Physician Heal Thyself
A Starfleet scout ship has previously discovered an inhabited Class M world. The PC's ship is sent to conduct a planetary and cultural survey of the temperate world that boasts a society with a medieval level of technology. The natives are by all outside appearances human in every way and Starfleet wants the crew to investigate if this is another case of the Preservers at work.
Having arrived two days ago, properly outfitted survey teams have been conducting routine surveys. The locals are called the Felnians and the planet is Felnos. The PC's team is in Judgment, one of the larger outlying towns, when a native runs past them very close by and under close pursuit by several other angry locals. The man dodges into an alley and then they hear the sounds of a struggle.
The PCs in all likelihood follow to see what is going on. They find the first man has run into a dead end and is being beaten by his pursuers. Have all the PCs roll LUC, whoever fails by the greatest amount (or whoever makes it by the least amount if all make the roll) feels a stabbing pain in his leg; by chance, a kind of dart has hit him. If the players intervene, they can defeat the three assailants, who quickly disperse (making a strange sign). The native is grateful. About this time, the individual injured previously collapses; his leg has gone numb; the dart was poisoned.
The native approaches, walking somewhat stiffly, and lays hands on the injured character. Then the native collapses and suddenly the native's leg is bleeding! The injured PC begins to recover and so does the native. In fact, both are healing at a rapid rate. Upon awakening, the native introduces himself as Jennis Ap Kelnan and tells this story: he is one of the Healers; a group of individuals born "different," they have empathic ability, they can accelerate the body's own ability to repair itself and fight off disease and poison. The Ap designation in his name signifies that he is a Healer.
A few years ago, a new Church, the Temple of Righteous Salvation, rose to power and declared the Healers to be evil; they were interrupting the natural cycle of toil and pain that is required for salvation. The Church grew in power (mostly with well placed donations) and soon began a pogrom against the Healers, rounding them up. They disappear into the Church's main temple, and are never heard from again.
As Jennis tells his story, the ranking PC receives a silent signal from the ship. Excusing them self from the group, that PC is told that the ship's sensors has discovered something odd: faint fluctuating power emanations from within a building in the nearby city. These quickly vanish, but they are characteristic of a small fusion power supply -- something that sure shouldn't be here and the PCs new mission is to travel to this city and find the source of the sensor readings.
The trip to the source of the anomalous readings has to be done on foot. The city of some 30,000 is 40 kilometers from the PC's current location and it will take seven hours to reach New Dawn City. The PCs have the option of asking Jennis to accompany them or leaving him to his own devices. He is more than willing to go with the PCs having had his fill of his current living arrangements. Whether he travels with the PCs or not, Jennis takes advantage of the PC's rescue and leaves Judgment while he has the chance.
How the trip goes, depends on if the PCs have Jennis with them or not. If Jennis is with them, he serves as guide and travelogue. He is obviously overjoyed to have traveling companions. He explains that since "The Church" started it's pogrom, his kind are scarce or at least have gone underground and most "normals" shun his kind, thus he has been very lonely. He had to abandon the village he grew up in because of The Church and has been trying to find a safe haven for the last four months. He hasn't had much luck and he's very scared for his future. Jennis helps trap game, points out edible plants, inimical wildlife, and generally makes himself extremely useful to the group. The PCs will have to come up with a reason they are so ignorant of local customs and basic knowledge. Given the limited technology of the Felnos, the possibility of people from "A land far away" is very plausible. With Jennis' assistance, the PCs avoid all problems with being strangers in a strange land and the PCs also get an excellent overview of the local culture.
However, the presence of a Healer in the group brings unwanted attention. The rutted dirt track between Judgment and New Dawn City is a fairly heavily traveled road and the PCs see many other travelers along the way. Merchants, farmers, pilgrims, and soldiers are all seen along the way. These others are friendly enough and none of them have more than passing curiosity in the PCs until they are with two hours of New Dawn City. A group of mounted men in livery not of the local baron are spotted and Jennis blanches in fright. "Churchmen!" He manages to croak. Jennis regains enough composure to hiss that these "Minions" have spread across the land recently and have a mandate from the Scion of the Temple of Righteous Salvation to "seek out the corruption among us." Jennis has never seen them so far east before. If they spot him, he will be immediately detained and he certain he will never be seen again. If asked how will they know he is a Healer, Jennis can only shake his head in terror that he doesn't know how they know he just knows they know his kind on sight.
