Patron: Noble, Art Collector.
Recommended Skills: Trader, Liaison, Admin, Combat Skills, Psionics.
Required Equipment: none
Players: 2-6 Zhodani.
On Zdovesil (Anika 1212 A65588A-9) the characters are contacted by Eiliviatstlas, a high-ranking subsector Noble and Official. She has 1 ton of Government Dispatches to be delivered to Retlkasrnz (Mowbrey 1712 D8AA87A-7) which is administered from Anika subsector. She will pay the characters 10 kCr to personally see the cargo in the hands of the Consulate Governor. If the characters do not have access to a Jump-2 ship she will second a Scout and an Intendant pilot from the Consulate Navy. She will not state the nature of the documents, but will say they are routine but time sensitive communications.
Once at Retlkasrnz with a completed mission, Eiliviatstlas wonders if she could then request a small favour… and such favours from Zhodani nobility are not to be declined lightly. She displays a unique abstract stone sculpture to the characters. She obtained it from a trader who claimed it was sculpted by a primitive, non-human minor race living in on New Keento (Mowbrey 1813 C879758-9). Eiliviatstlas is a noted and shrewd art collector when not working hard as an administrator. She is convinced that the esthetic qualities of these pieces would fetch excellent value within the Consulate art markets. She requests the characters make a quick jump over to New Keento and investigate this and secure samples or possibly a trade agreement.
While she cannot use the public purse to finance this small mission, she will draw up a contract that will give the characters each a small piece of the action when and if the sculptures are obtained and marketed. She supplies the characters with 1500 Cr to buy trade goods to barter with the TL-1 sophonts.
The voyage to Retlkasrnz itself is routine. There is no difficulty in delivering the documentation. At New Keento the group is greeted by the young Zhodani Ambassador who will insist on accompanying the group, supplying a watercraft for the voyage. The New Keentonians are obsequious to the Zhodani, but insist on several permits be bought for travel to the reservation and allowing the players an effective Law Level of 5. Permits # 1D6, 500 Cr each. Admin skill allows a negative DM to a minimum of 1.
1. The sophonts live in a far off archipelago. They indeed produce the sculptures, using their teeth and claws as carving tools. They are quite pleased to create more in exchange for foodstuffs, tools and fabrics. The players must work to earn the trust of the sophonts and construct a logistical chain. Upon delivery and the establishment of a trade agreement each character will receive 1000 Cr (+20%-120% fluctuation) each year as a share in the market. Throw 10+ each year for the market to dry up and payments cease.
2. As 1, however there is also a group of traders from the Avalar Consulate on world, investigating the same sculptures. While erstwhile clients of the Zhodani, the Avalari are competitive and are motivated to corner the market. They are not hostile, but will engage in questionable practices and are not above monkey-wrenching and other sharp practices. Remember, some Avalari are psionic.
3. As 1, however a very large amphibian predator has migrated into a prized quarry. Usually the sophonts would conduct the appropriate rituals and wait for it to leave. If the off-worlders wish more sculptures, they request the Zhodani deal with the monstrosity more directly. The Zhodani Ambassador will insist on being part of any action against the creature.
4. The sophonts are not popular on New Keento, being neither native or human. They are restricted to this archipelago as a reservation and treated harshly if found elsewhere. Furthermore they are often harassed by sea-born piracy raids. Such as raid will take place while the characters are meeting with them. Raiders will approach on Motor Boats (Book 3) and are equipped spottily with blades, cudgels and a few firearms. While there will be many (3D at least) they are not expecting a fight from their placid victims.
5.The sculptures are actually a psionic focus. Upon investigation by a talented clairvoyant, it will be found the sculpture reduces psionic range cost when conducting clairvoyance or clairaudience (-1 psionic cost). Does Eiliviatstlas know this? Are the sophonts psionic?
6. As 5, there is a team of Imperial Scouts in silent orbit (their ship matches the PC’s in tonnage) taking interest in the players actions on New Keento. They have a Covert Talent as a crew member. They may become convinced the Zhodani has uncovered a new ‘psionic super-weapon’ and will stage a raid to obtain or destroy the sculptures.