Xino walks into the waiting area outside the Conference room. He is dressed in drab but functional clothing with a pistol at his side. "Guess I'm the first one here." He says looking around. Sitting down he pulls out his tablet and continues working on his "Forgotten Space" novel "Space Wyrms Rampage".
A little Ysoki dashes into the room offering Xino his paw. Then he chatters away in the common tongue.
"Not late am I Wow! A Human its going to be a great pleasure to work with you. Names Zoomer I'm a pilot.”
He attempts to shake hands with Xino again.
"Wow I'm so pleased to be here”
As the two of you who have currently arrived wait outside, a small light by the door turns green in a signal for you to enter. Stepping inside, you see two figures in the room. They wait for everyone who was requested to go on this mission to come inside before addressing you.
Venture-Captain Arvin sits near the head of a large table that glows with images depicting an unfamiliar planet and its tiny moon, all surrounded by data readouts. He speaks with an android who wears a blue military uniform with gold accents. Bright red conduits trace across her bald head. Arvin gestures to the remaining seats. “Join us, Starfinders. This is Major Tower-9 of the Stewards, and we have much to discuss.” The android stands—she is nearly eight feet tall—and gives a stiff bow.
“Hello,” she says in a deep voice. “The planet you see before you is Tabrid Minor, a Near Space world whose primary sentient inhabitants recently made contact with a Pact Worlds survey vessel. They call themselves copaxis. Having just developed Drift technology, they are only now learning about the galaxy and its many inhabitants and threats. Copaxi leaders have petitioned for protectorate status. It is up to the Stewards to decide if Tabrid Minor is an acceptable candidate. As the supervisor for Tabrid Minor’s petition process, I have asked your venture-captain to organize an independent review of the planet and its people.” The android sits, and Arvin waves his hand across the table. The display zooms in on one of the planet’s largest continents.
“The copaxis are a terrestrial species numbering at roughly two billion, and their petition claims they have a unified government and a peaceful history. Massive floating cities drift over the planet’s largest continent, but they are apparently abandoned. The Major and I have determined that an independent review of one of these sites would provide the Stewards with valuable information for their final decision. Your destination is a city called Tabantria. It is your job to do what Starfinders do best: explore this area, cooperate with the copaxi research team, handle any dangers along the way, and report back to us. Any questions?”
Struggling to put up his tablet as the Ysoki attempts to shake his hand, Xino smiles. He has dealt with the little people before and knows he won't get a word in yet.
When the light turns green he stands and says "My name is Xino, shall we." and walks in taking a seat.
Hearing the description of the mission Xino smiles again. "The chance to meet a new species and explore their planet, I can't wait."
|Twik – “The Jack”|
A halfing pops out of the shadows with a quiet "Boo!" before turning to the Steward.
"My my... Aren't you a tall one?
Sounds like par for the course to me. Do we know anything else about the planet, the mysterious abandoned cities or these people? The Copaxi I believe you said?
Zoomer listens to the presentation a little then seems to get distracted by something in his mouth. With a small cough he spits an object into his paws. The spit covered object slips form his grip and the grenade drops to the floor and rolls under his seat.
The Ysoki vanishes in an instant dropping under the seat only to reappear as he stuffs the device back into his mouth.
Grinning to Xino "Yea that's great! Where we going? I missed that bit." Looking at a the worried expression on the humans face. Its OK, only a smoker I keep the frag on the other side. ;)
A large human in heavy armor holding what looks to be an axe-handle without a blade on his back listens intently.
After the Venture-Captain is finished, he begins to speak in a gruff, but cheerful, tone. "Sounds great! Oh, I'm sorry, I haven't introduced myself. Call me Jett. I'm... well, let's just say I'm a delivery man."
"Yea that's great! Where we going? I missed that bit."
Venture-Captain Arvin sighs a little at your lack of attention span, before saying "You are heading to the planet of Tabrid Minor, a world in Near Space. It is fairly standard as far as planets go, with Pact Standard Gravity, a pretty standard breathable atmosphere, and oceans that cover roughly half the planet. However, the few times that Pact ships have been over there, they have had some anomalous gravitational readings. You should be sure to run a scan of the planet with your ship's computers when you arrive."
"Do we know anything else about the planet, the mysterious abandoned cities or these people? The Copaxi I believe you said?
