Setting

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The game is set in the year 2012 AD. This world is only slightly different from the world we now know, China has become a major world power while America, Japan, and Russia have fallen into decline; the Third World has become poorer and the West has become richer... However, from the environmental perspective, the world's climate has changed significantly - and in particular, global warming has accelerated and become much more severe. All nations have been affected by this, some disastrously. Moreover, catastrophic earthquakes have rocked the world since 1998.[1]

Not all was merely suffering and setbacks: Archaeology suddenly thrived, for the world's changing water levels have led to the discovery of an astounding number of archaeological sites that had been lost for thousands of years. This did not just happen within the Mediterranean basin or Northern Africa, but in Some very unexpected places, such as South America, Canada and Australia. Most of these newly discovered structures were underground and some were vast and magnificently constructed complexes. They were discovered by indirect means; the fallen water levels revealed ancient waste drainage outlets, but what was interesting was the sheer quantity of sites and variety of cultures who had built them. It seems that the history of mankind was much longer and more complex than had been previously thought so that the textbooks on ancient human history needed to be drastically revised.

By the year 2000, sixty-four new sites had been exposed to the world, twelve of which were constructed by previously unknown civilizations. The most exciting of these were three intact subterranean Mayan complexes, two vast ancient Egyptian temples and evidence of an advanced culture who lived underground in Northern Australia nearly 4000 years ago. These discoveries generated a huge amount of excitement and the public became very interested in archaeology and early human history.

The discoveries also sparked a much-needed regeneration of pride in human achievement and a renewed sense of optimism for the future. People became proud again to be called human. The artefacts became the symbols for this new change in attitude and a new obsession swept the world. People started buying artefacts, and those that could afford it wanted the genuine articles. It soon became a social necessity among the wealthy to have at least one valuable artefact on show in the home.

