Friday, 31 July 2015

Traveller - Star Trader: part 9

With the Hekabe laid up in hospital (as Orneev puts it), her crew have a two week furlough in Uloryy's startown. They all decide to stick together since they don't know anyone here.

[Back to Travelling Alone for their time on Uloryy...

Week 1
Dates: 206 through 213-1106

Upkeep: Diula and Orneev both have SOC 8, so living expenses will be 8x8x10= cr640/week. Inty only has SOC 4, but she's keeping pace with them, so will pay the same. I have been keeping careful track of everyone's money on their character sheets (which is why they needed the cr5000 payouts from the ship's fund), but enumerating all their private expenditures would make for less than thrilling reading.

After Upkeep, the dice lead to Buy Equipment... then Sell Equipment... then Buy Equipment again...]

Startown can get wearing, so they take the light rail into the city proper. Inty suggests they have a wander through some of the indoor shopping complexes; the better ones are climate controlled, and she finds having to wear a breather every time they venture outdoors just a bit trying. They spend hours wandering past market stalls and through emporia. But no one needs any worthless tat, and no one really wants any TL7 devices, and since weapons are mostly prohibited under Law Level 8, it's window shopping only.

[...Event: Receive a message from... (1d6) 1 Auoth, 2 the bank, 3 mercenaries, 4 Heldamin, 5 Port Authority, 6 Imperials

Q: what is the message (via UNE): she's Friendly; the conversation mood is (d%=)67, sociable. Topic: scheming-plan-previous scene
The message arrives on (206+1d6=) 211-1106. This is the day after the firefight in the barn, chronicled in episodes 10 and 11 of the other campaign.]

One night when they get back to their hotel, the concierge informs them that a message has been left for their attention:

"Hey what's up guys? We should meet. Tomorrow at 17:75 (local). Dinner's on me! Address follows. -Heldamin xxoo"

Date: 212-1106

[after Event, the dice lead to Options. Time for dinner:]

Chez Aenvoekhangvuerrgh is a fancy-but-not-too-fancy restaurant specialising in pan-Vargr cuisine. Heldamin has booked a private room in the back. She is waiting there, sitting alone at the table and nursing something red topped with oily-hued foam. She appears not to have slept -- but that's nothing new. The only other person in the room is her bodyguard, a silent mountain of a man who neither speaks nor moves from his station by the door. The wait staff, a mixture of humans and vargr, come and go. Heldamin appears to be on a first-name basis with them all. Her Gvegh is pretty bad, and they all laugh when she asks for the sauce to be served on the floor rather than on the side, but the sommelier insists she's improved since last time. This pleases her to no end.

Heldamin engages her friends in small talk for a while, and launches into another of her stories, this one about the time she first came to Uloryy and had her robot servants in tow. But once the main courses have been brought, she gets down to business.

[Q: Does she know about the marines (episode 12)? Likely: 41, Yes.
She wants the PCs to get her + (1-2 people, 3-4 cargo, 5-6 both) away quietly.
6=both. 1d6= 1 passenger, 1d6x5= 30tonnes cargo]

"So yesterday," says Heldamin, "I got news that there was an incident involving some of the mercenaries. I didn't quite get all of it -- there's some confusion still -- but it seems like some local criminals stole one of their deliveries or tried to lean on them for bribes. It all ended with Imperial marines storming a warehouse on the edge of startown this morning. I just do deals and set stuff up and see that all the interested parties are talking and happy. I don't do fighting and I really really really don't do criminals. So I'm going to conclude my diplomacy here on Uloryy quick and get out before anything stupid happens. Like gang warfare or MOJ investigation or something. So I want to hire your ship. I can pay standard charter rates, and since I know those are rubbish I will offer to handle all the usual fees for docking, life support, fuel, et cetera. It'll be me, and one other, and 30dt of cargo I've got at the downport."

"The Hekabe is in the middle of her annual maintenance," says Inty. "We can't go anywhere for at least a week."

