The crew of the It’s A Sex Thing are on their way to Zuflucht in our Traveller campaign set in the Islands. They have cargo to sell, and also some historical artefacts to examine and possibly publish about.
With the last jump having resulted in one of the passengers dying during the flight, it was probably a bit much to have another interesting passenger event, but the positioning was just right.
One of the passengers they’d picked up from Topas had been Sharik Ugama, an Imperium citizen on her way to the Trojan Reach. The journalist Clara Lang was questioning her (that’s what she does) and became suspicious of her background, so passed that information on to the players.
Having NPCs around can be awkward – having them do things ‘off camera’ can feel that I’m pushing things in a particular direction, but I also don’t like having them just react to things that the players do. So this was an opportunity to have her do something which was natural for her to do, and feed the information back and let the players decide what to do.
What Clara was suspicious about was that Sharik Ugama might be the terrorist Eloise Brodeur that an award had been put out for whilst they were on Topas. Her backstory was a bit flimsy, and in the conversations they’d had she’d been quite anti the Topas government. Zanobia got a DNA sample and confirmed that she was from the Islands and not the Imperium, and that she probably had fake eye and hair colour.
As it turned out, Eloise was unlikely to be a threat to the PCs or their ship (but they didn’t know that). They had the obvious choices of confronting her about it, or leaving her alone. If they had confronted her, she would have tried to convince them to help her (she may have succeeded since at least some of the players seemed to at least consider the option), but if they’d turned her in at Serendip Belt that would also have served her purposes. If she’d been able to get a big public trial at Serendip Belt, it would have given her a lot of publicity. If she wasn’t turned in, she gets away. Either option would have suited her without a need for violence.
As it was, the PCs decided not to intervene and leave her alone, though after they arrived at Serendip Belt Clara did try to arrange an interview with her later. Clara told them that she was planning on releasing her holovid on the archaeological investigation of the Aslan base in a day or two, and that they may get some attention after that. This would turn out to be important when one of the players forgot about this later.
The last thing that happened during the jump was to unwrap the information in the old sheets of paper that they’d found on the Aslan corpses. What was discovered on them was the following:
- Sketches of Aslan, mostly males, standing against backdrop of Lake and trees
- There seems to be a plume of smoke rising above the trees
- Sketches of a starship, probably 500t-1000t in size. Looks like a trader.
- Some symbols – possibly clan symbols. Three crescents holding filled circles
They already new that the Aslan had probably landed on a particular island on New Colchis (going by the plant seeds they’d found), which I’d decided to name Bermuda. Digging into the ship’s library, they saw that to the north of Bermuda was a volcanic island, which tallied with the sketches.
I was expecting them to get access to the map somewhat later, but they asked for maps, and I figured it was sensible for the ship’s library to contain them – at least for local star systems.
Arrival at Serendip Belt was uneventful, with them coming out close to the station and getting invited in to dock. I tried to play the traffic control as slightly over-polite and friendly to start giving a feel for the place.
Their first actions after docking was seeing what profit they’d made on trade – and for once the answer was not a lot. On one of their goods they’d actually made a big loss, so they decided not to sell here and keep the goods until they find somewhere where they can sell it for a profit. I was sort of glad that the numbers had come out that way, since so far it has seen to be a bit easy to make a lot of money through trade, and I’d like it to be a bit riskier.
Their next step was to purchase some new Vacc Suits so that the entire crew had a decent set – all done in purple of course. They did try to buy weapons, but given the law level this wasn’t possible. The Khadashi went to try and find some art to buy, and Zanobia and Shinzaro went to find some Aslan to talk to about their recent archaeological finds.
I was expecting the meeting with the Aslan to happen after the holovid was broadcast, but that was fine. They went to the Aslan Embassy (aka ‘The Lion House‘), and handed over some of the evidence and information they had to the staff there. They were told that it would be passed on to the ambassador’s first wife, who had an interest in such things, and that the group would be contacted if there were any questions.
The one bit of information that was actually important (the clan symbols) they decided to hold onto, which did affect the direction that things were to go in.
Later in the evening they all met up and discovered that the fancy restaurant they went to was vegetarian, so tried hard to find a non-vegetarian restaurant for their Vargr.
The next day is mostly spent just relaxing, though they notice advertisements for a new holovid documentary due that evening about a new Aslan archaeological find at Berlichingen. It was at that point at Zanobia realised that she hadn’t told the Aslan at the embassy about this.
That evening, they spent it watching the documentary about themselves, which was quite complementary. After it finished, there was a knock at their hotel room door – it was a couple of Aslan wanting to escort them back to the embassy for a chat.
The crew definitely have the opportunity to become quite famous. Not only have they done some noteworthy things and had some journalists talk about it, their ship is hardly very subtle so they are instantly recognisable. Whether it ends up being a problem or an advantage will possibly depend on how they play it.