Major Tower-9 addresses you after you ask this, saying "I believe that your Venture-Captain has answer your first question. As for the other two, one is easier to answer than the other. When it comes to the Copaxi, we have had few official interactions with them, other than their request for protectorate status in the Pact Worlds. As such, we hope that you can add to our understanding of their society and history with your report. What we do know is that a Copaxi is a colonial network of specialized creatures living within a flexible exoskeleton, with each colony behaving a speaking as a single creature. So far, they have been worthy diplomats and shown great interest in Pact Worlds' cultures and technology. Some of their representatives have even learned our common language and used it to write their petition. You should have no trouble communicating with their research team and any delegates they send."
At this point Venture-Captain Arvin begins speaking. "As for the abandoned cities, we know next to nothing about them. That is why you will be going to one of them to do some investigative activities. Anything you find could be important to your report, so record anything you can for your report to the Stewards."
Zoomer seems to have become fascinated in his own fingers.
"So each of theses lifeforms is made up of how many creatures 100's or 1000's or 10,000's that times 2 billion is going to make a lot of creatures! Wow this I've got to see".
Then seeming to notice the other members of the party for the first time, he sets off to shake all their hand's.
Hey you guy's I'm Zoomer nice to meet you. Did you know we got a whole floatin city to explore and gravysometins to investigate I can't wait... Do you want me to fly the ship?"
In a brief moment of clarity Zoomer looks to Arvin.
"Can you tell us if these Copaxis have any ritual's or taboo's that we need to know about so we don't accidently cause offence?"
That clarity gone again.
"What kind of ship are you giving us and can I fly it?". Looks at the group "Any of you guys any good at navigating?"
|Twik – “The Jack”|
No further questions
Twik cocks his head at the Ysoki...
"Perhaps... we will need to take stock of the groups abilities."
Zoomer's mouth drops open an he mocks a faint only to moxie back to his feet.
"What! you've never heard of Zoomer one of the greatest combat pilots in the Pact Worlds well at least in Freespace 21" (Vidgame).
He winks to the halfling.
Well you will find I am a good pilot a marksman and capable engineer, I'm also nimble, reasonably stealthy and have survival skills. So what about the rest of you?
Having no other questions, Xino replies to the others. "Well, I'm best with words, both spoken and written, but I keep my body in shape. I'm nimble and light on my feet."
Venture-Captain Arvin looks to Zoomer. "That will be something that you will likely need to determine yourself. No offense, but again, we have had very little contact with the Copaxi up to this point."
Major Tower-9 then speaks up. "It is important for you all to remember that you are representing not just your Society on this mission, but the Stewards and the Pact Worlds as a whole, and your actions and report should reflect this. The Stewards seek information about the Copaxis themselves: their attitudes towards other species, their tendencies towards peace or war, and anything in their history that can help determine if they would be a good protectorate of the Pact Worlds."
After a few moments, Venture-Captain Arvin gestures towards the doorway. "Well, we have a courier ship waiting for you at the Society's docks. You may make any purchases on your way there, but don't dally too long on your way there."
Now is the time for you to slot any boons you want to. None in specific are recommended. I'll update again later tonight.
As you exit the room, you all get a comm message from Venture-Captain Arvin. It reads:
I forgot to give you this while you were still in here, but here is a datapacket with all that we know about the Copaxi and their world. Hopefully it will be useful to you.
Look on slide 4 of the sheets for the information. Also, I don't think everyone has put in their map token yet.
Zoomer looks at the his companions.
"I know a shortcut that will take us close to a dealer where we can buy healing stuff. I guess none of you can do that? I need to be sure we have enough! Unknow species an all!"
Go ahead and make any purchases you want. I'm going to post an update for the story.
Drift Travel to Tabrid Minor takes 9 days, and the journey is
uneventful. You emerge from the Drift above the planet, sensors primed to scan the planet's surface.
Shortly after their arrival, the PCs receive a transmission from
the planet’s surface. It softly pings, waiting for someone to pick it up.
"Well, I mainly do close combat, along with some spellcasting. Ship-wise, I don't really have much I can do."
"I know a shortcut that will take us close to a dealer where we can buy healing stuff. I guess none of you can do that?"
"I mean, it's not my specialty, but I can do some healing."
Jett walks over from wherever he was trying to help out to look at the notification. He calls to his companions, "Hey, uh, we got something from the planet! Some kind of transmission!" He waits until the rest of the group is there before opening it.
Answering the transmission, you see four creatures appear on the starship’s video screen; these are the members of the research team. The faces of these humanoids are featureless masks of smooth coral, distinguished by elegant antler-like growths. One of them has two antlers that form a swooping, symmetrical pattern before meeting nearly two feet above the creature’s head. The other creature’s antlers are shorter, but no less elegant: one has three jagged antlers like lightning bolts, another has two antlers curled like ram horns, and the last has countless antlers that resemble spiked hair.
