You're easily able to remove the geomancy focus from the ruined placard. Just as someone is tucking it into their pack, however, a well-concealed door slides open revealing what you can now see is an underground chamber. Emerging are two robots, the whine of electricity audible as their weapons power up!
Trylara: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
Mordin: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Gear: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Wheeler: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Id-Sinitis: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Breq: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Red: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Blue: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
One of the robots speaks, though it is unintelligible to all but Id-Sinitis. "стоп, преступник!"
Trylara, Breq, and Gear may act!
Engineering: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (14) + 14 = 28
"Patrol bot," Breq mutters. Any special abilities? The android moves to the front of the platform and fires a gun at the closest robot with a flash of lights.
Azimuth Laser Pistol, vs EAC: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Trick Attack (DC 20+CR): 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (11) + 18 = 29
Gun dmg: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Trick dmg, FF: 1d8 ⇒ 8
Trylara moves forward drawing her axe from her mote and begins glowing slightly. Double move and begin photon attunment
The blue-ringed robot fires an arc of electricity that impacts Trylara, jumping from her to Breq, then to Gear and Boytoy.
Electricity damage: 1d8 ⇒ 3 DC 13 Reflex for half.
Id-Sinitis and Wheeler may act.
Id speaks a word of power, conjuring three motes of light and hurling them at the nearest robot.
Full action cast shooting stars (magic missile) at blue.
Damage (force): 3d4 + 3 ⇒ (4, 4, 3) + 3 = 14
Wheeler well, wheels to the right. He takes aim at the red robot The key thing here Starfinders to act as one - I am gonna knock Red off balance here - everyone should hit home after that!
Clever Attack: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 92d6 + 5 ⇒ (1, 6) + 5 = 12
Bluff: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (3) + 16 = 19
Id's stars strike true, damaging the advancing robot. Something about Wheeler's attack, however, seems to be lost in translation, as the robot does not seem fooled and manages to dodge the shot.
The other robot, meanwhile, moves forward and sends a similar jolt of electricity at the three Starfinders in the back, it's attack arcing from Wheeler to Mordin to Id.
Electricity damage: 1d8 ⇒ 6 DC 13 Reflex for half.
Mordin, Trylara, Breq, and Gear may act.
Reflex save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Trylara deftly avoids most of the damage. She steps down and hits the robot with her axe.
solarian weapon attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
solarian weapon damage, photon attuned: 1d6 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 8 + 1 = 15S + 1E
Second round of photon attunement
Reflex: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
"Aw! 'at hurt!" Mordin shouts as the robot electrocutes him.
He moves off to the north to get a shot at the dented (blue) robot. He squeezes the trigger of his pulsecaster pistol.
Pulsecaster Pistol: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
E: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Gear, please roll a Reflex save for Boytoy as well, as he also got hit by that arc.
Mordin moves to get a better shot before he fires, but still he's unable to connect with the machine. Trylara and Boytoy, however, have no such trouble, both of them piling on the damage, though not quite destroying it.
Breq may act.
Reflex, DC 13: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Breq manages to dodge the entirety of the electricity, bending in an unnatural way. Operatives are so ridiculous... The android then leaps off the platform and slashes at the robot with her knife!
Survival Knife, vs KAC: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Trick Attack (DC 20+CR): 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (11) + 18 = 29
Knife dmg: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Trick dmg, FF: 1d8 ⇒ 5
Not sure exactly where you were moving to, Breq, so I moved you to the nearest square you could have attacked with your knife. Feel free to adjust.
Breq dexterously dodges the robots attack, turning her movement into a springing attack that catches the construct completely off guard! Despite burying her knife up to the hilt, the robot remains operational.
As Breq withdraws her blade, a swarm of tiny gray particles begin to quickly repair the bot before her very eyes! (It's spending it's full-round action to heal).
Id-Sinitis and Wheeler may act.
Reflex: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Now that he's in good shooting position, Wheeler focuses.
Alright now seriously - get that blue one! he says as he fires another impressive shot at the blue one this time aiming for a SUPER DISTRACTION.
Clever Attack Harrying Fire: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Clever Attack Bluff: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
Seeing the robot about the collapse, Id turns his magical prowess on the other attacker instead. He fires three more magical stars at the second robot.
Full action magic missile at red.
Force Damage: 3d4 + 3 ⇒ (1, 4, 1) + 3 = 9
Wheeler's shot is much more effective this time, making the robot swerve and nearly topple over! Meanwhile, Id slams the undamaged robot with bolts of magical force.
