Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder RPG (1st Edition) Starfinder RPG Pathfinder RPG (2nd Edition)

Deities | Systems & Settlements


The molten mystery

Source Starfinder #40: Planetfall pg. 62
Location The Vast
Diameter x1/2; Mass x2; Gravity x1
Atmosphere Toxic
Day 174 days; Year 261 days

Weydana-1 appears on its surface to be a barren and burning hellscape. Active volcanoes, lava flows, and impact craters mar its rocky surface, which can reach temperatures of up to 800° F during the day, dropping to a frigid -300° F at night. This unforgiving environment might suggest that Weydana-1 can’t support life, but a thriving ecosystem flourishes on the planet’s surface; creatures adapted to this hellish environment, such as insectile magnaws that dwell in lakes of bubbling lava, lizard-like bioelectric turntails, and the aptly named silicanid (which has quickly become a popular pet in the Veskarium and Pact Worlds).
Perhaps even more surprisingly, recent deep-surface scans by AbadarCorp mapping drones have revealed a vibrant, silicon-based ecosystem flourishing just beneath Weydana-1’s surface. The mapping drones also uncovered a subterranean, weblike formation of lava tubes threading through much of the planet’s subsurface. Advanced imaging of the walls of the tunnels found intricate patterns of dots, loops, and whorls burned into nearly every inch of the curved walls. These markings are unquestionably of intelligent design, carved nearly 1,500 Pact Standard years ago, and are invaluable evidence that Weydana-1 was once inhabited by intelligent life.
The scientists at AbadarCorp, fascinated by the momentous discovery, sent a squad of incorporeal scouts onto Weydana-1 to conduct an in-person expedition of the lava-tube maze. The scouts studied the tunnels and carvings meticulously, making another crucial discovery during their exploration: residual life signatures, present in every lava tube, matched those of inhabitants of the Plane of Fire. Following up on these scans with powerful retrocognition spells, the scouts were able to glean more information on these long-gone creatures in a series of fleeting psychic impressions of Weydana-1 as it had been while inhabited by the mysterious beings.
The psychic flashes revealed that the dominant species that inhabited the lava tubes were indeed intelligent fire elementals, who had potent psychic power. These sapient elementals enslaved a smaller, apparently weaker race of fire elementals, who lived alongside them in the tunnels. This master-slave relationship between elementals has not yet been observed on the Plane of Fire. None of these ancient elemental species had been seen prior to the AbadarCorp scouts’ retrocognition, nor do they appear in any accessible accounts of beings that have traveled to or from the Plane of Fire.
Now with a place to start, AbadarCorp’s mystic dataminers scrubbed the Akashic Record and came to the conclusion that the lava tubes’ elemental denizens did not deliberately choose Weydana-1 as their destination—they crash-landed there in a starship that the mystics posit may have been made entirely of plasma, and the total population of the elementals was actually no more than two dozen. AbadarCorp analysts have begun the process of determining the cause of the collapse of the fire elementals’ resultant settlement. So far, no sign of surviving fire elementals has been found on Weydana-1.
Whether other such psychic elementals once explored the galaxy—or if they do even now—remains a mystery.