| Home | Traveller | BARD | DANI |
by Lewis Roberts
During the mid 1180s there was a surge in raider activity, and from then on there was almost constant low level warfare against the raiders. At first the raiders were divided and fought amongst themselves as often as they attacked Clatt, but one gang soon dominated the rest and by 1190 the Purple Spiders had unified the various raider gangs under their control. The Purple Spiders were controlled by a cabal of eight leaders. The gang showed the other gangs that they could gain more through unity than through dissension. The Spiders were also more devious than the common raider gang. Instead of simple frontal assualts, they would send in agents to infiltrate their targets and destroy key targets.
In 1194 the Purple Spiders set their sights on Clatt. They had an army of 75,000 under their control. Their first step was to isolate Clatt by attacking any caravans travelling to or from the city. Colonel O'Conner first encountered the Purple Spiders as she commanded a caravan travelling to the south. Her troops were able to fight off the raiders, but suffered heavy casualties. In addition to the caravan raids the, Purple Spiders sent agents in to Clatt to destroy key targets. A suicide bomber managed to wound the Duke and kill his wife and two teenage sons. Another group of agents managed to blow up the main ammunition factory in Clatt. The Purple Spiders kept their forces scattered and when Clatt sent out search and destroy missions, the raiders simply faded into the countryside.
By early 1197, Clatt's armed forces were poorly supplied and equiped, and demoralized by their inability to bring the Purple Spiders to battle. Finally the Purple Spiders felt conditions were right for a final campaign. They launched a series of attacks that sent the Clatt army realing back to the main part of the city. Colonel O'Conner was in charge of a large brigade that was at the fore front of the battle, and no matter what she did, she lost every battle she was in. It wasn't that she was incompetant, but the Purple Spiders were brilliantly lead, and her troops hadn't been trained for this style of guerilla warfare. Also the army was not recieving the support from the Duke and the other leaders in Clatt. The Duke thought it was impossible that his army could have any difficulties with a rag-tag band of bandits.
In the last few weeks of 1197, the Clatt army collapsed. Many units simply disintegrated, while others fled for safer areas. Matti managed to keep her troops together, but they were pinned down while the main Purple Spider army overran the city. Seeing that the battle was hopeless, Matti and her troops fought their way to the city of Kenton, where they disbanded.
Matti spent the next few months in a deep depression. She had failed in her duty to her Duke and to her city. The city had been overrun and conquored. Several hundred thousand civilians died under the rampage of the Purple Spiders. The duke was captured and executed. Clatt was now the home of the Purple Spiders, who ruthlessly eliminated any dissesion.
During this depression, Matti was often drunk or high on whatever drugs she could get her hands on. Finally she ran out of money, and was in danger of being exiled from the city for vagrency. She managed to get a job guarding caravans. The work managed to take her mind off her failure.. After a year as a caravan guard and several bonuses for fighting off raiders, she purchased a modified sports car, which she named Lizzie. She didn't have any particular reason for the name, it just seemed to fit. She equipped Lizzie with several machine guns and a mortar in the back.
She now hires hereself out as a courier of important packages. Large caravans attract attention and move slowly. Mattie and Lizzie can travel extremly quickly and draw far less attention. Occasionally if the money is good, she will accept assasinations assignments or assualts. She is an expert marksman, and is an above average sniper. Matti will accept any assignments that come up against the Puple Spiders. If she encounters any members of the Purple Spiders, she will attack them unless totally outnumbered.
Currently her life doesn't have any purpose to it. She is working as a mercenary, becuase its the only thing she is good at. She still feels a great deal of guilt and an overriding sense of failure. Often she tries to escape these feelings with alcohol or other drugs.
Now, she is at loose ends. She is working as a mercenary because she sees herself with few options. At heart she is still a person who needs to belong to a larger group and to protect that group. Since the fall of Clatt she has been unable to let her self satisfy that need. That as much as her guilt is one of the reasons she drinks so heavily. If she found some group or organization that needed her, she could recover much of her older personality. On the other hand if she doesn't find such a group quickly, she could easily turn into another cold blooded mercenary.
Unarmed Combat Damage:
Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises.
Portions of this material are © 1977-2001 Far Future Enterprises
BARD Logo Copyright ©1996 by Lawrence C. Cox.