Branj Dilgaadin – Seneschal, or Zhodani mole?

In Traveller’s Classic Era, rare rumors circulate stating Duke Norris’ Seneschal, Branj Dilgaadin, is a closet psionicist, and a powerful telepath. This is eventually confirmed after the Regency is formed; Branj Dilgaadin is named as the new head of a Regency organization for psionics.

This brings to mind several questions, and possibilities.

First off, do the Zhodani know this? If they do, they are wasting a perfect opportunity to destabilize the power and effectiveness of an Imperial leader (Duke Norris)? Exposing Dilgaadin’s psionics use would bring Norris’ leadership capabilities into question. (“The Duke relies on a psion?! What other laws is he breaking?”)

Second, if the Zhodani don’t realize this, they aren’t very good at spycraft, and deserve to lose!

This brings up another possibility: is Branj Dilgaadin a Zhodani mole?

In the Traveller wiki, it states Branj’s origins are ‘mysterious’ and unknown. Based on this tidbit alone he could be considered by some as Zhodani plant. This would make a degree of sense, unless you consider Zhodani performance in the 5FW. If Branj was feeding information to the Consulate (however slowly), they would have known of the eventual arrival of the Corridor Fleets, and prepared accordingly. Thus it seems unlikely he was a mole based on this. But the possibility cannot be completely discounted, as there are many factors involved, most significantly the well-known time lag when sending interstellar messages via jump space.

I’m relatively certain there are other possibilities to consider regarding the Seneschal’s psionics use (criminal influences; other, less-reliable Imperial Nobility; Megacorporations). Any of these possibilities may be of use to referees when planning their campaigns.

[Note: I meant to publish this a week or two ago, but the weather and related injuries caused a significant delay. I hope to keep ‘on track’ with a post every week or so in the future.]

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