Welcome back for another edition of Tuesdays at Quark’s, this month as a deep dive into the Bajorans. Last week we started (inevitably) with a revoultionary vedek and this week we’re going in another familiar direction with a member of the Maquis. There are some surprises with this one, though, and I think you’ll like Li Chami.
One thing that always surprised me with the Maquis is how militaristic they are. They’ve got ships and fighters and they go toe-to-toe with the Cardassians on a regular basis. This is a guerilla tactic to be sure but there’s not Resistance-style strikes that I can recall from the shows. That’s why I wanted to concentrate on that sort of thing with Li Chami and she’s built for subtlety and violence. In particular, she excels at false flag operations either to get the Cardassians to commit to an ill-advised conflict or to push other governments into attacking the Union. If I were to use her in my game, I would absolutely hint that the Klingon offensive after the destruction of the Obsidian Order was in part due to one of her operations.
I write a lot of NPCs, for this column and for my home games, but every once in a while the character clicks before they ever enter a narrative. I’m not going to play humility here: Li Chami is an awesome creation that I’m proud to put out there for your use. She’s just so versatile, able to be a pretty deadly adversary as well as a crafty one and just as likely to be an ally with plenty of interesting hooks too. She also practices the Bajoran martial art Hal’Kareth described in the Call of the Prophets fan book so that’s definitely a fun angle too.
Because Li is trying to get other states to move against the Cardassian Union she could absolutely be a contact in the Maquis for a crew of Starfleet officers. Sure she’s a zealot but she understands that the fight isn’t going to be won in an instant. She will compromise and work with who she needs to in order to see the long-term goals met. I imagine Li entering a story as either a villain or an ally and then shifting back and forth as the story continues, possibly even within a single scenario!
There are so many directions to take this character but here are a few plot hooks to get you going.
- While patrolling near the Cardassian DMZ, the crew is contacted by Li Chami with information that Toja Pell of the Detapa Council has been secretly meeting with counterparts in the Romulan Senate. If true, this could mean a joint offensive against the Klingon Empire in retaliation for its attacks on the Cardassian Union, which could mean all-out war in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Her intelligence is compelling… but can it be trusted?
- A peace summit in the Bajoran colony of Prophet’s Landing, the closest such colony to the Cardassian border. The Player Characters are on hand to be third party observers and delegates are just talking over drinks when a bomb rips through the gathering. A dozen are dead and many more wounded as the crew tries to get to the bottom of who is involved. Li Chami is in attendance as part of a group of Bajoran political scientists and she says she saw Cardassian operatives placing the charges. At the same time, a half-Cardassian civilian attendee named Gilora Darhad says she saw Maquis terrorists doing the same. There might be other “witnesses” and detangling the conflicting stories could take days when the crew only has hours to stop a war.
- Returning to Federation colonies from Deep Space Nine, the Player Characters receive an encrypted message from Li Chami. She says that Gul Dukat has been in secret negotiations with the Dominion to forge a new alliance, something she found out about during one of her own operations. Starfleet Intelligence reports indicate that Li has frequently been party to misleading information designed to turn the Federation against the Cardassian Union. Is that the case here or is there more to her story?