|Game Master S|
You find yourselves aboard the Sledgehammer, a titanic Ulrikka Clanholdings mining facility, floating factory, and exploration vessel. You’ve been here for several days, navigating the Diaspora with conventional thrust engines that rumble like a magnificent thunderstorm. Which means there's plenty of time to introduce yourselves!
Your communicators light up finally. Looks like you've got a meeting with the Venture-Captain at 1315 sharp.
Malaak is a standard Verthani. He stands 8 feet tall, with delicate features and long limbs. His eyes are pure-black orbs, protruding from his heads in half domes like the eyes of a mouse.
Quite well dressed, in a gray suit, white shirt and black tie he always has a charming smile clinging on his face and the only thing that seems unique about him are the several wires that come out of his head.
Except for a simple pistol in a holster he don't have a weapon.
When he mets someone new, with a voice, both professional and smooth, he presents himself as Malaak Goodman, attorney of Law. and gives his business card adding Better call me!
Standing just over 4 feet, with long auburn hair and a very weathered, dusky face is Elfa Amberridge. Her dark armor, while obviously kept pristine and shined, looks well-worn and is covered in several mystic runes, when viewed from the right angle. Strapped to her back is a large pick that seems right at home on the Sledgehammer with the other miners, while a much smaller hammer is strapped to her him. When pressed (and pretty much only then) she gruffly introduces herself, "The name's Elfa Amberridge. Better remember it cause I'll only tell ya once."
The clattering of large insectile legs echoes down the halls of the Sledgehammer as a ant-like humanoid makes her way into the room. She stops and salutes her compatriots. "Imperator Fexia, Starfinder, Representative of the Karnos hive, Hellknight Order of the Scourge reporting for duty upon request of the Queen Venture-Captain."
She relaxes, and takes off her backpack. A cable runs from the back of her skull into the back, which she disconnects and stows. She notably however does not lay down her Artillery rifle, preferring to keep it hooked to mounting points on her bandolier.
Finally she nods towards Malaak. "An interpreter of law. I shall require much of your assistance during these proceedings. The structure of a hive bears little resemblance to the structure of our organization, yet the Order of the Scourge leaves no room for error. Should my actions risk running afoul of local law or Starfinder Structure, I shall rely on you to inform me of such errors before they become inexcusable."
Towards Elfa, Fexia looks questioningly. "Ah, as a Dwarven emissary bearing the tools of the miner, you appear to be our mission specialist?"
|Game Master S|
Feel free to continue with introductions.
At the appointed time everyone arrives for the meeting on the Sledgehammer’s bridge, whose stark, bulky furnishings are designed for its similarly squat crew. Venture-Captain Thromkendal, a former businessperson of the Clanholdings and now member of the Starfinder Society wears a suit of stylized armor designed to look like interlocking stone plates. Thromkendal stands from her seat and beckons you forward as a blast shield lowers to cover the bridge’s titanic viewing port. Outside, a light hail of meteoroids bounces off the hull, beyond which looms a large asteroid. Several dwarven cranes, scaffolding, and extractors speak to a mining operation in full swing.
Thromkendal cracks her neck before speaking. “Sorry for keeping you in the dark until now. This venture’s a sensitive subject for most of the crew, and I appreciate your agreeing to pitch in. A few months ago, the dwarven mining consortium of Ulrikka Clanholdings began quarrying from the asteroid AA-126D, an especially metal-rich chunk of rock. They recently broke into a buried complex marked with the symbol of Droskar, the Dark Smith.” Thromkendal’s eyes narrow as she makes a harsh gesture as if warding off a hex.
“The duergar, our ancient enemy, apparently constructed a hidden base within the asteroid. It appears abandoned, yet the amount of blasphemous Droskari iconography nearly spurred the mine’s director to blast the rock into nothingness. I reminded her that the Clanholdings has a firm deal with the Starfinder Society that lets us first explore cultural sites they uncover in exchange for a percentage of the exploration’s profits as well as any dwarven artifacts and lore we find. The Sledgehammer’s officers are giving us three days to explore the site, document any technologies we find, retrieve any artifacts, and get out. After this period, the starship’s going to blast the whole thing to pieces.” She adds severely, “That’s how offensive Droskar is around here.”
