An attendant escorts you into a meeting room in which you meet First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo. She rises from her chair and proclaims, “Ah, these are the agents I spoke about! Starfinders, may I introduce to you Ulyapses, a new friend from the Vast.” A massive, six-limbed alien rises from its chair, barely avoiding a collision with the ceiling. She clears her throat, and in a deep, bellowing voice begins, “I am honored to stand in the presence of those as accomplished as you. I am Ulyapses, and it seems our past and your present have come together.” As she speaks, she retrieves a holographic projector from the folds of her simple robe. “This is our history,” Ulyapses continues, gesturing to the images appearing from the projector.
Over the next several moments, the projector displays an advanced society of creatures shaped like Ulyapses laboring under an opaque golden sky. The creatures toil with obvious dissatisfaction, creating monolithic tributes to an unseen entity. At times, the shield fades, and in these moments the aliens quickly turn to the frantic design of rockets, starships, and other methods of leaving their world. Each time, the aliens fail to pierce the golden sky and must return to their toil. As the playback accelerates, the images speed past a myriad of failed escape attempts before suddenly slowing as the glimmering shield winks out of existence. As the barricade vanishes, the subjugated aliens swiftly escape aboard their highly sophisticated starships.
The images then show the aliens arriving upon a fertile planet. They bury the majority of their ships and load the remaining few with relics that remind them of the world where they had been held hostage. A small group of custodians flies these ships, laden with reminders of their grim history and other technological advances, to a nearby, heatblasted moon. On the newly settled world, the aliens live a peaceful, agrarian life for generations. Suddenly, a short golden obelisk descends from the heavens, igniting panic among the people.
With obvious sadness, Ulyapses shuts off the projector. With a tremble, she stammers, “Your brothers and sisters wait trapped behind the same barrier that once imprisoned us—Luwazi calls it the ‘Godshield.’ For us, escape took many generations and considerable luck. For you, perhaps, we have another path. We call the golden relic deposited on our world the Tear. We fear it heralded a return to our captivity, so we quickly deposited it on the same rocky moon where we sent our unnecessary technology and unpleasant reminders of our past. We call that facility the Repository. Perhaps the Tear is a key, or a beacon. But if it has answers, we don’t want them.” Ulyapses collapses back into her chair with a thud.
Elsebo steps forward. “We have permission to access the Repository and claim the Tear, on the sole condition that we take it far away from Ulyapses’s people and never bring it back. The key to pierce the Godshield awaits, and the Society needs you to retrieve it.”
Image of Luwazi revealed in the slides. Please introduce yourselves to each other and ask any questions you may have of Luwazi!
A large female vesk wearing heavy Vesk Overplate armor begins to speak. She is heavily armed with Doshko, Scattergun, and Rifle. The vesk looks to be some sort of soldier. She bellows "My name is Obozaya. The loss of our fellow Starfinders has been a shame on our honor. I look forward to working towards freeing them and restoring our honor. Can we expect any traps or defenses at the repository?
Replying to Obozaya, Luwazi says, "The izalguuns have been dumping technology and unwanted relics — godgifts, they call them — at the Repository for some time. However, they know very little about the Repository, as it was the purview of several izalguun custodians to store and study the materials sent there. Ulyapses knows which silo the Tear was sent to, but nothing more — communications with the izalguun custodians stopped decades ago. I’d be prepared for anything: advanced technology, radiation, or even strange magic."
Graelz-23, one more request when you have a moment. Can you include the name "Obozaya" in your profile's "Gender" field so that it's clear which character you're playing each time you post? Same idea as Shohiraj's posts showing "Keskodai". Thank you!
"Ulyapsesh, I am pleaset to meet you desp in dese unfortunate circumstances. I, Keskodai, choose to do all I can do help your people and remove de Dear."
The shirren who rises to speak is tall and gangly. Large yellow spirals adorn the chest and back of his black d-suit armor almost like targets. Yellow stripes also spiral up the armor's limbs. An unusual titanium and crystal container is strapped to his abdomen.
"I beg your parton. Spoken speecsh is difficult. May I mind speak to everyone?"
