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Traveller: Archduke Update 1

 


While the focus of the sessions has moved to the events that took place on Mars in 2040, the fallout from the assassination continues to play out between session on our discord and through email. Since several of the characters started interstellar journeys right after the assassination, that portion of the campaign also introduces the challenge of communications delay. This means that not all the players find out about events at the same time. In fact, the further apart the characters get, the longer it will take them to find out what is happening to the other characters. This is one of the cooler aspects of the Traveller universe, and it works well with asynchronous play like this.

 

Below, I discuss events that have transpired that all the characters have had an opportunity to learn about.

 

132-1116

 

This was the day of the assassination. Immediately following the assassination, Tranian and Adair returned to their apartments on Capital. They form a group of characters with no time delay between them. Ishuggi and Margaret set out, each in their own ship, for Vland. There is essentially no time delay between Margaret and Ishuggi since the plotted their course to travel the same route to Vland. They form a second group. Brzk left for Antares, making a third character timeline.

 

For the next week, Ishuggi, Margaret, and Brzk were in jumpspace and out of communication. They were each traveling at jump-4 speeds. Several events transpired on Capital, most of which were captured by the following Traveller News Service Issuances:

 

·      Capital/Core 132-1116

o   Emperor Strephon was assassinated this morning by Archduke Dulinor of Ilelish in the throne room of the Imperial Palace. In the ensuing firefight, the Empress Iolanthe, the Grand Princess Ciencia Iphegenia, and the Aslan ambassador were also killed.

o   Reports indicated that there was a simultaneous attack on the Imperial Apartments. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Princes Varian and Lucan were killed as well.

o   In the following minutes, Archduke Dulinor appeared before the cameras, claimed the crown of Emperor by right of assassination, and left.

o   System Control Central reported tracking the Archduke’s cruiser leaving the system slightly more than an hour later.

o   Fighting has been reported in the Grand Palace as the Imperial Marines attempt to regain control of the palace.

o   Capital has been placed under martial law. Off-planet transportation has been suspended. Rioting is reported in several cities on the surface.

o   Duchess Margaret issued a statement declaring herself empress. System Control Central tracked her ship leaving the system, accompanied by Archduke Ishuggi’s cruiser, moments after the statement was issued.

·      Capital/Core 133-1116

o   The Imperial Palace Public Affairs Office has issued a statement that Prince Lucan is still alive and that the Imperial Marines have regained control of the Imperial Palace.

o   Independent reports indicate that fighting continues inside the Imperial Palace.

o   Reports indicated that 32 members of the Moot were killed in the Throne Room yesterday when guards loyal to Archduke Dulinor opened fire on the crowd.

o   The Moot Spire has been placed on lockdown for the safety of those inside.

·      Capital/Core 135-1116

o   Preparations for Emperor Strephon’s funeral tomorrow continued without incident. Empress Iolanthe will be buried at the same time. Grand Princess Ciencia Iphegenia will be buried on Thirday.

o   The Admiralty confirmed today that the Imperial Palace has been cleared of disloyal elements. The apartments accorded Dulinor have been retaken, with no sign of the Archduke.

o   The body of Prince Varian was recovered from the Imperial Palace late yesterday and now lies in state alongside the Emperor and Grand Princess in the Hall of Nobles in the shadow of the Moot Spire. Prince Varian’s funeral is scheduled to immediately follow the Grand Princess’s on Thirday. The Spire remains under lockdown with all residents confined to their apartments.

o   The Office of the Mint has suspended production of all physical money until a new emperor has been coronated.

·      Capital/Core 136-1116

o   Emperor Strephon and Empress Iolanthe were buried today in the Imperial Park. Prince Lucan, heir apparent, appeared briefly at graveside, leaving under heavy security immediately after the ceremony.

·      Capital/Core 137-1116

o   Following the burial ceremony for Grand Princess Iphegenia and Prince Varian, Prince Lucan announced that he had formally ascended the Iridium Throne in a private ceremony in the Imperial Palace.

o   Following this announcement, Duke Slaker of the Imperial Regency for Intelligence and Security (IRIS) issued a statement disputing the validity of this ascension. Slaker said that IRIS, which has the responsibility for confirming the identity of heirs to the throne, had not been allowed to meet with Lucan following the death of the emperor.

o   Duke Craig of Warinir, Sector Duke of Daibei, confirmed in an interview that the Imperial Moot had not yet met to confirm the ascension. Duke Craig explained that, with the Moot Spire still under lockdown, it was impossible for them to meet for the vote. Duke Craig stated that he, along with a significant portion of the Moot, has not been allowed to enter the Spire or communicate with Archduke Tranian.