"That's OK," says Heldamin. "Things are going to be hot here for a little while. I'm counting on the drydock to convince the authorities you weren't expecting to have to make any hasty exits. I would like to hurry though, after that. We won't have too much time at each stopover. Though I guess that's partly up to the vagaries of jump travel. But I do need to be somewhere in a reasonable amount of time."

"Where do you need to get to?" asks Orneev.

[Q: Where is she going? 1d6: 1-2 home, 3-4 Dimmul, 5-6 random direction
1d6=5: rolling a random system in the subsector.]

"Chabloha. Ever been? I haven't. I hear it's all very primitive, and that everyone lives in caves underground. It's supposed to be pretty, though."

[It's a potentially dangerous proposition, and sounds not-entirely-legal. Do the PCs agree? A d6 will be rolled for each, with a Yes on: Inty 1-2, Orneev 1-3, Diula 1-5]

"I think we could help," blurts out Diula.

"I was just going to say that," adds Orneev.

"This is the part where I would normally say I need to run it past my crew," says Inty, "but since we're obviously unanimous, welcome aboard! Well, once the ship is fixed."

"A toast then, to our continuing association! And I already told Diula before I left the first time, but I want my same stateroom. It's super comfy... and I think I may have left one of my shoes in it."

[Q: Any complications that night? Unlikely: No.]

The next day everyone is in good spirits. Heldamin sends them a local number to contact her on, and submits the proper charter paperwork electronically. Inty decides to hold a ship's meeting to discuss future plans, as they won't have the Zoan government paying their wages forever. Orneev mentions that if they want to make a habit of carrying passengers, they should probably hire a ship's doctor to keep things above board.

[...end Week 1

Week 2
Dates: 214 through 220-1106

After the Upkeep step, nothing important comes up until Options.]

Diula sends a message to Heldamin to let her know they're going up to the highport to recruit a replacement medic whilst Inty and Orneev draft the notice to put up on the starport help wanted board. By dinner time they are checking in to a suite at one of the highport hotels.

[Q: Does anyone answer their ad in the port e-paper? Likely: 14, Yes.
The best, or probably only, respondant is:]

Bval Tus
Human Male
Merchant 4th Officer  56674A  Age 26  2 Terms  Cr 30,000
Dagger-1, Carbine-1, Medical-1
Homeworld: Mzarz (A221775-B Na Po)
Personality: Orderly, Unsympathetic

They get one response to the advert, and set up a lunch meeting for 216-1106 in a spacers' canteen. The man they meet, Bval Tus by name, is young, clean cut, businesslike, and well-mannered. He tells them that he grew up in a domed city on Mzarz, a child of very well-to-do bureaucrats [SOC A] who hoped he and his sisters would all follow in their footsteps. But he never cared much for school -- and didn't do so well, as he readily admits [EDU 4] -- and dreamt of a more interesting life. When he turned 18 he ran away and signed up for a life in the merchant marine, seduced by all the promises of adventure and excitement in the holovid ads. But after 2 stultifying terms as a junior medic aboard a 2000t Tukera Lines bulk freighter, he decided that being a megacorporation employee was unlikely to ever be anything like the ads would have you believe. So when his 2nd term was finished, he did not renew his contract, and went looking for a place aboard a free trader. His references are impeccable, if undistinguished. He diplomatically excuses himself to the use the toilet, and when he returns they offer him the job, which he happily accepts.

Inty explains the ship is in drydock for a few days yet, but that they have a charter all ready lined up, and will be leaving at the first opportunity. She also says she'll pay his salary on the ship's mortgage date to keep her bookkeeping simple, so he'll get his first month's pay on 235-1106, after just two weeks aboard. He can consider this as a signing bonus.

He's got nothing better to do, so he spends the rest of the day with his new shipmates to get better acquainted. [...Buy/sell equipment] Diula excitedly explains their project to kit out the ship's locker. Bval says he knows a place in the port they can purchase weapons legally, and have them delivered to their ship.

