The group is unified with a solid resolution to save Gerio. Still, if they want to stop the governor’s plans, they must escape back to the surface. With only one way out, they must brave tunnels in the heart of Atoph’s territory for a chance to escape.
Atoph (Star Atlas weekly lore Inspired Art) /// Metaverse in Light Speed Expansion /// Immersive Blockchain-Powered UE5 Experience.
“ In the end, Atoph was a victim. A mortally dangerous victim of something beyond its understanding. It was never supposed to gain a conscience, and this development, due to whatever will of the gods, brought it great grief and despair. Whenever we venture close to the Gerio star system, I still dream with the thousand cries of the victims that lived within it.” — Agent M4 in his audio diary about his adventures with Wenn
As the group started their walk through the tunnels that led to the heart of Atoph’s lair, Wenn couldn’t help but compare the suffering of the Punaab brothers with what happened with him, Yago, and Xannah.
When the transmission ended, Wenn saw the same pure wrath and indignation in the Punaabs’ eyes that he felt on the day Clonk and Xannah were taken from him. He glanced at Yago and saw that the Mierese felt the raw emotion of the two young Punaabs, whose foundational beliefs had been stripped from them again.
Fighting this form of pure evil was why Wenn had joined the Council of Peace forces. Now he saw Fang and Pawn on the edge of the same abyss of hopelessness where he had fallen so long ago. At this moment, he made up his mind that his original mission could wait. Such raw villainy needed to be defeated for the Punaabs and the whole galaxy.
After allowing them time to vent, Wenn and Yago shared a bit of their story, appealing to the two brothers to put aside their pain for now and work together with them to bring Berector to justice.
Fang was adamant that his notion of justice was to see Berector dead, and Wenn figured that now was not the moment to discuss this with the young Punaab warrior. But first things first. They had to escape from the laboratory and find their way to the surface.
A few minutes later, Wenn’s A.I came floating from the room with the terminals and said: “After the terminal diagnosis, I have good and bad news. The bad news is that the tunnel we came from has collapsed due to Wenn’s little experiment with the detonation charges.”
“Who could have predicted that?” Yago said, mixing sarcasm and laughter.
“Chances were around 82% that this would happen.” The A.I answered.
Wenn replied: “Yeah. Well, tell us the good news then.”
“I have managed to get the schematics of the premises. There is a tunnel that can lead us to the surface, but we have to go to the lower floor and make our way through there.”
That’s how Wenn found himself leading a party on a desperate journey through the heart of Atoph’s territory. Wenn made sure that the A.I downloaded the video of Arfrentos, but there was no material evidence of Berector’s crimes aside from that testimony in the laboratory. This is a concern for another time. Wenn refocused his attention on the road ahead.
He even considered himself lucky because, just before they started walking into the tunnels, Pawn found a barrel full of quartz, the mineral said to keep Atoph away, as well as expedition equipment, such as jetpacks, shooting hooks, hopes, and more.
The group started their walk through the tunnels in silence, maybe unconsciously concerned that any noise would drive the monster their way. Each of them had a sizable piece of quartz in their bags, but they hoped not to have to test their theories of the monster.
Yago’s discomfort started to kick in. He hated small, dark places, and as the first part of the tunnels were built for Punaab explorations, he could barely walk with his back erect. So he walked in the rear guard, expecting that, at any moment, the creature would come dripping through the walls to ambush them in the dark.
But nothing came. The only thing assaulting Yago was his memories of his feverish dreams after his battle with the creature and the shadows that the flickering lanterns from the moving party launched at the wall.
Fang’s mind was all over the place except for the dangerous cave in front of them. For some strange reason, he remembered himself as a child, running through the fields of melting snow of Gerio during the summer, and he remembered his father laughing and calling for him. Grief, wrath, confusion. The Punaab couldn’t stop this cycle of thinking, and every time he tried to stop, a new surge of evil thoughts towards Berector Golden Fur surfaced.
Amidst these thoughts, Fang stumbled upon Wenn, who had signaled with his hand for the group to stop. Fang saw that the path before them was actually the top of a cliff above a much bigger cave.
Pawn commented: “I think this is the limit of how much my father and the others managed to accomplish in the tunnel they were building. So from now on, I guess we are into the tunnels made by the creature.”
She used her jetpack to glide to the bottom, despite Fang’s whispers for her to wait for him. Unlike her brother, Fang was laser focused on the cave. She felt guilty, more than anything else, for judging her parents, her father especially, without knowing the truth. In her mind, the only way of atoning was to escape this ordeal and end Berector’s rule over Gerio.
As soon as she landed, she felt a weird texture beneath her paws. Upon examination, she was sure that the substance was Ethyfol. Atoph was here.
Ethyfol (Star Atlas weekly lore Inspired Art) /// Metaverse in Light Speed Expansion /// Immersive Blockchain-Powered UE5 Experience.
“Take care, everyone.” Pawn said in a low tone while the others glided down to her side. “The ground is filled with Ethyfol. Atoph might be near.”
