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The Ancients Hunter Community

Those with a genuine interest in the Ancients tend to go down one of two routes: Some work their way through a university course and use their qualifications to try to get into an official research program. For those who cannot get into a program or do not trust authorities sufficiently are forced to operate on their own. Unlike actual archaeological scientists, these are the “Ancient Hunters”. Instead of following actual knowledge from real scientific work, this is the group who thinks they understand the “real” story being suppressed. That there is actual suppression of some ancient artifacts considered dangerous by the authorities does not help.

The term “Ancients Hunter” is applied loosely – and with everything from contempt to veneration – to those who dream of penetrating the mysteries of the Ancients. Most are wannabees who read obscure datanet sites and spout the latest nonsense theory in the hope of becoming interesting. There are those who take this to an extreme and have become minor personalities after being interviewed for crank documentaries. Some have made a considerable amount of money and may wield considerable influence over the more impressionable members of society.

The proportion of Ancients Hunters who actually do anything is rather low but there are those who make a real effort. For some, this is a matter of scouring the ‘grey market’ for artefacts on sale or first-hand accounts of those who have had encounters. Others will try to actually see Ancients sites for themselves. There are some that are publicly accessible, although they are heavily secured, and which can be visited like a museum. Of course, any artefacts will have been removed long ago. To some people, finding a functioning Ancients site or useful artefact is a bit like a winning lottery ticket; they are more interested in making money or winning fame than figuring out any secrets contained within. These tend to be selective and subject to constant scrutiny, due to the sensitive nature of the research.

In this context, there are multiple local Ancients Hunter communities as subsets of the larger one. Most ‘serious’ Ancients Hunters hold the wannabees in contempt. They might ask for assistance or information but do not believe they owe anything to people who are not willing to get out and put some work in. Useful contacts and respected peers are few and far between and in many cases one group will be at odds with others. Outsiders usually have to penetrate the outer layers of wannabees and fakes until they come across someone with real knowledge – or who thinks they have. Many of these people are secretive or will want something in return. Travellers searching for information on the Ancients may end up paying a lot of money or doing favours for someone whose knowledge turns out to be worthless or untrue. This is the world of the Ancients Hunter; those who truly believe it is worth it will pay the price.

Status within the Ancients Hunter community is a nebulous and subjective thing. A given ‘expert’ might be considered by some to be the ‘real thing’ yet be dismissed by others as a wannabee. This has as much to do with politics as belief – some ‘experts’ feel the need to bash others to increase their own status. In other cases an expert might be dismissed because they say things the observer would prefer were otherwise. However, overall there is a sort of hierarchy. The greater someone’s status the more likely it is they will be taken seriously. This is not always a good thing. Some dealers masquerade as wannabees to avoid unwanted attention and reveal their true nature only to a select few.

There is no official promotion system or formal rank in the community. The ‘ranks’ in the Ancients Hunter Status table represent a general perception of status and how it might be achieved. Quite often a genuine researcher becomes known and finds he has status within a community he knows nothing about

The term ‘grey market’ is generally applied to distribution of legitimate goods through ‘alternate channels’ but it has widened to include trade in Ancients artefacts. Indeed, to some any reference to the grey market means Ancients or unusual alien items. This is not entirely incorrect; the items may well be genuine but are being traded outside what authorities would consider ‘proper channels’.

Ancients Hunter Status

Wannabee (Noob)Someone who dabbles in ‘hunting’ but does not really do anything or is not ‘into it’ to any real degree is termed a Wannabee or Noob.This ‘status’ is usually awarded by others as an insult.
Wannabee (Esti)Someone who has established themselves as a collector of lore and maybe has some decent information is known as an Esti (for established) but is still a wannabee to ‘serious’ hunters – who may themselves be of no greater status but would prefer to believe they are.Estis are worth talking to at a convention or in a Datanet discussion. This status is recognition that the person has done some work and put time into learning Ancients’ lore.
Wannabee (Deludo or Fanpy)Deludos (deluded) or Fanpersons (Fanpy) are a special case of Estis who follow a false belief set or base their ‘knowledge’ on being a fan of certain experts rather than their own work.This status is generally awarded to anyone the observer does not agree with and is rather subjective.
Wannabee (All)All Noobs, Estis, Deludos and Fanpy are Wannabees to those who actually put some work in but among themselves would use the more specific term.Calling anyone a Wannabee is considered insulting. Most Wannabees – of any specific type – consider themselves to be at least Players.
PlayerAn active Ancients Hunter or someone with a decent collection of lore or artefacts could fairly consider themselves a Player.This status is often self-awarded – almost always wrongly. Recognition as a Player by others requires becoming noted for activity, whether that is active hunting or lore collection.
HunterA well-established hunter with good connections and a track record of solid information or a collection of artefacts.‘Real’ hunters will be recognised by their peers, which is the only recognition they care about.
ExpertA very knowledgeable individual, who may have visited several sites or done significant research. That does not mean they are right, only that they are eminent.Hunters effectively award this status by consulting and respecting the experts. This is informal but real.
LegendThe most famous Ancients Hunters are referred to as Legends.Typically this is someone who is known to have made big discoveries or put forward widely accepted knowledge.
game_systems/traveller/lore/ancient_hunters.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/13 10:13 by Bryan Stephens