BitD The Emporium Crew (Smugglers)

Session 21 – The Lost District Score
Also known as Season 2 Episode 9.

The quote of the session was from Bas. He said: “Change happens one coffin at a time.”

Back in Session 4 (about a year earlier in game time), Lord Scurlock gave Veretta the following information:

“An explorer from a recent expedition to the Lost District just died from a strange fever. In her delirium she told a story of a ruined mansion half-sunken in the mire that some of her team investigated (after the fever had started) on their way back. All but one of the group that entered that mansion did not return but the one that did reported finding a hall of ancient relics. Scurlock showed what the survivor had in her possession: an old ceremonial dagger, used in certain rituals. Scurlock remembers that Hall and its owner and is willing to back another expedition there.”

Finally, the Emporium Crew have decided to follow this up.

They spent a lot of the session in a Desperate situation.

Part 1 – Between Scores

  • The Emporium crew have been trying to keep a low profile. They have a large amount of gold at the Keep which will almost certainly make them a target if anyone finds out about it. They have so far managed to keep it a secret known only to the core members of the Emporium Crew.

Part 2 – Quiet Life (Hal)

  • Hal has gone back to his normal job, selling sweets in the streets of the Duskwall. The Emporium shops are generating Coin again and he is doing his part.
  • From time to time he think about Mercy. He was very blunt in his last dealing with her – he threatened her – and now he thinks he shouldn’t have. (He was roleplaying his Reckless Trauma) He wonders what he should do.
  • Hal senses that the Greycloaks are becoming more divided than ever. There is a hardcore with Nessa at its heart that is still pursuing revenge against Lord Strangford, but many of the others identify more strongly now with the Emporium Crew. They have a pardon for their crimes and a good job – they are more interested in a peaceful life.
  • Hal seeks out Eisele, the leader of the Gondoliers. He remembers that they asked for help a long time ago regarding angry ghosts in the canals. He wonders if they are still having trouble. He meets with Eisele (Consort = ‘4’) and she expresses surprise. There are still corpses turning up in the canals but there are fewer angry ghosts than there were a year ago. She thought that they had done something to tidy up the situation. (Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – now 1 of 6). The consequence is that the trail has gone cold – they don’t have any leads for him.
  • Thinking over what Eisele has told him, Hal suspects that the Umbra Hunters may have been involved somehow given that the number of dead bodies in the waterways decreased about the time that the Umbra Hunters were wiped out. Hal wonders about Bas’ friend Eckerd who has been known to steal corpses. He asks Bas about Eckerd but Bas has no information that Eckerd might be involved. They fill Veretta in.
  • In a private moment, Hal asks Nessa why she is so bent on ruining Lord Strangford. (Consort = ‘6’ – Greater Effect). Nessa swallows and goes to retrieve a picture frame that she has been keeping safe. She shows it to Hal – it shows a younger Nessa with a young man. She says that the man in the picture was her husband, and Lord Strangford had him killed. Hal is pretty shocked by this revelation.

Part 3 – A Meeting with the Dean (Bas)

  • The Dean has been leaving Bas alone, giving him a lot of the equipment and resources that he needs to further his prosthetics business idea. However, the Dean’s offer for ‘hybridisation’ sticks in his mind. It gnaws at him (he has the Trauma ‘Obsession’).
  • Recalling that the body of the fishwoman is still in the Morgue (from Session 17), Bas decides to conduct an inspection of the body. He makes a Study roll (and gets a ‘4’). Hence he is successful but there is a consequence. He decides that the fishwoman is not one of The Dean’s works – there is someone else out there who is performing transformations. Parking the thought of finding them, he decides to have a further conversation with The Dean. The consequence is that The Dean is going to put him in an awkward position.
  • The Dean still views Bas as a trusted ally (thanks to a Critical success in a previous session) and when Bas asks him about hybridisation, The Dean tells him all about his viewpoint on the Church of Ecstasy and also the perfection of ‘demons’ (who are also without the evils of the ‘spirit’). The Dean talks about hybridisation being a stepping stone to demonhood and he encourages Bas to think about it. Bas remains curious and interested. He asks The Dean how hybridisation is actually conducted and whether it is a surgical procedure. The Dean laughs and says that he will introduce Bas to Shuluth, one Setarra’s loyal servants. The Dean says that Shuluth has a quantity of vials of dark purple ink which trigger the transformation process.

Part 4 – Keep An Eye Out (Nia)

  • Nia keeps a low profile, keeping an eye out for any whisper that word of the recovered gold may have leaked out. She visits Volaris at the Veil (in Nightmarket) and keeps up the pretence that they are storing ‘special candies’ in the Veil’s basement.
  • A Fortune roll is made (it is a ‘6’) and nothing untoward has happened. Nia gets to know Volaris a little better, and makes sure that she will be notified if Clan Vulk returns (or escapes from Ironhook Prison)

Part 5 – Acquiring Silver (Leander)

  • Leander has been very busy running the Centuralia Club (and running a little business on the side). Some of the Club members are still cool towards him but most have accepted his presence.
  • In the background, Leander has calculated the amount of silver and tin that he will need to acquire and is making arrangements to purchase it. (which requires a significant amount of Coin to be spent…. quietly. He makes a Sway check to do this and gets a ‘Critical’ so it is extremely quiet. No one has a clue what Leander is doing)
  • In terms of what is happening to Nyryx, a Fortune roll was made and again, a ‘Critical’ was achieved (on two dice – far out!). So, everything seems to be going her way for now – that means that Malista has introduced Nyryx to others of the ‘faithful’ – those who worship her as the ‘right hand’ of the Shining One. There are only five of them, but they will follow her. With a Critical, I think I’d also suggest that Malista has found a willing, more permanent host for Nyryx to inhabit but the transition hasn’t happened yet. Leander is just getting used to Nyryx walking around in Malista’s form. (Note that Bas still hasn’t realised that Malista is back. She is his Negative contact.)

Part 6 – A Visit to Lord Scurlock (Veretta)

  • Figuring that Lord Scurlock might allow them to use the forge in North Port if they do him a service, Veretta goes to see Lord Scurlock to see if he still wants items recovered from the Lost District.
  • A Fortune roll is made (again it is a ‘6’) and Veretta is made to feel welcome. Oskar offers him hot chocolate, and there is a warm fire in the fireplace. Lord Scurlock is prompt in his appearance. He comments that Veretta’s crew has been ‘very busy of late’, and he asks after the artefacts of Kotar that they recovered. Veretta attempts a Consort and the result is a ‘3’, which drops him into a Risky situation. Lord Scurlock is not happy with Veretta when it is implied that the Circle of Flame have acquired the two items. Scurlock remarks that he may have to prioritise the whereabouts of the Hand of Kotar (which he has previously indicated is in a place behind a door that cannot be opened).
  • Veretta tries to negotiate with Scurlock (now Risky situation, and the result is a ‘5’). As such, Scurlock pressures Veretta that he wants at least one of the Artefacts recovered and if he is not able to recover either the Heart or the Eye, Scurlock will ‘insist’ that Veretta head into the Deathlands to recover the Hand.
  • The conversation turns to the Lost District. Lord Scurlock confirms that he would like some of the items recovered from the mansion that is being slowly swallowed by the marshlands. It has been some time since he asked for this task to be carried out – he remarks that two other groups of experienced parties have been sent and neither has returned. He asks Veretta to be careful and warns him that many of the ways into the Deathlands are being watched by the Spirit Wardens. If and when he returns with the recovered artefacts, Lord Scurlock would like to inspect them and decide which he wishes to keep.
  • Veretta asks about the one who survived the last trip to the mansion and brought back the dagger. Scurlock gives him her name (Agatha) and says that she is still alive. Veretta asks to see the dagger that was recovered and Scurlock offers to loan it to him – but he warns him that the dagger is ‘very sharp’.
  • When asked about North Port, Scurlock is not particularly happy with Veretta asking about access to the forge but he tells Veretta that he’ll consider it. Scurlock also comments that Veretta will find the mansion ‘fascinating’. Veretta wonders if the mansion has a connection to the Penderyn family (this later turns out to be true).

Part 7 – Further Preparations (Veretta, Bas, Hal)

  • A parcel arrives the next day, hand-delivered by Oskar (who had to hunt for it amongst the relics in the basement). Veretta takes it back to the Keep for inspection. The dagger looks like it is made of carved bone. It’s very ornate, and exceedingly sharp. It will cut through flesh, bone, even iron as if the substance was nothing. Impressed, the crew look into the ghost field (Attune = ‘6’) and note that this dagger is invisible in the ghost field and cuts through items leaves no residue or trace. None of them have seen anything like this – it is almost as if this has come from another world.
  • Guessing that they will need a narrow boat to reach the ancient gate more easily, Hal meets with Eisele from the gondoliers in order to borrow a boat. He makes a Consort roll (and gets a ‘5’) with the result that they gondoliers will loan him a boat, but on the condition that Syra goes with him to make sure the boat is returned.
  • Meanwhile, the Emporium’s Rovers (Elite Deathlands Rovers) figure out another way to reach the Lost District. It’s too problematic to exit via the Ancient Gate to the south, cross the Dosk River and then approach the Lost District from the south. Instead, they suggest using the aqueduct which crosses The Mist (the river that borders Duskwall to the east). Normally this route from Redfog Tower would be watched by the Spirit Wardens but they believe that this presents the best route out given that a storm is imminent.
  • With the information regarding Agatha, Veretta easily tracks her down (Fortune = ‘6’). She lives in Brightstone and he is able to engineer a chance meeting with her at the local tea shop. Veretta makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘6’. She is a sprightly old woman with sharp eyes. She immediately picks him as a Penderyn (because of his birdlike eyes) and they sit down for tea and crumpets. Veretta asks her about the venture out into the Lost District when she recovered a bone dagger for Lord Scurlock. She explains that the fever which wiped out her companions was probably that of a Plagueblighter’s curse – she was very sick at the time but she survived. She mentions that it is probably out there somewhere. She knows of no curse for the fever except time. She makes a gesture which Veretta recognises – it is the same sign language that the Spirit Wardens use. She is trying to figure out whether Veretta is a Spirit Warden.
  • Recognising the signals but unable to respond in kind, the conversation shifts abruptly. Agatha wishes him well and tells him to be careful – she politely ends the conversation and excuses herself. Veretta is left surprised and a little shocked that Lord Scurlock may have associations with the Spirit Wardens.

Part 8 – The Score Begins – Across the Aqueduct (Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia)

  • They wait for the storm to break. The heavens explode and rain pours down.
  • An engagement roll is made (2D) and the Dice Gods are not happy. The Emporium Crew begins the score in a Desperate situation.
  • The venture consists of Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia and six members of their Deathlands Rovers (led by Ruskin). Half of the Cohort is going with them. (No one was prepared to trust Leander and leave him behind with easy access to the gold)
  • Scaling Redfog Tower, they then make their way along the slippery aqueduct in the pouring rain. A Group Prowl results in a ‘6’ and the group crosses The Mist (river) without incident and they reach the Lightning Barrier.
  • Veretta then uses his Fine Lightning Hooks to open a breach in the barrier and lets them through. (He succeeds with a ‘6’ on his Attune)
  • Continuing along the aqueduct high above the Lost District, they find that there is much more damage on this side. Another Group Prowl results in a ‘6’ and they reach one of the old towers which supports the structure. They climb down (another Group Prowl with a ‘6’) and make the descent safely.
  • As a result of the many successes, the situation is now Risky rather than Desperate.

Part 9 – The Lost District – the Drowned Quarter (Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia)

  • The streets are like rivers and many of the buildings in the southern parts of the Lost District have been swallowed by marshland or swept away. The rain comes down in sheets, obscuring vision. They see occasional lights moving to the north but Ruskin warns them not to follow them (Tier 4 roll for Elite Rovers = ‘6’). Ruskin doesn’t say what they are, but he implies that they are some sort of lure.
  • They continue along what used to be streets and Bas unluckily half-trips over a stone block which should not be there. Investigating, he finds that it is the statue of a man in a crouching position. The statue looks worn and has sunken into the marsh but this is very unusual indeed. In the darkness, Bas inspects it but can’t determine anything about it (very difficult conditions to attempt a Study – he got a ‘3’). A new Active Clock ‘It Finds You’ is now 2 of 4. Nia jokes unhappily that perhaps there is some sort of creature lurking here that can turn people into stone.
  • Continuing on, they reach the grounds of the mansion in question. There are other statues here and nearby. Some wear surprised expressions and some look horrified. There are even a few Spirit Warden statues here. Nia decides to take Lord Scurlock’s dagger and peel the mask off the statue’s face. Sure enough, there is a real face underneath – these are no carved stone statues. These are petrified people.
  • The Emporium Crew look at each other grimly, and Leander decides to lead a group Survey on the area. He gets a ‘6’. There are six statues in all, three are (were) Spirit Wardens. One of them has an arrow stuck in him – even the arrow is made of stone. Clearly the enchantments that the Spirit Wardens carry are no match for whatever did this.

Part 10 – The Ruined Mansion (Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia)

  • The Emporium Crew decide to set up a defensive perimeter whilst Nia sneaks into the house to check it out. The Rovers assume hidden positions and they establish an alarm mechanism should they see anything.
  • Nia makes a Prowl roll and gets a ‘5’. She slips into the lopsided mansion and explores the front rooms. There is some water damage here, a smashed mirror in the entrance way and an obstruction which she has to crawl under in order to reach the hall where Agatha recovered the dagger. Judging that the area is safe enough to get the rest of the crew in, she goes back to tell them. Hence Veretta, Leander, Bas and Hal join her. (The Active Clock ‘It Finds You’ is now 3 of 4)
  • The hall has a series of alcoves and in each alcove there is a column on which an item might be displayed. But there are none here. Bas lights a lantern and the group begins searching the area (Leander leads a Group Survey and the result is a ‘6’) As such, they find the place where the dagger came from. Veretta also notes that the Penderyn family crest is carved into the stonework at the back of the hall, suggesting that this belonged to one of his ancestors. But most importantly, they find evidence that there is a mechanism behind one of the alcoves which would open another chamber. Searching further, they find the trigger but the mechanism is no longer working.
  • Unperturbed, Bas sees this as a challenge. He works with Nia and Leander to figure out how to manually drive the mechanism (and the Group Tinker results in a ‘6’) and after some time, the old gears grind into life and a doorway at the back of the alcove is opened, revealing the iron rungs of a ladder leading down into the darkness.

Part 11 – The Lower Level (Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia)

  • Realising that the chambers below are likely to be partially flooded, Nia elects to go down first. Tying a rope to her buckle and donning her goggles, she soundlessly descends into the pitch black. (She makes a Prowl and gets a ‘5’ – the consequence is now that they are now back in a Desperate situation. The Active Clock ‘It Finds You’ remains at 3 of 4) One of the iron rungs breaks off as she descends but she does not let it fall. She pockets it instead. However, when she reaches the flooded corridor below, she finds there is no way of moving through the waters and not disturbing the surface.
  • Carefully, Nia makes her way to the next chamber. She finds herself in an old library. Most of the books here are ruined by the water, but it looks like there are some cabinets above the water line. She notes another way out but elects to get the rest of the group before continuing on.
  • The rest of the Emporium Crew quickly join Nia in the library. Veretta looks at all of the ruined books and feels a sense of dismay. Nevertheless, the Crew professionally starts to hunt through what is here. (Group Survey = ‘4’). There are precious books above the waterline in a sealed case, there is also a Spirit Warden uniform (old styled) and a silver Spirit Warden mask in the style of a phoenix. The runes on the mask are Tycherosi. There is also a locked safe built into the wall.
  • The consequence of the ‘4’ is that the Active Clock ‘It Finds You’ is completed – at 4 of 4. (the consequence is revealed later)
  • Leander and Nia look over the safe door. Between them, they have the tools to crack it open (Group Finesse results in a ‘6’). Inside there is 4 Coin of valuables, plus a number of preserved documents (in wax-capped scroll tubes) and a large orange gemstone about the size of a man’s fist.
  • Leander identifies the gemstone as a jacinth (he is a jeweller, after all). However, as soon as he handles it, the demon imprisoned within seeks to dominate him. He suffers Level 3 Harm, which is promptly reduced down to Level 1 (Psychically Frazzled). Shaking violently, Leander stammers out that there something ‘evil’ inside.
  • Veretta takes a look (Attune = ‘6’) and identifies it as a fire demon. Taking the jacinth from Leander, the demon inside immediately starts trying to convince Veretta to free it and promising him riches and power if he does so. Laughing, Veretta simply tells the demon to be quiet and he wraps the gemstone and pockets it. The demon falls silent.
  • The Crew explores further down the tunnel and finds the remains of Veretta’s ancestor – all that remains of him is a skeleton. He appears to have died from being hit by an arrow. A curved blade which is of Iruvian make lies in the water beside him – despite being immersed for a long time, rust and decay have not affected it. Veretta takes the sword and the ring on his ancestor’s bony finger.

Part 12 – Retreat and Return (Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia)

  • Deciding that it is time to leave, the crew climb out of the flooded tunnels and rejoin the others on the ground floor of the mansion. However, all is not well. All six of them have been turned to stone.
  • (When the Active Clock was completed, I rolled a Fortune roll based on their Tier to find out how badly Ruskin and the others were affected by their run-in with this world’s version of a Medusa – and they got a ‘2’. Hence the whole lot of them were taken out. They didn’t even have a chance to raise the alarm.)
  • Shaken and fearful, the Crew remains in a Desperate position. The rain is pouring down and they know that something dangerous is out there.
  • Hal decides to use Attune to peer into the ghost field and find what is hunting them. After looking hard for some time, he gets a ‘5’ and sees it. The creature is humanoid but its hair seems to be in motion as if it is alive. Given that this is a Desperate situation and he got a ‘5’, the creature has an arrow nocked and it fires at him, inflicting Level 3 Harm. He checks Armour and makes a Resistance roll to shake it off, reducing the effect to Level 1 Harm (‘Pierced by an Arrow’).
  • Despite being quite frazzled, Leander follows Hal’s lead and takes careful aim through the pouring rain with a pistol. (He pushes himself to get an extra Die and accepts a Devil’s Bargain to increase the effect to Standard. The cost is that the pistol can’t be fired again.) The result is a ‘5’. As such, just as the creature fires another arrow, Leander takes a shot. The creature is hit, and falls back into the mud, apparently wounded. It does not reappear. However, the arrow strikes Leander in the shoulder for Level 3 Harm (which he Resists and reduces to Level 2 Harm – “Shot in the Arm”). He drops the pistol into a muddy pool which renders it unusable.
  • Leander curses whilst Bas debates whether to remove the arrow now or later. Everyone wants to leave before the creature comes back but Hal isn’t prepared to leave Ruskin and the others behind. Veretta confirms (using Attune = ‘6’) that their spirits are still bound to the statues for now but he speculates that the spirits will become unbound in the next few hours. Hal convinces Veretta to use his spirit jars (which he always carries) to capture the spirits of the six men and then they can figure out what to do next. Bas brightens, wondering if it might be possible to reverse the petrification effect, and Leander screams as Bas pulls the arrow out and then proceeds to bind the wound.
  • With their loot and the spirits of the six Deathland rovers, the Emporium Crew hurriedly return to the aqueduct. They make the climb and reach the lightning barrier (Nia leads the Group Prowl and the result is a ‘6’). This returns them to a Risky situation.
  • Veretta then opens a breach in the Lightning Barrier (Attune = ‘6’) and the crew make their way back across The Mist (river) and back into Duskwall (Group Prowl, led by Nia, resulting in a ‘6’).
  • They return to Duskwall with a trove of artefacts from the house of Talos Penderyn, one of Veretta’s ancestors who was a Spirit Warden.

