Following on from last session at the system of Esara, the Deepnight Revelation prepares for its four parsec jump to Yyodro. The crew still have the open question of what to do with the egg that was gifted to them by the Beakies. It is decided to give it to the care of Shandra Vledden. If she was willing to break the mission rules and get pregnant, then she can take on responsibility for the ‘birth’ of the alien egg as well. Good job that she has a skill in Life Support.
At Yyodro there is a large jovian world with a warm atmosphere, but the system is otherwise uneventful. From there they head to Etonela (at Ioncognita Citerior/0222) which should be the last system in this sector. On arrival, the expected Jovian was sitting in the middle of an asteroid belt. Such an arrangement would normally be very short lived, so the expectation was that it was the remains of a shattered moon or something.
There were also electronic emissions coming from the gas giant – similar to that of starships. Unsure of what they were seeing, the Deepnight stayed back performing further scans. Eventually one of the sensor operators identified the signals as belonging to Alo’hei, a type of creature that had been spotted a few times in Charted Space, but never truly investigated.
A scout ship was sent in to investigate. The creatures are ribbons of light and plasma sometimes kilometres long. Their colour shifts and change, appearing as beautiful ribbons of light. On the approach the planet’s magnetic field is noted to vary greatly in intensity, sometimes pulsing in strange rhythms. It is thought to be caused by changes in the planet’s core, possibly due to the orbit of the moons.
Shiiguma Sasshbag goes outside the ship in a Vacc Suit, coming into direct contact with one of the Alo’hei. It appears harmless, but she has to come inside before the next pulsation of the planet’s magnetic field.
The scientists spend most of their time staring out the window at the Alo’hei, but eventually manage to grab the readings they wanted. A second scout, sent out to investigate some Alo’hei on the edge of the belt, report that they seem to be hearing the asteroids back into the ring. There is no evidence of what caused the belt, but the Alo’hei seem to be keeping it in place rather than allowing the gas giant to scatter it.
The Deepnight heads in to refuel, and that’s when the problems start. Most of the crew find the creatures fascinating and beautiful, but some are terrified by them. Seven of the crew end up needing to be sedated. They are found cowering in corners, screaming about the Colours! that are outside the ship.
Apart from that, the ribbons seemed to be harmless.
After spending considerable time watching and recording them, the Deepnight left for Vilaakasii sector. They arrive at Lasitanela, at 3122 in Vilaakasii. Their next waypoint is a black hole at the system for which the sector is named. However, their sensor scans are showing a potential problem.
The next system on their route is Dinate, at 2921, and that seems to have three gas giants. However all of them are very close in to their parent star – less than a million kilometres from a red main sequence star.
The worlds seem hot, and might be too warm to refuel from. Since it’s only two parsecs away, they jump anyway knowing that they could jump back if necessary. However, the next most efficient route will take them several months out of their way.
At Dinate, the worlds are indeed rather warm. The night side of the outer Jovian is a mere 300°C. Better than the innermost world where it is raining molten silicates. The pilots think they could refuel here, but it’s risky and would require a lot of dropping into the atmosphere, scooping for a bit, then getting out before they overheat.
The surrounding systems don’t seem to have gas giants, though Hasyhure might have an ice belt. The other alternative is Sowyf, a system with no gas giants but a world with water oceans. The bearby rogue planet looks too small to be a gas giant. There is talk of sending scouts to the systems, but instead they decide to simply jump to Sowyf.
Sowyf is a garden world, with another bronze age civilisation. This time they are warlike humanoids with short legs and thick fur on their heads and back. First contact is avoided, but they obtain some art objects – mostly decorated war axes and hammers. It takes a couple of weeks to ferry fuel up from the planet to the Deepnight, and they also use the opportunity to resupply.
During this time the Beakie egg hatches, and Shandra manages to keep the young Beakie alive.
This provides enough time for performing further scans of the systems on their route, and they detect an oxygen atmosphere and water on a planet in the Nicar system only three parsecs from the black hole. Given the black hole was thought to have formed some half a million years ago in a supernova explosion, a potentially life bearing world would be of great scientific interest. So the scientists petition to head to Nicar.
Leaving Sowyf they jump to Iyer Sote, and from there to Nicar. The third planet in the system is a garden world with 60% water cover and a pretty standard atmosphere. It also has a single moon, just under 2,000km in diameter.
On approach to the planet, the Deepnight detects what looks like structures on the moon, and there are concentrations of metals in some places around the coasts. These don’t appear natural, but there is no sign of civilisation. At least, not any more.
The encounter with the Alo’hei took up quite a bit of time, with the players debating (and worrying) about the gas giant in the asteroid belt, and wanting to ‘play’ with the Alo’hei. The strange asteroid belt was probably actually a bug in my world generator – it shouldn’t be generating systems like this since they are unstable.
The route decision was also a random feature of the world generator. Though the map looked like there were suitable gas giants, on closer inspection they were all hot Jupiters.
Finally, we had a quick discussion about moving off Roll20. Roll20 has been causing me issues quite a bit recently with scripts randomly breaking due to back end changes. FoundryVTT seems to be a much better option. A much more modern technology stack, plus I get it host it myself so I retain control over it.
It has all the same advantages of Roll20 though, in that it is web based so I can access it from anywhere and from any platform. I’ve been working on some private customisations of my own to better handle Mongoose Traveller and have now begun porting my data across to Foundry. I hope for things to be ready to start playing on Foundry within a month or so.
Given I’ve got the entire crew of the Deepnight in Roll20 porting is going to take a while, and I’ve still got a few bugs and features to sort out on the Foundry side so my estimate may be optimistic.