After all the planning we moved to the large scale maps and Clive and Dan really got into the alternative scenarios that could unfold. As a GM I was most impressed with how they sifted through the data and the conclusions they drew from it. Susan was a little left out of all of this, but by judicious use of role-play opportunities, during the "May Ball", I was able to keep her involved with developments within the game as it unfolded
The first thing the did players was compare and contrast their LOKI intel briefing they received in the Bolan system with the realities of actually being on Mummerset.
As Clive said: "We thought this planet was under some sort of unified government, instead what we have is is one small region, which is split into a rich North and poor South", he was not amused.
In fact the players were serendipitously able to connect Devlin Stone's forces contact with this world, and the current situation they found himself in with I believe Dan saying: "So, Devlin Stone's group came along, landed at the only spaceport on the planet, and condemned the rest of the worlds population by ignoring them", or words to that effect.
The South of Mummerset appeared to consist of a few rather smaller, poorer towns and one city with the remains of long abandoned settlements. Historically the South had more settlements, because the weather was comparable to the South of France, whereas the North is generally colder and wetter.
During the "May Ball" the players were briefly introduced to Queen Elizabeth "Bess" Burlington ruler of Mummerset and her senior military supporter, General Sir Thomas Briton Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Mummerset Guards.
Susan found herself the focus of the attention of the heir apparent, Albert Burlington, known to his close confidantes as "Bertie". Their exchange of pleasantries being quite limited due to cultural differences; Susan playing a Clanner to perfection as the heir apparent made a move on her, attracted by her formal Spirit Cat leather uniform.
They also met Colonel Sir William Whales who commands the 1st Mummerset Royal Guards regiment, who exchanged pleasantries, with some vague promises of visits to each of the respective commands, and some joint exercises being arranged in the future.
The players also got to schmooze with débutantes, Dan getting some attention from the ladies who fancied an offworld mechwarrior as a dancing partner. Clive played disdainful disinterest to perfection to all of these going ons.
During the party, drinks and interesting food on sticks etc., I was able to introduce the Prime Minister of Mummerset, the Right Honourable Rufus T. Marx and Mayor Chirico Marx of Clear Water Boring. The players quickly picked up that there were a series of families that basically ran Mummerset lock, stock and probably with two smoking barrels hidden away somewhere.
Obviously, the Steiner Diplomatic mission were at the ball too, and the players had a chance to talk to Duke Kelswa's attachés; Jane Johnson and David Bradford. The latter turning out to be a most useful person to know and all probability some sort of spy.
After the ball, the players got down to the meetings that the players wanted to go to, where they could ask the questions they needed to know answer too.
First they went to see the Chief Constable of the Royal Mummerset Mounted Police, the Right Honourable Sir Allan Marx in his office at the RMMP HQ in Clear Water Boring, who offered them tea and biscuits and talked about law and order in Mummerset.
After this they went to see the nearest regional commander, his office was down the corridor of the HQ, Sir Mark Kapp, whom they had a more productive chat with about setting up a hotline to liaise with the RMMP over any sightings of pirates landing on world. The didn't get to meet Sir John McDevitt of Elizabethville, or Sir Henry Bewley of New Cromwell RMMP district commands.
However, Kapp did arrange a pirate mech spotting hotline under the command of Captain Gordon Goodfellow. Our heroes visited him in the basement of the RMMP Clear Water Boring HQ, where they found him in charge of 20 filing cabinets, each with four draws, all full with the witness statements from every pirate raid over the last ten years. To say that paperless was not an adjective that could be used to describe the RMMP operations would be a slight understatement.
Happy in-character hours passed by as the players researched the files.
After being slightly disheartened by all this info, the team went off to do some research in the library for a history of Mummerset. The very nice Head Librarian, Mavis Brandon, helped them through the intricacies of library coding and Rolodex indexes.
After several hours in the library the players a better understanding of the five major wars that were fought over water and what had occurred before Devlin Stone's forces arrived on world. These wars are locally know the the Great Water Wars, with number five being called the Boring's War, which had resulted in the current ruling family taking power and start rebuilding Mummerset's infrastructure.
Think Mad Max and you will get the picture of Mummerset's past troubles.
I then announced that two jumpships had appeared in system, and that two dropships were inbound. These were identified as merchantmen from the Rim World Coalition, RWCMS Forlorn Star and the Marion Hegemony MHMS Stella Prophet. After landing the merchantmen were inspected and found to be exactly what they said they were, regular merchant ships on their scheduled run to Mummerset.
It was purely happen chance that both jumpships had arrived on the same day with each emerging at the opposite polar jump points.
However, shock horror probe, both the Forlorn Star and the Stella Prophet carried a diplomatic mission from their respective homeworlds, with the aim of setting up permanent embassies on Mummerset.
In addition, the Rim World Coalition had brought two industrial mechs with them to smooth over the trade deals, which "set the cat amongst the pidgeons". Fortunately, the Marian's only brought luxury goods and machine tools.
Later on the players discover, through the good office of David Bradford, that a 1000 tons of offworld cargo had gone missing in transit.
The funny thing was that no one was complaining of lost cargo, but the second attaché had counted the number of wagons that left Landfall and had discovered a discrepancy in the paper work when he compared the number at the main marshalling yard at Clear Water Boring. He asked the players for a helicopter flight over the marshalling yards where newly painted wagons could be seen, and then asked to informally borrow their special forces scout team under Captain Bruce Gilmour. This would be for a plausibly deniable operation.
The result of the operation by the scout team was that they discovered that all the repainted wagons were empty and that no trace of the 1000 tons of cargo could be found in Clear Water Boring.
Finally, to bring the session to an end we played out the beginning of the second transient pirate jump point appearing, first being a no show obviously, and yes this time a jumpship did appear.