She lowers her voice and adds, “Now I’m normally amenable to nuking evil from orbit, but this decision feels a little…rushed. There’s no telling what secrets are down there, and it might not even be something we’re equipped to extract or analyze. It might also be a den of fiends, in which case we’ll be lucky to have the Sledgehammer’s weapons ready. Be prepared to present your findings and recommendations once we’re done. The shuttle’s ready when you are.
Some of you may already know a thing or two the duergar and rumors about AA-126D. Don't forget to lower the DC if you have something like "Dwarf Friend"
Or maybe you know something about Droskar: Dwarf Friend and the Priest Theme both apply here:
It will be my pleasure to help you with any problem you could encounter. Of course, if something arises and need my intervention, there will be a fee. Says Malaak to the Hellknight.
Malaak listen to the Venture-Captain and tries to remember something about the Asteroid and this Droskar.
Culture: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Mysticism: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Malaak know little about Droskar, except for the basics but he's heard of the asteroid before coming here a little bit more.
He shares with his comrades the few he knows. feel free to read the spoilers that Malaak knows
So we have 3 days to explore the complex and take as many artifacts and data we could?
What if we encounter non hostile creatures?
Mysticism(-5 DC): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Elfa sighs and speaks up, "Those foolish Droskar worshipers are nothing but a bunch of overworked morons. They would rather die and haunt a mine as a ghost then realize Droskar is a vicious taskmaster. If ya ask me, if we encounter any followers down there, they are better off dust."
Xenal stomps her way into the room, ducking her head sheepishly at her tardiness. She's a typically towering Vesk warrior in bulky plate, her matte green scales shot through with ribbons of gold and crimson where they stand revealed.
"A pleasure to meet you all, I am Xenal Doshbinder. I hope that today's mission will allow us to show the strength of mind and arms that the Pact Worlds may bring to bear when we stand united!"
She makes a lot of gestures with her hands as she talks, but despite the warm tone of her voice, she doesn't really smile. Then again, a face-full of fangs might not go with a friendly greeting anyways...
Xenal's recently completed a very Dwarf-centric mission, and earned a Dwarf Admittance boon - would that count for Dwarf-Friendliness?
Culture: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23 Possibly -5 DC?
Xenal gently taps a rigid claw against her fang as she muses, "This lair would have been set up back when the disapora was still a lawless waste - I wouldn't be surprised if they've resorted to the impulses they learned when surviving their neighbors back on your lost Golarion. I've spoken with dwarves before who had been cut off in small enclaves and weren't even aware of the Gap or the loss of Golarion and Torag. We should be certain to give them a chance to improve their lot before merely atomizing them."
He! I recognize you from Zo! show that was hearing not long ago. Live, Exploration, Extreme!, right? It was with a lashunta that was quite the star, if you mind the pun!
Do you need a lawyer to take care of your recent burst in celebrity? I already represents several Starfinders.
Says Malaak recognizing Xenal from one of Zo!'s recent shows.
An elderly ysoki comes from the ship's mess hall in her own attempts to bring home cooked food the ship crew. She is covered in a silver-gray hair with patches of white interspersed. He wears a light set of armor and has a number of colorful handmade trinkets hanging from her armor and her pistols.
She moves into the room slowly as she makes no attempt to rush into the meeting as she stops to speak to a few of the miners to complement their work ethic.
To the party she introduces herself with a relaxed nod and smile, "It is wonderful to meet each and every one of you dearies. I'm Teka Teach, but you can call me Teka. I've been around enough that I'm not too worried about formalities. I'll be hopeful that I won't slow any of you down here."
Teka thanks and greets everyone and takes another moment to comment to Malaak as she takes a card, "Oh I certainly would be interested in your work. Much of my family and friends are adventurous sorts that would certainly benefit from you kind legal advice."
