They headed back to Lorespire Complex to get some rest and to find out how to get the Master of the Stars to see the final faction leader, Fitch of the Wayfinders.
They thought about going shopping but realized they did not have enough credits to get what they wanted to get. They contacted Guidance who told them that a shuttle would come and pick them up to take them to the Master of the Stars when they were ready. They told her that they were and in about 10 minutes the shuttle arrived and they were off.
The station’s Armada can be seen from the shuttle’s view screen as it takes off, gleaming figures standing out against the emptiness of space. The Master of Stars immediately stands out from the rest, as layers and layers of scaffolding obscure its hull. Tiny lights flicker among the metal beams as distant figures weld plates and heat shields to the ship’s exterior. The shuttle smoothly glides closer until it reaches the starship’s docking bay, slipping through the magic field that keeps the hold pressurized with breathable atmosphere. As the shuttle doors open, a small drone flies in and pops up a holoscreen, displaying a harried-looking ratfolk.
“Finally, fresh meat!” the ysoki exclaims over the screen, sounding pleased. “Name’s Fitch—pleasantries over, time to get to work. I had some trouble earlier with the lights flickering on the ship, and now both the lights and computers have suddenly gone out on E-Deck. No idea what’s causing it, but you work this job long enough and—” Fitch’s attention flicks to something offscreen, and she shouts “Kirkath! The welding torch is not a toy! You wanna go in the toddler’s pen with the other kids?” She snorts dismissively before continuing,
“Sorry, some of these little ones would cut off their own heads if I let them. Anyway, it could be some lunkhead screwed up the wiring, but that’s a pretty big system failure for a simple electrical short. I’d prefer to send in some people with combat training to scout it out, just in case someone or something is sabotaging the ship. If it’s nothing, great, get the power back on if you can. If there’s something suspicious, use your comm-units to report in to me. I’ll give you the access codes, so— Selicha! If you touch that panel I will staple you to the hull!”
The screen on the drone cuts out, then flashes to display the ship’s schematics and the passwords for the computers on E-Deck.
Overload saw that they would need to take the working lifts and the maintenance tunnels to reach E-Deck. He would have to stick to the lifts as he would be too big to fit into the maintenance tunnels. It still did not take then too long to reach the closed doors to E-Deck. With the power off the doors did not automatically open but they soon realized the magnetic seals on the doors were also disabled so they were able to force their way through.
Overload and Kaldin went straight for the computer found just to the right of the set of doors leading into E-Deck proper. Vree tried to pry open these doors but they would not budge. Jello and Yukito brought up the rear to keep an eye on things.
Overload was able to get into the system and was able to reroute the power into the local systems.
“Power has been temporarily restored to E-Deck.” said a calm voice from the computer terminal.
Overload began to check the logs to see what might have caused the power failure. He learned that it was not too far away from where they were. He then pulled up the schematics to the closest areas of E-Deck.
The first room was a storage room with a large set of doors leading west. The second area was two adjoining chambers. The first chamber was a storage room that held 4 or 5 containment capsules. The chamber to the south held a computer bank. Overload saw that the issue probably started in that southern room with the computers.
Overload also saw that the ship had been in repairs for quite some time. The Master of Stars was the largest starship in the Society’s arsenal. Even before the events of the Scoured Stars, it was the pride of the fleet. Years of neglect required an extensive retrofit during the events of the Scoured Stars incident, inadvertently saving the flagship.
E-Deck was a heavily underused section of the Master of Stars, consisting of various primary access corridors and adjoining chambers. Most side rooms werr crew quarters or communal living spaces—far less important locations due to the recent shortage in personnel. The Wayfinders recently started using some of these chambers to store nonthreatening alien objects.
“Power has been restored to cameras on E-Deck” said the computer.
Overload checked the cameras and saw two small creatures hiding behind some empty crates and barrels in the next room. He studied them for a bit and realized it was two small human children. But why were they hiding?
The rest of the room had scattered barrels and boxes lining the lowered floor of this storage chamber. A thick bulkhead to the port side leads farther onto the deck, while a similar bulkhead to the aft connects to an arterial hallway that runs the length of the deck.
Vree said “let me talk with them.” The doors would still not open on their own but they were easier to open with partial power running to them.
