Naima Saab (KathyB) - Trailblazer (Scout)
Hafisa dariRouash (Angela) - Pilot (Freighter Pilot)
Zouma Abid-Arif (Ellie) - Stowaway/Ship Worker (Engineer)
Tafik Sharoun (Mark) - Scientist (Archaeologist)
Omar Mannash (Peter) - Negotiator (Peddler)
First Triad, Dancer Segment, Day 19, CC 58
[I started the game session with a quick go over of the game mechanics for the Coriolis - The Third Horizon Roleplaying Game. After that, I spent some time answering the players' questions about aspects of their characters, and then went through some basic information with them again about the game universe and the Third Horizon itself. After a quick break to get refreshments, i.e. water and make some tea, I took the players through a very basic example of combat. After that, we started the game session proper. -jk]
The Ruby Flower is sitting in the dock of the main station in orbit of Aiwaz. The player characters, minus Omar Mannash, are sitting aboard the ship, debating what they should do about their missing crewman, Moustafa Harouz, who hasn't been seen in a couple of days. Naima Saab is working on the bridge when a message comes in to the ship from Aiwaz station security. Lt. Dagdha Karoutz inquires if the Captain of the ship is available, but Naima bluffs her, saying that he's not currently on board. Lt. Karoutz asks if the channel is secure, and after making a few adjustments using her skills [she spends 1 Darkness Point on a reroll of Data Djinn, and gets 3 successes], confirms the comm channel is secure. Station security informs her that Moustafa Harouz, one of the crew of the Ruby Flower, has been found dead in the slum area of the station on Deck -21. His body has been taken to the station medical facility, and Lt. Karoutz says that she'd appreciate if the crew of the ship could meet her there. Naima is shocked and somewhat dismayed by this news, but contains herself. After confirming they will be there, she breaks off communications and recovering her composure goes to tell her fellow crewmates the news.
Elsewhere on Aiwaz station, new arrival Omar Mannash goes through the process of a customs search at the spaceport's access point to the main station. He has a difficult time, as the station personnel confiscate some of his "trade goods," claiming they are contraband in the system. Seeing as how the security guards have rifles, he doesn't question their decision, and is gratified when one of the guards offers him 10 birr for one of the trinkets they claim. As he enters the station proper, and is assaulted by the smells of the station, Omar is approached by several hawkers of various goods, but is able to brush them off. Deciding his immediate priority is some food, the greasier the better, he checks his tabula and then makes his way to a small establishment, Arib's Cantina, in the main Market plaza. Satisfied at the look and feel of the place, he enters and is seated by an attractive girl. Over some kawah and lamb stew, Omar considers his situation and decides what to do. He inquires of the serving girl where one might go on the station to look for job openings, and she tells him that the Bulletin's small offices would be a good place to start. He gives her a birr for her time. After finishing his meal, Omar gathers up his meager belongings and sets off to find the Bulletin's offices on the station.
Back on the Ruby Flower, Naima tells the other members of the crew of the news from station security concerning Moustafa. Hafisa DariRouash is extremely upset by the news, and says that it must be connected to Moustafa's gambling debts. Perhaps some of those he owed money to came to collect. Tafik Sharoun says he understands how she could feel that way, but says that those he owed money to could not collect if he is dead, so why kill him? Naima says all that is good and well, but that Lt. Karoutz of station security requests their presence at Aiwaz station's medical facility. As the crew of the Ruby Flower set off from the ship, only Zouma Abid-Arif seems to be happy. "So, can I be the Captain of the ship now?" she asks. The others give her rather...hostile stares, but don't say anything.
Utilizing her tabula, Naima leads the other three to the medical facility of the station, Khalib's Place of Rest. On entering the facility, the player characters are met by Lt. Karoutz. Karoutz greets them, and then leads them to a conference room. After a quick exchange of pleasantries, Karoutz gets right down to business. She tells them that Moustafa was found dead on Deck -21 of the station. Preliminary evidence indicates he had been struck with a weapon, likely dura blades, multiple times. His transactor, tabula and mercurium sword were still present on him when he was found, approximately five hours after his death, and nothing appears to have disturbed the body. Tafik asks a few questions, and the characters learn that one of the station deckhands, Atoh Marif, found the body while doing a standard maintenance sweep of the area; he then immediately called station security. Karoutz asks them if they would like to see Moustafa's body, and the player characters are almost eager to do so. However, Naima says that she'd like to talk to the station deckhand, Atoh Marif, if possible. Lt. Karoutz says she'll arrange it immediately. She leads them to the stasis chamber in the med facility, where they find the body of Moustafa Harouz covered with a large, silver sheet. Lt. Karoutz informs Naima that Atoh Marif is willing to see the characters. They can meet up with him in Arib's Cantina when he gets off his work shift in a couple of hours.
