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Star of Doom

The Star of Doom is the floating battle-station of the Arkaela wildspace fleet, an armored platform capable of travelling to the various crystal spheres where the Tanu dwell.

When seen from the surface of a world, the great ship appears as its namesake: a gleaming, six-pointed star floating in the sky. From closer by in space, or when the ship lands, its true form can be seen as that of a great, six-legged starfish, its black upper armor a carapace of fierce spikes, with a white armored underside.

Star of Doom

Built By: TANU

Used By: TANU

Cost: ? {prohibitive}

Tonnage: 300 tons

Hull Points: 300

Crew: 35/300 {124 weaponeers}

Maneuverability Class: E

Landing - Land: yes

Water: no

Armor Rating: 3

Saves as: Metal +3

Power Type: Cloaking Psionic Helm

Standard Armament:

14 Accelerators - crew 1 each

6 Heavy Catapults - crew 5 each

4 Dual Heavy Ballista - crew 5 each

12 Medium Catapults - crew 3 each

12 Medium Ballista - crew 3 each

2 Bombards - crew 3 each

Cargo Capacity: 120 tons

Ship’s Keel: 290’d. Living area, 540’d. at Base, Ship’s Height: 380’

Interior Description:

Battle Bridge

This section, which hangs beneath the ship’s belly on a single pylon, is actually a separate ship unto itself. Its weight and weapon battery are included in the whole ship’s statistics.

Tons/Hull Points: 25

Crew: 1/25

Maneuverability Class: B

Armor rating: 3

Saves as: Metal +3

Armament: 2 Accelerators, crew 1 each

The Battle Bridge is the brain of the great ship. Hanging within the protective clutches of the Doomstar’s legs, and warded by its Dual ballistas, the bridge is supported by a single pylon anchored deep within the ship’s heart. The pylon itself is coated by a gnomish concoction of rubber-tree sap and tropical sponges, which absorb vibrations and render the bridge crew safe from the effects of a "Ship Shaken" critical hit.

Its exterior is specially silvered Tanu glass, allowing crewmen within to see out in any direction, while displaying a mirrored surface to those outside. The Bridge itself can only be reached by the special teleport pad connected to area 6 on the Crew Deck, or by the ladder which climbs the outside skin of the pylon to the Bridge Anchor room on the Officer’s Deck.

During most operations, the Bridge itself `runs dark’; that is, without any visible interior illumination, thus allowing the various wildspace scanning devices within to function clearly. Only while in the phlogiston or in the presence of human observers will four continual light stones be activated. This does not inconvenience the Tanu in any way, as the psionic helm gives off dim light in the ultraviolet range. The displays of the various control boards are illuminated by strategically placed ‘hot rocks’, which give off light for the convenience of infravision users.

1: The primary, cloaking psionic helm sits in the center of the bridge, within a shallow circular pit. Beside it is a trap door leading down to the Accelerator turret.

2: This is the teleport matrix pad connecting the bridge to the Crew Deck. Teleporting is two-way, though access can be stopped from either side by placing any object made solely of iron onto the pad.

3: This is the `Battle Tank’ from the original Batship, a deep iron cauldron than displays within the relative locations of all helms within 20 hexes of the ship in a 3-D array. The various types of helms appear as different colored lights floating within the black bowl.

4: This is the Arcane Planetary Locator, which projects within the Bridge’s air a 3-D representation of all major celestial objects and their orbits within the crystal sphere occupied by the Doomstar. It only functions while the Bridge `runs dark’.

5: This large control board is the communications station. Run by three gnomes, it is the receiving point for all voicetube message relays from within the ship. Actually, these messages are taken and relayed from the larger voice-tube array in the Communications room on the Officer’s Deck.

6: This panel holds the Star of Doom’s palantir, the speaking stone of the Tanu fleet. The 2’ diameter lump of luminous black gemstone juts from the wall, clutched in the grip of three red glass spikes. The palantir requires the expenditure of 1 psi-strength point to communicate for one round, but it may tune into any or all other palantirs within the same crystal sphere.

7: Weapons Control - this is a special speaking tube station connected directly to all weapons turrets on the ship. Any order called here is heard at all turrets, so that weapons volleys can be coordinated.

8: Captain’s Chair - This thickly padded chair is the Captain’s seat. It can swivel 360’ to survey any angle of the Bridge. In the left armrest is a secret compartment large enough to conceal a shortsword or similar item.

