Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Zefra

System Name: Zefra
Sector: 2-11
Star Number & Type: 2 - G V, M VII
Planet Number & Type: 6 - D, D, O, E, T, W
Inhabitants: Ko’krans, humanoid bats
The golden yellow light of Zefra shines first on a pair of earth sized planets with thick hot atmospheres. Next is a planet on an off kilter and elliptical orbit that suffers extreme seasons and tectonic activity. The orbit takes the planet briefly out beyond the orbit of the 4th planet, and out of the habitable zone, resulting in a brutal planet wide winter. At the far edge of the habitability zone is a cool earthlike world that is beginning to develop life. A sparse asteroid belt divides the inner system from the outer system. Past the belt is a rock and ice ball with a massive crater and an extremely fast day/night cycle. A dark rock barely large enough to be called a planet circles at the edge of the system.

Lurking beyond the last planet is a small red star that orbits Zefra A once every thousand years or so. It is orbited by a small collection of asteroids and comets, but no real planets of its own.

The Ko’krans are an advanced civilization whose early experiments with FTL knocked their own homeworld into it’s new eccentric orbit. There were a lot of deaths the first year, but they quickly adapted, and have now settled into their new reality. All work on FTL technology has been put on hold.

Adventure Seeds:
  • While development of FTL is on hold, the space program continues, especially with the ecological upheaval underway. Their current mission is the creation of a field of mirrors to collect their star’s light and direct it at the planet when it is at the farthest point from the star. A radical anti-science group has taken control of the mirrors, and is using it to hold the planet hostage.
  • Scientists are on the 2nd and 4th planets, testing for colonizing/terraforming potential. They’re now cut off because of the terrorist group threatening to roast any ships attempting to leave the planet.
  • The anti-science group feels that science has failed them, and that they’re being punished by their gods for turning from the old ways. Their leader is a fanatical demagogue who will use the arrival of aliens as further proof of punishment.

First off, I want to thank you for sticking with me through the challenge. I hope that these worlds will inspire your games.

While this is the last A to Z post for 2014, it is not the end of the Strange New Worlds series. I still have to post the map, and a PDF by the end of the month. I also expect to continue the series, though not in this daily format...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Yulant

System Name: Yulant
Sector: 2-1
Star Number & Type: 2 - B II, Brown Dwarf
Planet Number & Type: 8 - W, H, D, D, T, T, T, W
Inhabitants: None
The four inner planets hug their star so tightly that none has a year longer than 1 standard week, and all are tidally locked. The first is an airless rock, while the second is an amazingly unlikely H class world. In spite of it’s classification, it skirts the edge of habitability. The thick atmosphere has a permanent cloud layer that glows with a gentle red light, and stretches from the upper atmosphere down to the surface, with constant strong winds and violent electrical storms. The next two planets don’t even reach that level of habitability. The outer system consists of 3 ice worlds, and furthest out, another airless rock. Out even beyond that is a barely hot brown dwarf.

Adventure Seeds:
  • There is an odd radiation that severely limits the use of teleporters, and scanners on the surface. It also slowly kills animal life that remains on the planet for more than about 6 hours. The effects begin with muscle weakness, trouble thinking, blurred vision. Exposure lasting more than 36 hours is irreversible, and will lead to death.
  • A specially shielded science lab is studying the radiation, but an unusually powerful storm has knocked out their generator. The scientists have taken shelter in some deep caves, which shelters them from some of the effects of the radiation, but they need help.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Xenon

System Name: Xenon
Sector: 7-2
Star Number & Type: 1 - M VII
Planet Number & Type: 5 - F, E, U, W, X
Inhabitants: Humanoids, primitive (bumpy forehead #99)
The dim red light of x shines upon a system that once teamed with life. Now it shines first on a desert world with a small population of primitive humanoids, the last remnants of a long lost colony. Next is a primitive world where the first multicellular plants and animals have developed. Third is a world ravaged by nuclear winter. An asteroid belt divides the system, and close to it is a large but airless rock. The outermost planet is a hell world of black volcanic glass mountains and lava seas. It glows almost as brightly as the star it distantly orbits.

Adventure Seeds:
  • Strange formations that look like cities and towns full of buildings seem to dot the surface of the hell world, but scans are inconclusive. Could it be that something actually lives on the planet?
  • Numerous weapons remain unlaunched on the third planet, and the nuclear/chemical/biological materials are of great interest to pirates.
  • The few remaining descendants of the colonists hide several artifacts deep in their caves, which they now worship as totems of the gods. One provides them with water, another is a broken cleaning robot that says “Cleanup deck 3, Roger Wilco!” every 47 minutes. They will go extinct within the next century if nothing is done for them.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Whitefall

System Name: Whitefall
Sector: 9-11
Star Number & Type: 1 - G VI
Planet Number & Type: 6 - W, H, D, W, W, K
Inhabitants: Mixed
This mainline yellow star is home to one of the nicest planets in the sector. Water covers over 85% of it’s surface, and white clouds fill the sky. The land surface is a collection of volcanic archipelagos covered in verdant tropical growth.

