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Starforged - R&S Ship's Log #4: Necessary Action

Editor's Note: Ironsworn: Starforged was created by Shawn Tomkin. It can be found on DTRPG. Rise & Shiningstar was written by Tavon Gatling for Starforged and can be found on his Ko-fi.


Founders’ Glory Battlecruiser

Shiningstar Vicinity

Flint's Edge Sector

Terminus Space

The Founders’ Glory, the newest and largest battlecruiser in the Terminus Fleet, arrived in Shiningstar space, a silhouette against the dark backdrop of space. The blue-white emissions from its six massive engines created a halo glow around its stern.

“Admiral, we have arrived," a young lieutenant reported from the navigation station.

Admiral Anorra Thorn acknowledged the report and turned to the captain. "Captain Hadley, order all batteries to target the station. Fire on my command."

Thorn leaned back in the command chair as Hadley moved to the ship's communication system. She watched the massive black iron ship drifting through space and felt a pang of regret for what she and her crew were about to do. Shiningstar was a piece of history, a relic from the time of the Ancestors. She was well aware that the ancient generation ship would not survive bombardment for long.

"Sometimes the necessary thing is the hardest to do," she said quietly to herself, and issued the order to open fire.

Begin a Session

Shiningstar Station,

Flint's Edge Sector,

Terminus Space.

The corridor was a hellscape of bodies and dying vines. Several corpses seemed to be bulging in their middles as if something was growing within. Their skin, some dark and others light, had taken on a green pallor. Bright verdant veins snaked across their faces and exposed hands. I shivered and swallowed the bile threatening to spew out of my own stomach. My fingers cramped from their death-grip on the hilt of my pistol.

I was suddenly knocked into the bulkhead as a staccato of impacts rocked the station. Before I could regain my balance, another set of blasts jolted the ship. I fell to my knees on the bloodstained floor, somehow staying upright. There was no doubt in my mind what was happening—something was shooting at Shiningstar. I wasn’t opposed to the destruction of the plague this place created, but I certainly didn’t want to go with it.

"Who the hell is shooting at us?" I wondered aloud as I regained my feet and moved as quickly as I could down the corridor.

Undertake an Expedition

When I reached the door, I found the lock disengaged. A severed arm, clad in a white lab coat, blocked the door from closing completely. It took a bit of effort, but I managed to open the door wide enough to slip inside the lab.

I heaved a sigh of relief when I spotted the Antivenom Blanket—a silver and green metallic body bag with a series of screens, hoses, and buttons attached to a metal plate on the front. I gathered it up in a roll beneath my arm and turned to head back to the Sparrowhawk.

A series of hard hits wracked the old station. The ancient black iron screeched as a low thud reverberated through the deck. I stumbled forward, slipping through the door and back into the hallway. My body slammed into the bulkhead opposite the door as another staccato blast of heavy fire shook the station. I slid to the ground in a daze and felt blood trickle down my forehead.

I didn’t have time to worry about superficial head injuries because I quickly found myself gasping for breath. A rush of frigid air hit me, and in its wake was a vacuum so strong it threatened to rip the bundled Antivenom Blanket from my arms. My lungs screamed as I struggled to my feet and tried to move down the corridor toward the lift. I stumbled forward when the vacuum suddenly ended, releasing my body from its pull. The metallic clanging of blast shields dropping into place resounded through the hallway.

Red lights began to flash in intermittent bursts all along the corridor. An automated warning blared over hidden speakers, ordering evacuation. Shiningstar shuddered and groaned like a dying beast as I forced my body to take orders from my addled brain. I felt an overwhelming urge to go faster, as if something in me knew that it was only a matter of time before the ship broke up with me in it. My combat suit and rebreather were not designed for the rigors of deep space. I would be dead within minutes, if I even survived the ship’s death.

