Seagull

John Mangrum's page

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The adventure doesn't say, and to my eye does its best to stress it doesn't matter (it's sold and gone by the time the adventure starts). It's referred to as a relic and an artifact, but isn't necessarily either of those in the technical sense. So it's probably some high-level item (magical, hybrid, etc.) that could be found deep inside the sun. If the players get curious, I'd dig up some magic item (or maybe lesser artifact) associated with efreet, the Plane of Fire, or some such. Or you could use it to foreshadow the culture the PCs are going to encounter down the line.


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I'm trying to not weigh in on SF2 discussion because, well, I want to be generally positive, but I'll say this. As someone who just isn't interested in the PF2/SF2 ruleset but is interested in the SF setting, I plan to keep up with the game line once it transitions.

The twofold truth of the matter is that SF's creature and encounter design is streamlined enough that converting SF2 adventures to SF1 will likely be relatively painless (I say this as someone who converted all of Legacy of Fire from 3.5 to PF1 to run it.), and it's going to take SF2 a good long while to branch off in directions that SF1 hasn't covered. So my hope is to keep on trucking in the 2E era, converting adventures. Heck, I'd even ponder putting adventure conversion guides on Infinite, but I think I'd slam into a hard OGL/ORC wall there.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Oh hey new Forum members :O How many members does Society's Forum even have?

We've never been given solid numbers, but the Scoured Stars hardback suggests that the Forum is actually fairly large. The Forum is "the most numerous of the Society's leaders" and made up of veteran field agents, managers, scholars, and some venture-captains. They're essentially the entire upper-management bureaucracy running the Society.

For me it actually raises the question of whether the faction leaders shouldn't be officially considered Forum members as well.


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Thought of another one, related to the Historias:

Spoiler:
Why was all identifying info about Historia-3, both digital and analog, wiped? There's obviously something in the works here.


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Sounds like a lot of the right choices being made.


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John Mangrum wrote:

I'll touch on some of these when I update my Narrative Arcs thread, but:

** The Other Scoured Societies **

Dipping back in to footnote myself. Having taken a closer look through the Scoured Stars AP now, I reckon there's a good chance...

Spoiler:
..., based on how the book presents the Kreiholm Freehold, that the underwater weaponry the jinsuls were developing could have been intended to target the undersea syngnathrix cities on Saaruq 5.


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Noven wrote:
Is there currently a mechanic where people can look at a map of the galaxy or look at the sky and point to a star and find a path to that system? Like blind exploration? Right now it is you just follow beacons and get to your destination, but what if I see a Type K star "here" and want to go explore it, do some calculations and enter the drift.

A fairly large chunk of the Dead Suns AP is predicated on not being able to astronavigate to a visible star via the Drift without the system's Drift coordinates.

On the other hand, explorers have to be able to go to an unexplored system somehow, and explorers like the Pact Worlds and the Azlanti visiting their closest galactic neighbors first doesn't sound like a coincidence.

So, presumably, some kind of "blind" Drift navigational calculation is possible, but it's likely to require extensive, time-consuming number crunching. And it may be that real-world distance adds to the complexity, making it, say, difficult but reasonable to calculate a Drift course to the nearest unexplored star, but exponentially more difficult to reach some dot on your starmap of the far side of the galaxy.

The Gap could factor into this. Real-world star maps are based on light and radio emissions traveling at the speed of light. If you're chasing a star, and the light from that star left it before the end of the Gap, the light you're seeing now might be wrong.


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John Mangrum wrote:

Welp, with the new Scoured Stars AP announced it looks like it's time to put this thread out to pasture. I'll retire it with with a laundry/wish list of four dangling threads I hope the new hardback addresses.

Scoured Stars Spoilers #1

Scoured Stars Spoilers #2

Scoured Stars Spoilers #3

Scoured Stars Spoilers #4

Now that the book is out I can finally check and see that, yes, of the three lingering questions I really wanted answered, I got answers to all three.

