Session 1 of my Starforged Campaign begins here! In between my Worldbuilding Post and now, I’d rolled up a character, a starting sector and some trouble for my Ironsworn, named Keith Vanadu, to investigate. This documents my thought process throughout the whole thing.
One note before we begin: I’d initially thought of calling Kaz Otsu, but forgot to change it in my notes. Oh well.
Called by WeaveComm CEO and old friend Ironsworn Jameela Devadhikar, Ironsworn Keith Vanadu learns that his old command had set up outposts in The Expanse in a sector they called the Vanadyne Sector, in an obvious homage to their old commander (Keith groans). Jameela notes that the sector is ripe for expansion; they have no WeaveComm support, and their sector is reportedly plagued with issues. Keith agrees to try and bring them into the Iron Banner (swearing a Vow as he does so) and heads off to the Vanadyne Sector to see what he can do for them.
Keith does believe that joining the Iron Banner is the best thing for the colonists, but he also knows it’s important that he not force them into it. What assistance he can provide, he wants to let them know that he’s going to give regardless of their final decision, and is
not going to force them into membership.
As he boards the Princess, his personal starship, he sets a course for the Vanadyne system and studies what intel he has on the Sector in the meantime:
Otsuka Hirokazu, Keith mutters, tapping the display. A face comes to mind; a young man with graceful features, seemingly content to hover in the background. Kaz? He mumbles, wondering if he’s remembering the guy’s name right. He seems to be a prominent figure in this settlement, Paragon Stand. Hoping that’s not another reference to himself, Keith keys in an adjustment to make sure the navcom makes a beeline to Paragon Stand – and avoid as much as possible the white dwarf’s cursed light.
Keith is a practical man. If a hammer is needed, he goes in search of it. If not, he finds the proper tool. If all he has is a hammer then he nails all the nails he can see and leaves the screws and wires alone. Keith has no idea how to deal with the ghosts from White Dwarves’ light. Keith has no idea how to deal with most of the shit flooding out from The Sundering, as a matter of fact. You can fly around asteroids, shoot monsters and talk to dissidents. You couldn’t do anything with spooky bastards trying to eat your face.
The White Dwarf that the planet Sanadris orbits is frightening to Keith, so he avoids it. Instead, he focuses on the Jovian planet itself. Surface scans show the atmosphere is corrosive; the dense gases that constitute the atmosphere trap heat in a runaway greenhouse situation. Keith wonders why the d’ast sods didn’t make a moonbase; Sanadris has (roll: 1d12) 9. Maybe he could convince them to make a change.
Paragon Stand was underground. Keith didn’t blame them. Building a society on top of this d’ast hellhole where you needed to get into an exosuit just to go talk to the neighbours was no way to live. Most likely it was cooler undeground, and easier to set up some kind of breathable atmosphere here.
After some discussion and the mention of invitation from Kaz, the doors to Paragon Stand’s docking bay opened, and the Princess was guided into a bay deep under the planet’s surface. Kaz was there to greet him on arrival, and Keith is concerned to see the youth is alone. The graceful youth is gone; what remains is a grizzled colonist with weathered features.
“Kaz,” Keith grins, shaking his hand – the memory of his old crewmate coming back. “D’ast planet has sure taken a toll on you.”
“Colonel,” Kaz replies, smiling. “Only the tough survive out here, and you sure knew how to make ’em.’” He barks some orders to make sure the Princess is taken care of, and gestures his old boss to follow him. “Only wish the others saw sense.”
“I’m here to help, Kaz,” Keith insists. “Don’t think about WeaveComm. Regardless, I’m going to help.”
“I believe you Colonel,” Kaz sighs, leading the Ironsworn through a pressurised door into a small room that looked like an office. Kaz invites his old boss to take a seat while he pours a cup of recaff. “But the thing is, a lot of guys don’t. They think that if we accept your help, that means wimping out and accepting Ironsworn rule.”
“That’s not too bad, surely?”
Kaz shakes his head. “A lot of folk see it as a bunch of a-holes taking over and profiting from our hard work. They feel like since they bled here, the planet’s theirs.”
“I think so too, but forget all that for now,” Keith grimaces at the taste of the recaff. Every planet’s coffee was different, no thanks to the soil they grew the beans in, but this had to be worst he had ever tasted. He put the cup down on a table. “Let’s focus on the situation and how I can help.”
“It’s war, Colonel. We have three settlements on the planet, and spooks have gotten their sticky tendrils into one of them. Call themselves Dreadspire now. Used the fear of Ironsworn rule to cement their own power, and anyone who refused to join, they’ve executed. People are fleeing either here or to Burrow Station, somewhere North, but we’ve decided we won’t stand for cultist bullshit on Sanadris.”
Keith sighs. “Idiots really brought their gods into the Forge. I mean, sure, Sol’s a million light years away, but don’t tell me we all forgot about that d’ast ugly situation.”
“Tell them that. But no, these aren’t the Old Gods. Fuckers started worshipping the spooky shit coming out of the star.”
“Reminds me too much of Sunscum.”
“Us too. Kind of why we want to root out this weed before it takes full bloom, though that might be too late.”
“Well…broad strokes, at least,” Keith sighs. He rolls up his left sleeve, revealing his token – The Looper, a black iron bracelet with glowing blue symbols on it that he’s never been able to decipher. He holds his wrist out, and solemnly says, “I vow upon the Black Iron to help resolve the conflict between Paragon Stand and Dreadspire.”
Kaz looks on with concern. “I…wish you’d told me before you swore that.”
“A lot of folk here in Paragon Stand need convincing that you want what’s best for them. Most folk aren’t…well, they don’t think you have their best interests at heart.”
Keith frowns. “I thought most of the colonists here were our guys, Kaz. Guys who know me from when we fought Sunscum.”
“And of those remaining, they still remember you,” Kaz reassures him. “But we’ve had a lot of newcomers lately. Not to mention new generation. They know you like they know Jameela Devadhikar; some Ironsworn they hear about in clips and casts.”
Keith sighs. “So, first order of business would be to convince your own people to let me help? Great. Well, Jameela never said this would be easy. Come on. Take me to your leaders.”
That’s it for now. Next week, Keith finds out that the people of Paragon Stand may not be who they say they are, and I get excited about (and put into practice) Starforged’s new clocks mechanic. As always, leave any comments below, and I’ll try to address them.
Hope you enjoyed, and hope you return to find out what happens next!