The previous session ended with the crew of the It’s A Sex Thing at New Colchis, with Shinzaro going into surgery to have some cyber implants added. I figured this would probably take about a week of time, including rest and recuperation. Given that the other players seemed to want to rush off and do some adventuring rather than use the chance to take some downtime, I allowed Shinzaro to hire a drone so that she could at least take part in the activities.
I also wanted to retcon a couple of things at the start of this session, since I’d had time to re-think a couple of things. The first was that at the end of the session Zanobia had been at an xeno-archaeology conference, and I wanted to add a bit of extra info. So there was one final presentation she caught that talked about a very rare endangered species on New Colchis, which was a type of small monkey.
Biologists had finally managed to capture one and done a DNA analysis, and discovered that it wasn’t local to New Colchis. They ate very few plants, and were going extinct. Zanobia though recognised it as a Stii – a creature that came from the Aslan homeworld. It was only seen in areas near to the Bermuda islands.
I’d also written up the message that was sent to them from Deepnight Exploration, inviting them to a mission to investigate a comet in the Anundarluu. This will be the first part of my version of the Deepnight Revelations campaign, re-writing the events of the introductory Deepnight Legacy adventure into something that fits into my campaign.
To: Altgräfin Professor Doctor Zanobia Alexandra Cheraldine
From: Dr Kurgash Agankha Niphashashzi
Subject: Exploration of DSB-7483/Limon
Firstly, I would like to extend many thanks for the finding of the Deepnight Endeavour. Many of our friends and colleagues were aboard that vessel, and to know that there is a chance that we will see them again is great news.
The infection that has befallen that ship though is of great concern, especially since this may not be the first time that the infection has been encountered. Some time ago, a similar infection was discovered at an Imperium research facility at Point XF-1402 (Corridor / Uantil / 2817).
There is a long term plan to investigate, but in the mean time there is the chance to obtain more information from the site that the Endeavour picked up its infection from – the deep space body DSB-7483 within the Anundarluu Nebula.
A small expedition is planned to revisit this site, and given the experience of you and your crew, you are invited to take part. If you are interested in helping out, then the expedition plans to leave on the week of 1107-030 from Egurgadi. We have a long distance tanker and scout craft already being prepared, and if you decide to take the opportunity to investigate a very interesting anomaly then I recommend that you come to Egurdagi by that time. We will be able to provide fuel and supplies for the mission.
I include surface radar height images of DB-7483 which show formations almost 100km tall, which we have termed “the fingers”. We have no idea how these could have formed naturally.
Whether you are interested in the exploration of DSB-7483 or not, we would like to discuss with you and your crew the main expedition, which will be the chance of a lifetime to explore worlds far outside the Imperium.
Dr Kurgaash Agankha Niphashashzi
I figured out how to do the height colouring of the comet using Blender’s maths nodes, to figure out the distance from the centre.
It’s currently 1106-233, and it’ll take about 18 week for them to get to Egurgadi – so they should have plenty of time to finish off what they’ve currently doing and start heading in that direction, even assuming for a week rest between jumps. They normally take less rest than that, so plenty of time for complications.
Zanobia arranges to meet with the Aslan ambassador Baron Layeauiwahfeak (well, actually it will be his wife) later on tonight given them time for a bit of shopping. Khadashi and Madeleine head down to the downport at Dakota City, and he heads off to buy some art (including a special present for Madeleine), and she heads off to get her hair done and buy some sexy underwear night clothes, all in ship colours.
They meet up later on (and Khadashi succeeds on a skill check to notice the new hair style), but his surprise presents are sort of given away by the holovid advertising that is following him around. The only things he’s bought on the world are a couple of items of art, so that’s all the advertising algorithms know about him. If the players remember one thing about New Colchis, it’s probably going to be the pervasive advertising.
Fortunately Madeleine has had the sense to buy an ad-blocker, and gets one for Khadashi as well, before they head off to do some ‘proper’ clothes shopping. As an NPC, Madeleine is quick fun for me to run. Not only does she have a well defined role aboard the ship (handing all their trade), but her relationship with Khadashi makes it easy to fit her into the conversations and activities.
Later that evening, they head up to Madexi-Worf Tower and meet Feaofthulayeau, the wife of the Aslan ambassador here (I’m not too keen on the ‘cat-person’ art that ArtBreeder generates, but there’s only limited Aslan artwork available, so it limits my options somewhat).
She’s been previously informed that the Tek’wevarki clan of outcasts had somehow made it here by messages sent from the Aslan at Serendip Belt, and is in agreement that they don’t want this to become public, especially since it might encourage the Glorious Empire. So he agrees to help the Travellers in getting them access to what they need at Bermuda, to try and find the old colony and destroy any evidence of it. To this end, she provides one of her daughters (Trifthleathulayea) to go with them and help them. These Aslan, being far from the Hierate, have become quite ‘humanised’ in their behaviours and attitudes, and are reasonably relaxed in human company, even joking with them. Trifth especially is young and excitable, and happy to be out doing something.
They find a hotel with a strict privacy and no-recording policy for the night (which adds about 50% to the daily rate), and the next day Shinzaro meets up with them via drone, and they do a bit of supply shopping Madeliene suggests getting new recipes for the ship’s Food-O-Matic, as well as some perfume to mask their human scent for the delicate nose of Trifth.
Trifth gets them an aircar for the flight to Bermuda, and by the time they get there it’s late evening again, so they find another hotel with a privacy clause. The following day, they ignore the museum at Portsmouth, and head down along the coast to the University of Longtown to explore their archaeology displays.
There are some old artefacts from an old Vilani colony, including bones (which showed signs of malnutrition and physical abuse) and ancient tools such as spears. Kadashi recognises one of the spears being similar in design to those he saw in the ancient Aslan base. My thoughts behind the culture at New Colchis is that it’s not very academic – science and education tends to be focused towards the practical rather than pure research, especially in the ‘softer’ sciences. They also have limited access to Imperium databases, so though they’ve linked the DNA to Vilani rather than Solomani, nobody has made the link to the items being Aslan rather than human (a spear is a spear to the untrained eye).
There are references to more finds at Portsmouth Museum, so they head back there to find some animal bones of extinct creatures known as the Bermuda Tiger. Trifth reckons its probably a Khekha, another Aslan creature. They are met by the curator of the museum, Anna Darl, who is more than happy to talk to them about the finds, since they don’t get much interest, especially from off-worlders. The ‘tiger’ hasn’t been seen alive for about 500 years, and she’s happy to provide DNA details to Zanobia.
There have been some finds near Lake Nigel in the Florum Valley – some alloys and machined parts, but nothing definite. It’s believed that a Vilani expedition crashed here about a millennia ago, but nobody has really found any concrete evidence.
So the Travellers have a vague idea where they need to go and look to find (and then cover up / fake /destroy) and evidence. However, the Florum Valley is private land belong to a local noble, so it’s not going to be a simple case of just going in an looking around.
Trifth can probably get a hunting license for them, but they’re talking about getting something with ground penetrating radar and other sensors to try and do a proper search. Exactly how that’s going to work I haven’t decided yet, but it’ll take several days to get it all sorted out so Shinzaro will be up and about again by then.