Score Results

  • Reputation: +2
  • Heat: +0 (because it was very quiet and outside of the city)
  • Coin: +4 — bringing the total to 16 Coin including the following:
  • Side Business Action (The Centuralia Club): 5 Coin
  • Side Business Action (The Emporium business): 4 Coin
  • Individual XP: Veretta (2xp), Leander (2xp), Bas (3xp), Hal (3xp), Nia (3xp) plus a lot of XP for Desperate situations
  • Crew XP: +3
  • Faction Adjustments: None
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 5 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – now 1 of 6 (made some improvement here)
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 5 of 8

From here, Veretta has a number of artefacts that he wishes to investigate. Leander is still working on getting the silver and tin to launder the gold that they have. Hal is now thinking about how to bring back his rovers. Bas is currently obsessed about many things.

Given that the crew has a large amount of Coin, this enables them to make many rolls on these Long Term Projects.

The group has decided that the next sessions (22 and 23) will be focussed on disrupting Strangford’s plans. As such, I have some further information to reveal to the players to help them to plan and focus their attention.

The intention is to end the season at the end of session 24 (Season 2 Episode 12) and then we are going to park the game for about six months. The players are enjoying this but would like to end on a high and do something else for a bit.

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Between scores, Nia has been trying to find out about other Tycherosi in Duskwall. Here’s the information that I’ve given her. I’ve also indicated the strength of Nia’s relationship (-3 to +3, with +3 being allied/strong):

  • Veretta Penderyn (+3, birdlike features) - part of Nia’s crew and a younger member of the Penderyn noble family.
  • Rolan Volaris (+2, snakelike features) - runs The Veil social club in Nightmarket. Nia got a Critical in her first dealings with Volaris and as such, they have become strong friends very quickly.
  • Quellyn (+2, elflike features) - a whisper friend of Veretta’s who seems to like meddling in witchcraft and the occult. Of late, Quellyn has been spending time with Nyryx - Nia doesn’t know to what end.
  • Blair Culhane (0, goatlike horns) - a Tycherosi who was once a student at Charterhall University but was kicked out for accessing banned books, Nia hears that she’s teamed up with a group of thieves (a reference to the Magpies)
  • Mordis (0, unknown features) - a strange merchant in Nightmarket that hides its true appearance beneath many layers of robes and hoods. Also fences occult and arcane stolen goods, no questions asked. Nia doesn’t know for sure but she has heard that Mordis is Tycherosi.
  • Skannon (0, completely hairless) - a Tycherosi rake who deals in exotic spices, Nia has met him at the Centuralia Club. He’s rich, charismatic and he’s also very powerfully built (all of his clothing is custom made). Nia would suspect that he would be part of Clan Dassanetch, many of whom have Ox like features)
  • Lord Penderyn (0, birdlike features) - head of the powerful Penderyn family, Lord Penderyn sits on the City Council. You have also heard that he has connections to the Archive of Echoes, apparently a collection of ancient ghosts trapped in spirit bottles to be consulted where knowledge of the distant past would benefit the operation of the Imperial government. There have been rumours for years that the Dragon Lord Ugin is among those ghosts. Lord Penderyn is Veretta’s uncle.
  • Lady Penderyn (0, birdlike features) - A member of the Circle of Flame, Lady Penderyn is Veretta’s aunt.
  • Edlun Penderyn (0, birdlike features) - Lord and Lady Penderyn’s son, he is studying at Charterhall University. Edlun has a reputation for being very rich, arrogant and bringing his family’s reputation into disrepute. He has visited Volaris’ establishment on occasion.
  • Vestine Penderyn (0, birdlike features) - Lord and Lady Penderyn’s daughter. Not much is known about her except that she is of school age.
  • Tamoq, Rikkan, Thikka (0, ratlike features) - Nia has not met them, but apparently there are some members of Clan Stakor in Dunslough. If they are there, they must be very poor. Volaris would have seen Tamoq once or twice but that’s about it.
  • Eldon, Finnick, Dalia, Runa, Erlan (0, rabbit features) - Volaris is aware that Eldon and Runa brought their family to Duskwall about two years ago. They would be from House Kanin originally. They are running a restaurant in Six Towers.
  • Rix (0, tiger-like features) - Volaris knows that Rix is a member of Clan Kaplan and that Rix is not his real name (which is unusual because those of Clan Kaplan are normally very proud of their identity). Rix comes frequently to The Veil. The Kaplans are considered contenders for the Tycherosi throne so it is strange that he is here in Duskwall. He has been here for 5 years. Volaris has always wondered what he does for employment.
  • Aslak, Haakon, Maarta (-3, wolflike features) - three members of Clan Vulk, all currently in Ironhook prison on trumped up sedition charges

Of course this is what Nia knows so far based on her observations at the Centuralia Club and time spent with Volaris. This is all prelude information being shared prior to Session 22.

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So far the crew doesn’t seem to have a plan for Session 22 apart from that they plan to disrupt The Dean’s plans. So I’m just going to see where the plot goes.

Here’s what I’m assuming will happen based on information provided so far:

  • Veretta - Meeting with Lord Scurlock to go through the artefacts recovered, bargain for access to the forge at North Port etc.
  • Veretta - Invited by his Aunt to join her and Lord Penderyn for dinner.
  • Veretta - has many many artefacts which are currently unstudied. (perhaps a Long Term Project is required?)
  • Leander - Getting the other metals needed to smelt the gold into something which could be turned into Coin.
  • Hal/Veretta/Bas - Figuring out what to do about Ruskin and the Deathlands Rovers who were petrified
  • Hal - Nessa is planning to take a trip to Whitehollow to ‘see an old friend’ (who could be Morgan Stern, first mentioned in Session 1)
  • Nia - Meetings with Volaris and other Tycherosi in Doskvol; gathering information on the state of the Tycheros and figuring out her next moves.
  • Bas - Dealings with Shuluth and The Dean. The date for joining the expedition to revive a leviathan is set.
  • All - there is >16 Coin available to the Crew at the moment. I’m assuming that a chunk of that is going to Leander’s acquisition of enough silver/tin but there is Coin available for extra Downtime actions such as Acquiring Assets or Pursuing Long Term Projects.

In terms of Long Term Clocks going, I’m thinking of the following:
“Turn Bayer’s Gold into Coin” - 8 segment clock. We had discussed turning the gold production into a background task as opposed to focusing valuable playtime on it.

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Session 22 – The Three Hour Score
Also known as Season 2 Episode 10.

I wasn’t sure what the Emporium Crew were going to do here. Were they going to go back to the Deathlands and try to recover the petrified bodies of their Deathlands Rovers, or were they going to disrupt the Dean’s plans? What was going to happen when Veretta next met up with Lord Scurlock with the items recovered from the Lost District? So I was prepared for a session in which a lot of ground would be covered but I had no idea if an actual score would occur.

This session is called The Three Hour Score because from start to finish, the score itself was over in only three hours of game time. A snap decision – and they were off.

‘3’ was something of a magic number in this session. Veretta kept rolling ‘3’s even when he changed dice.

Part 1 – Returning from the Lost District

  • With the rain still pouring down outside, the Emporium Crew have just returned from their previous score and Hal is furious that they’ve had to leave their comrades behind. He continues to rage and rant at the others, pressing Veretta and Bas to ‘hit the books’ and find out a way to reverse the petrification effect. Bas suggests putting their comrades’ spirits (which are in spirit jars) into other bodies so that they don’t have to recover the statues – and neither Hal nor Leander is very impressed.
  • With a Fortune Roll (a ‘6’), Leander finds that they still have tea and a handful of reasonably fresh cakes. The arrow wound that he sustained in the Lost District pains him – he isn’t willing to go back into the Lost District immediately and so he seeks to calm the situation down with tea and cakes. Hal is not impressed with the tea. He tries to find some brandy in the cupboard (A Fortune Roll is made – it is a ‘4’) – and he finds a bottle, but there is less of it than he would like. He adds it to his tea.
  • Slowly, Hal calms down. Hal asks Veretta what he will do with the spirits of their comrades. Veretta assures him that he’ll look after them. Hal helps to arrange them on Veretta’s shelves so that he knows which ones are ‘theirs’. He lights candles and prays for them.

Part 2 – In the Wee Hours

  • The group slowly breaks up. Bas heads to his room but can’t sleep. His mind is racing about hybridisation and his upcoming meeting with the mysterious ‘Shuluth’. (He has the Trauma ‘Obsessed’) He falls asleep at his desk.
  • Veretta shuts himself in his study. He also finds it difficult to sleep and he starts looking through the books that he has, looking for clues about what sort of creature would have the ability to petrify someone. He makes a Study roll (and gets a ‘4’) – so he finds references to creatures that can do this, but the problem is that there is more than one creature with this ability. It will take him time and further study to narrow it down. Starting a new Clock ‘Restore the Deathlands Rovers’ – 1 of 6.
  • Leander finishes his tea, cleans up the kitchen and quietly heads to bed. He makes a Fortune Roll (and gets a ‘6’). Nyryx is in his room, sitting quietly and reading a book called ‘Brief Lives’ by Gregor Halkiri. She is still in her Hull body, in which she doesn’t need to sleep or eat. She notes that he is injured and Leander says that he just needs some sleep. Nyryx puts down her book and helps him get to bed. She explains that she told Malista to get some rest for the night, and Nyryx came over to check on him. She found that the entire Crew was out, so she decided to wait. Leander thanks her. (Fortune Roll = ‘5’) Nyryx admits that she may have found a new host – someone who is willing to let her share a real body (not Malista). Leander smiles at this and pats her hand.
  • With the others gone to bed, Hal and Nia talk about using the cover of the storm to go back to house in Foghollow across from Strangford’s manor. Hal is keen to go but Nia wants to take a break first.
  • Nia goes to her room and spends a few hours getting clean and trying different outfits on (indulging her Vice). She takes so long that Hal falls asleep with his head on the dining table, but about three o’clock in the morning, Nia emerges and wakes Hal up. They gear up and head out into the night.

Part 3 – The House in Foghollow

  • The rain is still pouring down in sheets. Nia and Hal make their way to the residence without incident. They make a Group Survey roll (and get a ‘3’) – there seems to be no other way into the second storey apartment apart from the front door. Also, there are lights on at the window. (The GM made a Fortune roll – and got a ‘1’ – hence the worst possible outcome for Nia and Hal. It seems that the residence in question is busy at 3am.)
  • Hal uses Attune to peer into the Ghost Field and see whether there is only the Lamprey-minder in residence. The result is a ‘6’ and he sees that there are multiple people inside – at least four of them.
  • Nia decides that she may be able to get up to one of the second storey windows and get a better look from there. Hal gives her a boost (using Prowl – and gets a ‘4’). Hence his assist is successful but this puts Nia in a Risky position. Nia then starts climbing up the drainpipe and she reaches the window of the target apartment (she gets a Critical – double ‘6’). Still in a Risky position, she peers through the window and sees The Dean, a huge lamprey-faced minder standing guard, a wizened fellow with narrow rimmed glasses who appears to be wearing a lab coat, and a figure in a purple robe (whom she has tailed before). They are having a conversation. The room is lit by candlelight. There is a map of Akoros and the surrounding sea on the table, and there are little models of ships and structures marked on the map.
  • With her Critical result, she can see a lot of what is going on. There is a marker off-shore of Duskwall, and there is another marker in the sea just outside of Whitehollow. She catches a glimpse of the purple robed person’s face – and he has a squid-like head with tentacles sprouting from the lower part of his face. A mind flayer! A demon of the ancient world!
  • Deciding that the opportunity is too good to pass up, Nia decides to gently pry up the window so that she can hear the conversation. She makes a Finesse roll and gets a ‘6’ – hence she’s successful.
  • The Dean seems to be in charge and he is talking with Professor Weiss and Shuluth. They are operating under instructions from the demon Setarra and it seems that they are relying upon Bas’ calculations about resuscitating Leviathan Spawn to further their plans. (Professor Weiss has double and triple checked Bas’ calculations) There is mention of the Delvers’ Guild in Whitehollow doing work to prepare the site for their arrival. The ‘dead’ leviathan there is being prepared. Quantities of electroplasm are being moved into position. Many of the faithful and the hybrids are already being moved to Whitehollow to prepare for its rebirth.
  • There is some concern from the three of them that Strangford may attempt a double-cross. They seem to be wary of him.
  • The Dean seems to trust Bas implicitly and he speaks highly of him (the result of a Critical success many sessions ago). Veretta’s name is mentioned once – and despite Setarra’s faith in Veretta, none of the others seem to trust Veretta.
  • When Nia decides that she has enough information, she carefully returns to the ground where Hal has been waiting and they slip away into the night. Hal can hardly believe his ears and Nia has to do some fast talking to prevent Hal from going back to kick the door down and kill them all. She thinks it is more important to discuss with the others.
  • When they return, they find the others fast asleep and they decide to leave it until morning.

Part 4 – Nyryx Buys Lunch

  • A Fortune roll is made for Nyryx and she gets a Critical (double ‘6’) on two dice. As such, Nyryx leaves Leander asleep and goes on patrol to see what the Maw of the Void are up to. To her astonishment, she finds the tunnels washed clean and the creatures are gone – at least for now. In the morning she goes to visit Malista to give her the good news. Malista is pleased but she also has some good news for Nyryx. The woman that they had been talking to about becoming a potential host for Nyryx has agreed.
  • Hence Nyryx is in a very good mood. She buys lunch for the Emporium Crew – goat pies, cheese, two bottles of milk, two bowls of chicken feet for Erik and Bas, and some fresh fruit. She tells Leander about her good fortune.
  • The food brightens the Crew’s mood, and they enjoy the lunch. However, they are unwilling to discuss what they have learnt in front of Nyryx or Erik and they wait until later in the afternoon before discussing further.

Part 5 – Plots and Plans

  • Nia shares what she observed and heard from The Dean’s meeting in Foghollow. She also tells Bas that Shuluth is some sort of demon squid-faced creature. They talk through that if the Dean’s plans come to fruition, Whitehollow may be destroyed.
  • Hal’s idea is simple – kill them all. He even suggests that if the Dean is killed, Bas could possibly become the new Dean. Veretta is cautious – given that these people work for Setarra, he doesn’t want to get involved. Bas would like to see whether their experiment to revive the leviathan will work or not. Leander sides with Hal and suggests that they just take out the Dean, and Shuluth and Weiss. Hal is surprised by Leander decision to side with him.
  • The group decides quickly on an assault, using Bas’ planned meeting with Shuluth as the trigger. Bas will ask for when he can meet Shuluth and then they will time the assault to coincident when Shuluth and the Dean are together.

Part 6 – Hasty Preparations

  • Bas meets with the Dean at Charterhall University. They have had many interactions before and the Dean trusts Bas. Bas makes a Consort roll (and gets a ‘6’) and asks to meet with Shuluth. The Dean is pleased and promises to set it up. However, the timing is only 2 hours away.
  • Meanwhile, Hal has been trying to find the best way into and out of the Dean’s secret sub-basement. He looks for access points from the canals or the catacombs (both of which the Emporium Crew knows well) but he gets a ‘1’ on his Survey. As such, he can’t find a way in or out that hasn’t been blocked off.
  • Similarly, Nia is trying to find a way to get the assault team onto the premises. She tries other above ground routes such as via the library and the Sparkwright tower, but she also draws a blank (Survey = ‘2’).
  • Bas explores the sub-basement laboratories, looking for a way to get the Emporium Crew into the complex. Many of the guards, workers and equipment are not here – them seem to have been relocated to Whitehollow. Hence the place is quieter than it is normally. He attempts a Survey (and gets a ‘5’) – and as such, he finds an exit which is under repair and hence is not as strong as other guarded ways into the complex. However, this exit does have a guardpost with a single guard.

