The PC's discover a news article regarding an Aslan Female, Hlausau' Ktyakuhois, who was last seen over a year ago in the Glisten system. Considered a major political figure in her homespace of Ranib subsector (Trojan Rift - M), she was exploring busines s opportunities for the Oikhoiseaha clan when she vanished. The article also noted that the reward for her safe return has been increased from 30 to 42 MCr.
The wisest course for the PC's is to head for Glisten and contact the local representative of the Oikhoiseaha clan, E'ae Kouwoureal. There will be a brief discussion; before the meeting, make an Average roll of Liaison (using the highest Liaison rating among the PC's) to see if the PC's remember the formalities and preparations needed to signal their respect towards the clan leader.
During the discussion - which will last only two minutes - make a Difficult roll of Liaison. Difficulty should be altered according to the amount of preparation the PC's make for their audience.
["Kty" : short form for Ktyakouhois. DON'T use in her presence!]
If this isn't given to the PC's, basic data on Kty can be found in a variety of government and clan databases. To obtain unauthorized access to the database of either the local Ministry of Commerce and Trade (which handles the main starport, located at Seraiian Asteroid) or the Police Datachannel (a system-wide Missing Person's report exists throughout the system), the following procedure must be followed:
The above tasks assume that a sufficent amount of time and tools is used. Moreover, all actions are assummed to be at TL F. Increase Research difficulity by one level for every tech era the PC's homeworld is below High Stellar: increase the difficulity of all other tasks by one level for every Tech level below F the PC is operating at.
The PC's may choose to contact the local criminal underground to do the work. The Referee is advised to negotiate hard for every 'service' required, and demand exorbant compensation for these services. Moreover, the Referee should factor in the possibility of scams and double-crossing. Finally, there's always the possibility that the criminal didn't do the job properly, putting the PC's continued stay in Glisten - even their freedom - in jeopardy.
If the PC's target the clan's database, they will have to obtain physical access to a networked terminal in the clan's holding on Sarodon Asteroid. The clan compound here houses the entire Oikhoiseaha clan, and is also the site of the gravitics factory they are constructing. Once the PC's have somehow sneaked onto the site, they need to imitate - or 'borrow' - an retnial pattern and the voice of an Aslan with the security clearances needed.
the PC's will only be able to have this level of knowledge about Kty only by A) having it given to them by the clan leadership B) conducting interviews with the *right* Aslans (knowing who to interview is a task in it's own right!) C) successfully logging on to the clan database, getting meaningful data from the right databases, and making the right connections with this pile of vaguely related mass of information.
There is another way. Both researching Kty's background and making the connections are definitely easier if they choose to make the trip to Kty's homeworld, Lysewekh (Ranib: Trojan Reach/0640 A6205LA-E). Going on regular jump4 Aslan liners (Regency ships are quarrentined for 6 months before being permitted to travel deep into Aslan space), the trip covers 14 jumps (about 45 parsecs), takes 28 weeks and costs 14,000 Cr per passenger in low berth. To compare: the typical Regency citizen earns about 12,000 Cr a year.
The wise PC will be on his guard, this deep in Aslan space. Few humans routinely travel this far into Aslan territory; thus, only a few professional Aslans have tolerance skill.
The system itself is essentially a trade and military station. Humans will be tolerated, but watched carefully.
This is the continuation of my rough draft for a Glisten adventure. First, I'm going to cover some of the databanks concerning the missing Aslan female, Hlausau' Ktyakukois. Then more referee's detail (perhapse too much detail: but as I said, this is a rough draft). No wizz-bang ending tonight!
Quiet conversation with some of her peers and companions [largely Aslan, or humans that folow Aslan tradition] at Ilroei will result in these rumours...
The first step is to realize that this is an "inside job", that is, her enemy is probably Aslan, rather than human
The second deduction is to determing that her abrasive personality, ambition, and high competence would make enemies of both competitive businessess and her superiors _back at Iysewekh_. (Her skill in politics has insured that the Aslans at Glisten are all "her people", due to her highly astute sense of politics and judjement of character. There are a number of ways that the PC's may be able to discover this fact)
The third deduction is that whoever took her did not wish to kill her in public. *Why?* A competitor would benefit more from a public duel than a dishonourable kidnapping. Indeed, they may not have killed her at all.
