In January 2011, I wrote some random encounters for Hive Volg on Fenksworld (both are part of the Calixian Sector of DH1st), as requested back then in this FFG forum topic by forum user Lete.
Now, in April 2016, I decided to correct all the errors and to provide them anew. After all, Volg is not the only industrialized hellhole of the universe, right?
The characters mission leads them to a section of Hive Volg that is taking up the space in an overbuild excavation sink. As the PC reach the ladders leading down into it, they notice some yellow signs in hive dialect scribbled next to the access.
Intelligence(+30) tells them that it looks like a warning. If anyone is able to read it [difficult(-10) test for Linguistics], the scribblings tells them that the levels the PC are about to enter are flooded with carbon monoxide (due to a burst in a pipe) and that this had occurred just two days ago.
If the PC take the ladder down into the section they will find the upper levels of the place to still be inhabited by some of the people.. They know about the thread below and will tell anyone who asks that those level beneath them are “a grave”, but they don´t know where else to go, so they stay in this place as long as they deem it save.
No matter which level the characters move through, there is not much space and ramshackle huts are cramped into what once were wide corridors. Multiple large pipes run along and across the walls and the ceiling (the huts themselves haven been built against the corridor walls and the pipes, as some of them are warm and used as radiation).
In the levels flooded with carbon monoxide a lot of corpses can be found, most in makeshift beds and on dirty mattresses (the leak occurred during a night-cycle. The people never woke up but suffocated in their sleep). Strangely, there is no sign of any item of value.
The characters will later find a suspicious corpse in the “streets” (the spaces of the corridors that is not occupied by huts). It wears a breathing mask connected to an air flask, but the rubber tube connecting both is severed and the corpse shows numerous knife wounds. The hiver came down here with this improvised gear to loot, but he was not the only one with that idea. What the characters have in front of them is the result of a deadly fight out of pure greed, and whatever the characters came looking for will be in the possession of other looter now. The folks in the upper levels can give the characters a description (and perhaps some more information), as they noted both persons as they went down, but only one of them was seen coming up, bearing some fresh wounds.
After their arrival, the characters will first spend some time atop of the Hive (which does not rise high but burrows itself down into the depth). From here, the hive looks like an urban pockmark, a series of open abysses, chasms and fosses. Walking along the edges takes hours or even days and the only way across them are rickety, time-worn steel gantries.
The PC will notice that at many gantries people line up to queues, only crossing a given gantry one at a time. The metal of those moans and shrieks with every step one takes over them and those on them walk slowly, despite the sour rain pouring down. Later in the adventure, the characters will become witness to a gantry crashing down into the depth (or down to them from above), and those on them plunging down along. Other hivers will rush to them at once…but not to help but to take their belongings for themselves.
At some point, the characters will end up before a gantry without anybody in sight. Will they dare to cross it?
Later, as they line up to cross a gantry, they will encounter some bullies who brush and push their way through the queue (Intimidation goes a long way in Hive Volg).
As one PC crosses a gantry, somebody -runs- past the queue on the other side and onto the gantry. The person is chased by three other guys who stop at the other side and open up fire with crude weapons. The gantry shudders and moans under the additional weight of the man running for his life. Will the PC on the gantry try to kill the other man in order to ensure his own safety? The three shooters do not care for casualties among the bystanders and blast away, and the gantry itself might come lose.