Thursday, July 12, 2018

Adventure: At a Crossroads



This adventure is designed for use with the Pathfinder roleplaying game; it introduces an asteroid colony that can become a familiar stopover during an ongoing campaign. While it is written for a party of fifth-level characters, and intended as a sequel to the scenario Among the Stars, it can easily be adapted for parties with more experience and/or as a standalone scenario. 


Adventure Background
Recently the PCs acquired an aethership and sailed it into space. In spite of numerous encounters during the trip, their maiden voyage took them to the elven star fort on an icy moon. There they became involved in the search for a missing arborling and thus a battle against skum who were perverting the animals being imported to that planet's volcanic sea. After winning the day and turning a tidy profit in the form of trade goods, they are now bound for Crossroads—a small but bustling asteroid colony in the system's belt.


For the Gamemaster
The Crossroads asteroid colony is intended to provide a familiar, recurring setting in a campaign that sees the PCs travel frequently between worlds. As such, Part 1 functions much more like a gazetteer than as a typical adventure module, detailing some of the locations and characters to be found here. Part 2, then, provides some events that can take place while the PCs are exploring the town, as well as during the more structured events that follow. Part 3 details a major local festival, including various competitions in which the PCs can test themselves against the locals and other visitors. Finally, Part 4 presents an aethership race through the asteroid belt, including an important discovery that the PCs can make during it—one that promises to have repercussions far and away greater in scope than any annual local competition.


Part 1—An Overview of Crossroads
When brave explorers decided to leave their home planet and explore the unknown reaches of space, one of the first locations they visited was the asteroid belt. After all, each of the drifting space rocks contained valuable ore, and reaching them in an aethership wasn't as difficult as making landfall on a full world. It wasn't long, then, before a savvy entrepreneur realized that having a place for the miners to go for some downtime, without having to sail back to their home planets, could be a lucrative enterprise. That's why a human merchant named Luciano Reda invested in transforming one from an a mined-out rock into a habitable planetoid, one complete with docks for landing aetherships and all the benefits of a port town. 

At first Reda had to hire people to live on his asteroid. Before long, though, other like-minded entrepreneurs recognized good business opportunities when they saw them and decided to try opening their own establishments there. Reda had made sure to build a tavern and inn, an outfitter and a warehouse, knowing that such places were vital to the fledgling economy. Soon those three structures were joined by a public shrine, an observatory, stables and an apothecary, and an enthusiastic halfling druid even began to develop orchards and gardens. Now Reda's colony, a village in its own right, has come to be known by the name Crossroads.

Crossroads
N village
Corruption +0; Crime -2; Economy +2; Law -1; Lore +1; Society +1
Qualities Insular, Prosperous
Danger +0
DEMOGRAPHICS
Government Council
Population Approximately 100 (the exact number, along with the breakdown by race, varies according to the ebb and flow of traffic through Crossroads)
Notable NPCs
Luciano Reda (N human rogue 7)
MARKETPLACE
Base Value 500 gp; Purchase Limit 2500 gp; Spellcasting 4th



The Lay of the Land
Presented here is a key to buildings listed on the map of Crossroads; individual establishments are detailed below. 
  1. Docks
  2. Plaza
  3. Tavern & Inn
  4. Outfitter
  5. Warehouse
  6. Manor House
  7. Ordinary Dwellings
  8. Obelisk
  9. Grove
This list is by no means comprehensive, of course, and individual GM's should feel free to adapt the floating city as they see fit. 

1. The Docks
One end of the asteroid is equipped with broad wooden platforms, fifteen feet wide and 150 feet long, for mooring aetherships. The nature of maneuvering in space allows captains to draw their vessels right up along the asteroid, requiring a DC 15 Profession: pilot check. Failure by five or more causes a collision, resulting in damage based on the size of the aethership in question to both the vessel and the docks. Those who make landfall are likely to be met by one of Luciano Reda's cargo inspectors and some dockworkers; those latter individuals double as enforcers if there is need.

Cargo Inspector
CR 2
XP 600
Male human bard 3
N medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 armor)
hp 13 (3d8)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +4
Resist Bard abilities
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Shortsword +1 (1d6-1)
Ranged Light crossbow +3 (1d8)
Special Attacks Bard abilities
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 12
Feats Alertness, Dodge, Persuasive
Skills Appraise +8, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +10, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (local) +8, Perception +9, Perform +10, Profession (Sailor) +7, Sense Motive +9
Languages Common, Dwarven, Elven
SQ Bard abilities
Combat Gear Leather armor, short sword, light crossbow, case of 10 bolts, musical instrument, pouch containing 1d20 for each type of coin, logbook, quills and ink

Each of these fastidious individuals values cargoes brought into port and levies a 1% tax on them. Although regarded as aloof, they also enjoy sharing a story or a song in the tavern, and hearing new material from those passing through port.
Dockworker
CR ½
XP 200
Male human fighter 1
N medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +1
DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 armor)
hp 8 (1d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +1
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Longsword +4 (1d8+2)
Ranged Light crossbow +2 (1d8)
Special Attacks None
STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 14
Feats Cleave, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Climb +6, Profession (sailor) +5
Languages Common
SQ None
Combat Gear Leather armor, longsword, light crossbow, case of 10 bolts, pouch containing 1d6 sp and 1d12 cp

These rough, tough individuals handle the loading and unloading of cargo in Crossroads. What is more, they act as peacekeepers should it become necessary. When not on duty, they can usually be found at the local tavern, or sleeping off recent festivities in one of the typical dwellings on the hillside.

2. The Plaza
More of an open expanse of rock than any kind of structure, this area sees a steady stream of traffic when ships are in port. At the same time, it can be home to impromptu marketplaces that pop up when locals or visitors have wares to sell. This is especially the case during the Festival of the Comet, an event that occurs annually.


3. The Sign of the Ourobouros
While the elemental obelisk is the source of life on this worldlet, the center of activity is this tavern and inn known as the Sign of the Ourobouros. This tavern and inn is the place for gathering to share food and drink, and thus also a hub for speculating about voyages, hiring crew members and the like. A shingle hanging out front is adorned with the image of a serpent biting its own tail, which the proprietor says represents the beginning and ending of a successful voyage. 

Most patrons assume that the proprietor is a human, and he is happy to let them make that assumption. In truth, however, Kane Prentiss is a serpent person, as are his followers; they simply take on human forms in order to make things more comfortable for said visitors. What is more, they can change their forms (becoming dwarves, halflings, elves, humanoids, etc.) as needed.

The Layout
Refer to the appropriate map for the following area descriptions.