Large corporations too wanted artefacts in their foyers and offices - a symbol of new hope and pride in a shared humanity. Serious collectors desperately wanted genuine artefacts from the recent finds. They were willing to pay extraordinary prices, and they didn't care whether they came from legal or illegal sources. The demand couldn't be met by the existing, inadequate black market, so new entrepreneurs came in and filled the vacuum, At the to pend of the plundering trade a new breed of young, smart and ambitious people emerged, Employing a large network of spies and using the very latest technology, they were soon exposing and exploiting new sites before the archaeologists had even started packing their suitcases. It was a big market: By the end of 2002 it was estimated that between 40 and 50 million pounds had been spent by the most ambitious and acquisitive collectors on antiquities. It was a big business. And the Raptors were at the top of it.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Electronic Journal of The State of World-wide Archaeology: "Issue 676/March 2003
    Article 2: The Rise and Rise of the Raptors
    Reporter: M. Giles
    Crossrefglobecat(M2955):594:502:189:121:290:458:321:1778
    Crossrefbibliog:<M493004/N4959220/A122949233
    Commlinkref:CCT:DJRR:290403>>>34589
    ..................................
    >The traditional archaeologist's image from the last century of the tweed jacketed, pipe-smoking university professor has been supplanted forever by a new breed of scavengers with the questionable title of raptors.
    >They are the children of a new age. An age where increasing uncertainty accompanies the massive tectonic upheavals that since '98 have reshaped and redefined the world we live in and our perception of our place in history.
    >The impact of these changes on the world of archaeology has been profound. The shifting of the land and the global reduction sea level has revealed many new archaeological sites. Amongst them are whole towns and cities from previously undiscovered human cultures, like the city of the Mabu people, long lost beneath the sea. (See Issue 594)
    >Our knowledge of known civilizations is also being revolutionized. Only last year, the delta of the Nile revealed its deep secret of no less than twenty-three miles of secret, subterranean passageways connecting ten temples dedicated to Aten. (See Issue 475)
    >These discoveries and the huge public interest they have engendered have had diverse effects on the purpose and the public image of archaeology. Funding and governmental grants have increased exponentially as has the interest among wealthy, private collectors and unscrupulous museums in acquiring these relics at almost any cost.
    >The high price (and profit) of these antiquities has led to an explosion in archaeological thievery.
    >Much of this opportunism has manifested in ham-fisted, clumsy operations reminiscent of ancient tomb robbers in terror of the mummy's curse. The higher bidders, however, are able to hire members of a new elite fraternity of professional 'plunderers': the raptors.
    >Little is known of them as individuals. They are obviously highly trained both in the recognition of valuable artifacts and in dealing with the dangers inherent in exploring some of the locations they have plundered.
    >They must also be men and women possessed of extreme wealth. They are able to equip themselves with the largest technology in both weaponry and portable information systems.
    >It is known that each one of them has, by fair means or foul, acquired an example of the Stolland library HUD system. An abortive and extremely expensive military device that gives the user a hands-free penetrative scanning system backed up with no less than twelve gigabytes of library information.
    >It is also clear that there is no love lost between any of them. Just a week ago, the corpse of one Ingrid Seindheim was discovered shot through the heart at the entryway to an ancient Mayan temple uncovered in an earthquake only the previous day.
    >The gutter press has imbued these hi-tech opportunists with a persona of heroism and adventure. The exploits of these 'raptors' have been used to give a worried population something to occupy their mind: A strong image of survival and adaptability in troubled times.
    >The word 'raptor' is Latin and means 'thief'. In the opinion of this journal at least, the world should not lose sight of that fact."
  2. Design document: "The game is set in the year 2003 AD. This world of the future is very different from the world we now know, China has become a major world power while America, Japan and Russia have fallen into decline; the Third World has become poorer and the West has become richer...but it is not the purpose of this text to explain these events.
    Moreover, the world's climate has also changed significantly - and in particular, global warming has become a reality. All nations have been affected by this, some disastrously, but again it is not relevant to go into detail here. However, one affected area which does in fact relate to our story is that of archaeology, for the world's changing water levels have led to the discovery of an astounding number of archaeological sites that had been lost for thousands of years. This did not just happen within the Mediterranean basin or Northern Africa, but in Some very unexpected places, such as South America, Canada and Australia.
    Most of these newly discovered structures were underground and some were vast and magnificently constructed complexes. They were discovered by indirect means; the fallen water levels revealed ancient waste drainage outlets, but what was interesting was the sheer quantity of sites and variety of cultures who had built them. It seems that the history of mankind was much longer and more complex than had been previously thought so that the textbooks on ancient human history needed to be drastically revised.
    By the year 2000, sixty-four new sites had been exposed to the world, twelve of which were constructed by previously unknown civilisations. The most exciting of these were three intact subterranean Mayan complexes, two vast ancient Egyptian temples and evidence of an advanced culture who lived underground in Northern Australia nearly 4000 years ago. These discoveries generated a huge amount of excitement and the public became very interested in archaeology and early human history.
    The discoveries also sparked a much-needed regeneration of pride in human achievement and a renewed sense of optimism for the future. People became proud again to be called human. The artefacts became the symbols for this new change in attitude and a new obsession swept the world. People started buying artefacts, and those that could afford it wanted the genuine articles. It soon became a social necessity among the wealthy to have at least one valuable artefact on show in the home.
    Large corporations too wanted artefacts in their foyers and offices - asymbol of new hope and pride in a shared humanity. Serious collectors desperately wanted genuine artefacts from the recent finds. They were willing to pay extraordinary prices, and they didn't care whether they came from legalorillegal sources. The demand couldn't be met by the existing, inadequate black market, so new entrepreneurs came in and filled the vacuum, At the top end of the plundering trade a new breed of young, smart and ambitious people emerged, Employing a large network of spies and using the very latest technology, they were soon exposing and exploiting new sites before the archaeologists had even started packing their suitcases. These were the elite of the plunderers, professionals who took only the best, and left the rest for the small-time operators or, heaven forbid, the academics. Competition between them was fierce but good-natured (after all this was a time of plenty) and by the end of 2002 it was estimated that between 40 and 50 million pounds had been spent by the most ambitious and acquisitive collectors on antiquities. It was big business. By 2003 this elite group of plunderers had gained a code-name; "Raptors' meaning plunderer in Latin. They are agroup of nine menand women whose identities remain secret to all but a privileged few."