"As the water receded,
the red sand of the dead,
spread across Lh'owon."
The above quote is from the 2nd (hidden) message on the S'pht history terminal (terminal 2) on Eat It, Vid Boi! (Marathon 2: Durandal (Demo)) formally BaseDestruction (Marathon 2: Durandal (Preview)). The full text of both messages is given below.
When once S'pht fought brutal combat, when hatred burned the tissues of one's enemy, one clan, the S'pht'Kr, reclusive and solitary, abandoned Lh'owon. The clan went forth and up, stopping on K'lia the third sister of Lh'owon, to build a new home, free from their warring brothers. For a thousand and one orbits, the clan was forgotten, lost upon the battlefield smoke, until the all powerful Y'rr sent K'lia out to the stars.
Fires burned, and the marshes of the western hamlets turned to ash scorching the black water. The attacks were ruthless and cruel, not a S'pht was left alive. Thus began the first war between the S'pht'Mnr and the S'pht'Lhar. After the marsh wars between S'pht'Lhar and S'pht'Mnr left the battlefields choked with dead, the marsh graves full. High above- K'lia refused to see the carnage upon Lh'owon She fled- To the farthest reaches of nothing, Leaving- the sacred marsh dry from the falling tides. As the water receded, the red sand of the dead, spread across Lh'owon.
Does the reference to "red sand of the dead, spread across Lh'owon" have any connection with Mars (The Red Planet)?
Another puzzling thing, the text of this terminal refers to the S'pht'Kr
clan who abandoned Lh'owon and stopped on K'lia the third sister of Lh'owon,
to build a new home, free from their warring brothers. We then learn that
all powerful Y'rr sent K'lia out to the stars. Are we meant to interpret this
as K'lia (planet or moon?) being made mobile and sent out on an
Is this not very similar to the Marathon, which was originally Deimos, a moon of Mars, but converted for interstellar travel.
And what of this passage
Is the reference to K'lia here a person or planet? And is her fleeing to the "farthest reaches of nothing" in fact her journey "to the stars". Is there some connection between K'lia and Mars? Dare I ask the next obvious question is K'lia in fact Mars?High above- K'lia refused to see the carnage upon Lh'owon She fled- To the farthest reaches of nothing,
AH... speculation, there's nothing like speculation!
Both Matthew T. Russotto <email@example.com> and Bach <firstname.lastname@example.org> point out that the reference to "K'lia the third sister of Lh'owon" corresponds with the Earth being the third planet. Though it is unclear as to significance of this.
Is K'lia a planet or a moon? The reference to "the third sister"
might suggest a planet rather than a moon but the Earth's moon is
sometimes referred to as "sister moon".
might be interpretated as a moon's influence on the tides of Lh'owon. As the moon left the tides fell.Leaving- the sacred marsh dry from the falling tides.
Matthew T. Russotto <email@example.com> writes:
If Lh'owon is indeed near the center of the galaxy, a trip from there to the Sol system could indeed be interpreted as a trip to "the furthest reaches of nothing" -- compared to the center of the galaxy, Sol is in an area with very few stars.
We don't know how old the S'pht are or at what stage their civil war occurred. We do know that Lh'owon was destroyed and S'pht enslaved by the Pfhor a thousand years ago. So the S'pht wars must have occurred before this.
The idea that K'lia eventually ended up in our part of the galaxy raises a number of issues.
Is K'lia Earth? Unlikely as some artifact(s) would have been found before now.
Is K'lia Mars? Possible and suggests a Total Recall type theme. S'pht artifact(s) are uncovered and attempts are made to contact an alien race.
Equally K'lia may be a moon of Mars or any other planet or moon for that matter. The only link we have with Mars is the reference to "red sand". Is it not possible that what happened on Lh'owon eventually happened on K'lia. Are the S'pht an inherently war like race prone to civil war and did the eleventh clan wipe themselves out on K'lia? Did the "red sand of the dead" cover K'lia as it did Lh'owon?
Let us speculate further.
Was one of the purposes of the Marathon to make contact with an alien race, the S'pht? Indeed was it the main (hidden) purpose? Conspiracy raises its ugly head. If it was and it wasn't clear as to whether or not this alien race was hostile wouldn't you want to make this contact away from Earth? Tau Ceti perhaps? Wouldn't you want to make sure that there was no way they could trace you back to Earth or learn any information about Earth? Wouldn't you want to delete any pre-launch data?
If it was thought that the alien race might be hostile wouldn't you want to bring some protection, some weapon, ten cyborgs perhaps?I have noticed that Durandal's records from this early pre-launch period are missing, but that their deletion occurred externally, and before Durandal became Rampant.<Ingue Ferroque (Terminal 3)>
Wouldn't you want your space ship to be able to withstand a possible Alien attack? Wouldn't the Marathon make an ideal choice...all of the destructive knowledge of mankind. Ten cyborgs.<Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)>
Wouldn't those who would be responsible for making this initial contact be placed in stasis for the journey? Bernard Strauss, the Marathon's first science director, was placed in stasis for the journey...the Marathon, which was nearing completion and would have made a very powerful weapon. The Marathon's massive size made it invulnerable to most normal space attacks, and it would have made a very stable weapons platform.<The Rose (Terminal 2)>
As were some of the senior staff and officers on board the MarathonI'll be glad to be put in stasis for the next three hundred years.<Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)>
The original crew of the Marathon consisted of 50 senior staff, 1150 officers and 24,000 civilians all of whom were citizens of the Mars colony or Earth. Some individuals were placed in stasis for the interstellar journey, but most civilians lived and worked on the ship and raised families there.(Manual Page 15)
Samaras Alexander <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
Point of information about the "Red Sand." It is now quite apparent that K'lia is NOT Mars. Why? Because at the end of Infinity, K'lia folds into the system, and the forces of the S'pht'Kr aid you in containing the W'rkncacnter. I think that if K'lia, still inhabited by the S'pht'Kr, were Mars, we would have noticed them.
Yup, the Red Sand section, with it's wild speculation on the what happened to K'lia, was conceived just after the Marathon 2 Preview came out. The full version of Marathon 2 put paid to much of this. Let's bury it here.
The second message on terminal 2 of "Eat It, Vid Boi!" relates the fate of Lh'owon as K'lia departed Lh'owon's orbit.
After the marsh wars between S'pht'Lhar and S'pht'Mnr left the battlefields choked with dead, the marsh graves full- High above K'lia refused to see the carnage upon Lh'owon. She fled to the farthest reach, leaving the sacred marsh dry from the falling tides. As the water receded, the red sand of the dead, spread across Lh'owon.
It is interesting to note that the Ancient Egyptians referred to the desert as the "Red Sand", whereas the fertile land they lived on was called the "Black Sand".