Everyone drew their weapons and started investigating the cave.
It was huge — an open space excavated in an animalistic manner through the rocky depths of Gerio. Ethyfol covered most of the ground, but all sorts of debris could also be seen: bones, rocks, small fleeting bugs, and worms that shied away from the light.
It was almost as if the garbage in the upper levels got thrown into the cavern space to lie there for the rest of eternity. The smell was horrible, even worse than what they had experienced on the journey through the tunnels that got them to the lab. It affected the Punaabs more due to their keen sense of smell, but none complained and instead moved to cover the perimeter.
They traversed the central circle of the cave without much difficulty, their only surprise being the occasional crack under their feet of crumbling Ethyfol. The path opened up in an irregular tunnel, and the increase in temperature meant they were getting closer to one of the “nucleus rivers” — the magma veins of the frozen world of Gerio.
The group kept moving. Their suspicions were confirmed as the tunnel opened into a gallery, with a river of black and crimson molten lava flowing through the middle of their path.
“Awesome.” Yago said in a low voice. “If the monster doesn’t get us, we might get killed by a flying orb of flame jumping from the lava,” the Mierese stated, his eyes reflecting the eruptions bursting from the river.
There was a clear danger, so Wenn consulted with the A.I as to whether there was another option for them to proceed. The flying orb projected a hologram showing a complex maze of tunnels, starting from the gallery they were in. Unfortunately, all of them revolved around crossing the blazing river. After it, there were two main paths that possibly led to the surface.
After a few minutes of debating how they could cross, Fang lost his patience. “Look, it’s pretty simple. Let’s wait for a big eruption, and then we jump.”
“What if there is a double eruption?” Yago replied immediately.
“There haven’t been any since we’ve been here.” Fang said.
“Yeah, the whole five minutes, a superb sample to make a life and death commitment.
“I will go first, Mierese. You don’t need to be afraid. Just come after me when you feel confident,” Fang answered, using his jetpack to get to the edge of the river.
“Wait, Fang, he is right. It’s too dangerous to jump in blind. Even with the jetpacks, nothing guarantees that one flying fireball won’t hit us!” Pawn replied, following after her brother to stop him.
“Fang, let’s watch a little more. Then we can make a better decision about how to do this,” Wenn said, worried. He was a little farther away, examining the walls, but as he saw the Punaabs nearing the river bed, he started walking toward them.
“For the Lord of Secrets sake, you are one really crazy Punaab. You will become a furry barbecue meal!” Yago said, also worried and going after Fang.
The elder Punaab finally reached the point where the river extension was thinner. He had been counting the eruptions and could swear that he had found a pattern. He just had to time this jump right, and everything would be ok. Then, he would explain it to the others, and everyone would cross the river safely.
He watched the other side, and the eruptions followed the pattern he had predicted. There would be a window of a few seconds where he would be good to go. The Punaab prepared himself and said: “Don’t interrupt me, Pawn. I got this figured out.”
His sister was almost about to reach him, but he believed he could make the jump before she was able to interrupt him. So he looked at the river again and saw that everything looked calm. It was time to go.
Nevertheless, something caught his attention at the corner of his eye only an instant before the jump — a small silhouette appeared in the darkness in front of one of the two paths of the gallery, a silhouette that Fang knew because it was engraved in his heart.
“Father!!!” Fang shouted with all his strength and jumped using his jetpack across the river. As soon as Pawn arrived at the riverbed, she saw the same silhouette, and she had not a single doubt in her heart that it was her father in the distance, and she jumped after her brother.
The Nucleus River at the hearth of Gerio (Star Atlas weekly lore Inspired Art) /// Metaverse in Light Speed Expansion /// Immersive Blockchain-Powered UE5 Experience.
The scene appeared to be in slow motion from Wenn’s perspective. He heard both of them shouting but saw no trace of what they were shouting at. Then, a second after Pawn’s jump, a wall of flame twice the size of Wenn’s body erupted after her, and Wenn’s heart froze.
“Pawn!!!” Yago shouted. His eyes did not believe the force of the eruption that stubbornly persisted for seconds.
When the lava finally stopped, Fang and Pawn were nowhere to be found, and for a split second, Wenn and Yago watched in disbelief at the raging course of the lava river.
Their trance was broken by a shout of Pawn: “Father! Wait!” They both caught sight of the Punaabs, running unphased by their near-death experience towards one of the tunnels.
“We got to go, Yago. Something was not right with those two.” Wenn said quickly, moving towards the riverbed.
“I have been telling you this since we crashed onto this forsaken world! Punaabs are crazy!” Yago complained but kept moving towards the edge of the river as well.
Suddenly, the duo heard a familiar inhuman cry coming from the cave they were in before and echoing through the whole gallery.
“Oh no.” Yago said.
The ground started trembling like an earthquake. Rocks fell from the ceiling, almost hitting Yago and Wenn, and the whole gallery felt like it would collapse at any second.
Atoph had found them.