The land is very open and flat tilled croplands for several hundred meters in all directions thus there isn't anyplace to hide. As the Minions are mounted, the group cannot simply out run them. There are as many Minions as PCs. They are armored in chainmail and are armed with broadswords and throwing javelins. The Scion's Mandate allows all not within the walls of a great lord's holding to be stopped and questioned at will. Any within the walls can only be questioned with that lord's leave. The PCs have two choices to stand or to flee.
The nearest wood line is three hundred meters away and the Minions are two hundred meters away when spotted. The mounted men can cover 10 meters per second once up to full speed. The Minions will move at half speed for 2D3 seconds before seeing the fleeing group and begin pursuit. If caught in the open, the PCs will have next to no chance of defeated the mounted men without resorting to modern weapons. The Minions use the flats of their blades (Half Damage) to beat the group into submission. The PCs can try to disarm the Minions with a one half of regular Hand-to-Hand combat roll. However, modern martial arts give the PCs a bonus of doubling their basic Unarmed Combat skill. If the manage to arm themselves this way, the Minions switch to using he edge of their swords. Maintaining the Prime Directive supercedes even saving their lives. If the PCs lose, they have their phasers, communicators, tricorders, and medical gear with them that cannot be captured. Hiding this equipment while under attack in the open is simply impossible. To have any chance to ditch the gear will require a successful Unarmed Combat roll, followed by a DEX -20% roll, and a LUC roll to break contact, distract the attacker and hide a single piece of equipment. A separate set of rolls is required for each item that player tries to hide.
If by some miracle the PCs reach the wood line, the dense copse of trees would require the Minions to dismount, which they refuse to do. The PCs see a single rider race off to the west as the others fan out to prevent escape. The PCs have no way of knowing that if they wait until nightfall, they can sneak away as the reinforcements will not arrive before sunset. If the PCs try to break out, they have a slight advantage in that the Minions are spread out and thus they can gain a temporary advantage against the guard they attack, but it will be only 1D3+1 rounds before all the Minions converge. One other advantage of the woods is the PC's equipment can be easily hidden if things go bad and they are about to be captured.
If the PCs choose to stand or are subdued by the Minions, the leader of the group takes up a crozier and points it at each person. The crozier's tip glows when it is pointed at Jennis. The PC's can make an Electronics, Small Systems Technology, or INT -40% roll to recognize the device as a very cleverly disguised primitive form of tricorder. Jennis is immediately shackled and placed under close guard. The way the others in the group are treated depends on their actions. If they fought or fled in any way, they are bound and a line run is between them tied around their necks. If they stood by and let Jennis be taken, they are given a stern lecture to mind the company they keep before Jennis is pulled up across he leader's saddle and the Minions ride toward New Dawn City. As galling as it may be, the PC's best course of action is to allow Jennis to be taken so they can affect a rescue later.
If the PCs have been bound, they are towed behind the leader's horse. He deliberately keeps a pace that makes the rope dig cruelly into their necks and threatens to, but doesn't quite cause them to black out from blood loss. The effect is enough that while they are moving, the PCs cannot resist without blacking out.
Going it Alone
Not having Jennis along makes the trip much more difficult. Each PC must roll LUC not to come afoul of some local flora or fauna. This has the effect of 2D10 off Current Op End for most people. If a second LUC roll fails, the encounter is more serious and the damage is from Maximum Op End.
When the players are two hours from New Dawn City, they hear riders approaching from behind and the cry of "Make way!" Moving out of the path of the horsemen, they spot Jennis across he leader's saddle as the riders speed past.
New Dawn City
As long as the PCs arrive during daylight hours, they won't have any problems entering the city. If they arrive after nightfall, they will have to bribe the guards with 20 Shekels to let them in. The PCs obviously do not have this money and Jennis doesn't have that much.
The city is everything Medieval Europe would have been. The sights, sounds, and smells assault the PCs, but if they are unbound, they can easily make their way through the bustling city. Shortly after reaching the city, the PC's ship contacts them again. Finding a quiet ally is easy enough and the players learn that they have just detected the power emanations again. It was a short burst again, but they can narrow the area of the city within a radius of 500 meters. Going to that part of town finds that there is a brand new Temple of Righteous Salvation within that vicinity. When the PCs relay the coordinates of the temple to the ship, a focused sensor scan easily detects the presence of refined tritanium, a material obviously beyond the ability of the locals to manufacture.
