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mike wightman September 25th, 2018 03:34 PM

Lieutenant Windhoek history
 
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Ahh, Lieutenant Windhook. What great adventure potential completely wasted.

The first MT campaign could have had PCs involved in spiriting him away to safety - instead we got a five year fast forward to 1121.

Just imagine if the first adventure had not been that contrived, ludicrous, awful 'nail' mission, but rather had been a free trader crew approached by a patron to take on a working passenger...

I'm tempted to write it.


[NOTE by RJE: draft Casual Encounter attached]

Whipsnade September 25th, 2018 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 593342)
Ahh, Lieutenant Windhook. What great adventure potential completely wasted.


They really dropped the ball on that one.

Windhook is an important part of the "Point of Divergence" for my slapdash, never tested, never played, "Wounded Colossus" ATU. Windhook encounters Strephon's squadron returning from Long Bow II and, after being vetted, Jonathan Crocker links his mind with the Emperor's.

The rest, as they say, is history.

robject September 26th, 2018 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 593342)
Ahh, Lieutenant Windhook. What great adventure potential completely wasted.

Start with an idea. Check.
Sketch out an outline. To do.

Call it a short adventure in four one-hour-long acts.

Act I.
1. A free trader crew is approached by a patron to take on a working passenger (Windhook).
2. First stop, the crew is attacked by thugs.
3. Second stop, the crew is also coincidentally attacked by more capable thugs.
4. Crew is now suspicious when they narrowly escape a rather nasty attack.

Act II.
1. Crew start asking questions. Windhook reveals his true identity and his destination port, but not why.
2. Windhook provides location of a ship that will temporarily shake off the pursuing agents (two by two, hands of blue).
3. Race to empty space where the relief ship is located.
4. Minor scuffle ensues.

Act III.
1. Ship is directed to a seemingly worthless location.
2. Players and Windhook intersect with Strephon's squadron (surprise!) returning from Longbow II.
3.
4.

Act IV.
1-3. Simply fantastic revelations, boarding actions, and close shaves.
4. Conclusion.

Whipsnade September 26th, 2018 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 593384)
Start with an idea. Check.
Sketch out an outline. To do.


So, what do we know about the adventure's human mcguffin? Not much, which, oddly enough, makes things easier.
  • - Windhook(1) is a naval lieutenant.
  • - He worked in naval intelligence before his latest protocol assignment.
  • - He's described as young.

What did he see and do? More details this time, but still vague enough to make it easier.
  • - He was waiting outside for the Twin Princes to stop arguing.
  • - He knew Imprey, the officer tasked with killing the princes.
  • - When the Assassination occurs and Lucan acts, he realizes he's a dead man.
  • - Lucan shoots at him and he runs to the Palace Admin Office.
  • - There he is given orders to deliver to the Aircraft Ops Center and a marine escort.
  • - This is when he seizes the opportunity handed him.
  • - He reaches the Aircraft Ops Center and deliberately fails to pass the order from Admin to seal the Palace.
  • - He and three other naval officers fly to the Naval Command Center under the Palace.
  • - He forges orders which allow him to board an Imperiallines Type-TJ jump6 cruiser "bound for the Imperial border".
  • - He changes ships four times in a few weeks.
  • - He's using "every trick" he learned in INI.
  • - His account of what happened is entered into a computer information agency on Inarli/Corridor. Inarli is in the rimward portion of Corridor, those few subsectors separated from the rest of the sector by the Great Rift. It's near several known mid-Rift reference points and also ~30 parsecs from Usdiki.

So, where was he heading? Inarli could be a red herring. The "Imperial border" exists in more directions than just spinward. He's not a noble or a child of one, but he's obviously "connected" as everyday schmoes don't get assigned to the Palace as protocol aides. Running home is out, it's the first place they'll look. Hiding in the Navy is out too, it's just as fractured as the Imperium and different factions will finger him. While he's running from Emperor Lucan initially, he's either a weapon or a threat in the eyes of every faction.

What can he do? What is he trying to do? Come up with some answers to that and you'll know how the patron is helping him and what sort of trouble the players can get into.

1 - Or Windhoek as it's spelled both ways multiple times on the same page of the Rebellion Sourcebook.

robject September 26th, 2018 06:30 PM

Quote:

When the Assassination occurs and Lucan acts, he realizes he's a dead man.

So, where was he heading? Inarli could be a red herring.

he's obviously "connected" as everyday schmoes don't get assigned to the Palace as protocol aides.

Running home is out [...] Hiding in the Navy is out too

There's the core motivation. Run.

Let's assume Inarli IS a red herring.

Quote:

What can he do? What is he trying to do?
Sounds like a Mission: Impossible setup.

First, what can he do? He can carry information to someone (Norris? (Why??)), (The real Strephon?), but that information seems limited to: Lucan did it.

What he might have to do, is clear his name. Lucan will name him a fugitive and want him killed asap. And if it's impossible to get free of that, then he'll have to get clear of Lucan... which might involve fleeing to the Solomani Confederation, or some other neighboring human state. And even then, spies will be everywhere...