You may leave the players to figure this out themselves - especially once they have the special, detailed knowledge they need to figure this out themselves. Or yor may present it as a task (esp. if pressed for time) -
Formidable: Average of Intelligence and Education.
This task can be attempted twice a week.
Once the above is known, you need to figure out who among her possible enemies would hesitate to kill her in public. Attempting to find her enemies within Ilroei Industrial Products would be - in this adventure - not possible. For one thing, none of them is at Glisten, and there is much too little info to work on. Even if they are at Iysewekh, the PC's know too litle about the sublties (sp) os Aslan company politics to understand what to do.
The PC's *can*, however, try to find Kty's enemies outside the Ilroei company:
Difficult: Liaison or Research
Then, narrow the list of subjects by discussing who would prefer her to "dissapear" rather than either be killed, counter-attach in a non-violent (ie. political) manner, or simply wait for her to return to the Trojan Reach:
>>> and the answer is...
Ftaihkeaya Machinery, owned by the Ftaihkeaya clan of Tlaiowaha
(Tlaiowaha: Trojan reach/1928 B1209L4-E T 411 A1 F4 D)
Ftaihkeaya Machinery is in direct competition with Ilroei in the area of constructiong some of the enormous pieces of gravitic machinery needed to suspend TL E gravitic cities in the air.
Ftai. has long been the primary supplier of this kind of equipment, but it's dominance in the field has been slowly worn away by complacency and the competition. Ftai. decided to try and revitalize it's product line by setting up a TL F research office to gain new insights from Glisten (and nearby Regency) manufactourers.
But now, less than five years after the reasearch office was created, Ilroei is planning to establish a major factory in Glisten to take advantage of the ex-Imperial markets. This is *very* bad news for Ftaihkeaya.
Then Hlausau' Ktyakuhois herself arrived, to take command of Ilroei operations and turn that factory into a reality. Thjis upset all of Ftai's plan's,a ndwould decisively give Ilroei the upper hand.
Moreover, Ftai. couldn't directly attack eith er Ktyakuhois or her company: as an adjudicator, she sided with Ftai. in a controversial ruling over copyright. Even though she is removed from the bench, for Ftai. to attack her publicly would almost certianly cause Ftai. to lose a lot of public standing, as a company _and_ as a clan.
Thus, they originally decided to kidnap and kill her in secret, using human mercenaries to cloak their involvement. However, the humans who kidnapped her decided to blackmail Ftai. instead. They recieve regular payments of 5 MCr every six months, thru a paper company.
Ftai. Machinery is currently in a quandry. The - so far - have decided not to hinder the construction of Ilroei's factory, so as not to draw attention to themselves. They _have_ sent out two squads of trusted, elite clan soldiers to kill Kty and ker captors, but they are following empty leads in the Regency.
There are two ways that the PC's can get hard proof connecting Ftai. Machinery with Kty's kidnapping: follow the electronic "paper chain" connecting Ftai.'s payments to the blackmailing merc's or ambush Ftai.'s outgoing company messenger.
Following the email trail will eventually lead the PC's to the xboat network, and onward to Mora, the capital of the Regency. There, the message is copied 50 times and sent off to destinations throughout the Regency, via both xboat and merchant ship's. The smart PC will return to Glisten at this point, the stupid PC would go on a mad romp across the Regency like the Aslan mercenaries. [If they meet, the Aslan's may choose to 'team up' with the PC's until they find Kty, then kill both her and the PC's! They are poor liar's however...]
The lucky PC will follow the copy sent to Gandr (Lunion: Spinward Marches/2245 E000347-8). Gerard Winstion, an experienced money launderer, picks uo the money with fake ID's, spends a month cleaning it, then places 90% of it in a variety of subsector accounts, keeping 10% for himself. If caught, he can be "persuaded" to lead the PC's directy to the mercenaries. Warning: he alwars has one or two of the mercenaries with him, and a chartered scout with crew ready to jump.
Ftaihkeaya's messanger can be ambushed in four places: in Ftai.'s industrial/residential complex, enroute to the starport, on the Aslan jump4 courier ship, or at his destination at Tlaiowaha starport in the Trojan Reach, about 10 four-parsec jumps away.