Part 7 – The Assault

  • Hence only two hours after the meeting with Shuluth is first arranged, the Emporium Crew goes into action. Bas has a Light Load. Nia, Leander and Hal are carrying Heavy Load. Veretta is sitting this one out as he doesn’t want to draw attention from Setarra. (Setarra is his negative contact)
  • The Engagement roll is a ‘5’, hence the crew starts in a Risky position
  • Leander approaches the guardpost. He pretends to ask for directions and when the guard moves to direct him, Leander blows trance powder in the guard’s face. (Sway = ‘6’) The guard slumps.
  • Nia leads the Group Prowl into the sub-basement complex. None of them have been here before but Bas has described the floor plans to them. The result is a ‘4’ hence they do it (with Greater Effect). However, a new Active Clock ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ is now 1 of 4. This Clock represents when the Dean’s forces are alerted to their presence.
  • Given that they achieved this with Greater Effect, their timing is perfect. They arrive shortly after Bas is introduced to Shuluth.
  • A few minutes earlier, Bas met again with the Dean, and the Dean escorts Bas to introduce him to Shuluth. The Dean opens the door to Shuluth’s ‘study’ and the Mind Flayer’s voice can be heard in Bas’ mind that he should come in.
  • At this point, Bas has to make a Resolve roll or the Mind Flayer will sense his intentions. Bas rolls a ‘5’ and takes 1 point of stress. Shuluth trusts Bas.
  • With the Dean standing in the doorway, having just ushered Bas through, the rest of the Emporium Crew arrives on the scene. Leander draws a blade and stabs the Dean through the back. (Skirmish = ‘6’). The Dean collapses with a surprised look on his face.
  • Shuluth steps in front of Bas to protect him. Hal and Nia leap over the body of the Dean to engage with Shuluth. Tentacles writhing, Shuluth the Mind Flayer lets out a powerful mental blast, even as Bas shows his true colour and stabs Shuluth in the back. The members of the Emporium Crew shrug off the mental assault and continue their assault. Nia has resisted with a Critical and she beheads Shuluth with a Skirmish roll of ‘6’. The body flops to the ground and black ichor starts to spill onto the floor.
  • However, all is not over. The Dean suddenly stands back up again as if animated by some unholy force. With supernatural strength, the Dean leaps on Leander and stabs him with his own knife. (which is reduced down to Level 0 Harm by checking Armour and making a Resistance roll). Nevertheless, Leander is forced out of the way and the Dean bounds away.
  • Cursing, Hal runs after the Dean. In his hand is the ‘knife from another world’ that will cut through anything. The Dean runs as if he is a puppet on strings. He moves unnaturally, springing and bouncing along the corridor. Nevertheless, Hal catches him (with a ‘5’) and cuts him in two, severing his spine. There is blood everywhere. The Active Clock ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ is now 2 of 4.
  • Far in the distance, the bells of Bellweather Crematorium begin to toll…

Part 8 – Escaping from the Sub-Basement

  • Shuluth’s head is put in a bag and Bas convinces the others to rough him up to make him appear that he is also a victim.
  • Bas then sets to work trying to cover up the crime. He knows where there are pipes carrying combustible fuel and he is carrying fire oil to start the blaze. Hal offers to help him. Bas accepts a Devil’s Bargain that no matter how this turns out, he will have a new obsession for ‘fire’.
  • A Wreck roll is made and it is a ‘6’ with Greater Effect. As such, he successfully burns the bodies of the Dean and Shuluth and causes extensive damage to the underground complex as solvents, chemicals and other flammables quickly go up. In fact, it is so successful that it puts everyone in danger both from the flames and the toxic fumes.
  • Leander leads a Group Prowl to get out of the building and they do it with a ‘4’. The Active Clock ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ is now 3 of 4. The flames spread from the sub-basement to the upper levels. Thick smoke pours out of the complex.
  • On the way out, Bas convinces Hal to wound him so that he may better appear a victim. As the others escape, Bas staggers towards the fire brigade and convinces them (with a Sway of ‘5’) that he has escaped a terrible accident. The Active Clock ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ is now 4 of 4 – as such, a handful of shambling figures stagger out of the building, coughing and sputtering. A Fortune roll is made and it is a ‘6’ – Professor Weiss doesn’t make it out alive.
  • Three hours after the initial call to action, the score is over.

Score Results

  • Reputation: +2
  • Heat: +2 (death and destruction but they have an alibi and have done some misdirection)
  • Coin: 0 (I won’t bother rolling for the Side Businesses)
  • Individual XP: Veretta (4xp), Leander (4xp), Bas (5xp), Hal (6xp), Nia (5xp)
  • Crew XP: +3
  • Faction Adjustments: None
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 5 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 5 of 8
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Part 9 – Dining with the Penderyns

  • The Emporium Crew return to their normal lives. Veretta returns to his studies. He makes limited progress in Charterhall University trying to narrow down the exact creature that they encountered in the Lost District. (he gets a ‘3’ on his Study roll) He is able to find more myths but nothing of hard substance. Again it looks like most of the useful textbooks seem to have been removed from circulation. It also doesn’t help that there are investigators crawling all over the place given the recent demise of the Dean. The Active Clock ‘Restore the Deathlands Rovers’ is now 2 of 6.
  • Veretta receives an invitation to join Lord and Lady Penderyn for dinner. Reluctantly, Veretta agrees to this. He hasn’t been invited for a long time. The dinner is formal, and the entire Penderyn family is there, including Edlun Penderyn (their son who goes to Charterhall University) and Vestine Penderyn (their daughter who is still in school). Lady Penderyn is looking noticeably younger – at least ten years younger. Veretta wonders if it is because she has been using the relics of Kotar.
  • Veretta makes a Consort roll (and gets another ‘3’) – hence the meal is not very pleasant for him. He doesn’t feel very welcome and Edlun behaves like a spoilt bully, lightly mocking him at every chance. Vestine says nothing but she clearly doesn’t want to be present either. Given that this is a Controlled situation, this is treated as a missed opportunity.
  • As plates are cleared away, the conversation shifts to what Veretta has been doing. Another Consort roll is made (and yet another ‘3’). Veretta explains that he has been doing well in his studies, and he has been running the Emporium business which has been earning some good money, and brought him into contact with many arcane trinkets which he finds interesting. Vestine is clearly not listening, and Edlun seems to think that everything that Veretta does is beneath him. Even Lord Penderyn seems uninterested – obviously this is not what he wants to be talking about. The second failed roll now puts Veretta in a Risky position.
  • Vestine asks and is allowed to leave. Edlun makes an excuse and also leaves. Lord Penderyn suggests that they retire to a parlour for tea and Veretta agrees to this. In the parlour, Lord Penderyn asks about Veretta’s connections to the Dean of Charterhall University and what the Dean was doing to support Lord Strangford. Veretta is surprised by the question. Veretta makes another Consort roll (and gets a ‘5’) – hence the exchange is successful but there is a consequence.
  • Lord Penderyn is on the ruling council of Duskwall. Strangford has long been disliked by the Bowmore, Clelland and Rowan families, and they have been asking for Lord Penderyn’s support for some time. Lord Penderyn has been very cautious so far as Strangford is a dangerous man. He wants to know what Veretta knows of the Dean, and what he was doing for Strangford. Lord Penderyn stresses that this is important ‘for the family to know’. Lady Penderyn even suggests that access to the family library could be made available to Veretta. Veretta makes a quiet comment that it would be good to be ‘well received’ as opposed to being shot at (given that he was shot when last using Lady Penderyn’s library – that was when the Emporium Crew was on a War footing with the Circle of Flame).
  • Veretta tells the Penderyns that he knows some of what the Dean was doing for Strangford but Bas (Sebastian) was the real expert. He knows Bas well and will find out. This pleases Lord Penderyn, and he says that if he has this sort of connection, then Veretta would be far more useful to him than his own son. Hence the consequence here is that Lord Penderyn, a member of the Ruling Council (Tier 5) has expectations of Veretta and his assistance.
  • Lady Penderyn sees Veretta out. Veretta chooses this moment to tell her about the artifacts recovered from Talos Penderyn’s estate in the Lost District. He makes another Consort roll (and gets yet another ‘3’ – seriously, Veretta is cursed). Lady Penderyn thanks him for sharing this information – she asks to see all the recovered artefacts before Veretta does anything further with them. Veretta agrees to this – he doesn’t mention Lord Scurlock.

Part 10 – Researching Monsters

  • Veretta returns to the business of running the Emporium and his research. Much of Charterhall University is off-limits in the wake of the Dean’s demise. He wonders about Quellyn, whom he hasn’t seen in a while (Fortune roll = ‘1’). He talks his way into his Aunt’s private library and continues his studies. He loses himself in this activity as there is so much here. (He makes a Study roll and gets a ‘6’). The Active Clock ‘Restore the Deathlands Rovers’ is now 5 of 6. He is sure that the creature that petrified the rovers was a Gorgon. According to legend, there were three sisters who were cursed by the Forgotten Gods and are so hideous that even meeting one’s gaze will turn the viewer instantly to stone. There is mention of how to defeat a Gorgon (using mirrored surfaces to avoid looking directly at the creature) but no mention as about how to reverse the effect of being turned to stone. According to the texts, an ancient legendary hero (whose name has been lost) managed to behead one of the sisters and the severed head retained its power to petrify anyone who saw it. The hero used the severed head to defeat a sea monster, which may have been a leviathan.
  • Veretta thinks on this. He wonders if the head of a Gorgon could be used to petrify a demon like Setarra.
  • The next day, Veretta shares his findings with Bas and Bas goes to Charterhall University to explore a bit further. He makes a Study roll and gets a ‘4’ hence the Active Clock ‘Restore the Deathlands Rovers’ is now 6 of 6. He finds an ancient ritual to reverse petrification…. however it relies upon blood of the creature which cursed the victim in the first place. Hence they need the Gorgon’s blood.

Part 11 – Rumours at The Veil

  • In the wake of the Three Hour Score, Nia decides to check on The Veil to make sure that their storeroom (and the access to Bayer’s Gold) has not been disturbed. She talks with Volaris (Consort = ‘6’) and Volaris explains that he has heard rumours via his staff that someone is paying him to keep their possessions safe in The Veil’s basement. Nia finds the room undisturbed, but she knows that word may leak out. (A Fortune Roll was made – the result was a ‘4’ – hence the room was undisturbed but there is now a tick on the Active Clock “Somebody Else Knows ……”. It is now 1 of 8.

Part 12 – The Hunt for Nyryx Begins

  • A Fortune roll is made to see how Nyryx goes with meeting her new host. The result is a double ‘1’. Oh dear. Given that the previous result was a Critical success, I didn’t want to see that undone, but there had to be a major complication here.
  • Nyryx is introduced by Malista to a young Severosi woman named Naria. She is tall and has wild hair which is crudely tied back. (rolled randomly) She is an artist but she has run into some trouble and has fallen in with the Lost. She is willing to be Nyryx’s host if Nyryx can help her to square away some ‘obligations’. One of the city officials in Charhollow (where she lives) has taken her under his wing and is taking ‘liberties’. She wants him gone.
  • Nyryx and Naria talk for a while. Naria seems to be a genuinely good and caring person, but she’s not in a good place and she finds it difficult to trust anyone. Nyryx takes the time to show Naria how the possession works, and Nyryx possesses Malista to demonstrate.
  • However, when they are still talking, they are raided by the Spirit Wardens who have detected the presence of a ‘free spirit’. (this is the severe consequence) Nyryx quickly returns to her Hull body and attempts to make a discreet exit. She attempts a Prowl roll (and gets a ‘3’). The way is blocked by a Spirit Warden with a lion-like mask.
  • Realising that she is trapped, Nyryx tries to knock the Spirit Warden aside to get away. She makes a Skirmish roll (and gets a ‘3’). As such, the Spirit Warden is prepared for her and whacks a small piece of parchment to her body. It sticks, and the runes upon the parchment suddenly flash brightly, disrupting Nyryx’s connection to her body. (She takes Level 2 Harm, which is reduced to Level 1 with a successful Resolve check). Her Resolve check is a ‘6’ so she actually rips the crackling glyph-paper from her and tries to bash the Spirit Warden aside.
  • This time she gets a ‘5’ on her Skirmish roll (for Standard Effect – it would normally be Greater Effect because she is in a Hull body, but she is Frazzled by the Level 1 Harm). She punches the Spirit Warden aside, but not before one of the others fires a bullet with an electroplasmic bullet into her back – again for Level 2 Harm. Her Prowess check is a ‘2’ so she takes a lot of Stress to resist, but the result is a reduction to Level 1 Harm. The Hull body itself has been hit.
  • Rushing past the fallen Spirit Warden, Nyryx leaps out the window and into the street. She gets a ‘6’ on her Prowl, as she bounds away with supernatural speed.
  • Making Fortune rolls for Malista and Naria, Malista gets away in the confusion. Naria however, does not (she gets a ‘3’ – another 3!!!) She is taken away and interrogated by the Spirit Wardens – and they learn Nyryx’s name. Oh dear!

Part 13 – Leander Possessed Again

  • After seeking some medical treatment for his wound, Leander returns to his life at the Centuralia Club. He talks with the club members, makes sure that they are entertained, skims some Coin off the top. He makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘5’ – basically he gets along with people without ruffling too many feathers, but questions are being asked about how Leander ended up being in charge of the Club and whatever happened to his predecessor.
  • Leander receives a letter from Bazso Bas (which is delivered to the Emporium, but Leander only opens it when has time at the Club) – Bazso starts off by commenting that Leander has done well for himself, but he needs a spot of help. He mentions something about ‘Bluecoats giving him a hard time’ lately (This is a result of an Entanglement roll) and asks Leander to drop by when he can. Bazso assumes that Leander knows how to find him.
  • A Fortune Roll is made and it is a ‘6’. As such, Nyryx manages to send a message to Leander at the Centuralia Club without it being intercepted. She explains that she is in deep trouble – the Spirit Wardens are onto her.
  • Leander makes an exit and goes to find her. Nyryx is waiting for him in ‘the black zone’ in the catacombs where they know that they are safe from the Spirit Wardens. They talk for a while (Leander makes a Consort roll and it is a ‘5’). Nyryx explains what happened (she can only provide limited information) – she thinks that they got unlucky but the Spirit Wardens would know that there is a hull on the loose with a possessor ghost running it. Leander reasons that she needs to switch bodies and the hull body needs to be put into storage for awhile. He asks about the woman that was going to become her new host – Nyryx simply doesn’t know what became of her, but she speculates that both Malista and Naria could be prisoners of the Spirit Wardens.
  • Calming her, Leander says that Nyryx should put her hull body in ‘the black zone’ and then possess him for the time being. Nyryx reluctantly agrees to this as she doesn’t want to put Leander in danger. Unfortunately Nyryx possessing Leander does not go well. Nyryx is already highly stressed and her ghost-form is injured. Leander collapses under the strain but he does not fall unconscious. His head feels like it is swimming with bees.
  • Slowly he makes his way back to street level and he has a cup of tea to calm himself. He has never felt Nyryx this rattled. She is genuinely scared, like a little girl curled up in a corner. Occasionally he feels her looking out through his eyes, fearfully trying to check if everything is okay.
  • It takes him some time to feel okay to travel. He goes to Malista’s place and finds her there – but there is no sign of Naria.

Part 14 – Hal and Nessa

  • Hal tries to return to normal but his life continues to be anything but normal. Nessa is packing to leave and she is reluctant to say where she is going. Hal gets the impression that she’s expecting a one-way trip.
  • Hal knows that the Greycloaks have been split in two. Many of them who joined the Emporium Crew and have worked in their shops are enjoying their new lives. They are earning honest Coin, and their reputations have been restored with the pardon that was organised via Lady Drake. However there are those like Becker and Nessa who never worked in the Emporium and who never stopped being Greycloaks. They are still hellbent on revenge.
  • Hal tries to talk to Nessa, to talk her away from the path of revenge that he believes will lead to her destruction. He tells her that the Dean and Shuluth are dead, and that this should disrupt Strangford’s plans but this doesn’t seem to change her mind at all. Hal attempts a Consort roll. He accepts a Devil’s Bargain that regardless of the result, she will tell him some things that ‘he will not want to know’.
  • The result of the Consort is a ‘3’ (so many ‘3’s in this session). At a result, he can’t change her mind from its current course, but she tells him why. She explains that there are those on the ruling council who want Strangford ‘gone’ – and they found her and offered her a deal that she can’t back out of. She is certain that Bowmore (of the council – a Tier 5 organisation) will have her killed if she doesn’t go to Whitehollow. Bowmore wants Strangford eliminated. Nessa looks resigned to her fate – this is what she wanted, and she’ll have her chance, but she doesn’t expect to survive this. Strangford is too high profile and even if she succeeds, there is no coming back.
  • Nessa thanks Hal for the time that they have spent together, and she says that Hal can’t come where she is going.
  • Hal’s mind is awhirl. He was going to try to persuade Nessa to come with him, leave Duskwall and start a new life together in Irondale. But that seems impossible now. He asks when she is going to leave and she won’t tell him exactly, only that it is ‘soon’. He asks what her plan is to kill Strangford and she refuses to say.

Part 15 – The New Dean

  • In the wake of the Dean’s demise, Bas finds himself at the centre of much attention. Investigators want to talk to him. Some of the city’s nobles also want to talk to him. Rumours swirl that Bas was the Dean’s ‘trusted man’ and he could be a worthy successor.
  • Bas assumes that it will take some time for the City Council to appoint another Dean, but he is wrong. A majority vote of the Council sees him appointed as the new Dean to Charterhall University. It seems that both Strangford and Penderyn voted for this. (Veretta’s advice swayed Lord Penderyn)
  • Surprised but pleased (given that he now has access to resources and a budget), Bas now has access to the Dean’s office. His initial investigations shock him. There have been rumours for years that any Sparkwrights who got too close to be developing alternative energy sources to electroplasm (derived from Leviathan Blood) were meeting untimely deaths. In the Dean’s drawers, he finds clues that suggest that this might be true. A new clock “Alternative Energy Source discovered” is now 1 of 12.

Part 16 – Saving Nessa

  • Hal tells the others that Nessa and ‘others’ are heading to Whitehollow where they will undoubtedly try to kill Strangford. Hal is still figuring out what to do but he wants to save Nessa. To his surprise (twice in one session), Leander promptly volunteers to help. When Nia, Veretta and Bas look at him quizzically, Leander calmly points out that no one is going to leave him behind with the gold – and Hal laughs at this. (No one seems to realise that Nyryx is possessing Leander at this point)
  • The crew swings into action – they want to work out when Nessa is leaving for Whitehollow, beat her there and deal with Strangford before she can….
  • For now, the recovery of the petrified Deathlands Rovers can wait…
  • As can Lord Scurlock, who is still waiting for the items recovered from the Lost District to be shown to him….

And that’s where we leave this session….

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“Yes, he’s related to Lord and Lady Penderyn, however in this BitD universe, he’s either adopted (unlikely) or that family is Tycherosian.”

I have a personal theory/interpretation that the so-called “Tycherosi” may actually be mutants who were altered by exposure to toxic chemicals and/or demonic power, not actually descendants of people from a lost/mythical continent. If I’m right, it’s quite possible that two Akorosi nobles could give birth to a “Tycherosi” child, although they might be tempted to disown them or distance themselves from them.

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That’s a really interesting idea, Orion_Andersen. I hadn’t considered that option.

Given that the player who plays Veretta Penderyn wanted him to be Tycherosi, we made the simple decision that this inferred that the entire Penderyn family were also Tycherosi (in this game). That wasn’t my mental image of the Penderyn family when we started the game but I just went with it.

