Following on from last week’s Session 0, our first full session of our Traveller campaign began this week in earnest. The games started with the party’s realisation that, following the “pirate attack” and the crew selling off the ship’s cargo of weaponry, their promised share of corporate income from the trip would amount to nothing. This was obviously not acceptable.
They decided to negotiate with the captain, assuring her that should she fail to give them a share of the illicit profits that had been obtained, the party would make themselves very difficult in the inevitable Imperial or Guild investigations into the mutiny and supposed pirate attack. Following some careful negotiations and a few very strong dice rolls, the party secured a suitable payment and, upon docking with End’s orbital customs station they disembarked happily, having Oskar’s science shuttle removed from the ship and readied for future flight.
The party made their way through customs, getting a small amount of information about the situation on End. End, it seemed, was in the midst of one of the uprisings that seemed to happen once or twice a decade. The Duke was not doing particularly well against the rebels, and the Imperial Marines were seemingly not getting involved in the conflict.
The party also discovered that End was the only planet in the Interdependency with a livable surface. The novelty of this persuaded the party to make landfall in End’s capital city, Inverness. Given the fact that we’re a group based in the Scottish Highlands, it was amusing to us that John Scalzi, in choosing to name the drab capital city of a backwater planet should choose Inverness, the de facto capital of the Scottish highlands. Anyway, they decided to land despite the war that was going on. Offered the chance to take a public shuttle or pilot Oskar’s shuttle, it was decided that Pom would pilot the doctor’s ship down to the surface. He was confident that should be an easy journey.
He was wrong.
After spending a considerable amount of time describing the various tricks and maneuvers that Pom would do to demonstrate his mastery of the small craft, his player flubbed his first dice roll and the ship was hit with a crude rocket fired from a rooftop. To his credit, Pom did manage to control the descent and landed rather roughly on the assigned landing strip, destroying the landing gear in the process.
Upon landing they met the team of mechanics who worked this strip and Oskar negotiated an acceptable price for the repairs which would take a few hours to complete. Their loud and chaotic entrance also drew the attention of a local official, a tax collector who introduced himself as Count Jamies Claremont. The Count was very interested to hear their story of being dumped out of the flow with the Tell Me Another One, and seemed much more interested in the flow phenomenon than with the damaged shuttle. He explained that he was a flow physicist and that his role as Imperial Tax Inspector allowed him access to the logs of all ships (legitimately) entering end space. This allowed him to monitor the status of the flow and that, if the data were to bear out, then it would prove his theory. After interrogating the party for some time, Count Claremont tasked them with collecting his son from the university and bringing him to Claremont’s estate with the promise of lucrative work.
Taking a hired skimmer, Pom elected to stay low this time, drawing less attention. When they arrived at the university, after a couple of false starts going into the wrong buildings, the party made their way into the planetarium where a professor, soon to be identified as Marce Claremont, was giving a lecture to some visiting children about the absolute basics of the Flow. The party waited politely (against, I assume, Alphonse’s natural instincts) for him to finish and explained that his father had summoned him. Getting into the skimmer, Marce started giving directions to his father’s estate, seeing as the party had not asked the Count where they were to actually go…
Again, the party chose to stay low in their skimmer, at least until they were out of the city and into the surrounding countryside. When they arrived at the Claremont estate, they were surprised to see a handful of marines patrolling the grounds, as they had been told that the marines were not operating on End due to the war. With the marines was also a woman with the same bearing who would later introduce herself as Vrenna Claremont, the Count’s daughter.
After being shown into the house, the party were part of a conversation between Count Claremont and his children, during which it was revealed that Claremont, with the assistance of his son, had compiled decades of flow data into a theoretical model that showed the imminent collapse of the flow. The experience of the party and the Tell Me Another One appeared to confirm the hypothesis by demonstrating the degradation of the Flow. Count Claremont believed that it was time to share his findings with the Emperox and stated his intention to send his result to Hub, along with his son, Marce, who would be able to explain the science.
There was a brief interlude during which Ghreni Nohamaptean, third child of the powerful House Nohamapetan came in and, acting in his role as an advisor to the Duke of End, tried to squeeze some money out of the Count in order to support the Duke’s war against the rebels. Of course, any money extorted from Claremont would likely have come from the Imperial coffers, and therefore…
He was sent packing, of course, between the intimidating presence of Alphonse and the marines.
As our session ended, the group were heading back to the station with Marce to find transport to Hub. The intention was to sign up to work on one of the two trading ships that were preparing to leave. One belonged to House Lagos, whilst the other belonged to House Nohamapetan. As we left things, they were leaning towards the latter.