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Two Patron Encounters: Shtiz Bralzastebr

This article, and Shtiz Bralzastebr’s profile, appeared in the August 2014 issue.

For PCs as Zhodani

Zdebr-class crew: pilot, astrogator, engineer, medic and steward.
Standard crew salary for the duration of the voyage, plus Cr20,000 per person for successful completion of the mission in setting up a trade deal.

Shtiz Bralzastebr is a 46-year-old Zhodani noble who has served in the Consular Navy and in the diplomatic corps. His credentials are good although a detailed examination of his curriculum vitae will reveal a life of not quite fulfilled potential. He’s now attached to the Chiemchto, a 400-ton Zdebr-class merchant. (See Alien Module 4: Zhodani:96 for details of the Zdebr-class.)

Bralzastebr wants to put together a trade mission—backed by wealthy noble Iaetl Iazhstatlas—to Aslan controlled worlds and wants a crew to travel with him to Idrflanta (Trojan Reach Sector) to set up links and hopefully a profitable venture for all concerned. He has contacts in the region and isn’t particularly concerned whether any of the crew have psionic abilities or not. The journey from Iakr (Foreven) is expected to take a little less than a chten.

Referee’s Information

Throughout the trip, Bralzastebr will integrate well with the crew—though if they are proles, he will maintain a typical noble aloofness. He will conduct trade wherever he sees an opportunity, and ensure that the crew are suitably cross-trained as he doesn’t expect to hire other crew members once they’ve left the Consulate. He’ll also ensure that they train under his supervision on the two turrets to operate them efficiently. He’s not expecting trouble, but believes it’s worth being prepared.

Possible directions to take this scenario

  1. All is as presented.
  2. All is as presented but Bralzastebr’s Aslan contact has died since he knew her some three and half atlthequzdij ago (nigh on quarter of a century). This will make it much harder to negotiate a deal.
  3. All is as presented but the contact is now vociferously opposed to any dealing with the Zhodani after a bad experience with a renegade from the Consulate. She’ll not only make it virtually impossible to deal with any other Aslan in the area, but if the crew of the Chiemchto persist, may hire mercenaries to deal with them.
  4. The trade mission is really a cover for Bralzastebr’s aim to take revenge on an Imperial ambassador who insulted him and who is now assigned to the particular Aslan world in question. Perhaps re-education isn’t as effective as claimed; or perhaps Bralzastebr needs another four years of it. Certainly, his Zhodani crew mates would be appalled to find their leader is behaving in this way.
  5. As 4, but Bralzastebr will become increasingly unstable as the voyage goes on.
  6. As 5, but the Tavrchedl’ are on the trail of Bralzastebr as they’ve been told his re-education is unravelling for reasons the mental health experts who carried it out have only just discovered.

For PCs as Imperials

Merchant crew of any suitable vessel located on the very Coreward edge of the Spinward Marches or possibly in Gvurrdon Sector or Foreven.
Knowing Imperial antipathy to Zhodani, Bralzastebr will pay 10% above standard High Passage fees for transport to a world several Jumps into Imperial space.

Shtiz Bralzastebr is a 46-year-old Zhodani noble who has served in the Consular Navy and in the diplomatic corps. His credentials are good although a detailed examination of his curriculum vitae will reveal a life of not quite fulfilled potential. If asked about his somewhat unusual, journey he’ll go into some detail about Tavrziansh and try to explain ‘morality’s path’ to the PCs, explaining that long ago he had dealings with an Imperial Naval commander he feels he has a duty to thank more fully than he could express at the time for the subsequent fortune that this brought him in his career.

Referee’s Information

Of course, those who know anything about Tavrziansh in detail would know that this is hardly the root of its philosophy, which is merely being used by Bralzastebr to spin a good yarn. He is also exaggerating his career in both the Navy and as a diplomat to strengthen his story. However, he will be a model passenger – perhaps to the surprise of the Imperials – who may or may not need to keep him out of sight depending on their other passengers and their attitudes. Bralzastebr will be very open about psionics of course and miss no opportunity to persuade crew and passengers, if given the chance, of their value, safety and the wisdom of the Consulate. In an effort to ingratiate himself with the crew and ensure he gets to his destination with as little trouble as possible, the PCs may find themselves the unwitting beneficiaries of some of his powers should he be given half a chance to use them. Perhaps improving a trade deal here, or smoothing a customs inspection there.

Possible directions to take this scenario

  1. All is as presented and Bralzastebr genuinely wants to seek out someone he met during his earlier career to whom he thinks he owes a very small debt of gratitude. The fact that the naval commander is a very attractive woman may be neither here nor there. His use of Tavrziansh in his story is simply a patronising attitude that Imperials couldn’t possibly understand his idea of duty.
  2. As 1, but Bralzastebr has the added aim of trying to seek out as much information about the Imperium and Imperial attitudes as he can in an effort to ingratiate himself with the diplomats of the Consulate he felt he failed.
  3. As 2, but he will additionally attempt to subvert the crew into more active support for this unstated mission. If given any opportunity, he’ll use his telepathy and perhaps clairvoyance to further this aim.
  4. In fact, the entire trip is really aimed at seeking out a now-retired Imperial ambassador that insulted him and caused his re-education. Although the latter holds no stigma in the Consulate, Bralzastebr feels it keenly enough that he now wants revenge—a truly un-Zhodani feeling!
  5. As 4, but Bralzastebr’s growing instability as the journey goes on will become increasingly evident.
  6. As 5, but the Tavrchedl’ are on his trail knowing about his instability and attempting to both catch up with him for further re-education but also carrying out damage limitation should his behaviour or words have reflected badly on the Consulate at any point. They could have their work cut out for them. (A further variation would be for the PCs to be this Tavrchedl’ team on the trail of their wayward ‘son’.)