After months on assignment assisting with the cataloging of Dominion technology at the research facility on Z3, Zopa returns to the crew’s docking bay.
Zopa was instrumental in neutralizing the threat posed by the shipmind trapped in the abandoned dominion research complex. Oryx has transferred much of the equipment and technology to research facilities outside the nebula for deeper study.
The crew, recovering from the attempted abduction and assault, welcome their Ysoki friend back to the new ship.
Attien Combine Supplies
The crew then receives a comm from Nelari regarding the materials requested by the Combine contact.
There are three primary materials that the crew can either purchase at significant expense or travel to the source and harvest the raw materials.
- Ichor of a Kyokor from the planet Daimalko – Hallucinogenic
- Powdered Bluestone from the Pripast Abyss on the planet of Gaskar III – Toxic
- Condensate of Stibnite. A by-product of the refinement processes performed at the Central Quarry of the Riven Shroud – Explosive
The crew decides to journey to Daimalko to retrieve the Ichor first.
The crew set course for Daimalko and arrive at a single planet orbiting a small primary. The planet appears to be geologically unstable. Only three distinct signs of habitation advertise their existence. The City of New Valor broadcasts as the bastion intending to reclaim the planet from the ravages of the Kyokor. The settlement of Scrapden broadcast their markets of unique goods found only on Daimalko. Finally, a broadcast arrives inviting the crew to participate in a safari with the House of Glory, a Vesk operation guaranteeing visual encounters with the wild Colossi of Daimalko.
After a cursory scan of the planet there are indeed active Kyokor roaming the surface. The information from Nalari indicated that the ichor could be harvested from a dead or living Kyokor. The difference being that quality is better from a living source. The crew, with assistance by the ships medical subsystem, begin trying to formulate a method of rendering one of the monstrosities unconscious.
After their initial sensor sweep they discover a twenty-mile stretch of colossi remains in a vast graveyard. They decide to land and investigate the chiton and bones for any signs of weakness. After landing, the ship alerts the crew to approaching life forms. Seven medium sized individuals stop their approach under cover. Strig climbs to the top of the ship to establish eyes on the group and a clear line of fire if needed. After a few moments a figure waves a makeshift flag and calls out to speak with the crew.
A one-armed dwarf steps out to speak with the crew. The rest of his group patrol the perimeter.
The dwarf introduces himself as Gorgarth, leader of the Silent Scavengers and welcomes the crew to the Carapace Caverns. He inquires about their purpose and probes for any affiliations to other settlements on the planet. Glack explains that they have arrived to harvest Kyokor Ichor to which the dwarf chuckles.
“Oh, you’re serious. In that case I’d suggest getting your affairs in order as knocking down one of the Kyokor isn’t a feat I’ve witnessed in recent memory.” He motions to the graveyard of chiton and bones. They’re infused with metals and minerals not unlike starships. Traditional weaponry has proven more irritating than deadly. There’s nothing worse than pissing off a colossi without a plan B. The Damai even tried shuttles with weaponry but the pilots either ran out of ammo or the beast snatched them right out of the air.”
This graveyard provides the Scavengers materials to craft weapon enhancements and even personal armor. The materials are difficult to work but the resulting goods generate a significant profit.
The crew trade some goods for a plate of the chiton suitable for a heavy chest plate if properly treated and shaped. Gorgoth suggests dropping in on the archives of New Valor if the crew wants to know about knocking down Kyokor.
“Those crazy Damai have been building machines capable of going toe to claw with a Kyokor for the last fifty years. Surely they have something you could use.”
Gorgoth bids the crew farewell and the scavengers return to their graveyard. The crew sets course for New Valor. Kallie’Dar contacts New Valor’s control beacon and arranges a landing pad for the ship. On arrival the crew are greeted with tall, fortified walls topped with starship class turret emplacements at regular intervals to provide layered firing zones. As Strig maneuvers the ship to the designated landing pad the crew also see training fields with mechs of various sizes running obstacle courses and firing on target.
After landing the crew is met on the pad by the docking authority. “Welcome to New Valor, what brings you to our city?”
The crew explains that they’re here to study the Kyokor and their unique ecology and have been directed to New Valor because of their extensive archives. “Tourism then?” the functionary states flatly. He provides a data pad with the sights and services available to visitors, “Enjoy your visit,” turns and leaves the crew.
