A door slid up in the wall revealing a stair well. One of the stairways down into the depth of the plate. “Move,” the woman shoved at his back. The Thulian closed and sealed the door and followed after them. They could hear the bellow of the Rhets and the screams of men, dotted with the buzz and clang of battle, coming from the other side of the door. Toreus, the Thulian and the woman moved to the stairwell. It was lit by bioloom globes and as he moved Toreus could see ancient Sidairian frescos and more modern graffiti on the walls. They moved down at least seven flights and ended up in a corridor at the bottom of the well. The Thulian joined them last. Toreus faced the duo. He wanted to thank them for their help. “My name is Toreus Rhann,” he said. “We know who you are, Your Grace,” said the Thulian. “We are not in the habit of helping strangers at random. My name is Paulo Torsi.” “Pleased to meet you,” said the Prince. He turned to the woman. “And you are…?” “Not here for the social amenities,” she said. “Sorry,” the prince apologized, taken aback by the young woman’s brusque attitude. “Antila Sojat,” the Thulian clucked at her. “Mind your manners. This man is a Prince of Pangea and a son of the Emperor. A little respect please.” “Sorry,” said Antila Sojat. “But we simply do not have time to socialize. We have to get you out of here and on with your mission—Your Grace.” Toreus nodded. “I understand. You are quite right. Do you know these tunnels well enough to get me out of here at a point where I might rejoin my partner?” She shook her beautiful head. “I don’t, but they do.” She pointed to the shadows and Toreus followed her finger. There were a group of men there. They wore loin clothes and their bodies were decorated with intricate rune tattoos. Each wore a pair of old fashioned night vision goggles. “Plate dwellers,” said Toreus. The plate dwellers were tribes that lived in the plates of Terra Prime. Though they dressed in rough clothing and wore ornaments and tattoos there were not truly primitive. The plate dwellers did not make machinery but they were not above salvaging and recycling discarded technology for their own uses. For example the night vision goggles that allowed them to move freely even in the spaces that were not illuminated by bioloom globes and panels. They also aided in the repair and maintenance of the underground. Especially in those regions that had been savaged by the Trongoroth infestation. The plate dwellers did not consider themselves to be part of regular Priman society. They pretty much kept to their underworld places and left the surface of the plates to the Sphere dwellers. They had their own religions and their own language. “So will they guide us all out of here?” Toreus asked Antila. “They will guide you out of here. Paulo will go with you to serve as your interpreter.” “And where will you go?” One of the plate dwellers handed her a big rifle and a bandolier of grenades. She swung the bandolier over her should and hefted the rifle. “I’ve got other work to do tonight, handsome.” With that she turned and strode away into the bioloomed darkness up the other end of the corridor. Toreus looked after her, a strange yearning in his chest. Somehow he knew that he would see her again. That he had to see her again. Somewhere, someday, somehow. “Come, sire,” Paulo tapped him on the shoulder. They moved in the opposite direction, flanked by the plate dwellers. “Do not fear for Antila Sojat,” said Paulo Torsi. “She is much tougher than she looks. A true survivor. You will see.”