1. Common Room
This broad, open area is filled with tables and chairs. Depending on the time of day, it is also filled with noisy patrons sharing food and drinks. There is a bar with numerous stools along one wall, and two stairways lead to the upper level just inside the front door. One door, behind the bar, provides access to the kitchen, while two others provide access to the private rooms (see below). 

 2. Kitchen
The kitchen is dominated by a broad hearth with a chimney, along with a preparation table, cabinets, water barrels and wash basins. There's always a strong smell of roasting meet and simmering stew, and the ceiling and walls are festooned with pots, pans and other cooking implements.

3. Pantry
A truly impressive amount of food is stockpiled here: fresh and salted meats, fruits and vegetables, beans, flour, oils, beer and wine, etc. Should someone ever lay siege to the asteroid colony, it could hold out for some time.

4. Private Rooms
Each of these rooms boasts a large table with eight chairs. Visitors who wish to conduct important (and discreet) business reserve one of them; usually there is no more demand than can be handled with the two of them. 


5. Hallways
The front stairways lead up to the sleeping area; there are two parallel hallways, each line with rooms.

6. Typical Sleeping Rooms
These rooms are furnished with comfortable beds, wardrobes and sea chests.

7. Larger Sleeping Rooms
Each of these rooms has an extra bed, in addition to the furnishings provided in the smaller rooms.

The Staff
Stats for the tavern and inn's staff are presented here.

Kane Prentiss, Proprietor at the Sign of the Ourobouros
CR 6
XP 2400
Male serpent person Fighter 3/Rogue 4
N Medium monstrous humanoid (reptilian, shapechanger)
Init +5; Senses Perception +10; Darkvision 60'
DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+11 Dex, +2 armor)
hp 45 (4d8+3d10+7)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +2
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Short sword +8/+3 (1d6+1)
Ranged Short bow +7/+2 (1d6)
Special Attacks Armor training 1, bravery +1, evasion, rogue talent (major magic and minor magic), sneak attack +2d6, trap sense +1, trapfinding, uncanny dodge
STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 11, Cha 16
Base Atk +6/+1; CMB +7; CMD 18
Feats Alertness, Arcane Strike, Deceitful, Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Stealthy, Weapon Focus (shortsword)
Skills* Acrobatics +8, Appraise +11, Bluff +13, Diplomacy +11, Disguise +13, Escape Artist +3, Knowledge (local) +11, Linguistics +11, Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Sleight of Hand +9, Stealth +11
*Serpent people receive racial bonuses of +4 to Escape Artist and Stealth, and +8 to Swim, and +10 to Disguise when using their Change Shape ability.
Languages Serpent person, common, elven, dwarven
SQ Trapfinding, evasion, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge, minor magic, major magic
Combat Gear Leather armor, short sword, spell component pouch
Spells Known: Message, comprehend languages

Kane Prentiss is the proprietor at the Sign of the Ourobouros, the tavern and inn on Crossroads. Ostensibly, the choice for a symbol—a serpent biting its own tail—represents the safe departure and return of outgoing vessels. What nobody but Prentiss and his family know, however, is that he and his staff are serpent people. Their shapechanging ability allows them to take on the more familiar forms of humans, elves and dwarves. In this way they can gather lots of information about what is happening in the settlement. So far they have only used what they've learned to help keep the peace and prevent trouble, but should they have a more lucrative opportunity, they might not be able to re resist taking advantage of it.

Prentiss usually presents himself as a human. He is friendly with guests, but none too quick to share information about himself.

Ourobouros Servers
CR ½
XP 200
Female serpent person rogue 1
N Medium monstrous humanoid (reptilian, shapechanger)
Init +6; Senses Perception +4; Darkvision to 60'
DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 8 (1d8)
Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +0
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.; swim 20 ft.
Melee Dagger +2 (1d4)
Ranged Dagger +2 (1d4)
Special Attacks Sneak Attack +1d6
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 10, Cha 17
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 11
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse (dagger)
Skills* Acrobatics +6, Bluff + 7, Climb +3, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +7, Knowledge (local) +6, Linguistics +6, Perception +4, Sleight of Hand +6, Stealth +10
*Serpent people receive racial bonuses of +4 to Escape Artist and Stealth, and +8 to Swim, and +10 to Disguise when using their Change Shape ability.
Languages Serpent person, Common, one other
SQ Change shape, sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding
Combat Gear Clothing, dagger

These ladies play the part of friendly, outgoing, attractive types, such as humans, half-elves and elves. They are prone to fawning over customers and gossiping, which is just part of their role as spies for their father.
Ourobouros Bouncers
CR ½
XP 200
Male serpent person fighter 1
N Medium monstrous humanoid (reptilian, shapechanger)
Init +5; Senses Perception +1; Darkvision to 60'
DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +3 studded leather, +1 natural)
hp 11 (1d10+1)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +1
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.; swim 20 ft.
Melee Longsword +4 (1d8+2)
Ranged Light Crossbow +2 (1d8)
Special Attacks Point Blank Shot
STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 12
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 14
Feats Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills* Climb +6, Survival +5
*Serpent people receive racial bonuses of +4 to Escape Artist and Stealth, and +8 to Swim, and +10 to Disguise when using their Change Shape ability.
Languages Serpent person, Common
SQ Change shape
Combat Gear Studded leather armor, longsword, light crossbow, case w/10 bolts

These fellows assume the forms of various rough-and-tumble types such as humans, half-elves or half-orcs. They keep matters at the Sign of the Ourobouros from becoming too raucous. At the same time, they listen for lucrative information, and are always ready to support their sisters.


4. Crossroads Outfitter
Second only to the tavern and inn as a center of local business is this general store. It is run by an aasimar named Ella Song, a woman with the blood of the azata running through her veins. She is a benevolent soul, and treats the locals fairly; for this reason, she is highly respected by the general populace. It also makes her a rival of the Royal Interplanetary Company, who control the warehouse but aren't able to cut in on her mercantile business.

The Layout
The shop is a single-story structure with a flat roof. Out from hangs a simple sign bearing the word Outfitter. Ella Song keeps it open from the start of the forenoon watch to the end of the second dog watch (8:00 am to 8:00 pm).

1. Shoproom
The walls of this broad room are lined with shelves, and more standing shelves fill most of the floor. They are filled with all manner of goods including foodstuffs, equipment and other supplies. There's also a waist-high table at which Song conducts business.

2. Office
The table and chair here are used for keeping the ledgers and other such activities. There is a hidden panel in the floor (DC 20 Perception check to locate), beneath which Song's cashbox is concealed. Someone with the key, or who can make a DC 20 Disable Device check, can find 1000 gp, 200 sp and 50 cp inside it.

