Tag Archives: Gotylu

Madama Butterfly

Patron: Noble
Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: Starship
Locations: Gotylu, Urnian Subsector

Players’ Information:

Whist on Gotylu the players are approached by two men wearing the brightly coloured and unusually tailored garments of the natives of that planet. They both also wear ceremonial (but quite functional) swords, marking them as higher status individuals allowed to carry such weapons despite the local law level.

They introduce themselves as Yakuside and Goro, and explain that they are looking for a group who can find the captain of a merchant starship who has gone missing. If the players are interested Yakuside will provide further details.

Pinkerton is the captain of the Lincoln, a type A free trader. Six months ago when on shore leave he courted and married Yakuside’s niece, Cho-Cho. After spending a few weeks with his new wife Pinkerton left to continue his business, with the intention to return once his trading route took him back to Gotylu. However Pinkerton has not yet returned from his voyage and the men are concerned that he is in trouble and wish to hire a group who can locate the wayward captain, help him with any difficulties he may be in, and then return him to Gotylu.

Yakuside acknowledges that Pinkerton may possibly have perished and in that case requires information on what has happened. Pinkerton also has a sword given to him at the wedding ceremony, similar to the ones they carry, which they want returned.

They are offering Cr 100,000 for Pinkerton’s safe return, half of this for definitive evidence of his demise and the other half for the return of the sword.

Butterfly
Cho-Cho – Image from Pixabay. Public Domain

Referee’s Information:

If the players suggest Pinkerton has absconded the patrons will protest that is an honourable man. However if pressed they will concede that this is a possibility and if so then there would be punishment administered when he was returned to them, and it would be unlikely he would be permitted to leave the planet again.

The situation is as follows:

1. Pinkerton is a scoundrel. Pinkerton is alive and well working the local cluster in his free trader and should be easily tracked down. He is a vain and arrogant man, the ceremonial sword is hanging pride of place in his stateroom seemingly as a trophy of his conquest. When confronted by the players Pinkerton will claim that he does intend to return to Gotylu soon to see his wife but has not yet had the opportunity. He will be quite dismissive of any suggestion that he should return immediately. Pinkerton will respond to threats with violence if he thinks he has the upper hand however if obviously out-gunned he will comply. He will also respond to financial incentives. If the players ingratiate themselves with Pinketon they will be able to encourage him, over a number of days or weeks, to visit Gotylu sooner that he may have otherwise. If Pinkerton discovers that he faces punishment or confinement dirt-side on his return we will not we willing to do so.

2. Pinkerton is a liar. Pinkerton is not in fact the captain of the Lincoln but is, or rather was, one of it’s crew members. He lost his position a few jumps after Gotylu and has been stranded ever since. The players will be able to track him to a world near to Gotylu where he is trying to secure a position on another starship that is likely to visit there. He is genuinely attracted to Cho-Cho and would like to return to her if possible. He will attempt to conspire with the players to concoct a plausible story of his absence from Gotylu and will happily accompany them if he thinks they will cover for him. Otherwise he will not be cooperative and will attempt to flee from the players at the first opportunity.

3. Pinkerton is a scoundrel and a liar. As number 1 however Pinkerton is not the Captain of the Lincoln but was one of its crew members. He is not currently on the Lincoln and has had a number of jobs since on different ships travelling around the cluster. He may be convinced to return to Gotylu as per number 1 however will expect to be aided in maintaining the ruse as per number 2.

4. Pinkerton is a scoundrel, a liar and a thief. As number 2 however Pinkerton has no interest in Cho-Cho beyond material gain. He is no longer on the Lincoln but left at the nearest port where he was able to enjoy both the considerable dowry he received from his marriage and the proceeds from the sale of the sword. By the time the players catch up to him he will have spent most of his money and will be either carousing, blind drunk or sleeping. He will not willingly return to Gotylu and will flee from the players as soon as he learns of their intentions. The sword is now in the possession of a local collector of Gotylu artefacts. They will sell, reluctantly, for a sufficiently generous offer (Cr 20,000 – 40,000). The collection is at their private residence and not securely guarded.

5. Pinkerton is in an unfortunate situation. The crew of the Lincoln mutinied soon after Pinkertons marriage to Cho-Cho and he is now stranded in a wilderness area of the planet on which the mutineers left him. Pinkerton is smitten with Cho-Cho and will happily return to Gotylu with the players if they find him, however he will want to retrieve the sword first which is in the possession of the leader of the mutineers.

