Duty Roster:

Ella Stanbridge (Melissa)
Ertrane “Buck” Buckner (Herodian)
Henri Haank Makruus (Gigermann)
Ibrahim “Abe” Nouri-Abbood
Sam Turner (Winston)
Sae Rraetheg (CommJunkee)

Space Madness


The Spinward Star entered the Kinorb system, and made way for its mainworld starport. The death of Crewman Smith was reported to the authorities there (after the necessary details of the story had been scrubbed), and as he had no family to speak of, his mortal shell was committed to the deep before they jumped outbound. A week later, the Spinward Star arrived at Treece, a world whose primary export is mercenaries (and little else).

A customs officer at the Treece starport came aboard for a routine inspection the instant the cargo ramp hit the tarmac. Haank showed him the only cargo in their hold, the three containers of Frontier War-era weapons and war-gear recovered in the Gileden system. The officer took particular notice of the Zhodani container, and asked if they had a buyer for it yet, as he knew a guy that would likely be interested in purchasing it; Haank accepted the officer’s hastily-scribbled contact number on a paper note, and promised to wave him when they got the chance. After the post-flight checklists were completed everyone headed into the startown, stopping at the first public terminal to contact the officer’s buyer; he was definitely interested in the Zhodani gear, and arranged for a couple of guys to meet back at the ship later to look it over.

The Treece startown was a melting-pot of alien races, a wretched hive of scum and villainy dirty hive of mercs and commercialism. The Crew were not at all aware they were being shadowed by a Vargr “spy,” as they found themselves a low-key pub where they could have a drink or two, and peruse the local network for potential replacements for Smith, whose loss was beginning to be felt more than emotionally—though Jones would rather have a bunk to himself. They found a handful of potential interviews, but only one stood out to them: a Vargr, an experienced spacer and war-veteran looking for an entry-level crewman position headed anywhere-but-here. (As it turns out, it was the same Vargr that had been shadowing them, looking to see what manner of folk they were.) Ella was less than excited about the prospect of a Vargr crewman, having fought against them so often in the past, but she set aside her concerns and okayed an interview at the ship, scheduled a couple of hours hence.

Trav-SaeSae Rraetheg

Later, the Crew returned to the ship. Their interview arrived on time; his name was Sae Rraetheg, and seemed friendly enough. In the crew lounge, they barraged Sae with the usual questions regarding his work-history and experience; his answers seemed sufficient for their purposes (though Jones was disappointed at bunking with a “dog-man”). But before the potential new hire could officially be accepted, there was one more interview needed: Sae was left in the captain’s office with the ship’s cat, Mia, for her approval—Mia showed no sign of fear or suspicion, accepting the Vargr without reservation. With that, Sae was officially added to the crew roster at a half-share, and shown around the ship while discussing his new duties.

Later, as arranged, the buyer’s men arrived at the ship, along with the same customs officer from before. Haank showed them the container manifest, and allowed them to inspect the contents directly. The buyer’s men gave the Zhodani gear a thorough examination, piece by piece, and after a discreet wave back to the buyer for a quote, they made an offer on his behalf; Haank made a token effort to increase the amount, but Ella ultimately accepted the buyer’s price as-is, which was wired to their account immediately, and arrangements were made to pick up the cargo at a later time.


At the end of the usual five-to-seven days dirtside, having found no cargo to ship, the Spinward Star made for the 100-diameter limit and jumped outbound for Yori. They exited jumpspace a week later, without incident, at the Yori system, with about six hours to reach orbit. Halfway there, they detected another ship exiting jumpspace along the same trajectory, a 200dT Type-A merchant identified as the Lancelot. Sam hailed the inbound freighter to exchange the usual pleasantries, but Ella noticed a very weak comm signal originating from the same ship, a coded SOS. Informing the crew, she struggled to clean up the signal, and decided to respond in code that the message had been received, offering assistance and asking for more information. After a seemingly-long silence, they received a broken voice message from a young girl, in hiding aboard, indicating that everyone aboard had been killed by “him”—she couldn’t speak long enough to elaborate further for fear of discovery. The Crew’s first conclusion was “pirate hijacking,” or perhaps, a case of “space madness,” as they discussed how they might render aid; they assumed the girl to be transmitting from an air/raft or other vehicle aboard (the Crew had done the same aboard the crashing Titanic some months ago). The time came to begin their deceleration burn, and it was decided to slow a bit more than required to allow the Lancelot to catch up to them, so they could get a better look and cleaner signal. As they did so, it became apparent that the Lancelot was not slowing at all, on course for a catastrophic planetary re-entry. Ella commed the Lancelot to alert them to their dangerous course but there was no further response. She then contacted Orbital Traffic Control and they said the same thing—no response; she informed OTC about the SOS, and her intentions to provide assistance. Then she ordered Sam to maneuver the Spinward Star into position to dock with the Lancelot and prepare to board her.