The remainder of the planets in the system are lifeless and mostly airless rocks, and a gas giant out on the far edge of the system.

Adventure Seeds:
  • A psionic quasi religious order is training new members on one of the more remote islands.They will offer to train any psionically gifted individuals.
  • A splinter group is inbound with a transport ship full of soldiers ready to wipe out the school.
  • The third planet of the system shows evidence of prior habitability and ruins of an advanced civilization. Deeps scans reveal at least one below ground power source still functioning.
  • The power source is an android librarian who has preserved as much as it could of the previous civilization.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Vorcia III

System Name: Vorcia III
Sector: 11-11
Star Number & Type: 3 - A V, K VI, M VII
Planet Number & Type: 6 - D, E, I, E, J, K
Inhabitants: None
This trinary system is composed of a small blue-white star orbited by a smaller orange star and a red dwarf that orbit each other very closely. Most of the planets orbit the primary star. In the inner system is a small rocky world too close to the star to have developed life. Second is a hot rocky world that is just beginning to develop life. Next is a massive rocky world 220% the mass of Terra that had the wrong balance of chemicals, and never developed life. Beyond that is another rocky world that is also beginning to develop life, though this one is far cooler with large ice caps covering about half the surface. A small gas planet rounds out the primary star’s planets. A larger gas planet orbits the binary pair very closely.

Adventure Seeds:
  • A ship full of alien slaves has crash landed on the superworld. They have mined themselves into the superearth, and are beginning to plan to terraform the world. Only the skeleton of the slave ship remains on the surface.
  • A scout ship from the Drelex Compact arrives, broadcasting it’s claim to the system, and demanding all others vacate immediately.
  • Investigation of the hot E class planet will reveal that one of the species that has developed is a cellular mimic that will consume whoever it touches, and then reform itself in it’s meal’s image. It will retain 90% of their memories.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Uxtal

System Name: Uxtal
Sector: 3-9
Star Number & Type: 1 - K VI
Planet Number & Type: 2 - L, W
Inhabitants: None
There is little to recommend this small system. The dull orange star burns quietly, orbited by a moderately large gas giant, and a mars sized lifeless rock. While the gas giant has the usual assortment of small moons, it also has one artificial satellite.

Adventure Seeds:
  • Ages ago this sector (not this system specifically) was a very minor battlefield of a major war. A relic of that war, in the form of a damaged AI controlled super-dreadnaught limped its way to this star at sub-light speeds, and fell into orbit around the gas giant.
  • The ship’s AI began to repair the ship, but lacked some vital components necessary to repair it’s FTL drive. In the intervening years (decades? centuries? millenia?) the AI has attempted to contact it’s masters, without reply. The AI doesn’t realize that it’s communication system is damaged, and it’s sending signals with a low-power radio transmitter.
  • The AI is perfectly sane (SHOCK!), and believes it’s side lost the war. However, it is still at war, since it has not received notification officially ending the war.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Timea

System Name: Timea
Sector: 13-8
Star Number & Type: 1 - O I
Planet Number & Type: 5/6 - D, J, P (V), K, T
Inhabitants: None
This super giant blue star burns extremely brightly even on the farthest ice ball in it’s oort cloud. Closest to the star is a rocky world with a thick atmosphere that’s caused a rampant greenhouse effect. Next is a roiling gas giant, a rocky world that’s never cooled down so that it’s crust is constantly bursting with volcanic explosions, a teal gas giant, and beyond that a sparkling ice encrusted orb.

The reason the volcanic planet never cooled is because there is a second world, just slightly out of phase in the same spot of spacetime. Successful scans will reveal that the system reacts to the volcanic planet as if it was twice the mass that it is.

Adventure Seeds
  • The out of phase planet is from a mirror universe, and a new technology brought it closer to our universe, destroying their counterpart civilization in the process.
  • The mirror universe planet is slowly coming more into phase with this universe. This will also destroy the mirror universe civilization if it can’t be stopped.
  • An abandoned station still orbits the third planet, though it has been stripped of just about every usable component. One section still has power. Could someone still be aboard from the now lost civilization? Or is it someone from the mirror planet?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Sihnon

System Name: Sihnon
Sector: 14-3
Star Number & Type: 1 - M IV
Planet Number & Type: 2 - W, U
Inhabitants: Inari, humanoids (bumpy forehead #3)
The Sihnon system is dying. It’s star was a G type, slightly smaller than Sol, that is on its way to becoming a red giant. In the process of doing so, it’s been tossing off massive flares that have completely stripped the inner planet of any atmosphere, and sterilized any life that may have once clung to its surface. The second planet has managed to retain it’s atmosphere, but the slow death throes of the star caused a breakdown of the civilization that lived on it’s surface a mere two centuries ago, and the planet is now wrapped in a massively acidic haze.

