Tag Archives: Fessor Subsector

The Thing in the Telescope

Patron: Jedric Chang-Xi
Location: Apinanto (Foreven/Fessor 0604)
Required: starship skills, Vacc Suit skill

Players’ Information:
Chang-Xi contacts the PC group, offering to hire them as ship crew for an in-system exploration mission. If the PCs have a ship, they can use it, but if not then Chang-Xi has chartered a Slow Pinnace. He is an amateur astronomer, and recently he detected something in the L4 cluster of the second planet in the Apinanto system. The cluster is a mass of small asteroid bodies and ice clouds, which are in motion, making identification of the Thing difficult. Apinanto Prime is the fourth planet, a low population poor world that gets little interstellar traffic. If the object is a ship, Chang-Xi can sell it to the government which would pay handsomely for it. He offers the PCs either one month standard salary by position, or a total of 15% of the salvage price of whatever he finds.

Travel to the L4 cluster will take several hours to around a day, the inner planet orbits the sun much faster than Apinanto.

In the Telescope

Referee’s information:
The Thing in the Telescope is resting on one of the asteroid bodies that make up the Trojan Point. Trojan Points are much denser concentrations of cosmic debris than asteroid belts; a safe passage to the target asteroid requires the Pilot to roll 9+, DM for Pilot skill. DM +1 if assisted by a navigator with Navigation-2 or better. Landing the ship on the asteroid requires a Pilot roll of 6+. Failure by more than 1 calls for one roll on the Starship Damage table.

PCs moving about in the microgravity of the asteroid cluster will have to make as many Vacc Suit skill rolls as the referee wants to keep things interesting. Tiny rocks are floating by all the time, some may be large or fast enough to cause an accident. PCs with prospecting skill may search for resources, finding something on 11+, with DM for skill. The CT Module Beltstrike can provide helpful rules & information on operating in microgravity, and dealing with asteroids.

The Thing is, in fact,
1. A ship, a type-Y yacht, but it has already been claimed by another salvage operation. The other salvage operator shows up while the PCs are investigating, and accuses them of claim-jumping. Use the reaction table with a DM of -2 to determine the salvager’s attitude.

2. An abandoned pinnace. It belonged to a prospector, which is obvious from even a cursory search. If the PCs search the asteroid it is parked on, they will discover the body of the prospector on 7+, DM for Prospecting skill. On an 11+, the prospector discovered something of value before he died.

3. An emergency shelter type construct, looking like part of a starship’s escape gear. It has been there at least fifty years. The people who used it were rescued, and left the shelter behind, with some clues as to what happened to them. The shelter is not worth much except perhaps to a museum.

4. A type-A Free Trader which crashed. It is holed in several places and the drives are non-functional, but its cargo is still intact. Crew and/or passengers will be found within. Referee can use the Trade & speculation table to determine the nature of the cargo.

5. A subsidized merchant ship kitted out as a naval auxiliary ship, with a model/4 computer, triple turret weapons and nuclear missiles. Ship’s computer records will show that it was grounded on the asteroid with a drive failure and the crew left in a sub-craft; but the conflict was ended before the owning navy was able to get back and recover it. If it is returned to Apinanto, the government will overrule the salvage claim and nationalize the vessel. If the PCs do not have a ship, they may be offered jobs as crew aboard the new system patroller.

6. A listening post and forward base from Saphi (Fessor 0804). Saphi plans to raid Apinanto for water and agricultural resources. The base is manned by a group of equal size to the PCs. They will attempt to capture, rather than kill the PCs. If the PCs are captured, they will be taken back to Saphi when the next Scout ship arrives (within four days).

If the PCs return to Apinanto with salvage, Chang-Xi will pay up as promised. The local government will not be able to offer more than 15-20% of the value of the ships. The Referee must determine the flow of subsequent events.