There isn’t much defined in the rulebook about Tycheros but the player who plays Nia has done a lot of work to flesh out how he believes that place works. I like those ideas and I think we’ll use them when we get to Season 3. After all Tycheros is a place that doesn’t have lightning barriers - so they must have another way to avoid the dead attempting to possess the living. Also, for whatever reason the Immortal Emperor has not tried to conquer Tycheros. Which begs the question - why?

There is also the question of how long have the Tycherosi been ‘tainted’ by these features which are considered demonic. Is it pre-cataclysm? Is it recent?

Have a look at one of the earlier posts (Post 59) where Nia wants to find out more about the other Tycherosi who live in Duskwall. After all, they are a minority and there aren’t too many of them here. It’s here that we are starting to flesh out the various Tycherosi families/clans and the ‘demonic trait’ that runs in their bloodline. For example, birdlike features, catlike features, ratlike features, snakelike features. We have leveraged the Chinese Zodiac plus added more. Clearly with Nia’s backstory, there are various Tycherosi family groups and there is rivalry between them for prestige, position and power.

I do hope that we continue on with a Season 3 because there is so much left to explore in Blades in the Dark. At the moment the Emporium Crew seems to be pulling itself apart and the Crew members are heading in different directions. I don’t know yet whether Tycheros will be the focus of Season 3 or something else. I’m waiting to see what they do.

Thanks for reading and contributing!

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Interlude between Sessions 22 and 23
In the interlude between sessions, here is what Leander, Nyryx, Naria and others were doing:

  • Naria was picked up by the Spirit Wardens (2D Fortune = ‘3’) during their raid and she’s held in custody while they try to find out more about the possessor ghost that she was associating with. She is interrogated (1D Fortune = ‘4’) and she tells them what little she knows. New Active Clock – “Walls Closing In” (reflecting that the Spirit Wardens are hunting for Nyryx) is now 2 of 6. Naria tells them Nyryx’s name but not how to find her.
  • Hence when Leander goes to find out what has happened to Naria, he can’t find her (and he fears the worst). Leander heads to Mallista’s house and she’s not there either (2D Fortune = ‘3’). Like Naria, Mallista has been picked up by the Spirit Wardens. She is also interrogated (3D Fortune = ‘4’) and she says little, but the Spirit Warden decide to keep tabs on her. The Active Clock – “Walls Closing In” is now 3 of 6. The Spirit Wardens discuss how long to hold Mallista and eventually they decide to let her go (2D Fortune = ‘6’).
  • Meanwhile, Bazso Bas is having Bluecoat troubles. They are leaning on him and his Crew, the Lampblacks. Leander and Bazso chat. Bazso mentions that he’s done some favours for the Emporium Crew and he feels that it’s time that they help him out. Leander makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘6’) – he asks how things are going with the Red Sashes and Bazso is clearly not happy. Both sides are arming for war (the long overdue War in Crow’s Foot that still hasn’t happened in this campaign). Leander changes the topic and he wants the Lampblacks to deal with the Charhollow official who is giving Naria a hard time. He offers Bazso 4 Coin to deal with it, and Bazso happily agrees to have some of his ‘boys’ deal with the unlucky official. The conversation then changes to Nyryx and Leander asks for help. Bazso listens to Leander’s request to sweep the sewers that used to be crawling with the Maw of the Void hybrids, and Bazso is less impressed with this caper. Consort of ‘4’. He agrees to do it but warns Leander that there had better be more Coin for this.
  • The Lampblacks do a sweep of the catacombs and find that the Maw of the Void have cleared out. (Rolling the Lampblacks’ Tier = ‘6’) They recovered 2 Coin of Valuables and have found a nice bit of Turf that they can use as a secondary base. Bazso is happy.
  • Leander is worried that the Spirit Wardens may be hunting for Nyryx. He goes about his business, managing the Centuralia Club as usual but he is expecting to have to split from Duskwall in a hurry. He tries to order some silver (for smelting the Gold that they have recovered) and gets a ‘4’. Hence he is successful (finally!) in acquiring a quantity of silver to start the smelting process, but the quantity that is coming from the Akorosian silver mines won’t be enough. It’s just a start. Also, start two new Active Clocks – “Someone Else Knows (about the Gold)” – is now 1 of 8. And the long term project Clock “Gold Laundering” (ie: melting down and recasting Bayer’s Gold into a saleable form) is now 1 of 8.
  • Bazso’s people go after the Charhollow official (Rolling the Lampblacks’ Tier = ‘4’). Hence they succeed in crippling the poor fellow, but news of the assault makes the papers (+2 Heat … but to the Lampblacks, not the Emporium Crew).
  • In the days that follow, Leander meets with Naria for the first time (note that Nyryx is still in Leander’s body). Leander makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘6’ – she trusts him. She is worried about the Spirit Wardens and believes that she needs to lie low for a while. Leander thanks her for trying to help Nyryx and he departs.
  • Leander also goes to find Mallista and he is successful after a time. (Fortune roll = ‘5’) Mallista is not at her home and it takes Leander some time to find her (she finally contacts him via the Emporium shop). She thinks that the Spirit Wardens are keeping an eye on her and she urges Nyryx to keep her distance for the time being.
  • An Iruvian man named Karban visits the Emporium Shop in Six Towers and asks to speak to the proprietor. Leander is contacted and he comes to meet Karban. Karban identifies himself as a member of the Red Sashes, and he asks if it is possible to engage the Emporium’s ‘professional services’. He wants their help in the upcoming War in Crow’s Foot.

And by the way, Leander has increased the entrance fee at the Centuralia Club. It now costs 5 Coin to join. Leander is skimming 1 Coin off the top….

Session 23 was run on 13th July. I’m just a bit behind in the write-ups.

Hence at the conclusion of this Interlude, here are the Active Clocks:
– The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 5 of 8
– Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
– Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 5 of 8
– Someone Else Knows (about the Gold) - 1 of 8
– Walls Closing In (on Nyryx) - 3 of 6
– Gold Laundering (ie: melting down and recasting Bayer’s Gold) - 1 of 8
– Alternative Energy Source discovered - 1 of 12.

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Session 23 – The War in Crow’s Foot
Also known as Season 2 Episode 11.

I didn’t really know which way the Emporium Crew were going to go in this session. Were they going to head straight to Whitehollow to deal with Strangford, or were they going to head back into the Deathlands to reverse the petrification effect on the Deathlands Rovers that were cursed by a Gorgon in “The Lost District Score”…. or something else entirely?

This crew is on the cusp of Tier 4, so what we agreed is that we would give them the advancement to Tier 4 once they succeed in laundering the gold – because that would give them a great deal of financial resource to call upon. Hence, they will be Tier 3 (Strong) until they achieve this.

There are a lot of Active Clocks going on at the moment (see the bottom of this post for a summary)

Part 1 – Veretta’s Meeting with Lady Penderyn (Veretta)

  • The session opens with the crew talking at the Keep about what to do next. They speculate that the Gorgon might be a servant of the Penderyn family, protecting Talos’ estate. Veretta wants to see his Aunt to see what she knows. Bas and Veretta are curious as to whether a Gorgon’s head could be used to petrify Setarra.
  • Meanwhile, a War in Crow’s Foot between the Lampblacks and the Red Sashes seems inevitable. Both sides have requested help from the Emporium Crew. Leander reminds the others that a number of the Red Sashes work at the Centuralia Club. Hal is angry with this but Leander calmly explains that it’s simply because the Emporium Crew eliminated the Umbra Hunters who were acting as the Circle of Flame’s muscle. Hence, they started to employ the Red Sashes instead and Leander has inherited this situation. Hal asks about Leander’s relationship with Bazso and Leander explains that they are friends. Pressed as to which side to support, Leander shrugs and says that it’s just business to him. He is happy to talk to Sera (their Arms Dealer contact) and see if they can fuel the fire without having to pick a side. The others seem uninterested in this and delegate to Leander to sort out.
  • Veretta decides to see his Aunt, figuring that finding out her perspective as to what was recovered from the Lost District might be worthwhile. He suggests holding off on any plans to go to Whitehollow until they get more information.
  • Veretta meets Lady Penderyn in her resistance. A Consort roll is made and the result is a ‘4’. Veretta shows her all of the artefacts that were recovered from Talos Penderyn’s house in the Lost District. She shows interest but claims not to know much about Talos’ branch of the family. That branch died with Talos almost two hundred years ago. She knows nothing about the estate having any kind of guardian (such as the Gorgon). She has heard of Talos and that he was a ‘wily old bird’ but can’t give him any other guidance. She asks who asked him to explore this residence and Veretta confesses that he was asked by Lord Scurlock to do so. At Scurlock’s name, Lady Penderyn loses interest in the artefacts and does not ask for any of them. Veretta is most puzzled by this. There is also a consequence of Veretta’s Consort roll – a new Active Clock “Get Me The Hand” (which reflects the Circle of Flame’s impatience with the Emporium Crew) is now 1 of 6.

Part 2 – The Power of the Dean (Bas)

  • Meanwhile, Bas is having a wonderful time as the new Dean of Charterhall University. He has lots of useful minions (including professors and undergrad students). He has access to funding and the ability to provide grants to various projects that he wants to patronise. Also he has free access to roam about the University as he chooses to – and better still, the morgue still has lots of corpses to continue to experiment on. (Effectively the University is a Tier 4 organisation – Bas doesn’t have full control over it but he has influence)
  • Bas is very excited by the idea of acquiring a Gorgon’s head. He is thinking of the military applications and has already tasked some undergrad students with developing a ‘Death Ray’ machine that can be used to release the Gorgon’s gaze when required and lock it away when not required.
  • As he ponders about how to protect himself from the Gorgon’s gaze (eg: he is imagining some sort of periscopic goggles system that enables him to look at the Gorgon via a series of mirrors), he decides to try to see the most senior military official that he can find in Whitecrown. Appointments are made, and Bas is permitted to share his ideas with Colonel Brigmore of the Imperial Military. Bas makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘5’. Brigmore is convinced that a Gorgon asset would be a powerful military asset if one could be acquired, but he seems doubtful that they truly exist – Brigmore seems to think that they are ‘mythical creatures’. As such, Bas only makes limited headway. A new Active Clock “Acquire the Gorgon” is now 1 of 8.
  • Returning to his office, he finds his secretary, Arlyn waiting for him. She is in her mid-twenties, a by-the-book Severosi woman who seems to be always assessing whether this new Dean is an improvement over the previous Dean or not. She has described herself as “the Dean’s Shield” – and she has stated previously that she will make sure that only the appointments that matter will appear on his calendar (in order to give him time to pursue his research or whatever experiments please him). She reminds him to check his upcoming schedule for the appointments that she has deemed appropriate. He nods, and notes that he is expected to head to Whitehollow in a few days. There are two rail tickets included.

Part 3 – Meeting the Pugilist (Nia, Hal)

  • Hal is keen to find out more about Whitehollow. He remembers that one of his contacts, Marlene used to live there so he heads with Nia to the fighting pits to seek him out. Marlene is persuaded to have a friendly bout with Nia for a few coins. Marlene loves a good fight, so he spars with Nia for a bit (Nia makes a Finesse roll and gets a ‘5’) Meanwhile, Hal talks with Marlene and learns about Whitehollow. Consort = ‘6’ and Greater Effect. Hal also accepts a Devil’s Bargain and as such, the Active Clock “The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend” is incremented to 6 of 8, indicating that there are forces at work who will figure out that the Emporium Crew are allies with the Greycloaks, and the Greycloaks’ enemies will become theirs when they figure this out.
  • Whitehollow was the staging area for the Empire during the Unity Wars. Even though the wars are over, there is still a significant military and ex-military presence there. Marlene worked in ordnance there for many years and he keeps in touch with his contacts. A mutual friend, Chael, still lives there. Marlene suggests that Hal look him up (Chael is one of Hal’s contacts). A lot of the ‘gangs’ there have military roots. Many still wear military-style uniforms even though their units were disbanded long ago.
  • Nia asks about any notable Tycherosi that live there and Marlene mentions Narcoss, a Tycherosi merchant with goat-like horns who works in one of the marketplaces. He sells antiquities and ‘trinkets for the tourists’, many of which have been recovered by the Delvers’ Guild. The Delvers’ Guild is a powerful faction in Whitehollow. They have been recovering artefacts from an offshore reef made from the carcass of a leviathan for many years. Marlene also mentions that there are multiple floating rigs in Whitehollow Bay – part of Strangford’s fleet – and they are assisting the Delvers’ Guild with some sort of investigation of the other leviathan that was killed some decades ago when it tried to attack Whitehollow. The body of that leviathan is in deeper water, but still shallow enough to reach in underwater suits.
  • There are many empty buildings in Whitehollow that were abandoned when the military officially withdrew. Some are falling down. Some are derelict. The house that Balthazar (the dollmaker from the Dollmaker Score) lived in is in one of those areas which has fallen into disrepair. Sharing what they have learned with the rest of the Emporium Crew, they wonder if they could use the Dollmaker’s house as a base. (it had a lot of warding on it)

Part 4 – Further Pursuits (Veretta, Leander, Nia)

  • Veretta decides that he needs to know more about Talos Penderyn. He decides that he has his Aunt’s permission to use her library and he hits the books, looking for clues. His study roll is a ‘4’, hence a new Active Clock “Who was Talos Penderyn?” is now 1 of 4. The Penderyn library provides basic information about Talos – that he was bright, that he was a renegade, that that branch of the family ended with him – but it doesn’t help him to solve the mystery. He wonders what to do next.
  • Meanwhile, Leander has a run-in with the Spirit Wardens. (Fortune Roll = ‘2’) Two of them turn up at the Centuralia Club and ask to speak with him. Leander takes a deep breath and tells Nyryx to be calm. She closes herself down and promises to trust him (Leander now has the “Trust In Me” Slide ability) – he gets a ‘6’ on his Consort roll with her). The Spirit Wardens are invited into Leander’s office. The Wardens ask about his appointment to management of the Club. They remember that he was going to help them to recover a powerful relic (The Heart of Kotar), but that then that relic mysteriously disappeared. Leander makes a Sway roll and gets a Critical (double-‘6’). As such, he convinces them that he doesn’t know where the relic is, or where it went. The meeting is cordial and polite. The Spirit Wardens leave, apparently unaware that the possessor ghost that they have been hunting was in Leander.
  • Leander pours himself a drink and goes back to work. He works late and goes to the Golden Plum for dinner, as a treat. While he is there, he feels Nyryx’s consciousness resurfacing, and he quietly reassures her that everything is fine. He feels her relief.
  • Nia decides to investigate the title of the manor house in the Lost District that Talos Penderyn lived in. If Talos was a Spirit Warden, then she thinks it is likely that the house was under another name. She seeks out Petra, her contact in City Hall. (The last time she saw Petra was in the middle of the night when looking for clues as to where the Bluecoats had taken Leander … but it has been weeks since that happened). Nia accepts a Devil’s Bargain that Petra will want to be pampered (she wants to be taken to the theatre). Nia makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘4’. Petra looks into it. It takes some time but she is able to find out what Nia wanted. However, as a consequence, a new Active Clock “Nessa Attacks” is now 1 of 6. If completed, Nessa’s crew will launch its attack on Lord Strangford – ie: potentially before the Emporium Crew can intercede. (I have already pre-rolled the result on that so it will be interesting to see how this plays out) Nia is able to confirm that the house wasn’t in Talos’ name, suggesting either that Talos was operating under more than one name, or that this property was owned by the Spirit Wardens. She goes to tell Veretta of her findings. The Active Clock “Who was Talos Penderyn?” is now 2 of 4.
  • Frustrated by the lack of progress, Veretta mulls over a hot cup of tea at the Keep. Bas listens intently to what Veretta has found out, and then suggests that he make available the ‘university resources’ to assist. Bas reminds Veretta that he is the new Dean and he’s happy to let his friend use the library (including the restricted parts) and even assign Veretta some helpers if he needs it. Enthused by this, Veretta heads to the library at Charterhall University and begins his studies into Talos’ identity.
  • Veretta makes a Study roll and gets a Critical (double 6). As such, the Active Clock “Who was Talos Penderyn?” is now 4 of 4. With access to restricted university resources, Veretta discovers that the Spirit Wardens of today are very different to those from two hundred years ago. The Spirit Wardens of today are more like a spiritual police force, but in the past there were other factions. Talos was in one of the factions who explored the dark places in the Deathlands and protected the people from the monsters that dwell there. It becomes clear that Lord Scurlock has had a long association with the Spirit Wardens – even though he is not friendly to them at the present time, that wasn’t always the case. In the past, Scurlock seemed to have a level of guiding influence over at least some of the Spirit Wardens.
  • As a side benefit of this Critical, the Active Clock “Acquire the Gorgon” is now 4 of 8. From the records which the Emporium Crew recovered from the Lost District, they find that Talos had indeed vanquished a Gorgon, and bound it using charms. When Talos died, those charms have continued to function. Even though the Gorgon might want to leave, the charms are binding it to the manor house in the Lost District. Veretta realises that Lord Scurlock probably knows this – and this is why other Spirit Wardens have been sent in the past – perhaps even to eliminate those that he doesn’t like.

