Archives of Nethys

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Infinite Worlds / Space

Space Worlds

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 80
Celestial bodies offer extraordinary variety in their composition and feel. Asteroids, comets, and other pieces of space debris can be large enough to present years of exploration. Proximity to a source of cosmic power, like a star or a black hole, might expose a world to immense amounts of energy, supernatural or otherwise, which can allow inhabiting creatures to evolve into unique niches over immense stretches of time, creating strange exceptions well beyond the norms of terrestrial life.
Technologically or magically advanced species use specialized means to generate artificial gravity and atmosphere, allowing orbital platforms, asteroid bunkers, or floating super-structures to operate in relative normalcy. Any interruption can mean catastrophe for unprepared inhabitants, so the defense and maintenance of these systems is top priority for the crews. If something goes wrong in these remote habitats, the results can be devastating, but the rewards can be immense for those willing and able to explore such ruins and lay claim to their resources.
Absent of the erosive forces of a natural atmosphere, the remains of spacefaring civilizations can exist in the vacuum for millennia. The structure may present a readily apparent purpose, like industrial construction or population resettlement; or it may provide more questions than answers, like a fortress built for containment of a mysterious power. Discoveries from the far reaches of space or the distant ages of the galaxy may be impossible to truly understand, leaving explorers to operate under well-educated hypotheses that may be disastrously incorrect. Well-maintained or carefully preserved defenses may remain intact to fend off interlopers centuries later, or the original inhabitants may have preserved themselves—naturally or artificially, ready to wake the moment new visitors arrive. Such places may host a number of different species over the centuries, with each new group interpreting the mysteries of the previous owners differently, modifying the environment to their own needs, and further obfuscating the purpose of the originators.