3. Storeroom
Any goods beyond the ones on display are kept in this room.

4. Kitchen
This is where Song and Mako spend much of their down time and take their meals when not over at the tavern. There is a table and chairs, a small stove for preparing meals, and other such expected features.

5. Song's Quarters
A comfortable bed stands against the wall opposite the door, flanked by a desk and chair and a large wardrobe. The wardrobe contains the aasimar's extra clothing, along with a lockbox which holds those valuables she doesn't carry on her person: an elixir of love.

6. Mako's Quarters
The bed in this room is big and not well made. There is also a writing desk that sees little use. Beneath the bed is a storage locker that holds 100 gp in mixed coins.

Ella Song
CR 5
XP 1600
Female aasimar sorcerer 6
NG medium outsider (native)
Init +2; Senses Perception +4; Darkvision 60 ft.
DEFENSE
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex)
hp 23 (6d6)
Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +7
Resist Acid, cold and electricity 5
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Dagger +2 (1d4-1)
Ranged Dagger +3 (1d4-1)
Special Attacks Daylight once/day
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 18
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Dodge, Point Blank Shot, Skill Focus (Diplomacy)
Skills Appraise +10, Diplomacy +15, Perform +10
*+2 racial bonus to Diplomacy and Perception
Languages Common, Celestial, Orcish
SQ Bloodline powers and spells
Combat Gear Amulet of natural armor +1, cloak of resistance +1
Sorcerer Bloodline: Celestial
Sorcerer Spells per Day: 6/5/3
Sorcerer Spells Known: Daze, detect magic, flare, mage hand, read magic, resistance, touch of fatigue; mage armor, protection from evil, ray of enfeeblement, shield; daze monster, eagle's splendor; deep slumber

Ella Song is a good and kind person. She uses her powers to help keep the peace among the people of Crossroads and to protect them from dangers. She is curious about the plans the higher powers have for the worlds, and thus is eager to chat with newcomers who share her interest.
Mako
CR 5
XP 1600
Female half-orc barbarian 6
NG medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +9; Darkvision 60 ft.
DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +4 chain shirt, +1 Dodge)
hp 56 (6d12+12)
Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +2
Resist Rage
OFFENSE
Spd 40 ft.
Melee Greatsword +10/+5 (2d6+6)
Ranged Longbow +7/+2 (1d8)
Special Attacks Orc ferocity, rage, rage powers
STATISTICS
Str 18, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 12
Base Atk +6/+1; CMB +X; CMD X
Feats Cleave, Dodge, Power Attack
Skills Acrobatics +10, Climb +13, Perception +9
Languages Orcish, Common
SQ Orc blood; improved uncanny dodge, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge, rage, rage powers (clear mind, raging climber, raging leaper)
Combat Gear Greatsword +1, chain shirt +1, masterwork longbow, quiver with 20 arrows, potion of cure serious wounds

Mako is utterly loyal to Ella, who found her as an orphan and raised her. While she seems brutish and unfriendly at first glance, the half-orc can develop a fierce fondness for those who win her respect.


5. The R.I.C. Warehouse

Next door to the outfitter is the warehouse owned and operated by the Royal Interplanetary Company. It is one of the more impressive structures in the settlement, standing two stories in height and built of stone. The banner of the RIC hangs at the front of the building. Two sets of iron-banded double doors, one at ground level and one elevated to the height of a horse cart—provide means of delivering and retrieving goods. There is also a single door for personnel along the side of the building.These doors require a DC 25 Disable Device check to open, or a similar Strength check to force. Failing that, they can be beaten open (hardness 5 and 25 hit points).

The Layout

Inside the building, one corner is occupied by a waist-high loading dock (Area 1), with a wooden ramp running down from it to the floor. Most of the space, however, consists of a broad, open area lined with shelves (Area 2). These, in turn, are filled with all manner of goods. Heavier items like barrels and crates rest on the floor, with sacks on the lower shelves and smaller items like jars, bottles and smaller boxes placed higher. All of the non-living goods from table 6-3 in the Pathfinder core rulebook can be found here, as can other items at the GM's discretion. 

There is also a small side room which IRC soldiers use between shifts (Area 3). It has a water barrel and ale keg in one corner and a hearth in another. There is also a table and chairs, along with a side table containing foodstuffs and the like. Two guards remain in the warehouse at all times, even when it is locked up after normal business hours (from the start of the forenoon watch to the end of the second dog watch). Two more are present during business hours, along with Lieutenant Vanderwald and the Company bookkeeper.

Mounted Patrols
In addition to guarding the warehouse, the cavaliers also conduct mounted patrols throughout the settlement, based out of the stables (see below).

Lieutenant Cornelius Vanderwald
CR 1/2
XP X
Male human cavalier 7
LN medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Perception -1
DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dodge, +4 chain shirt)
hp 57 (7d10+14)
Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +1
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Longsword +10/+5 (1d8+2)
Ranged Light crossbow +7/+2 (1d8)
Special Attacks Challenge 3/day, cavalier's charge, banner
STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 13
Feats Cleave, Dodge, Leadership, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Climb +12, Diplomacy +11, Handle Animal +9, Ride +10, Sense Motive +9
Languages Common
SQ Mount, order (Lion), tactician, order ability (lion's call), expert trainer
Combat Gear Chain shirt +1, longsword +1, light crossbow, case of 20 bolts, signal whistle, cloak of resistance, potion of cure serious wounds

Cornelius Vanderwald has a personality very similar to those of his men, only more so. Although he serves Governor Reda faithfully, his secret hope is that his superior will one day be transferred to a planetary post, and thus he will be able to take command of Crossroads for himself.
Cavalier Soldiers
CR 1/2
XP X
Male human cavalier 1
LN medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Perception -1
DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dodge, +4 chain shirt)
hp 12 (1d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +0, Will -1
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Longsword +4 (1d8+2)
Ranged Light crossbow +1 (1d8)
Special Attacks Challenge 1/day
STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 13
Feats Dodge, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Climb +6, Diplomacy +5, Handle Animal +3, Ride +4, Sense Motive +3
Languages Common
SQ Mount, order (Lion), tactician
Combat Gear Chain shirt, longsword, light crossbow, case of 20 bolts, signal whistle

These men are servants of the Royal Interplanetary Company (and thus of their King), and they take their jobs very seriously. What they lack in imagination, they make up for in unswerving loyalty.

The Order of the Lion
The cavaliers on Crossroads are members of this order because it is tied to a sovereign; the details of exactly to whom they owe their fealty are kept vague, allowing the GM leeway in working them into an existing campaign setting.


