GM Tarondor's Path of Tears Campaign - Traveller: The New Era

Game Master Tarondor

The Area of Operations

OPLAN Open Hand


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Yes, Mascot, a 10 is a success! Mascot and Drifter, please update your character sheets.

Sorry, Flatfoot!


Pirates of Drinax Links

A week later, Resolution drops out of Jump Space in the Berens system. Berens is a binary system with one yellow G1V sun, about ten percent larger than Sol, and one red dwarf (M3V) star about one third Sol's mass. The main world herself is about Earth's size, with oceans covering 63% of the planet's surface. The Atmosphere is thin and technically tainted, but filter masks are only necessary for long-term inhabitants.

Sandman speaks up. "We are receiving a radio message. A simple recorded greeting. It's from the Berens Port Authority instructing us to signal our arrival time and any special berthing requirements."

"I'm also detecting two armed far traders. One at the L4 Lagrange point and one grounded at the Downport. Both are Guild configurations"


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

"Alright, lets keep an eye on those Guild ships. Sandman, set a course for planet Berens."

Spider opens a comm channel, "Berens Port Authority, this is Commander Webb of RCS Resolution, announcing our arrival in system and requesting permission to land on Berens. We have no special berthing requirements."

I am assuming that Resolution has no special landing requirements, if that is incorrect, Spider would relay the necessary requirements instead


UPP: A47A38; Armor 1

Mascot performs a scan of the Port and the surface.

He looks over to Spider. "You want us in dress uniforms for the landing, Spider? Or are we just doing this casual; being the fun guys who buy drinks?"

Sensors, Int: 2d6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (2, 1) + 1 + 1 = 5


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"Resolution, this is Dairoku Ishii, Portmaster for the BPA. Welcome to Berens. The weather is fair, visibility is 25 kilometers at the surface and winds are steady at 8 kph. I'm assigning you to Berth 27. Just follow the beacon. Nobody else is flying for the next two hours or so, so you should be clear to land."


Pirates of Drinax Links
CDR Jasper "Spider" Webb wrote:
I am assuming that Resolution has no special landing requirements, if that is incorrect, Spider would relay the necessary requirements instead

Nope. She's built rugged to land just about anywhere.


Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

Flatfoot is torn between keeping watch or preparing for the mission on the planet.

"Are we staying on board the Resolution? Or taking local lodgings?"


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

"Let's go with dress uniforms to make a good first impression. We'll have plenty of time to be casual later."

"As for lodgings, let's see what Berens has to offer us first, then we'll make the call."


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As you come in over the mostly uninhabited planet, no signs of industry or or intelligent life are visible. But for the tainted atmosphere, Berens would be a Garden World.

As the tiny settlement of Berensburg comes over the limb of the planet you move in on final approach, following the beacon. You can see that half a dozen small starships are parked on the hard-packed dirt field that is far larger than the town itself. All appear to be some variant of old Imperial or Solomani Free Traders and Far Traders. Only the Guild ship is armed and even then not as heavily armed as you are. Resolution is unique among these ancient rustbuckets first and foremost because she is a new ship, fresh out of drydock.

As she sets down on the dirt, Dairoku Ishii says "Welcome to Berensburg. Wow. That is quite a ship. Everyone is going to want to take a look at her. Can I get away with calling it a safety inspection and getting the first look, Skipper?"


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

"Portmaster Ishii, I can appreciate that you need to be certain we aren't hauling dangerous radioactive cargo or worse. Permission to come aboard and inspect. I'll give you the tour myself."

Are there any systems onboard that should be considered off-limits to non-RCS personnel?

Spider addresses the crew, "Remember that we are here to impress the locals and make friends. Sandman, I'm afraid I am going to have to ask you to keep a low profile while the Portmaster or any other locals are on board."


UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

Drifter sits in the pilot seat and waits there for the tour to reach the flight deck.


