BitD The Emporium Crew (Smugglers)

I’ve been making cards and counters of all of our BitD characters… we used them in Session 12 for the first time… previously I only had a printed contacts sheet.

And here are the cards that I’ve made for all of the Season 1 characters… I have been BUSY!

Page 1 - includes the PCs on the top row and Nyryx as she was for the majority of Season 1.

Page 2 -

Page 3 -

Page 4 -

Page 5 - includes Nyryx as she appears at the end of Season 1.

Page 6 - includes Kay whom I’ve based on Gwendoline Christie, just like the Kay from the Magpies Podcast.

Page 7 -

Page 8 -

Enjoy… and happy holidays!


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Session 13 – The Darkness in the Catacombs Score

  • Also known as Season 2 Episode 1, our first session for 2021.

Notes about Season 2

  • According to my notes, the Emporium Crew on the cusp of Tier 3. I don’t see how that is possible within only 12 sessions of play as to get from Tier 0 (Strong) to Tier 3 (Weak) would require ~50 reputation. I’m feeling that I’ve missed something with the result that they’ve advanced too quickly. As such, I’m going to let the crew get to Tier 3, and then I’m going to put the breaks on advancing in Tier. I’m going to deliberately slow them down. Furthermore, there will be consequences from advancing this quickly. The Hive will certainly take notice, as will other gangs in the city.
  • I will continue GMing most of the Season 2 sessions which will mean that the focus will be more on arcane smuggling (particularly with regards to the Deathlands) and focus less on the Emporium business. Hence Leander’s social climbing and his love-life will be there in the background, not the foreground. Luke will be GMing some of the Season 2 sessions so no doubt we’ll see some curveballs thrown at Leander but he’s not the focus. The rest of the crew is.
  • We will have a new player (playing a Lurk) joining us in Season 2 Episode 2 (Session 14)
  • There will be a Big Bad for this Season. There will also be a Theme. We will also see recurring villains and allies from Season 1 turn up.
  • Season 2 will run over 8-12 sessions. We’re working out the exact length.


  • Jake “Hal” Hallow (Cutter)
  • Veretta Penderyn (Whisper)
  • Leander (Slide)
  • Sebastian “Bas” Goldfinder (Leech)

We start the session with a montage. The track “For God and Queen” from the Victoria II computer game is playing in the background (you can find it on YouTube - here’s a link). There is no one speaking over the soundtrack – it is just 15-20 seconds of short scenes as we flit from one character to the next.

Introductory Montage

  • Leander is socializing at the Centuralia Club, dancing with a woman with red hair. They seem happy. (the woman with red hair has not been seen previously – she is a new character)…… switch to contrasting scene….
  • Bas is working away in the morgue. A body is brought in brought in on a stretcher. The shroud is drawn back and Bas’ face lights up with glee. We see the face – the man is very dead, his eyeballs are missing and there is a strange blue crystal growth emerging from his eyesockets…… cut to….
  • Veretta. He is studying hard at Charterhall university. There are a pile of books beside him. As he turns the page…. cut to …
  • Hal is serving customers from his small portable candy stall. The camera follows the viewpoint of two small children as they steal a bag of candy and run for it. Hal calmly draws a small pistol and shoots one of the fleeing children, much to the shock of his other customers. He then produces a small jar which is labelled “Rock Salt” and smiles for the benefit of his customers. The child who has been hit by rock salt gets up from the pavement, groaning and cursing him. Hal then spots two Red Sashes eyeing him up and he pulls back his coat, showing that he has a real pistol as well. His smile broadens. And we cut to……
  • Leander, working away in the Keep, pouring over paperwork with a frown on his face. There are order forms, legal documents to review and sign…. It seems endless…. And we cut back to.
  • Bas. He reaches over to a steel topped table and takes out pincers and a sharp knife. We see that he’s donned protective equipment and he turns back to the corpse with a look of delight on his face. And we switch to….
  • Veretta, who is pouring over old maps. We see Old North Port. We see maps of the Catacombs and the undercity. He is measuring distances and making notes. And we cut back to…
  • Hal, who is clearly in his bedroom in the Keep – he has spread out lots of equipment and weapons all over it and is busy selecting what he needs…… He is clearly preparing for some sort of score…. We switch to.
  • Bas, who has a piece of blue crystal in his pincers. He drops the fragment into a jar…. Cutting back to….
  • Veretta and Quellyn, sitting on a rooftop, talking casually to the ghostly form of Penny…. And we switch to.
  • Leander entering Nyryx’s home, and finding a note on the table that he didn’t leave. Shutting the door behind him, we see him look around as if expecting that someone could still be here, and then he goes to the table and starts opening the letter…… but before the audience can see his reaction we cut to ….
  • Bas, who has returned home and he puts the jar with the blue crystal onto a shelf full of other jars, each of which has an oddity in it. His face shows pleasure as he adds to his collection…. And we cut to….
  • Veretta, who receives a letter with the seal of Lord Scurlock on it…… and we switch to
  • The Greycloaks (Adric and Thena) who are serving customers in the Emporium shop. They seem less like hardened Greycloaks every time we see them… cut to…
  • Hal roaring with laughter at the pub with two Bluecoats (Messner and Ortega). The table is covered with empty and half-empty pint mugs. Cut to…
  • A Bluecoat recovering a severed head (with a lamprey-like face) from the undercity. We cut to him showing it to Templeton…… and then cut to Templeton showing it to Hal. Hal nods with appreciation… and we cut to…
  • The crew together, back at the Keep, gearing up…… the crew is on the move and ready for another score…… and the music ends……

Other stuff that happens as result of this montage:

  • Bas has encountered a curious case of missing eyes where the blue crystal growths actually expel the eyeballs from their sockets. With a Tinker roll (5) he decides that they are some sort of curse and that extra special protection is required to avoid transmission.
  • Veretta has been exploring many different possible locations for sourcing arcane antiquities. North Port, the Lost District, Whitehollow but also further afield in the Deathlands.
  • Veretta has received a letter from Lord Scurlock, in which he expresses his appreciation for being notified that there were parties who wished to steal things from his home. (there is no request that Veretta recover the missing items which relieves him).

The Darkness in the Catacombs Score – Part 1 – The Entry Way

  • The Crew starts in a Controlled position (I didn’t even bother rolling) because of the extensive preparation that they have done – they are here to find the object of power that Lord Scurlock told them about in Season 1. They are all equipped with Heavy Load. Bas has prepared Electrified Eyeball lanterns for each of the crew and they have backup sources of illumination. They are roped together as well.
  • Before they enter the Darkness area under Charterhall, Bas looks into the ghost field. (Attune = 6) As such he sees two young teenagers have recently entered the darkness in the past few days and have not come out. They look like they are driven by a mix of daring and curiosity.
  • Entering the Darkness area, one of the Eyeball lanterns fails (Tinker = 3) but the others are all fine (Tinker – Critical – double 6). The Eyeball lanterns dispel the magical darkness in a globe around each person however the darkness does more than blind – it also creates an aura of silence.
  • They approach the pit (that they have seen before). Bas is in the lead. He has a long pole held in front him with a harnessed ferret dangling from it (early warning!)
  • As the ferret-on-a-stick reaches the edge of the pit, it falls asleep (Fortune Roll = 4, limited information). After a few attempts, Leander spots a series of runes (Critical Success) along the edge of the pit – some sort of spell. There is no sign of the two teenagers in the pit so Veretta tries to leap over it – he succeeds. (Prowl = 4, he is a little dazed from getting across the runes, but he lands safely). The crew realizes that the spell effect on the edge of the pit would cause someone who is moving slowly to fall. However, someone moving quickly across suffer minimal effects.
  • The group gets across the pit (Group Prowl = 5) and look down into the pit from the other side. There are dead bodies in there but none recent. Leander suggests that there may be some Coin in the pit worth looting but no one appears interested in this. The consequence is that they are now in a Risky position.

The Darkness in the Catacombs Score – Part 2 – The First Chamber

  • Continuing on, they find that the darkness field ends and they are able to use normal light sources. They reach an open room which still has black darts, presumably poisoned, lying scattered here and there. The floor is scraped as if bodies have been dragged away. It is cold here.
  • Leander uses Attune again (succeeds with a 5) and determines that there has been recent ghostly activity here. Hal looks carefully around the room (Survey = 5) and he is able to find many holes in the wall where poisoned darts may be ready to fire, but he can’t tell whether they are empty or loaded and ready. The crew considers the options and Leander agrees to go first. He makes his way across (Finesse = 5) without being shot (GM’s note – I’d already decided that this room had hardly any darts left to shoot – if Leander had failed, I would have had him shot).
  • Reaching the other side of the chamber, they find the corridor descends rapidly like a ramp. There is water dripping steadily from the roof and it appears slippery. Hal spends time setting up a rope to control their descent (and provide an escape route should they wish to retreat). He pushes himself and gets a 4 on a Prowl check. As such he does it, but the situation is now…… Desperate.

The Darkness in the Catacombs Score – Part 3 – The Demon in the Dark

  • The crew arrives at the bottom of the ramp to find themselves in a room littered with bones and the occasional partially eaten corpse. It looks like the two teenagers didn’t get any further than this room – what is left of their bodies is here. The room is large, round and there seems to be some sort of viscous pool in the middle. A glint of metal tells them that there is one door nearby.
  • As the group fan out, two eyes appear from the syrup-like liquid, peering at them like some sort of monstrous crocodile that is lurking just underneath the surface.
  • A deep voice resonates in the dark chamber. The creature offers a riddle, and when the group guesses correctly, the monster appears disappointed.
  • The creature then leaves the pool – it has the head of a demonically huge crocodile and the muscular body of a man. It contemplates the four members of the Emporium Crew and tells them that it will devour them all. Leander attempts to bargain with the creature. He takes a Devil’s Bargain, and the creature learns Leander’s name (no doubt this will have repercussions later). The demon’s name is Kyronax and is claims to be bound to this place. A deal is struck (Leander get a ‘5’ on 4 dice) and the creature agrees not to eat them if they can answer three riddles of its choosing. However, if they accept this bargain, the creature promises to kill all of them should they return to this chamber.
  • A riddling contest begins – and one by one the Emporium crew is able to answer. (GM’s note - I used real riddles so this was done without dice rolls but I’ll not reproduce them here)
  • The creature is slightly disappointed, but it had recently eaten and is not overly hungry.
  • The group is back in a Controlled position. They realise that there are three doors out of the chamber – one silver and two bronze. They wonder which way leads to the treasure.

The Darkness in the Catacombs Score – Part 4 – Riddles in the Dark

  • Veretta looks at the runes on the silver door. He knows it is Iruvian but the lettering is so worn that he has difficulty reading it. Each of the doors has some sort of writing on it but which way to go? Which door leads to the treasure?
  • Kyronax smiles cruelly at them and suggests that if they can answer more of his riddles, he will answer a question that they ask truthfully. But if they fail, he will eat one of them.
  • The crew consider this and Veretta agrees. Kyronax licks his lips and gives them another riddle. This time, Veretta solves it easily and he asks quickly which way to the treasure. Kryonax tells them that all three doors lead to a great treasure.
  • The crew quickly realise that they need to ask more questions – if they come back this way, Kyronax has promised to slay and devour them all – so is there another way out? Again they agree to the demon’s bargain and Kyronax delivers yet another riddle.
  • There is another way out, also beyond the silver door. At this point, they decide to try their luck with the door. However, the door won’t open – there is another riddle etched in runes on the surface. This is very tricky but Leander manages to figure it out (Finesse – 5, but he recognises that there is a ghost present) and they avoid the trap that would have gassed them, leaving them at Kyronax’s mercy. The door opens.

The Darkness in the Catacombs Score – Part 5 - Bridger’s Tale

  • Warned by Leander that there is a ghost right near him, Bas decides to look into the ghost field. (Attune = Critical – double 6).
  • There are many ghosts nearby, most old and nearly formless. They all keep their distance from Kyronax. However, there is a ghost who is trying to communicate with Bas. It is practically on top of him. The ghost is starting to fade but there is a brightness to him that tells Bas that the ghost has a strong motivation. Dressed in workman’s clothes, the ghost seems desperate to communicate with the crew and is relieved when Bas, with one eye on the demon in the room, engages with him.
  • The ghost says that he is Bridger, one of Bayer’s crew (the name means nothing to the Emporium Crew). He promises to make the Crew rich if they will help him take some of the treasure to his surviving family. Leander is suddenly interested in this but the others are cautious. Bridger explains that he can’t leave the chamber without assistance but he explains that Bayer was a rail-jack who was fired for being drunk. Bayer swore revenge and built a crew to rob one of the trains between Akoros and Iruvia. Iruvia agreed to buy an unprecedented mass of leviathan blood to pour into industrialization and Bayer’s crew hit the train carrying the payment. The rescuers found the train in a canyon (the crew sabotaged a bridge) but never found the gold. Bridger claims to know where it is hidden and offers to give the crew a cut if they will deliver the gold to his family.
  • Intrigued, the crew offer to help Bridger and Bas agrees to ‘carry’ Bridger using the crew’s Ghost Passage ability. Bridger is delighted with this but he has no experience in possessing bodies and Bas has never done this before. Bridger inflicts Level 1 Harm on Bas as he joins Bas’ body.
  • Leaving the chamber, Bridger admits that he hid one of the bars of gold behind a stone in the pit that the crew first saw in the entranceway. He says that if they help him, they can have this bar of gold. (The problem is that Kyronax is between them and that bar of gold so they can’t get it immediately.

The Darkness in the Catacombs Score – Part 6 - The Metal Globe

  • The corridor on the other side of the silver door is in much better condition than the other section of the catacombs that they have been exploring. It almost looks like it has been maintained. Hal tries to figure out where they might be in relationship to where they came in. (Survey = 6, hence success but this is a tricky one because they have travelled for hundreds of metres) He is pretty sure that they are well away from Charterhall University but they haven’t crossed one of the waterways yet so they are still somewhere in Charterhall.
  • They reach a room where there is water on the floor and stepping stones just under its surface. A metal globe is suspended from the ceiling. None of the crew like the look of this - it could be a sparkwright device. At this point the crew is in a Risky position once more. Bas gets out an insulated suit (checking Armour) and he tries to reach the globe in order to disable it. Sure enough, the globe discharges a bolt of electricity at him but he is able to shrug it off (with Armour and a Resistance roll). He reaches the device and starts working to disable it. He can hear it humming as it recharges. (Tinker = Critical - double 6) He quickly rigs up a wire to allow the current to discharge safely and then deactivates the trap.
  • Back in a Controlled situation, he strolls across the chamber and beckons to the others to follow.

The Darkness in the Catacombs Score – Part 7 - The Metal Man

  • Continuing on, Hal is increasingly worried about the well kept state of these corridors. They pass a number of junctions and then suddenly spot a doorway on the side of the corridor with a metal man in front it. It is a hull, and no ordinary hull. It looks to be of fine workmanship.
  • The hull not seem to have noticed them yet. The crew quickly make a plan and they ask Bridger very nicely if he will scout ahead for them.
  • Bridger agrees and he leaves Bas’ body, flips past the hull and through the door. Bridger comes back very quickly and tells them that the room beyond the door is full of dormant hulls. Spirit Warden hulls. Bridger is very scared - he doesn’t want the Spirit Wardens to find him.
  • The crew suddenly realise that they’re underneath Bellweather Crematorium, the home of the Spirit Wardens. Veretta realises that Lord Scurlock probably sent them here to retrieve a powerful item from the Spirit Wardens without telling them that this was their target.
  • Leander calms Bridger down (Consort = ‘6’) and asks him to scout again to make sure that the hulls are dormant and to see what else is around. Bridger grudgingly agrees as he sees no other way out.
  • Bridger takes a little longer this time but again the hull does not seem to sense him. When the ghost returns, he explains that the hulls are definitely dormant. Beyond them there seem to be other chambers, securely locked. One appears to be a vault. This news excites the crew and they swing into action.
  • The whole crew attacks the Spirit Warden hull that is guarding the door. Bas throws grenades as the others charge in. (Group Skirmish = ‘6’) They destroy it completely.
  • After checking the door and picking the lock (which takes some time because the Spirit Wardens are higher Tier), the group enters the room filled with inert hulls. It is creepy.
  • Hal suggests that the room with the strongest arcane presence is probably the place where the treasure is located. Veretta speculates that there must be items which are too potent or dangerous for the Spirit Wardens to destroy. They attempt a Group Attune roll (and get a Critical - double 6). As such, they know exactly which vault to raid.