Part 5 – New Plan: Wipe out the Red Sashes (Hal, Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta)

  • Hal suddenly declares that he has a new plan. If there is going to be a War in Crow’s Foot, he wants to wipe out the Red Sashes. This takes the others completely by surprise.
  • The Emporium Crew quickly pivot from their previous agendas. Hal easily convinces Leander that they owe Baszo Bas for helping them on more than one occasion, and if there is going to be a War in Crow’s Foot, then it’s better to have the Lampblacks on top. Both the Lampblacks and the Red Sashes are Tier 2 Organisations, and the Emporium Crew is Tier 3 so the Emporium Crew has a Tier advantage. However, they don’t want to move openly against the Red Sashes. They plan to help the Lampblacks eliminate their competition.
  • There are currently eight members of the Red Sashes employed by Leander at the Centuralia Club. Hal’s negative contact, Mercy, is not one of those who has a job at the Club. Leander suggests that it would be easy for him to put the ‘good ones’ on the same shift, and then they only need to take on a small number of Red Sashes – which should be manageable to the Lampblacks if they can get them in the same place.
  • Hal wants to use the electroplasm-powered gatling gun which they loaned to the Greycloaks. He talks this over with some of the Greycloaks who are working for them, and the gun is in storage – but it’s also low on ammunition.
  • They decide upon an Assault plan. They will abduct Mylera Klev, the leader of the Red Sashes, have the Lampblacks send a message to the remaining Red Sashes that they want to negotiate a settlement, and then help the Lampblacks to mow them all down at the meeting place. Bold, simple. The use of the gatling gun will attract a lot of attention, but if they can lure the Red Sashes into the catacombs, they can probably get away with it. Whatever heat is drawn will be borne by the Lampblacks, not by the Emporium Crew.
  • Leander goes to see Bazso Bas and he explains their bold plan to wipe out the Red Sashes in one hit. Leander rolls Consort and gets a ‘3’. This drops him into a Risky position. Bazso doesn’t believe Leander and is frankly concerned that this is some sort of setup. Bazso knows that the Emporium Crew has become much stronger in the last year, but he’s quite taken aback that the Emporium Crew have the muscle to propose eliminating an entire Tier 2 gang in a single night. Leander tries again, using Consort once more, and gets a ‘6’. It takes him time, but he manages to convince the Lampblacks that the Emporium Crew will help them to eliminate their competition and that their offer is serious.
  • Meanwhile, Bas and his young sidekick Erik go to meet Sera, their arms dealer contact. Sera hasn’t seen anyone from the Emporium Crew for a while. She mentions that business is booming – the Red Sashes and the Lampblacks are gearing up for war. Bas makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘6’. Sera laughs – she has had two boxes of gatling gun ammunition in storage for years and never been able to sell it. She is astonished that the new Dean of Charterhall University would want it, but she’s happy to sell it to him. Bas wryly explains that it’s for ‘an experiment’. Bas and Erik leave, each carrying one box of heavy ammunition.
  • An Engagement Roll is made – it is a ‘6’ and the crew starts in a Controlled position.
  • The action starts with Hal and Nia making a Group Hunt roll to corner Mylera Klev. They get a ‘5’ and hence they can follow her movements and set up an appropriate ambush. The consequence is that time passes, and the Active Clock “Nessa Attacks” is now 2 of 6.
  • The group springs into action. Hal launches a Group Skirmish with the entire Crew pitching in. The result is a ‘6’ so the ambush is successful – Mylera’s superb swordmanship is no match for the entire crew. She is trance powdered, bagged and dragged away. (Veretta rolled another ‘3’)
  • The next stage of the plan is to prepare a note on behalf of the Lampblacks that will lure the remaining Red Sashes to the catacombs beneath Candlestreet Bridge for a ‘parlay’. Ransom demands are made (for drugs) for the safe return of Mylera Klev. Leander makes a Sway roll to prepare this and gets a ‘5’. As such, the note is well prepared, and convinces the Red Sashes that the Lampblacks have Mylera and want a meeting. However, the consequence is that the Red Sashes call in additional allies – they hire muscle from the Docks with the intention of double-crossing the Lampblacks and dealing them a serious blow.
  • In the catacombs, the Lampblacks along with the Emporium Crew (and some of their Greycloak allies) have prepared an ambush. The gatling gun is set up. Trip mines are placed to block exits. The Red Sashes arrive with their additional muscle, and Leander leads a Group Skirmish. The result is a ‘6’ – which is Greater Effect given the Tier difference.
  • As such, it is absolute carnage in the catacombs. The Lampblacks and the Emporium Crew slaughter the Red Sashes and their allies. The bells toll. Hal’s contact Mercy is almost certainly killed.
  • The Emporium Crew quickly remove the gatling gun and begin disarming the remaining traps and any other evidence of their involvement. The Lampblacks and the Emporium Crew scatter. Nia leads a Group Prowl and the group gets a ‘6’ – they slip away without being caught.
  • Back at the Keep, the crew discusses what to do with the rest of the Red Sashes that are still at the Centuralia Club. Leander decides to have a word with them. When he arrives at the Club, he explains the situation – the Red Sashes have been wiped out by the Lampblacks and the Lampblacks are now in control of their residence in Crow’s Foot. He offers to adopt them into the Emporium Crew if they are willing to accept his ‘protection’. He makes a Sway roll and gets a ‘5’ – hence they accept, but the Active Clock “Someone Else Knows (about the Gold)” – is now 2 of 8.
  • The Crew then discuss what to do with the captured Mylera Klev, the Red Sashes leader. She’s known to be shrewd, well educated, ruthless and a superb swordswoman. To Leander’s (and Nyryx’s surprise), Bas suggests that Nyryx should possess her. Initially Nyryx is reluctant, but she agrees to this. It is possible for Nyryx to possess and control someone – but if Mylera is strong enough, she could manage to shake off that control. Nyryx attempts to possess Mylera and gets a ‘5’ – hence she is successful for the moment, but the consequence is that the Active Clock – “Walls Closing In” is now 4 of 6.
  • With Nyryx controlling Mylera’s strong body, the crew sit down to toast their success over a whisky at the Cat’s Cradle (Esme’s place). Even Erik is allowed a cup of the strong stuff. They start planning their trip to Whitehollow.

Score Results

  • Reputation: +2 (which gives them enough to get to Tier 4, but they can’t get to Tier 4 without completing the Gold Laundering Active Clock)
  • Heat: +2 (but this is on the Lampblacks, not on the Emporium Crew)
  • Coin: 0 (I won’t bother rolling for the Side Businesses – the crew have plenty of Coin at the moment)
  • Individual XP: Veretta (4xp), Leander (2xp), Bas (4xp), Hal (5xp), Nia (4xp)
  • Crew XP: +2
  • Faction Adjustments: None
  • Current Active Clocks:
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 6 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 5 of 8
    – Someone Else Knows (about the Gold) - 2 of 8
    – Walls Closing In (on Nyryx) - 4 of 6
    – Gold Laundering (ie: melting down and recasting Bayer’s Gold) - 1 of 8
    – Alternative Energy Source discovered is 1 of 12
    – Acquire the Gorgon is 4 of 8
    – Nessa Attacks is 2 of 6
    – Get Me The Hand (Circle of Flame) is 1 of 6

There are (probably) two sessions remaining in Season 2…. The next session is planned for Tuesday 3rd August 2021.

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Nuts… a small delay. The next session is planned for Tuesday 17th August.

My character Hal’s personality and how it works with his reckless trauma is a lot of fun to play. The stress and trauma part of the system has really helped Hal to break crew inertia, particularly when we start overplanning a score or we’re being overly cautious about becoming traumatised. A couple of times lately it has led to some interesting conflicts among the crew which has really enriched the play, elevating it from a game to a story experience.

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A further delay as we make the transition from face-to-face play to Roll20 (due to a Covid-19 lockdown in Canberra). Next session now planned for Tuesday 24th August… I think it’ll happen this time.

Regarding Luke_Hal’s comment:

Fully agree with this comment. There are occasions where the players forget that this is Blades In the Dark, and they want to start planning … and planning… rather than just cut to the action.

When the players don’t seem to know what do, having a character with Trauma is often a god-send. When the Emporium Crew get stuck, Hal just … does something … and the plot starts moving again. Often this moves the game in an unexpected direction but that is part of the fun.

Oh, just a funny thought. I found it interesting that the Magpies (of the Magpies Podcast in Season 4, Episode 22 finally used a ritual to solidify Setarra into a statue, immobilizing her for a few hundred years… effectively shifting her form from water to earth. This is exactly what Veretta and Bas wanted to do with the Gorgon’s Head – use it on Setarra!

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Session 24 – The Whitehollow Score – Part 1
Also known as Season 2 Episode 12.

So this was going to be the big finale for the season but due to some technical issues (one of the players had a power failure at home – ie: we joked about Blades in the “Dark”) we couldn’t complete in one session.

The season has been building up to Lord Strangford’s attempt to revive a slain leviathan, and effectively get it to produce more electroplasm than what is pumped into it. If he can pull this off, it’ll be revolutionary. The Dean (Bas) and Veretta Penderyn have been critical to figuring out how to make this work.

But of course, Setarra wants to derail this plan. She wants the leviathan to be fully revived, and she expects it to wreak havoc on the town of Whitehollow when it does.

Meanwhile, the Greycloaks have their pardon but some of them (especially Nessa) cannot forgive Lord Strangford. Nessa has fallen in with bad company and this new team is out to kill Strangford. It sounds like this team is backed by other members of the City Council, so backing out means almost certain death.

The Emporium Crew used to be simple smugglers of the arcane, but that seems long ago. They run a number of “Emporium” candy shops across Doskvol. Somewhere along the way, Hal fell in love with Nessa of the Greycloaks. Somewhere along the way, the Crew found the lost location of Bayer’s Lost Gold, and has been gradually stealing it, using a Tycherosi Vice Den as a cover. Somewhere along the way, the Crew ended up killing the Dean of Charterhall University and Bas ended up replacing him. Somewhere along the way, the Emporium Crew used an electroplasmic gatling gun (obtained from the Imperial Cruiser Thunderchild) to wipe out the Bloodletters and then the remainders of the Red Sashes. And not to mention, Nyryx has lost more than one body and has ended up hunted by the Spirit Wardens and having to flee Doskvol with her lover, Leander.

Things have become…. complicated….

This was the first session we have run of Blades in the Dark which we ran on Roll20 because Canberra (in Australia) is in Lockdown.

There are a lot of Active Clocks…. and there are more that appear during this session:

  • Current Active Clocks:
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 6 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 5 of 8
    – Someone Else Knows (about the Gold) - 2 of 8
    – Walls Closing In (on Nyryx) - 4 of 6
    – Gold Laundering (ie: melting down and recasting Bayer’s Gold) - 1 of 8
    – Alternative Energy Source discovered is 1 of 12
    – Acquire the Gorgon is 4 of 8
    – Nessa Attacks is 2 of 6

Now, I used Steampunk Clocks from Roll20 for this – here’s the link if anyone wants it: https://marketplace.roll20.net/browse/gameaddon/9975/cc-clocks-steampunk:

Part 0 – About Whitehollow

  • The town of Whitehollow was the staging area for the Imperial Military during the Unity Wars. It still retains a strong military presence, and most of the local factions are ex-military (for example, the disbanded 151st, headed by Captain Gara). Brigadier Ferec is the military leader and defacto governor of Whitehollow. Brigadier Ferec is the leader of the 2nd Brigade.
  • Offshore is the body of a dead leviathan which serves as a huge reef. Some of it is exposed at low tide. The powerful Delvers’ Guild sends out teams to recover what they can from its carcass.
  • Further out, in deeper water is a second leviathan which was slain more than a decade ago. Recently, rigs and equipment have been put in place for a salvage operation.

Here is a picture of Whitehollow (at the end of this session with stuff revealed)… if anyone is particularly interested I’ll post up a better image. In Roll20, each of the red target symbols opens to a handout for the players t read. Sadly this picture lacks the train station itself which is in the southern part of the township.

Part 1 - Nia goes to the Opera

  • After leaving the Cat’s Cradle, Nia takes her friend (and Contact) Petra to the opera. She has planned it all – new clothes for Petra, a carriage to collect her, a fancy dinner, and box seats to a show. Nia makes a Consort roll, pushes herself and gets a ‘6’ – the evening is a success. Petra is really impressed. She is charmed by Lady Farros (Nia) and Nia feels comfortable that she can count on Petra when she next needs to.
  • Nia then finishes up the evening at the Veil, and she talks to the proprietor (Volaris) as to whether he could be persuaded into letting her buy into his business. Volaris is surprised, but he has a good relationship with Lady Farros and doesn’t say ‘no’. (Again a Consort roll, pushing herself and receiving a ‘5’ – hence the consequence is that the Active Clock “Nessa Attacks” becomes 3 of 6 as time passes.)
  • Hearing from Nia that she may be away from Doskvol for a few days and is heading to Whitehollow, Volaris privately tells her that he is aware that one of The Guild’s best is headed to Whitehollow for a job. The Guild (the Assassins Guild) is very professional (they are superior Tier – whether it is 4 or 5 isn’t said), and it is very rare for one of them to fail. Volaris has heard that it is one of their best, who is being paid a lot of Coin to come out of retirement. The killer’s name is “Mister Benedict” (yeah yeah, I can’t resist weaving a bit of Amber Diceless into this game). Nia presses Volaris for more information but he can’t tell her more – he doesn’t know who the target is or who paid the assassin. He assumes that the target is high profile, and the patron is very very rich.

Part 2 - Preparations for Whitehollow

  • Each of the Emporium Crew packs a bag for the train, plus they plan to take a quantity of Emporium sweets with them to try to establish new business connections. It’s a day journey to Whitehollow. The Dean (Bas) already has tickets for himself and one other. Hal goes to buy tickets for the others. Nyryx will be going with them – there is too much heat on her from the Spirit Wardens and she needs to get out of town.
  • Veretta makes sure that he brings the dossier on Strangford with him (the one that contains all of the details about the leviathan hunters bringing in less and less electroplasm), and he decides on a whim to take the orange jacinth that has an imprisoned demon within it.
  • Meanwhile, the Dean (Bas) is doing last minute tweaks to a ‘Gorgon Detector’ that he is is working on. He rolls Tinker and gets a ‘3’ – the benefit is marginal, but it’s enough to add one Tick to the Active Clock “Acquire the Gorgon” is now 5 of 8.

Part 3 – Splitting the Gold

  • With only a few hours before the train is due to leave, the Crew suddenly starts talking about splitting up the many bars of gold that they have in their hidden lair (The Keep). Leander is intrigued by the sudden interest. Keeping Nyryx out of the conversation, the Crew argues about where to hide the gold so that they will not lose everything if their place is robbed while they are away.
  • The conversation goes back and forth but after a long time, they decide to drop off a quarter of the gold at Charterhall University (in one of the vaults that only The Dean has access to), and then put another quarter of the gold in the ‘dark zone’ in the Catacombs. They travel together, using their Emporium carriage, and they are heavily armed. They make a Group Prowl and get a ‘5’, hence they do it, but the consequence is that an additional Tick is added to the Active Clock “Someone Else Knows (about the Gold)” is now 3 of 8.
  • This means that there are now four gold bars at Charterhall University, four gold bars in the ‘dark zone’, and seven gold bars left at The Keep.

Part 4 - Strangeness on the Train

  • The Engagement Roll is made and the result is a ‘6’. Hence the Crew starts in a Controlled position – no one is working directly against them to begin with, and they get past the first obstacle. There are Bluecoats and even the occasional Spirit Warden at Gaddoc Train Station – but the Emporium Crew get onboard the train without any problems. (Nyryx breaths a sign of relief and she snuggles up to Leander – something that Leander has not gotten used to given that Nyryx is in yet another body, and this time it’s Mylera Klev’s body – and Mylera is one tough lady)
  • The Crew settle into a long train journey (it takes more than a day to get to Whitehollow). All five of them are in one cabin. There are no beds but the seats are reasonably soft. A conductor comes by to collect tickets and then they are on their way.
  • After a few hours, the electroplasmic light that illuminates the cabin begins flickering. It shouldn’t do that.
  • Hal heads out into the corridor to see if it is happening anywhere else and he finds that there is more than one cubicle affected. The passengers in a nearby cabin are complaining to the conductor. Bas takes down the light and tries to fix it. He rolls Tinker and gets a ‘5’ – hence he plays with it, gets it working again and puts it back in place. When the conductor comes by, the group happily says that the light isn’t a problem for them and the conductor moves on. The light stays on this time – for about two hours.
  • Then it flickers again. Annoyed, Hal peers into the ghost field (Attune = ‘5’) and notices that something or someone is drawing upon the energy from the overhead light. The energy is being siphoned further up the train. The consequence is that when Hal looked into the ghost field, the person in the next cabin also picked up that Hal was looking.
  • Hal goes out into the corridor and quickly deduces that the disturbance is very close-by. In the next cabin there is man asleep with a fedora hat covering his face. A young girl with mousy features and alert eyes sits with him. Seeing Hal’s interest (the consequence of the before action), the girl elbows the sleeping man and rouses him. Instantly the lights crackle back to life.
  • Meanwhile, Veretta is looking into the ghost field as well (he gets a ‘6’) and he realises that there is some sort of dead zone in the cabin next door. He goes out to talk to Hal but the two of them spot a pair of Spirit Wardens moving down the corridor, going from cabin to cabin. Hal and Veretta retreat back into their own cabin and they try to be casual. Nyryx is not calm, and Leander trance-powders her so that there is no chance that Mylera Klev could reveal herself at an inopportune moment. Nyryx switches bodies and jumps into Leander, hiding deep down within him.
  • The two Spirit Wardens open the door and make inquiries about the flickering lights. Veretta takes the lead and tries to explain that they solved the problem by fixing the light itself. He gets a ‘5’ on his Consort. Hence he is successful in convincing the Spirit Wardens of this but they are curious about this solution and wish to learn more – they linger.
  • Hal decides to position himself to block scrutiny of Leander (and Nyryx). The discourse continues, and a Fortune roll is made – it is a Critical Success. One of the Spirit Wardens spots The Dean (Bas) and realises that it is Bas’ ingenuity that has solved the problem. Bas explains the technique that he used and gives them some advice on the problem. In short, they believe the Emporium Crew and leave them alone in peace.
  • When the Spirit Wardens have left, Nia decides to look for an opportunity to befriend the mousy girl next door, figuring that she is probably Tycherosi. She listens for the next cabin’s door being opened and follows her out. Nia succeeds in striking up a brief conversation and offers her some candy, but doesn’t find out much about her or her companion.
  • Later in the journey, Bas decides to use his status as The Dean to ask the Conductor to look at the names of the passengers. He is successful (a ‘6’ on his Consort) and he finds out that the man is named E. Dominic. He is travelling with his daughter Candra.
  • There are no further mishaps and the Emporium Crew arrive in Whitehollow.

