STA Mission Report 12 – A Forest Apart pt 2

Adventure Source: A Forest Apart – Published Adventure

Meetup Link:

Game Date: August 8 2020

Session Post: No Session Post

Teaser: On the frontier of Federation space, the Player Characters encounter a vessel of unknown origin: a forested geodesic dome. The damaged craft appears to be well over 1,000 years old and foreign to the Milky Way Galaxy. It does not respond to hails and no intelligent life readings are detected.

Active Characters:

  • Cmd. O’Nnyah (Raven) (Away Team)
  • Cmd. Xedrik (Trevor) (Away Team)
  • Lt. Cmd. Sivath (Garrett)
  • Lt. Cmd. Reittan Andreas (Jon) (Away Team)
  • Lt Cmd. Taemin Rahn (Garrett) (Away Team)
  • Lt. Asha (Jaime) (Away Team)
  • Lt. Kirkuurzhaav th’Zoarhi (Trevor)
  • Lt. Cmd. Sivath (Garrett)
  • Lt. Oqwadel (Raven)
  • Chief Petty Officer Winston Emmet (Kelly) (Away Team)
  • Chief Petty Officer Dallas Brenner (Jon)

Important NPCs:

  • Captain T’Kor – The Interface
  • Ckcclwlttc – A member of the insectiod race, the Jahan !Xu

Notable Information: The Forest ship comes from a planet where millennium ago two astronauts crash landed. One astronaut died but the other merged with the newly sentient trees to become the First Tree.

As the sun of their home system started to die, the trees build the Forest ship and sent a colony of trees out into the stars to find they promised land, the astronaut’s home, Albali Prime.

Albali Prime has reverted to medieval level of civilization and are a very peaceful people. It seems that at some point in their past they were much more advanced but suffered some sort of catastrophe and nearly destroyed themselves.

The Trees land on Albali Prime and are accepted by the inhabitants, thanks to the story telling preparation from Lt. Asha and the work of the rest of the Kimura Away Team.

The Jahan !xu are cured of their addiction to the Tree’s sap, and their neurodegenerative disease, and a new home is found for them in a nearby asteroid belt.

Mission Recap: Lt. Asha has beamed over to the Forest ship with the Jahan !Xu, Ckcclwlttc in the ionized container that is designed to keep him in phase and able to communicate.

She catches up to the rest of the Away Team as they are approaching the center of the ship, near the area with the healthy trees. The forest erupts into a new song, bringing the Away Team to it’s knees. After a couple of minutes, the music stops and the Gardeners in the area suddenly move towards the Away Team and surround them.

One of the Gardeners takes Captain T’Kor by the hand and starts to lead him towards an open seedpod. He pauses for a few moments, and then, over the protests of several crew members, he allows the Gardener to lead him to an open seedpod.

The seedpod closes once he is inside. A couple of minutes later, the pod opens and the music of the forest changes. Captain T’Kor steps out and speaks:

“I am the oldest in the Cycle from the First. What you see is all that remains of a once vast and beautiful forest, the last of our kind. You invade our ark, murder us, demons from the void, parasites all. Even now your servants continue to harvest our spirit. We feel them burrowing ever deeper for our life force. There is a word for this in your barbarian tongue: genocide.
You shall be brought before the First Tree to be judged to determine if you shall be composted for your crimes and become fuel for the ark and food for the forest. The Interface will lead you to the First Tree”

Captain T’Kor then starts walking towards the center of the dome, to the heart of the forest and the ruins there. The trees in this area are very healthy, and the air in the area is highly charged with static, having an unfortunate effect on Cmd. O’Nnyah’s fur. At the edge of the bioelectric field, a chorus of clicking can be heard, and the Gardeners move off and begin stomping on the Jahan !Xu that are being phased in at the edge of the field. The Away Team manages to convince the Interface (Captain T’Kor) to have the Gardeners stop killing the Jahan !Xu as they will be able stop the addiction that is causing them to seek out the healthy trees so they can consume the sap. Ckcclwlttc is able to convince the other Jahan !Xu to stop feeding on the trees for a short time until the Away Team can devise a way to spread the cure of the addiction. They do inject several of the Jahan !Xu in the immediate area with the cure.

The Away Team is brought before the First Tree, It is in the central courtyard of an ancient temple and is 116 meters tall, with a trunk that is over 12 metres in diameter. On its trunk is a humanoid face and the fingers of one hand. The eyes of the face in the tree open and blink. The mouth never moves but the music of the forest changes. The Interface’s head tilts to one side, as if listening to the music.

Lt. Asha and Dr. O’Nnyah talk to the First Tree at length. Several things factor into the conversation to help convince the First Tree of their innocence.
They saved the seedling that got knocked over as they were travelling through the forest.
They did not enter or disturb the burial mound.
They were able to demonstrate that they could stop the Jahan !Xu from feeding on the trees and are confident that a full cure for them can be developed.