The Darkness in the Catacombs Score – Part 8 - The Spirit Warden Vault

  • The crew are pretty sure that whatever they are after is behind a massive bank vault-like door. Bas gets out his tools and goes to work to open the door. It looks complicated however in less than half an hour, Bas has the door open (Tinker roll = Critical - double 6). He even manages to bypass the alarm. (GM’s note - even though the Spirit Wardens are higher Tier, Bas still managed to get the door open with a Critical, to everyone’s surprise and relief)
  • There are lots of arcane relics in here which the crew very quickly start packing into sacks. There is a large fist-like gemstone that looks like it has a beating heart inside. The crew immediately guesses that this is the Heart of Kotar. Who would have guessed that it was with the Spirit Wardens all along? Is it possible that Lord Scurlock knew or did he just sense something powerful here?
  • The crew know that time is limited but clearly the vaults are not well patrolled. They decide not to press their luck and instead to withdraw as they have yet to find an exit.

The Darkness in the Catacombs Score – Part 9 - The Spirit Warden Pier

  • Trying to find a way out takes much longer than expected (Group Prowl = ‘4’) and the route is complex. They are now in a Risky position. Finally they reach one of Duskwall’s waterways and a stone pier. However, this pier is guarded by two Spirit Warden hulls.
  • Feeling that it is only one last throw of the dice between them and freedom, Leander puts on the Spirit Warden uniform that they liberated (in Season 1). He then walks out onto the pier and attempts to hail one of the Gondoliers. (Leander rolls a Sway and gets a 4) The Gondolier is called over but the hulls are not fooled for long - perhaps they even sense the treasures that the crew are carrying. They move to attack.
  • One of the hulls slashes at Leander, injuring him and badly damaging the Spirit Warden facemask. The group then swings into action and takes on both hulls. This is a Group Skirmish action (but the highest result is a 4). As a result, they are able to get past the two hulls and onto the boat, but one of the hulls slashes again at Leander (given that he is wearing the Spirit Warden uniform). This time, Leander is pushed out of the way by Hal and is hurt himself (he takes Level 1 Harm).
  • The crew escape in a gondola and float away whilst the hulls glare at them from the wharf. They have made it.

Score Results

  • Reputation: +3 (which puts us to Tier 3, Weak Hold)
  • Heat: +3 → 4 Heat, -1 for Just Passing Through (Crew Special Ability) = 3 Heat
  • Coin: +8 (for all of the goodies looted from the Spirit Warden vault)
  • Individual XP: Veretta (3xp), Leander (3xp, 1 from Desperate actions), Bas (3xp), Hal (5xp)
  • Crew XP: +4
  • Side Business Action: +3 Coin (now 4 Coin in crew kitty)
  • Faction Adjustments:
  • Spirit Wardens now -2 (worsened from -1)
  • Lord Scurlock now +2 (improved from +1)
  • The Hive now -1 (worsened from 0) - the Hive are displeased by the rapid rise of the Emporium Crew
  • Active Clocks (as of Season 2)
    – Red Sashes find Hal - 4 of 6 (they are on to him)
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 3 of 8 (up 1 tick as a result of this score)
    – Severin Figures it out - now 2 of 6 (up 1 tick as a result of this score)
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) - still 0 of 6
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - still 0 of 8
    – Find Bayer’s Gold - now 1 of 4

Next session is 14th January 2021, and we’ll introduce a new PC in that session…


Session 14 – The Warded Box Score

Also known as Season 2 Episode 2, our second session for 2021.


  • Jake “Hal” Hallow (Cutter)
  • Veretta Penderyn (Whisper)
  • Leander (Slide)
  • Sebastian “Bas” Goldfinder (Leech)
  • Nia (Lurk)

Part 1 - Returning Home (Veretta, Hal, Bas, Leander)

  • The session opens with the crew returning from the Darkness in the Catacombs score. They have looted high-value artefacts from the Spirit Wardens which will attract attention and pursuit. They decide to hide them at the entrance of the dark area and seek counsel from Lord Scurlock. Veretta assumes that Scurlock is after the Heart of Kotar. He and Leander head to Lord Scurlock’s manor home (in the middle of the night) whilst Hal and Bas (still hosting Bridger) stand guard and await instructions.

Part 2 - An Audience with Lord Scurlock (Veretta)

  • To Veretta’s surprise, Lord Scurlock seems to be waiting for them as if they are expected (Fortune Roll = Critical - double 6). Scurlock knows that they have succeeded in their mission and he asks for one of the arcane items that they stole - a piece of old coral. Veretta agrees to bring this to him when they have shaken their pursuit.

Part 3 - Storing the Loot (Bas, Veretta)

  • The attention of the crew switches to fabricating a vessel capable of concealing the powerful arcane items that they have acquired. Bas uses a coffin as a base (Tinker = 6) and he crafts a suitable vessel for the items. Veretta and Bas then work together on strengthening the arcane wards on the vessel (Group Arcane = 5) and the result is a vessel that will protect and conceal the arcane relics for a while - but if the Spirit Wardens are serious about retrieving these, they will eventually find them. (New Clock = Spirit Wardens Find You - 1 of 4)
  • Veretta thinks about who else he knows could strengthen the Wards. He decides to see Quellyn and ask her if she will help - but because he is indirect in his language, she doesn’t make the connection and the opportunity is lost (Consort = 2, failed opportunity in a Controlled situation)

Part 4 - Nia and Nessa (Nia)

  • Nia has just returned from a successful burglary (Fortune Roll = Critical - double 6) in Brightstone even though it is late at night and well past closing time. She is meeting with Nessa at the Cat’s Cradle. Two of her fellow Greycloaks make sure that they have privacy. Esme, the proprietor, doesn’t pay any attention - she knows when not to get involved.
  • Nessa is surprised by Nia’s revelations (more on those below) and very pleased. She wants Nia to stick around given how useful she has just proven herself. Her own people don’t have Nia’s skills - and she tells Nia that she’ll introduce her to people who will give her a job that she can use as a cover (a reference to the Emporium Crew).

Part 5 - Introductions (Nia, Veretta, Bas, Hal)

  • The next morning Nessa brings Nia to the Emporium shop. She asks for Leander but Leander is out (again). Disappointed (everyone assumes that Leander is the leader of the crew because he does most of the talking), Nessa talks to Veretta instead and asks him to hire Nia, saying that she has useful skills. Veretta notices that while he introduces himself to Nia that both of his staff, Adric and Thena, are talking in whispers with Nessa. Greycloak business. When Nessa leaves, they seem to have forgotten their roles as Emporium staff for the time being. Even young Thena looks more like a tough Greycloak than an Emporium shop assistant. What on earth did Nessa say to them both?
  • On the way out, Nessa bumps into Hal, who is returning after selling all of his candy. She tells him that the Greycloaks will be meeting at the Cat’s Cradle that evening for ‘a bit of a celebration’. She welcomes him and the rest of the Emporium Crew to join. Nessa seems to be in a good mood. He notes that she is walking down the street without an armed escort - things have changed a lot.
  • Veretta takes Nia into the back room and they talk over a cup of tea. Bas joins them. Then Hal joins them. They chat for a while and they agree (on Nessa’s recommendation) to give Nia a job.

Part 6 - The Greycloaks’ Celebration (Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia)

  • That evening, the Emporium crew join the Greycloaks for a drink. The Cat’s Cradle is closed for a ‘private gathering’. Even Leander joins (although he joins late). He looks tired and tells the others that he’s secured three other properties, and better manufacturing facilities for Bas. He’s been really busy with paperwork and meeting with laywers (a reference to Steadman and Finch) - he says that he might need a hand with hiring more staff. Bas asks him about the note that Leander left him about tripling production and Leander asks to talk about it tomorrow - he’s very tired.
  • Nessa tells her people that they’ve found the bastard who ratted them out and burned down the Six Towers station house, resulting in their expulsion from the Bluecoats. This excites them very much. Nia has tracked down Becker, who was once a Bluecoat. Thought dead, he is very much alive. He now has a comfortable life in Brightstone and a military commission. (The Clock - “Avenge their Expulsion” is now 1 of 8). This success is credited to Nia and she is left in the uncomfortable position of being not only valuable, but having probably too much information about the situation as a whole.
  • That evening, Nessa is a happy drunk and she admits to Veretta that Nia acquired vital documents from Becker’s house - some of the evidence that was collected during the investigation into Lord Strangford’s affairs. She thinks that Becker was keeping it as insurance in case Strangford ever turned on him. Not only did Nia steal it but she got away undetected so Becker probably doesn’t know that it is missing.
  • Veretta asks what sort of information would have threatened Lord Strangford sufficiently for him to organise for the Bluecoat station house to be burnt down. Nessa lets him look at the folder of papers that Nia recovered as she has it with her - it looks like shipping records over weeks and months. The shipping records of Leviathans with a particular interest in the fleet that Strangford controls. Veretta asks if he could look over this paperwork. (Consort = 5) Nessa sobers up a little when he asks - she cautiously agrees but says that one of her people will stay with the papers. She can’t afford to have them go ‘missing’. Veretta agrees to this.

Part 7 - Pillow Talk (Hal)

  • In bed that night, Hal asks Nessa if the Greycloaks are going to gear up and go after Becker (Consort = 2) She isn’t interested in talking about it - she tells him she hasn’t made up her mind.

Part 8 - Business Matters (Leander, Hal)

  • The next few days pass quietly for most of the group but Leander is still very busy. He meets frequently with Steadman, the lawyer - there seems to be an endless number of decisions to be made. He has precious little time to think about Nyryx, or the arcane items that they’ve stolen from the Spirit Wardens, or the large amount of gold that Bridger says that he can get for them.
  • Both Leander and Veretta note that the Greycloaks are rather distracted after the celebration at the Cat’s Cradle. Adric and Thena are late to work one morning, and Leander has to open up. They say nothing to to the Greycloaks about this but the Emporium Crew notes that things have changed once again.
  • Hal observes Nessa talking to Inspector Severin as he passes the Three Swords tavern. He is surprised by this - why is she talking to an Inspector? The clock, “Severin Figures it out” is now 3 of 6.
  • One day, an older man with wire-frame spectacles comes into the Emporium and asks to speak with Leander. He is wearing a golden pin with the symbol of a bee on it. After talking about how successful the Emporium seems to be, the man (who introduces himself as Broadbent) explains that he represents an alliance of merchants who control most of the trade in Duskwall - it is called The Hive (which is Tier 4, a higher tier that the Emporium Crew, the group has also has a -1 relationship with The Emporium at the moment). Broadbent explains that The Hive is always looking for market opportunities and they are intrigued by the success of the Emporium’s business and how rapidly they have expanded. To carry on the conversation, Leander and Broadbent go for a walk. Broadbent seems to be testing Leander to find out how The Hive should interact with this new group. (Consort = ‘6’) After a few hours of polite but tense conversation, Leander understands that The Hive controls a lot of legitimate and contraband trade in Duskwall, but they are not interested in trading in arcane items. In fact, this is the one sort of business that they do not want due to their patronage by the Ministry of Preservation. The two part ways with the understanding that they may be able to work out some sort of business arrangement. The Hive is interested in a cut of the Emporium’s candy business, but they also offer the opportunity for further expansion. The Hive do not want anything to do with the arcane smuggling business and may be willing to route some of that work in the direction of the Emporium Crew.
  • This leaves Leander with a headache and a lot to think about. He seems to be getting into deeper and deeper water. He decides to talk to the rest of the crew later about this (and when this happens, they are favourable to the idea).
  • The next day, the door to the shop opens and two Spirit Wardens walk in. One has a lion-like silver mask, and the other has a silver mask with only two slits for eyes. The Spirit Wardens demand access to the Emporium premises in order to search for contraband. Leander allows them to search as they please. They find nothing, but Leander ends up talking to them for some time. They ask him many questions and he tells a mix of truth and lies in order to maintain their cover. (Sway = ‘6’ - success) Convinced, the Spirit Wardens leave. (The clock “The Spirit Wardens Find You” remains at 1 of 4)

Part 9 - About Bridger (Bas, Leander)

  • Bas manages to get Leander to stand still for long enough to have a conversation with him. They talk about expanding sweet production and Bas says that he wants to choose his own staff. He also wants to advertise for a specific ‘assistant’. If that individual gets the job, they also will have Bridger possess them. Leander is a little taken aback by this but agrees to Bas’ request.
  • Job advertisements are placed. Many interviews are held. (Leander makes a Sway attempt and gets a 5) He and Bas select an older man named Rex for the job. He is a little slower to learn than some of the others but he is keen, and he is willing to accept the ‘special condition’ of Bridger’s possession. Hence Rex/Bridger join the Emporium Crew.
  • While Leander spends time with Bas, he asks him about how to sever the connection between a Ghost and a Hull? Bas is normally quick to answer such matters but he knows exactly what Leander is asking (he is referring to Nyryx in her new body), so he says that he will need to think over it.

Part 10 - The Warded Box Score (Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia)

  • The crew decide to acquire one of the warded boxes that was used to store a plasmagraph. Bas is sure that he’s seen one of them at Charterhall University in the Dean’s possession. They are keen to give Nia ‘a try out’ and see what she can do.
  • This is a Stealth score. Hal has a Heavy load, Leander and Bas travel with Normal load and the others with Light load.
  • They spend some time confirming the route and explaining the details to Nia. They know of a tunnel through the catacombs to the Library. It is only a short distance between the Library and the School of Medicine (where the Dean works). His office is on the 3rd floor. They decide to tackle this ‘in the dead of night’ and they start the score in a Controlled position. Hence they are able to get onto campus and reach the School of Medicine without incident. There are patrols but the group easily avoids these. They reach the locked door of the School of Medicine and Bas uses his key to let everyone inside (he has a key and a legitimate reason for being there).
  • The first obstacle is that there are lights in the corridor on the 2nd floor. They can hear the high pitched whine of sparkwright machinery in the distance. Concerned that there is probably someone working here, they slip upstairs to the 3rd floor (Group Prowl = 4, hence they are now in a Risky position and I upped the Clock “Spirit Wardens Find You” to 2 of 4 - there are definitely people still working here, even though it is dead of night).
  • On the 3rd floor the rooms are dark but Veretta and Bas can also tell that there are some experiments still running here. Veretta peers into the ghost field (Attune = 6) and sees that there are Wards on some of the rooms. He also sees that the trail of someone who was here recently - and whatever they were carrying in their hand glows brightly in the ghost field. Bas hears the familiar whine of a plasmagraph in one of the rooms. They continue down the corridor to the Dean’s office and Veretta recognises Setarra’s aura - the demon has been here recently. Demons don’t have a presence in the ghost field but they do create a sort of hollow or shadow presence - Veretta would recognise it anywhere.
  • The door to the Dean’s office is locked. Nia picks it easily (Finesse = Critical - double ‘6’), impressing the rest of the crew. The warded box is easy to find - it’s in good condition. However at Hal’s suggestion they then decide that if the box has to be removed that they should take a few minutes stealing other items of value. They begin looking around the room and Veretta looks into the ghost field for any items of arcane power. (Attune = 4, hence success but with a complication). The complication is that Leander, who is standing guard by the door, hushes them and tells them that someone is coming. The door is unlocked and if this is a guard, they may test the door.
  • The group quickly hides (Group Prowl = 4). A man’s shadow appears at the door and the door handle turns. (GM’s note - I did a Fortune Roll to see how bad this could be - whether it was just a guard doing a routine patrol or the Dean himself - and it was the Dean). Hal realises that there is an ashtray on the desk with a half-smoked cigarette still smoking away. The door opens and the Dean steps into the room. Immediately, Leander trance-powders him. (Skirmish = 6 - and hence he trances him and catches him as the Dean falls) The Devil’s Bargain is that even though the Dean doesn’t know Leander’s name, he sees Leander’s face and will remember it in future (from his dreams!)
  • Hal and Leander carry the Dean to his chair and prop him up. Hal pops the half-smoked cigarette in his mouth for good measure.
  • Meanwhile, the others continue their hunt for valuables. (Survey = 6) They find a handful of items (about 4 Coin’s worth) and a large sapphire in his desk drawer which radiates arcane power. Veretta pockets this and they make their way out. (Group Prowl = 6, hence a successful exit)
  • Back at the Emporium, the warding on the plasmagraph box is carefully copied to Bas’ coffin and the arcane items are moved across. This halts (for the time being) the Clock “Spirit Wardens Find You” at 2 of 4 as the items are currently concealed.