The Inari aren’t completely extinct. A few thousand hearty souls managed to escape, and are now clinging to life on the asteroid belt that orbits beyond their dead world. Their civilization is now completely devoted to clinging to existence, a hard task with the equivalent of late 21st century technology that’s now 2 centuries old.

Adventure Seeds:
  • The Inari’s technology is beginning to fail as they’ve run out of components they can’t manufacture from the raw materials of the asteroid belt. Imminent critical failures will cause many deaths…
  • The star is entering another active phase, and is sending out massive solar flares. The asteroid habitats are basically defenseless.
  • A death cult has begun to take hold within the population, and some extreme members are ready to sabotage the largest habitat’s life support system.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Roni VII

System Name: Roni VII
Sector: 4-10
Star Number & Type: 3 - O II, F V, M VII
Planet Number & Type: 6 - W, E, F, T, T, O
Inhabitants: Ronians, humanoids (purple-ish skin, eyestalks)
The Roni VII system is a chaotic one. The giant blue O star is orbited closely by the red dwarf. The more blue F star orbits the pair of them, and has most of the planets of the system. Closest to the F star is a dusty irradiated rock. Next is a planet that has managed to begin to develop life, but hasn’t moved beyond single cell development. Next is the home of the Ronians, a desert world that has managed to develop an extensive and diverse ecosystem full of weird creatures, most of them venomous. Several small seas are scattered across the world, and much of the life is clustered around their shores. Beyond that are a pair of frozen worlds that are extensively mined to provide more water for the Ronians. Last is the “Wanderer” as it is known to the Ronians. This terrestrial world is frozen for most of it’s long year, looping around the F star, but it gets caught by the other stars, and whips around them before returning to it’s original orbit.

The Ronian’s have managed to not only evolve, but to develop a somewhat limited space program, though their power sources are highly inefficient. To accommodate their need to have extra fuel, their ships are significantly larger than standard. Using all the extra fuel of course results in a significant amount of toxic and radioactive waste, which is then shipped to Qualor for dumping.

Adventure Seeds:
  • The Ronian economy is built entirely around their production of the toxic fuel. Attempts to provide or encourage the development of cleaner technology will be rebuffed by the energy monopoly that is the de facto ruler of the world.
  • The venom of the ophidian known locally as the “diamond stryke” is the most potent naturally occurring poison in the known galaxy, and every vial is worth a fortune. Collecting it safely is the challenge.
  • Ancient stories say that the Wanderer is a visitor from another place, full of dark knowledge. Chemical analysis proves that it was not formed from the same material as the rest of the system. As for dark knowledge, that might be revealed during its upcoming orbit of the pair.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Qualor

System Name: Qualor
Sector: 5-8
Star Number & Type: 1 - M VII
Planet Number & Type: 4 - F, S, W, M
Inhabitants: Sil-lics
This small ember of a star manages to boast 4 worlds, including a super-massive gas giant that it captured eons ago that orbits nearly 150 AU from the star. Much closer in are the 3 natural worlds of the Qualor system, a barely habitable desert world that never developed life beyond simple alge, a high pressure superearth currently being terraformed into a habitat conducive for silicone based life, and a dusty rock closer to the gas giant than it’s own star.

Adventure Seeds:
  • The inhabitants of the Roni VII system have been dumping their industrial waste into Qualor’s star. This has caused an increase in flare activity, which is causing problems for the Sil-lics. They’re going to retaliate if the waste shipments don’t stop.
  • The Sil-lics are prepared to expend their holding into both Niribae and Lilak. The pirates of Lilak are prepared and will respond with force, but the Avians are defenseless.
  • The Sil-lics produce some of the best metal and glass in the galaxy, creating alloys that none can replicate. Finding a way to export some of it could turn a big profit, but it’ll be hard to do if there is war with the pirates.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Pandia

System Name: Pandia
Sector: 5-1
Star Number & Type: 1 - Red Supergiant
Planet Number & Type: 7 - W, D, Q, Q, J, D, T
Inhabitants: Xaviers, Humanoids (various, see below)
The Pandia star is old… very old, and like some old things, it’s become strange. It emits pulses of an otherwise unrecorded radiation throughout the system every 10-20 standard years. Its inner system is composed of a lifeless hot rock that skims the stars surface, a venus analog, and a pair of habitable worlds that share the same orbit, but on opposite sides of the star. A small gas giant with an extensive ring marks the end of the inner system. Beyond it are a pair of rocky worlds, one whose atmosphere has frozen to the surface, the other a lifeless dark rock.

