By Gregg Giles
The Zhodani have many friends all along their borders, especially along its coreward borders. Many of these client states can be found along the “expedition corridor” (called Zhifte in Zhodani), especially within the first 150 parsecs beyond Zhodani space. Undoubtedly, many of these allies will be more than willing to aid the expedition in any way. Some independent states (not all of which are descendants of the Zhodani – some are Vargr, and fewer will be of minor alien races) may certainly have reservations, and others may even bluntly refuse calls for assistance. States refusing to help are bypassed, reported to the Qlomdlabr, and ultimately punished.
Along with this article are several tables to help you easily resolve any life native to a system, its race, allegiance, reaction to the armada’s appearance, and much more. You’ll often refer to these charts for help. Encounters for both inhabited and uninhabited systems are also provided in the charts.
By using the tables (charts 2-3 and 2-4), you can roll to determine allegiance, facilities, and the willingness of the natives to help the expedition. Please notice that starports and spaceports are not accounted for under the “facilities” column. They must be determined separately – in uninhabited systems they can be ruins, or even an outpost for another race – the Terrans and the Vilani met in the same manner, remember? States noted as “conditional” for willingness to help may desire in return for their services, such as just monetary compensation, protection from enemies or raiders, or even membership in the Consulate. Worlds with low tech levels that can help the aramada may be offered higher technology as compensation – an offer that most worlds will jump at instantly. Helping the armada will chalk up brownie points for the world in the eyes of the Supreme Council, particularly if the world wants admissions into the Consulate. Zhodani bases will always extend assistance to its fullest abilities, despite the actions of the system governments.
Notice from the charts that the closer to the Consulate that a world is, the more willing they will be to help, if not from common courtesy, then maybe from fear or economic or military retaliation. Beyond 250 parsecs (there is no magic line at 250 parsecs, but it is given as general reference) from the Zho border, you might as well forget the idea of finding entire Zhodani worlds outside of the corridor. At this point, outposts and isolated bases are always thanked for the hospitality and bypassed.
“Independent state” in the charts refers to any non-Zhodani aligned state made up on multiple worlds. A neutral world is aligned with no other world.