The four creatures stare at the screen for a few moments, muttering to one another, pointing excitedly, and coming in and out of view as they jostle for their comm unit. One of them urges, “Be quiet! Look! It is working! There they are!” The speaker — the one with tall, symmetrical antlers — enters the center of the screen.
“Greetings, esteemed Starfinder Society representatives. I am Therseis, representative of the Yihil regional government, and these are the members of our research team. Thank you for accepting our transmission from our two-way planetary range personal communications device. I hope that your space journey was pleasant, and your Drift travel was of a minimal duration. Welcome to Tabrid Minor. We are using our computational device to share our latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates with your starship’s computational device. We have prepared a landing zone for you. We hope that it is large enough for your orbit-to-ground personnel shuttle.”
You can fairly easily navigate their shuttle to Tabantria using the copaxis’ coordinates. The city is not the largest or most central of the planet’s floating cities, but it is by far the most intact that you can see as you come in. As you come in on your final approach, an uneasy feeling washes over all of you as the gravity suddenly shifts, increasing to over 5G for a second before dropping to microgravity, then returning to normal gravity. After a few seconds, this repeats, with the gravity flipping around at what seems like a completely random rate. This causes your ship to jerk, requiring someone take the controls.
without incident after about 10 minutes of maneuvering and
acclimating to the shifting gravity.
The landing platform occupies most of a small field about 100 feet from the research base. Beyond the landing platform, the jagged edge of the floating landmass is completely open to the sky—the view of the smog-shrouded cities below is staggering. The encampment contains four small structures arrayed around a single larger structure, all temporary but fully enclosed. The four Copaxis wait outside this structure. Behind them, the dilapidated stone buildings of Tabantria stand in eerie silence.
|Twik – “The Jack”|
Twik parks himself in one of the control chairs for the journey. He does a scan of the planet as they arrived.
Computers: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
"Interesting stuff. The readings are a bit fuzzy - I think I can get more info if someone can give me a hand."
Read the DC13 Computers spoiler above. Also, If someone can give me an Aid Another so we can hit the other spoiler as well that would be great!
While he's already in the chair, Twik confidently lands the ship on the planet despite the changes in gravity.
Piloting (T10): 10 + 14 = 24
Going to one of the terminals Xino attempts to aid The Jack in his work.
Computers,Aid: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
A quick glance at the halfling is the only response from Zoomer.
Springing from his seat he rushes to the airlock.
"Ok! lets go meet the native's..."
As you exit your ship and approach the Copaxis, you can tell that none of them are carrying weapons nor appear to have on armor, dressed more appropriately for either research or social interactions. They begin walking towards you, their arms angled slightly out the the side, with their palms facing outwards. Once they get to within about 30 feet of you, each of them spins in a slow circle. They then silently look at you.
Zoomer rushes out in his normal fashion on spotting the dance thinks?
Culture: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
He attempts to copy the movements of Copaxis (tempted to throw in a Moxie at the end he resists the impulse)
|Twik – “The Jack”|
Twik cocks his head at the new arrivals before swiftly & silently stepping forward and copying their movements and actions.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
Culture: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Stepping forward Xino Copies the movements of the Copaxis.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Jett also tries to copy the movements. However, he tenses up after noticing the Copaxis didn't bring any weapons or armor, and realizes how out of place the group must look.
You all mirror the movements of the Copaxis, some of you slightly better than others. After a moment, the Copaxi with tall, symmetrical antlers steps forwards and begins speaking in Common. "Greetings representatives from the Pact Worlds. We must thank you for returning out customary pre-interaction greeting gesture. It is deeply ingrained within the fabric that forms our overall society. We also must offer our apologies, for we are not very aware of any customary meeting gestures that are traditionally engaged in within the Pact Worlds, aside from what we have seen over our viewscreens from other ships native to your planetary system. I will tell you some things that may assist you in staying away from any unnecessarily uncomfortable situations. Bowing should be avoided as much as possible, due to it being seen as an aggressive gesture here on Tabrid Minor. You should also avoid speaking before performing the pre-interaction greeting gesture, as it is a sign of taboo and malicious magics." They then shuffle to the side slightly. "Finally, please strive to avoid coming into physical contact with any Copaxi here, so long as the Copaxi has not specifically invited you to do so." They then lean down slightly, angling their antlers to the side. "If you would appreciate doing so, you may touch my antlers."