The first thing that they noticed was that it was chilly in the storage area.
Vree spotted the girl first. She was doing her best to hide but she was also trying to keep the other child quiet. Vrees said what are you hiding from.
She heard the boy from the northwestern corner say “They found us! We are safe. Wait, they found us, we are going to be in trouble.”
Vree you are not in trouble. Tell me what is going on.
The girl spoke as the boy moved towards her. I am Kieu Lan and this is my brother Kieu Si. Our dad is one of the ship’s engineers. We are very good at hiding. Our mother taught us. Grandma said we were naturals.
Why are you hiding? asked Vree again.
Lan continued “You see. We are supposed to be in the specially designated children’s area but we get bored there. So, from time to time we sneak out and come here. We found a new pet some time ago and led him into the computer room through those doors and don. We came today to bring him some food. Things were going fine until the computers died and then the lights went out. We ran here and hid. We tried but we couldn’t open the doors. We could not let anyone know we were hear because we had removed our communicators before sneaking here.
Vree asked what their new pet looked like. Lan said have you ever seen a centipede? Yeah like one of those with lots of feet. But its body was like a melting candle but it never melted away.
Yukito said telepathically, they need to leave and get back to the children’s area. Vree told them again they were not in trouble and the children ran off towards the way the group had arrived.
Overload checked the cameras for the areas to the west just beyond the doors. He saw:
This area consists of two adjoining chambers. Four large containment capsules fill the fore room, three of which hold stasis-locked objects, including a tablet, a strange curved sword, and an odd spiral of bioluminescent coral. A crack leaks fluid from the fourth capsule, which displays a foot-wide breach near the bottom. The aft room contained several desks, each hosting a deactivated computer terminal.
They knew where the creature had come from but where was it now.
Overload and Vree moved towards the western doors. Vree went to open it and it would not budge but she did set something off. She was instantly covered in gallons and gallons of some type of foam. Overload analyzed it and found it to be fire retardant foam. It would not cause any damage, but it would be slow to dissipate and was beginning to seep into Vree’s and his eyes, soft tissue, and mechanical joints. It may take awhile to get rid of it completely.
Overload wondered out loud if the children had set that trap. Since they were gone they could not ask them so they went into the room.
The containment unit room was even colder than the storage room.
Kaldin went check out the containment unit that was empty. Veluk went to look at the containment units that still had items in them, specifically the one with the sword in it. Vree joined him and they tried to figure out where it had come from. They saw it had writing and runes on it but they could not figure out what they said. Yukito did not know either. Jello noticed that there was a path of mucus from the empty containment unit over to one of the vent. He saw that the vent cover had been removed. He could not see into the vent being a ysoki but he could climb up to the opening if he needed to. Kaldin looked in it but he did not see anything.
Overload went to one of the sets of doors to the south. It was getting colder as he went. About 5 feet before the door he saw a covering of ice on the floor. He let the others know to be careful on the ice. He was able to open the door to the computer area. The floor was a sheet of ice and the room was freezing. They saw another mucus trail from one of the vents. This time the vent had been replaced. Checking out the computer area, Overload saw a series of exposed wires. A section of them had been cut willy-nilly. Overload could tell it was not done on purpose. He fiddled a little more soon had the computers running again.
Once that was done he we went to the vent that had been replaced. Vree and Yukito went to the other vent in the room. Vree and Yukito did not see anything. Overload began to tinker and he created a blinking light toy that he hoped would get the creature’s attention. He shone it into the vent but he did not see anything.
Kaldin determined that the mucus was to aid in movement. He went over to the uncovered vent in the containment unit room and looked in. He saw two things. The blinking light from Overload and a shadow that seemed to have many centipede like legs. It was moving down the vent towards Overload. He used his comm-link to let Overload know. As soon as he heard was when the creature removed the vent cover and moved slowly towards Overload’s hand that held the light. He wrapped himself around Overload’s arm and stared at the blinking lights. Vree and Yukito could not identify what kind of creature this was. Vree determined it was not a threat. She used Detect Thoughts and learned that it was curious about everything in the room, that it was an intelligent creature (smarter than some of her companions) and that just just wanted to know more about all it could see.