Part 11 - Recovering a Gold Bar (Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia)

  • Rex and Bridger seem to have a working arrangement. They seem balanced. Attention now turns to recovering the bar of gold that Bridger says that he hid in the pit. The crew is concerned that Bridger will make a run for it given that he’s got a body. Bas privately suggests to the others that he poison Rex and make the antidote contingent on getting the rest of the gold. Leander likes the idea (he is the greediest of the group) but the others are a little reluctant to do this. They decide to keep a close eye on Rex. After all, they know where he lives and where his family is.
  • The crew, including Nia, head back to the darkened area of the catacombs under Charterhall. There, they avoid the wards and Nia explores the pit. She happily eats a few rats that she finds who are picking over the corpses at the bottom. With Bridger’s direction they can find the location of the gold bar, hidden behind one of the bricks. (Ticking up “Find Bayer’s Gold”, now 2 of 4) Bridger is pleased and tells them that he knows where the rest of the gold is hidden - however, when pressed he realises that he can’t tell them where it is because if he does, they won’t need him anymore. The Crew accepts this stalemate and they go back the Emporium to talk about how to resolve this - and when they have it, how they will keep the launder such a large quantity of gold. To have it will make them a huge target.

Part 12 - Relationships (Leander, Veretta)

  • Roslyn comes into the Emporium shop, looking for Leander. This time, he isn’t around so she leaves a letter for him. When Leander returns, he finds it is a shopping list of things that the Dimmer Sisters want to acquire. It includes specific spirits that may be ‘on the market’. Leander shows the note to Veretta and the others. He doesn’t like the idea of getting into trading ghosts - ghosts who were once people. The rest of the group is sympathetic to Leander but no decision is made. He wonders what he will say to Roslyn should she return. His thoughts drift back to Nyryx.
  • In private, Leander opens up the letter that he found written to him by Nyryx (as per the opening montage at the start of Season 2 (ie: Session 13)). He re-reads it and puts it away, hence the audience still doesn’t know what she said to him. (which will be revealed later)
  • Quellyn, Veretta’s witch-friend, seeks out Veretta. She invites him to accompany her in meeting some people but she won’t tell him exactly who these people are unless he agrees. Intrigued, Veretta agrees and Quellyn mentions a group of her friends who have a similar reverence for the wisdom of the ‘ancient ones’ - those who have lived for a long time, typically as ghosts. The group (known as the Path of Echoes) is meeting to talk to one of the real ancients. Veretta agrees to go along. That evening he joins about a dozen eager students and he listens to Carro speak to them about the past. Veretta has heard of Carro via Leander but has never met him before. Carro tells the group about the last hundred years and all that he has seen. The audience is rapt. Veretta enjoys it too, except that to a scholar’s eye and ear, Carro seems to have a bias of his own importance. Nevertheless, he enjoys his experience and Quellyn seems pleased that she came with him.

Part 13 - Visiting Lord Scurlock (Veretta)

  • Veretta visits Lord Scurlock’s manor home. Oskar welcomes him and Lord Scurlock glides into the room to meet him. This time a fire is crackling in the hearth and Oskar has prepared tea and biscuits. It seems that Lord Scurlock is prepared to be more sociable on this occasion. Veretta presents the coral and Scurlock is visibly pleased. Lord Scurlock says “she is a water demon, you see”, a reference to Setarra which surprises Veretta.
  • The conversation then changes. Lord Scurlock shows interest in what Veretta’s plans are next. He listens as Veretta explains that they would like to acquire items from the Deathlands. He mentions a number of locations that they have been considering, including North Port and the Lost District. Lord Scurlock notes that most of the ways to the Deathlands are controlled by the Spirit Wardens but he expects that the Emporium Crew will find another gate (or way) that is not under their control. When Veretta asks for any advice as to what they should seek out next, Scurlock chastises him, reminding him that he asked for a ritual dagger to be retrieved for him from the Lost District (a reference to Session 4 and the Tower Guard Score).

Part 14 - Bodies in the Canals (Bas)

  • Eckerd comes to visit Bas at the Emporium. He’s carrying a duffel bag. Bas hastily ushers him into the back and Eckerd presents him with the contents - a severed right arm for Bas to use in his Prosthetics project. Pleased but surprised, Bas asks Eckerd about where he acquired this. Eckerd is vague but Bas realises that the arm is slightly swollen as though it has come from a corpse from the canals. He remembers that the Gondoliers have been having problems with someone stealing bodies from the canals and leaving them with angry ghosts to deal with. He suddenly realises that his friend Eckerd may be mixed up in that. He decides to turn a blind eye and say nothing, hence the Clock “Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers)” remains at 0 of 6

Part 15 - The Strangford Evidence (Veretta)

  • Sitting down with Adric, Veretta starts going over the evidence that Nia stole from Becker. It is slow going but he knows that this paperwork is important. (Study = ‘6’) After only a few hours, Veretta realises that although it appears to just be a mass of shipping records, there really is critical information here. The Leviathan Hunters are going out less frequently, going away for longer and coming back with less Leviathan blood. Whatever is happening out there on the inky-black seas, it is clear that the Empire’s reserves of Leviathan blood are diminishing.
  • Thinking about this, he sees a conflict between the Leviathan Hunters (Tier 4) who have an interest in harvesting Leviathan blood and viscera for money, in which Strangford has the largest fleet, and the Ministry of Preservation (Tier 5) who control and manage the flow of goods across the Empire. If the Empire knew that the Leviathan Hunters were becoming less effective, they might even try to seize control of the fleets.
  • Interestingly, Strangford’s ships seem to be the most effective of the Leviathan hunter fleets - but even then, all ships seem to be bringing in less blood and viscera. And if the leviathan blood flow were to drop too low, the lightning fields that protect the cities would run out of electroplasm, the barriers would fail and the last human cities would fall. Veretta takes a sip of tea and thinks over the situation. This is much bigger than the Greycloaks’ desire for revenge.

Part 16 - The Leviathan’s Eye (Veretta)

  • Veretta turns his attention to the sapphire that they stole from the Dean’s office. According to the Dean’s notes (they stole his notebook), this artefact which appears to be a gemstone is actually a Leviathan’s Eye. When dipped in Leviathan blood, if pressed to a Whisper’s forehead, it can be used to see what the ocean sees - above and below. He can imagine the application for finding Leviathans with this device, but he also thinks over Lord Scurlock’s words about Setarra - “she’s a water demon, you see.”

I’ll post up the Score Results and some pictures of the new characters (eg: Steadman, Broadbent, Bridger, Carro etc) in my next post.

Also, we realised that we have missed the rules about “Profits” as per p49 of the Blades in the Dark rulebook. The crew have been missing out on Stash that should have been accumulating.

Next session is planned for Tuesday 2nd February 2021.

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Wonderful job mate !!

Thanks Marauding_Whisper… Glad you’re enjoying these.

And regarding the wrap-up of Session 14, here goes:

Score Results

  • Reputation: +1 (I’m slowing things down - this wasn’t a particularly impressive score anyway)
  • Heat: +2, -1 for Just Passing Through (Crew Special Ability) = 5 Heat
  • Coin: +4 (which needs to be distributed as there is already 4 in the Kitty)
  • Individual XP: Veretta (3xp), Leander (2xp), Bas (3xp), Hal (3xp), Nia (3xp)
  • Crew XP: +2
  • Side Business Action: Not Applicable at this time.
  • Faction Adjustments: No changes
  • Active Clocks (as of Season 2)
    – Red Sashes find Hal - 4 of 6 (they are on to him)
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 3 of 8
    – Severin Figures it out - now 3 of 6 (up 1 tick as a result of this score)
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) - still 0 of 6
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - now 1 of 8 (up 1 tick as a result of this score)
    – Find Bayer’s Gold - now 2 of 4 (up 1 tick as a result of this score)
    – The Spirit Wardens Find You - now 2 of 4

And here are the other notables:

  • We should have been awarding profits after each Crew Advancement. With 2 Crew Advancements when they were Tier 1 (+3 Stash each), plus 2 Crew Advancements when they were Tier 2 (+4 Stash each), this means they should have a total of +14 Stash. Guys - if you haven’t included this, please do. (ye gads, this means that Leander has actually hit 40 Stash! He will shortly be moving into a house of his own…)
  • The Emporium Crew are 1 XP off their next advancement. Personally I think we need Cohorts. We’re short handed.
  • Also, we got 8 Coin of Loot from the Darkness in the Catacombs (stealing from the Spirit Wardens), plus 4 Coin of Loot from the Dean’s office (from Session 14) - we can’t keep that in the Emporium Kitty so everyone should have +3 Coin (with the exception of Nia).
  • Leander has started a Long Term Clock to “Free Nyryx” - I need to talk about Luke about how many segments this clock should have, but he has already filled 5 segments. From that I deduce that he knows where she is, and has probably figured out how to free her from the Hull body (no doubt with assistance from Bas and Veretta) but there is something missing - probably that she is being controlled.

And finally the cards that I added for this session. Some of the characters were seen in Session 14, but not all of them…

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Session 15 – The Arcane Gate Score

Also known as Season 2 Episode 3, our third session for 2021.


  • Jake “Hal” Hallow (Cutter)
  • Veretta Penderyn (Whisper)
  • Leander (Slide)
  • Sebastian “Bas” Goldfinder (Leech)
  • Nia (Lurk)

Part 1 - Relaxing at the Centuralia Club (Leander)

  • The session opens with Leander enjoying a welcome respite at the Centuralia Club. He is in the lounge sipping upon a fine wine, enjoying a moment’s peace. After all, he’s helped open three more Emporium Stores in the last week - with all of the paperwork, shop fixtures and hiring of staff, he’s tired. Still, he’s also mildly happy as he’s managed to put a downpayment on a nice townhouse in Brightstone (note - Leander has reached 40 Stash) and he’s beginning to feel that he’s ‘made it’.
  • One of Steadman’s associates, Oskar Redden, asks to join Leander. Sitting down, Oskar floats some business opportunities past Leander. Leander perks up - he is always interested in money. He expresses interest in what Oskar proposes, which basically boils down to expanding distribution into Coalridge (ie: more Turf) and a man called Hopper who might be able to help.
  • Leander hires a gondola on his way back to the Keep (he’s been ambushed more than once whilst heading home on the streets of Duskwall). The gondolier recognises Leander (although Leander doesn’t remember his name) and says that Eisele has something for him. Leander thanks the unknown gondolier and gets home safely.

Part 2 - Disrupted business in Silkshore (Nia, Hal)

  • Hal and Nia are delivering a new batch of Emporium product to their shop in Silkshore. Hal has been showing Nia ‘the ropes’ and has been giving her a hard time as he doesn’t trust her.
  • Nia’s introduction to the Emporium Crew has been generally positive, but Hal is failing to warm to her. As a result, Nia has tried to find out more about Hal. She takes a Devil’s Bargain which will result in Nessa finding out about her inquiries (and Nessa is a jealous girlfriend). The Study roll is a 3, with the result that she finds only very limited information about him.
  • While navigating the crowded streets in Silkshore, there is a flash of green spark energy which spooks the goats that are drawing their carriage. During this moment’s distraction, there is a flash of steel as a Red Sash tries to assassinate Hal.
  • Nia intercedes (with a 5 on Finesse), with the result that she interrupts the attack but is herself nicked by the poisoned blade.
  • The two of them swing into action (Group Skirmish - 4), with the result that they cut down Hal’s assailant, killing him in cold blood on a crowded street. The consequence is that because they’ve killed someone on a crowded street, there are witnesses and people start screaming (Heat +2)
  • Hal decides that they should get out of Silkshore and he turns the goat carriage around. From this point, his attitude towards Nia changes as she ‘had his back’.

Part 3 - Limbs, The Fresher The Better (Bas)

  • Winding the clock back to a few days previously, and we find Bas relaxing in the Cat’s Cradle. He is having a beer. Suddenly he feels the sleeve of his shirt being pulled and he looks over to find a young Skovlander boy of no more than ten. The boy looks a little scared but there is grim determination in his eyes.
  • He gives his name as Erik Liefstrom, and says that Eckerd sent him. Bas frowns and asks if there is a message. At this point Erik points to his arm and says that he’s heard from Eckerd that Bas is after limbs, the fresher the better. He’s offering his arm for 1 Coin.
  • Bas brushes the boy off, saying that it won’t do ‘to discuss these matters in a public place’. But Erik defiantly keeps pushing Bas to take his arm. He says that he’s hungry and his family are starving. At this point, Bas has to make a Resolve roll (as this plays to his Obsession) - he takes a Devil’s Bargain which is that if he does start working on this boy, he knows that he won’t be able to stop his ‘experiments’.
  • Bas successfully makes his Resolve roll with a 6. He thanks Erik for showing him such spirit but explains that he can’t accept. Erik becomes distraught, at which point Bas makes a Consort roll (another 6). Seeing Erik’s resolve, Bas decides to offer him a job and Erik readily accepts. He is clearly willing to do anything and will be very loyal. Bas treats him to a bowl of chicken feet (which Erik devours) - Bas considers chicken feet a treat/delicacy.