I do not mind at all a reply echoes in Keskodai’s mind as a floating Barathus advances towards Luwazi and the izalguun. With Lashunta ringwear armor carefully arrayed around the flying cephaloid’s shell, he glistens with a variety of colors as he drifts. The point of a pike sticks out from a pack wedged between its armor and shell, and the keen-eyed among you notice occasional red vein-y tendrils licking along the barathu’s soft limbs. And it is good to see you aain Obezaya. And you Keskodai. How is the child?
It is good to meet you Ulyapses. I am a series of dozens of strange and elongated syllables and melodies echo in the heads of each in the room before coming to a halt. But for those not of Bretheda, I am known as Bluuu
You say that you have not heard from your people’s ‘custodians’ for many decades. Is there a chance they may still be alive? I am uncertain of your species’ lifespans.
And Luwazi: what did we learn about the sister-object to this ‘Tear’? the one the Societyt found to enter the Scoured Stars last year? Is it dangerous? Beneficial?
Ulyapses responds, "I too do not mind telepathic communication.
"As to your question, Bluuuuu, I do not know. If not, then perhaps their offspring survived to continue acting as custodians. If you come across any surviving izalguun, my people would very much appreciate any assistance they may require."
Turning to Reynold, Ulyapses continues, "Yes, human, you may take what you wish. But please ensure any items you recover do not find their way back to my people. We sent them away for a reason."
In case any of you have not yet come across izalguun, here is link to an izalguun illustration: CLICK
Luwazi speaks up, replying to Bluuuuu and Spanner's questions, "The 'sister object' as you call it was uncovered by First Seeker Jadnura and it operated as a beacon linked to the Scoured Stars. It was found to be neither innately dangerous nor beneficial. It was simply what it was. However, it did lead to First Seeker Jadnura's ill-fated task force to the Scoured Stars, leaving them trapped behind the Godshield. So in that sense, it was dangerous.
"We don't know if this Tear now residing at the Repository can truly pierce the Godshield but we want to find out. The Tear sent to the izalguun is a near-perfect replica of the relic that led First Seeker Jadnura to the Scoured Stars. I hypothesize they are related, and the Tear’s arrival among the izalguun was an invitation for reentry into the Scoured Stars. I intend for us to accept this invitation."
Obozaya says "There is much honor to be had in bringing back the relic that leads us to our brothers and sisters. I for one am ready to get this mission accomplished"
We will do our best to be careful within your people’s traditional chambers. Bluuu thinks to the Izalguun. Are there any words or signs of greetings amongst your tribe? So that if we encounter any of the missing guardians we can show that we mean no harm?
Chk Chk is doing well. His cognitive abilities are developing very nicely, although my judgement may not be entirely objective. I thank you for asking.
And how are you?
Ulyapses, your species determination and effort in escaping the Golden Shield is inspiring. Your desire to avoid being trapped again is commendable and understandable. Freedom and choice are essential to life.
First Seeker Luwazi, are we to merely retreive the Tear, or to test it after removing it to a safe distance?
Ulyapses looks at Bluuuuu, lifts her rear right leg, front left leg and right arm. While holding her balance in this odd pose, she says, "Boom shaka laka laka boom!" She then resumes her normal standing position.
A second later, she chuckles and says, "Just kidding. A simple, generic 'We come in peace' statement will suffice." She teaches you how to say this in izalguun.
Smiling in amusement at Ulyapses' attempt at humor, Luwazi raises an eyebrow at Keskodai's question. "Simply retrieve the Tear. Do not... I repeat, DO NOT travel to the Scoured Stars on your own to test whether it can bypass the Godshield.
"Remember that we've lost eighty percent of all Starfinder Society resources when that Godshield went up, trapping First Seeker Jadnura and his task force. Once you retrieve the Tear, bring it back to Absalom station at once so that it can be studied.
"Am I clear?"
"Got it" "Do not travel to the Scoured Stars" Obozaya smiles and winks knowingly "Not going to test the tear" Obozaya thinks to herself "Luwazi sure was not subtle in hinting she want's us to test this tear out when we get it
With luck, this mission will be less perilous.