Yukito said we need to take it to the captain. I will go get one of the barrels and we can put it in there. Overload said we should not alarm it. I will attempt to let it know we are not going to harm it. Yukito replied if it can stay calm we might be able to take to the captain and not use the barrel. I will contact Fitch to see how to get to the bridge.
Fitch replied “I am sending you directions know. I saw that the power had come back on a little while ago. I will get folks in there to get it stable. A new intelligent life-form. It will be treated as such but we need to make sure it is not injured. I will have some people in my office for you to hand it over to.
It did not take long for them to reach the bridge. Two women in lab coats were there to take the creature. It seemed to understand that he was not in any harm. Overload gave the blinking light toy to it. He was not sure but Overload thought it gave a nod of its insect head as a way of saying thanks.
As the women took the creature away, Fitch thanked them and the gave them a bag of items. Before they could open the bag a man came into the room with Lan and Si. It was apparent that this was their father. He apologized to Fitch for coming to the bridge but he wanted to thank the people that had rescued his children. He handed a ringbox to them and said I can never thank you enough. I do not know the whole story but I will eventually hear it all. Thank you. My children are all I have now since the Scoured Stars incident. They all realized what had happened to Lan and Si’s mother.
Vree said we promised to give the kids a ride in Overload. Where is large enough to do this? Fitch was confused but said that the hanger area should be large enough. They decided to go there and look at the items on their way.
Kein had given them a mk 1 ring of resistance. Fitch had given them a credstick with 700 credits on it. A Perforator diffraction pistol, a hygiene kit and an aerosol spray.
After giving the children a ride around the hanger they said their goodbyes and board the shuttle to head back to Absalom Station. Guidance contacted them. She said I have heard from all of the faction leaders. Thank you for all the work you have done for them and the Society. In the aftermath of the Scoured Stars incident, the Society needs skilled agents more than ever, and that it sees potential in you all as you begin your careers in the Starfinder Society.
She then continues: Please come to the Lorespire Complex so you can meet Venture-Captain Arvin.
The knew that Venture- Captains are the leaders of the Starfinder Society. They do not move around but are based at set places. Arvin was currently located on Absalom Station.
Arriving at Absalom Station they went to the Lorespire Complex. They were met in the lobby by a tall confident lashunta damaya male.
“I am Venture-Captain Arvin. Welcome to the Society. Once you have rested and are ready for your next assignment, please come see me in my office. I have sent directions to my office to you comm-links.”
“We have an urgent opportunity to recover potentially critical information on the location of the Unbound Wayfarer, a Starfinder Society ship that went missing several months ago. It was not involved in the Scoured Stars event. We will discuss this more once you come to my office. Thank you.”
They decided to beat him to his office. Overload hacked into the elevator system and slowed the one down that Arvin was on. He also patched through the elevator’s sound system an apology that the elevator was slow but things were being worked on and would be returning to normal soon.
They were outside Arvin’s office when he arrived. He apologized for his elevator being slow and then he invited them in to his office and to have a seat.
“Thank you for arriving so quickly. As I mentioned before, we have an urgent opportunity to recover some critical information.
“Several months ago, a crew of Starfinders took a ship called the Unbounded Wayfarer into the Vast to explore a series of uncharted planets. They never returned. Earlier today, a vesk pawnbroker in the Downlow neighborhood contacted us, offering to sell us several Starfinder insignias. These insignias belonged to the lost crew of the Unbounded Wayfarer, and that immediately caught the Society’s attention. The pawnbroker—named Julzakama—doesn’t realize the true value of the insignias. We negotiated a purchase price in exchange for the insignias and information about the seller. We hope this seller can lead us to the Unbounded Wayfarer and its crew.
“We’ve remotely transferred the requested credits to Julzakama. Now, we need you to collect the insignias and all the information you can from the vesk regarding whoever sold him the insignias, and then track down that seller. Learn where to find the Unbounded Wayfarer and its crew. I’m worried that the seller might not be on the station for long, so act quickly. If you have any questions, please make them fast.”
What can we find this Julzakama?
“He runs a pawnshop called Julzakama’s Loans and is an unusually arrogant vesk. I don’t know him, but I get the impression that I wouldn’t like him much if I did. I am sending directions to Julzakama’s shop to your comm-links.