6. Reda Manor
On the hillside that rises behind the plaza, tavern, outfitter and warehouse, there stands a cluster of houses. Most are single-story affairs of an ordinary sort (see below for details), but one rises above the rest; this is the personal dwelling of Luciano Reda, the Governor of Crossroads. The manor is a two-story structure of timber and stucco with a tiled roof. The windows can be shuttered in the event of trouble, and the front door has a high-quality lock (DC 25 for Disable Device checks).

The Layout
Refer to the appropriate map for the following area descriptions.

1. Sitting Room
Visitors to the manor are received here. Comfortable sofas line two of the walls, and end tables fill in the corners. Reda's manservant, Bartholomew, greets guests and brings them refreshments while they wait for the Governor.

2. Dining Room
A broad wooden table, surrounded by chairs, fills the center of this room. It is used for important meetings in addition to meals.

3. Kitchen
A stove occupies one corner of this room, and a food preparation table stands opposite it. There is also a barrel of water, and commonly used implements hang from the ceiling.

4. Pantry
All manner of dried and otherwise preserved foodstuffs line the shelves on the walls of this room. There is really an impressive selection, especially when one considers the remote nature of the asteroid colony. What is more, a trapdoor in the floor provides access to the wine cellar; Reda is particularly fond of elven wine.

5. Servant's Quarters
Bartholomew takes his rest—when he has it—here. There is a comfortable bed, a storage chest, and a small table and chairs. The chest contains changes of clothing and mundane personal items. Beneath it is a loose floorboard, however (DC 15 Perception check to notice), which conceals a pouch that holds Bartholomew's saved wages: 57 gp, 31 sp and 12 cp.

6. Storage
At the top of the stairs stands this closet, which holds typical household items such as linens, candles, cleaning supplies and the like.

7. Guest Bedrooms
Each of these rooms is furnished with a bed and bedside table, a wardrobe, and a writing desk and chair.

8. Reda's Bedroom
This room is furnished much like the guest bedrooms, except that materials are of higher quality. The wardrobe is filled with Reda's fancy clothing. There is also a portrait of the king on one wall; hidden behind it (DC 25 Perception check to notice) is Reda's hidden strongbox. The box is protected by a high-quality lock (DC 25 Disable Device to open) and a poisoned needle trap (treat as a poisoned dart trap; see page 420 of the Pathfinder core rulebook). In it are the funds used for running the colony: 218 pp, 612 gp, 952 sp and 320 cp.


Governor Luciano Reda
CR 7
XP X
Male human aristocrat 9
LN medium humanoid
Init -1; Senses Perception +13
DEFENSE
AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 9 (-1 Dex, +1 Dodge)
hp 42 (7d8+7)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +6
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Walking Stick +5 (1d6)
Special Attacks None
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 8, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 16
Base Atk +5; CMB +5; CMD 14
Feats Alertness, Dodge, Leadership, Skill Focus (Appraise, Diplomacy)
Skills Appraise +15, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +19, Knowledge (local) +12, Knowledge (nobility) +12, Perception +13, Sense Motive +13
Languages Common, elven, dwarven
SQ None
Combat Gear Sumptuous clothing, purse containing 50 gp in mixed coins, circlet of persuasion


Luciano Reda has grown up leading the easy life of a nobleman, but he regards himself as a daring entrepreneur who has worked hard for—and thus is deserving of—all of the comforts he has. If not for the backing of the King, and thus the support of the Order of the Lion, he would be in big trouble. Even so, his goal is to prove himself as a capable administrator at Crossroads, and thus to earn a “more civilized” posting back on his homeworld.

Bartholomew, Reda's Manservant
CR 4
XP X
Male human commoner 5
LN medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)
hp 30 (5d6+12)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +2
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Knife +6 (1d3+2)
Special Attacks None
STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 15
Feats Cleave, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Craft: cooking), Weapon Focus (knife)
Skills Craft (cooking) +11, Perception +8
Languages Common
SQ None
Combat Gear Clothing, cooking implements, masterwork knife

Bartholomew has a good taste for food, and little interest in much else. He spends his spare time reading recipe books, always on the lookout for ways in which to devise new dishes for his employer's table. Those with some guile might be able to take advantage of him. 


8. The Obelisk
The center of life in the colony, albeit one that could easily be overlooked, is the elemental obelisk that provides warmth, breathable atmosphere and gravity to the asteroid city. This one stands in the middle of the grove, surrounded by a fence for protection—but nobody in one's right mind would try to damage this important structure. Right? 

9. The Grove
As life continues to develop on this island in the void, this grove is a notable development. In addition to more common deciduous and coniferous trees, there are also some that bear fruit. Additionally, this area is a favorite meeting place for individuals who want to discuss business without the risk of being overheard by others. 

What Else?
Although this section presents many of the place that PCs are likely to visit during a visit to the settlement, there is plenty of room for the GM to add other locations and characters, depending on the desires of the players and the needs of the campaign. As mentioned above, this is intended to become a familiar backdrop that the PCs revisit again and again. 


Part 2—Happenings in Town
Presented in this section are short scenes that can take place while the PCs are exploring Crossroads.

A. The Succubus
Unbenknownst to the PCs in particular, and the inhabitants of Crossroads in general, Governor Luciano Reda is currently being beguiled by a succubus. Wearing a hat of disguise, and playing the part of a noblewoman from Homeworld named Nora, she has worked her wiles on the governor. This is all part of a larger plot that will soon be revealed. Until that time, however, she is loathe to take direct action against meddlers, such as the PCs. Instead, she may try to sabotage their efforts or, if it can be done discreetly, eliminate them. This can include using her dominate person ability to turn others against the PCs, or perhaps—when there is no chance of her deception being exposed—summoning a babau demon to attack them.

Mistress Nora: Refer to page 68 in the Bestiary for stats.

B. Business as Usual
When they first arrive in Crossroads, the PCs are met at their dock by a cargo inspector and a team of dockworkers (see above for stats). Their task is to inspect the vessel's cargo hold and, in the name of the Royal Interstellar Company, to assess a tax equal to 10% of the cargo's value. While this might come as an unwelcome surprise to the PCs, the asteroid colony is after all founded by their organization. If need be, they can even send a runner to summon Lt. Vanderwald and some of his soldiers to enforce this claim.

C. Unfair Salvage
As they are entering the colony, the PCs can make DC 10 Perception checks to notice a couple of barrels, along with other jetsam and flotsam, that have collected close to the asteroid at the end of their dock. While this might seem like a small windfall, the barrels are in fact mimics that have taken up residence here and that wait for unwary prey. As they approach the mimics, the PCs should make Sense Motive checks opposed to the creatures' Disguise efforts.

