Welcome to a brand new year of Tuesdays at Quark’s! Last month we ended with a look back at the belligerent Gorn but this month we’re looking to the future and to Continuing Mission’s ongoing campaign series set in the Sargon Region. The NPCs presented this month can be used to supplement the campaign, to pull in when players (inevitably) go off the rails, or just to personalize the living campaign by playing up the themes your group likes best.
Today’s supplemental character is Lira Zentel, a Ktarian xenoanthropologist who isn’t afraid to break a few rules if it means cashing in. She has ties to Starfleet Academy (after getting expelled), to the Federation (as a frequent participant on expeditions), and to the Sargon Region and beyond (as one of the lead Federation experts). She’s definitely a immoral but also not a zealous Tal Shiar agent or Nausicaan brawler so potentially someone that the crew could work with.
Given her strength and interest in prewarp civilizations, Lira Zentel is a great addition to the Poseidonis Adventure or to Planet of the Ebon Pearl which both feature sensitive situations with the Prime Directive. If you’ve already completed those adventures (or if you want to just run them as-written) then she instead could be a way to return to those worlds for a second helping of prewarp fun. Lira also might serve as an ongoing ally of the ship, someone that the crew is willing to work with for her expertise as long as she doesn’t do anything actually illegal. With a little adjustment she could even become a Supporting Character on the ship!
There are lots of directions to take this character but here are a few plot hooks to get you started.
- One of the items that Lira Zentel “recovered” from the area beyond the Sargon Region turns out to be a weapon of mysteriously advanced design. This puts her on the radar of the Ferengi merchant Soloc who wants it for himself. Zentel, on the other hand, has a very specific price that she wants in exchange for handing it to Starfleet: she wants her record expunged and admittance to the Federation Archaeological Council.
- The crew responds to a distress call by a Federation science team in a holographic “duck blind” to study a prewarp civilization. The team is lead by Dr. Velaz Matil who says that several members of his team were taken captive by the locals. He doesn’t think they’ve been exposed as aliens but part of the problem is that Lira Zentel (her reputation precedes her) is also disguised on the world and was part of the situation that led to the team’s capture.
- One of Zentel’s expeditions puts her in conflict with the Pranir. Now she becomes a bargaining piece in the diplomatic negotiations between the Pranir and the Federation. Before things escalate further, Starfleet Command wants the crew to figure out just what she was doing on the planet claimed by the Pranir so that the diplomatic attachment doesn’t run into any surprises.