This article originally appeared in the January/February 2019 issue.
Captain Nushu sat at his console cursing as he waited for the inevitable. The sleek ship had intercepted his starliner, blasted the drives offline with expert precision, and Security warned of armed boarders headed for the bridge before being abruptly cut off.
Minutes later, the iris valve flared around the edges, the pieces falling to the floor with dull thuds. Several armed and armored intruders leaped inside, followed by a gorgeous, flamboyantly dressed woman who gusted in, cast an appreciative glance at the scene, and then smilingly approached Nushu with outstretched hand.
“Captain Brittina Montaigne. And you are…?”
But Nushu was in no mood for pleasantries. “If I had known we’d run into pirates, I would’ve…”
Brittina looked hurt. “Pirates, captain? How…pedestrian.” The smile returned as she shook her head. “Our…wealth facilitation service…will certainly put your valuables to good use, but there’s a more important reason we’re here.”
Nushu stared in puzzlement. Brittina’s eyes twinkled as she answered his unasked question:
“My crew and I would like to invite you all to a little…presentation,” she said, as she absent-mindedly fingered a small object on her necklace. Nushu recognized it to be a religious symbol.
Brittina Montaigne is a pirate whose preferred prey is starliners. She is not solely motivated by money, however; religious fervor drives her to seek out and convert others to her faith. In a sense, she plunders not only valuables, but convictions as well.
Brittina was born on Terra, in the Phoenix Startown. Orphaned at a young age, her childhood was a world of vice and violence. She had a police record by the time she turned fourteen.
Her life changed one night through an act of brutality. Accused of robbing a noble who had been slumming, she was badly beaten by the man’s bodyguards and left for dead in an alley. As she lay semi-conscious, a white-clad stranger aided her, staying with her until help arrived and speaking with her about the direction her life had taken and her plans for the future. The conversation made Brittina question her life’s direction, and the stranger challenged her to seek more answers later. When the paramedics arrived, Brittina tried to tell them of the Man in White, but strangely, they saw no one else in the alley. They took her insistence of his presence as mere delusion.
After a hospital stay, Brittina took up the stranger’s challenge to seek answers. Her search led to a local religious institution, where she began studies in earnest. Several years later, she emerged a zealous proponent of her new faith, beginning a series of “presentations” (her description) to spread it. Her initial efforts met with indifference at best.
Frustration and ennui set in, but then a chance meeting sent Brittina’s life in yet another direction. While traveling by starliner to another world with a hopefully more receptive audience, pirates attacked. The corsairs weren’t very bright—Brittina easily persuaded them not to harm anyone—but they gave her an idea. Convincing the pirate captain to take her on, ostensibly as a hostage, Brittina converted the crew to her religion, and then induced her new supporters to mutiny and install her as captain. With a zealous crew and a hand-me-down starship, she set out to win new converts through piracy.
Today, Brittina and her crew prowl interstellar space in their ship, the Blinding Epiphany, searching for carefully chosen victims to rob and convert. Her conversion rate is actually rather low, but those few who do convert tend to be very ardent.
Character Stats (Classic Traveller)
Brittina Montaigne 798B85 Age 51 Cr 70,000
8 terms Pirate Leader
Leader-3, Ship Tactics-3, Gun Cbt-2, Brawling-1, Computer-1, Pilot-1, Streetwise-1, Vacc Suit-1
Weapons and Equipment: Body Pistol
Brittina favors concealable firearms for personal defense, such as Body Pistols and Snub Pistols. Although she does not use obvious body armor, most of her clothing is lined equivalent to Cloth armor.
Brittina is a physically imposing female Human, considered beautiful by accepted standards, standing 1.85m and massing 59kg. She often wears heels that add several more centimeters of height. She has unblemished coffee-and-cream skin, brown eyes and thick black hair that she keeps well coiffed. She dresses flamboyantly but tastefully, and always on the cutting edge of fashion. She appears much younger than her actual age.
Brittina’s personality is even more imposing than her appearance. She combines religious zeal, natural charisma, and great beauty to grand effect. She knows exactly how to command a room, disarm naysayers and dispel unbelief. She is equally comfortable dealing with high nobles and low Startown scum and has an uncanny ability to scope out those with the highest payoff potential and lowest risk. And if things get out of hand, well, there’s always her loyal crew…
Though she’s a pirate, Brittina has a strict ethical code. She won’t harm children, the elderly, or animals, and kills only as a last resort. For defense, she carries a body pistol; she has rarely had to resort to it.
Views and Outlook
Because she sees her actions as stemming from religious conviction, Brittina does not view what she does as piracy. In fact, she hates the term “pirate”, and is quick to correct those who name her such, with a colorful euphemism, such as “wealth facilitator”, “affluence expeditor”, or “resource reallocator”. She doesn’t tolerate insults to her religion, however, dealing harshly with those who do.
Brittina tries to research her targets before hitting them, but realizes that some opportunities are best seized on the spur of the moment. She isn’t afraid to cut her losses and run if she misinterprets a situation and things go sideways. Her natural intuition and a fair amount of luck have helped her evade capture so far.
Friends and Allies
Brittina “inherited” her staunchly loyal and obedient crew after she converted key players among them and led a successful mutiny. They have adopted her standards of conduct, although they quickly revert to their old ways if Brittina herself is threatened. Their numbers aren’t specified here; the referee is encouraged to make her crew as numerous as necessary.
Her ship, the Blinding Epiphany, is a converted 1000-ton Tukera Type RT Long Liner (see The Traveller Adventure for detailed specifications.) She has never asked the crew how they got the ship; she claims not to want to know.
Brittina in the Campaign
Brittina and her crew operate completely out of the Blinding Epiphany. She avoids heavily-traveled areas and their attendant naval patrols. She stays mobile, never hitting the same system twice in a row. Thus the PCs can encounter this flamboyant character almost anywhere. Carrying a valuable cargo with weak or nonexistent security will almost assure a visit from her and her crew. The PCs will be robbed and then forced to hear Brittina hard-sell her religion and urge them to join the faith.
Despite her scruples, Brittina makes a deadly enemy. Just because she avoids killing (and again, her crew won’t if she’s in danger) doesn’t mean she won’t maroon enemies on desolate worlds, or let their enemies or bounty hunters know their location.
The referee should select or create Brittina’s religion, based on the standards of the campaign and the comfort level of the players.