Culture: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Teka does nod her head in agreement with Xenal, "The wonderful people I've met on my way here have said the same. These ruins have been here since even before my time. It sounds as though that none of their scans have shown anything but a critters for life signs. I agree that if anyone is down there they may very well have been dead for since before any of us were born. We should be careful of any traps as well. I've helped take apart my fair share of dwarven devices in my youth, if the duergar are even half as capable crafters then every step we take into the asteroid could be a danger."
"Thromkendal, climates can vary so much out here and Malaak has already mentioned the heat, but does the asteroid have any atmosphere? I was wondering if we should make sure to prepare supplies like food stuff and air if we are going to be there for a few days.
Being very excited about traveling with so many aliens. Deloran asks questions about how they live, types of food they eat, and cultural heritage.
" Hello my name is Deloran Starrunner and I am pleased to meet each of you.
After hearing about the briefing he is shocked that they plan to destroy a whole moon.
"Is there no way to save all that cultural and historical artifacts from being destroyed out of hatred? And to just let everyone know that I have a dislike to kill things, and I personally will use less-lethal means to subdue a threat."
"Do you know if we will need any special environmental equipment to move around in the asteroid?"
|Game Master S|
"Actually, you will need to be ready. Gravity there is 1/100 that of Absalom station. You won't be able to fly, but darn near close to it. Also, there's no air by default, so be ready. As for the artifacts, there’s a wide range of possibilities. Nameplates, badges, jewelry, promising non-industrial computers, journals, personal remains, sacred weapons, and more might be relevant. Examine the context of what you find to make good judgment calls. I know it's less than ideal, but such is the feeling towards the Dark One."
Now is a good time to finalize any boons.
Same question about purchases. If we are able Teka will purchase the following:
Starfinder backpack, 750 credits
Radiation sweeper, 500 credits
Mk 1 Healing serums (5), 250 credits
Standard Batteries (2), 120 credits
As well I would like to purchase the Mobile Translator boon.
Teka happily chats with Deloran's as she talks about her various children and grandkids and her favorite food.
Regarding Deloran's question Teka does think a bit on the matter as she suggests, "I know only a little of this Dark One, but the people that follow him are cruel and we very well see the scars they left exploring this place. While it is nice to leave what we can be, some things are better laid to rest. If there is a reason to stop the destruction, it will be within the asteroid and even more important we keep our eyes and noses open."
She reviews the mission another time before asking, "what language do the duergar speak? If much of we search through is written down I hate to waste any of the precious time we have struggling to understand what we see."
"It appears as though our contingent is diverse and well equipped to handle every contingency. With Delorian as a nonlethal combat and hostage acquisition specialist, our tactical arrangements should be sufficient for most situations... however the mention of undead corruption does raise questions. We must make certain that we are appropriately trained and equipped for the elimination of... otherworldly threats as well."
She looks back at the Venture-Captain. "My queen, is there additional equipment stored aboard this colony-vessel able to handle threats of this kind?" Wondering if I can purchase any fusions to make a weapon magic, or possibly any force weapons.
She looks over Teka and Xenal, pondering for a bit. "I must apologize as I have little experience with Dwarves, Duergar, nor collection of such historical relics as requested by our Queen. I will be relying on all of you for guidance in appropriate procedures, and will endevour to assume as much of the physical risks as possible in order to ensure the safety of our mission specialists."
She connects her datajack back into her computer stored within her pack, then sends a quick message to a compatriot of hers using her personal com. "I also have an ally who was injured during the Scoured Stars... incident. They have made themselves available to me for questions regarding topics within their area of research."
I have a professional hireling with Culture, Survival, and Medicine as their skills. If you're OK with it GM S, I'll assume they remain aboard this ship and are available for communication via my comm link and computer connection. I have a Tier 2 computer in my backpack that I remain plugged into with a Datajack... mostly because it seems like a cool thing to do.
|Game Master S|
This ship is large enough that you can make purchases as normal. I'm 100% fine with the follower aboard. That's a nice way to handle the boon without having to actually worry about them getting killed.
"They speak Dwarven. Likely it's a bit different, but most of their remnants will be in dwarven. "
Go ahead and wrap up purchases and any other questions. I'm on mobile, so I apologize if I missed any. Will advance to the surface in the morning.