New Valor is obviously a new city. Clean, bright and bustling behind the massive fortifications protecting them from the roving colossi. After a few moments the crew reach the archive building. The entry is flanked by two large female statues. The plaques indicate the statues are of New Valor’s Guardians.
Entering the archives, a robot greets the crew and provides direction to topics of interest. The crew spends time retrieving materials and compiling data from the two hundred years of rampaging colossi and the last fifty years of reemergence as the Damai began to return to the planet’s surface and really study the monstrosities that dominate the planet’s surface.
Apparently, Damai leaders discovered artifacts beneath the planet’s surface that allow attuned Damai to locate, manipulate and even experience the chaos of a Kyokor’s mind and emotions. These artifacts are used by Guardians to protect settlements and have allowed the Damai to venture out from their subterranean shelter in efforts to repopulate and rebuild after generations of underground living. Apparently the one commonality for the Kyoko physiology is traces crustacean genes. Since the colossi emerged from the floor of dried sea beds, it makes sense that they would share traits with some type of sea creature.
In their research the crew also discover mention of a demolished capital city, Lorvelle, being populated by roving mini colossi, typically measuring only twice the height of a Damai, that resemble miniature Kyokor. Scholars posit that these are young spawned by the massive colossi. Why only this city and why would regular colossi still be present if there were no population? Could this be a potential source for the ichor?
On approach to the demolished capitol the crew pickup a faint distress call. apparently there is a Starfinder Society research team stranded in the center of the city. They claim to have discovered a method of controlling the smaller colossi but are quickly running out of supplies and require medical assistance. Zopa triangulates their position. Drax directs the team to be prepared for a hot zone pickup. Once everyone signals ready Strig navigates the ship through the tangle of twisted buildings and overgrowth. The team breaks cover with two colossi in tow. As strig lowers the ship into position Drax drops the loading bay and the team boards. As the last team member sets foot on the ramp he releases his connection with the two colossi. within moments they seem to realize where they are and begin attacking each other as sensors pick up a much larger contact moving to intercept. As the ship lifts out of the tangle a full sized Kyokor barrels into the clearing roaring as the ship escapes its reach.
Strig moves the ship to a high-altitude position. the crew gather in the bomb bay to to meet the research team and assess their next move.
Four members of the team survived.
- Za’Del, is a lashunta mystic empath
- Ni’Mas, a damai biologist
- Wrench, a wrikreechee mechanic
- Azoph, an android pilot, was seriously injured when their shuttle crashed deep in the city
Luckily Za’Del, through his mystic connection, figured out how to reach into the alien minds of the small colossi and control them providing guardians in the overrun city. He explains that the smaller kyokor can be reached telepathically. Once he connected with the creatures he discovered they had an ancient and complex language with roots in the native damai culture. He suggests that the trace elements found in the chiton act as a dampener for the full sized kyokor, requiring an amplifier of some sort to reach them. This must be, at least partially, the purpose of the damai guardian orbs.
Kyokor in a Bottle
The crew, searching for a source of ichor, hatch a daring plan. If the ichor is harvested from Kyokor, why wouldn’t these smaller specimens generate the same substance? They first investigate the suspension tubes present on the ship. They were designed for the variety of lifeforms found throughout the Dominion including large creatures. Based on scans, the ship calculates that it could successfully contain the smaller creatures. Further, after a detailed DNA analysis the ship has determined that the only commonality among the colossi is trace markers indicating crustacean origins. Based on this, the ship believes it can formulate an anesthesia solution to allow safe transport and analysis of the creatures.
The crew asks Za’Del if he could control one of the creatures long enough to get it aboard and into one of the suspension tubes. Intrigued by the through of capturing live specimens for study he agrees to try.
Zopa and Bosho work the sensor arrays looking for isolated targets and marking them for Strig to navigate into range allowing Za’Del a chance to connect and control the creature. It takes some doing but the first specimen is captured with minimal incident. Two more are gathered and contained before the crew decide to leave the area. Glack offers to return the Starfinders to Absalom Station in the Pact Worlds.
Glack, with help from Wrench and Ni’Mas, develops a method of extracting small amounts of ichor from the captured kyokor. Calculations indicate it will take a month of steady extraction to generate the desired quantity without killing the creatures.
Strig sets course for Absalom Stations and initiates the transit.