Part 5 - Lord Strangford, I Presume

  • The Crew head to Balthazar’s residence (from the Dollmaker Score) and they find that the property is just as they left it – mostly intact but abandoned. They set up a base of operations here. Leander and Nyryx decide to ‘hold the fort’. Hal and Nia decide to head out and find Chael, Hal’s contact here. Meanwhile, The Dean (Bas) and Veretta plan to head to the Grand Plaza Hotel and meet Lord Strangford, assuming that he is expecting them.
  • Hal and Nia go in search of Lieutenant Chael in The Port district. Based on Marlane’s feedback, they hunt him down easily. (Hunt roll = ‘6’). They find him at a bar – he looks just as brutal and messed up as Hal remembers him. Chael is happy to see Hal and they sit down to talk. Hal makes a Consort roll and takes a Devil’s Bargain (an additional tick on the clock). He gets a ‘5’ with the result that a new Active Clock “The Assassin Strikes” is now 1 of 4 (representing that the Guild Assassin is now in Whitehollow), and another new Active Clock “Revive the Leviathan” is now 1 of 6 (representing that a second Leviathan Hunter, the “Fortune and Glory” has just arrived in Whitehollow).
  • Chael is able to tell them that Strangford’s Leviathan Hunter “The Nightbreaker” is already moored out over the abyss where the second leviathan died. There are two floating platforms moored nearby. An Imperial Cruiser, the Thunderchild, is standing by. Hal groans when he hears the Thunderchild’s name (this is the name of the ship that they stole weapons from in their very first score). Chael fills them in about Brigadier Ferec (who runs Whitehollow), Captain Gara (who runs the pseudo-military gang called the 151st) and also Captain Stern who is based somewhere in Duskfair. It seems like Strangford has the backing of the Brigadier and others from Imperial City for this operation – he knows it has something to do with the leviathans but doesn’t know the details.
  • Meanwhile, Veretta and Bas head to the Grand Plaza Hotel. It is a very posh place, in stark contrast to the rest of grey-bricked Whitehollow. They are escorted upstairs and quickly meet Hicks, who describes himself as Strangford’s ‘attache’. Hicks is a gaunt man with rimless glasses that seem to reflect light, making it difficult to see his eyes. He introduces The Dean and ‘Professor’ Penderyn to an oriental fellow named Doctor Lao and a goth-dressed woman called Ilzara. Doctor Lao has a lot of paperwork on the desk which seems to represent his calculations based on Bas’ research. Bas makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘5’ – he gets along well with Doctor Lao but realises that the man is self-taught, doing the best he can but what they are doing is probably too advanced for him. He clearly wants help. As a consequence, the Active Clock “Revive the Leviathan” is now 2 of 6 (representing that specialist equipment has been deployed from the two Leviathan Hunters and they are preparing to lay cables (huge injection tubes) to the carcass).
  • Pleasantries aside, Hicks escorts The Dean and Professor Penderyn to see Lord Strangford. Strangford looks like a military officer, used to command. He also gives the appearance of someone who is not to be trifled with. (His organisation is Tier 4). Veretta and Bas make a Consort roll and get a ‘5’, which shifts them from Controlled to Risky situation. Pleasantries are exchanged but Strangford gets to the point – he knows that The Dean and ‘Professor’ Penderyn are brilliant, and he expects brilliance from them. He is expecting this to work and he plans to lavish praise on them when it does. He has a lot invested in this (he has already had a hand in giving The Dean’s position to Bas) – and by implication he gives them the impression that he will be not be impressed by failure. He almost threatens them but doesn’t. He suggests that they join him at a gala ball that evening before he returns to the Nightbreaker to supervise the operation. He insists that they accompany him.
  • The Dean and Professor Penderyn return to Doctor Lao to review his calculations. They make a Risky Study roll and get a ‘4’. As such they do it but it takes time. There are some refinements that are needed. As a consequence, the Active Clock “Revive the Leviathan” is now 3 of 6 (representing that final preparations are completed and the calculations have been checked).
  • Late in the day, Veretta and Bas head back towards Balthazar’s residence.

Part 6 - The Honey Market

  • On their way to Captain Stern’s place of residence, Nia stops in to see Narcoss, the goat-horned Tycherosi merchant that Marlane mentioned had a stall in the Honey Market. Narcoss is selling arcane knick-knacks (some rubbish for the tourists plus some good stuff for the discerning buyer) and he reminds both Nia and Hal of what they do at the Emporium. Hal tries to strike up a conversation with him. He rolls Consort and gets a ‘5’. The consequence is that time passes and the Active Clock “Nessa Attacks” is incremented to 3 of 6 (representing that her new crew is already watching Strangford). Narcoss is interested the candy that Hal has brought with him (and potentially being a seller of their candy) but he hasn’t heard of Doskvol’s Emporium. Nia gets the impression that Narcoss is holding back and she decides to step in. She also makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘6’. Narcoss knows who she is – they explain pleasantries and he expresses interest in selling Emporium Candy, but he quickly changes the topic and starts talking in Tycherosi (which Hal cannot understand).
  • Narcoss is clearly no simple merchant. He’s well connected. He tells Nia that he’s the only Tycherosi in Whitehollow and he wants to know her business here. When Nia explains that the intention is to expand business, he warns her that something big is about to happen in Whitehollow. He tells her that he has used his connections to bring one of their Tycherosi brothers to town – a member of the Guild who has never failed. He doesn’t know what the assassin is or what the real target is, but he was paid to organise another group to make an attempt of their own, which will probably be botched, allowing the real assassin to strike.

Part 7 - Quiet Interlude

  • Nyryx and Leander spend the day waiting for the others to return. They talk for a long time. Leander makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘6’. Nyryx is worried about returning to Doskvol and being caught by the Spirit Wardens. She asks about the gold that she has heard mentioned and Leander tells her the truth about the quantity of gold and how far progressed they are in processing it into saleable Coin. Nyryx asks if Leander could leave Doskvol and just go far away and start over somewhere else. Leander thinks on this and says that he’s thought about Ilysia. He went there once as a boy and he thought it was a nice place. He asks what she would like to do and Nyryx says that although she needed to leave Doskvol, she feels that she can’t leave for long. She can already feel a pull to return – that pull has existed for a long time, but the spell that Mallista cast (back at the end of Season 1) made the pull even stronger.
  • Nyryx notes that she quite likes Mylera’s body. It’s a strong body. Leander notes that if Nyryx loses control of that body, he’s not sure what Mylera will do. Will she run, will she try to kill them? Leander doesn’t like that she’s possessed someone who is probably an unwilling host. He worries about it backfiring on them all.

Part 8 - Setarra Returns

  • As Veretta and Bas return to Shadow Lane, Setarra glides out of the shadows. She is accompanied by a hulking brute of a man with pincer-like hands. Both have to make a Resolve role as Setarra tries to intimidate them. She threatens them both, saying that unless they help her to ruin Strangford’s plans, she will ‘ruin’ them. She threatens to go after the things and the people that they care about. Both succeed in their Resolve checks. The Dean critically succeeds.
  • Veretta shows the gemstone of the captured demon and asks what she knows about it. He makes a Consort roll and gets a ‘6’. Setarra recognises the gemstone, is surprised to see that Veretta has it, but dismisses it as irrelevant to the situation at hand. It doesn’t seem to intimidate her in any way.
  • With a threat and a warning, Veretta and Bas are allowed to continue on their way. A new Active Clock “Change the Plan (Setarra)” is now 1 of 4, representing that she has tried to manipulate them into doing something other than what Strangford has planned.

Part 9 - The Hunt for Nessa

  • The Emporium Crew briefly regroup at Balthazar’s place. Nia seems to be excited to go a gala ball (her vice includes Fine Clothes) and she insists that Hal find time to get some nice clothes after he’s found Nessa.
  • Hal and Nia execute a Group Hunt to find Nessa and the best they can manage is a ‘3’. With this result, they locate Morgan Stern’s house in Duskfair but it is currently dark and unoccupied. Two clocks are ticked up. The Active Clock “Nessa Attacks” is now 4 of 6 (representing that she is moving to board the Nightbreaker). The Active Clock “The Assassin Strikes” is now 2 of 4 (representing that the Assassin is also moving into position)
  • Frustrated that Morgan Stern is not at home, the pair stage a break in and start going through Stern’s things. Nia makes a Survey roll and gets a ‘6’ – she finds a small diary that makes reference to a nearby safehouse in Duskfair.
  • Steeling himself with some dutch courage (a drink), Hal heads over to the safehouse. He kicks the door open with Nia close behind.
  • Nessa’s team of five plus Morgan Stern are packing Heavy Load and just about to walk out the door to head to the docks and board boats to head out to the Nightbreaker. They pull guns.
  • Hal pulls his guns, only to realise that Nia isn’t standing with him. Hal is alone.
  • There are a f- load of guns. Clearly Nessa’s team doesn’t want to start a shoot out here, but what the f- do they do now?
  • Nessa points a gun at Hal. Hal points a pair of pistols at two of Nessa’s crew.
  • “Hal!” Nessa spits, clearly shocked. “What the f- are you doing here?”

And that’s where we cut to …. “TO BE CONCLUDED”

Yes, we ended on a cliffhanger with a lot of Clocks in progress.

  • Current Threats / Short Term Progress Clocks:
    – Nessa Attacks is 4 of 6
    – Walls Closing In (on Nyryx) - 4 of 6
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 6 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 5 of 8
    – Revive the Leviathan – 4 of 6
    – Change the Plan (Setarra) – 1 of 4
    – The Assassin Strikes – 2 of 4

  • Current Long Term Projects and Challenges:
    – Acquire the Gorgon is 5 of 8
    – Someone Else Knows (about the Gold) - 3 of 8
    – Gold Laundering (ie: melting down and recasting Bayer’s Gold) - 1 of 8
    – Alternative Energy Source discovered is 1 of 12
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Get Me The Hand (Circle of Flame) is 1 of 6

2 Likes

We ran the last session of Season 2 (Episode 25) this evening (7th September). I’ll post the writeup in a few days but it was a biggie.

Who won? Did Strangford manage to reanimate the Leviathan? Did the assassin manage to kill his/her target? Did Nessa manage to kill Strangford? Did Setarra succeed in change the plan?

All will be revealed shortly…

3 Likes

Session 25 – The Whitehollow Score – Part 2 (THE CONCLUSION!)
Also known as Season 2 Episode 13.

This is the final session of Season 2, although we are going to run a quick ‘aftermath’ session to tidy up the character sheets before we park them for a bit.

There will probably be a Season 3, but we’re going to adjourn for a while and do something else instead (Savage Worlds Tyrnador)

There are a lot of Active Clocks…. and there are more that appear during this session:

  • Current Threats / Short Term Progress Clocks:
    – Nessa Attacks is 4 of 6
    – Walls Closing In (on Nyryx) - 4 of 6
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 6 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 5 of 8
    – Revive the Leviathan – 4 of 6
    – Change the Plan (Setarra) – 1 of 4
    – The Assassin Strikes – 2 of 4

  • Current Long Term Projects and Challenges:
    – Acquire the Gorgon is 5 of 8
    – Someone Else Knows (about the Gold) - 3 of 8
    – Gold Laundering (ie: melting down and recasting Bayer’s Gold) - 1 of 8
    – Alternative Energy Source discovered is 1 of 12
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Get Me The Hand (Circle of Flame) is 1 of 6

Part 1 – Face Off (Hal, Nia)

  • Hal faces off against Nessa and four other heavy-armed gang-members who are about to head out on a job. There are guns pointed in both directions. Nessa is both surprised and furious with Hal. Hal finds to his dismay that Nia isn’t standing beside him. He recognises Potts from the Greycloaks but doesn’t recognise the others. There is also a uniformed fellow whom he assumes is Morgan Stern. (Note that Nessa’s team is Tier 2 – they are lower tier than the Emporium Crew).
  • Hal attempts a Consort to talk them down and reason with them. He fails (with a ‘2’). As such, they quickly figure out that he’s alone and drag him back inside the building. Nessa tells them not to kill him, but they start beating him and tying him up. Hal checks armour and then resists the consequence of being tied up. He beats them back and eyes them angrily. One of Nessa’s crew, a wild-haired fellow called Knives, doesn’t understand why they don’t just kill Hal. He asks Nessa if he can stab Hal ‘just a little bit’.
  • Hal tries to get Nessa’s crew to back off. He attempts a Command (which will have Greater Effect due to the Tier difference). This time, he is successful (he gets a ‘4’) – they won’t try to subdue him again. However, the consequence is that the Active Clock ‘Nessa Attacks’ is incremented up to 5 of 6, which should indicate that her team has moved into position on the Nightbreaker (Strangford’s ship). She’s not there yet, but effectively this means that she won’t be dissuaded from her course of action. Hal considers a last Consort roll but gives up (when the GM tells him that it will have Zero effect). He gives her a last look as she shuts the door on him. She doesn’t look back. There is the click of the lock as they lock him in, and Nessa’s team leaves.
  • Crushed, Hal sits down on the floor in despair. (He is almost on maximum Stress) A few minutes later, Nia unlocks the door. She chose not to chose not to intervene…and hoped like hell Hal would just sit down and shut up so she could get him out of there in one piece without a fight against bad odds.

Part 2 – Regrouping (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Leander)

  • Hal and Nia return to Balthazar’s place in Shadow Lane. There, they find the others preparing to attend the Gala Ball. (Leander paid 1 point of Stress for a Flashback that they had brought suitable clothes to impress).
  • Hal looks very unhappy. Nyryx (in Mylera Klev’s body) takes note of this.

Part 3 – The Gala Ball (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Leander)

  • The men outnumber women at the Gala Ball by two to one. Everyone is well dressed, but there are many military or pseudo-military outfits worn. Most of the people here know one another. The Emporium Crew are new to this gathering and hence of interest to the people here.
  • Nia looks around, trying to gauge the crowd and figure out who doesn’t belong here. She makes a successful Survey roll (and gets a ‘5’). She finds that Strangford’s group really don’t fit in here. Strangford himself seems to be tolerating this gathering but his mind appears elsewhere. In terms of a consequence, the Active Clock ‘The Assassin Strikes’ is advanced to 3 of 4.
  • Bas, as the Dean of Charterhall University, is one of the focal points of the ball. People mill around him. There are many introductions. Bas enjoys introducing Veretta as ‘Professor Penderyn’ and hence there is much interest in him too, including from some of the ladies. Veretta also tries to figure out who isn’t having much fun at the party – who is sitting out or not otherwise engaged. He takes longer than Nia (because he is using Study) but gets a ‘6’ and is successful. He spots a number of Strangford’s bodyguards who are watching the party impassively. He spots Attache Hicks who is also standing by but appears uninterested in the party. He spots Ilzara, their pale-skinned whisper, who is sitting alone on a bench. Her face is covered by a black veil as if she is in mourning. He also spots Doctor Lao, who seems as though he would like to be more involved, but most people here are ignoring him in favour of The Dean and Professor Penderyn. There is a fleeting contact between Veretta and Doctor Lao – Veretta promises to talk to him later in the evening.
  • Disgusted with the world, Hal starts drinking. The only person who notices this is Nyryx. She breaks away from Leander, who is having a wonderful time, and asks Hal if he’d like to dance. Hal is greatly surprised by this, but he agrees. She talks kindly to him, offering him some comfort and hope that perhaps he can still save Nessa from herself, even if it seems impossible. (This is the equivalent of a Downtime action – we normally wouldn’t allow this mid-score, but it seemed appropriate. Hal recovers 5 Stress).
  • Meanwhile, Leander is making the most extraordinary connections. He gets even better than a Critical – he rolls triple-6 on three dice when Consorting with others. The Active Clock ‘Gold Laundering’ is advanced a massive 5 ticks – which now stands at 6 of 8. In other words, he probably finds an alternative to the mint in Old North Port and useful contacts who are prepared to look the other way. He probably even finds multiple parties who are willing to sell Emporium candy. Leander is having massive success at the party.
  • As the ball continues, Hal, Bas and Veretta decide to carefully gauge Strangford’s people. They surreptitiously makes a Group Attune roll and get a ‘6’. All of Strangford’s crew, even the bodyguards, seem to have ‘shadows’ moving slowly across their bodies when viewed in the ghost field. Veretta knows that demons are almost completely dark in the ghostfield and this seems to be some sort of ‘taint’. Lord Strangford himself seems to be the most tainted of the lot. There is barely anything that can be seen of his true self in the ghost field.

Part 4 – Dealing with Setarra (Bas, Nia, Hal)

  • While they are looking into the ghost field, they note that Setarra herself is at the party. She is in human-form, but in the ghost field she is as black as pitch. She is talking to Ilzara, advancing the Active Clock ‘Change the Plan’ to 2 of 4.
  • The Dean decides to go and talk to Setarra. She rises to meet him, and she smiles. Her teeth are serrated like those of a shark.
  • Nia decides to follow Bas over and listen to the conversation. She succeeds in a Prowl roll with a ‘6’.
  • Setarra surprises The Dean by asking if he would like to dance. He accepts. She glides across the dance floor and they dance closely. (Nia probably grabs a young officer and follows them so that she can listen in) Bas attempts to Consort with Setarra – he gets a ‘6’. The effect is limited but she appears pleased that he is willing to engage with her. Bas asks why Setarra wants to revive the leviathan, which could destroy the city. He sees the revivification as a useful experiment, and it could be revolutionary if they can produce more electroplasm than what is put into the creature. Setarra smiles and says that he thinks too small – and that this is only the beginning. She teases him with information from the past that she says that she has knowledge of. She offers to open up new avenues of research, other ways to produce energy, and even to reach other worlds. This is a strong incentive for Bas and he has to make a Resolve check to avoid being enthralled by her. (at the cost of 1 Stress, he avoids this). Nevertheless, she has touched something deep within him and he wonders whether he should aid her.
  • Their conversation is interrupted when Setarra spots Nyryx, staring at her. Even in Mylera Klev’s body, Setarra recognises her. Nyryx is a sworn demon-hunter and she has had run-ins with Setarra in the past. Setarra excuses herself from Bas, and addresses her across the dance floor.
  • Leander is still talking with his newfound friends and is completely oblivious to this. It is Hal who recognises the danger and steers Nyryx away, but not before Nyryx has challenged Setarra and apparently the challenge has been accepted (with a crooked smile).