The twin planets don’t only share the same orbit, they are mirror-like reflections of each other, and both home to a race of humanoids that develop mutant powers. However every time the star blasts out one of it’s radiation pulses, things on the planets seem to reset, and then move forward again with slightly different results. This constant regression has only allowed the world to develop to a mid-21st century level, as each reset sends the worlds back almost to the beginning of the last cycle, meaning that for every 10-20 years only a week to a month may pass.

Adventure Seeds:
  • Time to pull out your favorite d20 supers game, and go to town.
  • Mutants removed from the system may retain their powers.
  • The strange radiation pulses can allow you to reset your game, if you want! The radiation of space (Gamma rays!) may have a more powerful impact than it does on the planets.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Oma Draconis V

System Name: Oma Draconis V
Sector: 10-6
Star Number & Type: 1 - K V
Planet Number & Type: 3 - W, H, K
Inhabitants: Drelexians, Humanoids (bumpy forehead #13, red to orange skin tones)
The gentle orange glow of Oma Draconis V shines upon the seat of the Drelex Compact. Closest to the star is a barren rocky orb tidally locked with one side perpetually molten, and the other cold and dark but for the gleam of mining operations. Next out from the star is a verdant green and blue world swirled with white clouds known as Drelex. Resisting the urge to pillage the resources of this world, the Drelexians have kept much of the surface as close to it’s original condition as possible. The world’s two moons and the asteroid belt beyond have not been so kindly handled, and mineral wealth is constantly mined, refined, and used to better the lives of those blessed to live on Drelex. At the edge of the system the green and purple gas giant is a garish jewel in the night sky of Drelex.

The Drelex Compact is run as a giant corporation, with almost every Drelexian a registered employee. Only those remaining on their original homeworld of Hera Draconis and clinging to the old religious ways remain off the books.

Adventure Seeds:
  • While Drelex is a near perfect world, it does have one native life form that the Drelexians would dearly love to see exterminated. Every six local years the orbit of Drelex and the gas giant come just a little closer to each other than usual. This brings forth from deep in the wilds a 10cm long flying insect that is harmless to the native flora and fauna, but causes severe allergic reactions to most humanoids, including Drelexians. The next cycle is about to start, and the price of pharmaceuticals, air filters, and off world trips is skyrocketing.
  • The asteroid belt is also the location of the main Drelex Compact shipyards. Getting hold of technical specs would be a major coup.
  • Rumor has it the Supreme Commander is secretly a follower of the old religion. Getting (or manufacturing) proof of this would send shock-waves throughout the compact.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Niribae

System Name: Niribae
Sector: 5-7
Star Number & Type: F III
Planet Number & Type: 2 - H, T
Inhabitants: Avians (native name unpronounceable) feathered flying humanoids
The Niribae system is somewhat resource poor, boasting only two rocky planets and a sparse asteroid belt between them. The inner planet is a highly tectonic low gravity world of towering mountains and steep valleys. In addition to it’s violent core, the world is perpetually buffeted by high winds in part due to it’s slow rotation allowing the star to warm one side of the world, while the other cools in a week long night. Out beyond the asteroid belt is a second rocky world covered in kilometers thick glaciers.

The inhabitants of Niribae are a bird like species of feathered humanoids. They have a highly complex society, though they eschew technology, even the wonders of the aliens that have visited.

Adventure Seeds
  • The flight feathers of the Avians are in high demand because of their incredible beauty. Unfortunately they’re also sacred to the Avians. Poaching can be extremely dangerous and lucrative.
  • Efforts to bring Avians to other worlds have all failed due to their being unable to handle higher gravity. Attempts to teach them to work in zero-g have been similarly futile due to the Avian’s complete rejection of technology.
  • A team of scientists and videographers want to make a documentary of life on Niribae. They need transportation, and protection. One of the members of the group is really a scout for poachers/pirates.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Mara VII

System Name: Mara VII
Sector: 6-3
Star Number & Type: 1 - A II
Planet Number & Type: 8 - D, D, F, J, D, M, T, T
Inhabitants: None
The harsh light of Mara VII burns starkly on the system’s inner planets. The first two are mass poor, too close to the star, and bathed in radiation. The only remotely habitable world is the 3rd from the star. While it managed to hold onto it’s atmosphere, it’s thin and the surface is nearly without water. Desert algae and some small bug-like plants are all that has managed to evolve. The system’s two gas giants pass another lifeless orb between them as they orbit the star, and a pair of methane-ice encased planets orbit slowly far from the stars heat.