In the end they buy a pair of shotguns, a pair of carbines, and ammo for everything: 5 magazines for each gun, including Diula's pistols. They also buy a pair of medkits since the doc took his when he left. They decide to wait on the communicators. Anything they would want would be higher than Uloryy's tech level, and whilst they could find some nice commos in the highport, they would be overpriced.

cr443,446 ship's fund
   -3,025 stocking ship's locker
cr440,421 new ship's fund

[...The dice then lead to the End of the Travelling Alone sequence. But according to the other campaign timeline, the secret mercenary training camp is captured by Imperial forces on 216-1106. So...

Q: Does anything happen as a result of the mercenaries' capture? 50/50: 36, Yes.
Q: What? Ambush/Expectations: Heldamin shows up early.
Q: Have the PCs heard about the incident? Likely: 90, No.
Q: Why not? (1d6) 1-3 ignorance, 4-6 was kept out of the press: 4 = no news]

Date: 217-1106

After dropping Bval off at his hostel (he's paid up there for the week), the rest of the Hekabe's crew return to their hotel. And who should they espy in the hotel lounge but Heldamin. Not that anyone could miss her, attired as she is in another of her voluminous shimmering robes, but she hadn't even sent them a message to say she was coming up the gravity well.

She looks the same as she ever does, with the dark circles under her eyes and a drink the size of her head. Before her on the table is a plate of something that's been fried past the point of holding any nutritional value, which she is sharing with a man who looks about Inty's age. He is wearing a rather ridiculous-looking souvenir t-shirt with "Everything's nicer on Anandanang" emblazoned across the front. His burly arms are fully covered in tattoos, including a prominent Imperial marines unit insignia.

Caidro Reh-Olnoka
human male
ex-Marine Captain  A569B8  Age 40  5 terms
admin-2, cutlass-1, brawl-1, tactics-1, ACR-2, SMG-2
Personality: Panicky, Faded

"Oh hi, guys!" exclaims Heldamin, brightening when she notices them coming towards her. "Pull up some chairs, grab a waiter; I've got a tab going. Inty, Diula, Orneev, meet my friend Caidro. He'll be travelling with us to help look after the cargo. They have a great ship, you'll like it. Sooooo much better than that tug we flew out of New Dlemmis that one time. And not just 'cause it doesn't have a hold full of unn... unt.. uffy... whatever those things are called. It should be an Imperial Crime to have paying passengers on a ship carrying livestock. I thought I'd never get that smell out of my things. So how's you guy's doctor hunt going? Bagged one yet? I hope you find one that's better than..."

[Untefyi are 500kg herd animals raised on New Dlemmis for food, though they are not native to the world.

Heldamin needs to make a 9+ carousing roll to conceal the fact that things are going very poorly for her associates, and that Imperial agents may or may not be looking for her: 12+2, an outstanding success]

Heldamin continues to babble excitedly and keep everyone generally amused until well past their bedtimes. The crew of the Hekabe are happy that she's come early, as it will provide a welcome distraction for the last few days before they get their ship back.

[Q: Any problems before departure? Somewhat Likely: 80, No.

Next post will resume captain's log entries.]


  1. I do continue to find your inclusion of the choices for die rolling of use . . . certainly much more useful than just stating the result without getting to see the other choices.

    One of the things that I like about this is how some totally unexpected results can really change the story.

    Please don't wait too long to post turn 10.

    -- Jeff

    1. I'm a big fan of showing my work. Sometimes the method of arriving at a result can be more interesting than the result itself. And it is fun to see how the story changes with the most unexpected result turns up. I think the Traveller limitation of using a d6 acts as a goad to creativity. If you come up with 5 obvious ways something could go, and don't want to make any of them more likely than the others, you have to find something to fill out the table.

    2. RE: Showing Work . . . Agreed!

      On another note, is the second "r" in Aenvoekhangvuerrgh silent? I mean, if so, that COMPLETELY changes the pronunciation. ;D

    3. I don't have the Vargr alien module to hand, but I think there actually might be a stated difference between the pronunciation of single vs. double R.