Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder RPG (1st Edition) Starfinder RPG Pathfinder RPG (2nd Edition)

Deities | Systems & Settlements


Hollow World with a Miniature Sun Inside

Source Starfinder #18: Assault on the Crucible pg. 62
Location The Vast
Diameter x2; Mass x1/20; Gravity x1
Atmosphere Normal
Day 23 hours; Year

Drifting through the inky blackness far from any actual star, Maurnak is a hollow world—a shell of earth and rock in the shape of a planet. Though the civilized humanoids who live there recently discovered the true nature of their home world, they still don’t know that their very existence is due to the experimentations of a strange native outsider called a rheonnaghan.
Thousands of years ago, a powerful rheonnaghan, interested in fashioning an environment from which others of its kind could be born, fed magical and solar energy into its crystalline cocoon to create a miniature artificial star. Though only a fraction of the size of the smallest true star, it still radiated light and heat, and it formed a well of gravity. The rheonnaghan curated the space debris that began to accumulate around the star, eventually shaping it into a solid shell of rock and dirt several thousand miles in diameter, its inner surface supporting a thin atmosphere.
Some of the rubble contained dormant cellular life capable of photosynthesis, and when the first tiny plants began sprouting on the interior of the shell, the rheonnaghan realized they had essentially created a world and would need to nurture it. They adjusted the star so that its light would dim every 13 hours, fashioning a day-night cycle. Eventually, the oxygen content of the atmosphere rose, lakes and streams formed on the interior, and after millennia, humanoid life evolved.
These humanoids lived a largely agrarian lifestyle for dozens of centuries, unaware that they lived on the interior of a hollow shell. Their nights never plunged into full darkness (though they had no other stars in their sky, just the faint glow of the rheonnaghan’s artificial sun), and they had no real seasons, just a constant temperate climate. They named their world Maurnak, after the first great leader who united many of the disparate tribes across the planet. Most Maurnakian tools and weapons were crafted from wood, as metal deposits were scarce, and had only achieved rudimentary flight when Triune’s Signal spread across the galaxy. Several mystics, ruminating on this strange information, received visions of skies full of stars, and the Maurnakians began a true exploration of their world.
Believing they had conquered their skies, the Maurnakians turned “downward,” constructing a large-scale mining operation near their world’s capital and soon piercing the planet’s shell. Unfortunately, the cold dark exterior of Maurnak is home to akatas and other hostile aberrations seeded by asteroid strikes and interstellar migration. These flooded through the breach—known today as the Pit—resulting in a bloody conflict that claimed many lives. In the end, however, the Maurnakians were able to seal off the Pit and turn the world’s renamed capital of Void’s Precipice into a fortified bastion ready to defend against further invasions from without.
The majority of the population has given up on exploring the exterior of the world, happy to return to simpler lives of farming and animal husbandry, but a few brave Maurnakians still seek knowledge from the other side of the Pit. So far, the rheonnaghan has been content to dwell within their makeshift star and observe these humanoids’ struggles without interference, instead focusing on their own continued experiments. But what will happen to Maurnak if the outsider finally manages to create offspring remains unknown.