9: These four other seats are for other Bridge crew. All seats on the Bridge have sturdy belts which are used to strap in if the Battle Bridge must detach from the rest of the ship. When the pylon is blown {see Bridge Anchor room for more details}, the Battle Bridge falls away from the upper ship at great speed, causing momentary weightlessness in the Bridge. When the section passes the ship’s knees, the gravity plane reverses, sending all unsecured personnel {or invaders} hurling to the ceiling for 3d8 damage. Under normal procedure, the Bridge achieves its own gravity 1 round later, as it clears the larger ship, dropping all back to the floor for another 3d8.

Ring Deck

1: Dual Ballista turret - These hardpoints are located to protect the airspace beneath the Bridge. Any enemy ship which attempts to enter this area or ram the Bridge will be fired upon by these weapons. There is only a 50% chance {evens on a d12} that these weapons may fire at ships in other locations.

2: Elevators - these platforms link the Ring, Crew, Officer’s, and Hanger Decks, allowing heavy cargo to be moved quickly throughout these areas. It takes 1 round to rise or fall from any deck; there is a weight & size limit of 1 ton. The elevators operate by gnomish hydraulics {the engines are run by giant hamsters}; on this deck the elevators sit atop the mechanisms, 4 feet off the floor.

3: The remaining area of the Ring Deck is open space, to be used as needed for cargo, extra bunk space, etc.

Crew Deck

This is the residence area for the wildspace fleet Legionnaires. The rooms are designed with the different races of crew in mind.

1: These are the sleeping quarters of the Ginselian barbarians. They tend to gather in clan-associations, sharing communal sleeping areas.

2: These are the sleeping rooms of the Tanu. They sleep in no set association; each selects a space and bunkmates for him/herself, and customizes the area to taste. Many rooms contain 2- or 3-level bunks.

3: These are the areas of the gnomes and dwarves. Despite the ban on gimmick-building anywhere but in the Labs {qv.}, the gnomish quarters are an unruly mess.

4: These are large gardens of Arkaelic flora, to assist in recycling the ship’s air and organic waste.

5: Recreation area - Off-duty crewmen gather here to spend spare time in various activities. A large transparent section of the armored wall here shows the vastness of wildspace.

6: Teleport pad room - This guarded room allow access to the Bridge via psionic-based Transfer Portal. By expending 1 psi-strength point, one individual or load of cargo {500lbs} can be teleported in either direction. By placing an object made solely of iron on the pad, the portal is blocked. Note that these portals will function up to a distance of 5 hexes.

7: Armory - This room hold the arms and armor for the crew, a large supply of both glass and steel weapons, armor, boarding party supplies, and other equipment of war.

Officer’s Deck

1: Bridge Anchor Room - This 40’ diameter circular room is the cap for the Bridge support pylon. A trapdoor to one side of the circular walk allows physical access to a ladder which scales the side of the pylon below. The center of the room is a glass dome covering the gnomish bearing-and-pinion apparatus which allows the Bridge to resist a `Ship Shaken’ effect.

2: This control panel is blank, save for one red and one blue ring. Pulling the red ring causes the activation of a glyph of lightning inside the dome, which shatters the supports of the pylon and blasts the Bridge down and away from the rest of the ship. Pulling the blue ring causes the lightning glyph to explode , as well as activating a series of other glyphs which detonate inside the Anchor room: fire {30 pts}, lightning {30 pts}, cold {30 pts}, and Energy Drain. It is possible to pull one ring and dive onto the ladder before the Bridge drops away.

3: This is the base of the control tower which reaches up into the Hanger Deck. The coordination of cargo loading and scout craft activity is performed here. Two ladders lead up to the next tower level.

4: Armory/Storage for the Officer’s deck. Contents include arms, armor, as well as -

5: This is the kitchen area for the crew mess halls. Large grills can support whole beasts on spits: utensil stands and cabinets, cauldrons and ovens line the room.

6: This is the Officer’s mess and activity area. An open space near the wall allows the officers to practice at weapons while others dine. The curved wall is transparent, giving diners a view of wildspace.

7: These are the cooks’ crew quarters.

8: This open area is the crew mess hall. Many tables fill the large room. The curved wall is transparent, offering the diners a view of wildspace.

