Terran Space

Politics and War

Events and Decisions – Interlude – the days before Invasion of Narvik

D minus 62 Baldur arrives with news:

  • The week after the PCs left, Dag had all declared outlaws, and expelled them from the family. He also militarized Ruvar and Jayek. Local reaction seemed muted – many believe it does not matter who is in charge, but that may not last – Dag is supposedly raising taxes to pay for military expansion.
  • He is also hiring mercenary units as a “temporary defensive measure” while the “woefully inadequate” Skien military is “brought back up to standard”.
  • Baldur’s spies in the household also reported that transports are being gathered, and forces are being outfitted for planetary invasion. This is the last good info to come from the household, as a second sweep of staff has vleared virtually everyone from he old rule, and several key members have disappeared completely.
  • Halla is still ensconced it the Summer Residence, but word is she is a virtual prisoner there.

Baldur councils no counter claim to Dag, suggests it may send a message of weakness.
He also suggests contacting several household to request political (or more concrete) support.
Finally, the King’s niece Erika Toorvasi will be married in 3 months – suggests Skiens attend to show loyalty and that their situation has not affected their loyaltyu or standing.

Other Decisions

  • The Kelredan Light Horse is seen off planet.
  • The old Imperial Base is opened up, and put in service to house the Skien mechs.
  • Kath trains a Company of Militia (9 squads)
  • Resources – local treasury is fine, but cannot sustain military expenses.
D minus 29

Tordis Gunderssen arrives to discuss the situation. She counsels taking up the claim through legal channels in Sargoth. She offers the PCs refuge on Wercheg if they lose Narvik, so they can continue to pursue the claim through the crown in saftey.

D minus 25

Jarl Irya Yavek of Odasan sends an Emissary with the pledge of a battalion of infantry and a cash loan to recruit a mercenary armored unit just finishing a contract with them. Yavek asks nothing in return except assurances that existing mutual defense and trade agreements modified to extend into perpetuity, and that a Skien will marry into his family with 2 years of resolution of this conflict. If the PCs agree, the units will arrive in 2 months.

D minus 8

In a stunning surprise visit, Jarl Kundarr Arvika of Tihr arrives on planet, claiming he wishes to tour the colony to get pointers for his own impending foray into the black(!). In fact, he reveals that he is acting as a go between with the Crown to query whether the Skien Household wishes to request Crown assistance. Astrid asks Knudarr to carry a message back that the Skien household would be grateful for any assistance the crown would care to lend.

D minus 2

Emmissary from the The Kingdom of the Vaegirs arrives. They offer troops including an assault mech unit to help defend Narvik. Those forces would take approximately 10 weeks to arrive. Failing that, they offer to hold units in reserve for when PCs need to take back Ruvar. In exchange, they request only Free Passage through Ruvar space for a 1 year window, time period to commence upon receipt of their request. The passage rights also will promise proetction of Ruvar and all Skien holdings for the balance of the Free Passage period. In addition, Skien house would also back Vaegir negotiations with Alburq. Gunnar figures the Vaegirs are looking for a back door to Swadian space (albeit a slow one). Crown is to specifically be kept out.

D Day:
Troop transports and Mech Drop ships appear in orbit over the colony. The Skiens scramble to face the invasion!

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Discovered

Allowed access further into the ancient starship, the our heroes enter what appears to be some sort of command control suite. Some investigation and experimentation exposes the still working external sensors and some basic system status information:

  • a lone anti-ship plasma battery (the one that shot down the clipper) runs off of a capacitor charge hooked up to the solar panel array on a nearby hill. That capacitor has juice for one more shot right now – the solar array is VERY slow to recharge the cells, as they require a huge amount of power.
  • ground sonar analysis shows that the ship has one additional section, completely sealed underground, that houses the guts of the ship. There is no access to that area at all, only conduit pass throughs.
  • The AI is out of Artificial persons. The last were disabled by the PCs.
  • Approximately 8km on the OTHER side of where the pirate frigate crashed there is some sort of building complex. There are no power sources, but it has been pretty accurately mapped by ground sonar. Kath and Gunnar recognized it as an old Imperial Revettement layout.
  • The crash of the pirate ship is still leaving a small heat signature, and visual inputs show a thin smoke/heat column from the site.

Just as the PCs were gathering this info, surface radar showed a blip taking to the air over Narvik colony, and heading towards the crash site. Radar signature indicates a small atmospheric scout ship, probably a rotary-wing (helicopter). This marks it as a probably mercenary scout ship. The ancient AI immediately began tracking the ship, overlaying a firing template over the radar viewer. After a brief discussion, all agreed that it was a bad idea, and Gunnar quickly convinced the AI to stand down. They headed to the wreck site to try to decoy or otherwise ward off the inevitable discovery of the ship.