Mimics: Refer to page 205 in the Bestiary for stats.

In the belly of one mimic, among other detritus the PCs can find a handy haversack.

D. The Magical Merchant
Although Crossroads might seem like a pretty small settlement, and thus not the best place to buy and sell magical items, PCs who are inclined to do so can eventually be introduced to Mr. Gonzalo, a mercane. He can usually be found at the Sign of the Ourobouros, taking his ease (and accompanied by half a dozen bodyguards; use the stats for dockworkers to represent them). If the PCs broach the topic of buying or selling magical items, he produces his secret chest and then asks to examine anything the PCs have, asking numerous questions about where and how they obtained the items—he is an arcane connoisseur, after all. It is left up to the GM to decide just what inventory he has; this can change over time, too, depending on the desires of the players, so that Gonzalo can become a recurring character in the campaign.

Gonzalo the Mercane: Refer to page 188 in Bestiary 2 for stats.

E. Rowdy Fellows
One of the crews in town is made up of orc sailors, ones who've been cooped up aboard their ship for too long and thus are in serious need of some shore leave. They are most likely to head straight for the Sign of the Ourobouros, where Mr. Prentiss and his staff are hard-pressed to keep their behavior in check. They make good rivals for the PCs, and are restrained enough to enjoy some good brawling without letting it turn too violent. Indeed, PCs who can prove their toughness against them in a fight can earn their grudging respect.

Typical Orc Sailor

CR 1/3
XP 135
Male orc warrior 1
CN Medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
DEFENSE
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor)
hp 6 (1d10+1)
Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +0
Defensive Abilities ferocity
Weakness light sensitivity
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Whalespear +5 (1d10+3/x3)
Melee Longsword +4 (1d8+3/19-20)
Ranged Heavy crossbow +1 (1d10)
STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 13
Feats Weapon Focus (whalespear)
Skills Profession (sailor) +4
Languages Common, Orc
SQ weapon familiarity
Equipment Clothing, whaleskin coat (treat as leather amor), longsword, whalespear, heavy crossbow, ten bolts

These orc sailors are a rough bunch; their only focus is to find and kill enough whales that they can earn their pay and go back to port in order to spend it.
Veteran Orc Sailor

CR 2
XP 600
Male orc warrior 1/fighter 2
CN Medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
DEFENSE
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor)
hp 19 (3d10+3)
Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +0
Defensive Abilities ferocity, bravery +1
Weakness light sensitivity
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Whalespear +7 (1d10+3/x3)
Melee Longsword +6 (1d8+3/19-20)
Ranged Heavy crossbow +3 (1d10)
STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 15
Feats Lunge, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (whalespear)
Skills Profession (sailor) +6
Languages Common, Orc
SQ weapon familiarity
Equipment Clothing, whaleskin coat (treat as leather amor), longsword, whalespear, heavy crossbow, ten bolts

From among the simply average crew members, these are some of the few who have proven themselves more cunning and more capable. They are old veterans, ones who lead watch teams.

Orc Ship's Mate

CR 4
XP 1200
Male orc warrior 1/fighter 4
CN Medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
DEFENSE
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor)
hp 31 (5d10+5)
Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +1
Defensive Abilities ferocity, bravery +1
Weakness light sensitivity
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Whalespear +9 (1d10+6/x3)
Melee Longsword +8 (1d8+3/19-20)
Ranged Heavy crossbow +5 (1d10)
STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 18
Feats Lunge, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (whalespear), Weapon Specialization (whalespear)
Skills Profession (sailor) +8
Languages Common, Orc
SQ weapon familiarity
Equipment Clothing, whaleskin coat (treat as leather amor), longsword, whalespear, heavy crossbow, ten bolts

There are three of these tough, battle-tested orcs; they are second only to the captain himself. One is charge of the crew when on deck, except when the captain is present.
Captain Cyrus

CR 6
XP 2400
Male orc warrior 1/fighter 6
CN Medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
DEFENSE
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor)
hp 44 (7d10+7)
Fort +8, Ref +2, Will +2
Defensive Abilities ferocity, bravery +2
Weakne+ss light sensitivity
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Whalespear +12/+7 (1d10+7/x3)
Melee Longsword +10/+5 (1d8+3/19-20)
Ranged Heavy crossbow +7/+2 (1d10)
STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +7/+2; CMB +10; CMD 21
Feats Far Shot, Firearms Proficiency, Lunge, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (whalespear), Weapon Specialization (whalespear)
Skills Profession (sailor) +10
Languages Common, Orc
SQ weapon familiarity (spears)
Equipment Clothing, whaleskin coat (treat as leather amor), longsword, whalespear, heavy crossbow, ten bolts

Captain Cyrus leads this band of orcs who were once whale hunters on Homeworld and now ply the spacelanes as soldiers of fortune. He shares many of the personality traits demonstrated by his crew, only to an even greater extent.

F. Under a Yellow Flag
If the arrival of the orcs causes a stir in town, that ruckus pales in comparison to the reaction that occurs when a vessel approaches that is flying under a yellow flag—something that a DC 5 Profession (sailor) check can confirm is the mark of a plague ship. As the vessel approaches, drifting slowly, the cargo inspector on duty sends a runner for Lt. Vanderwald, who orders that no one be allowed onto or off of the vessel under any circumstances. 

The PCs, of course, might have other ideas. After all, with DC 15 Perception checks, they can confirm that there is some movement on board the vessel. Whether they're hoping to help heal the sick aboard the ship, or are thinking there might be a profit from salvaging its cargo, they might want to have a look. Although Vanderwald argues against doing so, he doesn't physically try to stop them.


Brother Fain

CR 2
XP 600
Male dwarf cleric 3
NG Medium humanoid
Init -1; Senses Perception +3; Darkvision 60 ft.
DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 9, flat-footed 13 (-1 Dex, +4 armor)
hp 23 (3d8+6)
Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +6
Resist hardy, stability
OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Heavy mace +4 (1d8+1)
Special Attacks None
STATISTICS
Str 13, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 14
Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 12
Feats Master Craftsman, Skill Focus (Craft: shipbuilder)
Skills Craft (shipbuilder) +12, Diplomacy +7, Knowledge (religion) +6
Languages Common, Dwarven
SQ Channel positive energy 2d6
Domain Spell-Like Abilities: Artificer's Touch, Lorekeeper
Spells Prepared
1st—Animate rope, deathwatch x3
2nd—Wood shape, gentle repose x2
Combat Gear Chain shirt, masterwork heavy mace, healer's kit, silver holy symbol

Brother Fain worships Ptah, a god of knowledge and creation. Indeed, it is his desire to explore the galaxy that led him to be traveling with this crew of tengu sailors. Unfortunately, however, he is on the verge of succumbing to the very same malady that has already claimed many of their lives.


