Footsteps at Theron

In this session of Traveller I had a plant to move things quickly across a lot of star systems, introduce some characters and hopefully get things to one of the set encounters for the Deepnight Revelation campaign. I managed to pretty much do all of that.

In the previous session, they had picked up some information at Meshik, a small colony outside the Regency of Muirimi. The original plan had been for the players to pop into the Regency at this point, but they’d changed their minds and were going to head along the outside edge.

Previously, I had come up with an encounter at one of the worlds inside the Regency, which would have complicated things for the ship (an attempt of kidnapping and taking over the ship by the locals). Since they were no longer going to that world, I had the choice of moving the encounter or dropping it. Since it made more sense at that location than the location they were now going to, I decided to drop it. So the players unknowingly avoided a bad situation through a random choice.

The trip across Iphigenaia sector took them through Sulijan (0816), Mortolk (0418) and Kashlack (0221), before jumping to Rastuga (3223) in the Theron sector. There was a brief stop at Mortolk to allow the biologists to gaze in wonder at the huge hexapods there (no contact with sophonts was allowed), but other than that it went quickly.

I’ve been pre-rolling on the Deepnight Revelation’s defect tables to see what happens. I’ve abstracted it to every three jumps or so, and they got a failure with the computer systems and navigation systems (plus a little hull damage, which can mostly be ignored). So overflowing log files caused some corruption of the navigation systems, which all required resetting, plus a closer look at their administration tasks to make sure it didn’t happen again.

They also had a bit of a follow on about Imi, the research assistant that had caused so much trouble at Waranask. He was getting bullied and ostracised, so was moved into another team. Khadashi really didn’t care, and was all for just throwing him out the airlock, but other heads realised that the current situation wouldn’t be good for morale. That put him into a young technician named Shandra Vledden, who was on the rebound from another relationship, so they both hooked up for all the wrong reasons.

By the time they were due to arrive at Berin (3125) in the Regency of Muirimi, she had decided to dump him (in a very unsubtle and publicly humiliating way). The investigation into his death after he was found hung in his quarters was haphazard at best. Since any obvious suspects all had alibis, it was marked as suicide.

Eventually they got to their destination of Calnor (2827 / Joseph / Theron), right at the spinward edge of the Regency of Muirimi on the date of 1109-066. It is a small world with a thin, tainted atmosphere but with a population of about 400 million. Which contrasts with the beautiful garden worlds they’ve encountered which have populations of 20 (just twenty) or even less. I’ve decided that my next Wonders supplement will include D66 reasons why a garden world has zero population. I’ve had to come up with enough recently.

The population of Calnor is more than pleased to see the Deepnight Revelation. Being jump 3 from pretty much everywhere else, they get few visitors, especially nothing as exciting as a heavy cruiser. Some of the crew are given a big celebratory welcome, with parades, feasts and ceremonies beneath their golden tiger god Yamoshi. There is a scout base here as well, and it turns out that they have explored the worlds to Spinward, all the way out to Theta Borealis sector.

  • There are traders at Jaskor, a group of highly independent libertarians who might have more information.
  • There are the Broken States around Rorschach, which are on par with the Imperium level of technology, and are quite aggressive and warlike. The most notable of the states at Rorschach is ruled by the ‘immortal’ dictator President Yokanna. He is thought to be insane, has one of his clones as a wife and their clone children will be raised to be his next generation.
  • The world of Stowkau is enslaved by Rorscach, with the use of cyber implants to keep the population in check. There’s little in the way of planetary defences or patrols however, since they don’t expect anything to be coming from Trailing.
  • They recommend sneaking past the states via Stowkau and Betuatan. The Calnor scouts do have fuel caches out that way, but not on the scale that the Deepnight could effectively use.
  • There is also the world of Morbora (1835), which is an unusual world with a Chlorine atmosphere. It has had heavy asteroid bombardment, as well as unusual flat areas of glass as if the surface has been melted.

The advanced scout mission, led by the Varikuur, should have passed through this way just over a year ago. They were due to arrive at Jelebek (0528 / Ubagil / Theron) around 1107-334. Hopefully they managed to navigate the Broken States without took much of an issue.