Part 4 - A Quiet Night, Interrupted (Veretta, Bas, Hal, Nia, Leander)

  • In the Keep, Veretta puts down his book. He’s spent all day researching North Port and is feeling rather tired. He wonders what Quellyn is up to. He wonders where the others are. He knows that Hal and Nia headed out into Silkshore some time ago. Bas and his new ‘apprentice’ Erik seem to be busy in Bas’ laboratory, probably cooking up some new confectionary. Veretta finds it entirely odd that Bas seems to have adopted a ten-year old Skovlander - but Erik seems to be a good sort, and fiercely loyal to Bas.
  • Suddenly the door opens and Hal marches in, half-carrying Nia. Ignoring Veretta, he heads over to the door leading to Bas’ workshop and kicks it open. Bas looks up in surprise. Hal minces no words - he sweeps Bas’ latest experiment off the table (luckily it isn’t flammable), helps Nia onto the tabletop and orders Bas to see to Nia ‘or else he’ll get a punch in the face’.
  • (Hal has already tried to find Sawtooth, his physicker contact, but he was not at home)
  • Bas starts looking over Nia (he has the Physicker special ability) and he succeeds in identifying and then neutralising the poison (Tinker = 6).
  • By the time Leander returns to the Keep, Nia is resting on the couch. This is the first time that Nia has been in the Keep but Leander doesn’t raise an eyebrow. He simply asks what happened and begins making some tea. He offers her some.
  • Hal is very angry and animated. He wants to get the crew together and go after the Red Sashes and murder them all right now. Leander spends some time talking some sense into him - he suggests that the better answer would be to give the Red Sashes a bigger problem to deal with - he suggests the Lampblacks. As they talk through options, Hal calms down.
  • Leander mentions that Eisele has a message for the Emporium Crew. He presumes that it’s to ask for their help again in finding whoever has been dumping bodies in the canals and leaving them to clean up the mess and deal with the angry ghosts. Veretta offers to come with Leander and the two of them agree to visit the Gondoliers the next day.

Part 5 - Meeting with the Gondoliers (Veretta, Leander)

  • Leander and Veretta make their way to meet Eisele. To Leander’s surprise, Eisele mentions that she has some information which might be of interest to them. She mentions an Old Gaffer (named Jones) who claims to know of an unguarded gate out into the Deathlands. The Old Gaffer works at one of the Eel-farms in Barrowcleft. She considers the Old Gaffer to be reliable and thought this might be of interest to the Emporium Crew. She mentions that Myra Keel has vouched for the authenticity of the Old Gaffer’s claims. Leander and Veretta agree that this is of interest but ask to know what the Old Gaffer wants in return. Apparently the Old Gaffer’s son, Jasper James, is in Ironhook prison. He wants his son back.
  • Leander asks if it would be possible to meet the Old Gaffer and Eisele agrees to pass a message and set up a meeting.
  • A meeting is swiftly arranged in Coalridge. Leander makes a Consort roll (a ‘6’) and they talk candidly about how they can make a deal. The Old Gaffer wants his son out of Ironhook prison - he doesn’t know where exactly his son is being held but if the Emporium Crew can free him, he plans to get out of the city and move to Whitehollow. In return for his son and safe passage out of the city to Whitehollow, he agrees to share the location and information pertaining to an ancient gate to the Deathlands which is not controlled by any faction, and he believes is not known to the Spirit Wardens. He shows Veretta with a rubbing from the stonework around the gate - it looks genuine.
  • Leander and Veretta agree to the Old Gaffer’s terms.

Part 6 - The Ancient Gate Score (Veretta, Leander, Bas, Hal, Nia)

  • Veretta decides to contact the Gondoliers to find out what more they know about the Old Gaffer and his son. He hopes that they know why his son would be in prison - it might give them a clue as to where he is being held in Ironhook. He get a ‘4’ on Consort, so he succeeds with Reduced Effect. Eisele has heard that Jasper Jones is a bad egg - he’s an assassin.
  • Meanwhile Leander is talking with Steadman about various business arrangements and he asks him to find out more about what he can about Jasper Jones and why he is in prison. (Consort = ‘6’) Steadman obligingly looks into the matter and reports back that Jasper is in prison for ‘glowder’ offence - these are unforgivable spirit offences - so he will be in prison for a long time. Leander thanks him and they talk about how prisoners are pardoned (which hardly ever happens, and requires signatures of many people - either from the City Council, or by the Spirit Wardens) and how they are transferred. The seed of an idea forms in his mind that they may be able to engineer a prisoner transfer out of Ironhook to the local Bluecoat station, and then break him out of there.
  • The Engagement Roll is a ‘5’, putting the Crew in a Risky Position. The Score is set up as a pair of linked Clocks.
  • Nia leads a Group Finesse, working with Leander and Veretta to forge appropriate transfer papers. They succeed with a ‘6’. (They leverage Nessa’s knowledge of what these transfer papers look like)
  • Hal leads a Group Consort, working with Leander to convince Messner, one of Hal’s Bluecoat associates, to accept the transfer papers (dropped into the pile) and then ‘look the other way’ on the first night of Jones’ incarceration. Messer wants 1 Coin, and Leander pays for this out of his own pocket.
  • The first Clock to extricate Jones from Ironhook is successful. A gaunt, ragged figure with reddish hair is transferred to Templeton’s station in Six Towers.
  • The next phase of the Score involves getting Jones out of the Bluecoat station. Nia leads a Group Prowl and succeeds with a ‘6’ and Greater Effect. She gets into the cell block undetected. The other members of the crew are in stand-by positions. Leander waits with the carriage in a nearby street. (The carriage has concealed smuggling compartments which they plan to use)
  • Nia is able to free Jones and collect the evidence (transfer paperwork), but the other prisoners spot her and they also want to escape. Nia commands them to stay put for 5 minutes (Sway = ‘5’) with the end result that they delay their breakout, but it adds +1 Heat to the Crew because of the mess that it creates.
  • The Crew work together to get Jones out of the building and away in the carriage. With Jasper Jones stuffed into the smuggling compartments in the carriage, they head to Gaddoc Railway Station where Veretta has already prepared the way (Survey = ‘6’) and both the Old Gaffer and tickets are waiting for them. Bas has also prepared ‘a disguise’ - a fleshy face of another man that Jones can wear like a hood (Tinker = ‘6’). This is revolting but it helps with the escape.
  • The Old Gaffer and his son board a train to Whitehollow. The Old Gaffer whispers the location of the gate to Veretta and passes to him the rubbings that he took. The crew wishes them good fortune in Whitehollow and depart as the train pulls away.
  • (Note - the Clock ‘Severin Figures it Out - has been incremented to 4 out of 6)

Score Results

  • Reputation: +3
  • Heat: +5 → 8 Heat, -1 for Just Passing Through (Crew Special Ability) = 7 Heat
  • Coin: 0 (but they have the location of an Ancient Gate - ie: acquired Turf)
  • Individual XP: Veretta (2xp), Leander (2xp), Bas (4xp), Hal (3xp), Nia (3xp)
  • Crew XP: +3
  • Side Business Action: +??? (don’t remember - I think it was only 1 Coin - we were too busy reducing heat - see below))
  • Faction Adjustments: No changes
  • Active Clocks
    – Red Sashes find Hal - 5 of 6 (up 1 tick as a result of this score)
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 3 of 8
    – Severin Figures it out - now 4 of 6 (up 1 tick as a result of this score)
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) - still 0 of 6
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 1 of 8
    – Find Bayer’s Gold - 2 of 4
    – The Spirit Wardens Find You - 2 of 4

Given that we were up to 7 Heat, everybody worked hard to Reduce Heat ('We just run a candy shop!", resulting that went down to 1 Heat at the end.

Season 2 Episode 4 is planned for 25th February 2021.

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Session 16 – The Coalridge Candymen Score
Also known as Season 2 Episode 4, our fourth session for 2021.

This is the session where I tried to give Leander a trauma. I was surprised that the other PCs went to rescue him as I had it all plotted out assuming that no one came to rescue him. Players do the unexpected….

The premise of this score was to have a Tier 1 gang take a shot at the Emporium Crew – a group of plucky amateurs who are completely out of their league. How will the Emporium Crew respond to them?

Personally, I thought this one of our best sessions. There was all sorts of ‘awesome’ in this.


  • Jake “Hal” Hallow (Cutter)
  • Veretta Penderyn (Whisper)
  • Leander (Slide)
  • Sebastian “Bas” Goldfinger (Leech)
  • Nia (Lurk)

Part 1 - What has gone before

  • Veretta is hard at work trying to figure out the ritual for activating an unguarded Ancient Gate into the Deathlands.
  • Leander has been very busy setting up three new stores in Duskwall. He has moved into his townhouse in Brightstone but it is largely bare.
  • Nessa has approached the Emporium Crew with an unusual request. One of her comrades, Belloc, was badly injured in the fires when the Bluecoat station that they were subsequently blamed for. He wears extensive bandages and is in a state of near-constant pain. Now that they have located Becker, the traitor who ratted them out, she wants to know if the Crew could switch Belloc’s spirit into Becker’s body, and vice versa. It’s an unusual request but Veretta and Bas agree to help. Nessa explains that it will not only punish Becker, but it will enable the Greycloaks to have an ‘inside man’ as to what Strangford may be up to now.

Part 2 – Small Mercies (Hal, Nia)

  • The session opens with Hal and Nia racing through the streets of Duskwall in hot pursuit of Mercy and one other Red Sash. Hal is tired of being hunted – he plans to deal with Mercy on his terms and go on the offensive. Killing Mercy is very much on his mind.
  • Hence we go straight to an Engagement Roll – on 2D we get a ‘5’, placing them in a Risky situation. It’s 2 on 2. (Note that the Emporium Crew is Tier 3, and the Red Sashes are Tier 2)
  • Hal uses Hunt to approach this, and he takes a Devil’s Bargain. He is successful – Mercy and her comrade are unable to elude them. However, they pick up additional reinforcements and it’s now 4 v 2. The Devil’s Bargain that Hal accepted is that at a dramatically appropriate moment, Hal will remember his old friendship/relationship with Mercy and have second thoughts. (She is a negative Contact of his, but there was a positive relationship in the past).
  • Nia uses Prowl to get into an advantageous position and rolls a 4. She is well positioned for when violence breaks out however they’re now in a Desperate position because they’re outnumbered.
  • Mercy and the Red Sashes seem to think it is 4 v 1 (they haven’t seen Nia yet). They start moving towards Hal, knives out. At this moment the Devil’s Bargain kicks in. He stops short of running into battle, and instead he makes a Command roll (6) and coldly tells them that unless they back off, he’s going to butcher the lot of them. This has Greater Effect because of the Tier difference. Mercy goes white as she realises that Hal means it, and she halts the others. Then she signals them to retreat. As they do, Nia tilts her blades so that they shine in the darkness, revealing that Hal wasn’t alone. The Red Sashes hurry away, shaken by their encounter. (The Active Clock for ‘The Red Sashes find Hal’ is now dead).

Part 3 – Unexpected Visitors (Leander)

  • There are persistent knocks on the front door. Leander heads down the stairs to open it himself. His new townhouse is spartan, almost completely devoid of furnishings. He opens the door and is surprised to see a small group of Bluecoats standing on his doorstep.
  • Quickly composing himself, he is about to ask what they want when one of them takes a step forward and swings a fist. Leander is caught off guard. He doesn’t go down with the first blow but two of them keep on hitting him and he is quickly knocked out.
  • The Bluecoats take a look around. Fanning out, they seem disappointed that there is nothing here worth stealing. They are in no rush. Time passes and they finally decide to leave, dragging Leander out the door with them into a waiting Bluecoat carriage.
  • Leander’s Engagement roll was a 1, putting him in a Desperate situation. Leander makes a Prowess roll to resist Level 2 damage and gets a 6, hence he takes only Level 1 damage - a black eye. He remains on 4 Stress.

Part 4 – Sales Pitch and the Black Medusa (Bas, Veretta)

  • We cut across to Bas who is meeting The Dean of Charterhall University. The Dean is known to the Emporium Crew as a devoted servant of Setarra, but he’s also Bas’ employer which makes their relationship…. tricky. Also, The Dean is smarting because someone recently stole an artifact from his office.
  • Bas wants to try to get The Dean to show interest in some of his prosthetics business ideas. To Bas’ surprise, The Dean is very pleased to talk to Bas, but diverts the conversation and offers Bas another project. Two of Doctor Lang’s associates (ie: junior researchers) have been killed investigating a ‘subject’ which is supposed to be inert. The Dean wants Bas to take over investigation. On one hand Bas is curious, but he is also put off by The Dean’s zeal in this matter. Bas feels that he can’t say no, and The Dean promises that there will be other even more interesting projects if he succeeds. He also says offhandedly that he even be interested in this ‘other business’ that Bas has mentioned.
  • The ‘subject’ appears to be an inert piece of coral – like a treebranch. Lang’s associates were trying to bring it back to life, and The Dean seems very fixated on knowing whether it is possible or not. He assumes it must be given that it has killed two people. The Dean even has a name for it : Black Medusa.
  • Bas agrees to investigate and he decides to enlist Veretta’s help (without asking The Dean). While Veretta goes through the dead scientists’ notebooks about their previous investigations, Bas goes to the morgue to try to find out more from their corpses as to what might have killed them.
  • Veretta makes a Study roll and get a ‘4’ so he gets Limited Information. The dead scientists were sloppy and didn’t take good notes. Black Medusa was immersed in inky black seawater, and there is evidence that they used electroplasm to try to revive it. He gets the impression that they were on the right track, but they were sloppy about recording exactly what they did.
  • Bas has better luck. He looks over the two bodies and gets ‘6’ with his Tinker skill (he has Physicker). He has worked with toxins and Death Leeches before – he finds discolouration evidence that there has been some sort of needle-like punctures and the injection of deadly toxin into the dead men.
  • As such, Bas and Veretta very quickly figure out that they are dealing with something dangerous and they decide to proceed carefully and take precautions to avoid a repeat.

Part 5 - Softened Up (Leander)

  • The scene shows Leander in a concrete walled cell with thick iron bars. Manacled to a chair, he looks very much worse for wear with dark bruises on his arms and chest. His clothes are ripped and torn. There is blood on his face. Some his teeth feel loose. Two Bluecoats are resting their bruised knuckles - they’ve been beating the sh&t out of him for some time. They haven’t even bothered asking him questions. Leander makes a Prowess roll to resist Level 2 damage and gets a 5. He takes another Level 1 damage slot (bruised and battered). He now has 5 Stress on the tracker.
  • Leander figures that it must be morning by now. These thugs must be part of the night crew. He doesn’t recognise any of them. They’re not Bluecoats from Six Towers, so where the hell is he? And what do they want? Bluecoats don’t do jobs like this unless they’re getting paid, so who hates him enough and is rich enough to do this?
  • He doesn’t have long to wait. With the shift change, one of the Bluecoats tips a bucket of water over Leander’s head to clean up the mess and wash away the stink.
  • That’s when the bastard comes in - it’s Mehranian, from the Centuralia Club. And he’s brought two of the guards from the Club with him – they’re dressed in Umbra Hunter uniforms. Mehranian looks down at Leander and asks for a chair from one of the Bluecoats. Leander is a bit surprised - he knows that he tricked Mehranian out of some coin but Leander didn’t expect him to take a grudge so seriously.
  • A chair is presented and the Bluecoats are asked to ‘take a walk’. One of the Umbra Hunters takes off his jacket and is given the instruction to soften Leander up a bit further. This time, there are questions in between beatings. Mehranian wants to know what Leander knows about… Kotar.
  • Leander makes an Insight roll to resist Level 2 damage and gets a 6. He is further beaten up, remaining 5 Stress on the tracker but ends up with a Level 2 wound anyway (because he can’t take any more Level 1 Wounds) - effectively he is so battered that he’s not going to walking far in a hurry. Hence Leander figures out that Mehranian is part of the Circle of Flame, and he seems certain that Leander has been in recent contact with one of the relics of Kotar. Leander lies and saying that he knows nothing about this (Sway = 6), however this has only limited effect. Judging that Leander will crack eventually, Mehranian asks the Bluecoats to take care of him and says that he’ll back.