Undertake an Expedition Result

Expedition Progress Update

Finish an Expedition

Begin Scene Challenge

Face Danger to Reach the Elevator

I ran the rest of the way down the corridor, using my free hand to keep myself upright as the station continued to rock and shake with each new barrage. When I reached the elevator, it didn’t respond to my furious pressing of the call button. I could hear the sound of sparks through the metallic doors and knew there was no use; I would have to climb down.

Using the dagger I keep in my boot, I pried open the doors enough to get a grip on each one, and then pushed with all the strength I had left. The doors barely budged at first, but finally I wedged my body through and pushed them open the rest of the way.

The sounds of electrical damage were louder inside the lift shaft, and I could see bright sparks of light in the darkness above me as the hydraulic lift that moved the elevator up and down the shaft tried, and failed, to activate. There was no ladder on the inside of the shaft, I had no choice but to try shimmying my way down the cable to the first level, probably forty-five feet below.

Face Danger Result

Scene Challenge Update

Face Danger To Descend the Cables

Holding onto the Antivenom Blanket with one arm, I used my legs and free arm to slowly descend the metal lift cable. My heart was pounding from the exertion, and each time the station was hit with another volley, I feared I would be thrown off.

Fifteen feet from the bottom, my grip on the cable failed, aided by a renewed onslaught. I dangled upside down from the cable, blood rushing to my head, unable to slow my descent. The last hour flashed through my mind, and I cursed my terrible luck. How had I survived being attacked by zombie plant monsters, only to fall to my death in an elevator shaft? I refused to let this be my fate.

I unlocked my legs and flipped through the air for the last ten feet. I managed to land on my back, slamming into the stationary lift car and knocking the wind from my lungs. My vision went blurry and darkened at the edges. My ears rang from the impact of my head on metal. A part of me wanted to lie on that hard surface until the ship broke apart around me. Another, the stubborn survivalist in me, demanded I get my pitiful ass up and back to the Sparrowhawk.

With a groan, I willed my body to move. Every movement hurt, every step made me wince in pain and curse. Something inside me was broken, but I hurt so badly all over my body I couldn’t pinpoint what it might be.

The lift's emergency hatch was simple to pop and drop through. I used the dagger to pry open the elevator door and stepped out onto the first level. I could see the Sparrowhawk sitting in its berth from where I was and breathed a bit easier—until I spotted the two vine-covered forms beating on the hull of my ship with their deformed hands.

Face Danger Result

Resource Update

Endure Harm

Resource Update

Scene Challenge Update

Face Danger To get into Position

I drew my pistol and crept forward through the open hangar doors and into the hangar itself. The creatures were intent on their assault and did not hear me advance. I knew I was in no condition to fight two of these creatures; one had nearly been the death of me.

I crouched behind the forward landing strut of an abandoned medical ship about thirty feet away from the creatures. With the ramp up, there was no way I could get to the ship without being seen. Even if I did, I’d have to wait for the cargo bay to open, and the movement would garner unwanted attention. I had to get rid of the things.

Another heavy salvo struck Shiningstar, sending me sprawling to the grated floor. Thankfully, the sound of sundering iron kept my muffled cry of surprise and pain from reaching the plant zombies.

Face Danger Result

Scene Challenge Update

Secure an Advantage to distract the Creatures

Face Danger to Reach the Ship

A piece of pipe clattered to the floor beside me during the onslaught. A spark of inspiration flashed into my mind, and I scooped it up as I rose to my feet. I would only get one shot at this, and if it didn’t work, I would have to fight my way to the ship and hope I survived. I didn’t have much hope of surviving two of the zombies, but I clutched the piece of black iron dangling on my chest and took a deep breath.

The metal pipe flew through the air and clattered on top of a stack of wooden crates fifty feet away. The first creature stopped pounding on my ship and looked toward the sound, its vine-covered head cocked in an odd imitation of a glowcat. The pipe fell off the crate it had landed on, and the sound of metal on metal echoed through the quiet hangar. Both plant zombies shambled toward the sound, giving me the opportunity I needed.

