Patron: Aslan Clan
Required Skills: Trokh (the Aslan language)
Required Equipment: Starship (not entirely necessary)
It is 1110. In the Spinward Marches, the 5th Frontier War is in its closing days, but this epic conflict has spawned an offshoot, the Mnemosyne Civil War, which is being fought between the pro-Zhodani Prince-Regent Hautal Goinsprach and his challenger, Henrik Gruneweld. Gruneweld has promised a constitutional monarchy to replace the overly authoritarian rule of the Goinsprachs, and this has won many to his cause. In response, the Prince-Regent has put out an open call for mercenaries, promising land and riches to all who would defend the crown.
Since war cargos are highly lucrative, the PCs find themselves transporting ordnance from the Avalar Consulate to the Mnemosyne Pricipality in order to defeat the rebel forces (the Avalars, though technically neutral, would like to see the rebels crushed). On the way, the PCs come across an Aslan mercenary fleet run by the independent clan Arahyel, and they learn that the clan leader, Admiral Arahyel, hopes to join this fray for pay.
The Aslan in general, and Arahyel in particular, have an excellent reputation, priding themselves both on their ferocity in battle as well as their civility toward non-combatants. It is standard policy for the clan to hold off on planetary bombardments in order to offer their opponents the option of a bloodless surrender, or , if they prefer, to relocate or otherwise restrict the impending battle in such as way as to minimize or even remove the possibility of civilian casualties. Hence, it is important for the clan to enlist a cadre of solders who are able to facilitate communication, and so they are always on the prowl for solders who can speak both Trokh as well as Galanglic.
If the PCs also have their own starship, this will make them doubly useful, as Arahyel needs a group to escort his head wife, Wyaiiy, deep into Mnemosyne territory in search of Prince-Regent Goinsprach. They will act as the fleet’s eyes and ears, jumping a day or two ahead of the clan fleet in order recon each system’s defenses and loyalties before Arahyel’s arrival. If the system should contain friendly forces, they are to help Wyaiiy negotiate the terms of participation, but if it should contain hostile forces, then they are to put her as close to the enemy commander as possible so that when the clan fleet arrives in system, she can immediately begin to negotiate the terms of engagement. It’s a dangerous job to be sure, but Arahyel promises that if they serve with the same courage and honor that he expects and receives from his own soldiers, then they will all be handsomely rewarded.
Arahyel means everything that he says, but unfortunately he’s on the losing side of this fight. Goinsprach will be overthrown, and Henrik Gruneweld will become King. The reason is simply that the Mnemosyne people have had enough of the excesses and corruption of their government. Mercenaries like Arahyel are only getting in the way, making the conflict longer and bloodier than it needs to be. For each new system that the PC’s jump into, roll a d6.
1. Modest rebel task force: Their commander is cognizant of their size and will flee if outmatched. Analysis of jump signatures may give the clan fleet some idea of where they went.
2. Modest royal task force: Their captain will welcome any allies, mercenary or otherwise, with open arms, happy to receive support from wherever it might come.
3. Respectable rebel fleet: Their commander has a fierce disdain of mercenaries and will fight, however, he/she respects the Aslan methodology of warfare and will entertain discussions on reducing collateral damage prior to the battle. Also, he/she has a good idea as to the whereabouts of Henrik Gruneweld and will warn Wyaiiy and the PCs that though Arahyel might win this battle, the clan fleet will ultimately be destroyed.
4. Respectable royal fleet: Their commodore knows that the war is not going well. Defections, even among the military staff, are now epidemic, so much so that he/she cannot even trust his/her own officers. Because of this, and also due to reasons pertaining to self-preservation, he/she will opt to use the Aslan as a frontline force, hoping that it will bear the brunt of battle. Arahyel will have no problem with this, although Wyaiiy will be hesitant to agree. She would prefer to meet Goinsprach to get some firm understanding of what exactly is being offered in return for clan lives. Fortunately, the commodore has a pretty good idea where the main royal fleet is operating.
5. Main rebel fleet: Henrik Gruneweld is in direct command. Of course, he’ll fight Arahyel if he has to, but he’d rather not waste military resources reducing the Aslan fleet to space flotsam. Instead, he’d rather fight his rival directly. As for reducing collateral damage, he’s all for it, partly because it’s politically smart, but also because he’s expecting to win this realm, and he wants it to be more than a cinder when he’s crowned king.
6. Main royal fleet: Prince-Regent Hautal Goinsprach and his admiral are not getting along. The admiral realizes that the tide of war is against them. He’s advised the prince to seek a truce, but the prince is living in the sort of fantasy world that all such dictators must construct in their own minds as their end draws near. Although the arrival of the Aslan as pro-royal mercenaries comes too late to change the eventual outcome, the prince seizes on it with crazed desperation. He wants Arahyel to attack Gruneweld’s main fleet directly, and so as to maximize their odds, he wants Wyaiiy to employ trickery. “Meet with Gruneweld to talk terms. Then kill him by whatever means possible. Without their leader, his forces will be in disarray, and at that moment we shall pounce upon our prey and rip them to shreds.” In return, he will promise anything.