Shortly after the disaster and massacre of HIP 22460, an unknown anomaly appeared on long-range sensor modules, especially Full Spectrum Scanners mounted on all personal ships. This strange signal was impossible to track and appeared to be transient between multiple systems. More anomalies began to follow after the discovery of the initial one, they would later be classified as Unidentified Interstellar Anomalies or U.I.A’s. These UIA’s were theorised to be large enough in mass or space-warping profiles that their detection by the FSS system was a result of them registering as rogue planetoids or comets, yet strangely could be detected as far away as the Colonia system.. Shortly after their detection, the UIA’s appeared to be heading in the general direction of the human ‘bubble’, soon, they all arrived orbiting an Ammonia-based planet. Once each UIA arrived at it’s destination it seemingly transformed into a gigantic cloud of corrosive gasses, later referred to as a Maelstrom, and now known to be the hiding place of the Thargoid capital ships, Titans.
The Maelstroms are now known to act as analogues of ‘command hubs’ for the Thargoids, the force level is extreme as is the danger of merely entering the system. The Maelstroms and the Titans inside act as the central core of the Thargoid occupation of all surrounding systems.
Maelstrom were first detected as Unidentified Interstellar Anomalies in 3308. At the time they could not be interacted with, but were tracked on their journey towards the bubble. On arrival from November 3308 they established themselves in eight systems close to inhabited space, and Thargoids started attacking nearby systems.
Maelstrom systems can be found listed in the left panel of the Galaxy Map. Within these systems Maelstrom are listed in the Navigation Panel once you are close enough, you may need to use the Full System Scanner to find them when they are not close to the primary star. Maelstrom differ from most supercruise locations in that the drop-out range is only 200 km.
This is a list of the current Maelstrom, along with the distance from system entry – Taranis is the closest and should be visible as soon as you get to the system. The Maelstrom are all named for mythic gods of thunder.
- Taranis – Hyades Sector FB-N b7-6 132ls
- Indra – HIP 20567 3,342ls
- Leigong – HIP 8887 2,539ls
- Cocijo – Col 285 Sector BA-P c6-18 1,300ls
- Oya – Cephei Sector BV-Y b4 5,847ls
- Thor – Col 285 Sector IG-O c6-5 815ls
- Raijin – Pegasi Sector IH-U b3-3 397ls
- Hadad – HIP 30377 39,224ls
Maelstrom systems are Thargoid strongholds and you should expect high levels of aggressive hyperdiction on the the way there, as well as interdictions while in supercuise. Maelstrom systems will also destroy most ship modules based upon Guardian technology.
Maelstrom have a radius of around 200km and have two layers – an outer shell and a core. The outer shell is caustic and will damage your ship. Within this can be found Caustic Generators and free floating materials Caustic Shards and Caustic Crystals. The centre of the Maelstrom (which does not apply caustic damage) is protected by a shockwave which will shut down your ship and push it away from the centre if you do not have a Thargoid Pulse Neutraliser fitted (not that this is not the same as a Shutdown Pulse Neutraliser). Fire the neutraliser once you see the shockwave approaching. Inside the core of the Maelstrom can be found Interceptors, Hunters and a Titan.
Ships for visiting Maelstrom
As stated earlier – Maelstrom systems destroy Guardian modules, so these should not be relied upon.
The corrosive outer shell makes Caustic Sinks very useful. You will also need a Thargoid Pulse Neutraliser if you want to visit the centre. Both of these modules are available from Rescue Megaships – which can be found via the Galaxy Map. They need to be unlocked at the Technology Broker before they can be fitted (Caustic Sinks are a one-time unlock, and can then be bought for credits – Thargoid Pulse Neutralisers are purchased for materials each time you need another).
Thargoids react to heat, so it is suggested that a cold running ship (below 20% heat) is used, or else use Silent Running. Using Silent Running requires a way to cool your ship down – either heatsinks or beam lasers engineered with Thermal Vent (as you can target the Titan with those lasers). Thermal Vent lasers are probably preferable as they don’t need ammunition and don’t compete for Utility slots with the Caustic Sink(s) and Thargoid Pulse Neutraliser.
As you will also be hyperdicted and interdicted repeatedly a fast ship is also useful, especially to escape mass-lock on interdiction as interceptors can move fast.
Credits: Thanks to LilacLight for the table of Maelstrom names