Prison Broken

Patron: Government of Nebet
Skills required: combat skills, Administration, Legal
Equipment required: having a ship is helpful but not required
Location: Orval (Fessor 0203) E765674-5 Ag, Ni, Ri

The PCs respond to a public announcement that the government of Nebet, on the planet Orval, is looking to contract a number of bounty hunters. In the interview, the hiring agent explains that several weeks ago, a Nebetan prison facility was attacked by a group of mercenaries to engineer the escape of a particular prisoner, Cormac Harroway. During the attack, many of the prison staff & security personnel were injured or killed. The disorder allowed a number of other prisoners to escape, at least temporarily. The government knows the identity of the primary target of the raid; he is the son of an official in an Imperial corporation based on Fessor. The hiring agent provides the PCs with a complete dossier on Harroway, sufficient to recognize him on sight, and giving what data is available on his whereabouts. The dossier includes legal documents that should be sufficient to convince authorities on other planets of the legitimacy of the PC’s mission. The mercenary team of six men fled the planet in a used type-A trader, which has been identified by the Imperial consul on Orval. Little is known for certain about them, not even names. The dossier contains mostly photo prints of images taken during the prison break. The consul is unwilling to become too involved in the Nebetan plan except to confirm that Harroway was tried and convicted fairly under Nebetan law. Mister Harroway senior is influential enough that going after him directly is considered too politically dangerous, (likely to trigger a major diplomatic incident) but the son is a convicted felon with time left on his sentence, and Nebet wants him back.

As part of the contract for the bounty, the PC’s will be licensed & bonded as non-citizen agents of the Nebetan government, which grants them limited law enforcement powers and some political cover while operating in Imperial-controlled space. They will be backed up while pursuing their legitimate target; any side trips or harassment of third parties will not be protected. But in any event, the amount of political clout Nebet can exert off-planet is very limited. The PCs should endeavor to stay within the local laws wherever possible. Their mission is to return the fugitive, and if possible, bring in the mercenaries to face trial for murder and other charges. The government is offering MCr 5 for Harroway, and MCr 1 for the mercenaries as a group. All should be delivered alive. PCs who ask may get some amount of cash advance on very positive reactions from the hiring agent.

The Prison
The Prison – Image from wikimedia – public domain

Referee’s Information:
The referee should look up JTAS #1, Amber Zone “Rescue on Ruie” for the background of this adventure. At least one of the following six complications should be employed by the referee to challenge the players. The mercenary team is equipped to TL B, and is active in the subsector. They are aware that Nebet may come looking for them, but have not had any communication with Harroway or his father since making their escape from Orval. They will neither know nor care where Harroway is, and will not hesitate to say so.

1. Harroway is on an extended subsector tour, protected by a bodyguard, equipped to TL D, equal in number to the PC’s. He is traveling aboard ships of his father’s company.

2. The mercenaries have ditched or sold the type-A ship and ‘gone to ground’.

3. The mercenaries’ ship has been ‘upgraded’ to serve as a troop carrier. The original team has expanded so now there are 30 troops aboard.

4. Harroway senior has been alerted to the fact that bounty hunters are after his son, and is mobilizing the corporation’s internal security against them.

5. Another hunter team is either one step behind or one step ahead of the PCs, and is willing to do anything to overtake/stay ahead of them.

6. Another hunter team offers to coordinate with the PCs for a 60-40 split of the bounty, but plans to double-cross them.

The Executor

Patron: Lawyer
Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: Starship capable of Jump-2
Locations: Fessor Subsector, Gwydion (0610) & Wadanga (0709)

Players’ Information:
While the characters are on Gwydion (C442535-9), they are contacted by Symon & Associates, a legal firm noted for its expertise in handling tort law cases. Tylon Symon is a tall, thin man (as are most of the natives on Gwydion due its low gravity) well into his middle age. He greets the characters in his office, offering refreshments before settling down to business. He wears fine, though painfully conservative business attire.

Tylon’s firm is managing the estate of Achilon Zeres, who passed away earlier in the year and left the entirety of his considerable personal wealth to his favorite niece, Selfina Lysaie. “Aside from being a client,” says Tylon, “Achilon was a close personal friend. He named me as the executor of his will, and I fully intend to see it carried out in the manner he intended.”