Plus bonus history! The hardback intro tucks in some important specific facts about the early days of the Starfinder Society! We know why and when the first First Seeker was elected now! And why and when the Society established the Lorespire Complex!


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John Mangrum wrote:
And lo, the long wait begins.

One year, one month, and 26 days later:

And lo, my watch has ended.


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I'll touch on some of these when I update my Narrative Arcs thread, but:

The Other Scoured Societies:
The Year of Scoured Stars metaplot/adventure path only encountered two of Kadrical's heralds (see above) and only four of the eight civilizations that fled the Scoured Stars so long ago. During the metaplot, there are hints that the Jinsul Hierocracy may have been prepping to attack (or even actively waging war) against a totally-unseen-by-the-PCs underwater enemy. The jinsuls were scattered, but not eliminated, and we've recently heard that the jinsul menace will return, under new management, in 2E. Will we meet the rest of the Scoured Stars species?

Icefront:
Just a few years ago, the Starfinder Society earned the respect of the izalguuns of Icefront/Izalraan by preserving their secret: that they were not actually iron-age hunter-gatherers. But by 324 AG, the Pact Worlds know that izalguuns were once highly technolgically advanced, and that, indeed, the new leader of the Starfinder Society is one of these entirely-modern izalguuns. Will this draw unwanted attention to the "traditionalist" izalguuns still living on Icefront?

The Hitchhiker:
Back in Year Two, an infernal imp hitched a ride on a Starfinder ship to Absalom Station, where he flew off to get up to some devilry. A boon promised that PCs might encounter that imp again; will it ever happen? (I'll hold myself to just this one "Will this NPC boon ever pay off" entry.)

The Wildlife Trafficker:
In 320 AG, Starfinders got to choose whether a smuggler who accidentally unleashed Swarm components into the guts of Absalom Station faced the law or was spared (in expectation of big favors in return). What choice did the Society make?

Competing Realities:
The Starfinder Society has (unpredictable) access to alternate timelines, which agents got to check out once in Year Four. Meanwhile, we know that the Veskarium (in multiple realities if we include Drift Crashers) has conducted military experiments in accessing alternate realities -- including the seemingly abandoned Prime Timeline experiment that seemingly introduced those adorable Alien Specimens to our galaxy. Will the Starfinder Society ever cross paths with competing timelines again?

Faithful Allies:
Toward the end of the Year of the Data Scourge, the Starfinder Society may have made allies of any of several religious leaders and dignitaries. Will the Society -- oh, look, let's jump to the point. Are we going to see Shadebringer Nevis again or what?

A Giant Problem:
Every time the Starfinder Society has delved into Pholskar's history, they've emerged with closets full of skeletons. Naiaj seems certain that this is primed to explode in the Society's face if the Society isn't increasingly careful. Is she right?


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Update: Now that I'm a week or less away from having the Scoured Stars hardback sent my way, and now that I've seen the full schedule of scenarios for Year Six, I will shortly hop back on the horse to revise and update this thread.


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This AP uses milestone leveling. PCs level up at the end of each scenario except for two, which will boost them 2 levels each.


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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Congratulations to Sarmak (and his player!)

Ditto to this, and now hoping that we circle back around to Icefront/Izalraan. All of these technologically modern izalguuns popping up in public are certainly going to draw attention back to their adopted home world; how is this affecting the "traditionalist" izalguuns who wanted to stay under the galaxy's radar just a few years ago?


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Just to add to the knowledge base, I've had multiple subscriptions for many years. Pathfinder 1E, 2E, Starfinder, and maps, in different combinations over time. No matter what's being shipped, I expect about a week's wait, give or take a day or two, between the pending order confirmation and the shipping notice.


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Sounds like the election results will be announced during Paizo Live! on Twitch today (starting 7 PM Eastern/4 PM Pacific).


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John Mangrum wrote:
What map?

Ne'er mind, I see it now.


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I quit writing professionally (and drawing, personally) because the creative process started to feel mentally torturous. And despite the anguish, I still feel the urge to create.