If the PCs arrive bound, they are taken to the Temple of Righteous Salvation. Jennis is immediately separated from the PCs and taken to a different area of the temple. The initial Minions are joined by two dozen more. Any attempt to escape is futile as the Minions strike with a vengeance with clubs. Beaten for as long as the resist, the PCs are each thrown into single 2M x 2M dungeon cells.
What's Going On?
Many centuries ago, the Preservers transported the people of this world here from elsewhere. This world was ideal in climate, but had strains of bacteria against which the new inhabitants were defenseless. The Preservers solved this problem by creating a mutant strain; the Healers. These people naturally produce a kind of venom that contains disease-fighting organisms, engineered to help those in this world. As time has passed, the inhabitants have begun developing natural defenses, so the Healers, vital in the early years, are called upon less and less (this was the plan -- eventually, no more of the mutants will be born).
The Church is the front for a ring of Orion slavers who are making a great deal of money selling Healers. They kidnap Healers when they find them; since Healers aren't as important as they once were, and money always talks, the Church gained a foothold and from there, climbed rapidly up the social ladder.
Only the highest ranked Churchmen know what's really going on -- those whose greed is sufficient to keep them quiet about it. There is a small amount of equipment in the inner sanctum of the Church, including a stasis chamber and a transporter. What the crew's vessel detected was a Healer being put in stasis prior to shipment to his buyer. The second reading was of Jennis being placed in stasis.
The Temple of Righteous Salvation
Resolving the rescue of Jennis depends on if the PCs are prisoners themselves or not. If the PCs are free, the rescue is fairly straightforward. It is a simple beam in to penetrate the temple and locate the stasis chambers and the transporter. Both Jennis and the second Healer can easily be awakened, but this would pose a Prime Directive problem. The presence of the single element transporter also makes escape extremely simple. However, before the PCs can make their escape, they are discovered!
A pair of Orion technicians enter the temple sanctum and immediately draw their disruptors. The noise draws the Felnian temple guardians and the PCs find themselves rapidly outnumbered by three-dozen swordsmen. The temple transporter is a single element device and can thus only beam one person or one stasis tube at a time. If a PC takes cover behind a stasis tube any miss that rolls 95 or higher will hit the tube itself. The tube can sustain 150 points of damage before catastrophic shut down kills the person inside. If this isn't enough the lead PC's communicator signals, and if the PC answers, they are told that an Orion Wanderer has just decloaked and now that their ship is under fire, they can't beam the landing party up. The temple guardians block the only exit. This leaves the PCs with having to fight their way out of the temple. However, the stasis tubes will not fit up the stairs. The only other choice to save the Healers is if a PC can make a Transporter Operations roll, he can start beaming one person/tube out of the temple at a time.
If the PCs are prisoners, everything gets more complicated. The players can try just about anything plausible to escape. A INT -30% roll, and then make a DEX and STR roll, they can climb up the walls and hold themselves above the door. By calling out, the guard will look in the tiny barred window and think the prisoner has escaped. The guard will open the door and rush in allowing the PC to attack with total surprise.
A Mechanical Engineering roll will allow the PC to fashion a crude key from their belt buckle. The simple lock only requires a DEX roll to pick. A second DEX roll allows the PC to sneak up on the unsuspecting guard.
Once free of the cells the PCs make their way out of the dungeon and into the sanctum of the Temple. The adventure proceeds as above except the ship does not contact the PCs when it comes under attack. The two Orion technicians still stumble on the PCs as they debate opening the stasis tubes and the fight proceeds as above.
The severe consequences of their crimes and extreme value of the Healers makes the Orions more desperate than usual, leading them to attack the PC's ship relentlessly. Regardless of how they reached the stasis tubes, the PCs on the ground have to beam out of the temple. The Scion of the Temple orders the countryside be scoured to find the escapees. If the PCs hid weapons prior to being captured, they could beam to that location to enhance their chances of escape. The GM should time the space battle so that just as the panicked Minions have the PCs trapped. Just as things look darkest, the landing party should be beamed to safety. Any Healers can be kept sedated as they are removed from stasis and they can be beamed to a different part of the Felnos to get them out of the Temple's clutches.
And Righteous Salvation for All
With the loss of the money from the Orions, the extremist teachings of the Temple quickly falls out of favor. The Healers are no longer persecuted and the rest of Felnian society returns to normal.