The Alexandrian

San Angelo: The Argonaut Society

February 26th, 2018

The Argonaut Society

Famous Fantastic Mysteries - September 1945

This material was originally developed in 1999-2000 as a supplement for Gold Rush Games’ San Angelo. This book was supposed to be part of a line of GRG projects that were going to support the eminent release of Pulp Hero. Unfortunately, Pulp Hero got massively delayed and wasn’t actually published until 2005, so the project got killed. I’ve done some minor reworking of the original pitch document here to present a setting that could be easily used with Pulp Hero, the Trinity Continuum’s Adventure, or any number of other pulp adventure RPGs.

One thing I would recommend: The original material was written to be compatible with the extant background elements of the Argonaut Society described in the history of San Angelo. If you were actually going to run this material, I’d recommend ditching the existing roster of Argonaut members and their exploits, rewind the timeline, and set up the PCs as the core of the Society, with their globe-trotting expeditions slowly uncovering the secret history of Atlantis and Lemuria.

The flux radiation caused by the creation of singularities did not result solely in the creation of superhumans. Their ability to wildly effect the laws of nature and make the improbable probable, stretching through time itself, has lead not only to the creation of supers, but the realization of some of the wildest fantasies. In the world of San Angelo not only can men fly and women learn the ways of sorcery, but the pyramids truly possess mystic powers; Atlantis sank beneath the ocean waves millenia ago; dinosaurs and woolly mammoths still roam in forgotten valleys; and enclaves of ancient civilizations exist unto the present day, preserved in isolation. To explore these strange and wondrous places, the improbabilites of flux radiation have also created a group of elite explorers – the Argonaut Society.

The men and women of the Argonaut Society captured the hearts and minds of a generation. They were the best of the best when it came to exploration in the modern era. Their membership boasts an amazing number of World Records and major achievements. They were the first to scale some of the tallest mountains in the world, the first to make contact with ancient tribal societies, the first to uncover the most spectacular archaeological sites ever discovered. These exploits, particularly by their founder Tyler North, imprinted them in the memory of millions.

But there is another side to the Argonaut Society, a side which the wider public remains ignorant of even to the modern day: The exploration of the fantastic; things which dwell only within the pulp literature of the real world. To understand how such things could exist it must be understood that there was an age of prehistory, driven by the pre-effects of flux radiation, in which mankind achieved heights of technology and mysticism which was both superior to our own science and also alien to our way of thought. This Age of Advanced Prehistory (as members of the Society came to refer to it) lasted a millennia and ended with the sinking of Atlantis beneath the waves.  The great civilizations of Egypt and Babylonia, thought by most to be the dawn of western civilization, were actually nothing but the dim remnants of the proud Atlantean and Lemurian civilizations.

The Age of Advanced Prehistory continues to affect mankind down to the present day. The mythic Camelot truly existed, made possible through the wizardry of Merlin – one of the few Atlanteans to survive to the modern day. The Bermuda Triangle is nothing more than an effect of the sunken continent of Atlantis. Magicians trace their heritage back to the Egyptian Priests of Na’toth.


Atlantis and Lemuria: Atlantis and Lemuria were the hegemonic powers of the Age of Advanced Prehistory (also known as the Atlantean or Lemurian Age). The continent of Atlantis was found in the modern day Atlantic; the continent of Lemuria in the Pacific. They were the greatest civilizations mankind has ever known and the vistas of the world were spread out beneath them. But they were also the greatest of enemies, and their conflict would end their millennia-long hegemonic rise and return the world to primitive darkness. Atlantis and Lemuria both slipped beneath the waves of the sea, reduced to ruin. The majority of their citizenry were placed in some form of suspended animation, although some used their science to adapt to life under water and served as caretakers to the rest. The citizens of Atlantis would be briefly awakened (historically speaking) by the Argonaut Society, allowing for some Atlantean heroes to make an appearance during the Golden Age. Both Atlantis and Lemuria, however, are on the verge of awaking entirely from their 5000 year sleep; prophecies gleaned from their crystalline time-viewers have posted the date of their rise to 2012.

The Lost Valley: On the continent of Antarctica there exists a lost valley of creatures whose time upon this world was supposed to have ended millions of years ago. It is certainly possible that members of the Argonaut Society successfully reached this place before Tyler North’s fateful (and final) mission.  As for North’s true fate following his disappearance, the Society has never been able to determine it. The icy entrance they originally used to gain access to the Valley collapsed, and no other entrance has been found.

Forgotten Civilizations: The Argonaut Society has discovered enclaves of several ancient societies, often found among inhospitable mountain valleys or the depths of primeval jungles, but also sometimes within stable time pockets established by Lemurian dimensional scientists for as-yet-undetermined purposes. These prominently include Mayan, Incan, and Tibetan socities (including the one destroyed by a volcano in 1928).

Fantastic Adventures - March 1947The Ruins of Camelot: The legends are true. Arthur, son of Uther, did arise to the throne of Camelot with the help of the mysterious wizard Merlin. Merlin was a son of Atlantis who survived its destruction and Camelot was his attempt to bring that wonder back to the world. Morgan Le Fey, on the other hand, was a daughter of Lemuria and attempted to seize that dream from Merlin and Arthur – resulting in the destruction of it all. As a result of their final mystic battle the ruins of Camelot slipped partially out of this reality. Now it reappears, from time to time and in various locations.

The Bermuda Triangle: The Triangle is the result of forgotten Atlantean technology. The Argonaut Society attempted to understand the phenomenon better after they lost one of their own to it. Although they regained their missing member, they were unsuccessful in powering down the machinery behind the Triangle.

Egyptian Pyramids: Pyramids were one of the architectural trademarks of the Atlanteans and Lemurians, and their influence can still be seen in some of the great stoneworks around the world. Egypt, in particular, was a place many of the Atlanteans fled to (just as the Mayan and Incan civilizations were born from the refugee movements of the Lemurians). The Egyptian Pyramids are centers of power and the Great Pyramid (which wasn’t built by Cheops at all, but was a remnant of Atlantis itself) contains many hidden passages in which ancient secrets are kept.

Stone Circles: The stone circles of England – the most famous one, of course, being Stonehenge – were actually built by the Druidic traditions and have some important connection to stellar motion. The Druidic traditions were a confused ideological mix of primitive superstition and Atlantean technology and mysticism. Although the Society has had several interesting run-ins with the circles they’ve never been successful at completely understanding their secrets.

Center of the Earth: While exploring the Tibetan steppes explorer Tyler North came across local legends of a forgotten tribe which lived beneath the surface of the mountains. Although North knew that many such legends are nothing more than rural superstition, he also knew (from personal experience, no less) that they often had a grain of truth. He returned later that year with a group of dedicated society members. Passing through a maze of caveworks which seemed to descend ever deeper into the subterranean world, North and his band of explorers eventually emerged into what appeared to be the hollowed out center of the globe in the middle of which floated a small sun – a world at the Center of the Earth.

Amazed by this seeming contradiction of modern science North spent over a month exploring the strange and amazing cultures found there. Eventually he discovered that he was not truly within the Center of the Earth, but the center of some other planetoid which was somehow linked to our Earth through various subterranean passages. All of this was powered by the great tree Ygg, which served as some form of mystical conduit between our worlds. North was planning a future exploration to this place to learn more, but after his disappearance the plans were postponed. World War II permanently set them to one side.

Far Side of the Moon and Mars. Although the details remain unclear, the Atlanteans and Lemurians did seem to possess some form of travel between the stars. They formed habitable zones on both the far side of the moon and the Martian surface.

TOMORROW: Mysterious Artifacts, Strange Creatures, and Secret Societies!



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