The PCs try to hide, but Arya is no good at that, and is quickly spotted to by mercenary scout squad. Arya quickly plays the role of confused survivor, which gave the rest the drop on one trooper in the ensuing firefight. Although the ensuing altercation is quick, the scout team communicates with the chopper, which comes back to support the scouts. With the chopper making a strafing run on the PCs, Arya takes a miraculous shot that takes out the pilot and crashes the chopper. Unfortunately, the rest of the mercs in the colony are almost certainly alerted now.

The PCs race to the discovered compound, and discover an old imperial mech in storage! They can see the possibilities for quick start up of the mech, but the procedure is extremely dangerous. Luckily Gunnar’s engineer has experience with cold starts, and he fearlessly begins to work in spite of the danger of catastrophic results. With help from other techs and some of the PCs, the mech is up and running in about 12 hours, just in time to meet a mercenary recon in force from Narvik Colony. Unfortunately the mech’s ammo on site is found to be old and unreliable at best, so the pilot (Stieg) will have to rely on a bluff.

Sieg walks the mech out to meet the mercs, and is able to convince them talk rather than shoot. The mercs, knowing that they cannot easily handle even one mech, decide to void the contract using one of their escape clauses. Astrid gives them 36 hours to leave the planet surface.

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At Home on Narvik

Down on the planet, Gunnar has an immediate encounter with mercenary troops from the 11th Hussars of the Kelredan Light Horse, which precipitates a riot in the working class section of the colony. Gunnar then meets up with Arno Bingle, once a minor functionary, now a cell leader in the nascent rebel underground. He promises aid to Gunnar, including workers to assemble the Skien Mechs in the outlands of the planet.

Colony security continues to be lax and Gunnar simply walks out of the colony and returns to orbit in his captured pirate frigate.

Meanwhile, rest of the crew has decided that all they need to do to take Narvik back from this mercenary backed usurper governor is deploy their mechs. The Kelredan Light Horse have no capability to effectiove fight mechs. The PCs need to find a safe place to hole up while they deploy their mechs.

They approach the colony from the far side of the planet, flying low to avoid detection, aiming for a secluded spot not too far from the colony itself. Their impromtu survey is interrupted when the pirate frigate is attacked by a plasma weapon of unexpected power, which disables and downs the ship. Some slick piloting by Gunnar avoids disaster, but the ship will never fly again. The rest of the group lands near by to pick up Gunnar and Kath, and encounters a group of primitive humans, who worship at the “Temple of Asking”.

This Temple turns out to be some sort of technology that seems to create anything (within some limits, it seems) by converting energy to mass. The approach of the PCs to the Temple “Altar” triggers a hostile response from whatever party controls the converter, and the team is assaulted by three powerful simacrulums. Kath shows off some marksmanship, and the three Artificial Persons are disabled.
One, though actually missing a head, stumbles back to an opening in the base of a hill. Kath and Gunnar follow while Kari and Astrid work to administer to Stieg’s wounds, suffered in the altercation. The opening in the hill is protected by the torso of another AP, sporting a plasma weapon that misfires and ruins the AP instead of blowing off Gunnar’s head. In the opening, Kath and Gunnar find an entrance to what looks like a crashed spacecraft – an old one.

Joined by the others, the group explores the inside of the buried ship, and discover that it is pre-Imperial in origin, though definitely from Earth. The ship is also still being run by an AI, which is what downed the pirate frigate. After some tense logical manuevering with the AI, Gunnar (with kibutzing from the rest of the group) convinces the AI that they are not a threat, and it agrees to delay destroying them until after further evaluation. They also figure out that the primitives they met are descendants of the original ship’s crew, and may have been living here for over one thousand years.

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Pirate Allies

Vigdis explains that she came upon a pirate craft laying in wait outside the Ruvar system, and followed them. She figured out their target, and decided to intervene to further her vengeance on her father.

Dag’s bastard daughter did intercept one transport from Jayek with an unexpected cargo – Celeron gas. But, she has not yet figured out the significance of that event, although she was surprised to find it so well guarded by a Khergit Runner, and manned by Khergit spacers.

Vigdis gives the PCs a polite send off to Narviik, vowing to stay in the Ruvar system to be the PC’s eyes and ears in Ruvar.

In orbit around Narvik, PCs are accosted by a “Skien Customs Cutter”. Since such vessels have never been in orbit around Narvik before, this is suspicious.
They are boarded by the Cutter’s Landing party, but fight them off. In the course of the encounter they discover that the Customs Cutter is crewed by Swadian mercenaries. When all is said and done, the PCs have added an armed cutter to their little fleet.

Meanwhile Gunnar and a crew member take the captured pirate cutter down to the planet, intending to walk into the colony proper.

PCs also discovered that Frederik Pohl is now Governor of Narvik. The fate of the previous Governor is unknown.

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Deal or No Deal?

After a moving Memorial Ceremony (closed to the public), the PCs are ushered into a Family Reception Room, where they receive well wishers and attendees, while Halla receives at the river bank.

After the Reception Line, the PCs are invited to the conference room while other guests haed to the great Hall for the wake. Jorgen Fascim and Corwin Fels enter, along with a number of servants carrying refreshments, and a dozen Household Guards. The Seneschal bids them all get comfortable, informing them that Uncle Dag wishes to have a conversation.

