Archives of Nethys

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Deities | Systems & Settlements


Ratheren

Moon Base of Desperate Survivors

Source Starfinder #2: Temple of the Twelve pg. 62
Location The Vast
Settlements
Diameter x1/3; Mass x1/4; Gravity Special
Atmosphere Thin
Day 25 hours; Year 300 days

Centuries ago, as the ferrans—the inhabitants of the planet Ferrantus-4—developed advanced technology and began to look toward the stars, they saw their race’s ultimate fate: a region of nearby space so dark that it could only be a black hole. Luckily, the Ferrantus system was just far enough away to be spared the worst effects of the black hole’s gravitation and radiation, but the study of the stellar phenomenon, which the ferrans came to call “the Maw,” ignited the curiosity of many of the planet’s scientists. Astrophysics became a popular field of study, launching a scientific revolution. Eventually, the ferrans achieved limited space flight, traveling to their moon Ratheren to build a selfsustaining research station to better study the Maw.

Decades later, the ferrans discovered that a rogue black hole–like entity was on a collision course with the Maw. Knowing that such a conglomeration of energy would result in the formation of a quasar—and render their system uninhabitable—the ferrans were faced with a multipronged crisis.

To combat the despair that arose from the future’s cold truths, faiths sprang up seemingly overnight. The most popular religion declared that the ferrans were destined to merge with the Maw and that they would be safe only once they embraced this fate. The most zealous followers even thought that the catastrophe would transform them into a more advanced state of being.

Those ferrans who approached the crisis with the rationality of science worked feverishly to find some way to save their people. They came close to cracking technological interstellar travel long before the Drift made it commonplace, but in the end, they were too late. The world leader of Ferrantus-4, who firmly believed that the Maw meant their salvation rather than their destruction, enacted an insane plan to launch the planet into the black hole using a combination of industrial force fields and teleportation magic. The fanatic succeeded, but there wasn’t enough time to retrieve the moon-based researchers before Ferrantus-4 disappeared with a burst of energy that pushed Ratheren outside of the quasar’s gravitational pull. Many of the remaining ferrans believed that their kin had committed an act of mass suicide, but as a few die-hard optimists studied the Maw, they picked up strange signals—signals that shouldn’t have been able to pass the event horizon.

Today, most of the ferrans of Ratheren spend their time eking out an existence on their moon base and attempting to discover whether the rest of their people are still alive within the Maw. A few, however, find this pursuit foolish and wish to turn their efforts toward finding a new place to live.

Before the ferrans colonized it, Ratheren was a moon made mostly of dark stone. It has very little atmosphere, almost no natural life, and deep crevasses crisscrossing its surface. Its gravity is irregular, with a gravitational field ranging from about as strong as that of lost Golarion to twice as strong. The Ratheren base now encompasses almost a quarter of the moon—a sprawling metropolis of squat buildings connected by enclosed walkways. Hydroponic gardens provide food and oxygen for the residents, and purifiers recycle liquid waste and clean the water that’s collected from the moon’s dwindling polar cap. The facilities obtain geothermal power from turbines deep within Ratheren’s fissures. Day and night are artificially controlled to simulate Ferrantus-4’s original cycle, even though many generations of ferrans were born and lived their lives on the moon without ever knowing the lost planet of their origin.

Aliens found at Ratheren

Ferran - CR 5; Small humanoid