Part 6 – Enter the Candymen (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta)

  • Off-camera, what has happened is that a Tier 1 gang called the Candymen (from Coalridge) have attacked the Silkshore store. They attempted to steal stuff (got a ‘4’ on 2D), hence they were successful but they still got followed back to Coalridge by one of the Emporium employees who lives at the Silkshore store (on the upper level). They attempted to firebomb the place (and got a ‘4’ on 1D) hence they were successful but only caused limited damage. They also tried to use extortion and send a threatening letter (and got a ‘4’ on 2D) but the complication was that the letter was delivered to Leander’s home, and he has been abducted. So that is the backdrop….
  • Hal and Nia are at the Cat’s Cradle (Esme’s pub), having a drink. Hal is feeling very good – he finally feels that he has gotten Mercy off his back – and he’s built quite a good rapport with Nia. Nia is starting to open up. She tells him that her family was murdered in Tycheros and she is almost the last of her clan. She’s almost certain that her family’s rivals will have send assassins to finish the job. (Nia’s family have catlike features, the rival family have doglike features). Hal swears to back her up any time.
  • Late in the evening, Adric (of the Greycloaks) walks in. Seeing Hal, he walks over and explains that the Silkshore shop has been attacked by some very inept thieves. They got away with some stuff but he and Marla (one of the shop staff) tracked the thieves all the way to Coalridge. He mentions that Lucille (the older shop staff member) is a bit shaken but she’s cleaning up the damage. He tried to report this to Leander but there was no answer at his house, so he came to the Cat’s Cradle and got lucky that Hal was here.
  • Hal takes charge, praises Adric for his quick thinking and tells him to secure the Silkshore store while he mobilises the rest of the Crew. Even though Adric doesn’t know exactly which houses the Candymen came from, he knows roughly where they are and he saw them closely enough to describe them well.
  • Back at the Keep, Hal and Nia prepare for war. Guns. Knives. Tools of the Trade.
  • Bas and Veretta return to the Keep and are surprised to see Hal and Nia getting their Heavy Load on. They are quickly appraised of the situation and agree that they need to deal with the Candymen. However, Leander’s absence is a problem and they think it possible that something might have happened to him – hence they want to go to Brightstone first.

Part 7 – Nobody Home (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta)

  • The door to Leander’s house is locked but Nia deftly picks the lock (Finesse = ‘6’). Remarking how poor his security is, the Crew enter his house and Hal mistakenly thinks that Leander has been robbed because all of his furnishings have gone. There is a letter on the ground which the Candymen have delivered, which threatens further damage to the Emporium Crew unless they pay for ‘protection’. The letter identifies their rivals as the ‘Candymen’ and suggests a place in Barrowcleft where the Emporium should ‘pay’. The Emporium Crew laugh as they are clearly dealing with amateurs. However, they also realise that it makes no sense to deliver a letter to someone who isn’t here. Veretta wonders if Leander has been abducted by another group.
  • Looking into the ghost field, Veretta is able to tell that Leander was assaulted when answering the front door. The violence shows up clearly as it was recent and the strong emotions resonate. (Veretta got a ‘6’ on his Attune roll). He identifies Leander’s assailants as Bluecoats. Their badges indicate that they are from the Charterhall district.

Part 8 – Change of Plan → Find Leander (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta)

  • Judging that it is more important to find Leander than to hunt down the Coalridge Candymen, they split up.
  • Nia goes to see Petra, her contact in City Hall. It is late, but Nia knows where Petra lives and she goes to meet her there. Nia accepts a Devil’s Bargain – Petra will help this time but will be less receptive next time Nia asks for help. She gets a ‘5’ on Consort so Petra is able to provide limited information. Nia wants to know where the Bluecoats would likely take Leander and whether there are any more private locations other than the station house. Petra says that there is nothing like that in Charterhall and that they would almost certainly take Leander to the station. Nia thanks her and departs.
  • Meanwhile Bas tries to talk with some local urchins that are known to him in Charterhall. He gets a ‘3’ on his Consort – the urchins are happy to help Bas out if they see anything (for the promise of some nice candy) but they haven’t seen anything yet which would be useful.
  • Feeling a sense of dread, Veretta goes to see Lord Scurlock (as GM, I was surprised by this). It is late and so Veretta is hoping that Scurlock will be up and ‘active’. A Fortune Roll resulted in a ‘4’. Oskar answers the door when Veretta knocks and says that his Uncle is a bit busy. He asks if it is important. Veretta is disappointed as he half-suspected that Lord Scurlock might be expecting him. He departs without seeing Lord Scurlock.
  • Hal decides to stake out the Charterhall station house. He makes a ‘Hunt’ roll and gets a ‘4’, managing to successfully ambush a Bluecoat who is leaving the station, now off-duty. With a mask on, Hal attempts to intimidate the Bluecoat. He succeeds on a Command roll (with a ‘6’) and the Bluecoat, fearing for his life, tells him that Leander is being held within the station house. He was interrogated and a doctor named ‘Austin’ was sent for.

Part 9 – A Chance to tell the Truth (Leander)

  • Leander lies on his side, still chained to the chair. He has passed out and been sleeping on the cold floor. His dreams are black and empty. The sound of the key being turned in the padlock is not enough to wake him. He hears voices but isn’t able to make out what is being said. Then he feels the manacles being removed and he is carried from the room. He is not aware of it but a physicker has been summoned and Inspector Severin has taken a personal interest in what has happened here.
  • We switch scenes to another interrogation room, only this one is cleaner and Leander has a cup of water and some soft bread to nibble on. He sits calmly at a table, eyeing Severin as he gathers his wits and thinks.
  • Severin has been studying Leander for some time. He asks if he is feeling better and Leander thanks him. Severin makes comment that he seems to have powerful enemies. Leander asks if he is free to go, and Severin says that he has some questions for him. Leander makes a Sway roll and gets a ‘5’. Hence he is successful in answering Severin’s questions, however the consequence is that the Active Clock – Severin Figures It Out – is now 5 of 6. Severin has figured out that the Emporium Crew armed the Greycloaks who then eliminated the Bloodletters in order to secure turf. After all, Severin has already met Stu, the surviving Bloodletter – but he still doesn’t know why. Even if Severin believes Leander is innocent (after all, he got a ‘5’ which is a success), he is pretty sure that the rest of the Emporium Crew are involved.
  • Severin is sympathetic to the Greycloaks - he believes many of them were falsely accused (he has met Nessa before) – so he is torn as to what to do. He resolves to think on it, and leaves Leander in lock-up. He arranges to move Leander to another location shortly. (this would have been a severe consequence as Mehranian was going to show up again, however the rest of the Emporium Crew interfered before that could be triggered)

Part 10 – Enter Doctor Goldfinger (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Leander)

  • Bas has heard of Doctor Austin so he assumes that he must be local to Charterhall (Fortune roll – successful) As such, the Crew goes to Hunt him down (and gets a ‘6’) – they basically reach him just as he is returning home from Charterhall station house. Very emotional, Hal threatens to smash his face in unless he tells them where Leander is; and the Doctor tells them that there is no need for violence and explains that Leander is at the station house and in reasonable condition. He had sustained numerous injuries due to physical beatings but Inspector Severin is looking after him now.
  • Hal, Nia, Bas and Veretta look at one another. It is not good that an Inspector is showing interest in Leander. Leaving Doctor Austin, they resolve to liberate Leander immediately. A plan is hastily dreamt up – they will threaten the Bluecoats with Leander’s lawyers, and Bas will claim to be Leander’s personal physician and demand to see him. They discuss different ideas about creating some sort of medical emergency so that the Bluecoats will be forced to release Leander.
  • Figuring that they will ‘wing it’, the crew splits up. Nia stands by in case they need to break Leander out. Hal waits with the Akorosian goats in case they need a speedy getaway. Veretta heads to the morgue at Charterhall University, figuring that they may need medical equipment if Leander is badly hurt. Then, ‘Doctor Goldfinger’ (Bas) goes into action. He boldly strides into the station house and demands to see his patient. Bas makes a Consort roll and gets a Critical (two 6s). As such, the Bluecoat on duty is cowed by Bas. He makes weak excuses that Doctor Austin has only just been to see Leander, but quickly agrees to take Bas to the cell block when Bas explains that Leander has ‘delicate medical conditions’.
  • Leander is astonished to see Bas and he quickly explains that the Circle of Flame arranged his abduction – they seem to know that he has been in proximity to one of the artefacts of Kotar. Then Inspector Severin showed up and he seems to have figured out The Emporium’s connection to the Greycloaks and that they were involved in the destruction of the Bloodletters.
  • Bas decides to get Leander out, and he tells the intimidated Bluecoats that Leander’s condition is ‘most dire’. Leander is released and whisked away in the goat-drawn carriage.

Part 11 – Bloodbath at the Morgue (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Leander)

  • The Crew is reunited in the Morgue at Charterhall University. A bruised and battered Leander explains what has happened. Hal fills Leander in regarding the Coalridge Candymen, who seem to be the least of their problems. They discuss what to do.
  • The Crew almost decide to kill Inspector Severin and just ‘have him disappear’ as it seems to solve a lot of problems. Veretta points out to Leander that he will have to ‘disappear’ because the Circle of Flame will keep gunning for him. Leander’s reaction surprises them – he laments that he won’t be able to go to the Centuralia Club again. Veretta tells him to get out of town – go to Whitehollow and lie low for a while. Leander points out that if they think he has been in proximity to one of the artefacts from Kotar, it is only a matter of time before the Circle of Flame come after them all.
  • At last, they decide that they cannot kill Inspector Severin – he’s an honest man. They decide to take a risk and contact Leander’s lawyers to inform Severin (at Charterhall station) that wish to meet with him urgently. Hal decides to tell Nessa what they are doing – he tries to convince her that this is the best course of action and he gets a ‘6’ on his Consort roll.
  • They put their plan into motion. The roll for this is a Group Survey to orchestrate all of this successfully, and the best roll is a ‘4’. As such, there is a consequence.
  • The consequence is that while waiting for Severin to contact them, a group of four Umbra Hunters track them to the Charterhall University morgue. This is a Risky situation and they have the same Tier level as the Circle of Flame – Tier 3. Hence the two groups are evenly matched.
  • A gun-battle breaks out in the morgue. Despite being injured, Leander accepts a pistol from the others and blows one of the Umbra Hunters away. (He gets a ‘6’ on Skirmish, but has to push himself, putting himself at ‘7’ Stress). Veretta ambushes one of them (and also gets a ‘6’ on Skirmish), neatly drilling one of them. The remaining two Umbra Hunters run for cover. Nia intercepts one of them and decapitates him (double-6 – a Critical on Finesse). Bas throws a bottle of formaldehyde at the remaining Umbra Hunter (he gets a ‘4’) – this staggers the individual as the liquid burns him and he returns fire with a pistol, inflicting Level 2 Harm on Bas. Checking armour, Bas accepts Level 1 Harm and Nia skewers the flailing Umbra Hunter, ending the conflict.
  • Nearby, the bells of Bellsweather Crematorium begin tolling.
  • The Emporium Crew survey the slaughter. They have just wiped out the last of the Umbra Hunters in a bloody battle that has taken less than a minute. How on earth will they explain all of this? What a mess!

Part 12 – Coming Clean (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Leander)

  • Bluecoats and Spirit Wardens descend on the scene, and the Emporium Crew decide not to stick around. However, they know that Inspector Severin will quickly figure out that they are behind the bloodbath and hence they resolve to meet with him as a matter of urgency.
  • Arranging to meet in a public place, the entire Crew meets with Inspector Severin. They come clean, explaining that there are factions in Duskwall who wish to silence them. Veretta shows Inspector Severin the logbooks that were recovered from Becker’s safe which shows diminishing stockpiles of electroplasm to fuel the lightning barriers and that the Leviathan Hunters are going out less frequently, going away for longer and coming back with less Leviathan blood.
  • They use a Group Consort and get a ‘6’ (it was almost a Sway because they choose not to tell Severin about the artefacts of Kotar and the Circle of Flame). At this point, the Active Clock ‘Severin Figures It Out’ is completed – 6 of 6. Severin understands that what they have uncovered is a threat to Duskwall and a threat to the Imperium itself, and he says that they must move carefully going forward. Severin is aware that some members of the Emporium Crew and the Greycloaks have committed serious crimes of late, but he needs to think about the big picture and he will need their help in the future.
  • At this point, the Emporium Crew gains a +1 relationship with the Inspectors, and the Active Clock ‘Avenge their Expulsion’ (Greycloaks) is now 2 of 8 because the Greycloaks (and the Emporium Crew) have a new ally.

Part 13 – Dealing with the Candymen (Hal, Nia, Bas, Veretta)

  • Nia goes to see Telda, her beggar contact in Coalridge, to find if she knows anything about these ‘Candymen’. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know anything specific (Result was a ‘3’) – there are lots of desperate people in Coalridge.
  • The Emporium Crew decides to use Erik Liefstrom as bait. They set up an Emporium stall in Coalridge (with young Erik running the stall) and decide to watch for the people that Adric, Marla and Lucille saw rob the Silkshore shop. Erik is instructed to be generous with the candy for those people and give them the ‘special candy’ that Bas has prepared. (Bas made a Tinker roll of ‘6’ to make supercharged laxative candy).
  • It doesn’t take long for some of the Candymen to turn up and bully Erik into handing over candy. They see this as their ‘turf’. Taking the candy and walking away with it, the Emporium Crew wait and watch for them to eat some of it and the effects to take hold. In only a few minutes, the heavily muscled Iruvian who seems to be leading the thuggery looks very sick and Hal confronts the entire gang.
  • Hal makes a Command roll (and gets a ‘6’). He basically threatens to exterminate the entire gang if he ever sees them again and they run off, greatly intimidated.
  • Bas praises Erik for a job well done and promises to treat him. The Crew pack up and get home.

Part 14 – Bodyswapping (Bas, Veretta, Hal)

  • A few days later, the Greycloaks perform a Survey of Becker’s movements (2D and they get a ‘5’), hence they get very limited information. They then attempt to seize Becker and are successful (3D and they get a ‘6’). Becker is taken to the Morgue at Charterhall University.
  • Previously, Veretta has asked for Quellyn’s help with the ritual and she was keen to assist (Fortune roll = ‘5’ – she’s keen but doesn’t know exactly what to do). Further research is done (Group Study = ‘6’) and they figure out how they will approach it.
  • Between Bas, Veretta, Hal and Quellyn, they manage to complete the bodyswap (Group Attune = ‘6’). Belloc-in-Becker’s body is free of pain for the first time in an age, and Nessa sends him to assume Becker’s identity. Becker-in-Belloc’s body is wracked by pain and Nessa locks him up in her lair. She thanks the Emporium Crew for their help and promises to share what they learn.

Part 15 – Basement Level 2 (Bas, Veretta)

  • With the ritual complete, Bas and Veretta return to their work on the Black Medusa (Veretta continues to work at night on the ritual to open the Ancient Gate to the Deathlands). Veretta tries to help by looking in the library for any ideas which might help with Bas’ project but he draws a blank (Study = ‘2’).
  • Meanwhile, Bas continue to tinker with the Black Medusa. He accepts a Devil’s Bargain that The Dean will see him as his most promising researcher (and new secrets will be revealed to him) and he makes a Tinker roll – he gets a ‘4’. As such, he is able to revive the Black Medusa. The other researchers were on the right track – immersing the Medusa in fluid and then electrifying it gently to stimulate it does result in triggering of the regenerative cycle. This ‘Leviathan Spawn’ has literally been brought back from the dead.
  • The Dean is very pleased and takes Bas down to Basement Level 2, where his special projects are underway. There, Bas sees experiments for underwater exploration: A Hull with glowing eyes that can see through the inky blackness of the sea; A small submersible; Man-fish hybrid creatures with lamprey-like face. Bas asks who pays for all of this and The Dean tells him that Lord Strangford is a patron. We fade to black as Bas looks around in fascination….
  • Separately, Belloc-in-Becker’s body reports back to Nessa that Becker has a minder – a hulking creature which has a lamprey-like face. (a fact that will no doubt be shortly passed on to the Emporium Crew)

And that’s where we left it……

I’ll post up the Score results another day. It’s getting late here. When I post that up, I’ll also post up what would have happened if Leander was not rescued…. (just for the fun of it) and also the cards with pictures for Nia’s contacts, plus Erik Liefstrom and Belloc.