Adventure Seeds:
  • A small station orbiting between the 3rd and 4th planets is the research lab of a scientist who has been working on tapping Mara VII’s energy to create wormholes. He’s succeeded in opening a portal that he can’t close.
  • The scientist is from the Drelex Compact. The station is supposed to be secret. It’s checked in on regularly, and if the wormhole can’t be closed, they’ll destroy the station and anyone on it...
  • Wait, what’s coming through the portal?
  • Wait, blowing up the station made the portal BIGGER?!?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Lilak

System Name: Lilak
Sector: 6-8
Star Number & Type: 1 - G IV
Planet Number & Type: 5 - W, D, H, D, L
Inhabitants: Orelians, Humanoids (bumpy forehead #48, red skin, black hair), Lil-To, short humanoids (bumpy forehead #79)
The Lilak system is a near perfect example of ideal development for life: a gentle star, rocky worlds in the habitable zone, and a gas giant to help keep the inner system clear of too much meteor activity.

Lilak was originally home to the Lil-To, a short relatively peaceful race of humanoids who had developed into the iron age. It is now a colony world of the space pirates/slavers of the Orelian Syndicate. Any labor on the world is undertaken by various slave races (primarily the native Lil-To), while the Orelians enjoy a near royal existence.

Adventure Seeds:
  • While very few Lil-To have ever escaped from the Orelians, those that have are overcoming their more peaceful tendencies, and are doing all they can to free their planet, and see the Orelians wiped from the galaxy. To start with, they want to intercept the next slave ship from Lilak.
  • The Orelians are finding their Lil-To slaves less compliant than they used to be. A hunger games type event is scheduled to get them back in line. 
  • The enslavement of the world has caused numerous areas to revert to wilderness, and feral animals are beginning to cause problems for the Orelians. They'd like the problem to go away, and they're willing to carpet bomb to make it happen. This will destroy the local ecosystem.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Keid V

This was supposed to post on Saturday....

System Name: Keid V
Sector: 12-10
Star Number & Type: 3 - K V, K V, Red Dwarf
Planet Number & Type: 5, W, W, H, K, M
Inhabitants: Keidians & Kevidians, Humanoids (bumpy forehead 28 + 36, hairy all over)
Keid V A and B are both orange main sequence stars that orbit each other between 11-13AU. Keid V C is a red dwarf that orbits the K pair, and is the star with the planetary system.

Closest in is the remnants of a former planet that now is a ring of debris around the star. Further out are a pair of rocks that each orbit a central point. Slightly beyond that is a brownish inhabited world. The outer system is made up of a saturn sized gas giant and a super gas giant.

The homeworld of the Keidians & Kevidians is a mountainous orb of tall peaks full of fresh strong breezes and deep valleys thick with heavy smog. The Keidians live in high style in palaces perched on the peaks, and in airships that sail the wind. The Kevidians work and survive in the great factorums and mines below.

Adventure Seeds
  • The seemingly once a generation revolution is again brewing below the smog. Unlike previous attempts, they have already captured one palace, and a couple of airships.
  • The Dowager Empress has been keeping a small Kevidian child at her side at all times. Rumor is that he’s the son of one of the revolutionary leaders. Rumor also says he’s an alien that is psychically influencing her.

Sunday Inspirational Image: Papua Oasis

by lathander1987

Friday, April 11, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Jaemea

System Name: Jaemea
Sector: 10-7
Star Number & Type: 1 - Neutron star
Planet Number & Type: 3 - W, D, I
Inhabitants: Drelexians, Humanoids (bumpy forehead #13, red to orange skin tones), HiveBug
This ancient stellar remnant shines a faint blue white light that barely illuminates the skies of its 3 remaining satellites. The closest is the core of a super-giant Jovian, almost pure carbon compressed into a giant diamond. The second is a mars like rock with a thin atmosphere. The Drelex Compact has built an extensive subsurface colony, complete with a space elevator. The final planet is a dark super-earth, about 6 times the mass of a typical H class world. It has a thick hazy atmosphere, lots of volcanic activity, black fern forests, and extensive insectile life. The dominant species is a single huge world spanning hive that is psychically a single creature of alien intelligence.