Pirates of Drinax Links
CDR Jasper "Spider" Webb wrote:
"Portmaster Ishii, I can appreciate that you need to be certain we aren't hauling dangerous radioactive cargo or worse. Permission to come aboard and inspect. I'll give you the tour myself."

"Very reasonable, Captain. First round of drinks at Majuba's are on me. I'll be right out."

And he's as good as his word. A small man comes striding out towards the ship within minutes.

CDR Jasper "Spider" Webb wrote:
Are there any systems onboard that should be considered off-limits to non-RCS personnel?

Not really. Your ship is an absolute marvel by New Era standards and is very definitely a prize to be stolen, but none of the actual technology (other than Sandman!) is unheard of.

CDR Jasper "Spider" Webb wrote:
Spider addresses the crew, "Remember that we are here to impress the locals and make friends. Sandman, I'm afraid I am going to have to ask you to keep a low profile while the Portmaster or any other locals are on board."

"Undestood, captain." says Sandman.

"And me, Spider?" asks Hopper through his voder. "Am I also to remain out of sight?"


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spider rubs his hand through his beard before answering Hopper. "No, I don't think that will be necessary. I imagine the Berensites will have heard of your people, even if they've never met one. And I have no reason to think they would harbor any hostility towards hivers."

He addresses the rest of the crew, "And don't forget that firearms are not allowed off the ship."

Berensites? Berensish? Berensese? Berensers?


Pirates of Drinax Links

"We go by Berensers," says Dairoku Ishii when Spider asks him later. "But there's so few of us the name just doesn't come up that often. So, one official question before I can commence to ogling this ship, Captain. What's the purpose of your visit?"


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

"An official question deserves an official answer, so..." Spider draws himself up straight and puts a serious expression on his face. "We're here as representatives of the Reformation Coalition, looking to open up a diplomatic relationship with Berens. We've heard about your facilities here, and as we expand trade into this subsector, we want to make sure our traders have a friendly port of call." That said, he visibly relaxes. "OK, how about that tour?"

Spider shows Ishii around, introducing him to the crew and answering his questions as best he can. In return, he will ask Ishii questions about Berens - good places to eat & drink, potential lodging, and who they should direct their diplomatic overtures towards.


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Dairoku raises an eyebrow.

"First some rules. All weapons should be left onboard your vessel. You will have no need of them while you are here. Our laws concerning violence against people or property are fairly standard. Accidental injury or destruction usually requires restitution; deliberate acts result in fines, confiscation of some property and usually expulsion from the world. We have very few incidents requiring any of that, however. We buy and sell cargos here, almost any cargos. The one cargo you won't find a market for is slaves. If you have slaves, I suggest you keep them on your ship. Lots of people around here feel pretty strongly about slavery, and if you allow your slaves to wander around, they may disappear, and we have no means of locating them for you. No real inclination either, to be blunt."

"Now, business. Everyone who comes here comes for business, one way or another. There is no berthing fee unless you're planning on living in your vessel. If you stay in one of our local inns, the berthing fee is waived. For fuel, talk to me. For maintenance, talk to Jo Donskoi. She's boss of the garage. For either one, you're going to need money, and for that you talk to a banker."

"There are three banks, and you can take your pick: Kenneally Imports, Harridan Imports and lshii Imports. They're all good, and I can't give you any advice on who to go to since my wife runs one of them. Here's how it works. You go to one of the banks and show them your stuff, whatever you've got. The bank buys it for its local currency. When you leave, you can buy whatever goods you want from the bank, provided they've got them available, for local currency, and either bank the rest or convert it to hard currency, again provided that bank has enough of that particular currency on hand. They usually have pretty good supplies on hand of Guilders, Prestwick dollars, Pekhuraan credits and Kinorhian credits. Other than that, it's pretty chancy."

"All the local merchants take any of the three bank currencies, and one bank will usually exchange the currency from the other bank, but at a discounted rate. Some of the local shops will take some off-world currency, too, but again usually at a lower rate than the bank will give you. It's all pretty simple once you get the hang of it, and about anyone around here can give you a hand figuring things out."