Part 5 – A Crisis of Confidence (Veretta)

  • Veretta seeks an opportunity to talk to Doctor Lao. He makes a Consort roll and get a ‘3’, hence there is a consequence. The consequence is that the Active Clock ‘Change the Plan’ is now 3 of 4, as Doctor Lao has a crisis of confidence regarding the validity of his calculations for tomorrow’s experiment. He begs Professor Veretta to help him (something that he knows will take many hours).
  • That evening, Veretta spends time with Doctor Lao, checking all of his calculations. He gets a Study roll of ‘6’, which is a success. As such this gives Professor Penderyn the opportunity to alter what will happen. He deliberately changes the amount of electroplasm which will be injected into the leviathan so that the critical threshold will not be reached, and the experiment will not be successful. There will be more electroplasm injected than produced which will be a failure. The leviathan will not be revived.
  • That night, Leander is in a very good mood and he shares his good news with the others (except Veretta who is working late with Doctor Lao). In the middle of the night, Nyryx slips out of bed, gears up and heads out into Shadow Lane for her appointment with Setarra. The others don’t notice her departure.
  • Regarding Nyryx v Setarra, a Fortune Roll is made and it is a ‘6’. The result is favourable to the Emporium Crew. As such, Setarra actually turns up to fight Nyryx. Nyryx is better prepared than Setarra expects and she actually wounds Setarra sufficiently that the demoness does not appear ‘in the flesh’ again for the remainder of this session. Nyryx herself is wounded (I would have required a Critical to not be wounded) but she is able to conceal this wound from the others.

Part 6 – The Nightbreaker (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Leander)

  • The next morning, the Emporium Crew board a launch, one of many, and head out across the Void Sea towards the Nightbreaker. They pass through one of the channels that leads out through the great reef that marks the remains of an old leviathan that died in the shallows of Whitehollow, long ago. They board the Nightbreaker along with Lord Strangford and his associates and make their way to the bridge.
  • Hal keeps an eye out for Nessa and her team. Nia and Hal note where the boats are lowered from in case they need to make a speedy escape. Leander and Nyryx are behaving a little strangely. They are both armed but they keep glancing at one another like shy teenagers.
  • When they reach the ‘war room’ which is just off the bridge, The Dean insists on going over the calculations one last time. He finds out quickly that Doctor Lao and Professor Veretta have changed the plan overnight. Bas makes a Study roll (Greater Effect) and gets a ‘5’, hence there is a consequence. Bas is not happy when he discovers that Veretta has changed the calculations, and he changes them back to his original plan, which will see the experiment work and the leviathan revived. This completes the Active Clock ‘Change the Plan’ to 4 of 4 – as Setarra has succeeded. It also advances the Active Clock ‘Revive the Leviathan’ to 5 of 6 – as Strangford gives the command to start the electroplasmic infusion process.
  • The consequence here is that the Active Clock ‘Nessa Attacks’ is also incremented, now 6 of 6. Hence this is the point where Nessa and the others storm the bridge of the Nightbreaker. The five of them approach via three different entrance points. The Emporium Crew aren’t fooled by these newcomers – as the newcomers draw pistols and blades, they find the Emporium Crew and Strangford’s men waiting for them.
  • Leander has figured out that Nyryx is wounded (but not how). He engages the first pair, shooting Coil in the chest and then ramming Potts clean over the side into the black sea below. (Leander got a Critical success on his Skirmish).
  • Nia faces off against the wild-haired one who is carrying throwing knives. She deftly dodges one of the thrown weapons and decapitates him. (Skirmish = ‘6’).
  • Seeing Nessa and her accomplice drawing guns and realising that they are hopelessly outgunned, Hal throws himself at them both. He succeeds on his Skirmish with a ‘5’, flattening them, but the consequence is that the Active Clock ‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’ is incremented to 7 of 8, indicating that others will figure out the connection between the Greycloaks and the Emporium Crew and will turn on them.
  • Nessa’s assault has failed almost as quickly as it begun. Lord Strangford casually looks over the two prisoners and then tells his men to get rid of them both. Nessa and the other prisoner, a Skovlander named Sikora, are dragged away. It is pretty clear that they are both being taken away to be killed.
  • Hal realises that he needs to slip away, and the others provide him with the cover to do so. Strangford checks that none of his people are hurt and then directs his people to continue the experiment, incrementing the Active Clock ‘Revive the Leviathan’ to 6 of 6. This pleases Bas greatly, but Veretta starts looking for an escape route, knowing that this will not be good for them if they remain. Already the waters above the trench are beginning to move.
  • Bas thanks Lord Strangford and says that his part in the experiment is now done. Strangford is surprised by this and wants Bas to remain to monitor the results. Nyryx and Leander take the opportunity to leave and Veretta follows them out. As for Nia, Bas doesn’t know when she left. She appears to have vanished.
  • Meanwhile, many decks down, one of Strangford’s men is weighing Nessa and Sikora down before putting them over the side ‘for the fishes’. Hal loses it over this and attempts a Skirmish. His best result is a ‘3’ (on four dice) so it goes disastrously wrong. The man he faces is a superior opponent (Tier 4) and the end result is that all three of them go over the side. Sikora is weighed down and quickly drowns. Nessa is similarly weighed down but Hal tries to cut her free. He makes a Prowl roll and gets a ‘6’, indicating that he saves her before she is drowned.
  • The Dean watches the waters move over the trench. He notes that one of the rigs that is supplying electroplasm to the creature is starting to move, as if being pulled towards it. He turns back to talk to Lord Strangford to discuss this. At this moment, the assassin strikes (the Active Clock ‘The Assassin Strikes’ is now 4 of 4) with a Critical Success (which I had pre-rolled before the score started). There is a gunshot, a golden glow in Strangford’s chest, and a blinding light fills the bridge of the Nightbreaker. The blinding light kills the tainted Strangford and fells a number of the nearby tainted bodyguards as well as their shadows are ‘burned away’. Even Attache Hicks falls, stunned or even dead. There is no one left to reverse Strangford’s instructions. Keeping low, Bas takes a few minutes to look over Strangford’s personal effects and then he makes a discreet exit, hoping that the others are also heading for the boats.
  • Meanwhile Nia has heard the gunshot and makes an effort to hunt down the assassin. She makes a Hunt roll and gets a ‘4’, which is a success but the effect is limited because the assassin is a higher Tier. She sees the assassin slip into the crowd of sailors and vanish. Nia is sure that it was someone small, and she suspects it might be Candra.

Part 7 – The Leviathan Awakens (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Leander)

  • Meanwhile, Leander attempts to convince people to lower a boat so that the Emporium Crew can return to shore. He gets a ‘5’ on his Consort so is successful but there is a consequence. The consequence is that the sailors onboard don’t think it’s safe on a smaller boat given the amount of churning in the water. They think the boat will capsize – Leander has to give them 1 Coin to convince them.
  • By the time the boat has been lowered, the others have caught up. Leander, Bas, Nyryx and Nia each take an oar and they start rowing back to shore. They spot Hal trying to keep afloat with Nessa and drag them onboard.
  • It is a long way from the Nightbreaker to the shores of Whitehollow and the waves are getting bigger. One of the rigs is slowly being pulled towards the trench. The crew pull as hard as they can, but they are filled by an unearthly dread as the thing beneath the waves comes back to life. This is a Resolve roll. All make this roll successfully, but most incur additional Stress. Veretta swears that he hears Setarra’s voice in the waves – and that she’s praising him on a job ‘well done’.
  • As the waves get bigger, they find themselves working hard against a tide which is being rapidly pulled out, exposing more of the reef. Nevertheless, they make it to shore and begin running up the beach through the mud. Behind them, something large can be seen breaking the surface of the water. A massive tentacle or limb of some kind. The Nightbreaker, the Fortune and Glory and the Thunderchild are slowly bobbing up and down on massive waves. Those massive waves haven’t yet hit the beaches but they are coming.
  • There is a crowd along the waterfront, watching this strange sight. Pushing through them, the Emporium Crew makes a run for the train station, hoping that they are in luck and there will be a train there. They know that they are running for their lives – that the waves will get bigger – and that nowhere nearby will be safe. They stick together, some more closely than others. Nessa and Hal run together. Leander and Nyryx stay together. Nia spots Narcoss in the ground and grabs him, telling him to come with them ‘or die’.
  • The first large waves hit Honeymarket and The Port. The people panic and flee. The Emporium Crew reach the train station in Mead Orchard but there is no train here and the elevated structure is crowded with desperate people. (Fortune Roll = ‘2’) As they climb the steps, they can see black wave after black wave sweeping through Whitehollow, swallowing everything. Even the towers of the lightning barrier that stand on the reef are going out, one by one, as they topple into the sea.
  • Thinking quickly, Bas tells the others that they have to find transport and he directs them to the fortress where the military are sure to have Akorosian goat drawn carriages. The Emporium Crew quickly launch into another desperate venture. (Fortune Roll = ‘6’) There, they find that there are two wagons already hitched to Akorosian goats and the soldiers are not yet aware of the peril they face. They appear tense but unsure as to what to do. The Emporium Crew launches into a Risky position, Group Skirmish. Everyone participates. Bas gets a Critical Success. As such, this is The Dean’s day – and he leads everyone else to glory. They capture the two wagons and they begin fleeing south into the Deathlands.
  • Behind them, the lightning towers fall one by one. The screams and panic of the people are drowned out by walls of black water. The Emporium Crew flees the scene as fast as they can, knowing full well that they are fleeing unprepared into the Deathlands.
  • But the wall of black water is faster than the Akorosian goats can run ……
  • It catches them less than a mile out of Whitehollow ……
  • And then all is blackness.

And that’s where we cut to …. “TO BE CONTINUED IN SEASON 3”
There will be one more post to follow…. I’m going to run an ‘Aftermath’ session with the group to tidy up character sheets, crew sheets etc.

Here’s the clock situation at the end of the session (thanks to Roll20):

So at the end of Season 2, here are the Clocks in progress:

  • Current Threats / Short Term Progress Clocks:
    – Walls Closing In (on Nyryx) - 4 of 6 (this one I’ll probably clear as I think the Spirit Wardens are probably off her scent)
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend – now 7 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 8 of 8 (advanced to complete because of what Nessa did)

  • Current Long Term Projects and Challenges:
    – Acquire the Gorgon is 5 of 8
    – Someone Else Knows (about the Gold) - 3 of 8
    – Gold Laundering (ie: melting down and recasting Bayer’s Gold) – now 6 of 8
    – Alternative Energy Source discovered is 1 of 12
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Get Me The Hand (Circle of Flame) is 1 of 6

I do hope folks who read these session write-ups are enjoying them! :smiley:

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Session 26 – Aftermath
The purpose of this session was to run one last ‘after the credits’ scene.

At the end of Session 25, the viewers had seen a black ‘wall of water’ loom over and seemingly crush the Emporium Crew as they were fleeing from Whitehollow.

The credits roll.

And then we have an after-credits scene where we see what really happened……

  • We flashback to the end of the last session where Bas is directing the Emporium Crew to seize two goat-drawn wagons and make a run for it. Bas shouts over the thundering roar of the black waves that are sweeping through Whitehollow. In the distance a lightning tower flashes and begins to fall.
  • The Crew spring into action (just as in Session 25) and are extremely successful in commandeering two wagons. They do this with a Critical Success and they flee the city in a hurry. On the first cart is Hal, Nia, Nessa and Narcoss. On the second cart is Leander, Nyryx (in Mylera Klev’s body), Bas and Veretta.
  • We see them fleeing as the black tide sweeps through and around the sides of Whitehollow. They are ants in the face of this wall of water which represents near certain death. The black waters are choked with debris.
  • Two clocks are started – the crew is in a Desperate situation because they are significantly outmatched. They still have a massive amount of Stress from last session (Bas starts on 4, Leander on 6, Veretta on 5, Nia on 7 and Hal on 8). Hence this is not about seeing how they get away, but rather what shape they are in when the wave hits them.
    – Outrun the Black Wave – now 1 of 8
    – The Black Wave Hits You – is 1 of 4
  • The two wagons speed on. Nia succeeds in keeping control of the first wagon, incrementing the “Outrun the Black Wave” to 2 of 8. Bas keeps control of the second wagon (he succeeds with a ‘5’), putting “Outrun the Black Wave” at 3 of 8, but “The Black Wave Hits You“ also increments to 2 of 4.
  • In the waves, those in the second cart can see shapes moving. There are demon-sharks in those waves – giant creatures with razor sharp teeth and red eyes. Behind them, the water demoness Setarra is coming. Bas and Veretta can hear her laughter in the waves. She seems to be personally directing this part of the tidal wave, coming for them.
  • Leander takes a moment to try to shoot one of the demon-sharks. Pushing himself, he ends up with a Critical Success on his Skirmish roll. This kills one of the demon sharks in pursuit.
  • With the waves flanking the second card on both sides, Veretta takes careful aim (pushing himself to raise the effect to Standard) and gets another Critical Success, killing the other demon shark.
  • Unfortunately, Nia in the lead wagon loses control of the goats (failed Desperate roll) and the wagon veers off and is overturned. There is no way that the others can help them as the black wave quickly catches them. “Outrun the Black Wave” is at 4 of 4. Hal grabs Nessa and warns them all to brace for impact as the wave looms high above them.
  • The black wave hits the second cart. Nia escapes harm (Critical resistance roll) but Hal suffers his second Trauma to resist. Both Narcoss and Nessa take Level 2 Harm.
  • Exultant, focusing on the remaining cart, Setarra is poised to throw the full force of the black wall of water at them. She is focusing on Nyryx because of the previous night’s duel (which Setarra actually lost!) Bas and Veretta can see that Setarra is hellbent on killing them all.
  • At this point Bas attempts to bargain with Setarra. Everything else would be Desperate, Limited Effect but this is not. This is Risky Standard as he helped her to achieve this destruction. He succeeds with a ‘6’ and Setarra blinks, parting the waters at the last moment, resulting the remaining cart being surrounded by a black waters which are filled with debris, but Leander, Veretta, Bas and Nyryx remain untouched.
  • There are a few dumbfounded moments as the Crew realises that they are still alive. The waters rush by but don’t touch them. Setarra steps out of the black waters and takes on her familiar shape, although her eyes are completely black. She smiles and tells Bas and Veretta that she is very pleased with them. Bas swallows, conscious that the demon could probably kill them all if she changes her mind. He tries to Consort with her, and gets a ‘5’. Bas wants her to spare him and the rest of the Crew. She smiles crookedly, narrows her gaze on Nyryx and then agrees, with the condition that the Crew now ‘works for her’, just like Veretta does. Bas agrees to this, and the waters spit out Hal and Nessa, desperately clinging to life. The wrecked first wagon is thrown into the dry area – Nia has been riding it like a surfboard. Narcoss is spat out and he lands a short distance from the black waters. Setarra surveys them all, and tells Bas that she has held up her end of the bargain. Hal looks at Setarra with hatred (he has picked up a new Trauma which is an Obsession for killing demons).
  • At that, the camera begins panning back and we see the Emporium Crew surrounded by black waters. Waters that have spilled out more than a mile inland before they start to slowly recede. In the inky waters of Whitehollow Bay, the tentacles of a restored Leviathan break the surface one more time before it dives down, down… and disappears. There is no sign of the Leviathan Hunters or the Rigs that were used to revive it. The Thunderchild has been swept onto the reef and is now listing at a dangerous angle. Whitehollow itself has been filled with about three metres of water. Most of the lightning towers have fallen – the lightning barrier has been completely breached. In the distance, we see hungry ghosts beginning to drift in the direction of Whitehollow….
  • And then across the screen…. “To Be Continued”

In case anyone is interested in what the ending looked like on Roll20, here is a screenshot…. (PS: we only started using Roll20 because we’ve couldn’t meet in person)

And finally, here is the detail of the various Crew Members at the end of Season 2.






And a copy of our Crew sheet - note that we are waiting to convert the Bayer’s Gold into usable Coin before the Crew can be upgraded to Tier 4.

That’s where we’ve left the campaign for now. On a cliffhanger… no XP awarded, nor any Downtime actions awarded. They’re now indebted to Setarra and a long way from civilisation. Will Whitehollow recover? We shall see…

This game is … TO BE CONTINUED…

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Season 2 begins 15th March. The plan is to run 4 episodes in 2022 and the focus will be on Tycheros.

But first the Emporium Crew have to deal with Setarra and the aftermath of Whitehollow.

(Listening to Con In the Dark, maybe The Dagger Isles will be Season 3…. Haha, ghost eating plants. Every leviathan hunter should have one :grin:)

Slight delay due to ill health - now restarting 26th April.

Writeup should be up in a few days. Thanks for your patience.

(Yes, the PCs went up against Setarra…)


Session 27 – The ‘Escape from Setarra’ Score
Also known as Season 3 Episode 1.

And we’re back. We’ll probably run 4 sessions as part of Season 3, transitioning from Duskwall to Tycheros. When the BitD Dagger Isles supplement is released (hopefully later this year), perhaps the focus will shift there. We’ll see.

When we last left the Emporium crew, they were in Whitehollow and had just survived a tsunami of black water washing much of the city away. Setarra made it very clear that they’d only survived because of her, and now … they would work for her or else.

This was actually the first in-person that we’d had in a long time (thanks to Covid-19). The group had great fun with this.

There were a number of Clocks running from the end of Season 2:

  • Current Long Term Projects and Challenges:
    – Acquire the Gorgon is 5 of 8
    – Someone Else Knows (about the Gold) - 3 of 8
    – Gold Laundering (ie: melting down and recasting Bayer’s Gold) – now 6 of 8
    – Alternative Energy Source discovered is 1 of 12
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Get Me The Hand (Circle of Flame) is 1 of 6

This Crew was at the cusp of Tier 4. The only thing stopping them was money, and we decided that if they could complete the Gold Laundering clock that this would mean that they could reach Tier 4 (ie: same level of power/influence as the Leviathan Hunters and Spirit Wardens!). For the purposes of this session, the Emporium Crew is Tier 4 (except for the resources at their disposal).

