Adventure: The Hunt & Resurrection

BASICS

PCs are sent as general labor/security on an orbital survey mission to a remote planet in the Vextross system, called Vex III.  It is a prospect for mining and colonization.  They will orbit the planet, drop survey satellites and scan for anything interesting.  They goal is to make sure no civilization already exists on the planet.

PUSH

The primary push is good pay.  Secondary push can be getting away from the hussle and bussle of core worlds.

PULL

Intrigue and Sabotage: One of the non-scientific staff members is the son of a noble [Torani].  His name is Tuu Ors Dorak.  His family is funding a large part of the mission, so they can find a place to get away from the harsh politics of the core [Torani] worlds.  What the PCs will eventually find out is that this family has [Tor’Drani] enemies – a terrorist group named the Grey Vengeance – and there are agents among the personnel of the mission that wish to kill the son.

This Grey Vengeance agent is secretly disguised as a Altani, using nano-tech injections to change the color of his fur and the scent he gives off.  She plans to sabotage the survey ship by setting charges on the engine.   Whether the PCs try to stop the agent or not, the explosive will go off and cause damage to the ship enough that it begins to descend into the planet gravity.  The crew and the PCs can escape through the lifeboats and pods on board.  They will end up on the planet.

Discovering the planet:  Captain Torath (Torani), the PCs, and eight other [Torani] survive the destruction.  {Note: two [Torani] twins are mentalists} After everyone regroups, does a head count and settles in to wait for a rescue, they discover things their scans could never find.  Seemingly harmless plants are deadly and predatory.  The animal life is vicious and savage.  Creatures like sword tailed Pterros, tri-pedal deer-like Oobites, and herds of tunneling Tuneks.  It is a very violent and dangerous world.  It seems unlikely any civilization evolved here.

Surprisingly, they find signs of civilization.  However, they quickly learn that the ruins they are finding are another lost Terran colony (they are in fact ruins of an old THRID installation).  It was once a human world.  They also find signs that some are still here, however these signs indicate they have regressed to lower tech in some areas while in others, they have maintained some semblance of modern technology (bows and arrows along side blaster rifles, for example).

Alliance law dictates that if this was in fact an old Terran colony, special recontact emissaries must be sent to help reintegrate them back into modern Alliance society.  This kind of situation would fall under special “disenfranchised” colony clauses of the Noninterference laws. Legally, all the group can do is sit and wait for the rescue party.

However, it won’t take long before they encounter the locals. An encounter with an indigenous beast (dinosaur-like) might lead to a hunting party.  Or perhaps they have been watched the whole time by their scouts.  They find that these people have well adapted to this harsh environment.  They are the ultimate example of human “survival of the fittest.”

Marytox:  The humans on this planet have a multitude of settlements littering the planet’s continent in the eastern hemisphere.  They are divided into five different clans but all have good trade relations.  They all have variety of traditions and beliefs based on their bastardization of what they call the “old ways,” however, they have a common culture of harsh rites of passage and punishment.  They have a firm foundation of “survival of the fittest” and only the strong survive their society.  The Great Decline was the period of time after the Terran Empire collapsed and left the colony isolated.

Marytox is the settlement the survey team landed near. Unbeknownst to most, it was once a corporate research facility.  The survivors of the facility fortified the facility with a large wall, barbed and electrified fencing as well as a mine field.  The fence is still operational but the mines are long since decayed (10% chance one would go off.) The barbed wire exists but is overgrown and hidden.  After a long period of barbaric survival, the descendents have finally entered a period of peace and civility. They have farmed large portions of the fertile land around them and domesticated some of the more docile saurian creatures as mounts and beasts of burden.

Marytox houses about 40 to 50 families, all members of the clan Ironthorn.  The nearest town is about 7 days march east deep into the jungle and another in the mountains to the west about 8 days march.  Marytox lies in the grasslands between the mountains and the jungle.  Few know that the Ironhorn is a clan descended from the corporate elite and their genetically engineered slaves.

In some manner or another, the PCs and the survey group will encountered the people ot Marytox and taken within the town walls.  They are welcoming of humans but trepidatious of non-humans.  They are invited to special rite that is to occur on the night they arrive – The Hunt.

The Hunt:  The ritual starts with an elaborate ceremoney with dancing and singling, fireworks,

The ritual continues with the religious caste of the clan in cloaks leading a procession of young boys and girls from Marytox and several surrounding towns to a temple outside the walls of the town – called the Temple of Trials.  This temple is a dome protruding out of the ground (remnants of the old research facility).  Entering a sunken doorway, the “Chosen” enter the dome with one high priest.

The ceremony seems to end there.  The crowd disperses.  If the PCs ask, they are told that they Chosen go through a trial in the dome.   The spirits of the ancients take something from each of them and creates the trial the Chosen must face from that.  The Chosen are left in the Jungle for twenty-fours hours to complete the trial.  Those who survive are accepted into the clan. A day later, only about half the young Chosen return. The rest are said to have been judged unworthy.

In truth, the remnants of an old experiment lay mostly functional in the dome they called the Temple of Trials.  The Bio-Matter Replicator/Reconstructor (BioMaRR) is made of a variety of sampler pod and a central reintegration chamber.  Combining matter to energy replication with genetic engineering and bio-chemistry, this device was created to combine genetic traits of various unrelated creatures to create all new species of animals.  Much of the plants and creatures of Vex III are derivative from these experiments.  The BIOMARR is now seen as part of the “ancient one’s” legacy and something the people ot Marytox use with reverence to them.

The young are brought to this device and placed in the sampler pods.  The device is activated and the high priest then leaves.  The BIOMARR then creates a conglomeration from the Chosen’s genetics, picking a choosing what the system thinks is the best traits of all. Traces of hereditary traits from the early Terran genetic manipulations corrupt the samples.  The creature that resulted was a hideous beast.  This beast is then released into the wild and not long afterwards, the Chosen are released.  Armed with weapons  supplied to them in a cache set up by the priests, the Chosen are expected to hunt down the creature and kill it.  This is one of many traditions of the people of Vex III to survive the harsh world.  THe Hunt is one of the more prestigious and well-known rituals, however.

GIMMICK

The Zed: High above the world of Vex III, in orbit over the various settlements, are alien probes.  The PCs were not the only ones interested in what was on Vex III.  An ancient alien species of bio-tech nanites called the Zed have found the quiet and isolated world of Vexx III interesting.  Within the past for years, the Zed have implanted several of their orb-shaped probes in orbit around the planet, to monitor it.  They see it as a possible source of their most valued resource – flesh.  They use organic flesh as a raw material, reorganizing it to form their own physical forms.  And Vex III is full of raw organic flesh of amazing varieties.

First contact with an outside body threatens their resource, however.  The explosion of the survey ship has awaken several of the probes.  They have activated and entered the planet atmosphere.  The Zed will then land on the planet, take over one of the towns and attack the newcomers.  The Zed have invaded!

The Pup:  The [Torani] Tuu Ors Dorak has his own secret.  He is secretly a member of a cult called Korosh.  He was once a hacker, constantly online.  This was partially why the family chose to send him out and see the universe.  However, the reason he agreed to such a journey was far from the reasons his parents thought.  While online, Tuu Ors Dorak, made contact with Alamane (who knew his family had interests in Vex III).  Alamane was able to convince Dorak to take Alamane’s essence (stored in a memory stick he carries around his neck) to Vex III.  Once there, Dorak is to place Alamane into the core computer of Vex III which lies dormant.

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