This article originally appeared in the November 2011 issue.
This adventure was written as a side plot for the Sydymic Outworlds cluster, and is possibly best played as an aside to the main campaign or adventure as either a sub plot or a completely unrelated event. Many things go on in chartered space that happen even if the players are concentrating on their current escapade, and can interrupt just when the PCs don’t need them to, or just when they need them the most.
The choice is of course up to the individual Referee, but having a couple of different possibly unrelated plots happening in a campaign at the same time can make the game more realistic. In real life unrelated events happen all the time, why not in your Traveller universe?
Brightlett, an Imperial system in the Sydymic Outworlds cluster on the border of the Imperium, although this adventure can be easily adapted to fit into any frontier area of the Imperium or just about anywhere else.
The players are in Startown on Brightlett, waiting for whatever reason. They may be waiting for cargo, life-support, a new Patron, a contact in the current adventure, or the results of an analysis, a computer hack or just about anything. They have enjoyed a meal in a restaurant where the owner has put on some live entertainment. This consisted of a nondescript human female of mixed origins who has been singing old romantic ballads and not doing too bad a job of it either. One of the songs, probably a favorite of the singer, was delivered so well that all the PCs stopped eating to listen. The singer finished her set and the PC set about finishing their meal. Just as the players are about to ask for the bill the singer comes up and enquires if the players are the crew of an Imperial ship. If they reply in the affirmative she asks them if they would send an Xboat message for her next time they are on a route. In the Sydymic Outworlds cluster that means Shurril Gami. This type of small private message business is not unusual and is usually unremarkable. If the players agree then she hands them a data packet addressed to Eliay and an address on Annapabar (Ley/Diamond Prince 1936), and Cr800. She smiles and says “This should be more than enough to cover the cost and any that is left is yours of course. Dinner is on me,” she indicates the meal that the PCs have just had and then leaves. If asked her name she just says “Jane.” The data packet is encrypted although not to such a high level that the players can’t break it in not too long a time. The data is a holo of the woman who gave the players the data packet that just records her saying “Mother, Father, I’m fine and in good health. I’m doing what I am happy doing. All my love. Goodbye.” Nothing else is on the data packet and there is nothing hidden in the holo image even if the players persist in looking.
Sending the message from Shurril Gami will cost Cr620. The clerk at the desk will tell them that it will take around 21 weeks to reach Annapabar if they so enquire.
What the players don’t know is that Lady Cellinna Annar Llevoh is the third child of Baron Sir Eliay Huthrn Llevoh and Baroness Ishirri Gruurii Annar, and as such stood little chance of inheriting the Barony and small chance of marrying well. Not wanting to take the normal career path for noble children, joining the Navy, she decided to go against her parents’ wishes and pursue a career in entertainment. She knew she didn’t have an empire-inspiring voice but she knew she would be able to make a living. On her way to the Naval Academy in Ley Sector she decided to change routes and ended up heading for the border.
Thinking that her parents may make a small effort to find her she decided to ask someone else to send the Xmail informing her parents that she was well and then to head out of the Imperium using what portable wealth she has and her voice to pay her way. Lady Cellinna has so far managed to find singing jobs that have paid for her to get to Brightlett, and has just signed up on a liner for a working passage to Irdashdis. She leaves two hours after she gives the players the message.
Unknown to her, her family have been involved in a grav vehicle accident that has left her father in a coma, and killed her mother and her two brothers. The accident was caused by a drunken driver taking his speeder off auto-pilot because he thought it was flying too quickly. As the auto-pilot came off the drunk accelerated and crashed into the Baron’s limousine, causing it to plummet 200 meters to the ground.
The Imperial government have been looking for Lady Cellinna ever since the accident and have exhausted their search on the direct route to the Navy Academy. Once the Xboat message reaches the residence a fast courier will be dispatched to Shurril Gami (or wherever the players sent the Xboat message from) and will arrive 28 weeks after the message left. Finding out who the person who sent the message will be no problem for Sir John Atkins, who has been tasked with finding Lady Cellinna, as he will use the Xboat and SPA recorded data and their listed flight plans to track the PCs.
Sir John will eventually catch up to the PCs and ask about Lady Cellinna. He is likely to be cautious about revealing information at first until he has persuaded himself that the PCs can be trusted. If he does so he will inform them that the woman who asked them to deliver the message is the heir apparent to the Barony of Baakh, a not insignificant world in Outreaumer subsector of Ley.
While Sir John will be looking for the future Baroness, the players have a chance to find her as well. While Sir John has the advantage of being able to have the government assist him, it is likely that the players will be able to obtain information from those areas that dislike government involvement, and Lady Cellinna is likely to be trying to dodge government attention because she is a runaway.
Lady Cellinna can be found on Irdashdis under the name of Susan Willkins where she has found some steady work around the capital and startown in some up and coming night spots. She found that an Imperial Client state suited her needs quite well as it’s next to the Imperium but there would be no one who knew her personally, and with a quick change of styling it would be likely that people would think that she had a resemblance to Lady Cellinna as opposed to actually being her.
It is likely that Lady Cellinna will look favorably on the PCs if they inform her of the news although she may not believe it at first, and could possibly charter their ship to get her to Annapabar before anything further happens to her father. She will insist on leaving messages for Sir John on the way home, so if he is able to catch up he may take her home quicker.
If the players are not interested in looking, they will eventually receive an Xmail from Sir John thanking them for their information that helped him locate Lady Cellinna.