I activated the cargo ramp from my wrist-mounted console and sprinted the remaining distance. I leapt into the cargo hold and slammed my hand on the emergency seal, activating an atmospheric energy shield that would keep us safe from the zombies and the vacuum of space long enough to get the ramp closed again.

I ignored the shouts of surprise from the two scientists and dashed through the familiar corridors toward the Sparrowhawk’s cockpit.

“Tanner! Get the engines fired up! We have to get out of here, now!” I shouted to the utility bot. I knew he could hear me even in the cockpit and would start the engine initiation sequence. This wasn’t the first time we’d needed to leave in a hurry.

Face Danger Result

Face Danger to Escape the Hangar

The familiar hum and rattle of the Sparrowhawk’s engines reverberated through the deck as I slipped into my flight chair. Tanner buzzed through the air behind me, connecting its interface tool with the co-pilot’s console beside me.

Gather Information

“Run a scan, Tanner. See if you can’t find out who’s out there shooting.”

The bot beeped, and the lights on its domed body began to flash red, green, and yellow. A green text readout flashed on my HUD within seconds—“Single ship, battlecruiser class. Registered name: Founders’ Glory.”

“What do you want to bet that’s Ash Durant’s doing? Trying to clean up the mess his money made. We have to go now, Tan. They’re gonna blow this place to particles.”

Gather Information Result

Resource Update

As if on cue, the Sparrowhawk shuddered as Shiningstar was bombarded with a renewed salvo of heavy cannon fire. The smaller ship’s landing jets fired up, rocking the ship slightly as it came free of its berth on the hangar floor. Explosions rocked the Sparrowhawk as a large portion of the hangar wall was shredded by a concentration of red energy. The atmospheric shield that prevented the vacuum of zero-gravity from dragging anything not bolted down into the blackness of space flickered, then collapsed in a sizzle of blue-white energy.

I switched over to the propulsion engines and ramped up the throttle as quickly as was safe within the now volatile atmosphere of the dying generation ship. More cannon fire ripped into Shiningstar’s hull, shredding even more of the ancient black iron. I piloted the Sparrowhawk through a ball of fire and iron shards and fought to keep my heading in the turbulence. Alarms and Tanner’s frightened squeals filled my ears, but I shoved them out, focusing only on the quickly collapsing hangar exit ahead. The ship shuddered again as a loose panel of iron slammed into the right wing, sending it careening down and to the right with the impact. I fought it back to level and punched the throttle. If we didn’t get free of Shiningstar’s death throes, we would be destroyed along with it.

Finally, we cleared the destruction. I didn’t stick around to watch as the rest of Shiningstar imploded but immediately activated the E-drive and launched the Sparrowhawk into the darkness of the slipstream headed back to the routes of charted space.

Face Danger Result

Scene Challenge Update

Vankas Outpost,


Flint's Edge Sector,

Terminus Space.

A day later, we arrived in orbit above the jungle planet of Demeter, the only settled planet in the Flint’s Edge sector. The verdant green canopy of the near planet-wide jungle was only broken by the wide blue and green rivers winding like giant snakes across the surface.

Vankas Outpost was expecting us, which told me Omega had gotten my message. The flight coordinator brought us to an emergency landing platform near the run-down hospital building. I sent the two rescued scientists, Althea and Mae, to aid the Vankas doctors in using the Antivenom Blanket to cure Omega. In the meantime, I decided to open the crate I’d salvaged on the way to Shiningstar.

Secure an Advantage to Open the Crate

Gather Information on the Contents

I had Tanner attach itself to the crate’s locking terminal, and the clever bot quickly had the lid unlocked. A cloud of what I thought was steam billowed into the cargo bay. When it cleared, I realized it wasn’t steam at all. Rather, it was cryogenic exhaust. The layer of frost that covered Tanner’s forward viewing sensors and the tingles across my face gave it away.