Brother Fain and the other survivors aboard this ship—a bark known as the Constant—are suffering from bubonic plague (refer to page 557 in the Pathfinder core rulebook for details). If they want to help treat it, then they have a few options. By this point in their careers, they may have access to spells such as remove disease. To help a larger number of sufferers, however, making a series of Heal checks opposed by the disease's save DC of 17. What is more, they must also deal with several swarms of rats in the vessel's bilge, and then fumigate the ship and swab all the decks with strong spirits (DC 20 Profession (sailor) check.

Rat Swarms: Refer to page 232 in the Bestiary for stats, but substitute the bubonic plague for filth fever.

Tengu Crew: Refer to page 263 in the Bestiary for stats, but substitute Profession (Sailor) +9 for Knowledge (local) +4.

At some point during this process, Luciano Reda himself makes an appearance. He intends to make sure that the settlement is not exposed to the danger this ship presents. Needless to say, he is quite displeased if he learns that the PCs have gone aboard it, and threatens to banish them from the colony for having done so. This situation presents a good opportunity for roleplaying, with the PCs having a chance to make their case for being merciful. In game terms, this can be handled with Diplomacy checks, with the GM assigning circumstance bonuses or penalties for good or bad roleplaying and argumentation. 

This situation provides a first glimpse at the fact that, while Luciano Reda is a capable administrator, he is not beloved by the inhabitants of Crossroads.

 

Part 3—Going Underground
Those who are familiar with the history of Crossroads know that the asteroid was once mined by dwarves, but they sold it to Luciano Reda after the veins of ore stopped producing. What most people don't know, however, is that those mines aren't entirely empty. There are rats, of course; that's no surprise, but other, deadlier things lurk here, too.
This encounter assumes that the PCs have started earning a reputation while visiting the asteroid colony, and are lured down into the tunnels for some reason. It might happen because a new associate of theirs goes missing, or because someone—such as Mistress Nora—is trying to eliminate them.

Tunnel Inhabitants
Listed here are some possible creatures that might inhabit the tunnels, ranked by CR.


CR – Creature
1/4 – Scarlet spider
1 – Darkmantle
1 – Giant spider
2 – Cave fisher
2 – Choker
2 – Slime mold
3 – Crysmal
3 – Giant black widow spider
4 – Aranea
4 – Gray ooze
5 – Cloaker
5 – Ochre jelly
5 – Spider eater




A. Entry
The entrance to the tunnel system is located on the western side of the asteroid (that is, when one considers the docks to lie on the south end), right around its centerline. In order to keep people from wandering into the tunnels, the powers that be have covered the entrance with a permanent image that disguises it as just another part of the rock's face. Those who encounter the illusion may attempt a DC 20 Will save to recognize its falsehood. 

As a general rule, tunnels are about as half as tall as they are wide. In that way, the narrower passages range from ten to twenty feet in height, while the larger caverns rise up to a hundred feet in height or more.

B. New Diggings
Those who succeed at DC 15 Knowledge (dungeoneering) or (engineering) checks may notice that one part of the tunnels has been more recently dug—that is, within the past few months. A similar Knowledge (local effort) reveals that this section passes underneath some of the settlement's notable buildings, including the Sign of the Ourobouros, the Crossroads Outfitter, the R.I.C. warehouse and the home of Governor Luciano Reda. At the GM's discretion, there might also be tracks in the area (that one can find with a DC 20 Survival effort) that could lead to the responsible party. Just what that character intends to do, however, is left open to interpretation.

C. Fungus Farm
The tunnel leading to this area slopes downward, and the walls here are slick with moisture. What is more, a tremendous variety of fungus lines the floor and walls of the area. While many of these growths are harmless—and, according to many halflings, delicious—some are downright deadly. That latter group could include violet fungus and shriekers, and possibly even phantom fungus or mindslaver mold.

 D. Cess Pit

Over time, those who have made use of these tunnels—smugglers, thieves and the like—have dumped their rubbish here. Now one end of the tunnel is filled with years' worth of rusting and rotting detritus. The pile is also home to various vermin, such as centipedes and rats, and possibly including other, even more dangerous creatures.

E. Underground Lake
What from the settlement on the surface of the asteroid has trickled down through the soil and rock to form a pool here. Although cold, the water is clean and safe for drinking. At the GM's discretion, it could contain living things, ones that run the gamut from harmless cave fish up to aquatic snakes, giant frogs or even some electric eels.


Part 4—The Festival of the Comet
While the PCs are conducting their business with and thus making first impressions on the people of Crossroads, they also learn of an upcoming local festival. Every year a particular comet returns to the area, even passing through the asteroid belt. Using that as an excuse for festivities, the locals stage various competitions, festivities and other entertainments.

The Competitions
Refer to the chart below for some idea of what takes place and who is involved during the first day's events. Assuming that certain PCs will only participate in one or two competitions, the GM may want to have players control some of the competitors in order to keep them involved in the activities. Note also the magical enhancement is not allowed.

Event
Competitors
Mechanics
Ranged
Combat
Dockworker
Tengu sailor
Captain Corwyn
Five attack rolls against AC 15, with one point for hitting the target and an extra point for every five by which the attack roll exceeds that AC.
Armed Combat
Dockworker
Captain Cyrus
Lieutenant Vanderwald
Standard combat against each other, but only doing non-lethal damage.
Unarmed Combat
Dockworker
Orc first mate
Mako
Standard combat against each other, but only doing non-lethal damage or using combat maneuvers.
Footrace
Dockworker
Orc crewman
Tengu crewman
Mako
A series of checks: Initiative; Dexterity, Constitution, Strength; Dexterity, Constitution, Strength (to simulate circling the asteroid and ascending its tiers) all at DC 10, with -2 penalty for speed 20 and +2 bonus for speed 40. One point for each success, +1 for every five in excess.
Artistic Performance
Dockworker (!)
Cargo inspector
Ella Song
Two Perform checks, with a score equal to their combined totals. (The GM can apply circumstance bonuses or penalties based on good or bad roleplaying.)
After each of the competitions there is an elaborate awards ceremony in which Luciano Reda presents each winner with a cash prize of 100 gp and a crown of olive leaves; for the duration of the festival, anyone wearing such a crown receives a +2 equipment bonus to Charisma checks and checks for Charisma-based skills.

Gambling?
In addition to the contests themselves, some of the locals are interested in placing wagers. For unnamed NPCs, this is usually equivalent to a handful of silver pieces, and for named characters it might be a handful of gold pieces. It takes a DC 5 Diplomacy check to find bettors, with one for a success and one for every five in excess of that DC. At the GM's discretion, important NPCs such as Luciano Reda might be willing to be fifty gold or more on an event that's had some build-up.