"I'll give you a map of the town with the commercial establishments noted. The town only has a couple of streets, 50 addresses didn't make much sense when it's just as easy to tell someone 'third store on your right.' You shouldn't have any trouble finding anything, and if you do, just ask directions. Have a profitable stay."

When he learns of your intention to establish relations, he rubs his chin thoughtfully.

"When it comes to buying or leasing property, you probably want to talk to old Ravi Kenneally. You can usually find him over at Kenneally Inn, or maybe at his import shop. He's a banker, too. This time of day he might be over at Soundarajan's Bakery, come to think of it. He's the agent for most of the vacant buildings in town, and he could probably let you have a lot cheap if you wanted to build. Ev' Corkill could really use the work, if you decide to build. As far as establishing relations, I guess Ravi could help you with that, too. We could have a town meeting and all of us introduce ourselves. That's about as formal as diplomacy gets around here."


UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

"Is there any chance you have a map of the area? It would be helpful in finding our way around town at first." Drifter asks after Dairoku finishes his talk.


Pirates of Drinax Links

Second to last paragraph, above.

"Yup," says Dairoku, handing Drifter a small tablet. "It's hard to get lost here."


Pirates of Drinax Links

Sigh.


UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

I swear I read through that, but apparently I missed a whole paragraph.

Once Dairoku has left Drifter looks at Spider and says, "It sounds like we should get some local credits and then find a hotel to berth at until we can get a lot of our own built up. What trade goods do you want us to start with?'


Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

"Is there any place that off-worlders like us tend to gather? What about non-homans, do you have any here?," asks Flatfoot.

Flatfoot looks around, trying to gauge where to go first. "Any sights that we should see? Or places we should stay away from?"


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spider nods to Drifter. "That sounds about right, Drifter. Everyone remember that we are looking to make friends with these people. Look for opportunities to help these folk out and show them the RC would be good neighbors to have. Also, keep an eye open for Guild activity or ways to get intel on the Guild. Any questions?"

Do we have trade goods?


Pirates of Drinax Links
James "Flatfoot" Nicholls wrote:
"Is there any place that off-worlders like us tend to gather?"

"Well, there's two hotels, Kinnealy's and the Lutkehaus. There's one restaurant, Wong's Far Spinward Grill, and there's one bar, Majuba's Rod and Gun Club. If they're not with their ships our out on safari with Majuba, they're usually hanging out at Majuba's."

James "Flatfoot" Nicholls wrote:
"What about non-humans, do you have any here?," asks Flatfoot.

"From time to time," says Dairoku. "An Aslan now and then. A Vegan, once. I think there's an Aslan in town right now, off one of the Free Traders."

Flatfoot looks around, trying to gauge where to go first. "Any sights that we should see? Or places we should stay away from?"

Dairoku smiles. "Pretty much no to both, unless you enjoy hunting or fishing. Berensburg is pretty small. Still, there's some great vistas out away south if you've a mind to see them. The cliffs at the edge of the Great Prairie are really gorgeous at sunset."

CDR Jasper "Spider" Webb wrote:
Spider nods to Drifter. "That sounds about right, Drifter. Everyone remember that we are looking to make friends with these people. Look for opportunities to help these folk out and show them the RC would be good neighbors to have. Also, keep an eye open for Guild activity or ways to get intel on the Guild. Any questions?"

"We've got Guild ships here," says Dairoku. "Two crews worth. There's also a Guild office that opened up a month or two ago."

CDR Jasper "Spider" Webb wrote:
Do we have trade goods?

Yes. As Papa told you, your hold has been loaded with a variety of high-tech gear expected to be in demand.


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spider looks over the crew. "OK, team, let's prepare to disembark. We'll take a stroll through town, and head to Kinnealy's for a meal and to see about lodging. Then we'll talk to one of the banks and see what trade goods they'd be most interested in."

"Is there anyone who doesn't want to get off this boat and stretch their legs?"


Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

"I'll stay here with Sandman," says Flatfoot.

"Maybe do some cleaning and maintenance on the ship. You guys head out and have fun!," with a wave.

Once his companions leave, Flatfoot secures the ship and heads to the bridge. "Sandman, can you monitor the ship exterior in case any locals come by? Can you also monitor local communications?"

Flatfoot is good to his word, directing the cleaning functions in the ship and organizing the trade goods. He will be around in case any locals come to visit.


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"I'll do that, Flatfoot," responds Sandman.

"I may remain behind for the first trip," says Hopper. "Getting used to you will be enough. A Hiver in the mix may be too much all at once."

"Well, I'm going," says Dr. Su, eager to be off the ship after 8 weeks onboard. "For the fresh... alright, metal-laced air."

Hopper turns to Dairoku. "What's this about a Guild store front? What goods are they selling?"

Dairoku, bemused by the starfish/spider, tries to answer calmly. "Uh... that's the strange thing. He's selling starships. New ones, he says."

"He?"

"Captain Novohig. A native. Not much liked, honestly. He abandoned his family here for years to work for the Guild, then just breezed back in a few months ago and began trying to sell these new starships."

"New starships? Where are they made?"

"I don't really know. He's cagey about that, but says the Guild is offering very good terms."

Berensburg is a tiny town, smaller than most neighborhoods on any of your home planets. However, the sight of five strangers doesn't draw as much attention as you'd think because of how many ships stop through.

The streets of Berensburg are very wide concrete slabs, with weeds growing up through the cracks. No more than a handful of vehicles are on Berens, and most of those are cargo haulers used to move goods from ships to warehouses, or to move the crops in from outlying farms.

The buildings are mostly poured concrete or steel frame, and they are painted a variety of light earth tones and tans which causes them to blend in well with the sandy soil around the starport. A fair proportion
of the! pedestrian traffic looks to be off-world starship crews, and the transient population on Berens usually rivals or exceeds the native one. Despite the small number af people and the wide open spaces, Berensburg can almost be called bustling.

Kineally's is a small hotel. The front desk is empty and contains a hand-lettered sign that reads "I'm around back."

Following the sign you find yourself in a small print shop where an ink-stained middle-aged man is working on setting type for what appears to be an old-fashioned news sheet.

He looks at you and wipes his hands. "Hello. What can I do for you folks? New in town, are you?"

Kineally's is a small hotel on the town's main street.


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

"We are." Spider holds out his hand to the man to shake, "I'm Commander Webb of the RCS Resolution. I'm looking for rooms for my crew. After that's arranged, I'm hoping you can help direct us to someone who we can talk to about exchanging trade goods for local currency."


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"Welcome to Berens, Commander. I'm Ravi Kineally. I own the place. I also own Kineally Imports, which operates as one of several small banks in the area. I can set you up with some rooms and then we can discuss what you have to sell. Just let me clean up my hands." He goes to wash the dust and ink from his hands.

"But tell me, where are you men from? I saw your ship come in and I don't recognize her type."


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

"We're here as representatives of the Reformation Coalition. I'm not surprised you haven't seen the like of Resolution. She's fresh out of our shipyards, although she's based off an old Solomani design, I think."

Spider shows Ravi a manifest of their trade goods. Once Ravi determines what has the most value here on Berens, Spider will arrange a trade for enough cash to cover food and housing for several weeks.


Pirates of Drinax Links

Ravi goes over the manifest carefully, evidently an experienced businessman. "These engine parts are interesting. And those fruits. We don't seem to able to grow citrus here, and ship's crews love them. The locals, too. Hmmm... I can make you a line of credit up to 75,000 credits. That's about all I've got to spare at this time. That should be more than enough for what you're hoping to do."

"So tell me about this Coalition. The stories we've heard... they're not exactly favorable to you, Commander Webb."


UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

Drifter will listen in on the conversation, but leaves Spider to do the talking and instead looks out of a window to check out the town and the people who are passing by.

