|SYSTEM NAME: Zebulon||STAR COLOR: Yellow
||HABITABLE PLANETS: Volturnus
|MOONS:||1.) Leo: Completes one orbit every three days, reddish-orange in color|
2.) Lulu: Completes one orbit every 27 hours, bluish-silver in color
|CLIMATE RANGE: Hot, arid to humid|
ATMOSPHERE: 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% argon
|DIAMETER: 12,895 kilometers|
LENGTH OF DAYS: 24 hours, 03 minutes
AVERAGE SURFACE TEMPERATURE: 25 degrees C
Unsettled; presently claimed by the government of the Truane's Star, explorers of the Zebulon star route.
1.) The Ul-Mor, desert-dwelling novepi (nine-limbed creatures). Number and range unknown.
2.) The Kurabanda, forest-dwelling bipeds similar to tarsier monkeys.(Encountered in a later module.)
3.) The Edestekai, hill-dwelling bipeds, bilaterally symmetrical. (Encountered in a later module.)
4.) The Mechanons, a mysterious race of intelligent machines. (Encountered in a later module.)
5.) The Eorna, a race of dinosaur-like bipeds. The original intelligence on Volturnus. (Encountered in a later module.)
Named after the Greek god of the southwest wind, Volturnus is a hot, dry world with many types of hostile terrain. The endless deserts, rugged mountains, volcanic wastes, and dangerous salt flats are constantly scoured by a strong southwesterly wind. Despite these harsh conditions, rare patches of forest and even a few lakes have managed to maintain a perilous existence.
The government of Truane's Star opened a star route to the Zebulon system recently, sending an expedition to the planet nine months ago. Unfortunately, all communication with the starship ceased shortly after it passed into the system. No clues as to the whereabouts of either the crew or the ship have been found.
Because of the cost and time involved in preparing an expedition, nine months have passed since the original mission disappeared. Nonetheless, the player characters have been assigned to locate the remnants of the first expedition, if any can be found. In addition, they are also charged with exploring and mapping the planet.
Only the future can tell what they will find, but the story of Volturnus is a strange one. Once the home of a gentle race of intelligent dinosaurs, it is now a barren, harsh world. The history of its downfall is outlined below for your reference.
The story of the fall of Volturnus begins when the Eorna, a race of intelligent dinosaurs, developed star travel. As soon as the Eorna launched their first colonization starships, they were attacked by a Sathar space armada. Like most Sathar attacks, this one came with no warning; the Eorna were not even aware of the presence of the Sathar until the mysterious worms invaded their system.
The Sathar space armada quickly overwhelmed the Eorna, wreaking destruction across the planet. Within a matter of days, the worms had nearly driven the gentle Eorna to extinction. Still, the Eorna fought valiantly, and were able to resist complete annihilation because the Sathar had overextended their supply lines.
The Sathar retreated, hoping they had destroyed enough of the Eorna civilization to prevent the gentle creatures from ever attempting interstellar travel again. In case they had failed, however, the Sathar left a mysterious artifact behind to alert them of any interstellar travel in the Zebulon system that might occur in the future.
Less than 150 Eorna survived the Day of Death. They soon realized they were doomed as a race, for they knew that their numbers were not large enough to provide a viable gene pool. The survivors chose to dedicate what remained of their lives to the evolution of other intelligent races on Volturnus. The Eorna hoped to prepare these races to meet and defeat the Sathar.
The Eorna are using a subtle process of hypnotic indoctrination and DNA manipulation to accelerate the development of three races toward intelligence. Most of the Eorna survivors have undergone cryogenic sleep, waiting to be awakened until they are needed to continue the project. Despite the fact that most of their young are born physically or mentally deficient because of the limited gene pool, the Eorna continue to breed, relying upon the few normal children to help continue the project.
The development of the star route by Truane's Star has completely upset Eorna plans. Though three races are intelligent, they have advanced only to a primitive state of technology.
More importantly, the presence of Truane's Star starships has triggered the Sathar's artifact, and, unknown to any, the Sathar are already travelling to Voiturnus as the adventure begins. This time, the worms are determined to annilihate all life on Volturnus.
Meanwhile, a race of intelligent machines has evolved in the secret caverns. These machines, the Mechanons, are determined to eliminate or control the organic life forms infesting Volturnus. They will stop at nothing to insure their utter and total domination of the planet.
Yet, as merciless as the Mechanons and as wicked as the Sathar are, neither of these races had anything to do with the disappearance of the first Volturnian expedition. A ruthless band of space-pirates have established an illegal mining operation on the planet, and have enslaved Edestekai farmers and many members of the first expedition to work in their mines.
As the player characters explore Volturnus, they may discover all of this information, or none of it. As the referee, you must decide how much of this background information to release to them.