Madama Butterfly

Patron: Noble
Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: Starship
Locations: Gotylu, Urnian Subsector

Players’ Information:

Whist on Gotylu the players are approached by two men wearing the brightly coloured and unusually tailored garments of the natives of that planet. They both also wear ceremonial (but quite functional) swords, marking them as higher status individuals allowed to carry such weapons despite the local law level.

They introduce themselves as Yakuside and Goro, and explain that they are looking for a group who can find the captain of a merchant starship who has gone missing. If the players are interested Yakuside will provide further details.

Pinkerton is the captain of the Lincoln, a type A free trader. Six months ago when on shore leave he courted and married Yakuside’s niece, Cho-Cho. After spending a few weeks with his new wife Pinkerton left to continue his business, with the intention to return once his trading route took him back to Gotylu. However Pinkerton has not yet returned from his voyage and the men are concerned that he is in trouble and wish to hire a group who can locate the wayward captain, help him with any difficulties he may be in, and then return him to Gotylu.

Yakuside acknowledges that Pinkerton may possibly have perished and in that case requires information on what has happened. Pinkerton also has a sword given to him at the wedding ceremony, similar to the ones they carry, which they want returned.

They are offering Cr 100,000 for Pinkerton’s safe return, half of this for definitive evidence of his demise and the other half for the return of the sword.

Cho-Cho – Image from Pixabay. Public Domain

Referee’s Information:

If the players suggest Pinkerton has absconded the patrons will protest that is an honourable man. However if pressed they will concede that this is a possibility and if so then there would be punishment administered when he was returned to them, and it would be unlikely he would be permitted to leave the planet again.

The situation is as follows:

1. Pinkerton is a scoundrel. Pinkerton is alive and well working the local cluster in his free trader and should be easily tracked down. He is a vain and arrogant man, the ceremonial sword is hanging pride of place in his stateroom seemingly as a trophy of his conquest. When confronted by the players Pinkerton will claim that he does intend to return to Gotylu soon to see his wife but has not yet had the opportunity. He will be quite dismissive of any suggestion that he should return immediately. Pinkerton will respond to threats with violence if he thinks he has the upper hand however if obviously out-gunned he will comply. He will also respond to financial incentives. If the players ingratiate themselves with Pinketon they will be able to encourage him, over a number of days or weeks, to visit Gotylu sooner that he may have otherwise. If Pinkerton discovers that he faces punishment or confinement dirt-side on his return we will not we willing to do so.

2. Pinkerton is a liar. Pinkerton is not in fact the captain of the Lincoln but is, or rather was, one of it’s crew members. He lost his position a few jumps after Gotylu and has been stranded ever since. The players will be able to track him to a world near to Gotylu where he is trying to secure a position on another starship that is likely to visit there. He is genuinely attracted to Cho-Cho and would like to return to her if possible. He will attempt to conspire with the players to concoct a plausible story of his absence from Gotylu and will happily accompany them if he thinks they will cover for him. Otherwise he will not be cooperative and will attempt to flee from the players at the first opportunity.

3. Pinkerton is a scoundrel and a liar. As number 1 however Pinkerton is not the Captain of the Lincoln but was one of its crew members. He is not currently on the Lincoln and has had a number of jobs since on different ships travelling around the cluster. He may be convinced to return to Gotylu as per number 1 however will expect to be aided in maintaining the ruse as per number 2.

4. Pinkerton is a scoundrel, a liar and a thief. As number 2 however Pinkerton has no interest in Cho-Cho beyond material gain. He is no longer on the Lincoln but left at the nearest port where he was able to enjoy both the considerable dowry he received from his marriage and the proceeds from the sale of the sword. By the time the players catch up to him he will have spent most of his money and will be either carousing, blind drunk or sleeping. He will not willingly return to Gotylu and will flee from the players as soon as he learns of their intentions. The sword is now in the possession of a local collector of Gotylu artefacts. They will sell, reluctantly, for a sufficiently generous offer (Cr 20,000 – 40,000). The collection is at their private residence and not securely guarded.

5. Pinkerton is in an unfortunate situation. The crew of the Lincoln mutinied soon after Pinkertons marriage to Cho-Cho and he is now stranded in a wilderness area of the planet on which the mutineers left him. Pinkerton is smitten with Cho-Cho and will happily return to Gotylu with the players if they find him, however he will want to retrieve the sword first which is in the possession of the leader of the mutineers.

6. Pinkerton has met an untimely end. The Lincoln was attacked by pirates whist wilderness refuelling. The ship has been looted and the crew executed, along with Pinkerton. The wreck with the bodies of the crew on-board is currently adrift. The sword was taken by the pirates and fenced. The pirate ship may be tracked down through the fence if the very distinctive sword is located.

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