Season 2 Episode 5 is planned for Tuesday 16th March.

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Score Results

  • Reputation: +3
  • Heat: +8 → 9 Heat, -1 for Just Passing Through (Crew Special Ability) = 8 Heat
  • Coin: 0
  • Individual XP: Veretta (4xp), Leander (2xp), Bas (4xp), Hal (4xp), Nia (4xp)
  • Crew XP: +3
  • Side Business Action: TBD at the start of next session.
  • Faction Adjustments: now +1 relationship with Inspectors, and -2 with Circle of Flame (because the PCs wiped out the Umbra Hunters)
  • Active Clocks
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 3 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) - still 0 of 6
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 2 of 8
    – Find Bayer’s Gold - 2 of 4
    – The Spirit Wardens Find You - 2 of 4

We haven’t done Downtime actions yet – no doubt there will be a lot of concerted effort placed on reducing Heat. They are so close to being Wanted Level 1.

And now we get to what might have happened to Leander (but didn’t happen). This would have happened if the Emporium Crew had not tracked him to the Bluecoat station house in Charterhall. They were literally one failed roll away from Leander being whisked away and taken elsewhere. If they had failed just one roll, I would have run the next part below……

Part X1 – Bagged Again (Leander)

  • Leander sleeps in his cell. He is covered in a blanket. The door opens and Leander scarcely has time to raise his head before the two Umbra Hunters throw a bag over his head, cosh him and drag him out of the prison cell. Leander makes a resistance roll with Resolve and gets a 5. This time he shakes off Level 1 harm but takes an additional point of Stress. His tracker is up to 6 Stress.
  • We then get a montage of a goat-drawn carriage making its way through the streets of Duskwall. It looks like Coalridge – the streets are sooty and dark. The buildings on either side are a jumble of multi-story brick row houses.
  • We cut to a group of two Umbra Hunters carrying a heavy box into one of the squalid dwellings. A candle is lit and the box is carried down into the basement and dropped to the floor – we see there are airholes in the lid. The box is kicked open and we see Leander’s cramped form inside. He appears unconscious. They drag his body out and dump him in a corner, chaining his foot to an anchor point on the floor for good measure. One of the Umbra Hunters prods him to make sure he’s still alive. Satisfied that he is, they leave the basement, snuffing the candle on the way out. In the darkness, one of the Umbra Hunters is heard complaining about being hungry….

Part X2 – No Way out (Leander)

  • In the darkness Leander slowly sits up. He removes the bag over his head – it’s pitch dark. He can’t see a thing. He attunes to the ghost field (Attune = 3) to get his bearings and we see what he sees. It’s very dark in here, although the ghost echoes appear to Leander as green glow. He is very much alone, but there are ghostly shadows of what has happened here before. People have been tortured here. People have died here. There are no active ghosts but there is an overwhelming feeling of despair here. At this point Leander will take Level 3 Harm – he attempts to stave this off with a Resolve roll and get a 5. The Harm is reduced to Level 2 (Broken), filling both his Level 2 slots. His Stress tracker is now up to 7.

Part X3 – Fortune or Fate (Leander)

  • At this point I rolled a Fortune roll to see what would happen to Leander next – and I got a Critical – double-6. Hence something positive would intercede on Leander’s behalf. Something unexpected and very positive. Even if the Emporium Crew had no knowledge of where he is (and perhaps even that he was missing), even if Leander hadn’t managed to find a friendly ghost to help him to send a message for aid, someone else would intervene. And this is what happens….
  • We see two Umbra Hunters playing cards in the tiny front room of the house in Coalridge. Their collars are unbuttoned. There is a knock at the door and one of the men goes to the window to eyeball who has arrived. Judging the situation to be safe, he indicates to his comrade to open the door.
  • On the doorstep is a fat fellow with a big kindly smile. It is unmistakably …. Babel. He shows no signs of injury from the fire.
  • We cut to a pitch-black cutout of a man who wears a large top hat. He is standing directly behind the Umbra Hunter who has answered the door. He’s already inside the property. Babel just smiles and seems about to say something….
  • And we cut to Leander in the basement. He listens intently as there are unusual sounds from above – violent sounds. Then silence. The seconds tick by and he begins to hope…… then the door to the basement is tried. Clearly it is locked and they have to go back to get the key. The lock turns and the door is opened. Candlelight appears.
  • Then, there is Babel’s voice – he asks if Leander is down there, and Leander practically cries out ‘YES’.
  • Babel heads down the stairs with a candle in one hand and a pistol in the other. There is resolute determination on his face as he sweeps the room in case there are guards. Only then does he return to his normal chirpy self, commenting that Leander seems to have had a very bad day.
  • There are tears. Babel helps him out – Leander can’t walk by himself. The Man-Clad-In-Black says nothing as they pass by, leaving two sprawled Umbra Hunters in the corridor.
  • Bundled into a coach, Babel gives direction to the driver to head directly to a doctor in Charterhall. Leander asks how Babel found him. Babel offers Leander one of the Emporium candies and says simply that Mehranian told him. Leander is confused, and Babel says that the Circle of Flame is convinced that members of the Emporium have a relic of Kotar in their possession. Mehranian took it on his own initiative to attempt to beat it out of Leander, and when Babel found out, he knew that he had to step in. Babel comments that he thought it prudent to simply ask – he felt sure that Leander would tell him the truth.
  • Leander sighs and asks how long Babel has been with the Circle of Flame. Babel selects another candy from a paper bag and admits that it hasn’t been long, but they have resources and they seem to be reasonably interested in stopping the ‘forces of darkness’ – so for now, their goals are aligned.
  • We see Leander being taken to a doctor. Babel waits in the waiting room.
  • We see Babel escorting Leander home. Babel is clearly being circumspect. The inference is clear – this could all happen again if Leander doesn’t comply. Leander asks about Nyryx, and Babel says that he might be willing to help – but Nyryx has her own ideas. Babel wants to know if the Emporium Crew has a relic of Kotar. At this point, Leander lies (Sway = 6) and tells him that they had one, but they sold it. Babel smiles and points out that Leander must know who he sold it to – he asks if the Emporium Crew might be willing to get it back for him. Leander says that he’ll have to discuss it with rest of the Crew and Babel says goodnight, telling him not to take too long.

So, had this all happened, it would have come out that Babel has switched ‘horses’ and aligned himself with the Circle of Flame, making Leander’s life even more miserable. But that hasn’t happened…. which means it may or may not happen. We shall see.

And finally, here are the new cards from Session 16. Note that there are two versions of Erik Liefstrom, because I wanted the player to select the one that he liked the most. He picked the second photo, not the first.

Until next time ……

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Downtime Interlude - Leander, Nia and Veretta - Between Sessions 16 and 17

Leander has been very fortunate with his recovery. He has healed all of his Level 1 and 2 Wounds. While recovering, he has been hatching a plan to get even against the Circle of Flame. (seriously this guy should be a Spider, not a Slide)

  • As preparation, Leander does the following:
    – He organises for Nia to join the Centuralia Club. It costs him 4 Coin (8 Stash).
    – He borrows the Heart of Kotar from Veretta (still in its warded box to prevent detection). Veretta is cautious but he likes the idea of getting the Spirit Wardens’ attention off the Emporium Crew and onto someone else.
    – He asks Veretta to make him a special Spiritbane charm - something that can be worn as a necklace - and can be used to block outside rituals (for example, someone controlling Nyryx whilst in her hull body). Veretta uses Attune and gets a ‘5’ - he produces something that will work, but he doesn’t think it will work very long.
    – Leander makes contact with the Spirit Wardens at Bellweather Crematorium. He tells the masked Spirit Wardens that he is prepared to sell the location of a powerful artefact stolen from the Spirit Wardens some weeks earlier. He makes a Sway roll, and takes a Devil’s Bargain. The Devil’s Bargain is that regardless of the success of this operation, the Spirit Wardens will remember Leander and come after him - which could be a good thing or a bad thing. He rolls a ‘6’ and persuades them to keep an eye on Six Towers. He also tells them when the location of the powerful artefact will be revealed and to come at that time. They agree to pay him 6 Coin if his information is accurate.
    – Leander contacts Morden, the best swordsman in the Centuralia Club, attempting to bribe him into not joining any duels that evening. Morden accepts the Coin (1 Coin) and agrees in good grace not to draw his sword that evening (Consort = 5), however the consequence is that Morden reports back that Leander will be coming to the Centuralia Club and hence they are ready for him when he arrives.

  • The Engagement Roll is 3D, and the result is a ‘6’, putting Leander in a Controlled situation. There are fewer guards than usual (because the Emporium Crew have wiped out the Umbra Hunters) and Leander notes that there are some Red Sashes on guard here. He is allowed entrance and he goes about his usual rounds, talking to people, meeting his lawyers and talking business. He waves absently to a surprised Mehranian (who last saw him being beaten up at a Bluecoat Station).

  • The Controlled situation doesn’t last. Harvale Brogan, the proprietor of the Centuralia Club makes an appearance and he has some Red Sashes with him. Leander attempts to negotiate with him, but it doesn’t go quite as planned (Sway = 4). Leander offers to give them the Heart of Kotar if they pay him in Coin (he wants 16 Coin), but he also wants Nyryx. Harvale blinks - he knows of Nyryx but she works for Lady Tesslyn, not him. He says that he’ll need to ask Tesslyn and Leander agrees to wait. Leander is now in a Risky position as Harvale has gone to get reinforcements. The Circle of Flame is certainly considering beating it out of him.

  • Lady Tesslyn appears. She is well dressed and greets Leander formally. She has also brought some goons with her, but they are well dressed and refined goons. She asks what Leander’s offer is and he repeats it. Leander makes a Consort roll (and pushes himself) and gets a Critical (double 6). Tesslyn is surprised at how little he wants and she agrees to pay Leander’s price if he truly has the Heart of Kotar.

  • Leander asks to see Nyryx and she is shown in. Nyryx is still in her hull body and she is quite surprised to see Leander. She asks what is going on and Leander explains that he’s buying her freedom (Consort = ‘5’). She accepts Leander’s explanation for the moment but the consequence is that she will have doubts before leaving the Centuralia Club. Leander puts Veretta’s charm necklace around her neck.

  • Tesslyn is quite relaxed as the funds are gathered - a small bag of precious stones is organised (worth 16 Coin). She asks when the Heart of Kotar can be delivered.

  • It is at this point that Leander calmly drops the bombshell that the Heart of Kotar is on the premises. (Nia has been in the Centuralia Club for some time and has placed the unwarded Heart of Kotar behind the bar close to where Leander is sitting) Lady Tesslyn is directed to where the Heart of Kotar has been hidden and she stares wide-eyed at the pulsing red gemstone as it is exposed to the parlour lights.

  • However, before the exchange can be completed, the Spirit Wardens begin their raid (Fortune Roll = ‘4’ - hence it happens, but it is too early). Lady Tesslyn hurries to conceal the Heart of Kotar and it is whisked away. Leander grabs Nyryx by the hand and goes to grab the purse of Coin, only to find that it’s missing. Guessing that Nia has had something to do with this, Leander hurriedly leads Nyryx away, knowing full well what the Spirit Wardens will do to a Hull/Possessor Ghost should they be caught.

  • In fact, Nia has been having a very good time in the Centuralia Club. She also prepared very carefully for her heist (Survey = ‘6’), and when the moment of confusion arrives (with the Spirit Warden raid), she takes full advantage of the opportunity. Nia makes a Finesse roll, pushes herself and gets a Critical (double 6). In other words, she not only nicks the purse of gems but also switches out the Heart of Kotar as well (for a red gemstone replica she prepared as a 1 point flashback). She then calmly puts the real Heart of Kotar back into its warded box and then makes a calm, unhurried exit via the servants’ entrance with it (Prowl = ‘6’). She gets away completely clean. Her connection to Leander is not picked up.

  • Meanwhile, Leander is trying to find another way out - he has always used the front door and that is the direction that the Spirit Wardens have come in. He makes a Prowl roll (gets a ‘4’) and as such he finds another way out, but at a critical moment, Nyryx simply refuses to follow him. She demands to know the truth as to what he has done. Leander attempts to convince her to follow him (using Consort, and he pushes himself) - he gets a ‘6’ and promises to explain everything when they return to the Keep. Nyryx is still hesitant, but she agrees to come. (she can hear the Spirit Wardens searching the building)

  • Leander makes another Prowl roll to get away. He gets a ‘5’, so the roll is successful however there is a complication. The complication is that Nyryx is feeling a pull from her body’s ‘controller’ - she is finding it hard to follow him. Leander assists her to reach the Keep.

  • Veretta is pleased to see Nyryx when she arrives. He has set up a ritual circle to enable her to leave her Hull body - Attune = ‘6’. (This would complete the Active Clock - “Free Nyryx” - 6 of 6)

  • And this is where the ‘screw the Circle of Flame’ and ‘save Nyryx’ interlude plot ends and the fallout begins:
    – Nia returns to the keep with a wide smile on her face. She gives the warded box containing the Heart of Kotar back to Veretta for safe keeping. She quickly changes out of her elegant (but not too flashy so as to attract notice) clubbing dress back into more suitable working clothes, transferring the secreted knives back to their usual locations, grabs the bag of gems and works with Veretta to ensure the gems or the bag are not marked in any way mundane or spirit. They are going to be too hot to liquidate as a job lot and will have to be sold for Coin one by one or recut first if the Emporium does not have a trusted fence! (Leander has good skills as a jeweller so he may be able to help cut these in the future) Nia suggests to Veretta it is best if they are kept locked away and released slowly or used for any anonymous future payments. This haul is worth an astonishing 16 Coin! However, there is a cost.
    – The Spirit Wardens have raided the Centuralia Club and they have found incriminating occult items (Fortune Roll = ‘5’) but they didn’t find the Heart of Kotar. They will remember Leander and come after him (as per his Devil’s Bargain). Leander isn’t game to try to collect his reward from the Spirit Wardens. In addition, there is the possibility that the Spirit Wardens think that the Heart of Kotar is with Lady Tesslyn (Fortune Roll = ‘4’ - hence they suspect but they aren’t sure).
    – The Circle of Flame is royally pissed - they’ve been robbed of 16 Coin and they didn’t even get the Heart of Kotar. Their relationship to the Emporium Crew is now -3 which is a War footing. They are temporarily distracted by the Spirit Wardens and their forces are depleted because of the loss of the Umbra Hunters, but they will come after the Emporium Crew. (I should probably have a Clock to indicate how long it takes for the Circle of Flame to be ready to go to war - I’ll think about that)
    – Veretta can help Nyryx leave her Hull body but they don’t have another vessel for her to inhabit. Furthermore, Nyryx tells the Emporium Crew what she has been doing. It seems that the Circle of Flame has a nemesis and it isn’t the Emporium Crew. There is a cult called The Maw of the Void which has been very active of late. They have some aquatic hybrids in the sewers and the canals - they have lamprey-like heads. She’s never seen anything like it - almost like someone is breeding these creatures. They worship a sea-demon called… Setarra.
    – Nyryx doesn’t know much about Kotar, except that the Circle of Flame seems keen to acquire his relics. She heard that one of them was in the city, and one was behind an unopenable door. She’s been too busy dealing with the monsters in the undercity.
    – On the positive side, this resets the Clock “The Spirit Wardens Find You” to 0 of 4.

