Monday, July 7, 2014

Traveller Amber Zone - Sword Dance

There was a good looking Amber Zone contest over at Amber Zone.  Unfortunately, with my travels (real life) lately, I missed the submission date.

Here it is - set inside one of the two super powers on the balkanized world of Margesi in the Vilis subsector of the Spinward Marches.

Amber Zone - Sword Dance (1105, Margesi/Vilis)
Location: Western edge of the Chergen Mountains, in People's Republic of Gome (PRoG)

Patron: Commander Sinew, Imperial Naval Intelligence, contacting the travellers clandestinely, in the Kingdom of Evariidi, or perhaps the Margesi starport.

Mission: Travel to the western edge of the Chergen Mountains, contact some of the local clans of Chergen cossacks, who never fully assimilated into the People's Republic. One in particular, Katrinka the Knife, has agreed to serve as a guide. She knows the location of a Sword World Military cache buried underground, at the old Gram Star-Militia troop site - situated to provide a training cadre for the capitol city of Isenstadt, on the other side of the Mountains. When Gram controlled Margesi for the Sworld Worlders, Isenstadt was the world capitol, and home of the main starbase. The cache has unknown amounts of military supplies buried in protected containers, but of interest to the Imperial Naval Intelligence, are some memory tanks with technical details of a Sword World missile frigate being designed 20 years ago, and now coming into production.

Payoff: The Intelligence officer will offer some consideration in removing past offenses from the records of the travellers, and also agrees that they can keep half of all the military stores they uncover, with the other half going to Katrinka the Knife, and her band of Cossack warriors.

Complications: The location is deep inside a militarized Soviet style country that is still very loyal to the Sword World, even though 20 some years ago, the planet came back into Imperial protection. Also, the location is rural and hazardous (the cache is in a rocky highland valley). Dealing with the Cossacks is not going to be easy, and in fact, to prove themselves the players will have to spend a night successfully carousing with the band (Carouse or Liaison skill test to be successful), and one of the members of the group will have to try the sword dance (Art: Dance, modified by Dex). Three dice rolls are required, of successful harder difficulties (6+, 8+, 10+) representing faster and faster Cossack music. If the player passes all three, the Cossacks are completely loyal allies, lesser results will have the Cossacks being less tightly allied to the players.

Reaching the cache is tough enough (survival and mountaineering may be required), but occasional patrols of PRoG solders (flak, autorifle, hand grenades) may cause additional problems. The extremely rough terrain precludes the use of long-range radio, but after 2 or 3 days the loss of PRoG army patrols will be noticed.

The cache is underground, inside a small bunker complex. Katrinka knows the location of the entrance, but not how to get in. The complex is protected by a series of TL10 security measures. The stash includes the digital memory tanks for the Intelligence officer, as well as dozens of TL10 small arms; cloth armor; ammo; and most important, a dozen each of TL10 communicators and TL10 medikits.

The special challenge for the travellers, will be escaping with the goods. On the way out of the area, with whatever stash they can carry on horseback (or vehicles if they risk it), they (and Katrinka's band of cossacks) will be attacked by another band of Cossacks, intent on thieving the goods. They will be armed with a variety of small arms, but not grenades or armor. They make up for their lack of armor in excellent ambush skills and fieldcraft.