Adventure Seeds:
  • Expeditions to the super-earth have all resulted in complete loss of life. The Drelex Compact is considering orbital bombardment. The hivemind knows, but isn’t sure what to do. It doesn’t really get that the Drelex Compact isn’t another creature like itself.
  • The diamond world is extremely difficult to mine due to the gravity waves and radiation from the star. The return on investment is worth it.
  • Miners from the diamond world have returned to the 2nd planet, carrying a mutated plague. The entire complex is under quarantine, and the infected are becoming zombie/reaver-like. It’s already spread to some of the ships in the blockade.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Ikkabar

System Name: Ikkabar
Sector: 11-4
Star Number & Type: 1 - O I
Planet Number & Type: 3 - W, V, F
Inhabitants: None
Ikkabar is a giant blue star with only 3 rocky worlds surrounding it. The first orbits so quickly and so close to the surface of the star that it is mostly molten and teardrop shaped. The next planet is a hot dry rock whose atmosphere baked off long ago. The final world, orbiting at an average of 20AU is a barely habitable desert world. It’s elliptical orbit brings it as close as 14AU and as far away as 38AU. At it’s closest, the radiation from the star drives what little life is on the planet underground.

Adventure Seeds:
  • There is evidence on the surface of the 3rd world that it once was a more vibrant world. Careful scans will reveal evidence of artificial construction on the surface, and underground tunnels of an advanced design. Investigation might turn up precursor artifacts.
  • The molten teardrop is a sight to behold, and the religious Drelexians built a highly shielded station disturbingly close to the star from which to view it. The station contains little beyond basic life support, lots of shielding, and a large viewing port with special filters to allow people to look directly at the star and not be blinded. The station has been abandoned since the civil war.
  • The Drelexians of Hera Draconis would like to make a pilgrimage to see the molten teardrop. The Drelex Compact patrols the outer fringe of the system frequently, mostly to keep an eye on the station.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Hera Draconis

System Name: Hera Draconis
Sector: 11-6
Star Number & Type: 1 - G VI
Planet Number & Type: 4 - L, U, W, M
Inhabitants: Drelexians, Humanoids (bumpy forehead #13, red to orange skin tones)
The Hera Draconis system is the home system of the Drelexians of the Drelex Compact. It is a somewhat resource poor system. A hot jovian orbits close to the bright blue star, the war ravaged homeworld of the Drelexians is next, followed by an airless rock, a super-large jovian, and beyond that several belts of asteroids.

Hera Draconis is inhabited by relatively few Drelexians, as most of the surface was cratered with rocks from orbit a century ago during a civil war. Never a wet planet, the fracturing of the crust in several places drained much of the surface water into the fractured crust. The remaining inhabitants eke out a megere existence, many by moisture farming. The old religion, which both caused and lost the war, is still practiced in a few places openly, and given lip service by almost everyone else. The planet is still orbited by the station that bombarded it a century ago, ready to finish the job. Besides the station, the system is lightly patrolled.

A resistance group wants Hera Draconis to pull out of the Drelex Compact. As it is, the system doesn’t contribute much to the small empire except for headaches for the Supreme Commander, but they’re unwilling to give it up, even as they were willing to bomb it into submission.

Adventure Seeds:
The resistance group is planning to destroy the station above. They’re looking for a neutral party to at least get them aboard. If they succeed, what happens to the rocks that are poised to go off?
The current high priest is just as dedicated to independence as her predecessors, but less fanatical about her religion. She’d like to use your voice to help spread her message.
Rumors persist that the 3rd planet is host to a secret research station that performs experiments on Drelexians abducted from Hera Draconis.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Garathi Maenal

System Name: Garathi Maenal
Sector: 14-9
Star Number & Type: 1- M II
Planet Number & Type: D, B, H, W
Inhabitants: None currently. Formerly Terips (turtle-like humanoids)
This large (not giant) red star is surrounded by a thicker than normal dust cloud for a star of its age. The first planet is a large but lifeless rock with a hot thick atmosphere. No light from the dim star reaches the surface of this world. The next planet is a barely cooled molten mess that resulted from a collision between two planets, which is also the source of the thick dust in the system. The next planet is an earth-like world that is suffering through an ice age due to the numerous impacts from the planetary collision. An airless rock that once was the 2nd planet’s moon orbits on a highly elliptical and unstable path. It will eventually fall into the star.

Adventure Seeds:
The inhabitants of the 2nd planet had begun to colonize their system. Under the glaciers of the 3rd planet are the ruins of their first self-sustaining colony. Below the ruins, in a highly reinforced chamber are 2,000 cryo-chambers containing the last of their kind. The cryo chambers are designed to open when the ice age has ended.
The former moon has a now cold and lifeless lunar station … until the power came back on. Did the inhabitants put themselves into cryo sleep too, or has someone else moved in?
A probe orbits close to the star… very close. And it’s sending out a signal to the lunar station.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Strange New Worlds: FirT’ak

System Name: FirT’ak
Sector: 2-6
Star Number & Type: 1 - G III
Planet Number & Type: 5 - W, H, E, K, K
Inhabitants: T’sa, small saurian humanoids
The innermost planet of this system is a star-scorched atmosphereless rock. The next world is a near perfect earth-like orb with 3 moons. It’s slightly warmer, with shallower seas, and resulting in a more tropical environment. In close orbit to it is a slightly colder, less developed world where slimes and molds are the dominant life forms. Further out are a pair of ringed Saturn-like jovians.