·      Capital/Core 139-1116

o   Imperial Security reports that Duke Slaker died of gunshot wounds suffered in his home early this morning. At 0236, Imperial Security responded to an emergency call that there was an armed man inside the residence. Imperial Security reports that the duke was killed by gunfire exchanged when they entered the residence. No security officers were injured during the incident.

·      Capital/Core 140-1116

o   Imperial Security issued an announcement that as of 0600 this morning, the lockdown on the Moot Spire had been lifted.

o   In an interview conducted from an undisclosed location, Duchess Slaker stated that she and Duke Slaker were the only ones in the residence when Imperial Security entered, and that neither had made the emergency call. The duchess claims that the only shots fired were by Imperial Security and that they shot her husband immediately after entering the residence.

 

 

Tranian and Adair were in lockdown for the entirety of this week. In addition to what was reported through TNS, when Adair returned to his apartments following the assassination, he found First Conselor Dunn hiding out there recovering from her wounds.

 

Also on 140-1116, Ishuggi, Margaret, and Brzk reached the first stop on their journeys. Ishuggi and Margaret dropped out of jumpspace in Morii/Core (Core 2014) and Brzk in Shudusham/Core (Core 2214)

 

While in the Morii system, Margaret discovered that LCDR Windhook was a stowaway aboard her ship. He told her his side of what happened in the Imperial Apartments and she decided to share it with Ishuggi and send the message to Brzk and Capital. It would reach both on 147-1116.

 

Windhook’s Story:

 

A Traveller News Service dispatch from Morii/Core (Core 2014). Archduke Ishuggi and Duchess Margaret have endorsed testimony from LCDR Windhook, who claims to be a witness to events during the assassination. A video plays:

 

LCDR Windhook says that he was in the Imperial Apartments at the time of the assassination. He was in the main room with the two princes and a bodyguard working through the details of the Grand Tour. Elia was still asleep in Prince Varian’s room. He was surprised by this because he had been under the impression that the young woman was in a relationship with Prince Lucan. They had the court feed on low volume in the background.

 

Shortly after he heard court called to order, the door to the apartments slid open and CDR Imprey entered the room with his service pistol in hand. Confused, Windhook started to ask him what was wrong, but Dulinor’s security chief started firing before he could finish the question. The first rounds hit the bodyguard who returned fire, killing Imprey before collapsing on the ground.

 

Windhook, Varian, and Lucan dove for cover. When the shooting stopped, Windhook looked up to see the chaos in the throne room playing out on the monitor. It was clear from the image that both the emperor and the princess had been assassinated. He made eye contact with Lucan, and the young man dove for Imprey’s gun. He shot Prince Varian and turned towards Windhook. Windhook, unarmed, ran for the door and was hit in the shoulder on his way out.

 

Realizing that what he had seen would ensure his death if he stayed on Capital, he bluffed his way onto a medivac air raft headed to the surface with wounded nobles. Instead of entering the hospital, he bound his wound at a first aid station and made his way to the dock and used his security credentials to get aboard Duchess Margaret’s ship.

 

Margaret, Ishuggi, and Brzk all jumped out of their respective systems on 141-1116 after refueling.

 

Back on Capital, Tranian met with Lucan on 145-1116 and the self-declared emperor was not happy with the Moot Speaker. He impressed on the archduke that he needed the Moot to vote to confirm him as emperor. Tranian raised the issue that there were those amongst the Moot who worried that Lucan may not be ready to be emperor due to a lack of training, but Lucan told him those nobles were traitors because he had the clear claim to the throne. He gave Tranian seven days to hold a vote and confirm him, “or I will find someone who can.”

 

Tranian called a meeting of the Senior Moot on 147-1116 in order to gauge what kind of support Lucan had amongst the nobles. The meeting was attended by Archduke Adair, Duke Craig, Duchess Winsome, Duke Gutimel, Duchess Work, and Duchess Cheng. They reported that there were factions developing amongst the Moot. Support for confirming Lucan stood at around 40%. Another 25% were lobbying to confirm Margaret instead since they felt that she had the best claim attached to qualifications to execute the job. Roughly 15% supported confirming Dulinor. Their reasoning was that the Right of Assassination had established legal precedent that, while old, should be followed. Few of those supporting this course of action seemed to feel any real loyalty to Dulinor though, basing their decision on a legal technicality instead. There was a core of Vilani nobles, making up about 10%, that felt that the Imperium was going to be divided by this and that it would be better for Ishuggi to declare himself the head of a new Zira Sirku. The final 10% were undecided.

