The Great Hunt

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by Bill Logan (art submitted by B.Kelleher)

The Irochol mining colony has been in business for ten years. It’s a Streel venture that of late has received a lot of attention because they successfully mined uranium in the asteroids of Athor – something nobody else has been able to accomplish. About two days ago, their subspace signal went dead and all communication has halted. Right before the silence, the foreman was heard to say “What the hell is THAT!?” before the sound of a weapon being fired ended all communication.

The characters are hired by Streel to go investigate. They are given passage to the asteroid upon which the mining camp is located. They are given lastknown map data (admittedly two years old and completely wrong) and have been briefed that the only defenses they have on site is a single weapons locker containing minimal ammunition – to ward off pirates who hassle them. Streel is currently under suspicion that it’s pirates behind it all... they’re wrong.

When the characters are dropped off (the ship will return for them in 2 days), they immediately find that the atmogenerators are broken down. They have to fix it in order to survive 2 days – or their suits (provided by Streel) will run out of breathable air.

While scavenging to gather equipment needed to facilitate repairs, the characters split up and find themselves each hunted by an odd lizard-like creature. The creature has never before been seen, and is oddly shaped – almost like s cross between a sathar and a lizard. They carry semi-modern weaponry, and have defensive screens. They seem able to exist in the vacuum of space without any atmosphere.

The creatures are called Rooksha, and are an alien species who hunt for sport and pleasure. Their society is built around the idea of the hunt. Their test of maturing into adulthood is to be dropped off on some foreign world and told to bring back as many ears as they can.

But in their section of space, the beings they hunt are hardly sentient. The Rooksha have misjumped and wound up stuck in a crashed ship in the Frontier area of space. There were more of them but they jettisoned in different directions. The escape pod that landed on this asteroid carried with it a few Rooksha just reaching the age of maturity...

The characters will have to defend themselves against the Rooksha while trying to get the atmogenerator fixed. Once they do, they’ll find that the mining crew of the Irochol expedition are mostly all dead, though four workers are hiding in an air duct where they’ve trapped a couple days worth of oxygen and are hoping to wait out the creatures.

From the wreckage of the Rooksha ship, the characters find telemetry that can lead them to where the other escape launches headed... leading them on a series of adventures to hunt down some of the greatest hunters the Frontier has ever known