A Dangerous Delve

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I’m treating Terledrom of the Fromeltar system as the home planet of the vrusk species. This is pretty much all you need to know. Though if writing a character background these facts could be important: Yazirians performed a Star Exodus to escape the destruction of their planet and came to the Frontier. Dralasites don’t know where they come from as they were discovered in a drifting ship in the Xagyg Nebula and humanity come from Earth but don’t know where it is.

The dralasite name for the star and planet are simply a quirk of history because the PGC linguist that developed Pan-Gal was a dralasite native to this planet and by habit referred to it by its dralasite name which became the Pan-Gal name for it. If you wish to know more about the setting as I’m running it see my Frontier Timeline in issue 16. I’ve not specified the date for this adventure but its some time after Laco’s war and likely before the Second Sathar War.


Triad Institute of Technology, specifically its Acquisitions Service. The team is comprised of archaeologist and scientists and a few with military or security backgrounds. Search the documents in the Adventure Writing Project at http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/5485 for more info on this if you are interested. Otherwise just think: Indiana Jones, Laura Croft, and that guy from the Mummy when developing your character. TIT has reconciled itself to the fact that the Frontier is dangerous and mega corps are unscrupulous. It recognize that they need personnel that can do good science as well as handle themselves in tight spots.

Player Character rules

Sorry guys, nature of the beast is that this adventure calls for a broader selection of science and scholar skills making AD rules too narrow. Good news is that PSA is irrelevant since I’m simply going to specify a number of skills and skill levels for each character and since the adventure is one sitting there will be no advancement which would require knowing PSA. So pick skills from “A Skilled Frontier” SFman issue 9. Each character can have either one 2nd level skill and two 1st level skills OR one 3rd level skill and one 1st level skill. Other than the above stipulations generate a AD style character. Equipment skien suit, tool kit for a skill requiring a tool kit, a free side arm (pistol) and holster and 500 cr more of equipment. Any character with a shooting skill can have a free long rifle and two clips.

Every member of the team must have one science, scholar or scout skill. I will post a Dangerous Delve thread in the forums at http://www.starfrontiers.us and when you’ve chosen the skills and character concept for your character post that in the thread. That will give other players a chance to cover a hole in the team’s skills and give the GM an idea of what the party’s skill set is.

On line Game platform will be Google +; which has chat but I’ll also use Skype so email me your skype account for the conference call. I’m thinking that I’d like one of you to manage the conference call on skype to free me up to focus on the rest of the game details. This responsibility will largely boil down to inviting all the participants into the conference call. Anyone wanting to volunteer to do that can do so in the dangerous delve thread at http://www.starfrontiers.us .

Player Intro

The conference room held a loose collection of beings. There was Director Juranec, some of her staff and a handful of members of the Acquisitions Service. Entering the room you notice a “hush” field as you enter.

The presence of a hush field over all windows and doors to the room suggested other security measures would be in place and that this assignment might one of the more interesting sorts. Possibly even an exciting field assignment.

Director Juranec stepped to the podium and addressed the room, “Gentle beings, this briefing is under condition black security protocols. However, it’s entirely possible that some or all of the contents of the briefing are already leaked out to undesirable agencies.”

At that statement all the members of the Acquisitions Service sat a little straighter. No doubt the leaks Director Juranec was referring to had occurred before the information reached her and “undesirable agencies” was the director’s preferred way of describing artifact acquisition teams employed by mega corps. Usually that meant PGC but not always and at least on one occasion she had used that phrase for a government agency. Yes perhaps this was going to be more than just a run of the mill assignment.

Director Juranec continued, “Three GST months ago the mining ship Ragnar’s Rock suffered a massive engineering catastrophe in orbit over Terledrom. Before the local militia could respond the ship’s orbit decayed and the ship crash landed on the southern continent. Some of the crew managed to eject in life pods. The militia performed SAR operations for almost two weeks rescuing two survivors and recovering four bodies two of the ship’s crew are listed as lost and presumed dead. During their SAR the militia discovered ruins and monoliths suggesting the presence of a hitherto undocumented hive deep in the jungle.”

“The board of trade houses running the Terledrom government eventually awarded the concession to explore this find to Vrusk Atlas Manufacturing Corporation [player’s note: VAMC taken from module SF-0]. VAMC sent a survey team but lost contact with them. Two weeks ago one member of the team was rescued but seems to have encounters some infectious agent that has rendered him incomprehensible.”

“Fearing a review of their concession, VAMC has decided to bring in specialist in the field of archaeological survey with a specialty in dealing with hazardous environments. That brings us to the institute and you lot.”

A light chuckle rippled through the room.

“As you know the institute has collaborated with VAMC many times on many projects in the past. They greatly prefer to deal with us over other,” Juranec paused briefly before finishing, “agencies.”

Another light chuckle rippled through the room.

“The Terledrom government has complicated laws concerning the export of cultural artifacts however VAMC, as part of its concession with the government will receive a percentage of artifacts found. They in turn will be making a loan to the institute museum of artifacts from the find as well. This means that not only will we get first look at a significant find from the hive period on Terledrom but the institute will have the major exhibit of vrusk hive period artifacts in the Frontier. That will be quite a feather in our cap for the institute and the museum.”

Juranic gestured to a member of her staff, “Victor, will brief you on the details we know as well as accompany you to Terledrom to act as an advisor.”

Vi-k'tr stepped forward. He was a vrusk himself and a bean counter. Normally, he never went on field assignment but his inclusion on this mission made sense since he spoke the language and had just delivered a graduate paper on the vrusk hive period. Whether he was left back at the hotel or dragged along into the jungle would require a team decision. Even money the team would vote to leave him behind since he’d been a pain in the past over squaring accounts for funds issued to the team.

Vi-k'tr began his briefing, “SAR operations turned up these pyramidal obelisks. We believe that these may be boundary markers for a hive. Ancient records of the hive period are fragmentary and there is no mention of a hive in this region. The standard hive boundary marker found at sites all over the planet looks like this: an obelisk. This marker was first described by the pilot of the team that discovered it as a truncated obelisk. Before SAR operations ceased they discovered two more.”

“If these truly are boundary markers for a lost hive it will be the discovery of the century in the area of Vrusk History and Archaeology. All known boundary markers are marked with glyphs naming the hive and give directions to the location of the next two markers on the boundary. Thus the monoliths are the logical place to begin the investigation. In this arial photograph you can see the wreck of the mining ship Ragnar’s Rock close to one of the monoliths and two more are on an arc here and here.”

Vi-k’tr droned on with his briefing but many members of the Acquisition Service had speculative looks on their faces; a field mission that could be the find of the century!