Operation Silk Roads is a 2372 campaign set in the Beta Quadrant, in the unexplored space at the edges of the Romulan Star Empire, the Shackleton Expanse, and two arms of the Federation. It is partly a re-imagining of Continuing Mission’s Sargon And Beyond setting. This happens to be my campaign’s Season 2 setting, as we have finished Season 1 of Modiphius’s 2371 Living Campaign.
I have structured Operation Silk Roads as a sandbox campaign, drawing on existing modules from Modiphius, as well as content from Continuing Mission.
Part One outlines the parameters of the mission, and is free to read by players and GMs. Part Two will be a confidential GM’s Briefing. Part Three are GM Options for the campaign.
Operation Silk Roads
When the Klingon Empire withdrew from the Khitomer Accords at the start of 2372, and expelled all Federation citizens from their empire, it resulted in much chaos in the part of the Federation in the Beta Quadrant beyond the Romulan Star Empire and the Klingon Empire. In particular, routes through Klingon space were suddenly cut off, making it extremely difficult for Starfleet personnel and resources to be transported to the far sectors.
The Klingons also forced Admiral April Hebert to withdraw from Narendra Station. She has relocated to a new Federation starbase nearby to mount the many operations needed to safeguard this region of space. As the admiral in charge of the Twentieth Fleet, she is focusing her fleet’s efforts on the ‘northern’ territories of the Federation, while Admiral Saraal, the Tiburonian in charge of the Eighth Fleet, focuses his fleet towards the ‘southern’ territories.
A top priority for Starfleet Command is to re-establish safe routes from core Federation Space to the territories cut-off by the breaking of the Accords. The most obvious route that would avoid further tensions with the Klingons and the Romulans would be to find safe passage through the Sargon Region and the Space Beyond, from Deep Space 6 to Star Station Echo. Little has been discovered about that region, with few explorers from the Federation and other interstellar powers having returned with knowledge of what is there. Now is the time to change that.
Starfleet is sending ships into the unexplored region as part of Operation Silk Roads. Ships from Admiral Hebert’s Twentieth Fleet will explore ‘northward’ from Star Station Echo, and ships from Zakdorn Admiral Vin Ymiri’s Thirteenth Fleet will travel ‘southward’ from Deep Space 6. These ships will explore different paths and render support to each other.
Of course, the Federation isn’t the only faction interested in this route. Other pathfinders to be expected in the Space Beyond are the Ferengi and the Orion Syndicate.
The Directives for Operation Silk Roads are:
- Find a short but safe route for Federation ships through the Sargon Region and Beyond;
- Follow First Contact protocols;
- Establish diplomatic ties with civilizations and negotiate safe passage and ports of call through their territories.
This map of the Sargon Region and the Space Beyond may be handed out to players. A GM’s Map will be provided in Part Two.
- Bayt: homeworld of the Bayt’ihat, Federation member (see NPC entry, Ha’nil, Bayt’ihat Trader)
- Deep Space 6: a Federation space station that is Coreward of the Space Beyond.
- Eavarna: homeworld of the Eavarnians (a.k.a. Eavarnis Prime, Eavarna IV), Federation member (see NPC entry, Dr. Erix Kaedn, Eavarnian)
- Odot: homeworld of the Qaruodot (Federation member) and the Drauodot (non-Federation) (see NPC entry, Deyanna Lani, Qaruodot Astronavigator)
- Song Jiang: Federation starship battle simulation site (see the wargame scenario, Wargames With Sirna Kolrami, Part 2: Encore Performance)
- Star Station Echo: The major Federation starbase at the edge of the Sargon Region. It is a Lotus-class starbase, and its Grand Hub is a hive of activity.
- Uyrr: homeworld of the Uyrror (Federation member) (see NPC entry, Reesha Qel Vasto, Uyrror Diplomat)
- Zakdorn: homeworld of the Zakdorn, the greatest strategic minds of the Federation.
Other Places of Note
- The Cordon Nebulae: also called the Cordons, are a vast number of ribbon-like nebulae that surround The Space Beyond (as locals call it). Although the nebulae gases appear harmless, ships that travel through the Cordon Nebulae are rumored to be plagued with bad luck, and many have gone mysteriously missing. For that reason, very little is known of The Space Beyond.
- The Romulan Empire: although the Romulan Neutral Zone does not officially extend to these arms of Romulan colonies, they still guard their territories fiercely against unauthorized intrusions. They have avoided colonizing past the Cordon Nebulae, but likely have sent expeditions into the Space Beyond.
- The Sargon Region: at the fringes of Federation Space, the Sargon Region has been known to the Federation for a century, but much of it remains unexplored. Some independent colonies and research outposts have been established in this region.
- The Space Beyond: a region shrouded in mystery, wrapped in the conundrum that is the Cordon Nebulae.