The Hidden Cache

Location: any Starport
Patron: an older prospector
Required skills and equipment: The PC’s will need to own a Jump-2 or better starship. The starship will need to have scoops for refueling or be capable of two hyperspace jumps. Environmental suits or vacc suits will be in demand.

Players’ Information:

The PC’s are approached by Torbun Grey, an aging prospector that says he is in need of a ship with some limited cargo space. He says he was a prospector some years back and his work carried him to another sector for a long time. He has always wanted to return to a rich site he discovered and was unable to leave behind. He will pay, up front Cr. 20,000 for transportation to the site and another Cr. 20,000 upon their return. The catch? The site is not on any charts nor is it located in a solar system. It is located on a moon surrounding a rogue gas giant well away from any space lanes.

Torbun says that he used a computer to calculate the vector of the rogue planet and doubts if anyone else has discovered this location. He says the destination moon is mostly a very thin atmosphere, with a yellowish haze of sulfuric-based airborne compounds emanating from the very active volcanoes that riddle the surface of the moon. It seems the gravity from the gas giant causes some serious stresses on the tectonic plates of the moon, causing the volcanoes to erupt nearly constantly. Obviously, due to the lack of a star, there is perpetual night on the gas giant and moon.

The Lava Moon
The Lava Moon – Image from wikimedia – Public Domain

Referee’s Information:

If anyone in the PC’s party knows anything about prospecting or geology, they will likely know that the chances of a rich prospect on a highly volcanic moon is unlikely. Torbun, is in fact a “retired” corsair who has just finished spending the last twenty years in an Imperial prison for his pirate days. He was a skilled navigator on board the Serpent’s Tooth, a 400-ton corsair that was boarded and destroyed when he was captured.

Torbun discovered this location from a seeker they once captured that discovered the gas giant due to a misjump. The corsair kept the location a secret so they could use it to refuel and strike at solar systems much easier, while avoiding capture. This unnamed rogue planet still seems to be plodding along between solar systems, dragging what is likely its only moon along for the ride. The moon, much like the Terran system’s moon, Io, is VERY volcanic. Visibility at low elevations will be limited, and there is a constant wind, but due to the minimal atmospheric pressure, a 200 kph wind has the force of a 2kph on the moon. This wind does blow dust and ash around and the ash can have sharp edges, fouling gear and wearing out the vacc suits fairly quickly.

Torbun will be nervous when dealing with Imperial Naval encounters as they were the ones who brought him to justice. He will be mum about the real conditions of the moon and the salvage that waits on its surface. The salvage? Nothing less than a crashed Gazelle-class close escort that followed the pirates to this destination. It is his hope that there can be salvage on board the ship. When confronted with his deception, he will quickly try to strike a bargain with the PC’s to share as much as half the salvage they find.


1. The PC’s arrive at the destination and locate the gas giant ahead after a three-day burn. The Gazelle-class escort is none other than the Badger, a ship sold to a local system for protection from pirates. The ship is intact and sitting on a plateau overlooking a lava lake. If the PC’s decide to salvage the ship’s gear they will find a ship full of weapons and assorted military gear worth nearly 2.0MCr on the black market. Since the ship has been missing for decades, this gear popping up on the markets might raise a few eyebrows. As for the crew their remains are here, huddled together in suits showing they had a hull breach that compromised the ship’s life support. The ship’s engine room is mostly destroyed and the ship’s batteries have run dry long ago.

2. As outcome #1 with the following exceptions: The ship crash landed not far from an active lava vent. The engine room broke away from the rest of the ship on impact and it has been covered over in lave rocks for decades. The moon will be VERY unstable as the nearby lava vent is robustly emitting lava and gas. Quakes are common. Roll (2d6: 8+) for a strong quake to occur nearby capable of damaging equipment and players alike.

3. As outcome #2 with the following exceptions: The Badger has shifted from its original crash site as the support under the plateau has been eroded. The ship’s remaining forward section rests at a 30-degree tilt, and rock slides striking the ship are common. Footing will be treacherous and the risk of a greater rock slide under the remaining section are high.

4. As outcome #1 with the following exception. On the second day of salvage, an unknown vessel enters this small system. It is running without its transponders, a well-known tactic of corsairs. If the PC’s shut down operations for a few days and “go silent” they will avoid detection.

5. As outcome #4, except the incoming ships are a Zhodani scout squadron of three Ninz-class scouts. They will detect and hail the PC’s ship and if the PC’s are truthful and claim they are on a legal salvage, they will be left alone. If they are not truthful they will be boarded, searched and the Zhodani will claim salvage rights.

6. As outcome #4, but it will be no less than three 400-ton corsairs. The PC’s will need to be exceptionally quiet and lay low for the four days they refuel and orbit the nearby gas giant.

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