The Asteroid Belt Race
The next day, the most highly anticipated event takes place—a race in aetherships through the asteroid belt. This time the competitors are as follow.
  • Captain Corwyn and her crew aboard her galleon, the Sylvana.
  • The tengu crew in their bark, the Skylark.
  • Captain Cyrus and his orcs aboard their modified merchantman, the Abattoir.
  • Lieutenant Vanderwald aboard an R.I.C. merchantman, the Opportunity.
  • The PCs in their own ship, assuming that they are interested.
Here again, the GM might want to have other players (whoever isn't controlling the captain of the PCs' ship) make rolls for the competitors. 

Refer to the GameMastery Guide for more detailed rules regarding chases; this one uses the following obstacles. All of the ships start with their sails furled, but with crews in position for action. The winners are the first captain and crew that can fly across to the asteroid belt, through the tumbling rocks to the comet, recover a piece of comet ice, and then return to the Crossroads docks. In game terms, this requires passing all of the obstacles, with the points system used as a tiebreaker.

At the Ready: Initiative rolls for all the captains involved, with one point awarded for every full five in the result.


Setting Sail: DC 5 Profession (sailor) checks to set the ships' sails, with one point for success and one for every five beyond that.


Open Space: Spellcraft or Use Magic Device checks to push forward through an open stretch.




Claiming the Prize: DC 10 Spellcraft or U.M.D. checks to pull alongside the comet;* DC 15 Strength check to load aboard a piece of comet ice.


Into the Thick of Things: DC 15 Spellcraft or U.M.D. checks* to weave through the first small asteroids, assisted by the crew's DC 15 Profession (sailor) check.


On the Edge: DC 10 Spellcraft or U.M.D. checks* to weave through the first small asteroids, assisted by the crew's DC 10 Profession (sailor) check.




Out of the Thick of Things: DC 15 Spellcraft or U.M.D. checks* to weave through the first small asteroids, assisted by the crew's DC 15 Profession (sailor) check.


Past the Edge: DC 10 Spellcraft or U.M.D. checks* to weave through the first small asteroids, assisted by the crew's DC 10 Profession (sailor) check.


Open Space, Again: Spellcraft or Use Magic Device checks to push forward through an open stretch.

Note that, for all of the checks marked with an asterisk (*), failure to meet the required DC means that the ship suffers a collision. This causes the vessel to suffer its base ramming damage—that is, 7d8 for a dhow, 8d8 for a bark, 9d8 for a junk and 10d8 for a merchantman or a galleon. Note that, since the competitors need to pass one obstacle before advancing to the next, the damage can accumulate quickly. This race is not, after all, for the faint-hearted. 

As always, the GM can assign bonuses or penalties to these checks based on clever ideas that the PCs have.

The Ship in the Ice
Of course, things are rarely as straightforward as they seem. In this case, there's a wrecked ship trapped in the ice. (In fact, it's a Royal Interstellar Company vessel with a curious history, but that's a matter for later.) For a layout of it, refer to the appropriate maps and area descriptions below. 



The ship is a small cog, and one that has suffered considerable damage to its hull and rigging. It has a raised sterncastle and forecastle (areas 1 and 2, respectively) and an open main deck (3) that is devoid of life. From there, a narrow companionway (4) leads aft to cabins that once housed the captain (5) and navigator (6). Toward the bow, beneath the forecastle, is quarters for the crew (7). A hatch leads down into the cargo hold (8), and doorways from there, as well as stairs from the main deck, provide access to additional passenger quarters (9 and 10). 


In addition to miscellaneous personal items in the cabins, the cargo hold is loaded with now frozen foodstuffs and equipment for some kind of excavation or expedition—including picks and shovels, timber, hammers and nails, saws, ropes and pulleys and the like If the PCs want to explore this wreck, however, then they must contend with an angry nabasu demon that is frozen in the forward passenger compartment (10). It has been trapped in the ice for some time, unable to teleport away because of the dimensional shackles that it wears.

Nabasu demon: Refer to page 64 in the Bestiary for stats.

Alerted by the arrival of newcomers, the demon begins complicating matters by using its summon spell-like ability to bring in some babau demons. Then, while they're wreaking havoc, it uses mass hold person to incapacitate as many of the PCs and their crew members as possible.

Babau demon(s): Refer to page 57 in the Bestiary for stats.


 This should present an exciting battle, as the PCs are forced to fight it while the comet is disintegrating around them, with asteroids looming. 

Development
This battle might force the PCs to abandon their hopes of winning the race—but clever characters could try to juggle both efforts at once. Indeed, if they can rig a cable to a suitable place on the cog—and make a DC 15 Profession (sailor) check—then they can take it in tow. That, then, inflicts a -2 circumstance penalty on all subsequent checks made to maneuver the vessels though the asteroid belt. However the situation develops, the PCs must still defeat the demon(s) in order to claim any kind of prize.


Conclusion
By the end of this scenario, the PCs should have become familiar with the people of Crossroads and perhaps made good impressions upon them. They may also have started developing conflict with Luciano Reda, something that will be exacerbated by rival claims to salvage the lost cog. Finally, there is the curious matter of the vessel's history, how it came to be frozen in the ice of a comet and why there was an angry demon trapped aboard it. The ship's log, presented in the Appendix, below, provides some insight into that history, and leads into the next adventure.


Appendix—The Journal from the Constant
Presented here are some of the entries in the journal from aboard the cog that the PCs found frozen in the ice.

7 Ophiuchus
Today it begins. We landed our ship landed in the desert, near what seems to be the largest volcano on Tyr. At the base of it is the entrance to tunnels dug long ago by the troglodytes. Now we set out to explore their underground cities and discover whatever secrets—and treasures—they might contain. May the Gods grant their blessings upon our endeavors.


8 Ophiuchus
Beware the monsters that dwell beneath the sands! Today one of them ambushed our party; one officer and three soldiers were killed before we managed to drive it away. Also, we spied a curious band of travelers that is watching us from a distance, but has not yet approached.


9 Ophiuchus
The travelers are called jann; they dwell in this unwelcoming desert. According to them, the troglodytes' tunnels are “a place of evil” best to be avoided. I think they are too easily frightened, or want to claim any valuables for themselves. We shall prove them wrong, however, to the glory of the King and the R.I.C.


