Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder | Starfinder

Deities | Systems & Settlements


Cold World of Shadows and Black Emeralds

Source Starfinder #5: The Thirteenth Gate pg. 62
Location The Vast
Diameter x2/3; Mass x1/2; Gravity x1
Atmosphere Thick
Day 12 hours; Year 412 years

Urrakar is the lone planet of the Urran system, which is composed mostly of asteroid belts and dense cloud rings. The location of the Urran system appeared on numerous Pact Worlds and Veskarium planetary infospheres almost simultaneously, shortly after devotees of Triune visited it as they were spreading Drift beacons throughout the galaxy. No one has stepped forward to claim responsibility for disseminating the information, and even those priests who first encountered the area claim to have had no hand in this strange occurrence. Despite the mystery surrounding Urrakar, many groups in the Pact Worlds have begun exploring the planet’s surface and exploiting its natural resources.

Urrakar is even farther from its star than Aucturn is from the Pact Worlds’ sun, which places the planet well outside what would normally be the system’s habitable zone (where water can exist in a liquid state on a planet’s surface). However, Urrakar’s extremely dense composition helps keep the planet’s core molten. This, combined with tidal heating and the radioactive decay of its heaviest elements, allows Urrakar to maintain a surface temperature just above water’s freezing point. The planet also has a strong magnetic field, which protects it from cosmic rays despite its great range from the solar winds of its star.

The constant churning of molten metals within Urrakar’s core makes the planet very active volcanically, with gases constantly spewing from hot springs, massive cinder cones, and vents. As such, the planet has a dense atmosphere with a strong metallic odor. The air is sometimes thick with ash, and while the trace chemicals found in the atmosphere aren’t in high enough concentrations to qualify as toxic, longterm exposure without protection is likely to damage the lungs of most non-native airbreathing creatures.

Urrakar is a dark, cold world. Even at noon, its sun is nothing more than a point in the sky, dimmer than a full moon and safe to look at with the naked eye. Otherwise, it’s lit only by the glow of lava below jagged mountains from strong tectonic activity, the planet is veiled in huge, dense shadows. The darkest of these areas have weak connections to the Shadow Plane, through which creatures from that plane can sometimes pass. Urrakar has no native fauna, but umbral versions of many creatures from throughout the galaxy can be found across the world, often hunting smaller shadowy creatures and anything else they can track and potentially consume.

The combination of energy from the Shadow Plane and heavy metals also causes Urrakar to be the only known source of black emeralds—gemstones infused with innate magic potential. Black emeralds are valuable resources for the manufacture of spell gems that hold necromantic magic and some forms of solarian weapon crystals. Several companies, most notably Arabani Arms, Ltd. and Ulrikka Clanholdings, have small mining operations on the planet that focus on extracting black emeralds. Usually consisting of a single heated and pressurized prefab building, these mining facilities are generally separated by hundreds of miles with little but empty plains between them. Direct competition for resources between these enterprises is currently rare, as the stripping of Urrakar’s gem fields has only just begun. However, a few conglomerates (such as Astral Extractions) have begun to engage in underhanded tactics and corporate sabotage to gain the upper hand.