Archives of Nethys

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Deities | Systems & Settlements


Crystallizing Moon

Source Starfinder #15: Sun Divers pg. 62
Location The Vast
Diameter x1/4; Mass x1/2; Gravity x1/2
Atmosphere Thin
Day 9 hours; Year 413 days

Elao is the largest of six moons orbiting the planet Irtanza, a gas giant in a solar system deep in the Vast. Once a lush jungle world, it is undergoing a radical transformation. Centered on a region in the southern hemisphere and radiating outward, a technomagical force is changing Elao into a rocky world of mineral-based life-forms. Once-luxuriant forests are now glittering expanses of perimineralized trees and vines inhabited by a wide array of crystalline creatures. Elegant, fractal formations of exotic crystals now adorn colonies abandoned by the intelligent spacefaring species whose home world is Hathmatet, the gas giant’s second largest moon. These settlers have mostly retreated back to Hathmatet in confusion after the first few weeks of the transformation.
On the other side of the moon, the remaining organic life-forms are struggling; the moon’s atmosphere is thinning, causing the temperature to drop and radiation levels to increase. While some of the native fauna have transformed from organic to mineral-based life-forms, seemingly inexplicably, others have been forced to retreat away from the advancing front or be wiped out. Hathmatetian scientists have yet to determine why some species have been altered or even the method of transformation, and they have yet to devise a way to even slow, let alone reverse, the change overtaking the colony moon.
The source of Elao’s alteration is a series of massive, technomagical terraforming engines controlled by unscrupulous shaitan genies from the Plane of Earth and cloaked with layers of illusion magic. While the Irtanzans are unaware of the outsiders’ influence on their moon, several efreet operatives have surveilled the shaitan facilities and have learned that the earth genies are attempting to establish this moon as a spawning ground and genetic laboratory to create and watch over various new species of creatures, though for what purpose remains unknown. The efreet believe the shaitans plan to use these beings as a fighting force in an upcoming attack on the Plane of Fire, but they have yet to uncover any proof.
Those who come to Elao must deal with either the dangerous terrain of the crystallized half of the moon or the panicked, fleeing creatures on the other side, some of which have been driven to extreme behavior from partially completed transformations. In addition, shaitan guards watch over the hidden terraforming engines to prevent interference from outside sources. Nevertheless, there is a fortune to be made in mining the never-before-seen minerals and crystals that have sprouted on the moon’s surface, attracting all sorts of greedy corporations and other organizations, much to the shaitans’ chagrin.