All posts by Ewan Quibell

Baby Boom

Required Equipment: Grav Vehicle or Small Craft

3014 Apinanto E431432-6 Ni Po 303 Na

Apinanto is a backwater system in the Saphi Cluster of Fessor Subsector of Foreven. Overlooked by nearly everyone, even the mainworld is largely ignored because fuel is only available from skimming the Gas Giants.

Nine months ago the only inhabited area of the planet, the Apinan River valley, suffered a drought due to a weather monitoring and control satellite incorrectly changing the evaporation from Clark’s Sea. Following this, and because a number of lost resources were recovered from the river, the Jose Council decided to instigate the building of a railway. This was judged as the most efficient use of resources allowing an alternative to river transport in a time of need. Nearly all the population of Apinanto have been involved in its construction, from sowing the seat cushions for the passenger carriage, cutting and preparing the track route, to casting the tracks and building the engine. So far the railway goes from Clark’s Town to Jame’s Town through the villages of Jimstead and O’Hare’s Drift. For the last month the rail service has run once a week between the towns with the engine pulling a single flat bed carriage carrying goods.

In addition to the railway the drought brought about an additional phenomenon, that of an increase birth rate, and Apinanto’s doctors and nurses are struggling to cope with this additional demand on their services.

The council have also been looking at the data they have obtained from the satellite and have noticed another area of the planet where there is rainfall. About 550 km south of the Apinan River valley is a slight depression in the hills, which eventually become Clark’s Mountains, that has been named the Gratia Basin.

The players have made their way to Apinanto for some reason, and they are currently at Apinanto Down. The council approaches the players for help and while the PCs may wish to do so the council can offer little in payment. Their stocks of grain and alcohol are dangerously low due to the drought. They offer a waiver of the landing fee, which is their only real source of off planetary income, and food and lodgings will be free for up to a month if the PCs wish to stay.  If the players really are heartless there is about a ton of wood that is earmarked primarily for railway sleepers to extend the railway but also for a passenger carriage, which has a base price of Cr 1,000. There are a number of jobs a party with a grav vehicle, small craft or access to advanced technology could do:

Moving doctors and nurses. As those who are due start to give birth in greater numbers the call on the 15 doctors and 60 nurses of Apinanto increases significantly. The majority of the medical staff work in Clark’s Town Hospital, with only a handful in general practice in other areas. The amount of pregnancies mean that the mothers can’t be brought to hospital as would normally be the case so home births are now the rule.  While river transport would normally cope there isn’t enough of it and it isn’t quick enough to move the doctors and nurses to the places they are needed. The players will need to set-up some type of communications to co-ordinate and prioritise the medical staff and use their high speed transport to move them to where they are needed, while still providing cover for those patients in hospital. If the party has medical staff of their own the hospital will be happy for any help they can get, either covering shifts at the hospital, delivering babies or just acting as a mobile spare.

Civil Engineering. The railway needs to progress further up the valley and the sides of the gorge protrude into it a few miles west of Jame’s Town. The Council would like to tunnel through, and while they have the means and expertise to do so they would require a considerable amount of time in which to do it. They know that the application of advanced technologies will be able to considerably speed up the process. If the players have the means they would like them to assist.

Surveying. While the Council has a scan on the planet that they received when trying to deduce the cause of the drought they would like a more detailed one of the Gratia Basin. They will ask if the Players would transport a specialist along with ½ a ton of topsoil, ½ a ton of organic fertiliser, and significant grass and weed seeds to the basin where they wish a more detailed scan to be done and where the specialist will direct the depositing of the cargo for its best effect.

Baby Boom

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Drought

Required Equipment: Grav Vehicle or Small Craft

3014 Apinanto E431432-6 Ni Po 303 Na

Apinanto is a backwater system in the Saphi Cluster of Fessor Subsector of Foreven. Overlooked by everyone except those who only have jump 1, and even then the mainworld itself is largely ignored as fuel is only available from skimming the Gas Giants.

Not only is Apinanto ignored because there is no fuel, it’s also ignored because there is no trade. Apinantoians are a subsistence lot. They produce enough food and manufacture enough goods for themselves. When surplices are available there generally isn’t anyone to sell them to, and there isn’t anything the Apinantoians need to buy. The 37,526 inhabitants pretty much get along by themselves.

There is only one populated area on the planet. West of Clark’s Mountains rainfall creates the tributaries that become the Apinan River that for millennia has carved a deep gorge through the landscape to deposit its water into the depression that holds Clark’s Sea. Here the westerly prevailing winds evaporate the water blowing it back up the gorge to deposit it as rain on Clark’s Mountains to continue the cycle. Nearly everyone makes their living from the river; whether it’s to grow crops in the river valley, to find ores on the sides of the gorge to mine, or to run the boats up and down the river providing transport.

The source of the people’s livelihood is now the source of their troubles. The rains have stopped, and while this in itself isn’t a problem, what is, is that they have stopped for weeks. The water level in the Apinan has dropped to an all time low such that barges and river boats can no longer travel its length. Roads, such as they are, are just local affairs in the towns and villages, never between them. And with the air so thin, even in the deep gorge where it collects into more than just a trace, there are no aircraft or helicopters.

Through the phone and radio systems the Jose council, the oligarchy that runs the place, know that there are people stuck along the river in the wrong villages, boats are grounded on sand banks, fruits are sitting in their crates on the wharfs, and the alcohol and wood used for fuel is sitting next to them causing shortages everywhere.

The players have made their way to Apinanto for whatever reason, and they are currently at Apinanto Down, a patch of bedrock with a landing beacon, blast wall and a hanger about 1km from Clark’s Town, the capital. The counsel approaches the players for help and while it might seem like the thing to do there is one slight problem; the council have nothing with which to pay the PCs. Their stocks of grain and meat are needed as the crops that do not have irrigation will be devastated, and the livestock that they feed may die. There are many jobs for players with a grav vehicle, or small craft to do however.

Moving supplies. Wood and alcohol need to be moved to the market villages and farms where there are shortages to ensure that the compressors providing air to the habitats keep working. Fruits, grains and livestock need to be moved from the villages and farms to the towns.

Moving people. People who have been stranded need to be ferried back to their homes or places of work. They may have been visiting relatives, taking a vacation, or been on business trips and now need to get back home, and those who are injured or sick need to be moved to hospital in Clark’s Town.

Moving equipment. Boats and barges that have been stranded on sand banks need lifting off and moving back to their home wharfs. There is farm equipment sent for repair that needs delivering to those that sent it, there are new product that needs to be delivered to those who ordered it, and replacement compressors delivered to those who need them.

Salvage. With the water levels so low there are a number of boats, barges and equipment that have been lost to the river in the past that are now visible and reachable. If the PC’s other priorities have been met salvaging these would be a boon to the Apinanto’s economy providing unexpected resources for the future.

In order for the PCs to help they will need to set-up communications to co-ordinate and prioritise the tasks that need to be done and work out a flight plan to accomplish it as efficiently as possible.

In addition to the immediate relief work that needs to be undertaken the council would like to know the reason for the drought, and if the players continue to help and scan the planet they may find:

Drought

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