Picture in the google slide.
Zoomer touches the antlers of Copaxi.
"Wow let me say I'm excited to be here. My name is Zoomer, Oh! do your people have name's? I'm a pilot and an engineer although my designation is a soldier I'm not a fighter but a marksman good with ranged weapons. Well I'll let the rest of the team introduce themselves to you. Oh! and the traditional greeting of my people is shaking hands."
He holds out his paw.
"If you would like to try it I also allow you to do so?"
Unable to resist Xino reaches over and touches the Antlers. "I must say learning about new cultures is always an honor."
The tall-antlered Copaxi jitters slightly as you all touch their antlers, saying "Apologies, Pact Worlds representatives, our name is Therseis." Glancing over towards Xino, they say "It is good that you find pleasure in meeting the cultures of species other than your own. If you did not, then I would say that this wouldn't necessarily be the best for this inquiry." A moment passes, in which nobody says anything. Therseis then says "Your various species do all understand sarcasm, yes?"
After you have all had an opportunity to feel Therseis's antlers, the Copaxi gestures towards their three colleagues standing behind him. "You probably wish to know the names by which to call the other members of the research team while you investigate Tabantria, correct? We would also appreciate receiving the names of the rest of you as well, so that we may better address you when conversing."
|Twik – “The Jack”|
Therseis looks to all of you in turn. "My formal greetings then Jett, Xino, Twik, and Kodrog." He then gestures behind him, to the Copaxi with antlers that look like a pair of curling rams horns. "This is Gnaucara. They are out team’s physicist and resident air and low orbital vehicular pilot." They appear to be looking with interest at your ship, but very little at all of you.
Therseis then gestures to the Copaxi with three jagged, lightning like antlers. "This is Bryanisis, our resident biologist." As opposed to Gnaucara, Bryanisis appears to be very interested in all of you.
"And finally, we have our archaeological and geological specialist over here, Panacula." Therseis is pointing to the Copaxi with numerous small antlers. The main thing you notice about them is that a portion of their chest exoskeleton seems to display the Pact Worlds’ insignia.
Turning back to face you all, Therseis folds his hands together. "Now, is there anything you would like to talk with us about before you begin your exploration and examination of this ancient flying city?"
Gnaucara will engage in conversation with you Zoomer, talking about space travel and specifically your journey here. However, you can tell that their interest is purely scientific in nature.
For your question Kodrog, Therseis will step up to you. "Kodrog, you wish to know more about my species as a whole? Well, there is a vast amount of information I could tell, but I will try to keep it brief so as to not provide to much information. As a species, we Copaxi highly prize our individuality. On average, individuals among us usually only live between forty and fifty years as defined by the Pact Worlds."
"As for a major difference between, say, Humans and Copaxi, is that our bodies are made up of countless polyps. Similar in structure to something I have heard described as 'coral', they are all genetically identical. Over time, they can shape and reshape themselves into a variety of organs, and they additionally excrete the material that forms our exoskeletons. We have a limited ability to exert control over these excretions, allowing us to change and reshape our appearance over time, as you can see Panacula has recently done." He gestures in the direction of the Pact Worlds symbol on the stated Copaxi's chest. "Now, over time, the individual polyps that make up our bodies also gradually die and get replaced by new polyps, allowing us to slowly reshape our insides as well as our exterior.
"As for more, how do you say, delicate matters? Copaxi do not have genders as other races do. We don't have need of any other individual to reproduce, although long-term romantic bonds are not uncommon among us. Due to our lack of gender, we have through history traditionally used pronouns that are neutral in that regard. However, in recent years, several Copaxi who have interacted more with people from the Pact Worlds have began choosing to make use of pronouns that have an associated gender."
"Is there any else you would like to know, or is that enough for now?"
|Twik – “The Jack”|
"Well that's not only informative but interesting as well! I hope the relationship between our peoplesgets better and better! Now... let's go and explore this flying city. I admit to being intrigued!"
Zoomer takes Gnaucara inside the shuttle and explains the workings of each console (From a Ysoki perceptional view).
He goes into the layout of his home system the pre-drift technology's and fuel.
Once Gnaucara's is satisfied he moves on to Bryanisis, giving the Copaxi the run down on Ysoki physiology at least as much as he knows.
Finally he goes to Panacula and explains about Aciton's flora and fauna and the vast ruin's that contain stuff.
Having been sure to be polite to all the scientists he returns to Therseis,