The Exchange

Every once in a while, someone from the 1st Apocalyptic Cavalry contacts the The Coalition States to arrange for a materiel exchange. Usually this is because the Cavalry has come into possession of something the Coalition would find valuable. This could be captured Coalition hardware or intelligence the Coalition might find useful. Sometimes it might even be a deserter or other fugitive the coalition has expressed an interest in. In return, the Coalition is willing to trade something the 1st Apocalyptic Cavalry would find valuable. Typically, this could be technowizard gear or other captured magic items, dissidents or problem psionics, or just bankrolls of credits.   Nothing is ever provided for free at this exchange and there is little good will and even less trust.   Rarely, the exchange is initiated by the Coalition. In such a case, the Cavalry might have to generate something that could be of value to the Coalition. It might be an interesting development if the Cavalry kidnaps someone within their own protected territory if that someone could be traded to the Coalition for something of greater value to the Cavalry. The Cavalry takes its job as a protector of the people very seriously, but realpolitik is realpolitik and if such a tactic can be kept secret, the leadership of the Cavalry might condone it.

Themes

This plot can be used to provide for more-specialized adventures, such as:
  • A heist
  • A mystery
  • An escort mission, or
  • A rescue

Components

Goals

Our party can be involved in this exchange in a number of ways, depending on their chosen role in the world.   For example,
  • The party could be supporting the Coalition or Cavalry as security
  • The party could want to sabotage the meeting to cause strife between the Coalition and Cavalry, either of their own accord or on behalf of another entity
  • The party might want to rescue a person or recover an item that is going to be traded in the exchange
  • The party comes across the remnants of one of the groups and must either complete the exchange on their behalf to keep the peace or get the exchanged spoils or just take their stuff and go

Backdrops

Locations

The location of the exchange used to be at the same place, a wide open space in the outskirts of the ruined pre-cataclysm town of Seneca, Kansas. In fact this might remain the location for this instance. However, as the location became less of a secret, it became less secure and had to be changed when outside interference was detected.   The location for the exchange then became one of the negotiated items and is kept secret. Even members of the exchange parties are unaware of their destination until they get there.

Past Events

There are two stages to these exchanges. Typically an agent of the 1st Apocalyptic Cavalry contacts an agent of the The Coalition States. They negotiate the terms of the exchange, and this could take some back-and-forth as they have to not only be aware of what they possess but also haggle over the value of what the other respective agent presents. Finally, after the negotiation is set, the exchange is arranged. The second stage is the actual exchange. Very little negotiation occurs at the exchange and each representative comes prepared with a list of what to expect from the other.
This plot should be specifically tailored to the role the party has assumed in the game world. It is an example of a recurring world event and as such can even be repeated. Because of this, many of the specfics are not detailed. Power level and even who the protagonists and antagonists are depend entirely on the mindset of the player characters.   An example of such a mission would be: The party is contacted by Vincent Millay to prevent the transfer of one of their retired operatives into Coalition Custody. This person has damning information on the operations of Saint Vincent, but since he was such a loved and respected member of the organization, was permitted to retire in the Colorado Barony of Charity. Somehow the person ran afoul of the Cavalry and they're using the capture to obtain favors from the Coalition. Saint Vincent wants the party to rescue the operative, but is authorized to kill him if rescue is not an option. Whether the party chooses to take the operative before, during, or after the exchange is up to them.


Cover image: Spy vs Spy Wallpaper by Zarious

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