So what's on Lost Reach?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 1, 2016 - 4:58am
In Dramune Run, the system display shows, Inner Reach, Outer Reach, and Lost Reach. Not only that but the Xagyg Nebula actually enters the system and Lost Reach passes through it. 

The name itself invites exploration but the planet passing through the nebula 1/year? 

Pretty sure the gravity well of Lost Reach would have vacuumed up the dust from the nebula so setting aside science (unless you have an explanation for how this could happen) the question is why? What would you do with Lost Reach?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

JCab747's picture
JCab747
June 1, 2016 - 9:34am
I'd imagine that Lost Reach is an iceball planet.

It's just there like Pluto is.

The big question is, how did the Outer Reach become so depleted of minerals to mine in such a short time? Maybe it's rare earth minerals and other exotic metals that were depleted, because I'd think there would be plenty of the more common metals such as iron where there'd be some mining and industry remaining.
Joe Cabadas

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
June 1, 2016 - 11:27am
I think the timeline falls short in explaining what happened to Outer Reach... 170 pf to 61 fy = 91 years and multiple wars before that, does sort of seem not enough time to deplete a world's minning industry.

Lost Reach... could have a lost colony on it? Specially adapted life forms. Maybe Drowsites? Hostile environment for sure, maybe it can only be reached when clear of the Nebula?

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 1, 2016 - 11:32am
In the Dragon Riders of Pern series the system has an eccentric wanderer on an elliptical orbit that takes it out to the Oort cloud and on the return it's loaded with "thread" ; so maybe Lost Reach picks something up in the nebula?

Maybe its a pirate location, the X on the star map that marks the spot? Secret depot? Or base?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
June 1, 2016 - 11:51am
Oh yeah Pern.... the thread sent that culture into the dark ages as they where space traveling colonists. 

I wonder if Lost Reach would have a very dangerous debree field around it when not in the Nebula. While in the Nebula the planet might get debree or pick up unwanted gasses?

Anyone/thing living there would need to be adapted to that. 

Communications with Lost Reach might be difficult.

Pirate base, or simply people wanting to live outside of the control of others, wasteland culture... probably could have underground society on it.

Could have an ancient mystery on it... old ruins? Or maybe an unknown society or colony, what if a few Vrusk ships had crashed there and there had been survivors... their soiciety might be very different, but then a lost Dral colony might be fun... those bad tempered Drows could have developed on that world, feel abandonded, discriminated against by their dral cousins.

How long would it take Lost Reach to make one full orbit & how long is it in the Nebula? 

Nebula wether related events should be harsh I think.


 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 1, 2016 - 1:27pm
Well gravity well of Lost Reach really ought to vacuum up the dust in the nebula so why hasn't it? It's a mystery to science but with so much other stuff to investigate in the Frontier no one has gotten around to it till recently (well that and the presence of pirates in system has put a damper on solving the mystery). 

A science expedition to Lost Reach has become over due and someone needs to go see why.

Naturally enough the answer to the mystery is ancient alien artifact and hand wave-ium science. But along the way there will be lions and tigers and pirates, oh my!
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 1, 2016 - 2:07pm
Not sure how long the Lost Reach year should be but the arc of its orbit that enters the nebula looks about 65 degrees. So that's significant. 

What if there is an alien artifact on lost reach that generates heat on cue when the planetoid nears the nebula. It sense a beacon or something out there in the nebula or some reason. The heat melts ice which returns to liquid water. The water and other volital materials start creating an atmosphere that the planetoid cant hold on too. Deep in the ice is an group of organisms that with the thaw come to life and follow their brief life cycle. 

Geysers or action by the organisms put material into the atmosphere. The atmosphere is only temporary and will disappear when the artifact goes dormant. But the net effect is Lost Reach more or less puts the same amount of material into space as its gravity well sucks up. 

Perhaps the core of the planet is radioactive isotopes and their breakdown generated enough heat to keep the planet from completely freezing. Though most of the year it appears to be a frozen ball.

Pirates who stashed supplies and booty on Lost Reach didn't realize it would become buried treasure when the ice melted. But there are now 6 sealed cargo containers buried under 70 meters of ice stocked with weapons and booty.  

