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Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition: The Pirates of Drinax: The Torpol Cluster

The Pirates of Drinax: The Torpol Cluster. Martin J. Dougherty.
Mongoose Publishing http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
17pp, PDF

This review originally appeared on rpg-resource.org.uk in December 2016, and was reprinted in the March/April 2017 issue (and inadvertently in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue).

Three worlds… yet of strategic importance to both the Aslan Hierate and the old Sindalian Empire, a nodal point in trade routes through the Tlaiowaha subsector linking the Wildeman Cluster and the Sindalian Main. This small cluster of worlds Jump-1 apart receives many visitors, from the Imperium and other places.

The Introduction provides background information on the cluster and its history. There’s a note that these three worlds may be located somewhere else in your universe, but it seems better to leave them as intended, as they are well-embedded into their surroundings. There is a partial map of the Sindal and Tlaiowaha subsectors showing the cluster’s location within the Trojan Reach sector and in relation to other nearby worlds, followed by detailed notes on each of the three worlds: Torpol, Clarke, and Blue.

Torpol is possibly the pivotal world, as Marduk (and thence the Sindalian Main), Asim, and Drinax (linking to the Aslan Hierate) are but Jump-2 away from the Torpol system. A map shows the main trade routes linking through the cluster. Torpol is the only habitable world, with free water, in the system, but there are nine other rocky planets, a couple of asteroid belts and four gas giants in orbit around the sun. Both asteroid belts are home to miners and one of the rocky worlds—although cold and airless—is also inhabited. This planet, Traefar, has a fairly basic starport but an extensive settlement popular with spacers and it’s reckoned to be a good place to find crew—or indeed, to find a berth if you are a spacer looking for work… although it is the sort of place that the Imperium raids every so often looking for criminals. Torpol itself is a waterworld but with a sophisticated (and expensive) highport, when no nonsense is tolerated. Down on the planetary surface there are plenty of places where a tourist and his money can be parted in reasonable safety.

The next system to be discussed is Clarke. It’s a rather gloomy place, home to a strange religion. The system has two asteroid belts, seven rocky planets and a remote companion star that generally gets ignored. The Clarke Highport is as well-equipped as Torpol’s, but has a more functional air. The religion is concerned with death and the guidance of dead souls, their bodies being encased in carbon blocks which are used as building materials.

Finally, the Blue system has twelve rocky planets and two gas giants—and a bunch of Imperial ships hanging around, nobody's quite sure why… it may have something to do with Aslan settlements on a few of the planets or the Bulhai Freeport, in orbit around one of the gas giants (also called Bulhai). This Freeport is run as a legitimate place of business, not a pirate haven, but it’s certainly possible to get things you cannot get elsewhere. The people of Blue itself are interested in art and religion, topics they will debate endlessly.

This work presents three interesting systems to visit in your travels, with atmospheric descriptions that help to paint the picture of what the party will find there.