The red robot races toward Mordin, raising an appendage with a hammer-shaped end and bringing it down in a crushing arc.
Tactical Swoop Hammer vs Mordin: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Smash!: 1d10 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Mordin, Trylara, Breq, and Gear/Boytoy may act. I will add the bonus from Wheeler's Harrying Fire to the next attack vs Blue, by initiative order.
Trylara brings her axe down on the damaged one.
solarian weapon attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
solarian weapon damage, photon attuned: 1d6 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 8 + 1 = 11 + 1E
crit!: 1d6 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 8 + 1 = 13 + 1E
(Assuming that takes it down, she moves toward the red one. Fully attuned.)
"Och, nae. Ah was huir uv a wrang. 'at a body hurt!" Mordin complains as his head rings inside his environmental helmet.
His gauntlet begins to pulse with energy as he throws a wild haymaker and then takes a guarded step away from the sledge-wielding robot.
thunderstrike gauntlet vs. KAC: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
B/So: 1d6 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 2 + 1 = 7
Thank you for moving me! I must have closed the app before it saved.
The android rushes past the charred remains of the blue robot and fires at the last guard!
Azimuth Laser Pistol, vs EAC: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Trick Attack (DC 20+CR): 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (16) + 18 = 34
Gun dmg: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Trick dmg, FF: 1d8 ⇒ 3
Gear places her hands on Boytoy and smiles.
You got this sweety.... another blast, Go!
She holds out her own weapon and pops off a few shots to harry the enemy.
Laser Harry: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Overcharged Chest Cannon: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Damage: 2d8 + 6 + 1d6 ⇒ (7, 7) + 6 + (2) = 22
Trylara brings her solar axe around in brutal blow, leaving the already-damaged blue robot in several piles of unmoving scrap. Meanwhile, Mordin, Breq, and Boytoy all land shots on the remaining robot, pieces of it falling away as they do, though they aren't quite able to bring it down.
With blue destroyed, Id and Wheeler may now act.
With the robot visibly on its last legs, Id unhooks his laser pistol from its strap and takes a shot at the machine.
Move draw weapon, standard attack.
Attack vs EAC: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Damage (F): 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Wheeler decides that now is the perfect time to do what Middle Management does best - swoop in at the end and claim all of the credit to look good in the paperwork being sent up the chain!
He spends some time boosting his guns output and then takes a shot at the remaining robot!
Boosted Fire: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Damage: 3d6 + 5 ⇒ (6, 5, 3) + 5 = 19
With the ship gone awry, he whistles, like that had been intended to be more Harrying Fire.
Miraculously still alive, the robots lights dim for a moment as a gray goo pours into its wounds, churning as it repairs the robot from the inside.
Whole party may act.
Trylara moves up next to the robot and swings her axe.
solarian weapon attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
solarian weapon damage, photon attuned: 1d6 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 8 + 1 = 13 + 1E
+1 from Coordinated Shot if you make a ranged attack against it!
Leaning into the assault, Id fires two more laser blasts at the compromised construct.
Attack vs. EAC (Coordinated Shot, full attack): 1d20 + 8 + 1 - 3 ⇒ (19) + 8 + 1 - 3 = 25
Damage (F): 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Attack vs. EAC (Coordinated Shot, full attack): 1d20 + 8 + 1 - 3 ⇒ (16) + 8 + 1 - 3 = 22
Damage (F): 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Mordin aims his pistol at the robot and fires twice in rapid succession.
Pulsecaster Pistol, FA: 1d20 + 3 - 4 ⇒ (20) + 3 - 4 = 19
E: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Pulsecaster Pistol, FA: 1d20 + 3 - 4 ⇒ (6) + 3 - 4 = 5
E: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Critical Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
12 damage total, I think, if they have usual robot vulnerabilities
A barrage of well-aimed fire from Id and Mordin leave the robot a smoking, crackling husk on the pavement! Out of combat.
You now have the replacement geomancy focus needed at the museum; there's no check required to install it. The other task required to get the museum operational again was restoring power to it. Here are your options:
Which approach would you like to take?
After looking around the room for loot, Breq looks at both robots to see if they have a local-tech battery. If not, she shakes her head. "Nothing here. Perhaps we borrow the library computer battery?"
Gear looks over the thing.
I dunno... I think we might be able to jury rig it... Could you pass me that wrench?