I swiped my hand through the exhaust, clearing my view into the crate. What was inside was both fascinating and concerning. Frozen in the bottom of the crate was a skeletal creature. It had the wool of one of the grazing animals I’d once seen on a far-flung planet on the other side of the Forge. Sheep, they were called, and supposedly originated on our home planet. But where those creatures had been fluffy, this one’s wool was matted against its bones, giving it the appearance of a mummified corpse. It could, I told myself, be exactly that. Though why someone would be carrying a mummified sheep across the Forge, I couldn’t begin to guess.

The closer I inspected the creature, I realized it wasn’t a sheep at all. It had eyestalks protruding from its cranium, like some kind of insect, and the razor sharp beak of a predatory bird.

“What the hell is this thing?” I mused. Tanner beeped and scanned the contents of the container. My data module quickly supplied the answer: Unidentified creature, shows signs of extreme genetic modifications. Blood tests required. Internal ID: Black Iron Holdings #4508320.

“Black Iron Holdings?”

I’d never heard of them. I asked Tanner to do some research when we next docked at Deception and see what could be found. In the meantime, I had the bot seal the container, then hid it beneath an old tarp in one of the corners of the cargo hold. Something told me I didn’t want this information getting out just yet. Part of me wanted to space the crate as soon as we left Demeter. Another part of me, the part that often gets me into trouble, wanted to know more about the strange bug-sheep-bird creature.

Gather Information Result

Resource Update


There was nothing I could do with my newly acquired oddity for now, so I settled into checking over the hull of the Sparrowhawk. She had sustained mostly minor abrasions and scoring from our daring escape from the dying generation ship, but the right wing’s in-atmosphere rudder would need to be replaced soon. I noticed a slight drift when we entered Demeter’s atmosphere, so I wasn’t surprised by this. Honestly, we were lucky that hull plating hadn’t done more substantial damage.

“Valkyrie?” a voice called behind me as I was climbing down from the hull.

“That’s me,” I answered, dropping to the ground in front of a tall woman with braided white hair.

“Omega is stable. He’s asking to see you.”

Vow Progress Update

Fulfill Your Vow

The air was stuffy and close inside the dilapidated hospital building. I considered putting in my rebreather just to have some clean smelling air in my lungs, but decided against it. The white haired woman led me down the main corridor and into a small room at the far end.

Omega, or what remained of him, lay cocooned in the green and silver Antivenom Blanket inside a medical pod. His head was propped on several pillows, and his eyes were alert, despite him looking very much like a skeleton. The woman left, shutting the door behind her.

“Thank you, Talia,” Omega said in a whisper. “I almost didn’t make it.”

“Despite our differences, I consider you the closest thing I have to a friend. I am glad I was able to help.”

“I feared after our last meeting, you’d ignore me.”

“I owe you a lot, Creed. I am still unhappy with how you handled that last job, but I know you had your reasons.”

“I consider your vow fulfilled, Ironsworn,” Creed smiled slightly as he said the traditional words of fulfillment.

Fulfill Your Vow

I gripped the black iron pendant hanging around my neck and nodded solemnly. I don’t know why I still held to the old ways of the Ironsworn. Many no longer did, but it had become an integral part of my code of honor.

“When you’ve recovered, I’ve got something I think you’re going to want to see,” I said, knowing that if anyone could help me find out who, or what, Black Iron Holdings was, it’d be Omega.

“I always love when you bring me presents, Talia,” the older man smiled and breathed deeply.

I chuckled at the old joke. “Someone has to keep you young, old man.”

We both laughed, and whatever tension might have been between us seemed to evaporate. It was good to have a friend in the Forge.

“Now, tell me what happened at Shiningstar. The scientists you brought back seemed terrified.”

“That’s a long story.”

“I’ve got no place to be.”

I laughed and sat in the rickety wooden chair beside the med-pod. “Alright, but you won’t believe me.

Creature Creation Using Maze Rats


Thank you for reading my plathrough of Tavon Gatling's Rise & Shiningstar adventure for Starforged! I had a blast playing it, and if you're looking for an adventure starter for your next Starforged campaign, I highly recommend this!

Next week we begin our game of One Shot in the Dark, a rules ultra-lite classic-style RPG by Tale of the Manticore.


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