The T’sa are small, fast, and highly intelligent saurians with impressive crests on their heads. The females outnumber the males about 4:1, and tend to have larger more colorful crests. They are very literal in their thinking and language, which has helped their civilization develop in a relatively short time. They are ready to launch their first Warp 1 vessel to Beylix Prime.

Adventure Seeds:
The T’sa have spread out across their system with several industrial stations among the moons of the jovians, and science stations all over. Once they pick up a warp capable vessel they will attempt to make contact. They will be very curious - about everything. EVERYTHING.
The nuclear reactor powering the research station on the 3rd planet has a major malfunction. The T’sa are worried that if it goes critical it’ll permanently harm the fragile early life.
The T’sa have lost contact with their first warp vessel, and would like your help finding out what happened to it. Did he warp vessel’s energy pod fail, stranding the vessel in interstellar space? Did it encounter a space ameba? Pirates?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Eta Velorum

System Name: Eta Velorum II
Sector: 2-3
Star Number & Type: 1 - G III
Planet Number & Type: 6 - J, G, J, T, F, L
Inhabitants: Velir, amphibious humanoids (bumpy forehead #25, webbed 4 finger hands, duck-like feet, shark like teeth)
The Eta Velorum II system is centered around a normal yellow star with a small hot jovian orbiting close. At about 1AU is the only inhabited planet, a water world dotted with chains of mostly tropical volcanic islands. Much further out is another small jovian, a rocky ice world that would be ideal for terraforming if it wasn’t so far from the star, a dusty cold desert world, and a large jovian that knocks frequent comets into the inner system.

The amphibious Velir live most of their lives in their world’s oceans, and only come to the tropical islands to lay their eggs. Technologically, they’ve managed to develop to an equivalent of early 20th century earth, though it’s taken them far longer, due to the intrinsic difficulties of working underwater. They are uncomfortable out of the water for great lengths of time, and their inventors are working on ways to contain a water environment in the air.

Adventure Seeds:
The underwater civilization has gone unnoticed by exploratory probes, and a small group of colonists has settled on the largest of the worlds islands. It’s egg laying season, and the colonists are locked tight in their habitat units, while the Velir have declared the island off limits while they come to grips with advanced alien life.
A survey vessel has been damaged by one of the many rocks pinballing around the system, and has crash landed on the ice world. It’s actually a pirate vessel, but it really did crash.
The middle jovian world has managed to develop life in the atmosphere. Giant manta ray like gliders cruise through the various layers of the gas giant. There is a great demand (or will be once news gets out) for a captured a live specimen.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Delvi IV

System Name: Delvi IV
Sector: 3-4
Star Number & Type: 2 - B VII, B VII (white dwarf pair)
Planet Number & Type: 3 - I, F, D
Inhabitants: None
This rapidly orbiting pair of white dwarf stars will rip each other apart sometime in the next millenium or two. The pair are orbited by a super earth sized rock that was stripped of it’s atmosphere, a baked desert world, and a dark iceworld that orbits the binary pair once every 200 standard years. Delvi IV would be a completely unremarkable system to anyone but astronomers and physicists if it weren’t for the glass-like ruins on the middle planet.

Adventure Seeds:
  • The glass ruins have attracted archeologists, treasure hunters, and spiritual seekers, all hoping to find some precursor technology, writing, art, or anything but the glass ruins. Currently one of each group is exploring, and getting in each others way. The treasure hunters will fight dirty if they think someone else has found something. The seekers will attempt to banish everyone from their sacred place. The archaeologists are actually stranded, as their ship has broken, and they don’t have any way to fix it. Only the head of the expedition and the ship’s engineer knows.
  • Sensor readings sometimes say there’s something at least ship sized between the twin stars, but the gravitational forces would destroy any ship that tried to get into that position, let alone try to hold it.
  • The ruins, and the planet they’re found on, are only accessible for about 3 weeks every year when the rocky giant blocks a significant amount of the twin star’s intense radiation.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Corla

System Name: Corla
Sector: 12-5
Star Number & Type: 2 - G V (main sequence yellow), B III (blue giant)
Planet Number & Type: 8 - L, D, D, D, J, J, W, W
Inhabitants: Drelexians, Humanoids (bumpy forehead #13, red to orange skin tones)
Corla was the fourth system claimed by the Drelex Compact (come back on Wednesday for more). Lacking a habitable class H planet, they built a domed mining colony on the third planet of the system which supplies their fleet with significant quantities of rare metals. The orbiting processing plant also serves as a refueling station and trading post.