Bluuu's drifting mass adjusts its height ever so slightly in the barathu's best attempt at a nod towards Luwazi. He thinks to himself as he considers the group around him Eighty percent. That would leave one of us left and...an arm???
Reynold looks over his equipment. "Anything you'd recommend we bring along for the trip? You mentioned radiation, maybe a buffer?"
@GM: Reynold will buy a radiation buffer before leaving.
Luwazi nods and says, "Very good, Bluuuuu. Reynold, that may be prudent, given that we don't know what you'll encounter at the Repository.
"Remember team... Retrieve that Tear, take every precaution and return safe. You're some of my top field agents and losing you would be a great blow to the Society. Good luck, Starfinders."
If you haven't already, go ahead and slot your boons and post up any last minute purchases before you depart Absalom station.
The journey to the Repository is uneventful and when you arrive, you find thick nanocarbon walls sheltering the silo Ulyapses identifies. The silo is a deep, conical depression in the moon’s surface into which passing spacecraft could dump their payloads. The silo’s retractable roof is jammed closed with age and disuse, sheltering the interior from the heat, but this means the you can only access the silo through an airlock door at ground level and must descend a long, curving stairway around the conical depression to access the Repository complex itself.
Steep stairs curve around the interior of the cone beneath the silo, descending to a small platform that overlooks a smog-shrouded region below. The platform ends with jagged metal and torn struts, obvious clues that it once anchored a bridge to an airlock across the cone, dozens of feet away. Only a single small ledge remains in front of the airlock. Next to the airlock is an unlit computer terminal.
Map revealed! There are no lights here. Everyone will either need a light or darkvision to see and the distance you see is limited to the range of your light/darkvision.
The arrow depicts the direction you walked down descending stairs. The bridge that once connected where you are now standing to the western ledge is now gone.
Bear in mind that this map is one square to 10 feet. Therefore, your tokens are extra small to reflect you covering a 5-foot area.
How would you like to proceed?
That is a well-thought idea Reynolds Bluuu thinks to the human. It would be best to be cautious, especially as others have already gone dark within there. Bluuu will purchase and install a Radiation Buffer too. Surprisingly cheap!
As the party descends into the metal silo, Bluuu keeps one tendril on his tactical pike. But the barathu looks around, impressed at the structure even in spite of its current state of disrepair. Sturdy construction, but well-built to be camouflaged into the moon. I see how the izalguun were able to hide their advancement from so many observers over the centuries.
Reaching the edge of the stairs, Bluuu glances down below into the void when a walkway long-since fell. Unfortunate. But if a dropped bridge is our biggest challenge, this mission should be a success. He turns towards the others. I can fly over and attempt to affix a cable to the other end, to make it easier to cross. Or can others of you fly?
Giving one last glance down into the smoky depths. I wonder how much further down it goes?
Obozaya turn on the flashlight on her personal comm unit (15 foot cone) "All I have is this damn comm unit flashlight and now I have to skirt along this edge"
"My armor is equipped with jump jets. Not good enough to make it across, I think. I also have 60' of cable. To short for the distance unless someone has another 20 or 30 feet."
The tiny little ledge on the other side is 70-75 feet away. Those with darkvision of 60' looking down can just barely make out the top of a junk pile down below. Otherwise, you see only inky blackness.
Jump jets will only allow a movement of 30', after which you'd plunge down into the depths.
Have our intrepid heroes been stymied by... a broken bridge....?!?!
Foolishly did not buy cable for Bluuu.
The barathu points with a tendril down below. It seems that the bottom there is not too far. At least assuming it is solid and stable. With your cable Spanner you could climb down below, and then I could fly up to move it to the other side to be climbed up there.
Anyone object to that plan? Bluuu’ll fly down, make sure that apparent junk pile is solid, then wait until you all climb down, move the cable so it’s anchored to the other end, then you climb up.
Having installed his radiation buffer, Reynold had to disengage his infrared sensors, so the area is wholly dark to him. He uses the flashlight on his comm unit to see at least a ways in front of him. "No cable from me, sorry. Maybe Bluuuu can carry our tech person over to handle the door, then come back and ferry us all across?"
