Welcome to Gaskar III
A watery world, third from its star, Gaskar III consists of the crescent-shaped continent of Lavnovya and an irregular ring of islands, all surrounded by the massive, storm-wracked Yulalov Ocean. The planet’s vast ocean, warm climate, and slow rotation drive massive evaporation and form immense storm fronts, with the terrestrial inhabitants rarely enjoying full sunlight for the innumerable clouds. These clouds regularly evolve into violent cyclones that smash into the eastern coast’s mountains. The western reaches enjoy marginally calmer winds and clearer skies, and most humanoid life—all of it settlers from other worlds—on the planet has congregated in those rocky lowlands and river valleys.
The crew exits transit above a blue globe highlighted by swirling storms and a single crescent shaped continent. Glack contacts Gaskari Air Control to arrange landing accommodations.
Strig navigates through the heavy cloud cover and reaches the designated landing pad safely. As the crew steps out of the ship the wind picks up slightly and the locals appear to be preparing for storms. Strangely, the mostly Vesk population are not heavily armed or armored as is typical for citizens of the Veskarium. Drax, in typical fashion, sticks out like a sore thumb wearing his heavy armor. This is obviously not a military outpost. All signage and decor indicate a tourist hostspot.
A port authority representative approaches the crew. She is dressed in a loose-fitting floral outfit. “Greetings travellers, welcome to Gaskar III, jewel of the Veskarium. What brings you to our storm-tossed planet?” An odd welcome from a Vesk indeed.
“What brings you to our planet? Are you pilgrims? Explorers? Perhaps a business venture of some sort?” she prods while scribbling into her datapad.
Glack inquires as to what kind of sights there are to see and perhaps more information on the settlement.
“Of course, you may enjoy a visit to our local Temple of Weydan,” she scrolls through her datapad. “I have provided you with the tourist packet highlighting popular sights and events coming over the next few days.”
Thanking the functionary Glack convinces the crew visiting the temple would be an ideal way to explore some of the local history and mybe get some leads on the Bluestone.
The Temple appears to be a ship long converted into a permanent structure where it landed. Inside the crew engage one of the acolytes in a discussion of the planets history and founding as well as how it exists within the Veskarium with no apparent garrisons or other military presence.
The Veskarium apparently ignore the vesk that settled this planet. The followers of Weydan don’t hold the same militaristic view of the universe as their more numerous brethren. The Veskarium typically ignore the planet wholly.
For more detailed information on Gaskar’s production of bluestone, the acolyte directs them to the interactive museum not far from the temple.
The next building houses both city offices as well as the museum covering the hostory of Gaskar III from the landing of the settlers to current time. An automated docent approaches the crew and offers a guided tour. Drax, ever to the point, asks specifically about the Bluestone found on this planet. The docent directs them to the underwater exploration exhibit. The crew enters the hall and begin exploring the records and displays. Finally Bosho spots a video showing how Bluestone is harvested as well as why it is now a banned substance for use in either the Veskarium or Pact Worlds. Shortly after the founding of the underwater Tyamov station, as the Abyss was being explored for resources, Bluestone was discovered and found to be one of the most toxic, naturally occurring substances in the sector. The Veskarium weaponized it in several engagements during their campaign against the Pact Worlds.
The crew decides the next stop will be Tyamov Station. They book a ferry sub and embark from the docks to the depths.
A city-sized station, Tyamov, perches on the edge of the continental shelf above the Pripast Abyss, acting as a gateway and last stop for sentients that would venture into the dark and clouded depths. Aquatic predators of all sizes prowl the area’s smoky waters, preying on a host of other aquatic creatures.
Deep in the Abyss, around the 5,000-meter mark, volcanic vents spew toxic clouds from deep beneath the ocean’s floor into the high-pressure depths where the sediment cools and then solidifies into Bluestone ‘blooms’ along the trench walls. Harvesting these blooms is complicated due to the intense pressure and delicate nature of the sedimentary structures. Processing the toxic material is a matter of carefully rendering the unwanted particulate matter from the slurry of toxins.
disembarking from the ferry sub the crew decide to explore the underwater facility. Much like the city above, this station is equipped with surprising amenities to accommodate both researchers, explorers and sight seekers. The crew visits the hall of records listing samples of research produced by personnel aboard the station from the biological diversity and geological mineral surveyors this station acts as the hub for a vast amount of research.