How many insignia does he have?
How many were lost with the Unbounded Wayfarer?
The group agreed that the seller may have more.
They leave the office and head once again to the Downlow. Overall tranformed and everyone climbed in. Vree and Yukito checked their police contacts to see if Julakama had any arrest warrants. None of them were current. They also found out that he was was a domineering brute and that only the truly desperate deal with him. Further, he responds better to bluster than to honeyed words.
Veluk said We will intimidate him. He will talk. And we get info from him.
Downlow is a poor and densely-populated section of the Spike that extends below Absalom Station. Julzakama’s shop is less than an hour from the Lorespire Complex, the headquarters of the Starfinder Society, and reaching the run-down store is fairly simple. When the PCs arrive, read or paraphrase the following.
Although some areas of Downlow are clean and trendy, this narrow alley of concrete and metal buildings drips with oil and sparking wires. A wide, red neon electric sign reads “Julzakama’s Loans” on a building sandwiched between a Kuthite sensation house and a derelict building covered with graffiti. The shop’s solid metal door contains a single, small window too grimy to peer through.
The interior of Julzakama’s Loans is crammed with shelves containing all manner of near-valueless items, from small appliances to VR game consoles and jars of colored powders. The shop has the acrid smell of a reptile house that has not been cleaned in months. A massive vesk in a muscle shirt stands at the rear of the shop, behind a low desk and a series of heavy metal bars anchored into the ceiling. Julzakama is carelessly disassembling an old computer when the PCs arrive, but he looks up when they enter his shop.
Julzakama speaks bluntly “What can I help you with? Need a loan? Need to sell something?”
We are here for the insignias.
Julzakama gave a wide smile. He slid a metal box through a gap in the bars. Thank you for your business.
Yukito opened the box and he saw seven insignias bearing the compass-like logo of the Starfinder Society.
They then asked what he knew about the seller.
The vesk scratched the scaly skin between his bony beard-spikes with a clawed hand and said, “Seems I’m now fully paid for those trinkets there. I remember Arvin said something about wanting information, too, and I can do that. But information costs extra.”
Veluk said just tell us what we need to know in an intimidating voice. And he shifted his artillery laser from one hand to the other.
“All right, all right; the seller was named Exegara, and she wasn’t from around here. Wore a flight suit, like she had come off a long trip. She was definitely an Eoxian. She looked like a man-ling, but didn’t breathe or blink or anything”. Once she had her money, she asked about where to purchase clean skeletons. I don’t carry goods like that, so I sent her to the Vat Garden. Oh and she also mentioned something about hiring some local muscle “just in case.”
Where is this Vat Garden?
About 10 minutes from here if you walk. She probably left here around an hour or two ago.
They headed to the Vat Garden. Overload checked for its schematics and they rest of them looked to see what they could find out about the Vat Garden.
It was once a vast pool of bio-active substances that drained away decades ago. The residue in the pool still enhances the growth of biological organisms, and an enterprising ysoki family purchased the empty pool and turned it into a garden, selling fresh plants around Absalom Station.
Demand exceeded their supply, so the family took in any sort of biological waste as mulch to grow their riotous tangle of plants. An open secret around Downlow is that the ysoki also act as a mortuary for the very poor: they take dead bodies for free as mulch for their plants.
Vree found an agreement between the ysoki and the local law enforcement. This side business is not technically illegal but the yoski wanted some kind of protection as a just in case.
On they way there, they contacted Arvin of their findings. He says that is good to hear. Since this Exegara is so close I was going to ask you to continue your investigation but it sounds like you are ahead of me. Contact once you have another update.
They arrived at the address of the Vat Garden and saw:
The station passageways open into an enormous sunken pool filled with a riotous growth of plants. A narrow walkway leading to other parts of Downlow encircles the overgrown vat, and a spire of some kind of machinery stands in its center. For such a busy section of Downlow, the area is surprisingly quiet. Two ladders and a steep staircase pierce the foliage and lead down into the vat.
The floor of the Vat Garden is 15 feet lower than the walkway surrounding it, and the foliage is so thick that creatures in the vat have total concealment (50% miss chance) from creatures up on the walkway. Within the vat, the orderly rows of plants provide concealment.