Over at the Bulletin's offices, Omar Mannash arrives to find that the place is full of others looking for job opportunities. Checking over the various job listings using his tabula, Omar discovers there's no call for any merchants or traders, though a couple of vessels are offering exploration missions. He's not sure he wants to take anyone up on that, as while he does want to "get away" for a bit longer, he doesn't want to completely cut off contact with those he knows and loves. Omar's musings are interrupted by a voice, who says that perhaps it can offer him some advice. Looking up from his tabula, he sees a woman in her mid-20s with long, flowing dark hair wearing a deep blue caftan with a symbol on it that he doesn't recognize [it belongs to the Kenbaris house of Dabaran, but also has an insignia of the Black Lotus Club merged with it]. She doesn't introduce herself [Hanama TalModiph], but says she couldn't help but overhear his mumblings; she has some information for him. When Omar asks how much the information will cost him, the woman smiles almost wolfishly and says there's no charge, "just paying off a debt." She tells Omar that the Ruby Flower, a vessel that does business as a free trader, will shortly be looking for a peddler. She thinks he might qualify for the job, and suggests that he look them up. Before he can say another word, the woman moves off into the crowd of job seekers and he loses sight of her. Going over to one of the computer terminals in the Bulletin office's alcoves, Omar accesses the information archives and tries to learn what he can of the Ruby Flower and her crew...
At the medical facility, the player characters gather around the body, which is covered in a tarp. The medical technician, Hallir, undrapes the body and the player characters are shocked at the condition of Moustafa Harouz's body - multiple stab wounds to the face, neck and torso, blunt trauma bruising and so forth. Hafisa says they need to find out who did this, and possibly deal with them, but Tafik asks if it's really their responsibility. Hafisa asks how he can say that, but Tafik says that he thinks that Hafisa is being too emotional about Moustafa's death - he had gambling debts that someone collected. End of story. The anger on Hafisa's face is palpable, and she starts to bring up her past with Tafik, but before she gets too far, she shuts up, turns, and heads out, telling the others she'll meet them back at the ship. Zouma tells the others that she'll go with her, and keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't do anything rash. The others tell the med tech to prepare the body for departure, as they plan to take the corpse with them, to give him a proper burial. In the meantime, they gather up his belongings that are present. Tafik surreptitiously checks out Moustafa's transactor, and finds that Lt. Karoutz told the truth, and that his transactor hasn't been compromised and the Ruby Flower ship accounts are intact. Naima says it's time for them to meet with Atoh Marif, and Tafik says he'll go with her to talk to him. They arrange to have Moustafa's body sent to the Ruby Flower, and then depart.
Omar, satisfied with what he's learned about the Ruby Flower and her crew, leaves the Bulletin's offices, and heads for the spaceport to find the berth at which the ship can be found. As he travels through the station, he keeps an eye on his surroundings and spots two of the player characters (Hafisa and Zouma), whom he recognises from his briefing on the ship and her crew [he spent 2 Darkness Points on his Observation roll]. Rather than talk to them in the open, he chooses to follow them back to the ship, making no attempt at hiding the fact. As they pass Arib's Cantina, Omar realises he is hungry again and decides to go and have another bite to eat; he can always go and talk to the crew at the ship later. Entering the cantina, he orders some kawah and some hummus and dipping bread.
Naima and Tafik walk to Arib's Cantina, having a spirited discussion or argument about Tafik's words and attitude about Moustafa and his reaction to Hafisa. Tafik is adamant on his position, but tells Naima that perhaps there is more to the murder (as that is what it was) of Moustafa. They arrive at Arib's Cantina, and the owner of the restaurant approaches them and says that Atoh Marif is waiting for them at a small booth near the rear of the main room - and that the tab for the booth [25 birr] is for the player characters to pay. They accept this and approach the booth. A young Zenithian in his late 20s, with dark blond hair and green eyes and wearing a station maintenance uniform sits at the table. He introduces himself as Atoh Marif. After the players introduce themselves, they get down to business over kawah and sweet biscuits that they pay for as well. Atoh Marif tells Naima and Tafik that he was working his shift, doing maintenance on the breakers system down on Level -21. At first he thought the body was...other debris, but when he realised what it was, he immediately called station security on his comm link. They continue talking to him, and his story and evidence corroborates that which Lt. Karoutz told them. However, he adds that he found something unusual on the body, lying atop the corpse, something he didn't tell the authorities. He says he doesn't have it with him, that it's at his living quarters, and offers to take them there to see it. When asked, all he'll say is that it's a card. Paying the bill for the booth and the food, Naima and Tafik escort Atoh out of the cantina.
Keeping an eye on the people coming and going in the cantina, Omar Mannash is surprised when Naima Saab and Tafik Sharoun enter the cantina, accompanied by a station maintenance tech who has likely been on shift for a while. He observes them go to the booth, but can't make out their conversation or any other details during their time there, and so he nurses his food and orders more kawah while waiting for them to leave. As they prepare to do so, Omar pays his bill and surreptitiously follows the player characters and the station tech out of Arib's Cantina.
As Naima and Tafik emerge from the cantina with Atoh, Naima's sharp eyes catch a glimpse of a red target appear on Atoh's chest. She shouts a warning, and attempts to tackle him to the ground as the sound of weapons fire rings out in the market area...
Last night's game session of the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG campaign went pretty well, considering it was the first time the Friday night players had played the game in three years or so and there was a player new to the game at the table. The decision on what to do with the late DavidM's character, Moustafa, was one the players decided on before we started play and took me by surprise. I quickly jotted a few notes about his fate, and then we went on from there. The tension between Angela's Hafisa and Mark's Tafik was lovely to watch play out, and has some interesting potential and ramifications. The players told me that they really enjoyed the game once they got back into the feel and mindset, and Peter said that he loved the flavour of the game and how Darkness Points worked in actual play. The players had a good time, and are looking forward to their next session in a couple of weeks.
Overall, a great session of the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG, considering the return to the game after so many years away from it. I'm looking forward to the next session quite a bit.