The arrival of the Deepnight Revelation alongside the It’s A Sex Thing allowed the latter to dock and see about getting repaired. This led to a very important discussion – what colour to repaint it. There was a suggestion of using the Pinkest Pink, but on bringing up Blender and trying it out on the ship model, it was decided that was too light. In the end some design changes were made to the model, and it was left to me to finish it off. I have a suspicion that the pilot, the Vargr Shinzaro, together with several bored and artistic members of the crew might take things a bit further than planned.
Back to serious things, and the expedition crew were de-briefed, so the Deepnight mission leaders now knew a bit more about what was going on. However, they didn’t yet have the full knowledge available to the players. Not knowing about the Citadels, the important issue of the day seemed to be what was going on at Claimed-in-Hope.
The mission leader, Commander Cacamri, didn’t want to spend too much longer here, but Lord Sivas wasn’t wanting to leave things in a worse state than they’d found them. This was potentially an important group of civilisations, which might be useful to the Imperium at some point, so Lord Sivas wanted to a chance to fix things.
He arranged a meeting between the two factions, and along with a bit of a show of the technological might of the Deepnight Revelation, got them to agree on things. At least for the next few months. The Tenipal and the Sovreigndoms would share the world, with the Tenipal providing food and supplies at a reasonable price. Both side would benefit.
This was mostly an NPC-led mission, with some input from the players. Several of the ship’s crew also saw it as an opportunity to stretch their legs, by going down to the planet’s surface and helping the Sovreigndoms setup camps and live off the land. The XO, Kirk, decides to show off by flying his shuttle around at high speed. A few of the other pilots begin to do the same, and one almost has a fatal crash. She hits a tree, damaging her shuttle, but manages to recover control before planting it into the ground at high speed.
Once the diplomacy was completed, it was time for the Deepnight to head to its rendezvous point with the Out of Options.
This brought the last of the story threads together, and now the entire crew were aware of the Citadels and what had happened to the Erlines in the past. The science team were interested in the presence of the Entity, and to a lesser extent the Citadels. I had wondered whether the players would want to risk the ship going after the larger Citadel, and in the end they decided to.
Which meant I had to figure out what the stats of the Citadel were. Though there are details within the adventure, they are spread out across several pages rather than being a single stat block. They also pre-date the High Guard 2022 updates, which meant they needed to be tweaked for the new rules. I could have kept the old rules, but I think the new ones work better for big ships.
The Deepnight Revelation jumped to the system of Elhy, where there is a world with a population of 25 million Sovreigndom citizens. There are a further 25 million living in orbital habitats in the outer ice belt. The star is a small red dwarf star though, and the entire system is less than 2 AU across. The Citadel is 15 AU out from the star, and heading in-system. The Sovreigndoms are surprised to see the Deepnight, which they have heard rumours about by now but weren’t expecting to see it. They are even more surprised when they are told to turn their telescopes and sensors outwards towards where the Citadel is located, and are filled in on its hostile intents.
The Deepnight volunteers to be first to approach it, and begins its thrust out of the system. Meanwhile, the Sovreigndom begins to prepare its own defence against the Citadel. They are a big enough colony to have their own military, so they load up on marines and begin following the Deepnight – though at much slower acceleration.
The plan is for the Deepnight to keep itself at maximum range, and use its spinal mount particle beam to take out the heavy mass drivers on the Citadel. Both are shooting at maximum range, but the Deepnight is more manoeuvrable and the Citadel has a higher rate of fire due to having a lot more weapons. It has ten heavy mass drivers in total.
What follows is a game of cat and mouse, the Deepnight trying to keep out of arc as much as possible, and trying to take out weapons. The battle lasted about an hour, with the Deepnight’s spinal mount particle beam taking out about one heavy mass driver every round. This reduced the number of mass drivers firing, and therefore reduced the chance of any of them hitting the Deepnight. However, a few shots managed to hit, and the Deepnight was shaken badly by three hits. Nobody was killed, but a few of the crew were injured as they rushed to fix the damage.
The Citadel also sent out swarms of small drones, though these were easily disrupted with electronic warfare. The few that got close enough were taken out with sandcasters. In the end, the Deepnight took about 900 points of damage. Since it has 40,000, this was minor.
One the larger mass drivers had been taken out, it was relatively easy to take out the smaller weapon systems. This would clear the way for the Sovreigndom vessels to approach and board the Citadel, in order to disable it completely.