This is enough to convince the First Tree that they are innocent and, indeed, will be able help the forest ship. They agree to aid in increasing the energy available to power and repair the dome’s superluminal motion. They aren’t successful in figuring out exactly how the ship can move at faster than light speeds though.

Lt. Asha and Captain T’Kor/The Interface stay behind on the Forest ship, and the rest of the Away Team returns to the Kimura. Arrangements are made to ionize the rest of the dome so the Jahan !Xu can be phased in, and an aerosolized version of the treatment is set up and distributed to them to deal with the addiction.

Dr. O’Nnyah is successful in coming up with a cure for the neurodegenerative disease as well, but cannot come up with an easy method of distribution. Each Jahan !Xu will need to be injected individually. They are able to beam them over to the Kimura and start arranging for that to be done.

At the same time, an Engineering team has gone over to the Forest ship and successfully managed to hook several of the Kimura’s batteries to the seedpod’s bioelectric interface.

The crew also discovers that the planet that the Sentient Trees are planning to go to is Albali, which is home to a pre-warp civilization. They begin a search to see if they can locate a suitable alternative planet for the trees. During the search, a signal is picked up from Albali, which the Sentient Trees also pick up, pretty much ending any chance of convincing them to go anywhere else as it cements their belief that it is their promised land.

Lt. Asha discovers that the home world of the Trees is Shahana, there was a humanoid species that evolved first and reach a civilization level similar to that of Earth’s Aztecs. The humanoids cleared forests to make way for their cities and temples but then died out for reasons unknown, leaving behind ruins and at a genetic level in the trees, a deep distrust of non-botanical lifeforms.

Thousands of years later, two astronauts crash-landed on the planet as the trees were beginning to develop sentience. One astronaut was killed in the crash. The other was injured and leaned against the trunk of a young tree, accepting that he would die soon. The curious tree sent a shoot into the base of the astronauts neck and connected directly with his consciousness, and the First Tree was born.

Millennia later, as their sun began to die, the trees realized that they needed to leave their planet and built a ship and sent a colony of trees into the starts to find their promised land, the home of the long lost astronaut.

The crew decides to go to Albali ahead of the Trees, knowing that they can get there almost a full day before the Trees do. Lt. Asha beams back to the Kimura, leaving Captian T’Kor behind with a security guard so they can stay in communication.

Once they make orbit, they are able to narrow down that the signal came from a sparsely populated valley nestled between two mountain ranges. The valley is barren of trees despite fertile soil and ample water being available.

A landing party beams down to investigate, disguising themselves as natives, which is a challenge for Dr. O’Nnyah, but with the help of a new experimental subdermal holoprojector, is accomplished.

They quickly make contact with some of the locals and get invited to meet “the Library” and participate in a tea and story exchange, which goes quite well, with Lt. Asha handling the story telling portion of the exchange.

The story they are told is about a forest that grew in the valley and how the people forgot their love of the forest and almost destroyed themselves. The little girl who tells them the story offers to take them to the cave where the story is. The Library will be arriving at the cave a little later to recount the stories of their people for those who have come of age. This is a seasonal gathering, initiating their young into the story trade. Even those without children attend.

At the cave the girl Narabal shows them a half-buried seedpod, a meter tall, made of metal and organic material. Living roots extend from the bottom and into nearby pools of water. A delicate seedling – a red-leafed tree – is
visible through a small window. Petroglyphs on the wall depict a vast forest in the valley. Narabal says the Library heard the seedpod sing a beautiful melody once long ago.

While some of the Away Team accompanies Narabal around the cave, and Lt. Cmd. Andreas teaches her how to play the harmonica, other members take some readings with the tricorder and determine that the signal they detected came from the seedpod, it is approximately 10,000 years old, it isn’t alien to Albali Prime, and it shows traces of antibodies to a weaponized biological agent. Comparing it to the readings they got of the mummified remains on the Forest ship, it shares some of the same DNA code. That humanoid came from Albali Prime. The First Tree is a blending of the other humanoid from Albali Prime and the botanical lifeforms from the planet the astronauts landed on.

Once the Library and the children and their families show up, the Library has each child tell their story. Narabal tells the story of the strangers coming to her homestead. The Library then asks the visitors to tell a story.

Lt. Asha weaves a fascinating story incorporating some of the recent events that have occurred with the forest tale of the Albali, filled with hope and promise. She lays the groundwork for the impending arrival of the Sentient Trees the following day, without ever actually saying that they are arriving, but still managing to instill a sense of calm and acceptance if such an event were to occur.

The Forest Dome does arrive the next day, initially causing some distress, but then acceptance as it lands in an open stretch of fields. The Gardeners emerge from their seedpods and begin work, Captain T’Kor/the Interface emerges from the forest and makes a moving speech about their travels and their hopes to be able to live together in harmony.

Once things have settled down on the planet, the Captain returns to the Kimura with the landing party, the Doctor and her team are able to successfully restore him to his original condition, and they find a nice asteroid field not to far away for the Jahan !Xu to call home.

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