After they left the Reach, the characters sold one of their two mysterious human cargo to an adherent in exchange for a spaceship called The Left Hand of Darkness. Fresh from the Confederacy shipyards, ‘Darkness is a sleek and beautiful thing, designed for luxury travel at high speeds but carefully built to be reconfigured as a combat vessel for those slightly more adventurous lordlings who feel like slumming it in the Frontier.
The Left Hand of Darkness has the following basic structure:
- Bridge with room for pilot, navigator, captain, engineer, two gunners. The bridge is spacious and high tech, with a large window-like area at the front which is actually a screen (not a window)
- Captain’s ready room (off the bridge) with desk, couch, pot plant, and display screens for planning
- Conference room (off the bridge) with room for 8 people around a good quality table
- Armoury (off the bridge) with weapons racks sufficient for 8 people
- The entire bridge section can be detached in emergencies and has a separate small power supply that can keep the bridge functioning for about a week
- Ship’s boat, reached either directly from the bridge or from the main deck, with space for 24 people (basic seating) or 8 people (comfortable accommodation including sleeping arrangements)
- The ships’s boat has two turret locations
- The main ship has four turret locations, giving all-round fire arcs, but it has no weapons on them and no fire control system installed
- A single level 2 computer with advanced AI defences
- A luxury cabin suite for the captain, with office and separate bathroom
- Standard cabins for 8 crew, with their own toilets and a shared bathroom area
- Bunk cabins for sub-crew, with room for 8 more in two bunk rooms of 4 each, typically used for soldiers or passengers, having shared bathroom and toilets
- Two recreation rooms, one between the crew accommodation and the bridge, with a kitchen and open space; one behind the bunk rooms, smaller, with a kitchen and eating area
- A small gym/training area near the cargo hold
- A large cargo hold capable of holding perhaps 8 containers of cargo
- A separate utility hold with two small flyers, each with space for two people. These flyers can be armed but again are currently not. This hold also has spare space that can be converted to cargo or used for e.g. other flyers, mining equipment, etc.
- A separate armoury with space for heavy weaponry up to tripod machine gun or mortar size (obviously in the Confederacy a weapon of this size may be capable of nuclear-scale destruction); armour is also stored here
- Two air locks, with separate spaces for vac suits and additional small armouries
- A medical bay with room for two injured, two morgue slots, and some laboratory space. There is space for a server for backed up memories but this is absent (such a thing would be RP4 and illegal for the PCs to own)
- A welcome room near one air lock for entertaining business people and guests coming in from space stations; this room also opens into the main physical entry that opens below the ship to allow external entrance planet-side
- A series of emergency escape pods scattered around the ship, sufficient for a crew of 24 to be able to eject from the ship.
- An observation deck near the rear of the ship that allows a bit of star gazing and has a small garden (very small) with a bench, sadly not big enough for a picnic
- Basic field effector shields that will protect the vessel from sub-light collisions with small objects, and a couple of blasts from a heavy ship-borne laser, but no more
- ‘Darkness is lightly armoured, sufficient to survive one or two heavy laser blasts but no more
- A small general purpose space in the centre of the ship, currently empty
- Some of the walls linking things like recreation rooms and the general purpose space can be reconfigured to make more space available in certain situations
The Left Hand of Darkness of course has the standard set of sub-space and hyper-space drives, power plants, etc. Her Slug is sufficient for three months’ life for 24 people. ‘Darkness is capable of Jump 3 and M-drive 3. All fittings and equipment are TL14.
Ship Layout design is by Eddie, one of our players. His portfolio can be viewed here.