Just putting that out there.


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The Gap also needs to be powerful enough to prevent the Pact Worlds' deities, who by and large are not located in the Pact Worlds, from being able to help explain it and/or fill in lost history.


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If there's one thing Year 7 won't need it'll be for one of the final chapters of the year's metaplot to be an entry-level scenario.


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End of the day I still think Aucturn is going to hatch. The Idari being destroyed would be, if anything, too familiar to me. (It's been destroyed twice already in alternative timelines, so to speak.)


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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Man, the art on these is gorgeous. And John? You gotta vote. You run so much of our Society Scenarios. From a lore / story perspective, don't you want to have a say on the Season's quest givers?

Let the record show that I did indeed vote.

And I really had to think about my choices!


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Yeah, it's a bit of a retcon, though not so much on the page as it seems when Ports of Call was initially promoted. Right now I'm just waiting for and hoping that the Scoured Stars hardback fills in a lot of blanks. Really I just want to pin down Otorak, and due to weird synchronicity the SS hardback, both original deadline and now delayed, are fated to (hopefully) answer that shortly after I finally conclude my Scoured Stars home game.


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Syvis wrote:
Kortus IV....that name sounds vaguely familiar...

It's the...

Spoiler:
"missing" colony world that Ehu Hadif pledged to find when he ran for First Seeker.

More specific spoiler:

Spoiler:
The Society visited it in #5-13.


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There are two more APs coming for SF 1E next year, both in hardback format: Scoured Stars and Mechageddon!. Then the 1E line is over.

If you want those APs, it's good to subscribe.

Might also note that being subscribed to a largely inactive product line still counts as a subscription for benefits like Paizo Advantage, until they flip it off.


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Might be worth noting that page 126 of the Galaxy Exploration Manual discusses tech categories, listing examples of the types of technology expected to emerge in each of nine technological eras. It's general guidelines, not specific to Golarion, but it gives the general sense that:

* Pathfinder-era Golarion is in its Archaic Age (cat 1), with limited hotspots entering an Industrial Age (cat 2).

* Assorted hints and tidbits suggest that discrete outposts of tech development on Golarion were just starting to enter the Space Age (cat 3) when the Gap began.

* Starfinder-era galactic society is generally in the Drift Age (cat 8), with lower tech categories pretty common (but isolated) and a handful of known powers reaching the Intergalactic Age (cat 9) in various ways.


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Flamespeak wrote:
While I'm cool with calling my SF1e collection complete. I do need to get the other adventure paths outside of Dead Suns and was hoping for at least having them as collected single bound offerings. Since that isn't going to happen if work is going to be focused on 2e, is there any way a collected bundle of the books could be offered?

Not really, no. To begin with, Paizo's policy is that the original run of AP books needs to sell out (at least in part) before they publish a compilation. The last three announced books (including two hardback APs) are what we're going to get.


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There's a few additions and corrections I'd like to make, and I obviously have more to say about Years 5 and 6. I'd been waiting on Fortune's Fall to clarify a few matters regarding its connections earlier metaplots, but it's being coy so I'm gonna go ahead and update within the next few weeks.


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I would not complain about an early 2E Starfinder book, literally titled Starfinder Alien Cantina, that was packed full of updated ancestries.


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Weird, inconsequential personal trivia about an NPC in this scenario:

Spoiler:
When Almina was introduced in #5-11, I found that I needed some art of her for my home game. Failing to spot a physical description, I made her up from scratch in Hero Forge, giving her green hair. Then I noticed that she is briefly described (as having purple hair).

And now that we have official art, her hair is green! Feychild gnomes, man, they keep you on your toes.