Finding out who the messanger is and his location is a computer task, using the same method needed to illegally enter Oikhoiseaha's computers: just this time, the target is Ftai's. Getting inside Ftai's complex - with takes up half an asteroid - is more difficult. (you PC's had better have at least a ship's boat: some of these asteroids they are travelling to is clear across the system..) About 15,000 people - 1/3 Aslan - live and work in the complex, and the site is guarded to peasetime *Aslan* standards, including 5 20-disp fighters and 3 large laser bays. Moreover, an attempt to forcibily board the facility will quickly run into about 1250 adult Aslan males and TL E-F security precausions.
If the messanger is to be ambushed in transit to the starport, the PC's would need to plan carefully to insure that they are near the Frai. spaceship as it transport the messanger to a waiting jump4 courier ship. Tey're so many ships near Glisten Starport that they won't draw suspicion until the're within 300 km's of the transport. Then, they must shoot down the spacship's HEPlaR, match vectors, close with the spacecraft and board it in under 30 minutes. Then they must grapb the messanger (who would have suicided by this time), get back to their ship, and jump out before the Glisten systen navy arrives in force. Fortunately, the Regency doesn't hav an extradition treaty with the Aslan New Lords, but a change in ID and [very expensive, rare TL G drugs (for TL F DNA tests), impossible-to-legally-get] drugs to mask the PC's DNA pattern are strongly advised.
Sneaking onboard the Aslan ship as Ftai. cargo requires enterind the starport, somehow getting rid of the cargo of a cargo container, and entering it yourself. It's aslo wise to put a forged ID sticker with the new weight on the container, and wear Vacc suits.
Once onboard, they should wait until certain that the messanger is onboard (ie. until they feel the shift into jump space). THEN assult the crew. If successful they can bring the dead messander (or, if there _really_ lucky, the Low Berthed messanger) back to Ilroei, so they can take out the TL E computer chip in his brain (wiped after death: that's why he's so willing to die, if he can't avoid capture.) to rebuild the wiped information (normally a Formidable: Computer test, but in this adventure there's automatic success after 1d6 weeks).
Well, that's all most of the detail's : some more to follow, then the Adventure Finale!
<Swelling theme song...>
The PC's may try to ambush a Fiat. messanger *after* he arrives at Tlaiowaha [ie. get there by their own (hopefully faster) ship, or find out his schedule and be there, waiting for him].
They should berth their ship, and wait until Ftai.'s courier ship has arrives and is ready to disembark the messanger. Then the PC's need to grab the messanger, get back to their ship, and jump while their ship is still on the tarmac (they dare not try to lift out: if the starport's defenses doesn't nail them, the local SDB fleet will!)
Because of the Heirate's political climate and clan structure, the only military they need to fear is the Ftai. clan - who can afford to send 14 500-disp TL C-E warships after them. Since the Ftai. need to block off escape routes and search systems, it's highly unlikely that the PC's will encounter more than two ships at any one system:
Roll 2d6 for encountering a Ftai. warship while running to Glisten:
the first half of the journey:
the last half of the journey:
[reminder: Tlaiowaha is about 10 for-parsec jumps away from Glisten.]
However, at Glisten the PC's will be given a break - assuming that they have chosen to jump near the Ilroei complex at Sarodon Asteroid rahter than to Glisten Starport, that is. Otherwise, expect major red tape, or a final last attack by two Ftai. ship's.
Both the information from the mercenary money launderer and the info on the biochip in the dead Aslan Messanger's skull agree that the merc's hired to kidnap Hlausau' Ktyakuhois were the Aao Le-Tik group, based from Glisten. A few hours at a human merc watering hole (Average: Streetwise - Easy if the human is a Merc himself) will inform the PC's that the Aao Le-Tik is a squad of about 20 members, of only average fighting ability but imaginative when it comes to ruses, bluffs and deception. Originally formed to fight Glisten's occupation, they eventually became discuraged and chose to sell their services to the highest bidder instead.
Both sources also agree that the original place where Kty. was held was in an abandoned city on Nightnoise, an asteroid in Glisten's orbit 3, outside of Glisten's two asteroid belts. The Ftai. message says that the Aao Le-Tik abandoned the site when they sent the blackmail message, and their jumpship was found abandoned at Trin.
Winston - the (possibily) captured launderer - insists that the jumpship was a ruse, and the mercenaries hid themselfves in the city until the Ftai. search team left.