It was quiet. Too quiet.
They headed down the steps with Vree, Yukito and Veluk in lead with Overload just behind them. Kaldin and Jello took up the rear. They got about 10ft of the 15ft to the floor of the Vat Garden when lasers were fired from their left and their right hitting Overload and Veluk.
There was a human thug on each side of them. Veluk opened fire and hit. Vree shot at the same thug with both of her pistols. Yukito fired on the one that attacked Overload. Overload moved toward the one that had attacked him and swung with his assault hammer hitting squarely. Kaldin moved up and attacked the one that had attacked Veluk as well. Jello stayed street side to make sure none of the thugs could escape and to keep an eye out for Exagara.
Two more thugs appeared out of the vegetation and opened fire. Overload took out the one that was on him. Veluk went full attack on the one on him damaging him pretty bad. Vree took one shot and he fell. Yukito cast Holographic Clone, causing two images of him to appear beside him and they all moved forward to attack the two thugs furthest away. Suddenly another more laser fire hit all around them but none of them were hit. Vree, Yukito and Veluk all spotted a cloaked figure that fit the description of Exagara that Julzakama gave them. Another thug appeared from behind the obelisk and fired away. The thugs then began to drop as the group hit with all they had. Soon there was only one thug left and Exagara.
Overload said “Surrender.”
Exagara replied “You wish to surrender to me? Very well then.”
“Your thugs are almost all killed off.” replied Overload
Not a chance said Exagara and she returned fire.
When he last thug fell mere second later. She dropped her weapon and surrendered.
They interrogated her and received the following information:
She was only recently recruited into the Corpse Fleet and knows little of their activities.
She traveled aboard avessel called the Endless Threnody that picked up the distress call of a Starfinder vessel. The Corpse Fleet ship traveled to the Starfinder vessel’s crash site on a desert planet and acquired several treasures, including the Starfinder insignias.
Before the Endless Threnody could get into the Drift, it was surprised and crippled by a pirate ship identified as the Lawblight. The
Endless Threnody now floats in the Drift, unable to leave, and Exegara was dispatched to acquire repair materials.
Exegara’s datapad shows the Endless Threnody’s current location. Although Exegara does not know the coordinates of the crashed Starfinder vessel (or even the name of the world it was on), she knows those coordinates are in the files of the Endless Threnody’s navigational computer.
She gave them her datapad and a credstick. She told them she was done with the Corpse Fleet. I was the low Eoxian on the totem pole. I think I can do better here on Absalom Station.
They told her to be available in case she was needed again. She sort of agreed and then they let her go on her way.
They sent an update to Arvin. He is pleased with their for following up on this lead so quickly. He asks them to follow this mystery further by finding the Endless Threnody. He tells them to keep the Starfinder insignias for now, and explains their basic function—they might need the insignias in the future.
The crew of the Unbounded Wayfarer received the insignias long ago for exemplary service to the Society. These insignias are no mere trinkets; they can be used to encrypt or decrypt information that the Starfinders wanted to keep hidden.
Arvin asked them to meet him in one of the Arms of Absalom Station to receive their ship and their orders.
Venture-Captain Arvin stands next to the entry ramp of a sleek-looking starship. He waves his hands over the side of the starship affectionately.
“This is the Loreseeker, a Pegasus-class ship that’s one of the fastest and lightest in the Society’s fleet. “We know that a lost Starfinder vessel, the Unbounded Wayfarer, was discovered by undead creatures from a starship called the Endless Threnody. We’ve pulled some strings with our more reputable Eoxian contacts to get more information, but they’ve disavowed knowledge of the Endless Threnody entirely; this likely confirms our suspicions that the Endless Threnody is connected with the Corpse Fleet, a group of Eoxian separatists who refuse to work alongside the living.
“We have the location of the Endless Threnody in the Drift, courtesy of that ghoul you tracked down. Its Drift engine is incapacitated, so it’s unable to escape the Drift. Take the Loreseeker into the Drift, cripple the Eoxian ship—as a Corpse Fleet vessel, they won’t be open to negotiations—and recover the location of the lost Starfinder vessel.”