Whipsnade September 26th, 2018 07:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 593389)
There's the core motivation. Run.


Agreed. To me, the "three officers" angle suggests he isn't the only one with that motivation. There are going to be many different people with many different reasons wanting to get off Capital as soon as possible. Even Dulinor is running, not that I'm suggesting Windhoek is somehow linked to Dulinor.

Having so many people bugging out should help Windhoek at first. Too many leads to track down and all that.

Quote:

Let's assume Inarli IS a red herring.
Agreed. It's not some double, triple, quadruple blind. That is, Windhoek doesn't personally release his story there thinking that "they" will think that he'd never do it where he actually is. Instead, Windhoek has it released there knowing they'll have to check Inarli just to be sure. It's a diversion.

Quote:

Sounds like a Mission: Impossible setup.
I was thinking more along the lines of The Fugitive. Not the Harrison Ford movie, but the David Janssen TV series. Windhoek just keeps moving along, working here and there, because he can't risk staying in one place too long. The players meet him during an "episode", help him either knowingly or unknowingly, and then face the consequences of their actions.

Quote:

First, what can he do?
With regards to Lucan, stay alive. With regards to everyone else, stay free.

Quote:

He can carry information to someone (Norris? (Why??)), (The real Strephon?), but that information seems limited to: Lucan did it.
He's on the run to stay alive, to stay free, and not to share what he knows. Once a non-Lucan faction get their hands on him and conduct their probe - remember Dulinor's "tomb tappers"? - he's just becomes a human propaganda tool. They'll keep him under lock and key only allowing him out for war bond rallies. On the plus side, he'll be protected from Lucan's killers. On the minus side, Lucan's killers will finally know where he is.

Quote:

What he might have to do, is clear his name.
Doesn't matter. There's no One Armed Man to catch or Lieutenant Gerard to convince. Besides, everyone who isn't Lucan or working for Lucan already believes him.

Quote:

Lucan will name him a fugitive and want him killed asap. And if it's impossible to get free of that, then he'll have to get clear of Lucan...
Getting clear of Lucan will be more than just getting clear of Lucan's territory. Getting clear of everyone who will want him for their own purposes is another question. The big factions aren't the only players in all this. There are going to be dozens of groups who will want him so they can use or trade him like the Brotherhood of Varian. Remember that sidebar in one of the GT books? The one with the heads of all the various Imperial intel agencies playing "poker" with information?

Windhoek is a poker chip.

Quote:

... which might involve fleeing to the Solomani Confederation, or some other neighboring human state.
The Sollies are out. As I explained above, Windhoek is a propaganda coup for them.

As for other human states, Windhoek's "worth" is inversely proportional to their distance from the Imperium. The Darrians might hand him over to Norris as a goodwill gesture. The Swordies might hold onto him because Norris wants him and for anti-Imperial propaganda purposes. The League of Suns, however, might not care who he is at all.

Can he reach the Far Frontiers Sector?

robject September 26th, 2018 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whipsnade (Post 593392)
Can he reach the Far Frontiers Sector?

That thought had crossed my mind. It would be treacherous, running through Foreven. Which might be an interesting enigma in a pretty decent adventure.

Crossing Foreven requires a fleet of armed escorts: e.g. a squadron of Broadswords, per Adventure 7. There is something dangerous in Foreven. There be dragons.

robject September 27th, 2018 01:10 AM

Assuming Windhoek's only options are to disappear or get away, and he chooses the latter, via the League of Suns in Far Frontiers (or further), then his route ultimately is through Vland or the Rift, perhaps through Corridor, through Deneb or the Trojan Reaches, through the Marches and Foreven.

He alternately is chased by and shakes off Lucan agents, Norris agents, Solomani agents, Dulinor agents, you-name-it.

Is there anyone he can trust? Craig? Strephon? Maybe not, other than friends and connections who have no political ambitions... so he pulls strings where possible, and spends all his influence to get away.

Whipsnade September 27th, 2018 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 593393)
That thought had crossed my mind. It would be treacherous, running through Foreven. Which might be an interesting enigma in a pretty decent adventure.


Foreven is dangerous for all the usual geopolitical reasons. It's "Central Asia" or the "Balkans" because the two superpowers bordering it prefer it to remain "Central Asia" or the "Balkans". Independent systems and even independent nations in independent systems in Foreven act like Rhine river barons on steroids.

The technology has changed, the people haven't. Remember?

Quote:

Crossing Foreven requires a fleet of armed escorts: e.g. a squadron of Broadswords, per Adventure 7. There is something dangerous in Foreven. There be dragons.
New Frontier Trading Partners is operating merc business in a region of space where everyone hires mercs and, while a Broadsword is a good battle taxi, it's a poor warship.

The Imperium has a consulate in the League of Suns and the Keiths' Far Frontiers work certainly suggests that visitors from the Imperium aren't a rarity. Crossing Foreven may be just a matter of staying on a 57th Century version of the 16th Century's "Spanish Road".