Random encounters:
1. pirate vessel on the way to lost reach. 
2. Escape pod from original expedition
3. Derelict
4. Nothing

Rumor Table: 
1. There be buried treasure out there mark me words, arrrhhh. (True)
2. I'm telling you it had an atmosphere and liquid water and we went swimming with mermaids. Mermaids! I tell you! (True-ish)
3. Lost Reach is nothing but a frozen rock. (false)
4. There are energy creatures living in the nebula (false)
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 1, 2016 - 4:00pm
Tchklinxa wrote:
170 pf to 61 fy = 91 years and multiple wars before that, does sort of seem not enough time to deplete a world's minning industry.
That's actually 231 years but still probably not enough time.
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TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 1, 2016 - 4:08pm
On the astronomy.  Based on the map, Lost Reach is only about 2.2 AU from the star. i.e. if you plopped it into our Solar System it would be in the middle of the asteroid belt (Mars is at about 1.52 AU and Jupiter at 5.1).  So it's (relatively) warm.  It will be a rocky object not an icy one.  Also, either the star is really wimpy (I didn't look up the spectral type but if it's habitable, it's not going to be wimpy) or that nebula would not extend into the system but would be swept away by the solar wind.  The sun's solar wind clears out any interstellar material out to about 40AU, beyond Pluto, so even a relatively small star will clear out to 2-3 AU.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 1, 2016 - 4:31pm
So there are some astronomy problems with the Dramune System map. 

I kind of like the idea that coming together though. So let's imagine that the Dramune System map is either badly not to scale or actually corrupted data. 

What distance would we need for this?
What would be the year for such a body?
Any other consideration we should know about?

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 1, 2016 - 7:41pm
So I was off on the distances by a factor of three.  The heliopause (where the solar wind balances interstellar dust) for the sun is out at about 120 AU, not 40.  (Which in astronomy is dead on.  Professors always joked that if you were within a factor of pi you were good Smile).

Now Dramune is a yellow-orange star according to the module, a orange-yellow star according to the Expanded Rules book, and a K1 star according to Zeb's Guide which all agrees one with another.  A K1 star is about 70% the mass of the sun and only about 1/5 it's luminosity.  So, via the tried and true method of back-of-the-envelope evaluation, the heliopause for such a star should be about 1/5 the distance, which brings it in to 24 AU.  But wait, there's more...

Since we're talking about the edge of a nebula (which is still less dense than than any vacuum that can be produced on Earth), the density of the gas that the stellar wind has to push against is higher which means that the heliopause will be closer still.  So I guess concievably it could be in as close as 2.2 AU although that's probably unlikely, more likely something like 10-12 AU out.

To get a small ice planet however, you have to go out a bit further than the 2.2 AU, even for a K1 star.  The critical point is known as the frost line and is the point in the protostellar nebular where the tempurature is low enough for ices to form.  For the Sun it was somewhere out around 5 AU which is why Jupiter is where it is and the biggest of the planets.  It will be closer for the K1 star but maybe not by much, say in around 3.5-4 AU.  So that's the closest you'd have a icy planetoid but most likely a small body will be further out.

So you an really pick anything in the range from 3.5 AU and outward and probably call it good.  As for length of years, since the star is smaller, the same orbital distance will yield a longer year than in our solar system.  The numbers (in Earth years, conversion to Galactic Standard Years is left as an exercise for the reader) look like the following:

3.5 AU = 7.82 years
5 AU = 13.36 years
10 AU = 37.8 years
15 AU = 69.44 years
20 AU = 106.9 years
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iggy's picture
iggy
June 1, 2016 - 9:00pm
If lost reach is close in to the star then it could be lost because it is so hot there when it passes the start that the treasure gets burried in layers of molten glass.  Add to that the absence of any landmarks and it is easy to loose something hidden there.  The burried object could also have moved in the sea of molten glass when the planet is close to it's star.
-iggy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 1, 2016 - 10:56pm
Thanks Tom, 

So the module map puts it about 2.2 AU and closest it works realistically is 3.5 AU ; that's fairly close. Lets call the difference an error in the data and go with the 3.5AU number it won't make a big difference in the larger scheme of things. 

The alien artifact will be a pyramid structure. That immediately suggests tetrarchs. We don't have to actually say it's tetrarchs, the mere suggestion it could be grabs some of the mystery of the T arch's. 

Real question is how far to go with explaining the mystery behind the artifact? I feel like it's operation might be explained but the intent of its creators could be left obscure. Was the intent to make it possible for the creatures living in the ice to live and survive? Or was the artifact simply an automated fuel facility. When the beacon of a ship approached within a certain distance it began to heat up to melt the ice so that the ship could take on water to be split into its component parts. Serendipitously, there happens to be a beacon on an ancient alien derelict within range within the nebula. 

The creatures are simply "rats that hitched a ride on ships headed to the new world". They adapted and thrived in this environment. Having natural anti-freeze in their tissues.  My first reaction is that we don't need another primitive species it the setting. However, the rumor table comment about, "swimming with mermaids" made me think of the Nagana from the SFMan. With a few tweaks they could work. Alternately if the swimming creature was just a cunning animal and excited about the presence of fresh portion then they also are an obstacle in the adventure. 

Of course mysterious artifacts will generate interest, ie corporate interest. And the possibility of treasure turning up will ring the dinner bell for local pirates. So there is a real possibility for KHs action.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!