 

The assembled senior nobles agreed that there was no real chance that any claimant would hold over 50% of the vote before the seven day time limit imposed by Lucan expired.

 

On 148-1116, Ishuggi and Margaret arrived at Mashaa/Ameros (Core 2010) and Brzk arrived at Gis/Ameros (Core 2210). The news of LCDR Windhook’s story reached Capital this day as well.

 

On 149-1116, Lucan issued several orders:

 

Traveller News Service Special Report

 

It’s War! Lucan Dissolves Moot. New Domain Established.

 

Capital/Core 149-1116

 

Prince Lucan again declared himself emperor this morning despite a lack of confirmation vote from the Moot. At 0530 he released a statement dissolving the Imperial Moot and issuing orders for the arrest of several members of the Senior Moot including Archduke Tranian, the Moot Speaker, Duke Craig, Duchess Winsome, Duke Gutimel, Duchess Work, and Duchess Cheng. The Senior Moot members are accused of treason and undermining the emperor for failing to hold a vote confirming his ascent to the throne.

 

Early reports indicated that the Senior Moot members may have fled the system early this morning, their destination is unknown at present.

 

Lucan also issued a declaration of war targeting Duchess Margaret of Delphi, who declared herself empress shortly after the assassination, and Archduke Dulinor of Ilelish, who assassinated Emperor Strephon and declared himself emperor by Right of Assassination. Along with the declaration of war, Lucan issued orders recalling several fleets from the Vland and Antares domains in order to prosecute his offensive. All fleets in the Domain of Ilelish and the Delphi Sector have been ordered to capture the Archduke and Duchess and engage any fleet assets that claim loyalty to them. Rumors abound that plans are already in motion to lay siege to the capital worlds of Ilelish and Anaxias.

 

Lucan issued a joint statement, clearly aimed at the Solomani Confederation and its sympathizers, with Archduke Adair affirming the strength of the relationship between the two. Lucan promised that strengthening the Domain of Sol’s rimward border was a top priority and equal to the war efforts against Delphi and Ilelish.

 

Lucan also ordered that Archduke Brzk of Antares and Archduke Ishuggi of Vland immediately return to Captial and present him with their vows of loyalty.

 

In this same proclamation, Lucan created the Domain of the Marches and promoted Duchess Delphine of Mora to the rank of Archduchess. The Domain of the Marches is to consist of the Spinward Marches, Deneb, Trojan Reach, and Reft sectors. The domain capital is established on Mora. There have been rumors amongst the rank and file of the Moot that Emperor Strephon issued orders establishing a domain consisting of these same sectors but with Duke Norris of Deneb as the archduke. The Traveller News Service has been unable to confirm these rumors at this time.

 

Lucan also issued an arrest order for the First Counselor Dunn, the lead advisor to the late Emperor Strephon. The arrest order claims that she fled her post on 132-1116 and failed to protect the emperor and his family in the throne room during the assassination. Reports indicate Dunn’s whereabouts are unknown at this point.

 

An arrest order was also issued for LCDR Windhook for his participation in the assassination of Prince Varian and his attempt to spread dangerous misinformation which was quickly suppressed by the Bureau of Information Security. Windhook is believed to be in the company of Duchess Margaret of Delphi and Archduke Ishuggi of Vland.

 

Tranian, Dunn, and the rest of the Senior Moot except Adair jumped out of the Capital system shortly before the arrest order was issued.

 

On 156-1116, Ishuggi and Margaret reached Unnagilu/Ameros (Core 1708), and Brzk arrived at Dureija/Shinkan (Core 2608). At this point they had access, through jump-6 communications networks, to events that happened on Capital as recent as 142-1116. Tranian arrived at Imaar Pa/Kaskii (Core 2517).

 

On 164-1116, Ishuggi and Margaret reached Kuum/Perite (Core 1505) and Brzk arrived at Damki Im/Shinkan (Core 2906). At this point they had access, through jump-6 networks, to events that happened on Capital as recent as 143-1116.

 

On 172-1116, Ishuggi and Margaret arrived at Kargi/Perite (Core 1202) and Brzk reached Garen/Shinkan (Core 3103). At this point they had access, through jump-6 networks, to events that happened on Capital as recent as 144-1116.

 

On 180-1116, Ishuggi and Margaret arrived at Valahii/Welling (Lishun 1238) and Brzk arrived at Maig La/Cirqa (Fornast 0302). At this point they had access, through jump-6 networks, to events that happened on Capital as recent as 152-1116. This is when they learned of the arrest order and declaration of war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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