During the Vesk-Pact war this facility was the sole provider of Bluestone, discovered by a native aquatic researcher known to free dive deep into the trench.
The crew decide to investigate the cost of renting a submersible capable of collecting Bluestone samples. In the docking facilities there is a single pump-jet sub rental service operated by a very laid back Vesk named Joteg. His craft will accommodate the crew, but the cost will be significant. Glack and Kallie’Dar negotiate terms for one of the vessels and preparations are made to descend into the depths.
“If you see anything… big, down there you have three options. Ram it to prove your’e not worth the effort of being eaten, run if you think you can outrun it or power down and hide.” Joteg warns. “There’s alot of speculation on the critters down there, don’t get eaten.”
Strig familiarizes himself with the controls and limitations of the deep-sea vessel. Drax and Bosho note the complete lack of reasonable defense systems. New deep-sea suits donned and the sub ready the crew descends into the murky darkness.
After an hour of steady but slow descent it feels like the currents shift and the sub rocks. Sensors indicate a large creature circling the sub but it leaves the larger vessel alone and vanishes moments later. Another hour or so descending, nearing their target depth, a huge sonar contact appears. It brushes the sub as it seems to be trying to identify the intruder. After a few moments the contact vanishes and the crew arrives at the Bluestone fields.
Deploying the harvesting arm Glack harvest the first Bluestone bloom. Based on average harvest size and storage capacity this is going to be a slow process. It will require three and a half days to harvest the desired quantity. This is going to be expensive at 11,000 credits per day.
As the crew takes turns on the harvesting arm the rest discuss options to either speed the process up or turn it into an immediate profit center. Reasearch teams are desperate to reach these depths or lower to study both the creatures and active geological activity. Glack and Kallie’Dar determine that the crew could sublet space to a researcher and some gear while they’re busy harvesting.
The first day complete the crew emerges without incident at the research facility docking area. They speak to Joteg and explain the plan to accept researchers. Bosho and Drax have hatched a plan t provide emergency defensive measures should something large decide to attack the sub.
Zopa, Glack and Kallie’Dar begin canvassing the researcher community on the station offering a single seat and some minimal equipment space. They quickly line up five researchers interested in paying for the opportunity. Net profits should more than compensate for rotating crew out to free up space in the vessel.
Bosho and Drax manage to scrounge up enough gear to install a stun field on the hull of the sub. Once triggered it will drain the sub battery and deliver a significant electrical shock to anything touching the exterior hull.
For the next week the crew dives into the tranch with their research guest and harvest the blooms while they gather readings and even get samples of their own on occasion.
The last day, while Zopa is on the harvester controls and the researcher is monitoring lifeforms, a school of strange squid-like creatures rush past and around the sub. Once they’ve passed, the researcher notices an anomaly in his readings. Something is distorting the sensor fields around the sub. Then the sub is rocked nearly ninety degrees and then, again in the other direction. Something seems intent on eating the submersible.
Zopa retracts the harvsting arm. Strig spins up the motors and maneuvers the sub away from the trench wall. now the threat becomes visible. A gargantuan glass serpent comes into focus through the portholes. The beast is large enough to nearly swallow the sub whole. Strig launches the sub into a ramming attack and contacts the creature. Taken by suprise the creature isn’t apparently used to being the target. It recoils and moves to strike shuddering the whole vessel. Drax throws the switch to deliver a jolt through the defensive net. Zopa uses his technomancer skills to recharge the battery. Strig maneuvers for a second ram. Drax triggers the defensive field as the sub makes contact and the massive creature stops moving and begins to drift deeper into the trench either unconscious or dead.
The crew figures that’s as good a sign as any to wrap things up and head back to the research station.
After disembarking and off-loading the last of the Bluestone the crew retires to their ship in Gaskari for a last night or relaxation before returning to the Terminal for processing all these materials.
In the morning the crew oversee loading of the Bluestone canisters and settle up the bill with their sub rental service. Bosho and Drax double check all the cargo is locked down and Strig begins the calculations for transit back to the Terminal. Glack, Zopa and the Starfinder Society crew are measuring Ichor extraction and prepping the Kyokor for the transit. Strig lift off the landing pad and moves toward the transit staging zone. A few moments later their ship vanishes as they begin speeding toward the Ki Nebula.