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Okay, a quick rundown:

So far, all lore on the modern Kreiholm Freehold comes from two scenarios:

Spoiler:

1-29: Honorbound Emissaries
1-39: The Herald's War

Neither of these scenarios names the Freehold's language, but the scenario that introduces the Freehold does make it clear that they don't speak Common (which they shouldn't, since the Freehold is historically isolationist and this is close to a first contact encounter). That scenario circumvents the language barrier via a handful of locals who learned Vesk during an isolated prior event, and a thyr, who is presented as being fully telepathic and a natural interpreter. (This last part has since been retconned in a way that still functions for their original appearances. Or maybe NPC thyrs are still fully telepathic, since we've only seen PC traits.)

And as far as languages go that's all we know!

So now I'll dive into headcanon. Keep in mind that Ports of Call and a very recent Starfinder Society scenario currently have me suspecting that some of this is going to be retconned in the Scoured Stars AP, so YMMV.

Here goes!

The Kreiholm Freehold is comprised of five sapient species. It's entirely possible, even likely, that each of those species has its own native language.

However, the Freehold is also a tightly knit, highly integrated society, so it's almost certain that the Freehold has some kind of "Common" language. In my campaign, I call it Freetongue. I could swear I pulled that from somewhere, but if so I can't find the source.

Three of the Freehold's sapient species were originally native to the Scoured Stars, while two are native to the Saaruq-Ruaan system. (The retcon I think I'm seeing in the new material is that the two native species seem to now be presented as having been from the Scoured Stars as well. But it's vague. I dunno.)

According to the history given in the original two scenarios, the two species native to the Saaruq system (specifically, matohs from Saaruq-3 and syngathrixes from Saaruq-5) were antagonistic to each other until the Freehold newcomers united the whole system into one big, peaceful, democratic society.

Thyrs were presented as telepathic (free of language barriers), and the third species from the Scoured Stars, tekians, has biological reasons to remain at arm's length from the other species. So in my head, Freetongue is primarily rooted in Entu, the nelentu language, blended into a mixed language drawing freely from Matoh, Syngathrix, and Tekian. (In my headcanon, the original Kreiholm, the founder for whom the Freehold was named, was also a nelentu, or at least an entu symbiote).


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blashimov wrote:
Hopefully not to much necro but what book is Golarion World described in??

Ports of Call.


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In the after-hours Discord chatroom during PaizoCon, folks tossed around the idea that Paizo should finally publish an adventure titled "Test of the Starstone." It would, naturally, be a Starfinder Society scenario in which the PCs need to go through the Cathedral of the Starstone ride, which turns out to be some elaborate escape room-type experience, a la Gen Con's Living Dungeon.

Ideas I tossed out:

* On their way in, the PCs spot Cayden Cailean heading out the exit with friends, leaning over to them and saying, "Honestly, I still don't understand what we were supposed to be doing in there."

* When you leave the ride, you can purchase a photo of the exact moment you "ascended to divinity."

* Golarion World's hotdogs are called gobdogs and may or may not be made of real goblin dog meat.

* The wildest idea I tossed out: The spark of the adventure is that minions of <<the Salvation's End Big Bad; if you know, you know>> bust out of the vault complex by raiding Shantyspire Lodge and stealing a Starfinder ship. They plug in coordinates, looking for Golarion, and come up with Golarion World instead. The PCs, who happen to arrive on an unrelated job just as this breakout is happening, haven't even left orbit when the venture-captain frantically contacts them and tells them to chase down the rogue ship. The PCs then need to chase <<the Big Bad's>> minions to Golarion World and stop them when the baddies break into the Cathedral of the Starstone to steal the "starstone" for their master.


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CorvusMask wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Elorains are the "clockwork automatons" native to the Nebula Union's system. They're introduced (with a passing mention) in Ports of Call but this scenario is the first to name them (and provide art for the system's resident species).

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Evan Tarlton wrote:
And don't think I didn't catch the Starfinder hint.

I've skimmed through and didn't catch it. Page #?


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BTW, when it comes to pronunciations, nothing in Starfinder has twisted my tongue more savagely than the scenario that required me to speak sentences in which Kunoris Vex talked about the vesk of Vesk-XX.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Nykiti raised a question for me. Aroden died, which caused prophecy to stop working. Then came the Gap. After the Gap, is prophecy working again?