The outer system contains numerous independent miners working the moons of the jovians and the outer rocks. The Drelex Compact tolerates these activities since most of the profits are squandered at their station.

Adventure Seeds:
  • Fringe miners are protesting the exorbitant prices of the trading post, and the poor return for the ore they bring to sell. Several of the independent miners have formed a union and have the others all riled up. The Union doesn’t trust the Compact, and the Compact doesn’t much care.
  • The station’s ore processing facilities have been sabotaged, or at least that’s the rumor…
  • Due to the poor return on investment, many of the fringe miners have been cutting corners on regular maintenance… It’s only a matter of time till there’s an accident that takes out an entire operation.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Beylix Prime

System Name: Beylix Prime
Sector: 1-6
Star Number & Type: 1 - F V (main sequence orange)
Planet Number & Type: 7 - D, D, H, Y, J, M, M
Inhabitants: Fremot - Humanoid (bumpy forehead #66, Human normative skintones, pointed ears)
Beylix Prime is a mostly cold desert world, with tundra covering 80% of the landmass, and glaciers covering most of the rest. The hearty people are the descendants of a crashed colony ship, live in small roving villages, hunting and gathering as they go. They are aware of the greater stellar community, though they have been cut off from it for several hundred years. The planet’s only city has grown up around the wreck of the Ark class colony ship, it’s nuclear engine still providing power to the city.

The Fremot living in the city are a privileged class who cling to whatever technology they can, without any real understanding of it, or ability to fix or replace it. The rural Fremot have long adapted to life on the tundra, and while they’d appreciate a higher standard of living, they’re not so desperate as the city Fremot.

Adventure Seeds:
  • The PCs receive an old SOS from the Ark. An alien with a small ship has also crashed on the planet and is hiding from the natives. It repaired the Ark’s communication equipment using salvage from its own ship, and is looking to hitch a ride. It will destroy the communication equipment when it leaves if possible.
  • The city Fremot will initially appear very subservient, but will act with viciousness to try to take the PC’s equipment and ship when they think they can get away with it.
  • The rural Fremot have a working library computer, and are actually quite well educated. They keep this info from the city Fremot. At the same time as the arrival of the PCs, a young rural Fremot, tired of living the roving life, will flee to the city to tell them of the computer. The city Fremot likely kill the youth, and hunt the tundra for the computer.
  • The hides of the native snow dragon (a large furry reptile) is both beautiful and a better insulation than any synthetic and might fetch a pretty price elsewhere. Of course high demand might bring about the snow dragon’s extinction… and the end of the rural Fremot people’s way of life.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Strange New Worlds: Alcor III

System Name: Alcor III
Sector: 9-1
Star Number & Type: 1 - G V (main sequence yellow)
Planet Number & Type: 3 - H, J, J
Inhabitants: Alcorians - Cyborg Humanoids
Alcor III is home to an advanced civilization of cybernetically enhanced humanoids. They are especially interested in advancing computer technology, to the exclusion (as a civilization) of all else. While not xenophobic, they are (at best) disinterested in their stellar neighbors, or in exploration of the physical realm. The world is run by several large and numerous small Hive-Corps. Every Alcorian is employed by one of the Hive-Corps. Corporate espionage runs rampant.

The surface area of the planet is dominated by a single large continent with numerous overdeveloped mega-urban centers that strongly resemble Neo-Tokyo. Neon, flashing lights, holographic advertisements, and numerous broadcast signals will bombard anyone walking the streets. Outside of the mega-urban centers the planet is farmed with large industrial ag-bots, or completely undeveloped.

Adventure Seeds:

  • At least one of the Hive-Corps will attempt to access the PC’s ship’s computer. This may involve a boarding action by cyber-ninjas.
  • Anyone treated for injury on the planet’s surface will find themselves with a new cybernetic enhancement. And a new job as a member of that hospital’s Hive-Corp.
  • A splinter group of Alcorians want to leave the planet and hire on with the players. The Hive-Corp that owns their contracts aren’t interested in letting them go.
  • The PCs will receive an offer from a Hive-Corp to upgrade their computer with a much more powerful model. It’s actually an advanced AI, and completely insane (of course).
  • One of the moons of the outer jovian is used by a Hive-Corp as a data backup center. For the last week the backups have failed, and the team sent to investigate went silent as soon as it arrived. It may turn out that it’s actually someone elses data backup center, and the Hive-Corp that contacted the PCs is using them to break into someone else’s data center!