Knowing that they will be in 0-G environment, Malaak bought a 0G-Environmental-suit. Not speaking dwarf, he also buy a spell-gem of comprehend language.
To be sure that his suit will sustained him long enough, he also buys a battery for it.
Deloran will purchase a Radiation Sweeper. And I can not find 0G Environmental-suit? How much are they and where do I find them?
Xenal joins Malaak in his shopping. Picking up the same 0G/Rad suit
Also, I think my question about what counted for Dwarf-Friendliness was missed?
|Game Master S|
Dwarf admittance isn't enough here. There's a specific boon for "Dwarf Friend" that this scenario references. Sorry :-(
With everything secured, purchased, and prepped, the party heads to the shuttle bay. The ride is short and simple.
The shuttle lands on the asteroid’s surface about 200 feet from the entrance into the duergar complex. The shuttle’s pilot instructs you before leaving, "Activate your armor’s environmental protections and boots’ anchoring feature if you've got it!" (see page 196 of Starfinder Core Rulebook). "The gravity is just strong enough to walk, but a strong jumper could potentially leap free of the asteroid altogether and float into space!"
The walk is as easy as the shuttle. The breach into the duergar facility descends from the center of the asteroid’s largest crater, traveling along a straight, steeply sloping tunnel to a depth of about 500 feet. Much of the architecture is carved directly from the metal-rich asteroid, and beyond the distant glow of surface light, the complex is dark.
The tunnel ends at a wide pit crossed by a steel gangway. On either side are control rooms connected to mechanical arms. The gangway supports an immense, spherical device encircled by two hovering, instrument-laden rings and flanked by a large pair of clamps. One of these clamps holds a wide crucible tethered to the wall by chains. On the other side, the chains are broken and the corresponding crucible is gone. The gangway extends to a distant door of dark metal. The pit descends for hundreds of feet before reaching a shimmering pool of molten rock crisscrossed by broad stretches of solid stone.
Tactical Map is updated. You guys are anywhere in the red box to start.
Didn't have a chance to post earlier. I'll get a 0G/radiation suit as well and add to ceremonial clothing (45 cr)
Upon entering the underground facility, Elfa look in wonder upon the setup before them. "This place is immense! How are we supposed to comb through this in such an abbreviated time frame? Eloritu guide us here." After looking around for a few moments, she adds, "I think we should take a look at those control rooms first. Not sure I really trust being on that gangway before understanding those grabbers."
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19 For good measure
Teka will also pick up a Zero-G/Radiation suit following the rest of the party.
Teka takes careful hold of the railing as she looks down toward the depths of the molten pit. "We must not linger then if we are to get this job done."
"I trust your instincts Elfa, I don't trust those arms to allow us to proceed willy nilly. From there we might to be even tell what work the machinery did."
Perception check to keep an eye out while moving about.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
|Game Master S|
Teka also scans the vast room, seeing nothing that moves right now.
I suppose now is a good time to cover something. If you look at something specific "I check out the door." I just ask that the map be updated when you post. You know, in case of traps. ;-)
In the practiced movements of a soldier, Fexia engages and double checks her protections, activates her mag boots, and pulls out her neural lash, using it for balance more than anything.
Fexia nods then proceeds quickly. "Per hive protocol, securing the structures to the left and right before progressing is recommended. Do not leave potential threats to your rear when marching into the unknown."
She heads towards the room on the left and checks for traps or anything of cultural significance. Once given the go ahead from her compatriots, she motions for them to step back, then opens the door.
Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (19) - 1 = 18
Fexia's SOP when it comes to doors will be to request someone with a real perception check to look it over, then stand back as she opens it and moves in. I'm also going to start out on a great foot and ignore our illustrious GM. I'm on mobile and having a hard time editing the map right now due to my lousy reception. If someone wouldn't mind placing an icon for me right next to the door on the left that'd be appreciated.
Elfa huffs as the formian soldier hastily heads to the left door, "Don't forget about the dwarf among you." She looks over the door (per Fexia's SOP) to see what can be seen. "It's a door for Eloritu's sake. Let's open it.