Jorgen conducts the meeting at first, presenting the situation as follows:

Dag intends to run this household for now. There are two ways to react. In exchange for a more cooperative approach, Dag is prepared to make the following concessions:

  • PCs will be ceded Narvik and Jayek. Astrid will be appointed Governor of Jayek, and Gunnar will be appointed Governor of Narvik.
  • All family funds will be operated from a trust. The King will appoint Kari Royal Auditor of that trust, according all Royal access and oversight powers. This will protect the family financial future to afford assurance that Dag has no intention of looting the treasury.
  • PCs mechs will be shipped to Narvik along with appropriate support crew.
  • Dag’s son, their cousin Dalk has renounced all present and future claim to ascendancy to Jarl. This was required of him to join the Kings Royal Marines, which he is expected to do when he exits commando school next cycle.
  • Kath may return to the Marines, and will be awarded an officer’s billet if he returns. He may also request transfer to the unit of his choice.
  • Halla will be given the Summer Residence as her home, with full freedom to do as she pleases with her retirement.

In exchange, the PCs must take an oath to accept Dag’s authority to rule the feifdom as long as the crown supports it. This does leave the door open for them to advance a legal claim with the Crown if they wish. The carrier ship to Narvik leaves tomorrow. If they accept these terms, they must leave on that ship. The PCs agree in principle, and Astrid signs the papers, though Dag must compromise on the oath, which he does with alacrity.

The PCs are hustled off on the transport to Narvik the next day.
They are able to contact Baldur (the old Seneschal), who agrees to offer jobs to the recently fired household member sin the new households. He agrees to meet them on Narvik at a lkater date.

A day out of Ruvar, the transport is ambushed by pirates, and boarded. The Household Marines mysteriously escape the ship in life boats immediately, electing not to face the pirates at all.

After a confused melee with the baorders, the Skiens drive off the pirates with surprise aid from a long forgotten bastard brother and the bastard daughter of Dag, Vigdis Angriper.

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Getting Grounded

The bathroom ploy did not work perfectly, but the cousins made their move anyway. The fight was up in the air when a team of Household cadre troops appeared and engaged the guarding troops. Using surprise, they helped overwhelm the remaining Household Guard. There was gunfire, but the cadre was using rubber bullets, so no casualties were fatal.
After some discussion, Kath and Gunnar decided to head down to the compound to link up with Kari and Astrid. The cadre troops escorted them down, but returned to the L5 to resume their post (and protect themselves from recriminations later). Some quick talking and promises from Kath convinced the beaten Household Guard that they should remain quiet about the incident. Even so, this escalation may serve to the up the stakes later….

Meanwhile, Astrid had a short conversation with Baldur Tromvik, the recently dismissed Seneschal. He was quite disturbed to hear the PCs were in the compound, and urged Astrid to leave immediately. He broke the connection abruptly to prevent detection.
Astrid and Kari met up with the now planetside Kath and Gunnar, and compared notes about requests for assistance and the situation in the family.
They also met with their Mech Engineers, and learned that all of their mechs (except Gunnar’s) had been “strapped”, prepared for transport. This essentially renders them inoperable, requiring anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to return to combat readiness. In some cases order were in place to shut down and remove fusion plants for long term storage, which would take the mechs down for weeks. The PCs instructed their mechanics to stall to keep options open.

Astrid then sent Kari to the Summer Residence to check on their mother Halla, who seemed quite out of it during a comms call. Kari sneaked from the compound and hired a charter to the Residence, arriving just at bedtime. She found her mother in quite a drugged up state, and after a night of disagreement and outright subterfuge, stopped the meds to bring her mother back to reality. The next morning, it became painfully clear that Halla had not been allowed to grieve yet.

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Homecoming

Jarl Vegard has died. The word is sent out from Dag Skien, Vegard’s brother. The family is all returning to the Ruvar system. When they arrive at the L5 station, they meet up, and in comparing notes, determine that Dag is making a play to take over as the Jarl. Astrid and Kari return to the surface with a Guard Escort, while Kath and Gunnar stay in orbit to set up some alternatives, by initiating contact with neighboring Jarls in the Wercheg and Odasan systems.

Once in the main compound outside Ruvar City, Kari and Astrid see that everything has changed. The household staff is almost all different, and there are MANY Household Guard troopers present. None of them, however, are familiar.

Astrid demanded an audience with Uncle Dag, but was relegated to the Seneschal, Jorgen Fascim. He explained the funeral arrangements, and that mother is taken by grief, and in seclusion for her safety. He refuses to discuss succession or any other business, as he deems it “inappropriate” under the circumstances.

Meanwhile the boys have been detained by a detachment of the Household Guard, and are awaiting a shuttle to the surface. In a bid to escape, Gunnar sets off a smoke detector in the bathroom…is this the opportunity they are waiting for?

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