The complication in the matter of the will is that Selfina is not currently on Gwydion. In the year prior to Achilon’s death, Selfina became a member of a religious cult headed by a leader known only as The Hierophant. The cult requires its members to sell off all of their material possessions, with the money going to cult’s coffers. “The Hierophant lives an extravagant life of luxury in his compound on Wadanga,” says Tylon, “while his followers are virtual slaves, laboring for his benefit alone.”

“I will not allow Achilon’s riches to benefit the cult,” he says. “That money is meant to provide for Selfina for the rest of her life. That is why I wish to hire you to bring her back to Gwydion. You will have to find a way to infiltrate The Hierophant’s compound, find Selina and get her off-world before the cult’s enforcers can stop you. I realize this is a high-risk venture, so I am prepared to offer you a total of one-hundred thousand credits plus your expenses to do the job. I will also represent you in any legal proceedings that may come from your actions, pro bono.”

The Executor – Image from wikimedia
Copyright expired – Public Domain

Referee’s Information:
Achilon Zeres made his money by expertly managing water and mineral rights of lands he bought in his youth. He also owned or had a share in many of the companies exploiting those rights. If the characters need cargo as a cover story for their trip to Wadanga (C438131-8), Tylon can arrange legitimate cargo contracts and goods from these outfits.

Tylon will provide a detailed file on Selfina, giving the characters many means of identifying her. Tylon also provides a file on The Hierophant and his cult, along with orbital photos of his compound on Wadanga. The compound houses nearly a thousand people, creating the potential for massive collateral damage should the characters try a direct approach. Tylon will stress the need to limit liabilities to both themselves and his legal firm in the operation, favoring any plan that emphasizes stealth over strength.

1. Selfina is a prisoner. Selfina was specifically recruited by The Hierophant so he could loot her legacy. Selfina has since found out the religious leader orchestrated her uncle’s death, but was caught when she attempted to escape. She is being held prisoner in the compound and must be rescued by means of force. The referee will need to create maps and determine the level of opposition — off-world mercenaries — The Hierophant has hired.

2. Selfina is a true believer. Selfina truly believes in The Hierophant and his teachings and has found peace and purpose in his “care.” She is not only unwilling to leave, she will actively fight against any attempt to “liberate” her. In essence, the characters will have to kidnap her to get her off-world.

3. The Hierophant is a Zhodani agent. The Hierophant is actually an agent of the Zhodani government testing the effectiveness of a new psionic amplifier that is supposed to permanently affect the minds of its victims. The characters will discover this as they infiltrate the compound and attempt to rescue Selfina, risking falling under the influence of the “religious leader” themselves.

4. The Hierophant’s cult is under the influence of an alien artifact. The Hierophant discovered the artifact while he was on Wadanga a few years ago – a psionic information device containing the history of a now-extinct agrarian society that lived on Wadanga in the distant past. The Hierophant saw this as a religious vision and blueprint for the perfect society. The cult members exposed to this device are similarly affected. Only the device’s destruction will free the cult members from their visions.

5. Tylon is working an angle. Tylon wants to inherit the Zeres legacy for himself, which will happen if Selfina dies. The information about the cult in his files will leave out key elements of the cult’s defenses and disposition, plus fail to mention that the security forces are ordered to kill anyone attempting to escape the compound. Tylon would inherit the Zeres legacy upon Selfina’s death, of course.

6. Cloak & Dagger. The whole story is a lie. Selfina is an Imperial agent and Tylon is her handler. Selfina’s mission was to find and dispatch the Zhodani agent posing as The Hierophant. The cult compound is actually a base to train Imperial infiltrators in the arts of sabotage and misinformation. Selfina was captured and is being interrogated by the Zhodani operatives at the base. The characters are distraction for the primary extraction team, and aren’t expected to get out of this one alive…