Perception (on the door): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Xenal nods at Fexia's plan and readies her pike, standing at the hellknight's back, prepared to lunge should they be set upon.
Also temporarily unable to deal with the map :-/
After making sure that his new Zero-G/Radiation suit fits right Deloran makes his way out on the platform and using the hand holds He tires for the door.
Acrobaics: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 9 + 2 = 17
Just speaking out loud "I wounder where the other crucible is? Could it have fallen down?"
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@Xenal: Got an icon for you on the map right behind Fexia.
Teka slowly steps behind the party as she takes in the cavern showing complete confidence in the line of hardened Starfinders before her. "It likely has. Nothing is built to last forever, especially if this as old as rumors suggest. She pats her hip as she adds, "Age may give wisdom, but it doesn't stop the passage of time."
|Game Master S|
Ha! No worries. I often have to post on mobile as a player and can't get to the map.
Elfa determines that the door is safe, but it is locked. Malaak finds it extremely easy to unlock though. Clearly this isn't a high security area.
Inside is a basic control room. In the center of the room, a large cylindrical battery glows softly with red light. Scores of thick wires run like arteries from the battery to workstations throughout the area. The room’s relatively low ceiling, cramped conditions, and austerely procrustean workstations seem purposefully designed to quash individuality and encourage discomfort over the course of long work hours. The labels, controls, and software are all in Dwarven.
Elfa pushes into the room, "Looks like I'm up. Let me take a look around here. As the only dwarf among us, I'm uniquely qualified." She looks around the room and reads the labels, controls and any other items she can.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
|Game Master S|
|Game Master S|
Malaak easily bypasses the security and countermeasures in the system. Within moments the Verthani is in:
Greetings. The following are available:
Malaak download all he can do from the computer to his datapad.
With the help of Elfa to translate the info, Malaak asks By what do you want to start?
I will start to disable the alarm, then deactivate the negative energy hazard and then read the files and review the holographic animation. If nothing seems against it after looking or reading, I will launch the fire-retardant canister.
|Game Master S|
Malaak goes for the easy options before diving into the content:
The computers contain a wealth of text and image files, many of them irreparably scrambled or entirely empty due to having been created during the Gap.
More recent entries by the duergar immediately after the Gap record confused messages that speculate as to this device’s dwarven origins and what the duergars’ original objective on this asteroid was. These newer files also record hundreds of tests using the device here, what’s referred to as "the Solarian Stone." These tests largely involve experiments of light, gravity, and particle physics, later evolving into practical tests that directed these cosmic forces toward manufacturing weapons. All told, the logs cover about 40 years of activity, ending in several agitated messages reporting damage to numerous parts of the facility following an unauthorized activation of the Solarian Stone. There’s far too much to analyze in detail now, but you can transfer this information onto a computer or datapad with ease.
If you pass an additional DC 15 Computers check, read the spoiler below:
The holographic instructions are clear and easy to follow. It looks like it takes about 1 hour to complete the process. A reminder that armor life support uses power. At the end of the video there is additional voiceover in Dwarven. "For additional means please consult either clergy or a manager."
Looking over Malaak's shoulder, and pointing out a few things.
Computers: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
"There is an odd code there. It looks like some kind of computer virus made by some one called investigator Avaldur Rhols centuries ago."
Computer: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
Thanks Deloran, you're right.
All this seems quite interesting, it seems that this place was already discovered centuries ago bu this Abaldur Rhols. Strange that he never tell the world about this.
Before trying to cool off the molten core, lets explore further the place.
Intrigued, Malaak tries to find on his datapad all he can about Avaldur Rhols.
Culture: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
|Game Master S|
Malaak pulls up and summarizes what's out there for information. Avaldur Rhols was a somewhat legendary dwarven peacekeepers of the decades following the Gap prior to the Stewards’ creation; up until it faded out of fashion, his name was a byword for relentless investigation and tireless justice. Avaldur disappeared during a mission at about the time of the Pact Worlds’ foundation in 41 ag, and his implied death has been the subject of conspiracy theorists ever since.