Archives of Nethys

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Drift Lanes

Famous Drift Lanes

Source Ports of Call pg. 14
Several discovered Drift lanes have garnered more attention due to their strategic or scientific importance. These lanes (or, in some cases, a pair or more of connected Drift lanes) have been named by those regularly using or studying them, though the average galactic citizen might still be unaware of their existence. Recalling knowledge about a known and named Drift lane requires a character to succeed at a DC 15 Culture or Piloting check (but even some established Drift lanes still retain their mysteries).

Charge of the Inheritor

Source Ports of Call pg. 14
Drift scholars were thrilled to find the terminus of a Drift lane in the atmosphere of Pabaq, the osharu (Starfinder Alien Archive 292) home world in Near Space, after the conclusion of the Drift Crisis. That excitement turned to fear when the first exploratory ships entering the lane emerged near a lifeless planetoid in a blue dwarf system near the edge of Swarm-controlled space. Soon after, large sects of the Knights of Golarion and the Church of Hylax sent regiments of troops and engineers to establish bases in that system, holding the far end of the Drift lane against the Swarm. Bulwark (page 134) has quickly become a pilgrimage site for followers of Iomedae who want to “fight the good fight” against the ravenous, insectile menace.

Conqueror’s Path

Source Ports of Call pg. 14
Even as the galaxy reeled from the Drift Crisis, the neglected Azlanti colony world of Kehtaria (see Atuity on page 44) became inexplicably easier to access—and the Drift Crash ejected a Veskarium battleship into the planet’s orbit. Since the Crisis concluded, Kehtaria has retained its accessibility as one end of two different Drift lanes. One route links to Vesk-4 in the Veskarium, while the other links to the planet Oyojii in the Azlanti Star Empire’s Oyoya system. Oyoya’s ruler, Arcidux Tethin Placaria(NE male Azlanti envoy) delights in the courtly prestige this Drift lane affords him, whereas Vesk-4’s High Despot Kamilzanva (LN female vesk solarian) takes a more humble approach. Given both empires’ recent tensions and histories of conquest, the route has become known as the Conqueror’s Path. Vesk quite enjoy the title, considering it an homage to Damoritosh and their military prowess, but any war would devastate everyone involved.
While overshadowed by these titans’ posturing, the Conqueror’s Path also extends from Oyoya to Embroi. So far, only a few embri trade delegations have used the lane, but Embroi keeps its loyalties and aspirations secret, and in the event of an Azlanti-Veskarium war, it could be Embroi that does the conquering!

Gambler Road

Source Ports of Call pg. 14
One of the more dangerous known Drift lanes, initially thought a dead end, opens in high orbit above the poisonous green gas giant Preluria in Near Space. Shortly after the end of the Drift Crisis, several scout vessels entered this Drift lane at Preluria, but only one returned. The others were all consumed by the black hole at the other end of the lane, and so it was deemed off-limits to travelers. However, a human engineer on the sole returning crew named Salli Numo (NG female human) began telling tales of seeing an impossible planet just inside the black hole’s event horizon before her ship reentered the Drift lane. This story sparked the interest of fortune seekers throughout the galaxy, and though most of these treasure hunters failed to return from their trip into this Drift lane—now called Gambler Road—a handful have come back bearing wild accounts of the impossible planet as well as strange relics that have made them rich.

Ibzen’s Calamity

Source Ports of Call pg. 14
The Near Space corporate prison planet Daegox 4 is connected to the Veskarium’s Conqueror’s Forge via a slightly unstable Drift lane. Those who mapped the lane reported that its “walls” appeared to be thinner than normal in several places, making the journey through it quite dangerous when it wends through areas of the Drift that see large amounts of planar activity. Accounts of fiendish starships, elemental storms, and pockets of planar debris penetrating the lane’s walls without warning have dissuaded most casual spacefarers from using this passage. Nevertheless, the wardens of Daegox 4 are concerned about the increased access the lane provides to their world, especially as it connects to a space station bristling with military technology.
The lane is named after Ibzen Houdle, a prisoner who somehow stole a Drift-capable shuttle from Daegox’s surface and escaped into the Drift lane. As security ships threatened to overtake him, Ibzen executed a daring maneuver where he skimmed the edge of the lane’s wall and attempted to reverse course while exiting the Drift, but his shuttle suddenly disappeared in a multihued explosion. Some believe Ibzen survived, jettisoning in a makeshift escape pod to some unknown destination.

Jatembe’s Jaunt

Source Ports of Call pg. 14
The vibrant world of Xibia is inhabited by the descendants of an expedition from the magic school of Magaambya on Lost Golarion. They regained contact with the Pact Worlds system after the discovery of Drift travel but have remained independent as a civilization of peace and scholarship. After the Drift Crisis, travelers discovered a Drift lane that connects Xibia to the Pact Worlds’ Triaxus, which is set to usher forth a new spirit of collaboration and trade between the two. The lane is named Jatembe’s Jaunt after the ancient wizard Old-Mage Jatembe, the founder of the Magaambya.


Source Ports of Call pg. 14
The series of Drift lanes known as Prosperiola connects Verces in the Pact Worlds, Vesk-3 in the Veskarium, Marixah in Near Space, and Great Shadar in the Vast, in that order; consequently, these lanes have increased the trade of technological goods and raw resources between these worlds. Prosperiola is a merchant’s dream come true, but with the increased ship traffic comes an increase in space piracy. Ambushes commonly occur along these Drift lanes, and cargo vessels making the route are always on the lookout for security specialists to protect them.