The Silken Claw

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The Travellers started the session with a plan to follow up some of the leads they’d uncovered in the previous session, so we knew exactly what was happening. Since each of them were off doing different things, I tried to alternative between them so no one person was sitting too long without anything to do.

160-1105: Rumours and Lies

Zanobia was up at the High Port where she had been investigating the hospital records, and was now asking around at the bars to see if anyone had been to Acadie recently and seen the Perfect Stranger. One thing I dropped in was that there was a Jump Tender parked near the station – a box-shaped 50,000t ship almost a quarter of a kilometre long which was mostly hanger and jump drives. Designed to ferry less capable ships across long distances, it had come in from the Trailing side of the Rift.

A Jump Tender, basic design. J-4 capable, with about 20,000t hangar capacity.

It wasn’t particularly important to the plot, but I’d decided there needed to be some way smaller vessels got around, and wanted to mention it in case it ever became important later.

She also managed to pick up an Aslan male who was looking for a bit of entertainment, though didn’t get much out of him except some rumours. He got even less out of her.

Khadashi went into the seedier side of the starport, following up a lead to look for Eza Rinnont who had got into a fight with one of the previous crew members of the Perfect Stranger. Tracking him down to a rundown apartment block was easy, but Khadashi looked a bit too much like an easy target himself to the drug addicts and lowlifes who were hanging around. Fortunately he decided to offer some cash for information, and one of the women quickly latched onto him and escorted him up to Eza.

She knocked on his door, suggestively making vague offers, and when he opened it, Khadashi pulled out the steak knife he’d recently purchased and pushed his way inside. Well – that was the plan. He actually bounced off the large gentleman on the other side of the door, and was himself pushed back against the far wall. Fortunately, Eza was slightly out of it and could be talked down.

After a conversation, and a little bit more cash, he found out that Eza had been bribed and threatened to not turn up to the court appearance by the rest of the Perfect Stranger’s crew.

The so far unnamed woman actually worked out to be an interesting character who was competent with a bit of personality. I’ll call her Gabrielle Desmarais, and come up with some stats for her in case she’s needed again.

Shinzaro tried to contact the journalist, but couldn’t find his home details. Given that it was now evening, he also wasn’t at his desk when she found and called his direct office number (a vid-call I assume). His office was based in the world’s capital, some 2,000km away, but there was a fast overnight train to there.

On the journey over, Shinzaro was picked up by a young male Vargr who appeared to be very rich, and who was more than happy to spend some money on her. As it turned out, the money wasn’t wasted. He was a crew member and part owner of a luxury yacht named the Silken Claw, and had just arrived in Amondiage to spend some time in the Islands (it’s only a Jump-2 vessel, so how did it get here? That’s where the Jump Tender came in).

161-1105: Finding Passage

By morning Shinzaro was at the capital, and managed to make contact with the journalist Pierre Risija, to try and find out why the early news article about the crew of the Perfect Stranger had been edited. However she made some bad some very average Persuade checks, and though I provided some extra chances due to the player coming up with sensible avenues of questioning, it was ultimately a dead end. This was information that might have been interesting, and maybe inform why some things had happened the way they did, but it wasn’t important to the adventure so I had no qualms at letting the character fail.

By mid-day they’d met up again at the space port hotel, and were pretty much decided that they needed to get to Acadie.

I gave all the PCs a chance to pick up some rumours during their night out, based on an INT/Persude check (though thinking about it, maybe it should have been Investigate). Each got three rumours, some false and some true. How many false and how many true depended on how well they rolled.

  • There are Q-ships from several navies plying the shipping lines, waiting for the moment to make their true natures known and attack enemy vessels.
  • The exploration vessel Deepnight Endeavour has gone missing recently. It was out exploring the Anundarluu, but never reported back.
  • Insurgents are planning on destroying the cities water supplies, in order to start an insurrection against the government.
  • A wreck of the Ancients has been found floating in the space between Colchis and Acadie. Secret forces are looking for it, in order to plunder it for technology.
  • The Imperium Navy is stoking tensions in order to move in and take over.The Government is trying to drum up support for an aggressive stance, whilst actually trying to back down and avoid war.
  • The Neubaryerns intelligence forces are the most active in the Islands, and their operatives stir up trouble everywhere.

So Shinzaro went to see her new friend to see if they could provide a lift. The Silken Claw was a compact 150t luxury yacht, with a Jump-2 drive and capable of pulling 4G of acceleration. The most noticeable feature was its mirrored surface of reflec armour. I’m trying to mock up rough ship designs using Blender, to give a general indication of their size and shape, as much for my own understanding as that of the players.

The Silken Claw

Ignoring the downside of having to live with Vargr for a week, they managed to work out a reasonable deal. The crew were a group of rich playbeings who had recently returned from a safari holiday on Rampart. They had no real destination in mind, so were willing to work out a deal. Shinzaro got free passage, and the other two luxury passage for a mere Cr3,000 each.

162-1105: The Silken Claw

The next day they left Amondiage behind them and headed out to deep space. Just to give an indication of how things worked, I decided that Amondiage was currently in an orbital position that meant a direct jump to Acadia wasn’t possible without going straight through Amondiage’s star – not something that is generally advised. They first had to accelerate out from behind the star’s jump mask (100 diameters, so just under 1 AU) which took about 34 hours.

Then plotting a course for Acadia, which would take a week. They spent some time in study (and Shinzaro in more entertaining pursuits) and got to their destination without incident.

I’m not sure what my plans are with the Silken Claw and its crew yet, but it seemed like it would be interesting to provide some potential contacts for the future.

170-1105: Arrival at Acadie

Acadie

Acadie is a much wetter and larger world than Amondiage, with mountainous volcanic islands bordered with thick jungle, and a single large landmass in the southern hemisphere. It has a much smaller population, and only a class C starport, being governed from Amondiage.

Once they got down to the surface, the world seems to be in a state of emergency, with armed guards and nervous looking citizens. Security checkpoints are backed up, as if there is more than the usual level of time and care being taken in screening everyone.

The Perfect Stranger at Acadie starport

But they find the Perfect Stranger, sitting in landing bay 5, seemingly in one piece. The only unusual aspect seems to be that the registration information lists the ship as being ON HOLD, whatever that means.

Nevertheless, the players are happy to see that the given arrival date for the ship is compatible with the timeline they’ve put together, and the registered contact is still the cover identity of the captain who they know is dead.

This seemed like a good point to bring things to a close. Next session, they can try and figure out what happened and try to reclaim their ship.

Samuel Penn

Samuel Penn