Nia gets +3 Stress from this.
Leander gets +4 Stress from this.

– Meanwhile, Hal is blissfully unaware of all of this. He has his feet up, and is wearing comfortable slippers. He’s enjoying playing checkers with Nessa. It’s a fairly competitive game but one which causes him no additional Stress.

The next session will be on Tuesday 30th March. (We were delayed by a fortnight due to poor health on my part)

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Session 17 – The North Port Score – Part 1
Also known as Season 2 Episode 5. Our fifth session for 2021.

Well, since we tipped over into War with the Circle of Flame in the last downtime interlude, things got messy. The highlight of the session has to be a series of Desperate Study rolls and what happened to Veretta when his luck inevitably ran out. Leander also came perilously close to a Trauma for the second time in two sessions.


  • Jake “Hal” Hallow (Cutter)
  • Veretta Penderyn (Whisper)
  • Leander (Slide)
  • Sebastian “Bas” Goldfinger (Leech)
  • Nia (Lurk)

Part 1 – A Plea for Help (Bas, Hal)

  • An acrid, yellow smog hangs over Charterhall. It is unusually quiet in this part of town. Even the Gondoliers are staying away as the canals are choked by debris. Bas is making his way to one of the hidden entrances behind the College of Arts which leads to the Dean’s underground workshop.
  • A hooded, silhouetted figure appears ahead. It beckons to Bas. Bas is cautious as the figure has no lantern.
  • It is fortuitous that Hal is with Bas. Ever since the battle with the Umbra Hunters in the Charterhall morgue, Bas has been very twitchy and Hal didn’t want to let him go out alone given that the Circle of Flame is likely to be gunning for them. The Greycloaks also seem to be gearing up for something and they are not going to shield the Emporium Crew when war finally comes their way.
  • The hooded figure speaks. She begs for help. Initially she refuses to come into the light, as if the light hurts her – but Bas is curious enough to want to understand what he is dealing with. The figure is some sort of hybrid – part woman, part anglerfish. She has pale teeth and lamplike eyes. Her face is covered in fine scales. She claims to have been ‘turned’ and she needs Bas’ help. She seems to think that he is the only one who can.
  • Bas finds her body modifications rather fascinating and finds it hard not to be enraptured by her. (He has to make a Resolve roll, which he does with a ‘6’). She claims that a ‘vivisectionist’ did this to her, and that she hears ‘voices’ telling her what to do. She again begs for Bas’ aid.
  • Bas tries to find out more. (Consort – Critical – double ‘6’) The poor woman will do anything for the hope that her transformation can be undone. Bas listens to her story but she can’t tell him much. He promises to look into it and tells her how to contact him again.
  • Suddenly she says that she has to go and she heads off into the smog. Bas and Hal carry on but suddenly there is a bloodcurdling scream. They race after her and find the hybrid woman dead from a knife-wound in the back. Her body is less than fifty metres away from where they talked. Far away, the Death Bells begin to toll.
  • Hal suggests that they get away before the Bluecoats turn up but Bas insists upon taking the body. He doesn’t like the idea of leaving a hybrid body for the authorities to find so close to the Dean’s laboratories. Besides, he points out, further investigation might yield further clues. Hal grimaces and he agrees to carry the body to the morgue at Charterhall University where it can be further studied.

Part 2 – Desperate Studies (Veretta)

  • Veretta has been hard at work searching for clues as to how to unlock the ancient gate using a ritual. He decides to try his luck at his Aunt’s place (Lady Penderyn). He speaks to his Aunt’s stablehand, George, and tries to find out when his Aunt will not be at home. (Risky, Consort – ‘5’) As a result, he finds that both Lord and Lady Penderyn are currently away but they have not left town. As such he decides to slip into the house and spend time researching in the library. The consequence of his action is that he is now in a Desperate position.
  • Veretta makes himself at home and he begins studying away (This is a Desperate study. An ‘Active Clock’ is started – “Trapped” – 0 of 4) He makes a Study roll and gets a ‘4’. As such, the “Trapped” clock becomes 1 of 4, but the “Researching the Deathlands Gate Ritual” clock is now 3 of 8. He finds an old manuscript which enables him figure out that the runework on the gate holds a deeper prophecy.
  • The family butler, Reginald, interrupts Veretta and asks how long he will be staying. Veretta strikes up a conversation with him and Reginald admits that he has the key to Lady Penderyn’s private library. Veretta asks if he could be allowed in to continue his research there. (Consort = ‘6’) Reginald thinks for a moment and then agrees to let Veretta in, but tells Veretta that he cannot be there for long.
  • Lady Penderyn’s library is small but the space is absolutely packed with books and old scrolls. The shelves go right to the ceiling. Veretta looks around – there is no obvious order to the books here. It will take him time to find something useful which will help him. He makes a Study roll and gets a ‘5’. As such the “Researching the Deathlands Gate Ritual” clock is now 4 of 8, but the “Trapped” clock is now 2 of 4. Lady Penderyn annotates her books and reading her comments are interesting to him. It takes him some time but he finds a symbology tome which references another book which he thinks will be of help to him.
  • Veretta tries to figure out how his Aunt has organised her library. He makes a Survey roll and gets a ‘5’). As such, he slowly figures it out - “the Researching the Deathlands Gate Ritual” clock is now 5 of 8, but the “Trapped” clock is now 3 of 4.
  • Now confident that he knows his way around, Veretta sits down again to study more books. A considerable amount of time has now passed. He makes a Study roll (another Desperate study!) and gets a ‘5’. As such, “the Researching the Deathlands Gate Ritual” clock is now 6 of 8 as he figures out the tentacle shapes on the rubbing from the Ancient Gate point to specific runes which are part of the ritual to open the gate. The consequence is the “Trapped” clock is now 4 of 4.
  • There is a ring at the front door and Veretta realises that he has spent too long here. He makes an Insight roll and gets a ‘6’ to avoid being cornered in the library itself. There are people rushing up the stairs. The sound of heavy boots rings loudly throughout the house.
  • Still in a Desperate situation, Veretta tries to remember somewhere in the house that he could hide. (Survey = ‘4’) He remembers that there is an abandoned dumbwaiter that he used to hide in as a child and he runs for that. Unfortunately for him, the dumbwaiter is smaller than he remembered and one of the goons shoots him as he attempts to flee, inflicting Level 2 Harm.
  • Veretta attempts to resist the Level 2 Harm but he rolls poorly and gets a ‘1’. The 5 points of Stress he takes pushes him into Trauma. As such, poor Veretta isn’t able to get out of the Penderyn house for some time – he hides in the cramped dumbwaiter while the place is thoroughly searched, unable to tend to his bloody wound. His new Trauma is ‘Paranoid’.

Part 3 – Bayer’s Gold (Leander, Nia, Bas, Hal)

  • The gemstones that Nia stole from the Circle of Flame are too hot to sell so they are stashed for the time being. Leander is certain that the Circle of Flame are after him – he’s determined to do one last score and then leave Duskwall for the time being.
  • Nyryx is still in her super-tough Hull body but the enchantment which binds her to the body has been weakened sufficiently such that she can leave the Hull and possess another body. However, for the moment, both Leander and Nyryx think that they may need the Hull body until they get out of town. Whatever second thoughts Nyryx has had about staying in Duskwall seem to have been temporarily dispelled. She is going with Leander.
  • Leander’s attention turns to Bridger, the ghost who claims to know where Bayer’s Gold is – ie: the gold bullion which was stolen off a moving train and disappeared along with the rest of the crew. Bridger produced one gold bar which appeared to be genuine. Unfortunately, talking with Bridger means leaving their hideaway (the Keep) and going to the Emporium shop in Six Towers.
  • Leander, Nia and Bas head to the Emporium shop with Hal shadowing them. Erik greets Bas and tells him that he’s hungry. He hands Leander a pile of business cards (all from Babel) – apparently the fat gentleman was rather insistent on meeting Leander and kept leaving cards. Parking that thought for the moment, Leander and the others head out the back with Bridger to talk to him about the gold that he claims to have stashed. Bas gives Erik some coins and tells him to get some food.
  • Bridger finds it hard to explain and he says that he’ll show them where it is hidden in Nightmarket. Leander is very uncomfortable about going out openly but his greed overrides his caution. They head across town to Nightmarket and Bridger takes them down to the undercity which is lit by electric lights. There is a busy market in the undercity and almost as many people there as there are at street level. In the main square there is a large statue of the Night Queen (one of the Forgotten Gods) that has been built to look as though it is holding up the ceiling. Around the statue are many acolytes who are worshipping at her feet.
  • When pressed, Bridger explains that none of this existed twenty years ago – and the statue had scaffolding all around it because it was still being finished. Bayer’s crew offloaded the gold into the body of the statue. It’s all there – inside the statue. The problem isn’t knowing where it is – the problem is how to get to it given that a) the Night Queen’s acolytes are there all the time, at all hours of the day and night, worshipping and guarding their God in shifts; and b) there is now a busy building above the Night Queen statue which would make access from above almost impossible.
  • A new Clock is started – “Acquiring Bayer’s Gold” – which is a 12 clock. (ouch!) Nia and Leander want to survey the area and figure out how to approach this. The others go back to the Keep to rest. Nia gets a ‘6’ on her Survey. Leander gets a ‘5’ on his Survey. The clock is now 3 of 12. They conclude that getting the gold will be extraordinarily difficult, particularly given the quantity that is hidden inside the statue. There appear to always be acolytes present. There are always people in the undercity. There are ebbs and flows but it is never quiet enough for a crew to open up the statue to retrieve the gold. There seems to be a regularity in the Bluecoat patrols – at least that is something.

Part 4 – Near Misses (Leander, Nia, Bas, Hal)

  • Leander and Nia return to the Keep. Leander muses with Bas about whether some sort of tunnelling machine might be viable to recover the gold – but this will all take considerable time.
  • Hal points out that Veretta hasn’t come back overnight and that is unusual for him. Given that Leander recently disappeared and had to be rescued, this feels like déjà vu. Despite being out all night, Nia heads out again to check out Veretta’s regular haunts – his favourite coffee shop, Charterhall Library, the Cat’s Cradle. He’s not at any of those places. Meanwhile, Bas also looks but he draws a blank.
  • Leander decides to head to the Emporium shop in Six Towers in case Babel knows where he is. Thena (a very young Greycloak) is looking after the store, along with Erik. Leander waits in the back. The wait is not long. After a few customers, there is the tinkle of the doorbell and then silence. Leander backs away from the curtain which partitions the back room from the shop front and draws a pistol. The curtain moves and Erik comes through. He looks frightened but whispers quietly that there are a lot of men in the shop who are looking for him. Leander thumbs for him to flee, and he makes his own way out of the shop (via a second storey window). Leander makes a Prowl roll and gets a ‘5’ (he was lucky as he only has 1D in Prowl) with the result that he gets away, but poor Thena is captured by the Circle of Flame.

Part 5 – Lying Low (Leander, Nia, Bas, Hal, Veretta, Nyryx, Quellyn)

  • When Leander returns to the keep, he finds that Veretta has returned. He’s been shot and Bas is giving him medical attention. (Bas gets a Critical – double ‘6’ on his Physicker roll, Nia ably assists with a ‘6’, and this reduces Veretta’s wound to Level 1.) Veretta tells them what has happened. He has been badly frightened by what happened to him. He never expected them to come after him in his Aunt’s house!
  • Erik returns and he confirms that they dragged away poor Thena. Leander talks with him (Consort = ‘2’) but Erik is too shaken to remember much about the brutes who kidnapped her. Leander asks Hal if he will pass the word to the Greycloaks – he agrees to do so.
  • Hal heads out into the streets and goes to find Nessa.
  • Time passes. Leander and Nyryx talk further – their plan was to catch a train to Whitehollow but if the Circle of Flame want them that badly, the Gaddoc Rail Station will almost certainly be watched.
  • After a number of hours, Hal returns, battered and bruised. He was ambushed by four thugs when trying to pass the message to Nessa. They weren’t Umbra Hunters or Red Sashes. He doesn’t know who they were, but he assumes that they were paid muscle for the Circle of Flame (given that the Emporium Crew wiped out their regular muscle, the Umbra Hunters). Hal says that Nessa got Thena back, but she’s pretty shaken. They interrogated her at knifepoint – apparently they asked her about Kotar, and also about each of the Emporium Crew. Nessa had to pay a bribe to get them to let Thena go – and they released her in Charterhall with a bag over her head. Thena doesn’t know much about who took her. She said she was an interrogated in a place that was pretty ‘posh’, but she didn’t recognise it.
  • The question then becomes as to what they should do next. The Circle of Flame could keep beating up the Emporium crew, attack the shops etc. Hal says that he’s pretty sure that the Greycloaks will protect the shops because it’s part of their cover but he doesn’t think they want to take on the Circle of Flame – and there is a limit to how long they will put up with this situation. Nessa doesn’t like putting her people in danger. Right now, she’ll stick by the Emporium Crew, but Hal is pretty sure she doesn’t want any part of a war against the Circle of Flame. She’s got her sights on Lord Strangford.
  • They decide to lie low and hopefully let it all blow over.
  • Veretta sends a message to Quellyn and asks her to get a specific book for him from Charterhall University. Veretta makes a Study roll and gets a ‘6’ – hence his directions are perfect and Quellyn comes to the Keep with the book that he wanted. Studying this, the “Researching the Deathlands Gate Ritual” clock is completed (8 of 8). He knows how to cast the ritual. A sacrifice of blood is required – his hands needs to be stained with blood when he touches the gate in order to open it.
  • Understanding that the ritual is some sort of summoning, Veretta feels a compulsion to use it. He makes a Resolve roll and gets a Critical (double ‘6’). He feels the pull of blood and ‘red hands’ but shrugs off the feeling. He realises that the central figure on the Ancient Gate rubbing is that of the Forgotten God called The Maw of the Void. (the same Forgotten God which has been active of late – and Nyryx has been killing his lamprey-headed minions)
  • When Veretta is resting comfortably, Bas turns his attention to Hal. Bas rolls a ‘6’ on his Physicker and he eases much of Hal’s discomfort.

Part 6 – The Ancient Gate to the Deathlands (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn)

  • The news that Veretta has mastered the ritual to open the gate to the Deathlands fills the Emporium Crew with new purpose. Figuring that it is better to be exploring than just lie low and do nothing, the Crew gears up to head out into the Deathlands.
  • A Fortune Roll is made for Nyryx to see what she will do – she gets a ‘5’. As such, she decides to stay in the Keep and wait for Leander’s return – she is still set on fleeing with him. As Nyryx is staying, Hal also stays in the Keep to keep her company, and also to keep an eye on Emporium interests across the city while the rest of the crew is away.
  • Quellyn is convinced to come with the Emporium Crew. She appears excited by the prospect but still tells Veretta that she ‘owes him big’.
  • An Engagement roll is made (2D) and it is a ‘3’, putting the crew in a Desperate position.
  • Everyone is travelling with Heavy Load. The crew make their way to the Grey Eel (their barge) but find that it has already been captured by a number of thuggish individuals. Sam, their loyal friend who looks after the boat, is nowhere to be seen.
  • Multiple clocks are running at this point (I can’t keep track of them all)
  • With the water route out of the question, the crew decide to head overland via Silkshore and Barrowcleft. Nia leads as the group’s pathfinder, finding the safest route for them to travel. (Nia’s Prowl is a ‘5’) Veretta slows the group down as he is even more twitchy than usual (he has acquired the Paranoid Trauma). It takes the crew a very long time to reach Barrowcleft.
  • At the edge of Barrowcleft, the crew see a number of Eelers’ Huts, just as the Old Gaffer said there would be. Along the shoreline is nasty black mud. Wading slowly through the mud, they find a sewer outlet which has been concealed by reeds which have grown up along the river’s edge. The sewer opening is blocked by an iron grate. There is a large chain and a padlock securing the opening and on the metal grate itself is a detailed piece of ironwork which matches the rubbing that Veretta has been studying for some time.
  • This sewer outlet seems to lead underneath some sort of older tower upon which the nearest lightning tower is built.
  • Before Leander can even ask, Nia has picked the padlock and removed the chain. (Finesse = ‘6’)
  • Veretta begins the ritual and cuts his hands in order to complete the sacrificial component of the spell. He gets a ‘5’ and has Improved Effect, but the consequence is Level 1 Harm as he has cut his hands. The Active Clock – “Find the Gate” is now 4 of 4. Veretta’s eyes glow - blazing red hands replacing his pupils for a moment and the gate swings open. The Crew look into the dark tunnel which lies beyond. Nia pockets the chain and padlock for the time being. They leave the Ancient gate open.

