Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: Starship
Locations: Urnian, Gotylu
The characters are enjoying some downtime at a starport establishment on Urnian, which includes a live performance of Gotylu folk music by Voh Rahl Shu. After the performance, one of the characters is delivered a hand-written note, asking him or her to meet with the musician backstage.
When the character arrives at Shu dressing room, the musician is sporting the beginnings of shiner around one eye and is dabbing at a bloody nose with a handkerchief. Shu explains that he is ending a highly unfavorable performance contract with his manager – one where she and her cronies kept most of the money he earned. His injuries are a result of him refusing to sign an extension. Shu says he cannot go to the local authorities because his manager, Eboni Blayz, has connections with the local and planetary government.
Shu says he has one more performance tomorrow evening to fulfill his current contract and then wishes to return to his home on Gotylu (3 parsecs away). For payment, he offers up his toku’omo, the Gotylu instrument he has played on the tour, easily worth four times the cost of his passage to a collector. Shu wants to depart Urnian as soon as possible after his last performance.
Due to the laws on Urnian, breaking even the smallest terms of a contract entails severe financial penalties, including a period of indentured servitude to the injured party or organization. Trying any legitimate means of getting Shu off-world before he completes his contract will bring the full force of Urnian law enforcement down upon the characters and Shu.
The toku’omo is a fairly bulky and fragile instrument which could very easily be damaged or even destroyed with rough handling, thereby reducing its value (possibly to the point of worthlessness), even if is the signature instrument of a noteworthy performer. If any profit is to be had in the enterprise, considerations will have to be made for the transportation and storage of this item.
Eboni Blayz and her company, Blayz Entertainment, represent over a dozen off-world performers on Urnian, though Shu is by far the most noteworthy (and profitable) to date. His departure will be a serious blow to her operation’s bottom line. While there have been allegations of contract improprieties with past performers, no charges have ever brought against Eboni or Blayz Entertainment.
1. All is as presented. Immediately after Shu’s final performance the next night, Eboni and three of her cronies (all armed with body pistols and cudgels) will attempt to forcibly “escort” Shu away from the venue.
2. Shu is fibbing a bit. He actually has been romantically involved with Eboni for the past year and has only recently discovered that she is pregnant. He doesn’t want to live up to his parental responsibilities and using the “contract difficulties” as a ruse to elicit sympathy from the characters. Eboni’s “cronies” are actually disgruntled family members who are upset that Shu isn’t going to marry Eboni.
3. Shu is an out-and-out liar. Shu is attempting to smuggle a small stash of anagathic drugs off-world in special space inside of his toku’omo. He gave a private performance at a wealthy noble’s home a few nights before meeting the characters and stole the drugs. He was visited by the noble’s personal guard who gave Shu his injuries. To buy time, Shu said he would have the drugs at his next performance. The guard will be there with three reinforcements (armed as the combatants in Outcome #1).
4. Eboni is working an angle. Eboni has taken out a standard life insurance policy on Shu. Since he is reluctant to sign a contract extension under her “generous” terms, she intends to collect by killing the performer and framing the characters for it. She will be waiting with her cronies (see Outcome #1) for the characters to make their move after the show, moving in to create the incident and kill Shu in the process. The secret space in Shu’s instrument contains a stash of contraband hallucinogenic drugs to further sell the story.
5. Shu and Eboni are working an angle. This is similar to Outcome #2, except that both Shu and Eboni are working together to smuggle the anagathic drugs off-world before the noble discovers the stash is missing. Shu’s story about the abusive manager is a ruse, with the injuries inflicted by Eboni needed to sell the story. Both Eboni and Shu plan to meet up on Gotylu later to split the profits of the venture. However, the noble’s men will catch up to Eboni during the show and be waiting for Shu and the characters afterward to reclaim the stash. (These guys will be armed the same as Outcome #1, but will also be wearing Jack armor as well.)
6. Shu is working a double-cross. This is similar to Outcome #5, with the twist that Shu is intending to double-cross Eboni and keep the sizable profits from the sale of the anagathic drugs on the black market. During the planned distraction, he will shoot Eboni with a poison-tipped body pistol round to make sure she is out of the game.
Each of these outcomes may have further opportunities for resolution, depending on the level of morality in your game – such as the victimized noble hiring the characters to locate the stolen stash of anagathic drugs and the persons responsible…