Custom Rig Engineering: 1d20 + 14 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 14 + 2 = 36
Boytoy Assist: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
YES!!! Anyone want to throw in an assist or two, just to make sure? But hopefully that should very well do it!
After salvaging a battery from the library (quietly, so as not to get shushed again) you return to the museum, where Gear handily gets the system up and running again. Indicator lights turn on, and you hear the sound of recorded voices from out in the main museum room. Returning there, you find four active displays, each with a narrated voice-over that Id-Sinitis can translate:
Mentrasi the Collected:
The holographic screen at the first display shows a world similar to Kukanou-2b, but with pockets of rich vegetation*. Mentrasi (as the people on the screen are called) are shown farming mushrooms and root vegetables, building rudimentary metal tools, blowing glass, shaping it with their bare hands, and working at forges. A sleek starship made of shining golden metal slowly lands in an open field where mentrasi flock to investigate. Four creatures step out from a glowing portal int eh side of the metallic structure; they wear flowing black linen robes and golden metal masks, and they carry no weapons. One figure removes their mask and resembles a jinsul. The screen pauses and displays the creature’s name as “Dhurus.”
“Centuries ago, our people were a peaceful race of farmers and tinkerers, unlocking the secrets of metallurgy and glass blowing. Our people were happy, but advancement was difficult without a guiding hand. We had no central government and only a barter system of economics.
“One day, a starship descended from the heavens. Our ancestors immediately recognized these four celestials as heralds of the divine: Master of Conquest, Master of Preservation, Master Archivist, and Master of Nomenclature.”
Mentrasi the Devout:
The next exhibit is heavily damaged but shows short holographic images of mentrasi worshipping some divine figure. The mentrasi tend to wear flowing black robes, metallic masks, and perform the following tasks: placing various crystals in neat rows within a glass container, scanning rock formations, performing data entry on modern computer systems, performing elaborately choreographed dance routines in perfect columns and rows, and cleaning and polishing surfaces until everything is spotless. Images of izalguuns, gaseous thyrs, jinsuls, and other races appear to be worshipping with the mentrasi. The occasional image of the jinsuls fighting with the mentrasi flashes through the chamber, as does a document with the name “Kreiholm Freehold” prominently displayed. The voice-over is so garbled as to be complete nonsense.
Mentrasi the Prisoners:
This exhibit depicts mentrasi building and flying modern-looking spacefaring vessels. A particularly complex starship launches from an underground bunker and into the atmosphere of a rocky planet. The spacecraft powers up a large engine that glows brightly and seems about to exit the planet’s orbit when a golden bubble surrounds the craft and starts to drag it back to the surface of the planet. The bubble gently sets the craft down on the surface before releasing the craft and disappearing. Several mentrasi shake their heads in confusion while others raise their faces to the sky and shout: pleading, accusing, weeping. The sky slowly fades to gold as a massive shield forms above the heads of the mentrasi. A view from space shows the planet slowly being enveloped entirely in a golden shield. The image depicts crying mentrasi, then several attempts to escape through the shield such as by launching more spacecraft, launching weaponry, and magically flying mentrasi casting spells at the shield. None of these attempts succeed in breaking the shield.
The voice-over is heavily damaged, but Id (with the help of his spirit friend) can translate a few phrases while the images are playing:
“Bzzt—tried to explore the stars—Psst—overprotective—Thk. Thk. Thk—would not let us leave; we pleaded with Kadrical to—Thhhh—Became obsessive—Shhhhh—tried everything— ZZZZzzzzzP—could not penetrate the golden shield Zrt-zrt-zrtzrt— but Kadrical had fallen silent, fallen asleep. Using all of his strength to maintain the shield—Ktsh.”
Mentrasi the Fugitives:
The final exhibit shows the mentrasi looking astonished as the golden shield above their world suddenly vanishes. They rapidly build starships, evacuate their homes, and flee on large transports. The mentrasi join ships from other planets during the exodus, but each group departs in wildly differing directions. The figure from the “Mentrasi the Collected” display, Dhurus, is visible as a spectral image clawing at the ships fleeing the star system.
Shortly after their escape, the remaining starships scan the stars and find a new planet to settle in a small out-of-the-way system. They build museums to Kadrical, but not temples.
“One day the shield vanished. Perhaps Kadrical stirred in his sleep, allowing us to flee as the shield dropped. Whatever the reason, our ancestors seized the opportunity and built the starships they had been designing and planning, should they ever get the opportunity to escape.
