The first part of "the project" has been play tested. The players played smart and their characters fought hard. In the end, they won access to the Black Chamber of Crystal Skulls. Alas, the potent sorcery of the place ensnared them and they found their minds propelled 23,000,000 years into the future.
In time, the characters awoke to their new reality. They retained their memories, but found themselves in new, unfamiliar bodies. Emerging from vertical glass tubes, the characters stared in amazement at themselves: a motley crew consisting of two chitinous men, a high man, two low men, and three earthmen.
The earthmen are all fine representatives of pulp adventurers, right down to the ragged remnants of their clothing. Although the memories of the vessels are unknown to the characters, the players themselves are keenly aware that they have been through terrific experiences, including being sucked into a wormhole while parachuting and surviving a hectic storm while flying across the Bermuda Triangle in a Learjet.
The low men are stout and stand with poor posture. Their skin is bronze, and they have ruddy complexions and coarse features. As much as you might loathe the phrase, "noble savage," this is precisely what they are. They are hirsute and wear loose fitting tunics, leggings, and sandals.
The group's sole high man has bronze skin and refined, even noble, features. Interestingly, he happens to be completely hairless right down to his eyebrows. He wears a white, wrap-around kilt, felt cloak, and leather soled sandals laced up his calves. A mystic-looking tattoo surrounds his right eye, but its meaning is lost upon all.
The pair of chitinous men are clearly the most visually arresting of the bunch. They are unusually pale and emaciated bipedal insectoids standing seven feet tall! Their skin is a tough, semi translucent, bone-white horny material and forms a partial exoskeleton. They have no hair to speak of, although they do have some fuzz around their various joints. Their bug eyes are practically bulging out of their heads. These two have apparently engraved arabesques and sacred designs into their chitinous plates and filled the grooves with platinum. Because chitinous men have no lips they are unable to make the 'b' and 'p' sounds, leading to humorous statements such as, "Look! My 'ody is covered in 'latinum!"
The characters, while dressed, have no weapons, armor, or equipment of any sort. Other than their distinctive body decorations, the chitinous men are apparently nude. This doesn't seem to pose any problem, since no one knows how to tell a chitinous male from a chitinous female. The two characters aren't even sure as to the genders of their respective vessels. Speaking of gender, fully half of the characters' minds are encased in bodies of an opposing gender. Truly, these are interesting times for our adventurers.
The characters soon discover that they are all capable of speaking their respective native tongues as well as a "common tongue," which happens to be shared by all. Moreover, the characters have retained their respective class, level, and intelligence and wisdom scores. Everything else was rerolled due to their new bodies.
The party's spell casters remember previously memorized spells, but the magic-users are separated from their precious spell books. Praying, the clerics find their gods distant, resulting in access only to spells from the lower levels. With their resources thus constrained, the characters stand on the brink of their greatest adventure yet, for they are Marooned Across Space and Time.