6. Pinkerton has met an untimely end. The Lincoln was attacked by pirates whist wilderness refuelling. The ship has been looted and the crew executed, along with Pinkerton. The wreck with the bodies of the crew on-board is currently adrift. The sword was taken by the pirates and fenced. The pirate ship may be tracked down through the fence if the very distinctive sword is located.

Downward

Location: Gotylu (Foreven/Urnian 3035) E-688699-2 Ag Ni Ri

Players’ Information:
Gotylu is a farming world of barely 2 million people. The world is classified as an Amber Zone because of the extremely xenophobic natives. While they are very low-tech, there’s a lot of them compared to the small human trade outposts. Because of this fact Gotylu has not been explored very much, with one exception.

Gotylu has one very interesting feature: the Gotylu Chasm, a kilometers-deep naturally occurring hole in the ground. The Chasm is not a canyon; it is a basically vertical shaft of uncertain depth, with nearly a quarter-kilometer diameter on the surface. Its volume and shape are less certain below the surface. Geologists have attempted to study this bizarre phenomenon but often run afoul of the locals and have to make a hasty departure. This has led to the site, while it remains an area of much interest, to be referred to simply as the Hole.

The Hole
The Hole – Image from wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

One recent geological team which rapidly evacuated informed Dr. Karl Barrow, the department head for Geography and Exo-geography at Ovdyo State University that in the process of their departure, the central data core that was correlating all of their measurements and sensor data fell into the hole. Dr. Barrow is offering, with the University’s approval, transport to and from Gotylu and Cr 50,000 finder’s fee for the team that can descend into the Chasm and retrieve the data core. As there will not be a geological survey site on the surface, the hope is that the locals will not notice a small team arriving and infiltrating the Chasm. The Geology department will provide the team with a reliable but used air/raft if the team does not have one of their own. The air/raft is to be returned, it is not part of the payment. Dr. Barrow’s department provides maps of Gotylu, and aerial imagery of the Chasm site. A junior geologist can accompany the PCs if they want his expertise.

Referee’s Information:
The data core is a metallic cylinder 1.3 meters tall, massing 75 kg. It has an internal power supply so it should be warm, and a radio transmitter so it can communicate with other systems. It should not difficult to identify if the PCs can get ‘close’ to it. On the other hand, the core could have come to a stop anywhere in the hole. The geologists are not sure how close is close enough.

The planet has a dense atmosphere, and the further down the hole it they go, the heavier the atmosphere gets until it’s almost too dense to breathe normally. There are trace elements in the air of Gotylu, not enough to qualify the atmosphere as tainted, but they get concentrated the further down the hole the PCs go. If they have no atmosphere tester then the taint elements may overcome them. The referee must determine what the taints are and their effects. Also it will get warmer the further they descend.

At any time, there could be rock slides & stuff falling off of the sides of the hole. The light ceases after half a km or so, and radio contact is lost after a while as well. Once the light goes, it is dark, and silent. There may be air currents from the lava flows, but even those will rapidly cool off and the air will settle. There may be animals which live in the hole, either flying creatures or swimmers living in the occasional pool or pond on a rock ledge.

The referee should help the players to picture the environ of the Hole as being like deep-sea diving without the water. The PCs should get the sense that they are isolated and far away from any kind of help, in a dark, dead silent, confined space. Remind them at every opportunity of the sensory data around them – darkness, stuffiness, damp heat and almost no echo or sound.

Six Situations:
The data core could be uncomfortably close to one of these phenomena.

1. There are radioactive ore veins exposed along the sides of the hole.

2. There are steam vents releasing very hot gas into the hole.

3. There are cavern formations that branch off from the hole, some have ledges where the core might have bounced.

4. If they explore these side caves, in one they find the remains of a prospector. There is no indication of how he died or who he is but he’s go a bag of uncut gems.

5. There are slow lava leaks flowing into the hole that leave frozen waterfalls in rock. The core is near or in one of these flows.

6. The core knocked loose a rock slide, and it is now buried beneath hundreds of kilograms of loose rock in an unstable pile.