“We fled across the stars with the seven other groups, including the aggressive jinsuls who’d grown restless in their own captivity. Kadrical’s herald, Dhurus, the Master of Conquest, disabled several transport ships. Most of our people used our experimental engines to travel in stasis from one part of the galaxy and appear in another. The other seven groups scattered across the galaxy, each going their separate ways.
“We scanned the stars and found a new home, the very world where you stand today. Though we are thankful for Kadrical’s teachings and long remembered protection, as a species we have vowed to never follow a deity again. Kadrical is respected as part of our history and traditions, but there he shall remain: in the past.
“The Mentrasi Historical Society would like to thank you for your visit today. Please exit into our gift shop—Bzzzt.”
As you exit through the gift shop, you find that though the seismic cataclysm ravaged the museum’s gift shop, some of the merchandise remains intact. Surviving items include: metallic replicas of a sleek golden starship, finger sized crystals with various mentrasi names laser etched on the interior and attached to short metal chains, plush mentrasi in clergy robes, and several copies of the “Escape the Shield” cooperative board game. You think these relics would be worth about 600 credits to the right collector.
As you exit the gift shop, your comm units crackle to life with a message from an android, familiar to some of you as Iteration-177:
“If anyone can hear this, please send aid. This is Iteration-177 and I’m in need of immediate assistance. This message is on a loop with my coordinates embedded; I am not able to respond. Please assist if able."
The coordinates indicate a small chamber about 20 minutes away by foot.
Breq shakes her head. "Always a gift shop, no matter the culture." The android pauses. "I have always considered the jinsuls as the enemies. But it seems there is more to the story..." At the message, Breq stands up straight! "We must go, at once!"
Wheeler looks deeply concerned. Up until now he had taken the place for granted - a dead civilization who's ruins contained useful information.
The gift shop - the board games in particular stop him in his tracks. These people had been thriving. They had felt safe. And unlike the Izalguuns they were just dead. Gone.
What happened here? I wonder. Did the Jinsuls catch up to them? Or...another player in this drama I wonder. This Kadrical. This...god.
Wheelers mind is barely able to focus on iteration. He still didbt not quite trust that Aspis Agent but he did help pay the bills.
"That's a lot ay knowledge tae record," Mordin says as he taps furiously on his datapad, taking notes.
On the way out, hearing the message, he says, "What's 'at android daein' haur?"
Culture: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Id stares at the holographic displays for a long while. Kadrical’s herald, the one called Dhurus...he’s presently the leader of the jinsuls. The mentrasi spirit feels great fear at his image, at all the jinsuls. I’m guessing that the volcanic activity is what killed these people, but they were clearly fleeing the jinsul threat. This Scoured Stars mystery is much bigger than I thought.
Id wanders past the other displays. From what I see, this “Kadrical” is not a malevolent being. The mentrasi cite him as overprotective, but it looks like the Godshield was meant to keep his worshippers safe from something. Matches what I found on Athaeum too. Now it looks like Dhurus has rallied the jinsuls to round up the other races and bring them back to Kadrical. Makes sense, since they were already aggressive to begin with. I think this “Kreiholm freehold” might be our next best lead.
With the transmission, Id’s antennae shoot up with a start. What in Ibra’s name is Iteration-177 doing here?! Those must have been their footprints we saw earlier! We should go track them down, but this is super weird. That android keeps popping up around the Scoured Stars leads we find...
That's several people that have suggested going, and frankly there's not much else to do here, so...
It takes you about 20 minutes to follow Iteration's coordinates to a small chamber, where you find the android lying in the chamber, their body partially dismantled. “Ah, Starfinders" they say when they see you, their voice as calm and as charming as ever. "How good of you to drop in. I’m having somewhat of a difficult time here, as you can tell. Surviving this place is more difficult than I anticipated, and I must admit to needing some assistance. Do you think you could do me a somewhat dangerous favor?”
Gear winces at the partially dismembered android and kneels down next to them.
Yeah, well, talk while i try to put you back together... Boytoy, pass me that scanner.
Engineering Put the droid back together!: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (3) + 16 = 19
Engineering aid: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
but she's a mechanic not a healer, and the line with droids is a little to close for comfort.
Id stares at the shredded android for a moment. ...uh...are you, okay? Do you need healing? Also, what in the world are you doing here?!