Zecharia Sitchin brought the beliefs of a 12th planet to the general public when he published the “12th Planet” in 1976. Mr. Sitchin translated ancient texts to form the basis of his work. According to ancient civilizations, the 12th planet was a large red planet that was inhabited by the Anunnaki (also called the Nefilim by the Hebrews) that periodically returns to our solar system. The Anunnaki are supposed to be very human-like except that they are much larger. These humanoids are supposed to be between 10 and 15 feet tall. The 12th planet, Nibiru, only returns to our solar system every 3,600 years because it is in a binary orbit between two stars: our Sun and a cold, unlit star farther out in the galaxy.
According to Sitchin, the 3,600 year periodic cycle of Nibiru is called a Shar by Sumerian historians. A single shar lasts a little more than 3,600 years on Earth, but it is equivalent to one year on the Nibiru. According to ancient Sumerian clay tablets and cylinder seals the total period of occupation/visitation by the Anunnaki was over 124 Shars.
The Anunnaki’s original objective in coming to Earth was to mine for gold. They atomically dispersed it into their atmosphere in order to prevent core-produced heat from dissipating excessively into space. Since 99% of Nibiru’s orbital cycle is too far from our sun to benefit from its heat, it has to retain its internally generated heat in order to survive The Anunnaki first extracted gold from the waters of the Persian Gulf area, but later switched to land mining in South Africa and other locations due to greater abundance of gold ore.
In game terms, what does this have to do with anything?
First, ancient myths are often used for fodder of stories of all types. Everyone knows this, everyone is aware of the tropes and cliches. Given that most gamers are well read (kinda goes with the territory), it is ever harder to go to myth for story ideas. I’m not saying you or I are bereft of ideas, just that having a framework to build something new, or to use as a story generator can jump-start the mind.
In the case of the 12th planet, I found in it a seed of something I can use. In the history of Erealind, the planet upon which the Cyborgs & Sorcerers game plays out, the core and surface worlds went to war. The core won by literally blasting the surface of the planet out into space. While there are remnants of the surface still orbiting the planet, and some which are still within the atmosphere, greater portions got pushed much further out.
It is my intention to make the largest landmass which was “lost” support survivors of the war. They and their descendants have had nothing but trial and tribulation, toil and trouble since that time. However, in the utterly unforgiving environment, they not only survived, but thrived. They have built a civilization, and while their technology was massively advanced when they left, their pursuit of technological and biological perfection and ability to withstand completely inhospitable conditions have made them strong. Determined to wreak havoc upon those who did literally destroy their world, they are returning. They are not alone.
This is, in fact going to be the second expansion of Cyborgs & Sorcerers. The first one I am keeping closer to the vest. However, in this nattering on you've perused, you can see, I think, how my imagination was fired to create a basis, not only for a different culture, but also a different race (Anunnaki), and a situation which will profoundly affect EVERY corner of my world.
What myth would you use to enhance or build upon your world? What effects would it have? Where will you take the players? What waiting legends exist for them to discover, and fear?