The take I've always assumed Pathfinder (and now Starfinder) goes with is that following the death of Aroden, limited, vague, or fallible prophecy (like augury spells) is still possible. You can predict the future, but you might be wrong, and your actions may tug on the threads of fate, preventing the prophecy from coming to poass.

Whereas prior to the death of Aroden, prophecy was essentially infallible. Fate has declared that you will be slain by a particular sword? Oof, too bad, sorry to hear it, but it is going to happen.


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Also, yes, the art is uniformly fantastic. And I've mentioned elsewhere, but nice just on the level of getting another male half-orc portrait in Starfinder! They're particularly rare!


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I'd be more than happy to vote (on the other hand, I'm also content to sit on the sidelines, eating popcorn), but I assume voting will only be open to folks who actually play the scenario in OrgPlay. If I'm wrong, though, I'll vote! But I honestly don't know who I'd vote for yet! Now I'm anxious! You know who never gets anxious about voting for their leaders? The Veskarium!

VOTE THE VESKARIUM FOR FIRST SEEKER


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Oh lordy, campaign season has officially begun.


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I recall a recent interview with John Compton, I believe, where in response to a question about 2E he offered up, in an extremely speculative and noncommittal way, something to the effect of "Sure, I can imagine there being a conversation about Starfinder 2E in three years."

Personally, if I found out that SF 2E was definitely coming in 3 years I'd just be relieved to be secure in the knowledge that SF 1E would still be going until then.


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Solid lineup, strong mandates. As a non-voter, I can safely say I don't have a clear favorite!


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I can tell ya that one thing clear during Paizo Con was that every time some gamer brings up Starfinder 2E (or insists that it's coming) a little bit of light fades from the devs' eyes.


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Taking an oppressed underclass and reinventing them as the oppressors has some... real world connotations that I would prefer to avoid.

But that said, I've decided I'm just going to sit out on further Apostae speculation until we eventually learn the SF team's official plans.


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Within the existing context of the setting, though, that would transform orcs overnight from "oppressed underclass" to "scheming villains."


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Between this adventure and Ports of Call, I can't tell if there's been a retcon regarding the Kreiholm Freehold. In both of these products, matohs and syngathrixes have been lumped in with nelentu, tekians, and thyrs as species native to the Scoured Stars, when the S1 scenarios originally portrayed these two species as native to the Saaruq-Ruaan system, the Kreiholm Freehold's adopted home world. So until the AP hardback comes out next year, I'm left wondering if this is a retcon or canon drift.

Also, now I'm curious about Icefront/Izalraan. It's nice to see confirmation that the izalguuns of "Icefront" are still posing as a technologically primitive society (Ports of Call had me wondering), but now I'd like to know how well that works when there are izalguuns living "openly" in technologically advanced style back on Agillae-4. Someone's going to put 2 and 2 together, surely.


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By Jove, he has it!

(I jest because the ramifications of what this means for Apostae are still settling in my chest.)


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Ports of Call does not touch on evolutionists at all. The book you might be hoping for is Starfinder Enhanced.

However, there is a 3PP supplement newly available at Infinite here, A Port to Call Home Instance 01: Atuity Character Options, by Sasha Laranoa Harving, that includes a fungus-themed alternate class feature for the evolutionist, if you're interested.


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The Scoured Stars is an existing anchor point connected to several other systems in the Vast.

Scoured Stars AP spoilers:
Those being:

Izalraan (planet). Known as Icefront in the Pact Worlds, this is the adopted home world of the izalguuns. The Pact Worlds just uses an astrometric survey code for the star itself, as far as we know. Or maybe, by the time of Ports of Call, the izalruuns on Icefront have publicly revealed themselves, now that their ties to the Scoured Stars are well known.

Kukanou (star system). Kukanou-2b, a moon orbiting a gas giant in the system, was briefly the adopted home of the mentrasi.

