An adventure for 1-6 players on any TL3-14 world with population 6+ that is either balkanized (Government Code 7) or has a unified government but is embroiled in civil war, insurgency, rebellion or invasion by a neighbouring world. Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition rules have been used here.
One PC has injured their little finger in a freak accident – perhaps cargo loading, R&R, sport, or combat etc. What appears to be a sprain has within 24 hours swollen nastily and become heavily bruised. Fortunately, it is the little finger, on the non-dominant hand.
Medical staff recommend treatment within a week to ten days. How easy this is to arrange depends on the world’s medical care model and the rate of more serious trauma cases arriving as a result of any ongoing conflict.
Law Level determines if and how the PCs are armed outside starport environs.
A backwater world with a breathable atmosphere and a population of several million is dealing with a decades-long civil war. Due to the remoteness of the settlements, much of the conflict has been marked by sharp raids with few set battles. One cobbled together militia group has managed to capture a corporate research facility on a remote island. They have contacted the corporate leadership in the hopes of obtaining a decent ransom.
The corporation has decided to meet the demands of the militia and they are sending hard currency, medicines and food in exchange for the researchers and their data. A 200-ton free trader, the SS Damocles, was dispatched and quietly intercepted by the opposing side just as it exited hyperspace. The PCs are being hired to pilot the free trader to the research station, using the codes and protocols provided to them by the captured original crew. The military of the backwater world all have a distinct look and accent, so off-worlders are essential.
With the cargo removed from the trader the PCs are masquerading as the corporate crew now in isolation. They will be joined on their journey by a reinforced platoon of (28) troops. (There will be a O1 in command, an E9 and an E5 in the command section; additionally, 5 squads of 5 troopers comprising of an E4 and four E1’s make up the rest of the raiding party). These should be equipped as regular soldiers according to the Tech Level of that warring planet.
The PCs will pilot to the regular docking pad of the facility and simply stay out of the way. The O1 in command has orders to minimize damage to the facility and after the threat has been neutralized gather the researchers and their data for extraction back to the main military base where the mission started.
Whilst relaxing at Genni starport bar, the players are approached by Hank Steiger who introduces himself as a Sergeant of the Shakorev Army and asks them if they have any previous military experience. He asks if they would be interested in helping him get a message to someone which could save countless lives; Steiger explains that he was a communications officer in the Shakorev military on the planet Thebis. Unfortunately, he got involved with a bad crowd and was discharged and disgraced from the military, due to various illegal operations using military equipment for personal gain. Though he moved to Genni he still keeps a close watch on communications from the Thebis system and has noticed something rather alarming. In the past few days it appears that the Vaalnarn military (a rival nation to Shakorev) intends to launch a catastrophic invasion in about a week which could cost the lives of thousands of people. Putting aside the reasons for his untimely discharge (which Steiger admits was his own fault) he sees it as his duty to warn the Shakorev army. However, because of his past acts he doesn’t think he has much chance in convincing them of what is about to happen. His only chance is to speak to an old comrade (named Valiy Banina) who is still in the army. Using Banina’s good reputation, he may be able to warn Shakorev. If the players could get Steiger onto the base, he could speak to Banina and hopefully convince of him of what he has found. Steiger can put up a few thousand credits to help with costs of getting to Thebis, but he’s really relying on the players better nature and the huge humanitarian act they are about to perform.
Location:Ralhe (Spinward Marches/Five Sisters 0731) E-424574-8 Ni
Ralhe is a small world with little to recommend it except some surface mineral deposits. The very thin, tainted atmosphere requires respirator/filter masks, and most of the ground is covered in permafrost. It is not on a trade route or X-boat route, but it gets enough visitors to maintain the economy of its three competing states: Rahlhiem, Torrijo, and Klinghoff.
The three nations share a common culture, but not philosophies of government. Rahlheim is a bureaucratic socialist state, Torrijo is a republic, and Klinghoff is a monarchy. Within the last decade the three nations have conducted a slow-burning brush war consisting of raids and incursions with few pitched battles. Small unit actions have been common, with the occasional airstrike, barrage or armored vehicle clash.
Patroness: Lady Estella Aardmore is the wife of a humanitarian doctor. They are lesser nobility of nearby Iderati (SM/Five Sisters 0732) The focus of the mission is her husband, Doctor Sir Hiram Aardmore, MD, Physician, musician, millionaire, philanthropist.
Setup: Dr. Aardmore is on Ralhe, in the war zone between Torrijo and Rahlheim, directing a free clinic for civilians who have been injured and/or displaced by the ongoing war. Back home on Iderati, however, he has made political enemies who would be glad to see him suffer an accident. The referee can make up details of the political dispute, but they are not critical to the mission. Lady Estella has learned that there is a hit squad after her husband. The PCs must race the clock to reach Dr. Aardmore before the hit squad does, then protect him from the attack.
Payoff: Lady Estella offers Cr 75,000 to the party, payable once her husband is present with her on Iderati, still alive. She also provides middle passages (round trip) for the PCs and a High Passage for her husband. Local transport will be for the PCs to arrange. Shipping a vehicle to Rahle will be at their expense.
This adventure is suitable for characters with access to a ship (owned or part-owned by party member(s), although leasing a ship for the mission is also possible). It will work well for self-motivating parties, but should a character have a “fixer”-type NPC contact, this person may recommend or help arrange the mission.
Ship operation skills will be necessary. At least one character should be a competent engineer or salvage expert; thereafter players’ preferred mix of combat/non-combat skills. There are opportunities for shooters, talkers or doers to exercise their skillsets. The characters will need to be on neutral or better terms with the government/military.
Referees may wish to tailor participants, locations and vessels to fit with an ongoing campaign; alternatively, it can be left wholly abstracted (i.e. ‘them’ and ‘us’). Rules references are to Mongoose 2nd Edition but use with any edition is appropriate.
The war still wages, and the front line has moved deeper into enemy-controlled space weeks ago. The area behind the lines is scarred by war, on planetary surfaces and in system space, littered with wrecks of both sides.
The most valuable, sensitive or useful parts of the wrecks have been salvaged by the military, the rest – scraps and pickings – are left. It’s not worth the time and money and resources of the military to recover everything, so that opportunity is given to wreckers, professional vultures. They pay a fee to the right to turn up and salvage what’s left; that money goes into the war effort and maybe a bit to rebuild the devastation wrought by it. The value of the salvage covers the fee and more, with a bit of luck.
Having arrived in-system a few hours ago and been verified as holding a legitimate salvage license, the defense boat on watch at the jump point transmitted the co-ordinates of several wrecks. Continue reading →