Archives of Nethys

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Deities | Systems & Settlements


Planet of Ghosts

Source Starfinder #25: The Chimera Mystery pg. 62
Location Near Space
Diameter ×3/4; Mass ×3/4; Gravity ×1-1/3
Atmosphere Thin
Day 52 hours; Year 523 days

By the time explorers affiliated with the Pact Worlds first came across the lonely, haunted planet of Gadravel on the frontier of Near Space, it was already an ancient graveyard. The trench-like scars across Gadravel, visible from space, hint at an ancient destruction wreaked by some unknown force or super weapon that also wiped out every living thing on the planet. In the decades since its rediscovery, the unquiet spirits of Gadravel’s slaughtered populace have swallowed a dozen scientific research expeditions and countless opportunists and explorers. Scavengers come in search of forgotten technology or unclaimed plunder, while pirates seek refuge among the silent streets of abandoned cities, hoping to shake off pursuit by bounty hunters. Those who alight on the planet’s surface and leave within an hour or two often escape with fantastic riches and intriguing components of baffling alien technology. Those who linger too long are devoured by the ghosts and remain on the planet for a torturous eternity.
Gadravel is the solitary world orbiting the star now identified as Iolanchee. Ruined temples at the center of several of the planet’s cities seem to be dedicated to a small pantheon of unknown deities associated with the sun and Gadravel’s four moons, now all gone. A jagged, spinning shard of the largest of these satellites still orbits dangerously close to Gadravel’s surface, while the other three crashed into the planet untold eons ago—presumably in the same cataclysm that devastated Gadravel—to carve the deep chasms that mar the landscape. Very little atmosphere remains, leaving Gadravel prey to countless meteorites and comet strikes that further push the planet toward oblivion.
In addition to these many craters, Gadravel’s surface shows signs of being the center of a terrible conflict: constructed fortifications and trenches crisscross ancient battlefields, and pieces of technology that many believe came from engines of war litter the city streets. No one is certain if the populace fought among themselves or were conquered by an outside force. Beyond obscure illustrations in a few scattered texts whose strange characters defy translation, Gadravel’s history has been lost. That said, anyone who ventures to the planet’s surface soon gets to meet Gadravel’s former inhabitants.
Gadravel’s unquiet dead appear as floating, alien skulls cloaked in mantles of darkness. Under ordinary conditions, they seek only to consume the life force of visitors and add them to their undead legions, but scattered reports of unusual behavior toward explorers who bear aeon stones hints at an intriguing possibility regarding the doomed planet’s fate, and the entity that may have delivered it. The ghosts of Gadravel treat anyone bearing an aeon stone with great reverence, and obey anyone with more than three aeon stones as if they were a great leader or even a god. Word of this unusual behavior has started to circulate among the criminals of Near Space, and more and more ships are venturing there every year with malicious intent.