What kind of trice-damned fool chases a fallen star?Star-Chasers haunt the surface in the wake of meteorite impacts, hoping to find and haul away a prize of meteoric iron and other celestial metals. Every year, the Star-Chaser watch the skies above Araea and hope that this time, they'll make it big.
Araea is frequently bombarded with meteorites and other, stranger impacts from the stars. While most contain little more than rock and ice, some contain metals and minerals - sometimes enough to make a man or woman wealthy. That is the hope that the Star-Chasers cling to as they mount every new crater to inspect the insight. It is a mix of prospector and treasure-seeker, high stakes and frequent disappointment. But every one of them is sure that they'll make it.
Meteorite Ticks The things that fall from the skies are not always lifeless. Some meteorite contain celestial hitchhikers, known as Meteorite Ticks. There dangerous, alien creatures aren't a frequent hazard but enough Star-Chasers go missing every year for there to be good reason for caution. It isn't certain how many die by mauling of the Meteorite Ticks, but they're one of the most popular campfire stories. Read more about Meteorite TickStar-Chasing is not a common pursuit, but those who do it tend to go all in. Star-Chasers need to be good navigator and survivors to make it on the Surface, as well as capable enough to fend off wild beasts and rival chasers. Most are fearless, or foolish, almost necessity as they need to be ready to pick up and head out at the first sign of a fresh impact. Some dabble in Blight-Tracking with mixed success, while others simply hire the professionals for that part of the job.
Star-Chasers have no real organized structure, but they do tend to work in groups. Each is different: some consist of families who have taken to it, while others are band of friends or opportunists and hanger-ons. For everyone one veteran Chaser who knows what they are doing, there are ten rookies or enthusiasts. But where there is profit, there is people. Small support organizations have begun to form in the settlements in the Outer Shell or on the Surface that cater specifically to Star-Chasers. Most are little more than scalpers, hoping to make a profit from the fools heading out into the wasteland in search of fortune but every time a Chasers actually return with some great find, merchant guilds take notice. Some organize their own expeditions, lead by Blight-Trackers and well supplied, but such expeditions are rare.
Becoming a Star-Chaser
So you just decided you'd wander around out there, in case you stumbled on some gold?Most Star-Chasers begin their career either by hearing about the vast wealth that is falling down onto the Surface every season, sometimes by sources like the 'Surviving On The Surface' pocket guide or lured in by friends and relatives already in the business. There's nothing in the way of Star-Chaser schoolar or professional guilds: at best, they sometimes start informal associations were several groups trade tricks and good locations to wait for a meteorite impact. But this is rare. In the eyes of most, Star-Chasers are mad bastards that are hunting a mirage of wealth they will never catch... Until they do, and then everyone wants to be their friend. The life of a Star-Chaser is many things, but 'boring' is not one of them.
The Surface While most of humanity cower deep underground, the Star-Chasers brave the Surface. It is a dangerous, irradiated land of frozen tundras and blasted deserts, with monsters that have adapted to the most hostile environments on the planet. Even without other people trying to steal your claim, it is a dangerous place. Read more about the Surface
Blight-Trackers and Star-ChasersFor their part, Blight-Trackers view the Star-Chasers with a mixture of contempt and pity. Most new Star-Chasers have no idea what they are getting themselves into as they step out onto the Surface. For the cautious well-prepared Blight-Trackers, the reckless abandon and 'make it up as we go along' attitude of amateur Star-Chasers is infuriating. On the other hand, those wise enough to know better make for steady business. Read more about Blight-Trackers
Steel from the StarsThe real prize that every Star-Chaser hopes to find is that of Starsteel. This celestial metal exists only in small quantities in Araea, as its only source is from meteorites. This makes the metal immensely rare - and equally valuable. Even a small amount of the rainbow-hued metal can make a Chaser wealthy for the rest of her life. Read more about Starsteel
One of the biggest hazards that Star-Chasers have to contend with are other Chasers. Not only is it a race to be the first to make a claim on a impact site, but also a battle to defend it from less-than honest rogues. Hauling the find back to civilization can still be the most dangerous part of any Star-Chase.