Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, an astrono...
Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, an astronomical observatory located in the municipality of Garafía on the island of La Palma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Campaign Chunk – Highbourne Observatory

An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. The Highbourne Observatory (HO) is named after Emily Highbourne, a wealthy industrialist with a hobby of stargazing. Emily paid for the observatory to be constructed so her son could see the stars before he died of an undisclosed childhood disease. Located far away from civilisation in an almost desert like location, the HO is not easy to get to, but for those who look to the stars, this location makes for ideal viewing.

The HO can rotate and even move along a small, circular track if needed, although this last option has been used twice in the 20 years the observatory has been operational. Quite a few people have questioned why it was installed in the first place.

The HO does not posses the largest telescope in the world, but it does have an impressive array of screens and facilities that make it easier for anyone using the observatory to examine and look at the images it find. Even those who have never done any astronomy have been astounded by the clarity and brilliance of the images of the heavens the telescope provides. Many of the local schools and colleges take part in excursions and day trips to the HO, despite the remote location, with many of those working at the HO getting their first taste of the glory of the universe coming from a trip to the HO in their childhood.

Hooks & Rumours

  • The site for the HO is on top of a cavern and the ground is becoming unstable. The observatory must be moved and the characters are hired by the Highbourne Foundation to find a suitable new location and oversee the move.
  • A few weeks ago the HO was broken into and the last batch of automatic recorded images were stolen. Nothing else was taken and it appears that the thieves went out of their way to minimize the damage done on breaking in, to such an extent some are saying it was an inside job.
  • The dome covering the telescope has become damaged and will not open. The mechanism was broken in such a way so that it could be repaired but only after extensive and time-consuming work. Rumors are suggesting that a rival team has done this to prevent those who work at the HO from observing a rare celestial event due to occur in that time frame.
  • The current manager of the HO is retiring and the Highbourne Estate is asking the character to provide security, entertainment or otherwise to help out with the party
  • A one in a million celestial event (such as a supernova) has occurred and the data has been captured. This sensitive information needs to be verified before being publicly released and the characters are asked to escort/guard it in transit to its next location.

This was created based on the ideas in this post:

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Article Used as Inspiration: Observatory

Stats and details are expressed in generic terms to allow for use in as many games and genres as possible. As with other Campaign Chunks
this is designed to be used as a starting block for your own ideas.

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