2 — STAR SIEGE: EVENT HORIZON —ANOTHER FINE MESSINTRODUCTION
Welcome to the latest in what we hope is a long line of adventuremodules and support for the
science fiction roleplayinggame! This adventure is a classic science fiction romp: the crew of the light freighter
, caught between the different factions ina wrecked galaxy and struggling to survive, gets a lucrative courier job moving a large shipment of crates to an outpost on the outer fringes, what most call the New Frontier. Their only directives: getthe cargo there safely, do not look inside, and avoid contact withany and all security or military forces of any faction.Unfortunately for our ne’er-do-wells, what they plan and what actuallyhappens are rarely the same, and before they know what’s happeningthey’re getting chased, shot at, and used as fall guys in a conspiracythat goes deep into the heart of the government. It won’t be longbefore they start just wishing why everyone can’t let them in peace.Sample characters, new equipment and a new equipment flaw areincluded at the end of the adventure. Of course, players are free touse their own characters and ship, if this adventure is used in anongoing campaign.
There are a few standard formatting tropes you’ll need to know asyou read through this.Text that is formatted like this is commonly called “Boxed Text.”It’s meant to be read aloud or paraphrased to your players as itprovides descriptive text and information for the entire group.Text that is formatted in this manner presents additional informationthat is tangential to the adventure at large. Explanations,troubleshooting, tips, and advice will be listed here.
This adventure by default is set in the universe of
the included campaign setting that comprises book three of the
boxed set. As a brief recap, in this setting the galaxyis slowly crawling out of the ashes of a horrific war between theHuman Alliance and the Niruai Empire. The war was going very for the humans, partially because of their reluctance to use chemical,biological, or nuclear weapons, while the Niruai had no suchcompunctions and would freely lay waste to entire worlds, wipingpopulations clean and not even leaving habitable worlds behind.The fact that the war began with a devastating Niruai surprise attackon the Solar System didn’t help matters, either.In the end, the humans rallied their forces and emerged victorious,but largely through an allegiance with their former enemies, theRykshi. The Rykshi are an aggressive and warlike semi-feloid racewho have in the past relished the subjugation of so-called “lesser”species. It was this very propensity for aggression that made their entry into the war a turning point for humanity. By the same token,they are an extremely honorable race, who keep their word once itis given. For now, they are allied with the Humans, but in the futureif such relations break down, who knows what might happen? Asit stands, the Rykshi are the only faction that took part in the war to come out unscathed or even better off for it, and the Human Alliance may be walking a very dangerous tightrope by continuingto work closely with them.The Niruai themselves are battered, defeated, broken, and drivenback from their enemies’ space. Their empire stands on the brinkof all-out civil war as the various factions and tribes within theEmpire seek to vie for dominance and bicker over whose fault theloss was, and whether the war should’ve been waged in the firstplace. Since their culture is so factionalized anyway, the Empirewas perhaps always on the fringes of collapse, held together only by strong leaders whose strength has now been effectivelychallenged by the humans and Ryshi. If nothing else, the NiruaiEmpire is ripe for extermination…The Humans were once the prime explorers and colonizers of thegalaxy, having dozens of worlds, moons and asteroids colonized, andbeing so adaptable that there even exists a scientific subterraneancolony on Mercury itself! Since the war, however, many of theseplanets are laid to waste, communications have been disrupted or lost, and the government of Earth has practically fallen apart. Theonly peacekeepers left, attempting to re-establish communicationsand civilized standards of living among the disparate coloniesare the Knights of St. George, a group of military, merchant, andindependent vessels under the command of Captain St. George.The Knights are intent upon re-establishing central control over the alliance and resuming the previous ways of life for humanity.On the other end of the spectrum are the Ghosts of New Beijing, aragtag fleet of survivors from the Martian Colony after which theyare named, who want nothing to do with re-unification and seekto destroy any lines that would result in such. The key to futuresurvival, they believe, is smaller, independent governments thatwill function more effectively and without the wheels of bureaucracythat go hand-in-hand with a huge centralized government. Both areextremists, the Knights being proponents of law and centralizedcontrol at all costs, the Ghosts bordering on terrorism and anarchy.Given their own outlook on power and control, the Rykshi certainlyfavor the Knights, as do much of the populace, as the Knights arethe ones taking steps to restore peace and order to the sector whilethe Ghosts have done little to actively better the lives of those theysupposedly “liberate” from Knight control.The question this adventure asks, then, is “What if the Knights andRykshi went too far in their efforts?” What happens when a governingbody which believes it is acting in the best interests of the peoplefalls prey to military solutions to enforce such well-being, instead of fostering it? What if they believe that the only way to ensure peaceis to utterly wipe out their defeated enemies? And what does aperson do, who gets caught dead in the middle of this conflict anddilemma? Everything for the Player Characters comes to a headon a small, out-of-the-way, fringe planet with frontier desert-likeconditions, called (ironically enough) Harmony. A lingering questionleft at the end of the scenario is whether the Player Characters willcut their losses and run when things look grim, or will stand up andbecome heroes battling against the rising tyranny.
AN ADVENTURE FOR ALL SETTINGS
Despite its default assumption,
Another Fine Mess
is designed tobe generic enough that it should easily be adaptable (with little