9: Foundry - This is the Tanu Glass forge on the Star of Doom. Raw Arkaelan soil is heated and transformed into Glass here, to be used as material aboard the ship. There are four vulcaforges in this room, high domes of volcanic rock which are heated from within by magical means. Within each forge is a lump of ensorcelled magma from Mount Voormidurth, which, with specialize psionic manipulation, will heat up to the temperature at which they were originally taken. These lumps are completely extinguished when the Doomstar is passing through the phlogiston, and are then stored in a safe in the High Priest’s Study {room 21 this level}. See the entry for the Vulcaforge in the Tanu Handbook for complete details of these precious psionic items; the powering stones are 1 foot, 2 feet, 2 feet, and 3 feet across respectively. Note: the flagship Star of Doom possesses four such stones, but the other Star-class vessels are not as lucky; the others possess one stone each for their vulcaforges.

10: Storage room - for holding raw material to be forged.

11: Holding room - contains all finished materials before they are distributed or put in storage.

12: Officer’s room -

13: Officer’s room -

14: Officer’s room -

15: Officer’s room -

16: Captain’s room - Amongst its other furnishings, this room has a direct speaking-tube link to the Bridge.

17: Communication room -This is the nerve center of the ship’s speaking-tube network. All speaking tubes are monitored here via large operator’s consoles, which are all linked, and relayed to the appropriate receiver. There is also an auxiliary console connected to all weapons points, in case the direct link in the Bridge fails.

18: Navigation Room - Reached by secret door, this is the navigation center. Maps are consulted, amended, or created here, and stored in fireproof safes. A large central table holds the maps of the current system the Doomstar is in. There is a direct speaking-tube link to the Bridge. Additionally, the auxiliary psi-helm is kept in this room, suspended above the deck by removable chocks. In an emergency, lowering and attaching the spare helm would require 10 rounds.

19: Audience Chamber - this large room is the ship’s meeting room, especially if Andraxas is in residence aboard the great ship. The curved wall is decorated with a fresco of Arkaela, as seen from space.

20: Andraxas’ private chambers - When the god is aboard ship, these are his rooms. Their layout and contents are not common knowledge, and tend to change mysteriously to suit the god’s needs.

21: High Priest’s Study - When the god is aboard, occasionally the senior priest will remain close by for important conference, sleeping in this room.

22: Dreadknight’s Chamber - If a Star-class vessel travels from Arkaelaspace, a Dreadknight will remain in residence in this dark chamber. Each such ship has one specific Dreadknight which 'haunts' it, acting as both a major addition to its security force, and to provide onboard clerics with higher-level spells when the vessel travels the flow or to spheres where Andraxas' influence does not reach. It will appear at the scene of trouble should the Bridge be invaded, or if those with appropriate power call its name. Anyone entering this room without express permission of the god or this spirit will probably... vanish.

23: Armor storage - This room is for storage of excess ship’s armor and deck plates.

Hanger Deck

1: Parts Storage - This 40’ diameter room is the storage area for pre-fabricated ship armor and deck sections. The Tanu smiths who armored the ship and built its frame created a system of 75 modular parts with which to assemble the entire ship. During peaceful travel they are busy forging spares, and the finished pieces are stored here. The doors can only be opened from the walkway above.

2: Control Tower - This structure, reached only by two ladders from the Officer’s Deck below, hangs 15 feet above the Hanger floor and oversees the operations of the Hanger Deck, and coordinates the activities of scout craft and vessels docking with the Star of Doom. One control board bears a palantir shard on a spike, which allows this room to transceive with ships within 12 hexes.

3: Circular Walk -This walkway is really an archer’s platform, protected by a raised wall topped with crenelations {+4 to AC} to fire on invaders who reach the landing bay. There are levers to raise & lower the heavy doors to the Parts Storage chamber. There are also murder holes looking into the Parts Storage room to better fire on any foes who seek shelter there. Should enemies invade the Bay, the access doors will be left slightly open, in an attempt to draw foes into seek shelter there; such enemies will be for a nasty surpise when the trap is sprung, as the doors will lower and archers on the Walk will fill the room with missiles.

4: Cargo Elevators - These are the platforms that move cargo belowdecks.

5: Scout Elevator - This is the section of floor taken up by the heavy duty Scout Elevator when it extends from the Bay Deck above.

6: Hanger Doors - These gates open up along rails to the ceiling, allowing ships up to 75’x 50’x 35’ to enter the Hanger Deck. Each door can be wizard locked for battle.

7: Heavy Catapult Turret - There are 6 of these hardpoints on this deck, sitting atop the joining of each Ship’s Leg. Next to the bulkhead of each turret is the access hatch leading to the Ship’s Leg Corridor leading below.

