This is Part Five of Sargon And Beyond: Operation Silk Roads. Part One of this 2372 campaign setting, which described the premise and presented a general map of the campaign region, is here. Part Two, which is the GM’s Briefing, is here. Part Three is GM Options. Part Four was our first Cosmozoans feature.
In Part Five, we explore four new Cosmozoans in the Space Beyond. All of these are optional, and as always, tweak anything as you need.
Players shouldn’t read any further, as the following is intended only for the eyes of your GM!
Cosmozoan Space, Revisited
There is a part of the Space Beyond called Cosmozoan Space, where giant, space-dwelling creatures are common. There are more spatial and temporal anomalies than usual in this region, forming both navigational hazards as well as providing the kinds of exotic particles that sustain Cosmozoans. They are usually content to feed here, although some have strayed into other parts of the Space Beyond. A rare few have found their way past the Cordon Nebulae, which some have speculated (without proof) that they were created to contain Cosmozoans within the Space Beyond.
In addition to the Thinstars, Yagu, Chronoloths, and Vulphai, here are four new Cosmozoans that are frequently encountered in this region of space: Void Spiders, Graroids, Chaomera, and Photonic Devourers. These four are created from Sets 5-8 of the Cosmozoan Cards elsewhere on the blog. There are many other varieties beyond these. Feel free to create more.
The Void Spiders are metallic spider-like creatures that feed off baryon particles, generated during warp travel. Highly intelligent, they communicate with each other through their coded magnetic-pulse language. Their main aim is to not be detected.
They have a unique cycle of feeding and traveling through space. Living in colonies, they often find a spaceport or starship depot where they consume baryon particles off the hulls. They are difficult to detect. They go to work building a Scale 4 parachute-shaped metallic web, often stretched between starships at rest. The web, which is cloaked and normally undetectable, serves as the Void Spiders’ temporary home and creche for their offspring, and it also doubles as their future interstellar mode of transport. They rip off hull plating from ships to build their cloaked web, which is fuelled by a tachyon ‘engine’ core anchored to the parachute-web.
When the tachyon ‘engine’ is ready, they will activate the tachyon engine, which creates a tachyon maelstrom. In addition to the tachyon maelstrom’s effects (which sometimes causes people and ships to get trapped time-effects in the tachyon maelstrom), ships anchored to the parachute-web are also damaged by the sudden warp of the web as it catches the tachyon eddies. Traveling at Warp 8, they then steer the web towards another spaceport, where the cycle begins again.
Things trapped in the tachyon maelstrom could possibly be retrieved through very tricky transporter maneuvers, but only while the tachyon ‘engine’ is still running at warp. When the engine is shut down or the web drops out of warp, the patterns are lost for good.
The Graaroids are living planetoids that dwell in the Goldilocks region of a solar system, sometimes in great number. They host micro-ecologies on themselves, and the fauna sense the emotions projected by the Graaroids, which in turn learns about them through their emotions. They feed on gravitons, and can use gravity to defend its micro-ecologies from harm. Very long-lived, they rarely leave orbit until a micro-ecosystem is in danger or is failing. They can warp to new systems to ‘acquire’ new fauna and flora. They are defensive of their micro-ecologies, and usually only attack if it feels it or its micro-ecologies are in danger.
The Chaomera are unpredictable cosmic protozoans that are feared because they are unpredictable in temperament. They consume matter to produce radiogenic waste, feeding off the radiogenic particles generated, but they can also utilize the radiogenic particles as offense. They are quick to heal. There are swarms of them seeking matter to consume in the Space Beyond.
The Photonic Devourers are ooze-like photonic parasites that feed off other cosmozoans, although they will also sometimes attack planets or starships. They draw life energy using their negative energy field to convert and sustain their photonic matrix, and shoot negative mass as well as a form of defense. As photonic beings, they hide well when feeding off cosmozoans. They sometimes feed off the Graaroids, immune to the empathic fear defense favoured by the living planetoids.
Adventure Tag: ADV002, ADV008