At some points the central passage of the hole gets tighter requiring driving checks to get past. Failure mean they struck a rock which can set up mechanical faults later on. If the vehicle suffers a fault it has to be repaired on the spot or they’re stuck at the bottom of the hole.

Once the team recovers the data core, the mission is finished. All they have to do from this point is return to the Gotylu starport and present their return passes. Of course, the University will be interested in any other observations they may have made while down in the hole. Anything of value they find while down there they can legitimately claim as theirs, as no one on Gotylu has a legal claim to the contents of the Hole. The locals claim it in a general sense but not in an Imperial/legal sense.

Adventurers who want to return to the Hole for further exploration may do so. The referee must determine the flow of subsequent events.

Continue reading Downward

Ferrero Rocher

Patron: Diplomat
Required skills: None
Required equipment: Starship
Number of Players: 3+

Players’ Information:
The players are on Gotylu (Urnian/3238 E688699-2). They are approached by RUHK BEY, 2nd-secretary in the Imperial Embassy. The Ambassador, SERGEI HAULT-DEVROE, is seriously ill. He contracted a rare disease years before while on the Imperium’s service. It was supposed to have been cured, but it has flared up again. Gotylu lacks medical facilities to treat the condition. The only hope is to ship the Ambassador in low berth to a world where he can be helped (TL A or greater). The closest options are Ovdyo (Urnian/2935) or Urnian (Urnian/2833).

Bey offers a full charter of the party’s ship for 1 jump (all passage and cargo space). However, there is a catch. He can only pay Cr 5,000 now from the meagre funds available at the Gotylu embassy. The balance will be paid by Imperial authorities at the embassy on Urnian (Urnian/2833).

Hault-Devroe is located at the Imperial embassy building in the outskirts of the city of Tuleeren, 180km from Gotylu spaceport. The embassy has a utility helicopter that must be used to transport him. The bureaucratic authorities of Gotylu will not allow more advanced tech (e.g. grav vehicles) to be used outside the spaceport. The helicopter has a top speed of 300kph and a range of 600km with a light load. An Imperial Marine attached to the embassy can serve as pilot, or one of the party may fly the chopper themselves.

The Helicopter
The Helicopter – Image from wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Referee’s Information:
1. All is as it seems. Determine Hault-Devroe’s fate on revival according to normal low-berth rules. If the party ever make it to Urnian, they may claim the balance of the charter.

2. As 1, but Hault-Devroe dies on revival. On a throw of 1 or 2 on 1D, the authorities at Urnian refuse to settle the balance of the charter. On a throw of 3-6, the balance is paid.

3. Hault-Devroe’s low berth signals a medical emergency during Jump, requiring immediate revival. The low berth’s logs will automatically record a failure to perform revival in response to medical emergency, which is a culpable offence punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment under Imperial law. Hault-Devroe may (throw 1-3) or may not (throw 4-6) survive very long, but in any case the crew must implement (or improvise) quarantine procedures.

4. When the party arrive at the embassy to retrieve Hault-Devroe, they find it surrounded by a detachment (about 200) of Gotylan troops equipped to TL5 – the Gotylan Empire’s crack troops. They are led by a Gotylan official, TYLOK NAGA, who refuses to allow the sick Ambassador to leave the embassy for fear of spreading the “sickness from space”. Naga may be susceptible to persuasion or bribery, but intimidation is unlikely to work given the forces at his disposal. (Their TL5 equipment is quite capable of shooting down the party’s chopper.)

5. The utility chopper develops a mechanical fault on the flight back to the spaceport and must make a forced landing. If the party can reach Bey at the spaceport by radio, he can despatch an ATV. The party must await the vehicle’s arrival and then complete the journey of 2Dx20 km overland.

6. As 5, but Bey has sabotaged the helicopter. Bey loathes Hault-Devroe and has poisoned him, hoping to blame his death on a recurrence of his disease, in an attempt to take his job. Bey has also despatched a force of locally hired mercenaries (equipped to TL2 with a sprinkling of TL5 equipment and riding the ATV) to finish the job. The referee must determine the course of events.

The Musician

Patron: Artist
Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: Starship
Locations: Urnian, Gotylu

Players’ Information:
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.

The Musician
The Musician : Picture from wikimedia. Public domain, copyright has expired.

Referee’s Information:
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.

Outcomes:
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…