One of the stranger sights in the Spinward Marches is the Chaarnihom, a one-of-a-kind 20K dton merchant with a dispersed structure. The Chaarnihom started out intended as a highport for the system of Yori/Regina but was sold off cheap (before construction was complete) when its requirement was cancelled. It now functions as a merchant ship of sorts. The Chaarnihom looks like a christmas tree with 5-fold radial symmetry ... booms stick out at odd angles with docking clusters at the ends.
Commissioned in 1093 by the religious Advisors that form Yori's planetary government, it was built at the LSP orbital shipyards at Lunion/Lunion to a design by RINA (Rhylanor Interstellar Navy Architects ... a small design house specialising in unusual requirements). The name "Chaarnihom" translates on Yori as "In honour of Chaarni"; Chaarni was the dominant deity there at the time. The original budget was MCr5000, but RINA's final design overran to MCr5616. Once construction started (in 1097) this was further complicated by the need for special religious blessing ceremonies at various stages. The craft was equiped with Jump-1 engines and had enough fuel capacity for two jumps. The intention was that once it reached Yori the jump engines would be decommissioned and sold on (recuperating some of the cost overrun).
However, in 1104, as the construction of the Chaarnihom neared completion, a socio-political change on Yori resulted in the god Chaarni falling out of favour. This, and a subsequent drop in Yori's TL, meant that the ship was no longer acceptable. With much of the internal fittings still to be completed the Chaarnihom was sold at auction for just over MCr3851 to Vable Shipping of Mora. Vable Shipping immediately put the Chaarnihom to work in its unfinished state as a bulk cargo carrier, but within 6 months Vable Shipping was bankrupt and ownership of the Chaarnihom passed to it's bank (Hortalez et Cie). Currently the bank is keeping the Chaarnihom in operation while it decides what to do with it. Skilled spacers are hired on short and medium term contracts to make up is operating crew while it plys the Spinward Main.
This might seem like a large ship to give to players, and with a crew of 63 there's an NPC personnel aspect more in common with mid-level merc campaigns than tramp trader campaigns, but its slow and unarmed and plagued by frequent minor glitches. The ship itself can be the location for an adventure or two, with a dispersed structure and incomplete construction there are many unfinished sections and dead corridors. The interior is highly decorative ... there are religious symbols everywhere, and odd deck layouts that could hide secret or forgotten compartments. (For inspiration think of a cross beween the layout of the station interiors of the "Star Trek Deep Space 9" TV series and the decor of the Goa'ald ship interiors of the "Stargate SG-1" TV series. There'll be a "main concourse" with cubicals where boutique shops were to go, but the style is darker, more gothic in a pseudo-Egyptian sort of way.) And who knows what was left behind by the construction workers, or by Vable Shipping? Of course, anyone who tells you all those religious ceremonies left the ship haunted with psychic/mystic energies is just pulling you leg ... the ship's supposed to creak and groan like that. Honest.
Due to the incomplete construction the ship is unreliable. Roll 2D each day (DM +1 per crewman short of 63, or +2 if an engineer short of 12) and on a roll of 12+ something's gone wrong. If something's gone wrong roll 2D to find out what.
|Computer Crash - 1d6 hours to correct
|Environmental failure in 1 random section
|Maneuver Drive failure
It is left to the Referee to determine the severity of the problem. Strangely, the jump drive is reliable.
Original USP: SN-L71X1G3-000300-20000-0 MCr 5616 20ktons Batt Bear Y Crew 189 Batt Z TL13 (X=0.25, Y=48, Z=50) Current USP: AN-L71X1G3-000000-00000-0 MCr 3851 20ktons Batt Bear Crew 63 Batt TL13 (X=0.25) Cargo=3476 Fuel=4200 EP=200 Agility=0 No fuel treatment Passengers=937 Emergency Low Berth=100
Architect's Fees MCr56.164
Items in the original specifications not in current specifications are highlighted.
- 20,000 dtons standard, 280,000 cubic meters, dispersed structure configuration
- Command=11, Engineering=12, Services=40, Gunnery=55, Flight=51, Troops=20
- Jump-1, 0.25G Maneuver, Power plant-1, 200 EP, Agility 0
- 1 (3) bridge, each with Model 7/Fib computer
- 200 Hard points
- 50 single beam laser turrets, each acting independantly for point defense
- factor 3 nuclear dampers
- 50 dton Modular Cutters x10, 20dton Launches x1
Docking included for all original craft.
- 4200 dtons fuel (2 jump-1s and 30 days endurance)
- 500 dton drydock hanger x10, 3476 dton cargo capacity, 937 passengers (less any stewards added to crew), 100 emergency low berths