Bay Deck

1: Scout Elevator - This platform can hoist a ship or object up to 55’x 35’x 10’ from the Hanger Deck to here, up to 25 tonnes in weight. It is powered by a double-wheeled giant hamster engine.

2: Scout deck area - Shuttle craft and scout ships are stored and repaired on this open deck area.

3: Hamster Pens - This enclosed kennel is the giant hamster corral. These gnomish beasts are used for kinetic power in the hamster engines aboard the ship, occasional mounts for landing parties, and in rare instances as food.

4: Cool Box - This large storage shed is magically cooled to preserve certain foodstuffs, and to provide ice for the crew.

5: Staircase - This passage is guarded at this point by 5 crewmen at all times, and allows access to both the Hanger Deck and the tower levels above.

6: Auxiliary Pen - This enclosed pen is for the corralling of any other beasts which must be transported aboard the Doomstar.

Landing Deck Exterior

1: Landing Deck - This smooth surface is for the landing of ships for rapid crew or supply turnaround, preventing traffic in the enclosed Hanger bay during action.

2: Bay Door - This large door opens to the side in 10 foot segments, allowing a ship or object up to 60’x 60’x 10’ to be placed into the Bay room.

3: Docking Tower - This folding glass scaffold, adorned with ferocious protective spikes, drops down and extends, allowing large ships to dock with the Doomstar. They can only be unlocked and operated from the deck side. They are also used as boarding planks {see Ship’s Legs for further details on boarding actions}.

4: Fold-down Tower - This particular tower can be folded completely flat in 10 rounds to allow a ship or large object to be loaded into the Bay room.

5: Bay Room - This large room is used for storage of cargo or, possibly, a small or disassembled ship which cannot be put into the Hanger Deck. If the room is relatively empty, this room and the open deck outside are sometimes used to exercise the giant hamsters. The round walls are peppered with arrow slits through which weapons, psionics, and spells are unleashed on enemy boarding crews. Lastly, this is the preparation area for crews readying to repel enemy ships.

Clerical Deck

1: Priests’ Foyer - The entrance to the Clerical Deck is covered with frescoes of various exploits of wildspace-sailing Tanu heroes. Included is the rescue of Samhein Greystar from the Rock dungeon, and the capture of the Batship. There are two guards here at all times. The door to the upper circular stair can be locked from this side; there is a spyhole in the door.

2: Underpriests’ Quarters - These small rooms are the bunks of the lower-level priests.

3: High Priest’s Quarters - This is the room of the highest ranking priest aboard. It is his duty, aside from spiritual supervision, to oversee dispensing of the ship’s treasury, and guarding its wealth.

4: Ship’s Treasury - This room contains the monetary wealth of the Doomstar, as well as any sacred relics. The reinforced door has three separate locks, along with any spells and wards the high priest might place. Contents:

5: Temple - This is the Doomstar’s temple. A man-sized altar sits on the left of the room’s front, while a small firepit sits to the right. The pit must be kindled for each use, and is vented to the outside. The altar stone is used for the sacrifice of enemies. The curved wall is carved into frescoes of Arkaelan scenery.

6: Medium Catapult turret.

7: Medium Catapult turret - These hardpoints hold two each of these weapons.

8: The Lab - This is the experimentation room of the gnomes. Its walls are reinforced, in case of mishap. There is a small attached closet which can be locked from either side.

Mage’s Deck

1: Each of these suites can accommodate up to three mages and their equipment comfortably, or squeeze as many as seven magicians into a `cozy’ space. Each room has a fixed brazier vented to the outside.

2: Wizard’s Lab - This dark room is the chamber wherein magical experiments, summonings, and research are carried on. The room has a comfortable cot and accouterments for those who must remain in close proximity to their creations or experiments.

Brig Deck

1: Cells - These uncomfortable chambers have no view or vent to the outside. All surfaces are smooth-welded, and there are no pallets or ledges. To make matters worse, the ceiling height is only 4 feet; dwarf- or gnome-sized prisoners find them `close’, while elves, humans, etc. will be unable to stand up. The doors are set against the wall on the outside, meaning there is no way to access the space between door and wall for thief tools, etc. Only a rogue of 16th level or above could attempt to pick the locks, at -40%.

2: Jailer’s office - Always occupied by the jailer, and joined by six guards when any prisoner is present. Levers in this room control the doors’ locks.