Rax (planet). Adopted home planet of the jinsuls. The system's unnamed star is near a vast nebula that periodically spits out cosmic horrors. That could make Rax (or at least that nearby nebula) a candidate for sitting within Pharasma's Coil.

Saaruq-Ruaan (star system). This binary star system is the adopted home of the Kreiholm Freehold, the fourth of the known Scoured Stars civilizations.

Now then. Keep in mind that the upcoming hardback could change any of this, but for now...

Scoured Stars AP spoilers:

The adventures obviously provide no way of telling where any of these systems lie within the galaxy. And the civilizations used different (pre-Drift) interstellar drives to reach their new homes, so that doesn't fill in any details either.

But! After these civilizations abandoned the Scoured Stars, the system's deity sent an artifact to each system. These artifacts were functionally identical: all used the same unknown, pre-Drift means of interstellar travel, but--and this bit is key--they reached their destinations at vastly different times. As in, separated by thousands of years. Presumably, since the artifacts were all traveling at the same speed, the time it took to reach their destinations can tell us something about the relative distance.

So. The civilizations all fled the Scoured Stars at the same time (on a cosmic timetable), thousands of years ago, before the Gap.

The first known relic reached its destination--Kukanou-2b--only about 300 Pact Standard years after the mentrasi reached it. And their interstellar drives were based on teleportation. So, we can creatively presume that Kukanou-2b is, relatively speaking, quite close to the Scoured Stars. Certainly the closest of the known adopted home worlds by far. It's also the first the Starfinder Society found, but that was by happenstance, and the Society didn't know what they'd found until years later.

We don't know when the Kreiholm Freehold reached the Saaruq-Ruaan system, but it seems to have been post-Gap. So now we're talking thousands of years later. We have no idea when their relic arrived. So let's just pencil the Saaruq-Ruaan system as being somewhere in the middle when it comes to the distance most of the adopted home worlds end up at.

Again, we don't know when the jinsuls reached Rax, but their relic definitely arrive post-Gap, and may have only been a few generations ago.

And then lastly, we have Izalraan. The izalguuns appear to have arrived long ago, possibly pre- or mid-Gap, though we don't have details. But we know very specifically that their relic arrived within living memory - only about one generation ago, so probably right around the turn of the century. When the Starfinder Society started actively trying to locate these worlds, Icefront was the first they found, suggesting that it could be the closest to the Pact Worlds (though still in the Vast).

So, to sum up, we don't know the positions of any of these worlds. But if we were to trace straight lines from the Scoured Stars to each of the four:

1. The line to the Kukanou system would be much shorter than the other three. And if we want to get creative, placing Kukanou somewhere in Pharasma's Coil, somewhere between Lapicor and Daimalko can make some sense.

2. The line to the Saaruq-Ruuan system is much longer.

3. The line to Rax is probably longer still, but not quite as long as the line to Icefront.


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Xenocrat wrote:
I was convinced that the CRB said the Veskarium and Pact Worlds were adjacent stars, and I've said as much on these forums and elsewhere. But what it actually says is that they're nearby star systems (Vesk racial entry, and elsewhere) and that the Vesk evolved on their planet nearest hteir star. Perhaps I and others conflated those two things.

CRB pg. 428: "In the inhabited solar system nearest to their own, enthusiastic explorers from the Golarion System encountered the vesk..."

Though I'll add that the CRB has a bunch of little references that the broader setting has moved away from (or ignored entirely), and that the map presented in Ports of Call does make a little more sense to me, in big-picture context. By which I mean, placing the Veskarium farther out from Golarion than the labeled colony worlds it settled during the Gap.

(Also, as a practical matter, on the scale of the Desna's Path map, if Ghavaniskia was actually the closest star to Mataras, the Pact Worlds and Veskarium's green dots would overlap.)


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I'm fairly certain that the galaxy map only tags locations that are actually referenced in the book. It's definitely not trying to be exhaustive.

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