After Calnor, the Deepnight headed to Koronat (2428), then Brukashi (2231), Ingolo (1934) and then Morbora (1835). They sent an expedition down to the chlorine world whilst the Deepnight refueled.

Morbora has a moon, so part of the team investigated that first. There were some spots with elevated levels of radioactivity, and on exploration they found evidence consistent with the use of atomic weapons about 300,000 years ago. There were nodules of metals in the blast craters, and it looked like several bombs had been placed around a central target, rather than it being remote missile strikes.

The planet itself had evidence of multiple asteroid impacts into the oceans, which had set off a chain of volcanic activity. The glass plains had been melted by some external heat source rather than being related to the volcanic eruptions – maybe a thermal weapon from orbit.

There was evidence of life having been here once – and it had been oxygen based rather than chlorine based, which implied that the atmosphere had been changed at some point. The seas were acidic, and Dr Rusasa’s investigations found chemicals which matched the signature of not only the Entity, but also the counter agent that had been found at Candling Station. It looked like the Entity had been here, and something had wiped it out.

They spent some time here investigating the world, then headed to Jaskor (1838) and the small settlement there. There wasn’t much to buy, and though the locals seemed friendly enough, the crew found them slightly odd. There was no government, instead each person had complete responsibility for their own interactions with the rest of the society. Each had formed a ‘company’ around themselves, which formed contracts with others. Contracts were enforced according to each own’s ability to enforce them – normally by calling on contracts with others.

From Jaskor, they headed to Pherran (1540), Iyaoea (1140) which had a small Aslan settlement which they ignored and finally Hwaoiei (0740). This was another system claimed by the Aslan, though there were no sign of any settlements here at the moment.

Whilst in the process of refuelling, Shinzaro complained of visions – she was seeing a place around the second planet of the system, and heard a calling, similar to what she’d felt on the comet in the Anundarluu nebula.

Dhokkez. Warrior. He Served Correctly.

— Shinzaro’s visions

So it was time for another expedition. The second world had a small moon, and on it was a flattened area similar to those they’d seen elsewhere. At the centre of this area though was a conical mound on which was an ovoid pod containing a Droyne. He sat as if on a starship seat dressed in shimmering silver-grey fabric.

Now that she was closer to the monument, Shinzaro had more thoughts, which over time she managed to make sense of. There had been a Droyne ship, the Tresskvuess, which was hunting the Enemy. They had found it and destroyed it at Morbora, but some of it survived, and one of their crew was infected.

Dhokkez had given his life to protect the ship, so he was entombed here as a monument and warning to others. There as another, Oytheusk, either the ship’s captain or mission leader, who had taken the ship onward in their quest.

They left the monument where it was, though took some samples for examination later. From here they will head further Spinward, and their next couple of jumps will take them out of Theron sector. I’m quite happy that we managed to cover an entire sector in one session, and there’s only a couple more sectors before they’re due to meet up with the Varikuur in Incognita Citerior.

One thing I had to do as part of prep for this session was destroy most of the systems in Theron and part of Iphigenaia, and re-build them. I’d created both sectors in WorldGen some time ago, but was noticing differences in what had been generated and what was on Traveller Map.

Eventually I tracked it down to the fact that the UWP data I had was old (I think I got them from some resources originally from GEnie), and though the UWP entries themselves were correct, they were missing stellar information. This was causing my UWP parser to create a completely random system.

So I re-downloaded the data direct from Traveller Map, and rebuilt the sectors. It didn’t take too long, and now the star systems match what is on Traveller Map. Not too much effort, but slightly annoying that I hadn’t realised the problem earlier.

I’ve also been spending some time working on my Foundry system for Mongoose Traveller. I’ve got attacks working, plus the ability to apply damage either to selected tokens or by dragging and dropping damage information in the chat onto a character sheet.

There’s still some way to go, but I am thinking of moving from Roll20 to FoundryVTT at some point. It mostly depends on how long it takes me to get things completed enough for it to be usable, and then how long to transfer characters and necessary handouts across.

Samuel Penn

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