Ella commed the Lancelot once more to inform them of her intent to board, and was met with an angry/confused tirade; their captain believed this to be a pirate attack, and refused to surrender his ship, leaving the impression that it was indeed “space madness” after all. The Lancelot launched one missile, then another, leaving the Crew scrambling for battle stations as Sam narrowly dodged the first, before Haank could shoot down the second; the Lancelot then fired a sandcaster burst at them before going silent—most likely out of ammunition. Sam fought to get in close and match velocity and rotation as the Lancelot bucked against them; ultimately they were forced to fire to disable the Lancelot’s maneuver drives to allow docking—but this would leave them unable to alter their course. The Spinward Star finally docked with the Lancelot’s port airlock, and the boarding party—Ella, Haank, Sae, Buck, and Jones—made their way over, bearing some non-lethal options in case they found an opportunity to take the guy down non-permanently. Sae forced the airlock to cycle and open, and the boarding party entered the crippled ship; meanwhile, Sam guided the Spinward Star to gently push the Lancelot off its dangerous course.

The Crew entered the common room from the airlock; they found the ship without gravity and trace atmosphere—normal preparations for battle—and a not-long-dead corpse, one of the crew, shot multiple times at close range. Ella and Haank went forward into the bridge, and found it empty, then returned. The others progressed slowly aft, clearing room-to-room, encountering a couple more bullet-riddled corpses, but nothing else. The low berths in the aft quarter were still active, but on low battery power, they wouldn’t last. The Crew rallied at engineering, where they encountered another body, another crewman (presumably the engineer), this one a female Vargr in a rescue-ball; it turned out she was still alive, though bleeding and fading—they couldn’t risk removing her from the ball, but had Jones float her back to the airlock where Abe could meet them and render aid. As the Crew prepared to descend into the cargo hold, Jones was stopped at the common room by the appearance of the captain, heavily armed, from the bridge (he had been hiding in the avionics crawlspace), who opened fire with a gauss pistol. Jones shoved himself and the Vargr-ball out of the line of fire, was struck in the process (the hit stopped by his armored vacc suit), and scrambled to regain control of himself in microgravity. Haank and Sae leapt up the hallway, sighting in to fire as they glided forward; Ella followed. Meanwhile, Buck opened the hatch to the hold instead, and ducked down, intending to flank the captain, but thought better of it when he spotted a six-legged, horned, tiger-like creature—dangerous-looking, in spite of its flailing uselessly about in microgravity—next to a couple of wheeled ATVs (wherein he expected he might find the hiding girl). After a burst from Sae’s UMP, the captain ducked back into the bridge around the starboard side of the iris; he ducked under Haank’s gauss rifle shot (which holed the windshield) when he switched to the port side to get a line-of-sight on Jones, who had finally regained control and was maneuvering into a more helpful position. The Crew gathered at the hallway into the common room and took aim at the captain, intending to shoot through the inner wall he was covered behind. Ella called out to him to try to get him talking—first threatening, then coaxing him to tell his version of events. The captain started to open up, speaking, almost as if no on were listening, about his financial troubles, potential loss of the ship, his wife’s demand for a divorce, and suspicions of an affair—he had let his guard down just enough for Sae to maneuver into view and pump three memory-baton shotgun rounds into his gut, knocking him out.

Afterward, the cleanup: the captain was placed in a low-berth aboard the Spinward Star for delivery to local authorities; the spider-tiger-thing, which had been released by the girl to ward off the captain, was subdued (at range) and locked back in its cage; the girl, daughter of one of the passengers who was now dead, hiding as expected in one of the ATVs, was helped into a rescue-ball and taken to the other ship; the Vargr engineer, patched up by Abe and expected to recover, confirmed and elaborated upon the captain’s story, detailing how he’d snapped after the divorce demand, and started killing everyone; the dead were secured in place; and the authorities, already en route, were informed of the trajectory of the now-abandoned ship for rescue of the low-berth passengers and recovery of the vessel. It was later revealed that the Lancelot’s original crash-trajectory would have resulted in numerous deaths and much property damage, and as such, the Crew of the Spinward Star were recognized as “heroes”; as a side benefit, the company in ownership of the Lancelot offered a reward of 100k for the vessel’s successful recovery.


  • This session was a one-shot fill-in due to some absences. Unlike most one-shots we’ve done, this one actually finished in one session (if a bit late)
  • Abe’s player was one of the absences, so he wasn’t featured (though he did end up getting some use, in the background)
  • This was CommJunkee’s first session in the Traveller campaign, and the introduction of his character, Sae. I suspect his character might have been given a bit more scrutiny during the interview process normally, but he “seemed trustworthy.” Since he had been shadowing the group to the bar (nobody spotted him), we kept joking that he was actually sitting in the next booth behind the Crew, listening, and making on-the-fly adjustments to his ad profile based on what he overheard
  • The payoff for the Zhodani gear came to around 675k credits, which kinda made up for the fact that we left the Unconquerable more-or-less empty-handed
  • We actually ended this mission without killing anyone—it does occasionally occur