A month ago, we presented an array of cards from the Deck of Many Worlds and asked you to fuse those prompts together into a world of your own creation! We got some terrifically creative descriptions of weird and wonderful planets and their inhabitants, but Gyrwynt’s particular handiwork received the most favorites. So, as promised, here is a writeup of their Neidr Nine, ready to be inserted into any Starfinder campaign!
World of Watery Graves
Diameter: x1; Mass: x1
Location: The Vast
Day: 27 hours; Year: 2 years
Though the ninth planet of its system, Neidr Nine still lies comfortably in its bright sun’s habitable zone due to the fact that the star’s other satellites are clustered together in tight orbits. Neidr Nine is covered in a shallow ocean, with continent-sized masses of floating kelp forests that support much of the planet’s non-aquatic life.
Neidr Nine’s post-Gap history is marred by tragedy. In the first few decades after Drift travel was granted to the galaxy, a civilization of orcs calling themselves the Lesser Belkzen Imperial Alliance attempted to conquer the Neidr system. At a casual glance, Neidr Nine seemed to be an ideal target, with its oceans and landmasses a likely supply of natural resources. Unfortunately, as the Lesser Belkzen ships descended into Neidr Nine’s atmosphere, they discovered an overwhelming abundance of life-forms not picked up by their scanners: proteans, the chaotic serpentine outsiders from the Maelstrom.
What started as an organized colonizing expedition quickly became an all-out war as the proteans wreaked havoc on the various orc landing parties. Though the orcs fought back with gun and blade, the anarchic proteans—for reasons unknown—used a wide variety of tricks and tactics to disorient and kill the interlopers. The seaweed forests came alive to strangle. The waves rose up to drown. Weapons misfired to electrocute and burn. Starship hulls turned to basalt or stranger materials to cause deadly crashes. Soldiers suddenly turned on one another. All thanks to protean magic.
Centuries later, what was the Lesser Belkzen Imperial Alliance is nothing more than a few scattered pockets of orc mercenaries, many of Neidr Nine’s proteans have seemingly returned to the Maelstrom, and the planet’s waterways are haunted by the ghosts of the orcs that were killed there. However, this hasn’t stopped recent attempts to turn Neidr Nine into a home.
Over a decade ago, a collection of mutated astrazoans, each no larger than a pebble, landed their miniscule starship at the planet’s northern pole. They established a bubble city and factory named Reefworks just under the surface of the water in the crevices of a large section of brightly colored coral. The Reefworks astrazoans claim to be able produce a “ghost-proof” glass, citing the safety provided by their city’s bubble as evidence, and are happy to take purchase orders from those who can find them, although it takes them at least a month to manufacture enough of the material to be usable to larger species. Some of these astrazoans admit that the secret of the glass comes from the coral itself, which they claim can speak, though this is dismissed as rumor by Reefworks officials.
More recently, a network of platforms and watercraft has been built on Neidr Nine’s equator by a group of intrepid skittermanders. Known as Floatsbarely, this community is at the whims of the planet’s faint currents. Friendly and welcoming, these skittermanders are willing to trade the trinkets they dredge up from beneath the waves—remnants of the Lesser Belkzen Imperial Alliance’s failed attempt to conquer the planet—for goods and supplies. As Floatsbarely travels close to the places where the Lesser Belkzen orcs suffered their largest defeats, many wonder why the community isn’t routinely harassed by ghosts and proteans. Some believe the evils find the skittermanders inoffensive enough to leave alone, while others believe the furry, six-armed sailors must offer tributes or sacrifices. Religious scholars posit that Floatsbarely must have a divine patron who keeps the residents safe, a fact given some credence by the strange temple-like structure at the community’s center. However, the skittermanders refuse to allow just anyone entrance to the building, claiming safety reasons. If an enquiring individual could discover what secrets Floatsbarely holds (if any), several interested parties would be willing to pay handsomely for them.
A Brave New World
Friday, February 28, 2020