I'm going to say, given Bluuuuu's amazing strength, that if he puts all his gear down except his armor, then he can carry one person at a time while flying encumbered. However, note that skill checks will be required.
Alternatively, if Bluuuuu goes scouting downwards first, post that up and we'll see how it goes!
Obozaya says "I think I can get over there if I am careful on this ledge. What should I roll to try and cross the ledge?
I can certainly try. Bluuu thinks to Reynolds. But given the narrowness of the ledge, it could be complicated to balance if there is trouble opening the door. Keep the flashlight on me however: I will see if there is a passage or perhaps a cable or span down below.
With pike out and eyes wherever they are on a barathu open, Bluuu descends down below to examine the silo core.
Perception w Darkvision: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Note that the small ledge in front of the airlock extends only about 3 inches. So fitting more than one person at a time will be an impossibility.
As Bluuuuu floats down through the pitch black darkness, you see what is obviously a junkyard. Several hills of trash crest above the refuse foor and emit the stench of grease, rust, and old medicine. Miasmic vapors swirl in clouds around the garbage piles.
The floor, which is comprised of compacted trash, is 80' down with 'hills' of trash here and there rising 20'. All of it is considered difficult terrain. Tying off a cable to climb down will allow characters to safely reach the top of a trash pile 60' below, assuming they pass any required skill checks to descend the cable.
Bluuu ‘calls’ back up. The terrain down here is not fully level, but it is passable. It appears to be a junk repository. If you can climb down, then back up, the walls could be braces against. The barathu thinks Though perhaps making sure than door across can open would be an important first step.
Bluuu is happy to attempt to ferry our best engineer/hacker across first to ensure we can even get into the door (and who knows: maybe there’s a spare bridge control). But to get the rest of us across I still think the ‘down-and-up’ May work best. Though probably should ferry one to unseal the airlock as step 1
Anyone want to volunteer to take a ride?
Reynold grimaces, but nods. "Taking the scenic route into the trash piles via Blu Barathu Tours, I see. Fantastic. Well, if it gets us all over in one piece, then let's get this over with."
I guess let's have Bluuuuu ferry everyone one at a time, then tie the cable and we can climb up one at a time once the door is open.
If Bluuu takes Spanner closer to the door, he'll use Remote Hack to keep 20' distant in case anything goes wrong.
Perception 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
Engineering 1d20 + 13 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 13 + 4 = 26
Computers 1d20 + 11 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 11 + 4 = 32
Re-ascending back to the others, Bluuu asks for help having his ringwear dismantled from his outer shell. Then, the barathu clutches Spanner tightly and flies his over the void towards the door.
Would this be an Acrobatics check for Flight then? If so, and if encumbered:
Fly: 1d20 + 11 - 5 ⇒ (18) + 11 - 5 = 24
Otherwise let me know the appropriate check.
"What can I do to help?" the shy little ysoki asks.
willing to use a fly spell of level 1 or 2 if it would help, also have a high modifier on the likely to be relevant skills
Keskodai watches the operations, feeling quite useless.
Don't see anything useful on his sheet. This seems like a pretty good plan.
Bluuuuu, you can go ahead and keep your armor on but will have to leave all your equipment on the ledge with the rest of the party while carrying Spanner over. After reviewing the rules, I'm ruling no fly check needed because you're performing a straightforward move going straight across to the other side.
Bluuuuu floats Spanner across the...well...span and drops Spanner off. Spanner attempts to remain steady on the narrow 3 inch ledge while working on the airlock controls.
Spanner, please give me an Acrobatics roll to remain balanced on the ledge.
After a bit of work, Spanner expertly hacks the controls and the airlock door springs open! Suddenly a wave of energy washes over EVERYONE!
Everyone please roll a Fortitude save against radiation. If you have any bonuses (such as the buffers some of you bought) go ahead and add your bonus to your roll.
Also, if you are wearing level 7 armor or higher, your armor protects you completely and you're immune to the radiation. If your armor is below level 7, you still get a +4 bonus to your roll, so go ahead and add that.
Spanner can do the hack while Bluuuu holds him so no need for the Acrobatics check. He can put me down inside once the door is open.
Fort: 1d20 + 5 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 5 + 4 = 28