Leave that "road" and start poking around in the rest of Foreven could certainly uncover some "dragons".

Quote:

Assuming Windhoek's only options are to disappear or get away, and he chooses the latter, via the League of Suns in Far Frontiers (or further), then his route ultimately is through Vland or the Rift, perhaps through Corridor, through Deneb or the Trojan Reaches, through the Marches and Foreven.
Vland-Corridor-Deneb is a possibility. Whether he can pass through them will depend on how fast he reaches those regions. Vland declares independence after Corridor begins to collapse and Corridor start to collapse after Lucan's redeployment orders are obeyed. Can Windhoek pass through before those events? I'd say no for two reasons.

First, he leaves Capital in a jump6 Type-TJ and shifts between four ships in several weeks. It doesn't necessarily follow he'll stay aboard them, however, because the Imperiallines network is the same network which will be disseminating Lucan's order to arrest or kill Windhoek. I'd think Windhoek would use Imperiallines until a point where news of the Assassination has arrived before the ship he's on does. That would mean he's now behind the news "wavefront" and it's time to start relying on stealth instead of speed.

Second, if Windhoek uses TJs exclusively to scoot through Vland, Corridor, and "points west" that lessens the chances the players can interact with him.

Regarding his route to the Marches and beyond, I agree with you that Inarli is out as a destination as Windhoek wouldn't go within a dozen parsecs of his planned diversion. I still can't help looking at the various reference points in the Great Rift. (The number of points is a bit of a retcon but their existence is not. We knew about the ones linking the Islands with the Imperium and could guess at others. Only the numbers and locations are new.)

Let's say Windhoek is using forged orders to travel deadhead aboard TJs towards Vland from Capital He reaches some system, finds himself behind the Assassination's "news wavefront", and learns about the fleet redeployment orders. It's now time to drop speed for stealth because he can no longer outrun a kill/arrest order. Furthermore, because he worked in INI before becoming a protocol aide, he can guess what the results of those redeployment orders could be; maybe not complete collapse but enough disorder to make his flight harder if not impossible.

He now rules out his original Vland-Corridor route and diverts toward the trailing edge of the Great Rift with an idea of linking up with someone or some group wanting to use reference points in the Rift to reach Deneb or the Trojan Reach. Windhoek isn't the only person who will be trying to escape the Imperial Core. There are bound to be groups in Corridor and Gushemege looking for ways to flee across the Rift. Windhoek can "buy" his way in to a group with his skills and knowledge.

Quote:

He alternately is chased by and shakes off Lucan agents, Norris agents, Solomani agents, Dulinor agents, you-name-it.
Agreed. There are going to be agents working for all sorts of parties who will want to grab him just on principle alone. They don't even need to know who is and what he knows, the fact that he's a fugitive would be enough to pique their interest.

Quote:

Is there anyone he can trust? Craig? Strephon? Maybe not, other than friends and connections who have no political ambitions... so he pulls strings where possible, and spends all his influence to get away.
There's no one he can truly trust. It's just not Lucan, Dulinor, and the other Big Boys who will want him. There are too many organizations and people at all levels in the "game" and he's a poker chip which they might be able to use.

He's going to gravitate towards people at the players' level because it's less likely that they'll know who is his or have the ability to use what he knows.

robject September 28th, 2018 12:43 AM

Rubber meets the road time:

Quote:

Let's say Windhoek is using forged orders to travel deadhead aboard TJs towards Vland from Capital. He reaches some system, finds himself behind the Assassination's "news wavefront", and learns about the fleet redeployment orders.
The TJ is X days/hours ahead of the "breaking" news wave. Solve for X.

Is 24 hours too far ahead? Won't the news be sent out pretty dang fast? So that means his TJ could be overtaken in short order... a one day layover is enough... It's likely that the order to "detain" Windhoek is given very quickly indeed, but the likelihood that another TJ is ready to go is low I think. I'll call it one day, but I'm not sure.

The jump route will be SIMILAR TO Lectorsen, Uurgin, Gish, Irli Un, Maelgard, Ribunu, Luukon, and further into Vland.

The breaking news wave WILL catch up before 7 jumps are completed, and he then leaves the TJ Network and goes stealth, heading towards the Rift. So I think he leaves the network when he's near or just over the Vland border. 6 or 7 weeks. On the other hand, he could be in the soup after only the first jump.


I'd say that path to Deneb (at Javan) or Corridor (at Strand/Antiquity) would be his preference (they're quicker); if things get nasty he diverts further down and crosses to the Trojan Reach (at Bastion or Cerebin). From Javan it's a crooked road through Deneb, perhaps to Mora but really anywhere. Strand or Antiquity funnels him towards Rhylanor, without compulsion. Bastion could get him near Lunion or Mora. But really all three routes can send him anywhere in the Marches, or indeed anywhere behind the claw for an encounter with the players.


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