The party has now split, with the It’s A Sex Thing leaving behind the Deepnight Revelation for a bit as the Sex Thing heads towards Tenipal to explore their culture. It’s quite a full ship, with the following characters joining the ship for this mission:
- The original crew of Shinzaro, Zanobia, Khadashi and Alfred
- Hanger on NPCs: Trennance and Yip
- Science team members: Dr Nekuna and Guenivve Ambray
- Security team members: Lt Tana Andrews and Sub Lt Zadrik Myrmlag
- Recent recruits: Daeba and Addan
Quite early on, it’s decided that the portrait for Lt Myrmlag looks a bit like Rimmer, so I’ve decided that that is as good a personality for him to have as any. Whether he will survive the trip remains to be seen. Yip is making a nest for herself in one of the cold berths, and most of the rest are doubling up since the previous conversion of two of the staterooms into a medical bay and science lab leaves them short of space.
So the Sex Thing jumps to Aquod. Since they’ve hacked the IFF codes of all three nations, they enable their fake keys. When they initially come out of Jump, space traffic control identifies them as a friendly Tenipal ship, though are quickly confused because they have no record of them.
There is a small D class port on an icy moon of an Ice Giant here, mostly run by the Tenipal as a border outpost between their space and that of the Erline. News of the Newcomers has already reached them, so they quickly surmise who the Sex Thing is, and make a request for them to dock at the down port.
There is a lot of radio traffic going on, which the crew are quickly able to listen in on. An Erline vessel, the Long Arm For Reaching In Dark Places, is demanding that the Sex Thing is treated as an ambassadorial ship since the Newcomers are vassals of the Erline. They don’t want the Tenipal to be dealing directly with them. Meanwhile the Tenipal want to find out who the newcomers are, and hopefully start good relations with them.
A local trader, Guerni Hemisha, contacts them and offers assistance in navigating the local customs. The Travellers accept the offer as they head in to dock. By the time they reach the port, they have also managed to hack into the local CCTV feeds, so can see what’s going on in traffic control.
After they land, the local security guards which come to lock down the landing bay are provided a generous donation in order to be somewhere else, and Guerni Hemisha comes to meet them. He provides them with a gift of a tea set, and welcomes them to the trading hub. He seems to be a rich merchant, who is himself interested in taking advantage of the situation, but who is trying to do it with carrots rather than sticks.
There is talk of exchanging goods, and then the Travellers are ready for a tour of the station. By this point some Erline have turned up. They try to control the situation, but are too late, so end up trailing behind the tour group.
The Tenipal architecture consists of brightly coloured streets, with neon lighting and painted walls and pavements. The art style is very consistent, a mix of abstract and stylised animal forms. Their guide explains some of their history – that they achieved industrial civilisation, then were forced back to pre-agriculture by an ice age. As they were recovering, the Sovreigndoms came and took some of them as slaves.
Several Tenipal slaves could be seen in the crowded streets. Dressed in dark greys, they had their own language and culture and considered themselves part of the Sovreigndoms rather than as Tenipal. He also knew that something had happened to the Erline, but nobody was clear on exactly what had happened. There were rumours that some amongst the Erline did know, but they were keeping it a secret.
The Travellers decided that they wanted to talk to the ‘enslaved’ Tenipal out of sight of any Sovreigndom Erlines. This plan would involve going on a bar crawl, and grabbing someone without being seen. I’m not entirely certain of the exact implementation they are planning, but they have a plan of sorts.
This will make the Travellers a bit more proactive rather than reactive. Things have been more of the latter recently, I think because I haven’t been providing too many challenges which need to be overcome. This is something that I need to fix as GM, to get a bit more action (physical and/or social) into the game because I feel things have been a bit passive recently.
I have a few ideas about what to throw in, which should also be simpler to implement now that they’re doing to a smaller team of characters.