Any high population, high technology world that has a gas giant in the outer system.
High population, high technology worlds – the economic engine that helps drive the Imperium. The thought of hauling a load of TL15 Critical Widgets to a lower TL agriworld is what gives some merchants hope some days and rightfully so.
Most of the time the really big shipments are plotted months in advance, sent on the megacorporation megafreighters that are the backbone of Imperial commerce, and kept far away from tramp merchants like ours. But there’s always cargo to assemble, to Buy Low Sell High and profit among the stars on the merchant ship Wanton Credit.
Until now, that is. A day late for six separate lots that would have been easy sales, all the brokers have left is the kind of stuff they make jokes about, and all of the coming week’s cargo spoken for too.
The Captain was giving serious consideration to trying to see if he could get our annual maintenance in early when Ishuun came in with the news. The ship’s account must have been worse than we thought when the Captain agreed to it.
Whilst sat at a bar in between jobs, the players are contacted by a rich business man named Kalas Henderson, whose daughter Annalisa is currently resident on another world. Annalisa wanted to study the political situation there as it was very similar to a number of historical records dating from early Terran history and its proximity to her homeworld made this an easy option to better her studies. The world (named Thebis) has been classified as amber zone planet, due to the two powerful superpowers pitched against each other and a ‘cold war’ that has been running for a number of decades. It’s tech level is equivalent to the Terran late 1980’s (tech level 7). Microcomputer technology is just becoming affordable for the home, but a four-year stint of military service is mandatory for all citizens reaching the age of eighteen. Use and possession of all firearms are banned by civilians (law level 9).
Both of the two major nations on the planet, Shakorev in the north and Vaalnarn in the south have both rejected Imperial contact and the scout service advised intervention should be proceeded with caution. Therefore though there is a limited space to surface activity, the two ‘warring’ nations have become quite insular and all their efforts are directed at each other, rather than off-world.
It has been reported however through the Traveller News Service that after many years of posturing, both have started a conventional war by invading each other’s territories. The war has gone on for a few weeks until Vaalnarn has made a breakthrough assault and is driving its forces north direct to Shakorev’s capital, where Annalisa was studying.
With this worrying escalation, Kalas asks the players to find his daughter and get her off-world as soon as possible. Her will pay a substantial fee (Cr 500,000) for her rescue with an additional Cr 50,000 up-front to cover any expenses the players may have in preparing for the rescue.
It is advisable that the players covertly land on the planet, in case anyone tries to steal the ship or gain passage off-world. Weapons and high-technology (eg. guns, air-rafts) should be kept concealed or alternative means obtained as it will most certainly draw the attention of the authorities. Note that anything that stands out as being more advanced than TL7 will stand out and become noticeable. The environment for the search is a large city, based on the lines of a large east European or Soviet city from the Terran 1980’s era; think large imposing apartment blocks, statues of the Shakorev’s leadership and a country at war. Military vehicles are a common sight and posters spout victorious propaganda. Vehicles are petroleum-based, electronics are limited to microcomputers and a very limited form of continental electronic communication.
Stop War – Image from wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license
Players are hired and sent to a remote system as part of a humanitarian relief operation. “Powerful interests” offered a contract of Cr 1500 per week for four weeks, paid in advance, plus bonuses, to simply deliver food and provide medical treatment to the locals. Relief efforts are coordinated by an attractive doctor named Maritza. The local governor, Archibald Colt, has been losing favor among the populous for slow and ineffectual decision-making. Maritza has become a popular figure in the eyes of the people. In many ways, she is their true leader.
The planet has been ravished by recent Vargr attacks, and it is believed that remnants of the Vargr fleet remain in-system, but nothing has been seen of them for quite some time. The disruption to trade has made it difficult for the inhabitants to get even the most basic of supplies. Small scale fighting has broken out in the streets of the cities, and stores and warehouses have been stripped bare.