Under the Ice

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After a month’s break, we are back to our weekly Deepnight Revelation campaign for Traveller. At the end of the previous session, the crew had helped a new faction of breeders on the world of Alikaia-ala gain control, and in return they got a safe place to perform repairs on their ship. It was an opportunity for R&R, and a celebration of the new year for 1112.

I didn’t want things to hang around too long here, so after we had refreshed everyone’s memories on where we had left things, I moved things swiftly onwards. We skipped over the next few worlds until the Deepnight reached Offside Sector and the world of Styda/3227. It was then time to present the players with the latest issue of Into the Deep, so they could catch up on shipboard events.

The main item on the agenda was actually to name the alien bird that the crew have adopted. It’s something that probably would have happened a while back when it was hatched, but I have a habit of forgetting these things when they happen. It was decided to name it Yip.

I’m starting to get used to organising journals in FoundryVTT, and I’m organising journals by chapter in the campaign. Being able to set permissions on individual pages in a journal is really useful, and allows a sub-level of categorisation that wasn’t possible in Roll20.

The route for the second part of the campaign is pretty straightforward, and should take the Deepnight to the Best Prospect / Last Prospect sectors to look for a crossing. My plan is to cover this distance relatively quickly in terms of sessions, maybe throwing in a major encounter every sector or so. But I don’t want to go into any more detail than that. I do want to flesh out the crew a bit more as well, to allow for more ship-board plot lines to be used.

There were a couple of minor events during the first stretch of their journey. The first was a photography competition at a close binary star system. Khadashi decided to enter a painting instead, and won a special prize. At the system of Osu the gas giant had a very active atmosphere. Huge tornadoes were very common, which would have required some careful navigation to avoid. Instead they moved out to the local kuiper belt and melted a small asteroid down to use as water and therefore hydrogen.

Ghitany II

Eventually they got the system of Ghitany/1520 which is a garden world where they can resupply and maybe get some R&R.

At Ghitany though they pick up a signal whilst refuelling at the gas giant. There was something broadcasting a weak and intermittent signal from the trojan point of the gas giant.

They sent a small boat to investigate, and whilst waiting for that detected a metallic mass beneath the surface of one of the gas giant’s moons. The small world was a Europan type – a thick water-ice crust covering an ocean of liquid water. The mass was many kilometres beneath the surface, but within the ice rather than the ocean.

They decided to split their work. Whilst the Deepnight headed into the inner system to resupply and give some of the crew a chance to stretch their legs, the signal and the mass were investigated. The signal was coming from an ancient communications satellite. It was damaged but still broadcasting, and seemed to be pointing directly at a system only two parsecs away which the ship’s navigators had named Leryr Ito.

Ghitany VI/d

Melting down through the ice, they uncovered the remains of a ship. It was teardrop shaped, about a 1000dt in mass and constructed of an advanced crystal iron hull. Estimated Tech Level around 12 or 13. Carefully opening up the airlock, which was circular and about human sized, Khadashi and Shiiguma made their way inside. Much of the interior was taking up with a climbing frame arrangement, with displays and control panels all around the ship. There was no sign of seating, and though the ship had the technology for artificial gravity, it looked like it was used to protect from acceleration rather than provide a gravity environment. There were hand grips around the climbing frames, designed for a hand larger than a human’s.

The ship had what was possibly a jump-3 drive. It was at least ten thousand years old, and by now completely non-functional. There were computer systems, but whether they could be deciphered remained to be seen.

Down in the cargo hold were lots of sleeper pods. These seemed designed to take humans, but there were no signs of any occupants.

Down on the garden world they managed to forage for supplies. They also discovered an interesting small leech-like creature that had a taste for metal, which had tried the landing legs of one of their landing craft. There was also a large long-necked herd beast, in the 10t to 15t range, which was alien to the planet. It’s DNA didn’t match the rest of the life here, and it’s skeletal structure didn’t seem to have evolved from any of the remotely similar animals.

It was tasty though, so became one of the major sources of ‘fresh’ meat for the ship.

Detailed scans of the Leryr Ito system shows that it has an M6 star with a small system of planets. Two of the worlds are habitable, though there is no sign of technology.

0AUDwarfGeoPassive / Hermian5,060kmVacuumNone
0AUDwarfGeoPassive / Hermian5,200kmVacuumNone
0AUTerrestrialTectonic / MesoGaian12,590kmStandardStandard65%
0AUDwarfGeoCyclic / MesoArean7,200kmStandardStandard50%
0AUDwarfGeoPassive / Cerean1,090kmVacuumNone
0AUJovianMesoJovian / Jovic105,200kmHydrogenVeryDense
0AUJovianDwarfJovian / Saturnian111,560kmHydrogenVeryDense
1AUSmallBodyCometary / Kuiper230kmVacuumNone
1AUSmallBodyCometary / Kuiper150kmVacuumNone
1AUSmallBodyCometary / Kuiper80kmVacuumNone
1AUSmallBodyCometary / Kuiper90kmVacuumNone
Detailed Scan of Leryr Ito system

With the ship resupplied, and all the information they could obtain from the wreck safely collected and ready for deeper analysis, they took a detour to Leryr Ito.

Leryr Ito IV

Refuelling from the gas giant wasn’t difficult, and preliminary scans of the system didn’t pick up any signs of technology.

The third world was a Terrestrial world with oceans and a breathable atmosphere, but there was little signs of life on the land surface. Any life had to be limited to the oceans.

The fourth planet though had both water and land based life. The atmosphere also contained contaminants which were a strong indicator of an industrial civilisation. Probably around TL 4 – whoever was there had learned to burn coal and build factories.

Initial scouts estimated there was a population of over a hundred million, with a world spanning civilisation, but again nothing to imply the ability to build jump capable craft. A closer investigation would be needed.

Samuel Penn