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Brother Orpheo

Ice Pirates

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Leaving the Warp Storm trilogy aside for the moment, and objectively speaking, I was thinking the ice rings encircling the Damaris system might be a good place to establish a mining colony, the intent being to provide potable water to less-hydrated regions of the Expanse.


Damaris doesn't have the resources to stop a Rogue Trader undertaking this Endeavor, but then it's not like she'd be "stealing" anything. More like re-appropriating.


Looking for some suggestions regarding this idea-

  1. Long/short-term setbacks
  2. Opposition
  3. Investment-Profit ratio
  4. Any other considerations?

Thanks in advance for your insights.

Edited by Brother Orpheo

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Gonna be pulling some stuff from my hat


1. Skaadi suddenly appearing, it's gravity-well endangering the operation, Ork-Remnants looking for some 'ead-bashing, ice-field being a pain to navigate, maybe workers getting bored and housing some pirates thus pissing off Damaris


2. None I can think of actually... maybe local suppliers? Did you play Lure of the Expanse and some of their Rivals established the Route from Vaporius maybe using the water from Damaris as a Scapegoat to avoid inquisitorial attention?


3. Depends... If they'll just distribute the water, the ratio is probably not that high, although it could be a nice outpost for more shady operations or as a cover-up (If they established the Vaporius-Route) or they could simply put a nice label on it, lie the blue from the sky and sell it to some nobles as Eldar-Blood or something... many possibilities to be creative here :)


4. Uhm... the commander of that operation needs a nice hat? With a water-bottle?

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1) The cost of shipping Ice - it's a pretty bulk-intensive process, so only water-poor systems would want it, and relatively few (at least in the expanse) are rich enough to pay. Mining outposts, research stations, etc, are not a bad plan, but would mean a freighter doing a slow arc through multiple systems, dropping off a bit each time.


2) As noted, wherever they're getting water from at the moment. Also, if you've played the Damaris adventure, there are likely some surviving ork raiders lurking in the frozen reaches, who are inevitably going to attack any mining operation. Thirdly, the staple monster movie trope - something is frozen in the ice, and your mining activity wakes it up. Either outside the ship (if it's a space kraken type thing) or inside the tanks of water in a gigatanker (if it's smaller, and might clamber out and crawl around inside the ship, drowning the crew one by one....


3) You'd probably not want to tie the dynasty flagship up on a regular water-run, so you need to secure a ship under charter capable of doing it for you (or, if you're really flush, buy one!). Plus you need mining gear - although Damaris can probably produce that, as well as supply you with crew and maintenance, especially if the orbital docks of the bastion are still operable.


Profit? Hmm... depends how much effort you throw into making it difficult, but I'd still call it a minor endeavour.

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Dagnabbit, I done spoiled myself about Damaris. 


Oh well, I was thinking about water and comets and Oort Clouds. Most systems should have an Oort cloud surrounding it, and our voidships enter and exit warp just inside this shell of debris. Apart from rocks, minerals, and such, it should have chunks of ice. Even the most water poor systems should still have a substantial amount of this stuff. 


To supply those parched planets with ice water, all you'd need is a system ship really with an ability to haul around chunks of ice. No need to tie up a voidship to do this. 


The reason why most systems don't do this is that they don't have the infrastructure to support system ships. Vaporius should have a few ice comets in the system, though it'll take quite a while to journey to and from their system's Oort Cloud. If you can set up an orbital processor/dock and have one or two system ships (armed mind you) to alternate between grabbing chunks of ice and hauling it back you'd have a decent investment into the system's economy, infrastructure, and defense. That said, is Vaporius going to be trading you anything worthwhile? Or perhaps the Ecclesiarchy will pay you to do this so that they establish "Water from the Stars" and usurp those priest-kings' authority? 


(Yes, I'm thinking of doing the same whenever I get to Vaporius.) 


As for exporting ice comets, it's something you'd want those NPC free captains to be doing for you. It could be, due to the vagaries of warp travel and crazy solar systems, that it'd be far easier and cheaper to haul ice water from a nearby system instead of spending weeks accelerating/decelerating to the Oort Cloud and then heading back. Even if you establish a mining post in the Oort Cloud to limit the time the ship spends there hacking away at an iceberg the size of Luna. 


Just make sure to boil the water first before you drink it... 

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2: There's something trapped within the ice. Something which, once freed, will thank the miners using the customary 40K hospitality....lots of screaming, blood and guts everywhere followed by a grizzly death. I like the Magnus Grendel's Void Kraken, but it could be something else....something....not friendly.


3: Lots of profit when considering the hive worlds, mining colonies and other such places in need of water.


4: Try to resist the urge to write your name in the know what I'm talking about. Void suits should never be unzipped.

Edited by Roy Stone

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