Project: UE5 Showroom
Concept Art: DONE /// Art: DONE /// UX/UI: BUILDING /// Game Design: DONE /// Blockchain: DONE /// Game Play: DONE
Updates: Product distribution finalization.
Upcoming activities: Finish product distribution.
Project: SCREAM v1.0
Game Design: PROTOTYPING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// UX DESIGN: PROTOTYPING UI: PROTOTYPING /// Game Economics: R&D /// Web: BUILDING /// Art: BUILDING
Updates: Continuing to define explicit requirements for core gameplay mechanics and game systems design. Working with economics team to define XP economic modeling. /// Continuing the Fleet Program. Finalizing movement system. Started crafting at a starbase and fleet configuration. Updating Sector Program. /// Continuing wireframes and interaction flows, with a focus on the HUD system, structure system, and inventory system. /// Continuing building SCREAM screens and elements, with a deeper focus on the outliner. /// Continued economic modelling of XP. /// Updating camera views and controls. Continuing to update movement logic and UX. Creating data structure and interface that will underlie the outliner’s functionality. /// Working on starbases and planets. Continuing to work on Armstrong Tier 0, 1, and 4 concepts. Importing assets into Playcanvas.
Upcoming activities: Continue to define explicit requirements for core gameplay mechanics and incorporate feedback from SCREAM stakeholders. ///Build, peer review, and test programs on testnet, then auditNote: all on-chain programs associated with SCREAM will undergo cybersecurity and threat modeling prior to official launch. /// Review wireframes with Project Stakeholders. Continue to iterate until wireframes are approved. Hand over wireframes to UI team. /// Continue to build out UI screens and elements. ///Determine SCORE to SCREAM transition strategy. /// Build towards playtesting and validate gameplay loops that require higher fidelity game. Add in fleet management (fleet formation, disbanding…). /// Convert into 3D assets to be added into Playcanvas.
Note: all on-chain programs associated with SCREAM will undergo cybersecurity and threat modeling prior to the official launch.
Project: Star Atlas DAO — Usability Improvements
Product Design: R&D /// UX design: BUILDING /// Web Team: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// Economy: DONE
Updates: Requirements for Proposals in progress./// General UI enhancements and improvements /// ATLAS Locking UI/UX improvements. /// Validating requirements and analytics for ATLAS locking.
Upcoming activities: Dark mode. /// Publish dev tools for POLIS and ATLAS locking.
Project: Graphic Novel
ART: BUILDING /// UX/UI: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING
Updates: Continue the creation of the first few episodes are in progress./// Release and distribution preparation works still in progress.
Features/Bug fixes: Star-atlas-portal Live updated to v0.5.44 PRE-ALPHA
[UI] Enable click to copy buyers and sellers address. /// Replace NPC wallet with “Star Atlas DAO”. /// Closing Category node — Sorting and table refinements. /// [UI] Improved item listing. /// Mobile improvements (iOS ToS and PP working now). /// [BUG] fixed tables jumping on hover. ///[BUG] iOS users can’t click buy button.
Features in pipeline: Mobile improvements. /// Sorting and table refinements. /// User driven improvements (survey and interviews). /// New Homepage / Landing Page. /// [Program] Royalty fees and ATLAS locking. ///
Known issues: [BUG] Coinbase wallets can not buy or sell ships on the market. /// [BUG] Some users still can not remove ships from the faction fleet when their wallet was compromised on another app.
Status: In progress
Project: Marketplace Royalty Fees
Web team: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// Econ: DONE
Updates: Continue to implement the logic for marketplace fee reductions. /// Testing is in progress.
Upcoming activities: Final fee display. /// Testing completed.
ABOUT STAR ATLAS
Star Atlas is a next-gen gaming metaverse emerging from the confluence of state-of-the-art blockchain, real-time graphics, multiplayer video games, and decentralized financial technologies.
Using Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite, real-time graphics technology allows for cinematic quality video game visuals. In addition, blockchain technology using the Solana protocol establishes a largely serverless and secured gameplay experience. Non-fungible tokens obtained and traded within Star Atlas create an economy that replicates tangible world assets and ownership. To learn more, visit StarAtlas.com, join a faction at Play.StarAtlas.com and send your spaceships on a deep space mission by enrolling them in a Faction Fleet.
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The updates in this report are provided for informational purposes only about the Star Atlas game and metaverse, for which ATMTA, Inc. is the lead developer. Except for statements of historical fact, the statements included herein are forward-looking statements that are based on the beliefs of ATMTA, Inc.’s management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to ATMTA, Inc.’s management. Although ATMTA, Inc.’s management believes these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. ATMTA, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change except as required under applicable law. These forward-looking statements are, by their nature, subject to significant risks and uncertainties and include, without limitation, statements about ATMTA, Inc.’s business prospects, future developments, industry and market trends and conditions, strategies, objectives, and goals. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and undue reliance should not be placed on them. No financial, tax, or legal advice is given or implied.
Punaabs and The Crimson River: Star Atlas Roadmap Scan #19 was originally published in Star Atlas on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.