I am just going to keep an eye out and try and get a lay of the land. Also if we are being followed around it would be good to get an idea of who has taken an overt interest in us.


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

"Let me guess, tales of the vicious "Star Vikings", right?" Spider shakes his head. "Look, I'm not saying there hasn't been violence in the short history of the RC - it's a dangerous universe. But in my experience that violence has been targeted at those who do violence to us. We're not out there flying around and pillaging innocents - no matter what the stories might say. Ultimately, the RC is a group of 20 or so planets banded together to try and secure their corner of space and keep the flame of civilization burning."

Depending how interested Ravi actually seems, Spider is happy to go into more detail about the RC's government and answer any questions he is able to answer.


Pirates of Drinax Links

As Spider knows all too well, those Star Viking stories are only slight exaggerations. The Coalition has indeed descended on many worlds and taken their technology in the name of the greater good (and sometimes putting down a dictator or two in the process, but not always). "Do what it takes to make sure civilization survives" is the Coalition's unofficial motto. High-brow morality does the dead no good.

Ravi does seem interested, perhaps because he is Berens's only newspaper man and perhaps because Berens sees Travellers from all over the Sector. He chats with Spider and the others while drawing up the bank drafts they'll need.

"Twenty systems! That's seven times the size of anything in this Sector! What about interstellar trade?" he asks. "Seems to me that the Vampire threat is dying away. Do you think your Coalition will want to establish trade routes this far out?"

___________________________________________________________

Drifter, you do see a few people looking curiously your way. From the door at the back room of Kineally's you can see the street. Nobody appears to be watching or taking an undue interest.

Nobody, that is, until a young woman enters from down a set of stairs. She is perhaps 23 or 24 and has straight blonde hair combed so it hangs longer off the right side of her face and shorter off the left. She is more "handsome" than beautiful, but her blue eyes are striking.

"Hello," she says, casually, moving behind the hotel's desk. "I'm Alin. Ravi's daughter-in-law. Long trip?"


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Shush...Spider's trying to be diplomatic and stuff

Spider sizes up Ravi. Given the small population of Berens, this man likely had considerable standing and pull in their group decisions. "If Vampire activity is in decline in this Sector, that's good to hear, but believe me, there are Sectors that are still overrun with Vampire ships. I can tell you from firsthand experience, that threat is still very real." He pauses, then, lightening his tone, changes subjects, "Trade is very much why I am here. The Coalition definitely intends to expand trade into this sector, and when we do, we'd like to make use of the facilities your people have here. As I understand it, the Guild is trying to sell you on the idea of being an exclusive port for their ships. I'm here to add the Coalition's voice to what I assume is a large number of Free Trader voices who are hoping you'll consider the option of remaining open to all."


UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

Shhh...Drifter's trying to be diplomatic and stuff

Drifter nods at the girl and says, "Hello Alin, my name's James, although most people just call me Drifter. And as space travel goes this one was not too long. Have you gotten to travel much?


Ravi shakes his head. "What the Guild says it wants is to be a friend to all ports. What many here suspect is that the Guild wants to control all the routes between the stars, like the Imperium used to. The Free Traders are either Guild members or are being pressured to join up. We don't feel much of that pressure here on Berens, though. I will say that these new ships they're selling are going to attract a lot of hopeful buyers. I've already been approached a few times about arranging a mortgage for one."

_____________________________________________________________________

Alin smiles "Nope. Never been off this particular rock. But I can't say I've ever really had a desire to. I haven't heard of any place nicer than Berens. At least not that still exists."


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

"New ships, hmmm? I wouldn't mind getting a look at one of those myself." Spider strokes his beard a few times. "But yes, having the Guild controlling all the routes between the stars is exactly the kind of thing the Coalition doesn't want, so they sent us out here as advance scouts to introduce ourselves to you, see the lay of the land, and make sure that if the Guild is pressuring you to join up, that you know that there are other options. While we're here, I am also authorized to make inquiries regarding the purchase or lease of land for the Coalition to use for an embassy or consulate here on Berens. The Portmaster mentioned that you might be the bset person to talk to about that."


