Tourist Trap

Patron: Bureaucrat, Spy
Required Skills: social skills, combat(?)
Required Equipment: None

Players’ Information:
The team is contacted by Jakomo Sato, Assistant to the Second Foreign Minister for Trade on Fessor (2814 Foreven). He is seeking to hire experienced trouble-shooters to travel to Roopolaty (2712 Foreven) and determine the status of Deputy Third Foreign Minister for Trade, Stefana Kazlauskas. Kazlauskas has gone on holiday to Roopolaty, a balkanized world designated as an Amber Zone by the Travellers’ Aid Society due to internal political strife. Sato hastily explains that Kazlauskas had long been intent on touring the ruins of a long departed alien race in the Northern Uplands. He tried to convince her not to go but to no avail. In hushed tones Sato reveals that information obtained through diplomatic back channels suggests that an off world tourist or tourists are being held by militants in the vicinity of the ruins. Unable to prod the government of Fessor into formal action in a timely manner, he is turning to the characters for assistance. (If pressed he will reveal he has the covert backing of the Second Foreign Minister and his contingency accounts).

Sato will provide roundtrip middle passage to and from Roopolaty, cover all reasonable expenses and pay Cr 10,000 per person to find Kazlauskas and return her safely home. He can’t promise more than that up front but thinks he can secure bonuses based on how successful the mission is. If Kazlauskas, or other Fessori, are being held for ransom, the team is authorized to negotiate for their release and is advised to coordinate with the local consulate.

Roopolaty Ruins
Roopolaty Ruins : Image from wikimedia. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Referee’s Information:
UPP data: Roopolaty         2712 Foreven    C65667A-9 Ag Ni           A 303 Na

1. While travel to Roopolaty itself is relatively straightforward, it takes a fair amount of negotiation/haggling to obtain the services of a local guide and secure the use of a surface vehicle to travel to the Northern Uplands. The trip takes three days, the last half of which is via unpaved roads. Sato’s information turns out to be flat wrong; Kazlauskas is in no danger and will in fact be quite put out that the characters have been sent to bring her home.

2. As in option number 1 except that the characters’ vehicle will come under attack by brigands two days out from the capital city. They are mainly intent on exacting a “toll” from the party and offer token violence at best unless one or more of their band is injured or killed, at which point the gloves come off. There are 1d6+2 brigands armed with auto rifles and possessing stats consisting of all 7’s.

3. Sato’s information was correct and Kazlauskas is being held for ransom by anti-government militants intent on embarrassing the local regime. The militants’ base of operations is an outpost about 5 km from the ruins that supports approximately 30 persons, most variously armed with assault weapons. They seek kCr 100 in ransom and want the incident publicized as widely as possible, all the better if the off world news services pick up the story. The militants are not die-hard fanatics but they will put up a strong fight if challenged.

4. As in option number 3 but the militants have vowed to overthrow the government by any means possible. They have taken Kazlauskas, as well as a handful of other tourists, hoping to exchange them for political prisoners being held in the capital. It’s possible that a sufficiently skilled negotiator could secure their release in exchange for a cash ransom but it will take some effort. A military style raid might also work but the hostages will clearly be at risk.

5. In reality Kazlauskas works for Fessor’s intelligence service and was sent to Roopolaty in the guise of a tourist for the express purpose of meeting with the anti-government militants to arrange support for them. Sato, who is Kazlauskas’ handler, obtained information that the Zhodani were aware of her mission and hired the player characters to extract her before she could be compromised. (Sato gives the team an innocuous sounding message to pass to Kazlauskas informing her that her cover has been blown). Whether or not there are actually any Zhodani agents in the area and what their skills/talents are is left to the referee to decide.

6. As in option number 5 except that Kazlauskas was unwittingly sent to Roopolaty by Sato in hopes of triggering an interstellar incident as a pretext for intervention by Fessor. Word of her mission was leaked to the Zhodani though obscure channels, in theory insuring that she would be discovered. Things have not gone as planned as Kazlauskas has apparently been very successful in her mission to contact the militants. Sato, much dismayed at the situation, hired the team in hopes that the plan will work on the second pass. In the interest of plausible deniability, the Zhodani have dispatched their own group of hired travelers to investigate the situation with orders to secure any off-worlders found for questioning (and likely later disposal).

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