If Winston isn't with the PC's, but they did get the biochip, either they or (if the players are rather thick) the aslan's should decide to go to Nightnoise to see if any clues remain on the Merc's whereabouts.
Two weeks later, the PC's - along with Winston (if they somehow found him), and 80 Aslan technicians, investigators and troops - heads for Nightnoise on a 1000-disp charted fusion-drive spaceship. They bring enough equipment to last the expedition three months, along with 20 Aslan grav bikes.
The Aslan transport spends days disembarking people and equipment, then leaves, to return in three months. The expedition finds itself in an artifical cavern, it's roof open to raw space, formerly a F-class port. The expedition presses down a corridor, it's mobile powerplant providing the energy needed to power air locks and iris valves.
The dead city of Tanenbaum is completely dark - no power, nolights, no gravity, no breathable air. Four hundred years ago, Tanenbaum's lax safety regulations finally caught up with it, resulting in a massive city-wide plase that rendered it uninhabitable and killed 92% of it's 155,000 inhibatants.
Today, charred skeletions and melted furniture litter the residental areas of the city. The air is full of carbom monoxide and old toxic fumes from the fire, and occassionally the zero-G soot (floating in round clumps in the air) is broken up, impeding vision.
The party pressess forward, to where the biochip/Winston says Kty was first held. A recently-built, makeshift airlock is opened mechanically, and the party enters - one at a time - into breathable atmosphere. The modern light-switches work, displaying a hallway leading to eight rooms. The place is furnished with cheap steel furniture, adapted for a zero-G enviroment. There is no computer, memchip's or paper to be found.
Even a careful, 3-day search will only show that Humans and Aslans were here within the past two years.
If the party doesn't have Winston to guide them, they must divide up the city and search every section for sign's of continued habitation. If Tanenbaum is divided up into 10 equal sections (The Aslans obtained a 500-year-old electronic data of the city from the Glisten archives before leaving) it will take one month to search a single section. There is a 10% chance that they're searching the right section, and for the group to find the right signs [ie. an increase in background heat, detection of unaccounted-for electric fields, recent footprints and handprints) is a test of
(assume group observation asset is 10)
..once per month.
If the party finds nothing after three months, the leader of the Aslans will argue to leave. The PC's may agree, and abandon the site [and, unknowingly, the 42 MCr]. If not, they can argue that the party be resupplied (Formidable: Persuasion), increased to 200 searchers, w/ additional equipment (Impossible: Persuasion. Success here will decrease searching difficulity to Average), or be left with a skeletion crew to continue the search (Difficult: Persuasion. Success here will increase difficulty to Impossible: Observation)
If they're smart, they can elect to watch Nightnoise from their ship for any sign's of activity. With simple patience, they will spot a 100-Disp unarmed spaceship, landing on the asteroid some distance from the old spaceport. (in 1d6 weeks.) This freighter is carrying supplies to the merc's in the city, and is landing near a abandoned air lock to transport supplies.
If they find the "Neighbourhood" where the merc's are holding Kty, they can plan out a strike team. However they do it, they should remember to enter the merc's territory thru an airlock, to perserve the atmosphere for the hostage's sake (if they feel that she's still alive).
The Aslan females will avoid the heat of battle, but will fight if pressed.
Four Veteran Aslan's are demo experts: each have 6 kg of plastic explosive and 10 blasting caps.
Twenty Aslan will get grav bikes: their bikes carry extra ammo and another 6-hour air tank.
Of the 22 Aao Le-Tik mercenaries, 17 are in Tanenbaum (two were with the money launderor, one is on Glisten, two are on the 100-Disp resupply freighter)
Because of closed-circut TV, Jeho Markinov, the commander of the Aao Le-Tik, will immediately be aware if the PC's or the Aslan's enter the Merc's territory.
As soon as he sees that they're coming, he'll order a fighting retreat to the merc's air lock. Ordering Kty into a rescue ball, Markinov will activate the 25 pre-set tripwire mines, send an emergency call to his man at Glisten (which will tell him what's happened, and to take certain actions), destroy the vital circutry of his command post with a blast of his plasma gun (so his cameras and sensors can't be used against him), and head out to the well-camoflagued escape ship near the merc air lock.
