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Death’s Head Charon - Tier 9

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 100
Large heavy freighter
Speed 8; Maneuverability average (turn 2); Drift 2
AC 23; TL 25
HP 160; DT —; CT 32
Shields medium 120 (forward 30, port 30, starboard 30, aft 30)
Attack (Forward) particle beam (8d6; 20 hexes), shadow bolt projector (1d10; 10 hexes)
Attack (Aft) coilgun (4d4; 20 hexes)
Attack (Turret) laser net (2d6; 5 hexes)
Power Core Pulse Orange (250 PCU); Drift Engine Signal Booster; Systems basic long-range sensors, crew quarters (common), mk 5 armor, mk 8 defenses, mk 2 trinode computer, security (computer countermeasures [mk 2 shock grid]); Expansion Bays cargo holds (4), sealed environment compartments (2), smuggler’s compartments (2); Modifiers +2 to any three checks per round, +2 Computers (sensors only); Complement 15 (minimum 6, maximum 20)

Crew

Captain Bluff +22 (9 ranks), Diplomacy +17 (9 ranks), gunnery +15 (9th level), Intimidate +17 (9 ranks), Piloting +17 (9 ranks)
Engineer (1 officer, 2 crew) Engineering +17 (9 ranks)
Gunners (2 officers, 2 crew each) gunnery +15 (9th level)
Pilot Piloting +17 (9 ranks)
Science Officer (1 officer, 3 crew) Computers +17 (9 ranks)

Description

Though Death’s Head is better known for its small-frame vessels, the Charon is a notable exception. For the company, the model’s production history is second only to the Necroglider, dating back to the Silent War between the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium. The model earned a dark reputation during this time for being a “corpse-hauler,” as less-than-scrupulous merchants used the Charon to transport wartime casualties back to Eox for reanimation—especially vesk cadavers, for which the bone sages paid handsomely.

This practice ended abruptly with the Pact Worlds-Veskarium truce, yet the Charon’s wartime reputation survives. The Vesk never forgot about the starships, or the associated defilement of their fallen soldiers. Popular myth tells of predatory bone ships that descend upon civilian vessels to kill and abduct prey. In the age of legal cadaver markets, the idea of corpse peddlers attacking noncombatants is fanciful at best. Nevertheless, Charon vessels are regularly subject to “random inspections” by port authorities, especially in the Veskarium. The bone sages stress that no major incidents of illicit corpse smuggling have occurred for several decades, but more than one freight crew has been detained for missing documentation that legitimizes the origin of its cargo. Whether these were honest clerical oversights or attempts to skirt intergalactic law has been unclear.

The Death’s Head Charon has the long silhouette of the riverboats of old, but with bony flanges reminiscent of a spinal column. These skeletal ships embark on long, silent voyages into the deep reaches of space, drifting from port to port seeking profit and potentially illicit cargo. Their expansive cargo holds make them popular with Eoxian merchant fleets, though this space comes at the cost of crew comforts—most infamously, cramped crew cabins and virtually nonexistent kitchen facilities. The issue is immaterial for undead crews, however. Environmentally sealed chambers are the only parts of the starship with consistent life support, to allow live cargo and other sensitive merchandise to survive transport. Despite their fleshmongering reputation, the starships commonly transport all manner of goods.