Introduction and Recap
Here’s the introduction that I provided to the players:

  • We are going to open the session in Duskwall (not Whitehollow). The disaster of Whitehollow happened months ago and you (probably) don’t like to talk about it. You’re back in Duskwall, now working for Setarra.
    – Bas remains the Dean. He has retained his job and influence at Charterhall University - there is no one left alive who knows the role that he played in Strangford’s mad plan to revive a leviathan. Bas has less freedom of movement than he used to as Setarra keeps giving him direction.
    – The Emporium Crew have gone back to making candy (and making Coin). There are mutinous feelings given that no one can talk openly - Setarra has made it clear that she’ll make an example of anyone who crosses her.
    – Setarra herself seems to be rebuilding the Maw of the Void cult, but she is frequently ‘around’. As far as you know, Setarra does not know about Bayer’s Gold and how much Coin you may shortly have access to.
    – Each of the PCs has been thinking of their own way of dealing with Setarra, but no one has yet tried anything.
    ------ Hal and Nyryx have considered ‘the direct approach’. They’ve also considered returning to the Lost District to get the Medusa’s head.
    ------ Nia has continued to interact with her Tycherosi allies via The Veil. The thought of hiring an assassin has occurred to her. Bringing the Spirit Wardens in to ‘cleanse the demonic taint’ has also occurred to her.
    ------ Veretta would like to talk to Scurlock or Lady Penderyn about it, but he’s not had the opportunity. He is also aware that the Circle of Flame (of which Lady Penderyn is a member) is still expecting the Emporium Crew to find the remaining artefact of Kotar - the Hand - which is in the Deathlands. He has figured out that Setarra’s power is strongest near water, and conversely that she is weakest away from water. He is wondering whether a trip into the Deathlands might give them the opportunity to talk freely.
    ------ Bas is still thinking about some sort of invention to catch or imprison Setarra, but he hasn’t figured out how to do it without her being aware of it.

  • And the triggering event which is going to force you into action is as follows: In the last few days, Setarra has directly interfered with the production of Emporium candy. She is adding something to the mix. You would realise that you’ve been selling this candy to people (including children) for the last few days - and you have no idea what the consequence of this new candy will do to people. (you could ask Setarra if you like … hehehe)

  • Hence there is a new long-term Clock “Candy Effects Manifest” which is 0 of 6. This represents when Setarra’s tampering with the Emporium Candy will show up in Duskwall’s population.

Part 1 - Opening Scenes in Duskwall (Veretta, Nia, Bas, Hal)

  • It’s a dark and stormy night in Duskwall. The cloaked figure of Veretta moves through the streets of Nightmarket. He reaches the Veil (where Tycherosi meet and can talk privately). There, he meets Quellyn and they quickly find a booth behind a noise-blocking gossamer screen. (Veretta makes a Consort roll to see how Quellyn reacts to him - a ‘6’ - very positively) She embraces him and they kiss. She has been so worried about him - she thought he was dead. Veretta apologises and explains that he’s been back for a few months but he hasn’t been able to get away (a vague reference to how closely Setarra has been watching them all). They sit down for a meal and Veretta asks what else is going on in the city. Quellyn tells him that she’s heard whispers that fuel supplies of electroplasm are running critically low (Veretta knows all about that - it’s why Strangford teamed up with the University to try and revive a ‘dead’ leviathan). She’s also heard that some Advocates from Tycheros have been sent to get three Tycherosi from Clan Wulf out of Irongate prison (a reference to the trumped up charges that Nia organised to get rid of the Clan Wulf opposition). Lastly, she says that the Spirit Wardens have become more militant over the last few months - they are still hunting for Nyryx (a reference to a run-in that they recently had with the known possessor ghost) and she thinks that they may shortly go after the Dimmer Sisters. Quellyn says that things seem to have gone from ‘bad to worse’ and Veretta agrees with this assessment.
  • Meanwhile, Nia has been distancing herself from the Emporium Crew over the last few months. Setarra seems to concentrate more on the others anyway and this suits her perfectly. She has been biding her time, and keeping an eye out for any sign that Clan Wulf is sending reinforcements. (Command roll = ‘6’) She has been successful in directing her Tycherosi allies to keep her informed, and she knew in advance that two Tycherosi advocates from Clan Kalin were coming to Duskwall. She believes that they will not be successful in releasing the three members of Clan Wulf (Aslak, Haakon, Maarta) that are imprisoned. She has also spent time making the acquaintance of Rix, a Tycherosi exile from Clan Kaplan with tiger-like features who has no love for the draconic-like members of Clan Kalin.
  • We then cut to Hal, who is beating the living daylights out of a small group of cultists. To Setarra, Hal is a blunt instrument who goes where she tells him to go. Hal has a Obsession Trauma (Hates Demons) and he now becomes especially brutal when Setarra unleashes him against the cults of other Forgotten Gods. Hal is quite used to being watched by Setarra and her minions. The Maw of the Void tends to send representatives to keep an eye on him: ‘Claw’ because he has one claw; ‘Six’ because he has six eyes in his head; and ‘Squidface’ because…. well, you can guess why. Hal does what he is told and he bides his time. He and Nessa share a dream of escaping to Irondale but there is no chance of doing so while Setarra lives. The robed bodies of the cultists lie scattered around the catacombs - most are badly injured, bloodied and with many broken bones - but there are some fatalities and the death bells of Bellweather Crematorium are already beginning to toll. This time, Setarra herself has come to watch. She gives Hal a thin-lipped smile and ‘disappears’ in front of him. Blinking, Hal decides to look into the ghost field and see where has gone. (Attune = ‘6’) She appears to have disappeared into a puddle of water. The water has an orange afterglow over it, a sign of demonic taint. He thinks on this, realising that she can ‘teleport’ from one body of water to another.
  • We cut to Bas. Bas is a different office (the last one was badly damaged by fire). He thinks he is alone for now but Setarra is never far away. Ever since he got back to Duskwall, he has been figuring out how to remove Setarra. He still possesses enormous influence as the Dean of Charterhall University, and he has many students doing experiments and projects for him which could prove useful. But he needs to get the Gorgon’s head - and that means that he needs to get the rest of the Emporium Crew together without alerting Setarra.

Part 2 - Opening Moves (Veretta, Nia, Bas, Hal, Leander)

  • Bas decides to send Erik (former dogsbody, now ‘research assistant’) to tell the others to meet him at the corner of Clerk and Third Streets - which is just across the road from Bellweather Crematorium. He hopes that Setarra will not be willing to follow them all the way to the headquarters of the Spirit Wardens. (The roll fails badly, dropping the Crew from a Controlled to a Risky position and incrementing the clock “Candy Effects Manifest” to 1 of 6) Bas suspects that Setarra will be alerted if he sends Erik.
  • A new clock is started “Setarra Makes An Example of You” - now 0 of 6.
  • Bas decides to send a ghost (instead of Erik) to advise the others. He rolls a ‘3’ for his Attune, which now puts the Crew in a Desperate Situation, and the clock “Setarra Makes An Example of You” is incremented to 1 of 6. Bas’ ghost is not intercepted, but it takes a long time and Setarra begins to sense that something is going on.
  • Each individual tries to make their way to the planned rendezvous at the appointed time. Hal and Nia make it successfully (with a ‘6’) but not everyone is so lucky. Veretta gets a ‘4’ and both Leander and Bas rolls ‘2’s. As such, the clock “Setarra Makes An Example of You” is completed - 6 of 6. Setarra knows that the Emporium Crew are up to something - but whom shall she make an example of?
  • A plan is hastily discussed between the Crew members. They want to return to the Lost District and find the Medusa that is running loose there, figuring that the Medusa’s head can be used to petrify Setarra. The current “Acquire the Gorgon” clock is at 5 of 8, reflecting that they have already done a lot of preparation to make this work. Now they just need to find the monster and bring its head back.
  • Leander volunteers to distract Setarra. Veretta gives him the jacinth which they acquired from Talos Penderyn’s estate - there is a fire demon imprisoned inside. They hope that Leander can use this to hold Setarra’s attention long enough for them to recover the Medusa’s head. The hope they will only need a few hours.
  • Unfortunately for Leander, it would take a remarkable roll to delay “Setarra Makes An Example of You”. Leander returns to the Centuralia Club (which he still manages) and contacts Setarra. We assume he has a method of doing so. He Pushes himself and makes a Sway roll. The Position is still Desperate. With a ‘4’, he holds Setarra’s attention for a few minutes and then she drags him upstairs to Room 318 and then proceeds to drown him in the bathtub, partly for fun, and partly to find out what the other members of the Emporium are up to. (Leander tries to resist the Level 3 Harm ‘Drowned’ and gets a ‘5’ - as such, he suffers Level 2 Harm and is now sitting at 3 Stress).

Part 3 - The Gorgon’s Head (Veretta, Nia, Bas, Hal)

  • A new clock is started: “Setarra Bores of Leander” - now 0 of 4. When this Clock is completed, Leander will be a drowned wreck in the bathtub and Setarra will start hunting for the rest of the Crew.
  • Meanwhile, the rest of the Emporium Crew swings into action. The Engagement Roll is a ‘6’ - hence the Crew starts in a Controlled position. They get across into the Lost District without trouble. It is quite windy but the rain has dropped off. They cross the aqueduct more easily than last time. Each puts on the mirrored goggles that Bas’ students developed which allow them to look directly at the creature without being petrified.
  • Hal begins looking for the Gorgon to narrow down where it is. He uses Attune and gets a ‘6’. He spots a group of 4 Spirit Wardens in the northern part of the Lost District, and figures that either the Wardens are hunting the monster, or more likely the monster is hunting them. The “Acquire the Gorgon” clock remains at 5 of 8. It cannot get any further until they actually find it.
  • Hal then leads a Hunt to track the creature down. Again, he is successful (with a ‘6’). The Medusa is tracking the Spirit Wardens but is keeping its distance. The “Acquire the Gorgon” clock now stands at 7 of 8.
  • The Gorgon itself is snake-like below the waist, but it has a woman’s torso and writhing snakes for hair. This creature carries a bow and arrow. Hal watches it lick one of its arrows to poison it.
  • Nia, Hal and Veretta decide to surround it (while Bas stays back ‘to observe’). Nia leads this Group Prowl and they get a Critical Success (double-6). As such, Nia’s plan works perfectly - she sets Bas up as bait and the Gorgon decides to make a meal out of him. (The Spirit Wardens are not alerted)
  • They then switch into a Group Skirmish. This time it is Risky position because there’s a very real chance of Bas being hurt. Nia leads this and they get a ‘5’. They behead the Gorgon and box it into a contraption that Bas has previously prepared. The “Acquire the Gorgon” clock is now completed (8 of 8). The consequence is that the “Setarra Bores of Leander” clock is now 1 of 4. Setarra now inflicts Level 2 Harm on him (‘Drowned’, which Leander resists with a ‘6’. He now has a Level 2 and a Level 1 Slot filled, and is sitting on 3 Stress.
  • The four Spirit Wardens have moved on, and the group is out of danger. At Hal’s urging, they quickly return to the ruined residence of Talos Penderyn and the six statues of the Deathlands Rovers that have been there for many months. Bas gets to work testing his ‘theory’ as to how to reverse the petrification process. He makes a Tinker roll and gets a Critical Success (double-6) - hence it works on the very first try. A ritual is performed using the blood of the Medusa and their bodies are restored. A Flashback is used to say that they brought the spirit vials with them and the Rovers are restored. Ruskin (their leader) is surprised to see that the Emporium Crew have changed their garb - they have no idea how much time has passed.
  • Concerned about the amount of time that has passed and wondering how long Leander can stall Setarra, they make haste to return to Duskwall. Hal gives the Rovers compensation (Coin) to help them adjust and they make their way to the Centuralia Club.

Part 4 - Setarra, the Spirit Wardens and a Gorgon’s Head (Veretta, Nia, Bas, Hal, Leander)

  • Nia (as Lady Valeris) is the only one of the group that has a paid-up membership to the Centuralia Club and there is not enough time to go through the proper channels. As such, the Emporium Crew heads for the back door. There is a single guard there and Hal knocks him out. (Skirmish = ‘5’, the clock “Setarra Bores of Leander” is now 2 of 4.) Setarra gives Leander another Level 2 dunking which Leander resists again with a ‘5’. He’s now up to 4 stress, with a Level 2 Harm and 2 Level 1 Harms.
  • They have no idea where Leander and Setarra would be, but Nia guesses that Leander might be in the manager’s office. Heading upstairs (without permission), they are stopped by one of the servants. They ask where Leander is and are told that he is in Room 318 ‘entertaining someone’. However, the servant insists that they are not to go upstairs. Bas decides to ‘field test’ his Medusa Machine and promptly petrifies the servant on the staircase.
  • They rush upstairs to Room 318. There is a lot of water on the floor of the corridor. Hal kicks down the door and they burst inside to find Setarra drowning Leander. Setarra is angry and resolves to kill a few of them. New clock - “Turn Setarra to Stone” is now 0 of 4.
  • The Emporium Crew attempt a Group Skirmish, led by Hal. Bas produces the Medusa Machine and the others try to pin her in place while the petrification takes hold. The result of the Group Skirmish is a ‘6’ and the clock “Turn Setarra to Stone” is now 2 of 4. Her body is solidifying as the Gorgon’s gaze begins affecting her.
  • Realising the danger, Setarra seems determined to flee and inflict bloody vengeance later. Hal spots this and he initiates a Group Attune to prevent her from fleeing through the many pools of water on the floor. Veretta backs Hal up - the result is a ‘6’ and as a result, Setarra finds that she cannot escape. “Turn Setarra to Stone” is now 4 of 4 and she finds herself unable to move. As she finds herself frozen, she curses them all but saves her last look of hatred for Veretta Penderyn. She promises to avenge herself against them in this life or the next.
  • Suddenly all is still. Leander coughs and staggers away from the bathtub to find a towel. A group of guards from the Centuralia Club burst in, and Leander does his best to calm them down. (Command roll = ‘5’) Hence he is successful, but there is a consequence. The clock “Candy Effects Manifest” is now 2 of 6. One of the guards advises Leander that the Spirit Wardens are on their way.
  • Bas reverses the petrification effect before the Spirit Wardens arrive and Leander persuades the servant to say nothing. Two senior Spirit Wardens arrive (including the one with the Lion-mask) and demand to investigate. Leander allows them to view Room 318 and he explains that a demon called Setarra has just tried to kill him (but the Dean and others prevented this). He makes a Sway roll, pushes himself and gets a Critical Success (double ‘6’). As such, the Spirit Wardens are completely convinced by this story and praise Leander, the Dean and the rest of Emporium Crew for their speedy actions. The Spirit Wardens agree to take Setarra away for disposal, but allow Hal to ‘keep a piece’ of her for separate disposal.
  • Leander suggests that they get some fresh clothes, then go for a drink.

Part 5 - Downtime and Closure

  • The Emporium Crew takes a well deserved day-off. They no longer have to worry about Setarra. She is gone, destroyed in the special furnaces of Bellweather Crematorium.
  • Removing the floorboards from their hideout, they find the gold bars exactly where they left them. They begin planning to move the gold bars to Old North Port and begin the smelting process. A Group Prowl is made and the result is a ‘6’ - the Clock “Gold Laundering (ie: melting down and recasting Bayer’s Gold)” is now completed (8 of 8). As such, Coin starts flowing and the Crew is promoted to Tier 4. Over the next few weeks, the crew slowly moves gold from the basement of the Veil to the hideout, and then to Old North Port.
  • Meanwhile Nia decides to find out more about the two Advocates sent from Tycheros - Baal and Harad from Clan Kalin. She makes a Prowl roll and gets a ‘5’ - hence she is successful but the clock “Candy Effects Manifest” is now 3 of 6. She decides that Baal and Harad are unlikely to be a threat to her and they don’t have the political clout to reverse the wrongful imprisonment of three members of Clan Wulf - hence she decides to leave them alone and let them flounder about.
  • In the weeks that follow, Hal and Nessa decide to cash out and move to Irondale. Some of the former Greycloaks, plus Ruskin and some of the Deathlands Rovers go with them. Months later, a letter arrives that Hal has bought a munitions factory in Irondale, and he’s made a sizable donation to Charterhall University for the purposes of investigating Alternate Energy sources.
  • Veretta becomes a lecturer at Charterhall University, leading students on field trips into the Deathlands for modern day 'archaeological digs’. He buys a small, respectable house and Quellyn moves in with him.
  • Erik becomes a fully fledged laboratory assistant with his own areas of responsibility. The Dean (Bas) allocates him a juicy area of research while he pursues a combination of business ventures and scientific investigations. Some of his scientific exploits are relatively normal (such as pursuing alternatives to electroplasmic energy) and others are still quite bizarre (such as organ donation and rejuvenation scheme). Over time, there are rumours that the City Council may invite The Dean to join them.
  • Nia continues to amass power within Tycherosi society in Duskwall, all the while plotting to return home and challenge the status quo. The Coin produced from the gold smelting gives her significant resources to call upon. All of the Tycherosi in Duskwall know Nia, and she knows something about each and every one of them. She is on her way to becoming ‘the Godfather’ of Tycherosi society in Duskwall.
  • Nyryx is relieved that Setarra is gone, but she knows that the Spirit Wardens are still hunting her. With Leander’s help they track down Naria who was prepared to be Nyryx’s new host. (Fortune roll - Critical Success - double ‘6’). Naria was released by the Spirit Wardens months ago - she gave them Nyryx’s name but they’ve left her alone since. To Nyryx’s pleasant surprise, she’s still willing to help. As such, Nyryx gives up Mylera Klev’s strong body (she was effectively subduing Mylera) to ‘room share’ in Naria’s. Leander talks with Mylera Klev at length to try to find some sort of agreement. A Consort roll is made (and it is another Critical Success - double ‘6’). With Hal’s and Nessa’s departure, the Emporium Crew have been short on ‘muscle’. Mylera agrees to support the Emporium Crew and Leander offers Coin to help rebuild the Red Sashes. It is a start - Mylera will still have to piece together what is left of the Red Sashes, and those who remain will still hold a grudge.
  • Leander continues managing the Centuralia Club and the day to day running of the Emporium businesses. On the side, Leander looks to acquire a merchant vessel or two, thinking of expanding the candy business to Imperial City and every corner of the Empire. He knows that the Spirit Wardens will never stop hunting Nyryx, and it is only a matter of time before she feels the need to hunt demons again. But for now, life is good……

We then awarded XP for the end of Season 2 and for this session (double XP awards). The Crew finally unlocked ‘Mastery’ so they can go to 4 dots in any Attribute.

  • Current Long Term Projects and Challenges:
    – Someone Else Knows (about the Gold) - 3 of 8
    – Alternative Energy Source discovered is 1 of 12
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) – 1 of 8
    – Get Me The Hand (Circle of Flame) is 1 of 6
    – Candy Effects Manifest is 3 of 6

So this is where the Emporium Crew splits and morphs. Hal’s story is over - he has exited Duskwall and gone to Irondale. Leander is not far behind him (he maxed out his Stash at 40 ages ago). The focus of future sessions will be on Nia, Bas and Veretta and the new PCs with them.

Season 3 Session 2 will probably be run before the end of June 2022. We’re in no hurry.

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