The merc's have endlessly drilled for this action, using VR and the anciend electronic maps of Tanenbaum for pratice. They will split into two fire groups, and one hostage group:
..the mines (C:5, B:24) are set by physical tripwire, impossible to see (but infrared may pick it up). Twelve turns must be spend to set them up in a hidden spot, four turns if left visible.
..the LMG's are TL7, w/Bipod, using ball ammo
Markinov (Init 6: you will kave to develop his skill set) Battle-Dress-10, 1 Pasma Gun-14, 4 smoke grenader, 4 regular grenades
3 Merc's with Combat Armour-12 (AV 3/2), 1 Autogun, one plasma Rifle-12, 4 smoke grenades, 4 regular grenades (Elite)
6 Merc's with Combat Armour-10 (AV 2/1), one Plasma Rifle-12, 4 Grenades (Veteran)
5 Merc's with Spacesuits (AV 1) w/Chest-Armour-10 (AV 2), one plasma Rifle-12 (Experienced)
2 Merc's as above, but also with a one-shot Plasma Bazooka-10 (Experienced)
The Merc's will treat the city like a three-dimensional maze. Their planned route will avoid open spaces and large rooms, but dwell in corridors and maintenance shafts. Whever possible, they willa ttempt to shake their pursuers by using unexpected tactics, surprise, and superior knowledge of the city layout. If they can draw out and isolate an enemy squad, they will do a brief offensive and attempt to kill it, or at least keep their head down with suppression fire. Again when possible, the fire groups will try to cover each other.
The first hour of the conflict will occur in the merc's breathable area. Sometime after this, the merc's will blow a hole in the wall, venting in bad air. While the Expedition is busy ramming on their helmets, the prepared merc's will burn rubber.
The Aslan commander will attempt to herd the merc's into dead ends and killing zones. Five vet's will be left behind to guard the females: 20 Vet's and five elites will chase the merc's, while 5 elites and 15 Vet's - all on grav bikes - will either steer the merc's into a dead end, prepare a cross-fire killing zone, or try to block their escape route.
The PC's should be careful regarding combat. If their weaponry and armour is not up to a plasma-gun firefight, they should stay in the rear with the Aslan females. If they insist on joinin gin the fun, they shouldn't seperate from the main chase group: as humans, any Aslan trhey surprise may asume that they're merc's for a cxombat turn. Shared radio frequency's will quickly dissapate the confustion, but large holes in the PC's chest may appear in the meantime.
Battle should be played out in two scales: generic map's for the PC's (but remember the 3-D nature of the conflict!), and an abstract system for the entire battle,
The battle is limited to 6 hours - this is how long the merc's have until their air supply run's out. If they don't make it to the escape ship in time, they surrender. If the PC's air hits bingo level (ie. the level they need to get back to base and recharge their air supply) they *MUST* immediately retreat back to the Aslan females, and their mobile air refresher.
If the Merc's make good time, the merc's can reach their escape ship - a Ship's Boat - in about 4 hours. If the PC's alert the authorities, the Boat can easily be halted by Glisten's Navy before it can reach the Starport. If not, the Merc's escape: about 6 month's later Kty is realeased, for 42 MCr.
If Markinov is trapped like a rat, he'll surrender, relying on Aslan belief's onnot killing prisoners to protect him. If he realises that the Aslan's who trapped him are from the Oikhoiseaha clan, he'll bargain: Kty's life for the merc's escape. The Aslan leader will agree, and let him and his men go: they will send an assassin (or the PC's!) to terminate him later.
If fully successful, the PC's get their 43 MCr three bi-monthly installments. They also gain the favour of an up-and-coming clan and a respected, powerful Aslan female clan lord.
If they find the merc's, but Kty dies in the firefight, they just get the money.
Since much of Ktyakuhois' plans involve expanding into ex-Imperial space -- especially the systems of Glisten, Albe (Sindal: Trojan Reach/2211 A540A98-E De Hi In Po 213 As F4V M2D), and Tobia (Tobia: Trojan Reach/3215 A444A55-F In Hi 203 As F7D) -- she is likely to find plenty of use for the PC's. However, if they want to climb to the to pf the ladder as trusted servants they must join the clan and adopt Aslan Ways, renouncing Regency citizenship.
867958-B 6.5 Terms