3: Secret Room - This is a last-ditch refuge should the ship be taken. It is accessed by secret door behind the access ladder, which swings up if a secret switch is hit. Inside the spacious room, the floor is a collection of secret drawers holding a suit of elven chainmail {nonmagical}, a glass longsword +3, two sleeping bags, two knapsacks, and food and water for 20 man-days. There is also a strange looking wand or device {actually a gnomish wrench}; using it, one can unbolt a 2’x 2’ panel in the wall, granting access to the outside in about two turns.

Conning Tower

This level is just an expanded bombard turret and observation deck. Rounds and smoke powder are kept in a locked cabinet in the center of the room. If the smoke powder detonates, the tower is damaged, but the rest of the ship is protected by the walls of the Brig.

Ship’s Legs

1: Corridor: The access corridors running through the legs are composed of two conveyances: a staircase for climbing toward the main body of the ship, and a gnomish "slide", a glass chute which conveys warriors, 6 per round, down to the next hardpoint, where they stop in a "sandbox", a deceleration pit full of Arkaelic sand and lined with sponges. Weapon rounds can also be fed into these tubes to quickly reload a turret in battle.

2: Inner Struts - The inner web of girders and struts supporting the great ship’s legs are exposed, allowing easy access from the corridors for rapid repair.

3: Heavy Catapult Turret {6 total} - These weapons are detailed as area #7, Hanger Deck.

4: Accelerator Turret {12 total} - These Tanu weapons are tandem mounted, one above the other.

5: Medium Ballista Turret {12 total} - These weapons are also tandem mounted, one above the other.

6: Medium Catapult Turret {6 total} - These are standard weapon turrets.

7: Gravity Plane - This location, also known as the "ship’s knees", is where the Doomstar’s gravity flips. From this point on, the chute in each corridor leading toward the ship’s "feet" has a "sandbox" at each end, but these have only rubber and sponge buffers in their boxes, as this area will switch gravity when the great ship lands on a planet. Also, the staircase is built to be climbable in either gravity condition {ie, there are steps on the ceiling too}.

8: Asteroid grippers - These mechanisms, run by gnomish hydraulics, move the large grappling devices along the inner ridge of each Leg. These arms can grip an asteroid of up to 120 tonnes, or can close to grapple and crush a ship flying within the Legs, inflicting 1 hull point and 1 critical hit for each arm that hits {THAC0 14}. If the Star of Doom tows an asteroid, the spare psi-helm must be ported down and attached to the missile, as such a weight exceeds the maximum of the psi-helm. This second helmsman will keep the asteroid at a neutral weight, allowing the Doomstar to control all movement; the seat is always accompanied by a temporary guard "camp" of at least 10 Tanu warriors. It takes 10 rounds to attach or detach such an arrangement, and this must be figured into attacks when the asteroid is used as a weapon {ie., if dropped on an enemy town or camp on a planet below.}.

Boarding Actions

The Star of Doom travels at spelljamming speeds with the Conning Tower leading, trailing its long legs behind it. However, its rigging is designed to allow the ship to maneuver into any facing while at tactical speeds. In order to ram, the ship swings so that its legs lead; this maneuver requires the expense of 1 SR point, the same as a facing change. Also, the asteroid grapples are moved into the open position to protect the Bridge. The pointed leg tips act as piercing rams; a missed ship under the required measurements could pass between them, but the asteroid grippers would then attack as a grappling ram {see above}. The Conning Tower is a piercing ram as well, but its use brings enemies close to the vital parts of the ship.

There are three ways in which the ship can initiate boarding:

The bases of the legs are also discharge points for warriors in the appropriate boarding actions, leaving the vital areas of the ship out of immediate reach of enemies and allowing the ship’s weapons to fire at the opponent ship. Each leg hitting can disgorge six warriors per round.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While the Star of Doom remains the flagship of the Tanu Fleet, other vessels of the ‘Star’ class have been constructed. The ill-fated ship "Star of Morning" {the "Morningstar"} still leads the fleet of Abbadon Doomgiver in the Astromundi Cluster; the "Star of Greyhawk" {the "Greystar"} made its maiden voyage after the seventh Grand Combat; and the "Star of Krynn" {the "Dragonstar"} is currently being constructed in the secret shipyards on Arkaela. Also in the planning stages are Star-class ships for the Tanu colonies of Vodon, Britainia, Greatspace, and the Fortress of Controlling Power.