11 Ophiuchus
Today the expedition discovered a foul secret. There are still troglodytes that inhabit these tunnels, and they worship fould demons. For this reason, we will return to Homeworld so as to better equip ourselves. One of those fiends appeared aboard our ship as we departed, but we have managed to incapacitate it, bind it with shackles and thus take it prisoner. Hopefully, once we are home, it will help us prepare for another, better equipped expedition.


13 Ophiuchus
Something is wrong aboard this ship. We are struggling under a skeleton crew, and so the men and their captain are tired beyond exhaustion. Even so, last night one of the men fell from the rigging and was lost in the black; the fellow who was with him cannot say how it happened. Either he is lying, or was too fatigued to have noticed, or there's another, unseen enemy who travels with us.


16 Ophiuchus
All hope is lost. With too many of the crew slain, and little hope that I will survive, I have decided to put the ship down on a passing comet. It has finished its path around the sun and is passing Homeworld in this direction—oh, if only it were heading the other way! Even so, perhaps someone will find this journal and thus our deaths will not remain unknown.




Appendix—Merchantman and Bark Deckplans
Refer to the appropriate maps for the following area descriptions. 



1. Main Deck
This broad open space is generally unremarkable, except that it provides access to other parts of the ship. From here, stairs lead up to the fore- and sterncastles, and a wide hatch opens to the cargo decks below. There are also ladders leading belowdecks, and doors to the rear compartment for officers and the crew quarters before the mast.

2. Special Quarters
Just aft of the main deck is this assemblage of small cabins. They are generally reserved for important members of the crew or special passengers.

3. Captain's Cabin
By far the most comfortable quarters aboard the ship is this, usually with a comfortable bed and a table for studying charts and taking meals, and perhaps even a wardrobe against one wall.

4. Mates' Cabin
Depending on the number of lower-ranking officers on board, this room usually contains a double bunk and another table, along with sea chests for holding personal items.
5. Crew Quarters
A surprisingly large number of hammocks are hung in this area, providing places for ordinary crew members to sleep. There are also a profusion of sea chests for individual possessions, creating something like a hive in which, at any given time, at least half a dozen people are sleeping. Another ladderwell leads from here to the mess and cargo hold, below.

6. Bowsprit and Head
This area sits in front of the forecastle, open to the wind and spray. The ship's toilets are located here, and it is from here that the ship's bowsprit protrudes.

7. Forecastle
Most of the time, this area serves little purpose other than providing a place from which to watch the passing sea. In times of battle, however, it can function as high ground, and at the GM's discretion a ship might carry a couple of swivel guns mounted near the stairs to deal with boarding parties or unruly cargo.

8. Sterncastle
This raised platform is a center of activity when it comes to sailing. Crew members man the ship's whipstaff here, steering the vessel. The captain or a mate is also often present, setting the course and shouting orders to the crew.

9. Upper Hold
This broad, open space can be used for storing cargo, provisions, ammunition or other supplies.

10. Storage and Mess
Foodstuffs are kept in this room, which is ventilated by the sea breezes so that the smell of the cargo hold is not so strong. There is also a small but effective kitchen, allowing for the preparing of the rough meals that serve to keep the crew and passengers functioning.

11. Lower Hold
This area is set up in the same way as the upper hold, above, except that it is darker and receives even less fresh air.

12. Special Hold
Any cargo that requires special consideration is stored here. 

Merchantman
Colossal space vehicle
Squares 144 (30 ft. by 120 ft.); Cost 20,000 gp
DEFENSE
AC 2; Hardness 5
hp 2160 (1079)
Base Save +0
OFFENSE
Maximum Speed 180 ft. (magic); Acceleration 30 ft. (magic)
CMB +10; CMD 16
Ramming Damage 10d8
DESCRIPTION
This big, hulking vessel has a broad main deck with fore- and sterncastles. It is perhaps best known for the two wide lower decks for carrying cargo, passengers and crew.
Propulsion magic (3 masts, 45 squares of sails, 225 hp)
Driving Check Profession (pilot)
Forward Facing the ship's forward
Driving Device ship's wheel
Driving Space the four squares surrounding the ship's wheel
Crew 30 (not including weapons crews)
Decks 3
Weapons Up to 42 Large direct-fire siege engines in banks of 21 positioned on the port and starboard sides of the vessel, or up to 14 Huge direct-fire siege engines in banks of 7 positioned on the port and starboard sides of the ship. The siege engines may only fire out the sides of the ship on which they are positioned. They cannot be swiveled to fire out the forward or aft sides of the ship.


1.Sterncastle
The ship's wheel is located on this raised platform at the aft of the vessel; it is generally from here that the captain issues orders while sailing.

2. Main Deck
The main deck is a broad, open space, although usually it is filled at least in part with ropes, the ship's anchor, a lifeboat and that sort of thing. In between the two masts is the hatch providing access to the cargo hold below.

3. Private Cabin
For important passengers or, at least, those who can pay for it, this cabin boasts a bed and perhaps a table or a storage trunk. It can also be used for a first mate, if appropriate. 

4. Private Cabin
This cabin is laid out in the same manner as the other one, above.
5. Captain's Cabin
By far the most elaborate quarters on the vessel is this small room. It has a table with four chairs for holding meetings, along with a bed, a wardrobe, a chest and a barrel of liquor.
6. Crew Quarters
Ten hammocks are arrayed in this area, in two tiers. The crew members sleep here, usually in shifts. In addition there can usually be found a number of sea chests, one per crewman, arranged beneath the hammocks.
7. Cargo Hold
This space could contain just about anything, provided it can fit in through the cargo hatch.
8. Crow's Nest (Not pictured)
A small platform high on the ship's foremast provides a place for the lookout to stand. 

Bark
Colossal aetherial vehicle
Squares 60 (20 ft. by 75 ft.); Cost 112,500 gp
DEFENSE
AC 2; Hardness 5
hp 900 (449)
Base Save +0
OFFENSE
Maximum Speed 180 ft. (magical); Acceleration 30 ft. (magical)
CMB +8; CMD 18
Ramming Damage 8d8
DESCRIPTION
This modest aethership can carry 150 tons of cargo in addition to its normal crew complement.

Propulsion magic (two masts, 30 squares of sails, hp 150)

Driving Check Profession (pilot) +10 to the DC

Forward Facing the ship's forward

Driving Device orb of control

Driving Space the square or squares occupied by the pilot with the orb of control

Crew 20 (not including weapons crews)

Decks 2

Weapons Up to 20 Large direct-fire siege engines in banks of 10 positioned on the port and starboard sides of the vessel, or up to 5 Huge direct-fire siege engines in banks of 3 positioned on the port and starboard sides of the ship. The siege engines may only fire out the sides of the ship on which they are positioned. They cannot be swiveled to fire out the forward or aft sides of the ship.