Archives of Nethys

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Deities | Systems & Settlements


Unstable Engineered World

Source Starfinder #32: The Starstone Blockade pg. 62
Location The Vast
Diameter ×2; Mass ×10; Gravity ×2-1/2 (planet), ×1 (ring)
Atmosphere Toxic (planet), none (ring)
Day 120 hours; Year 365 days

The Pact Worlds and the Veskarium have recently collaborated on the Riyethira Expedition, a joint exploratory venture to the recently discovered planet Riyethira in the Vast, co-led by Castrovel’s Qabarat University of Xenoarchaeology and Xenoanthropology and the Imperial Academy of Xenosciences on Vesk Prime. Led by the highly respected director of the IAX, Brigadier Sarokama-Orodi (LN female vesk operative), the expedition was the first xenoarchaeological team to arrive at Riyethira, and its initial findings have just been published.

The sole planet orbiting an unnamed red dwarf star in the Vast, Riyethira is a perilous terrestrial world of smoking volcanoes and boiling seas of lava. The planet is highly unstable geologically, and the rampant volcanism transforms the heat-blasted surface on a regular basis, eradicating all traces of any life that might have once inhabited it. However, it’s not the planet itself that has captured the attention of scholars and explorers, but rather its ring: a single, solid band encircling the world that holds the ruins of an ancient civilization.

The expedition has confirmed that Riyethira’s ring did not form naturally; it was artificially constructed in a feat of incredible stellar engineering. The planet itself may also have been terraformed by intelligent hands—though its current volcanic state was likely not the intention of its creators. Riyethira’s current state, and the ruined condition of the structures on the surface of its ring, appear to be the result of massive planetary bombardments that fractured the planet’s crust, but the structure of the ring itself seems to have miraculously survived these attacks undamaged. The ring orbits Riyethira at a distance that gives it standard gravity, though it currently has no atmosphere. The expedition’s scientists have concluded that both the ring and the ruins upon it are millions of years old, though the distorting effects of the Gap make a more exact determination of age impossible.

Early forays into the ruins have yielded evidence of a highly evolved, non-humanoid culture with access to powerful magic, advanced technology, and interstellar travel. Though Riyethira’s inhabitants are now long gone, the expedition has reported finding multiple large, crustacean-like robots scattered throughout the parts of the ruins the expedition has explored. Their purpose is unknown, and the majority of these robots are severely damaged and nonfunctioning, but the expedition has recovered a handful of complete specimens. The robots are currently inactive, but their power-transmission networks are still intact, and it might be possible for the expedition team to reactivate them—and perhaps learn much more about Riyethira and its inhabitants than they would otherwise be able to. One theory that Brigadier Sarokama-Orodi hopes to put to rest, one way or another, posits that Riyethira is a relic of the Sivv Dominion, a once-disputed ancient interstellar civilization that most scholars now agree existed in the distant past, but about which very little is known. If these structures are confirmed to be of sivv origin, much could be learned about their long-dead empire.