At the end of the previous session of Deepnight Revelation, it was discussed about investigating the systems around Uwain Major. The Droyne had left behind relics and information in the system’s moons, so there was a possibility that other relics had been left behind in nearby systems for the hominids at Uwain Major as well.
I’d prepared ideas for what could be found in the surrounding systems, including some other uplifted species and information left behind by the Droyne. Of course, this meant that at the start of the session the players decided that searching out nearby systems would take too long and be too much of a distraction from their main mission. So they quickly headed off along their planned route, leaving it all behind. Fortunately, the other events I had planned for the session were more than enough to fill the session.
As a final parting gift, the hominids provided the crew with a large oil painting of the first contact event, which was another edition for the ship’s museum.
The next system had a Necro Gaian world – a snowball Earth where life had gone extinct a billion years ago. After that was Ehes system, which had a habitable world of lush woodlands and extensive animal life. Several groups were sent down to stock up on supplies. A problem was noted when one failed to report in and was not responding to requests for information. Their ship’s boat was still functioning, but there was no sign of the crew.
Accessing the boat’s external airlock cameras, nothing special could be seen except for a pile of blood stained clothing. The atmospheric sensors were also picking up pollutants consistent with a nearby fire.
One of the other boats was sent to investigate, though it kept its distance. There was smoke raising from near the boat, and movement under the trees. Sending down a drone, revealed a group of about half a dozen lizard-like humanoids who had skinned and were now cooking the crew members over a few. The lizardfolk were equipped with stone knives and not much else.
This prompted much discussion aboard the Deepnight, with some raising the desire for a full revenge strike to ‘teach them a lesson’. Cooler heads prevailed, and it was decided to send in a small well armed force to retrieve what they could of the bodies, with minimal force. This was obviously a primitive civilisation, and simply killing them wouldn’t achieve anything.
So the Sex Thing was sent in with four members from the ship’s security team lead by Lt Jana Irekia. Khadashi would go along with his Battledress, and Zanobia would crew the small guns aboard the Sex Thing to provide air support if it was needed.
With a plan in place, they headed in. By the time they reached there, the locals had finished their cooking and had gone back to a nearby village where there was a group of a few dozen of the sophonts. The ‘meat’ had been hung up, though the bones had been left behind by the ship.
The small security team were dropped off nearby, and the Sex Thing flew in and made itself known to the villagers. There was a lot of surprise and confusion as the ship appeared, with some of the lizardfolk running off, or hiding in their grass huts. A group of them clustered together near the middle of the village.
The security team moved in carefully, armed with gauss rifles and a plasma jet weapon carried by Khadashi. Sergeant Karvok Moldan moved in to retrieve the meats, which took him close to the central groups of lizards. They didn’t draw their knives, they just looked at him. At this point he seemed to stop, letting his rifle drop to the ground.
Khadashi fired a shot from his plasma weapon, avoiding to hit any of the lizardfolk, but causing a large explosion. They turned and fled, with Zanobia chasing them off with fire from the ship’s small guns. Sergeant Moldan quickly recovered from his confusion.
The remains of the crew were recovered, as were their bones and the boat. The natives here seemed to have strong Psionic talent, with the ability to force suggestions on people, and it was decided that no further contact with them was wanted.
A ceremony was held in honour of the dead crew members. They were an Engineer, one of the general assistants to the mission team and a pilot. I didn’t have names for the crew members – just numbers. I have a token for every member of the crew in FoundryVTT, so it’s easy to cross them off as things happen to them, or give them names if they become important.
One thing I like about Foundry is that I can change the stats for individual tokens, something that Roll20 didn’t allow. So though every Pilot is based off the same Actor definition, each individual token has the ability to have unique skills if required.
They left Ehes behind them, with morale aboard the ship somewhat deflated. It was decided that though ship training exercises had been run, they hadn’t really been doing the same for ground exercises. So some simulated training was organised for the security team.
A few systems onward, and they pick up signals from a TL 8 civilisation just off from their planned route. It is decided to make a detour to investigate, though it will be several jumps before they can reach it.
Khadashi also misunderstood an instruction from the XO to prepare an “explosive” art exhibition. A couple of systems on, he staged a performance mixing his skills at visual media with his explosive skills, providing a one time pyrotechnic show for some of the crew. It went exceedingly well (he rolled a natural 12), and didn’t destroy anything it wasn’t meant to.
At the system of Tihasa there is another garden world with signs of a simple bronze age civilisation. However, nobody is there. The cities and villages are completely deserted, with no signs of physical violence. A search of them is a good excuse for the security teams to put some of their training into practice, but nothing dangerous is found. There is some evidence that starships have landed here, but no signs of obvious violence. It appears that a few years ago, something came here and took the people as they slept. Whether it was done in a single night, or across a period of time for all the cities isn’t known but the former would have been a massive undertaking.
The people here seem to have been hominids. Their writings, left behind on clay tablets, were imaged for future investigation. Was what happened here related to the telepathic lizard folk? Maybe there was a lizard empire that was kidnapping people, and the lizards they encountered had been left behind and lost their technology.
The nearby technological civilisation is unlikely to have had the ability to do this, but they might know something. Or maybe they are more than far distance scanning let on. They were still six parsecs from there, so any information they had was over 18 years out of date. They were currently at Tihasa 1324, and had been planning a route to Aquami 1226, Asarwevi 1129 and Ivan 0729.
Now that they were closer, their deep space scanning had picked up a couple of small red dwarf systems that also had gas giants, so they could jump to Rute 1026 and from their to Ajum Minor 0725 where the technological civilisation was based.
A route was plotted, and they took the quicker route, arriving at the system of Ajum Minor at 1113-298, opting to come out of jump some distance from the main world, close to one of the outer gas giants. The Deepnight was on high alert, but they had no idea what to expect. To be honest, I’m not sure either. Time for some plotting before the next session.