Pirates of Drinax Links

"I suppose I am," agrees Ravi. "Leasing a storefront building will cost between CrSOO and Cr1000 a month, as will a house or cottage. Remodelling and furnishing the interiors will cost between Cr5600 and Cr20,000, depending on haw elaborate a redecorating job is done."

"Everett Corkill is the best bet for general contracting work, although any serious plumbing should be turned over to Sonya Maroules, who is also a good interior designer. Frances Mavity will have to be called in to do any electrical work. If you wish to do the work yourselves, you can, but Mavity will at least inspect the wiring. Nothing
personal. We just don't want the whole town to burn down."

"Most things around here are pretty informal. I think maybe we should call a town meeting and you can just introduce yourselves to everyone then. You'll probably have met more than half the planet's population by then, but there'll be snacks and everyone will listen at least for a little while."

"Oh, and if you want a look at that new ship, I'm pretty sure that Captain Novohig will be happy to let you look her over. He's got an office just down the street."


UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

"Talk of these fancy new ships hasn't made you wonder? Well, that might be for the best. There are some dark places in space. Liking where you are can be a wondrous thing." Drifter replies back.


Pirates of Drinax Links
James "Drifter" Monroe wrote:
"Talk of these fancy new ships hasn't made you wonder? Well, that might be for the best. There are some dark places in space. Liking where you are can be a wondrous thing." Drifter replies back.

Alin smiles. "Of course I've wondered. But I have a husband and son. And so much bad has happened out there. We've been lucky here. Very lucky, I hear."


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spdier smiles at Ravi's suggestion. "A town meeting sounds like a great idea. If you can arrange it, you can charge our line of credit for the food and drink."

Does our mission actually include paying for a consulate to get built? Or just to gather information and lay the ground work for an agreement?


Pirates of Drinax Links
OPLAN Open Hand wrote:
Mission: The team will travel to Berens and initiate informal relations between the Coalition and the local population. The official purpose of the mission is to inquire as to the purchase or lease of a small consulate on the planet. The unofficial and more important purpose is to gather intelligence concerning Guild activities on the planet and create a favorable impression toward the Coalition in the minds of the local population.

"No problem," says Ravi. "I'll call a meeting for dusk tomorrow. In the mean time, why don't we talk some details and then take a walk around town?"

Details can be hand-waved.


Pirates of Drinax Links

So what're we up to?


Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

Flatfoot confers briefly with his companions.

"Does anyone else want to check out those ships with me? And talk to this Captain Novohig?"

Flatfoot waits for a response before walking to the storefront described by Ravi.


Pirates of Drinax Links

Guys?


UPP: A47A38; Armor 1

"A town meeting, Spider? Kinda high profile. It would certainly draw the attention of the guild. Might seem like a threat to them." Mascot shrugs.


UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

"Making a big splash is good though. The sooner we get known the sooner we can get diplomacy rolling."


UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

After details have been hammered out with Ravi, Spider joins the others.

Spider shrugs. "We're not going to hide our presence from the Guild, so we may as well be high profile with our official purpose for being here."

"Let's look around town and maybe take a look at Capt Novohig's ships."


Pirates of Drinax Links

The town is very small, befitting its tiny population. But it does boast many amenities of a travel center. There is a bar (Majuba's Rod and Gun Club), a newspaper, a hotel, a starport and two restaurants. You can see the whole thing in half an hour. Where would you like to go?

This part of the story is very free-form. Explore, meet people, go on a safari, investigate, whatever you like.


Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

Shrugging, Flatfoot heads down the street to Captain Novohig's shop. Pausing at the entrance, he looks around before entering the shop.

Once the proprietor greets him, Flatfoot responds.

"Hello! I understand that you are also new to twon. What, exactly, are you selling?"

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