Part 7 – The Tunnel (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn)

  • Nia dons a pair of special goggles that enable her to see in the dark. She leads the way into the tunnel. It is thigh deep at the opening, and there are some bioluminescent mushrooms here and there which provide pockets of light. A fair way on, there is an old stone dock and a dry ledge. The sewer is wide enough to bring a small boat inside to this point. There are stairs leading upwards but they lead nowhere – the exit has been bricked in. Nevertheless, this could be a reasonable bolt-hole and place to rest. No one seems to have been here in a long time.
  • The sewer continues on. It looks like the roof is sloping downwards and soon it slips into inky black water. Leander doesn’t like this situation at all – he didn’t come equipped for this. Luckily Bas did – and he produces a number of waterproof pouches that can be used to store gunpowder and the like.
  • Figuring that there cannot be much more of the tunnel, Nia volunteers to go first. A rope is tied between her and Leander and then she dives. She gets a ‘4’, and hence is successful but the consequence is that multiple clocks are ticked. She reaches the sewer inlet and ties her rope to the other end to guide the others through. Leander manages to follow, but Quellyn, Bas and Veretta struggle. One of Leander’s pistols is ruined in the swim.
  • On the other side of the gate the Emporium Crew find themselves outside the lightning barrier, on the beach with the inky black sea rippling in front of them. Strange scuttling things can be heard in the rocks. The air feels different here – wilder, more primal.
  • Climbing up from the beach, they reach the old tower and follow an old path along the low cliff-tops towards the black outline of North Port. There are no light sources visible.

Part 8 – North Port (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn)

  • North Port is eerily quiet. There is evidence that a fire devastated this place – most of the buildings are just ruins. However, the ground has been disturbed recently – other people have been here. Perhaps another expedition?
  • Quellyn doesn’t like this place. She stays close to Veretta (which he likes).
  • They consult the map that Veretta has. Leander is keen to find the Treasury building – a three storey structure which may have partially survived.
  • It looks like the building which housed the smelting forge may be intact. Its low factory-style structure seems ominous. They find the treasury and smelter buildings, both damaged and windows smashed in, and signs of fire at one end of the treasury building.
  • Leander spots movement – he sees the shadow of a person moving towards one of the buildings, then beckoning to him from the doorway. The person seems fearful and is encouraging Leander to make haste and join him.
  • The rest of the crew is alerted and they fan out. Leander approaches the open doorway of the building very carefully. It feels like a trap. Leander makes an Attune roll (and he gets a ‘6’ on 1D) – he realises that the body of the person is being controlled like a puppet on strings. There is a larger predator waiting in the building, using the body as a lure. He feels that if he had taken one or two more steps, the Deathlands predator would have him.
  • Leander takes a step backwards and the creature leaps through the doorway after him, trying to snatch a meal. He has only 2 Stress left on his Stress Track, so there is a very real risk of Trauma here. Luckily he rolls a 5 on his Prowess Resistance, and takes 1 Stress – hence he avoids Trauma.
  • With this narrow escape, the rest of the crew take time surveying the nearby buildings and find that there are many more of these horrible spiderlike puppeteers. It seems like people come here to seek their fortune, but not many return….

And that’s where we left it. We continue on with Part 2 on 6th April.

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  • Hal and Nyryx have been cooped up for too long in the Keep. They stare at each other for a bit. Hal doesn’t like this new Nyryx – this new body may look human, but it doesn’t fool him. She’s not human. The sniping begins, and then they bicker, arguing about what is best for Leander. Neither of them wants to stay in the Keep any longer but they have different opinions about what to do while the others are away in the Deathlands. Nyryx normally has more patience than this but harsh words are said and she is quite enraged by Hal. Clearly her anger has been building for some time. The dining table is overturned, a chair is smashed and the two of them go for it.

  • Nyryx’s body is very strong (it is a hull) but Hal has already destroyed one like it. The fight between them doesn’t last long, but they do demolish part of the common room. They quickly realise that their anger is better directed at those that are after them. Nyryx makes some tea as a peace offering (she can’t drink it). The two sit down and share what they know about the Circle. Between them, they hatch a daring plan.

  • Later…

  • It is a busy night at the Red Lamp. In the secluded rooms all sorts of desires and fetishes are being met with discretion. The most discreet is the Madame of the House, Tesslyn, who enters the main bar where all sorts of folk meet to carouse. She nods at the extra guards watching the crowd and the door tonight.

  • She does not realise that she is being watched and has been trailed to the club [Hal rolled a 5,6 on Hunt]. Following Nyryx’s guidance, Hal attempts to enter via the front entrance that should only have two guards and are only there to turn away drunks. [Hal rolls a 2,3 on Prowl]. However, they identify Hal as one of the Emporium Crew (ie: they are ready for him). A fight ensues and Hal takes a beating from the two bouncers – Level 1 Bruised. Unwilling to give up so easily, Hal ups the ante and draws a blade.

  • While not unusual that drunkards are turned away with a minor scuffle, this sounds different to Tessyln and with her nod extra guards rush to the entrance in time to get thrown back in a barrage of bullets. A figure charges over them and straight towards Tesslyn. The new hired guards leap into the fray and the ring of steel is heard. It is chaos as the assailant battles his way through the panicking crowd and the guards that attack. He emerges bloody and Madame Tesslyn scrambles for the bar, firing off a shot from her hidden deringer-style firearm. She turns to see the bar aflame and Nyryx leaping over it to lay out another guard with a side-kick. Guards surround her but the ferocity of the two is difficult to hold back [Hal rolls a 1,4,5,5 Skirmish with an Assist from Nyryx, taking level 1 harm after checking armour]. The whistles of the Bluecoats and firemen can be heard in the background. The two tear into the guards and an off-duty bluecoat [+2 Heat] who just happens to be there. They make short work of them and seize Tesslyn before she can flee and call for more reinforcements.

  • Rather than escaping with the fleeing crowd, Nyryx leads Hal deeper into the Red Lamp and down into the basement. There, there is a hatch which leads into the catacombs. The hatch is guarded by a young Iruvian woman (one of Nyryx’s colleagues), but seeing Nyryx and Hal, she steps aside to let them pass. They drag Tesslyn away into the catacombs and the young woman shuts the hatch behind them before running to call for help.

  • Later in an abandoned factory in Coalridge…The air crackles with tension. Tesslyn struggles against her bonds and the horrible feeling of being possessed. Hal sits opposite her directing Nyryx’s spirit past Tesslyn’s charms [Hal Attune 1,4,4,6 with either assist from Nyryx]. Tesslyn settles knowing that further resistance is futile. The Madame is sweaty, dishevelled and looks genuinely scared. Normally she could count on Nyryx not to hurt her but this new Nyryx in a hull body is difficult to read, and there is dark fire in Hal’s eyes. Nyryx’s hull body sits quietly in the corner, and Tesslyn can feel Nyryx’s presence behind her eyes.

  • Hal starts talking and Tesslyn feels compelled to listen. Hal says he wants the Circle to just leave him alone, all seven of them. He wants to know why the Circle are warring with them. [rolled a ‘6’ for Nyryx] Tesslyn replies candidly. She believes that the Emporium Crew have the Heart of Kotar, and they broke a fair deal to trade for it. She wants the Heart of Kotar.

  • Poor as her position is, Tesslyn offers to negotiate a new deal. She doesn’t want to die, and she is clearly afraid.

  • Hal asks why the artefacts of Kotar matter so much to the Circle of Flame. She shrugs and says that they believe that Kotar unlocked the secrets of immortality and they want to learn those secrets. The best way to do that is to acquire the three known relics – the Eye, the Heart and the Hand.

  • Hal asks why they should give the artefacts of Kotar to them? [He rolls a 4 on Sway, hence there is a consequence] She says that the Circle of Flame is more powerful than the Emporium and has greater resources. If they don’t take this opportunity to negotiate, then she’s almost certain that the Emporium Crew will be destroyed. She says this matter of factly – she believes this to be the truth.

  • The consequence to this is that Hal says “artefacts” (ie: plural). Tesslyn picks up on this. She doesn’t know that the Emporium Crew have two of the relics, but she assumes (incorrectly) that they know where one of the other artefacts is. Given what she knows, she assumes that they know where the Eye of Kotar is (not the Hand).

  • Tesslyn presses and says that if they let her go, and deliver her the Heart of Kotar, then the Circle of Flame will back off. Tesslyn gasps as Nyryx tightens her grip on her. She pleads with Nyryx, promising that she’ll leave Leander alone.

  • It takes some time for Tesslyn to catch her breath. Puppeteering Tesslyn, Nyryx prompts Hal to ask about the other members of the Circle of Flame. Hal does so.

  • Tesslyn frowns. She warns Nyryx and Hal that the Circle of Flame is out of the Emporium’s league. She’ll tell them, but only to make it clear how powerful the Circle of Flame is and how important it is to negotiate before it is too late. She also says that the Maw of the Void is particularly active and she needs Nyryx back on her side more than she realises.

  • She tells them that there are seven ‘powerful people’. Nyryx sees the images in Tesslyn’s mind and speaks through Tesslyn the names of the seven. They consist of:
    — Lady Penderyn (Veretta’s aunt and one of the Duskwall’s ruling noble families)
    — Lord Mora (a powerful industrialist)
    — Madame Tesslyn (the owner of the Red Lamp, and also controller of a group of assassins known as the Red Hand)
    — Harvale Brogan (currently the owner of the Centuralia Club, previously an Umbra Hunter)
    — Estera Avrathi (the Iruvian ambassador)
    — Lady Drake (again, a very powerful noble and judge)
    — Raffello (a young man whom she describes as a ‘visionary’)

  • Tesslyn’s threat works. Hal’s mind races and he is a little unsettled, particularly by the news that Lady Penderyn is one of them. He wonders if Veretta knows. Hal cuts to the quick and momentarily lapses back into his usual ways. He plays with a knife in his hand and looks at her with dead eyes. What would it take for a truce?

  • Meanwhile, Tesslyn having a ‘spirit-to-spirit’ conversation with Nyryx. Tesslyn is seeking from reassurance from Nyryx that she won’t let Hal hurt her. Nyryx refuses to commit, which scares Tesslyn even further. Tesslyn reminds Nyryx that they’ve known each other for over thirty years – she’s the closest thing to a friend that Nyryx has.

  • Tesslyn decides to try to take more control over the conversation. She repeats her perspective that she tried to deal fairly with the Emporium Crew, trading Coin for the Heart of Kotar and got screwed over. Whatever their reputation, the Emporium Crew can’t be trusted and this situation isn’t helping at all. She wants the Emporium Crew to stay out of the Circle of Flame’s affairs and to hand over the Heart of Kotar. She doesn’t mind bargaining a new ‘peace’ but that can only commence when they’ve handed over the Heart. If the Emporium Crew are good at acquiring and moving arcane objects, then this could be very useful to the Circle – but they need to rebuild a considerable amount of trust first.

  • Hal thinks for a bit. He doesn’t like that Leander has damaged their professional reputation. He agrees that their specialty is smuggling arcane items, and they are definitely more interested in this life than the next. He suggests that perhaps that in addition to returning the Heart that they could acquire something for the Circle of Flame as a demonstration of good faith. He makes it clear that the Emporium Crew is a professional outfit and their reputation matters.

  • Tesslyn listens. She says that she can convince the other members of the Circle of Flame to honour an agreement if the Heart is handed over to her. Then they can work on rebuilding the damaged trust between them.

  • Hal offers to give his word that they will trade the Heart of Kotar and perform another acquisition for the Circle – but only if the Circle of Flame stops the war and backs off. If there is any sign that the Emporium is under attack then the deal is off. Hal also threatens that if they touch any of them, he will personally hunt them down starting with Tesslyn.

  • Sensing victory, Tesslyn asks for Nyryx to deliver the Heart of Kotar to her at the Red Lamp – and then they have a deal. Hal thinks hard and agrees.

  • Tesslyn suddenly slumps and then sits back up again as Nyryx takes over. After being untied, Nyryx-as-Tesslyn stands up. She makes it clear that Tesslyn is unconscious and she suggests walking Tesslyn home. Hal then suggests that they get the Heart of Kotar first – what could be more professional than getting Tesslyn safely home with the box in her hands? Nyryx agrees to this after being convinced that simply carrying the box won’t attract the Spirit Wardens. Hal asks about her hull body and Nyryx says that it’s not likely to be disturbed in the next few hours. Hal offers to make sure and he conceals it further before they leave.

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Session 18 – The North Port Score – Part 2
Also known as Season 2 Episode 6.

NB: note that there was an error in the writeup in Session 17. It should have been that Quellyn believes that Veretta owes her a favour for joining him on the North Port score, not the other way around.

Part 1 - Creepy North Port (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn)

  • Leander is rattled by his recent near-miss from the spider-creatures which use fleshy puppets as lures (he only has one stress remaining). There are no ghosts around here – none at all. That is unusual. The crew wonders if they have run out of food or whether they are being drawn away from here.
  • The crew starts in a Risky position. There is a clock marked “Others” which is currently 3 of 4.
  • Nia and Veretta take their time with the map of North Port, comparing the map against the physical reality (Group Survey = ‘6’). There are many tracks from outside of North Port which lead here – but fewer seem to leave. Some of the tracks lead into the buildings and don’t come out again. They spot a well-worn path which leads down a dark alley towards the docks – the tracks go both ways. But it also leads away from the treasury building.
  • Hanging back with Bas and Quellyn, Leander looks into the ghost field (Attune = ‘2’) but wherever he looks, he sees hungry eyes peering back at him from the nearby buildings. It unsettles him greatly and he has to look away, losing the opportunity. Seeing his friend’s discomfort, Bas decides to look more closely at the treasury building (Attune = ‘5’) – the treasury building appears to be clear of the spider-things, but the nearby smelter and almost all of the other buildings appear to be infested by these creatures. (The clock marked “Others” is now 4 of 4)
  • The crew look at one another – can they take the risk of heading straight into the treasury? What is keeping the creatures away from infesting that building too? Is there something worse inside that the spiders are afraid of?

Part 2 – Into the Treasury (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn)

  • Nia and Veretta look carefully over the best way into the treasury building. (Veretta’s Survey is a ‘6’ and Nia’s is a ‘2’) As such, they enter the building in a Desperate position. The upper floors are burnt and the stairs are burnt away – they enter a debris-covered hallway. None of them like it here. There is no light here except the lamps that they carry.
  • Outside, the spider-things leave their vantage points and scuttle closer in the mist, slowly surrounding the treasury building and peering into the structure via the many windows and gaping holes. The crew however is unaware of this.
  • In one of the rooms, Veretta finds a metal safe that seems to have survived the fire. The debris in front of it is quickly removed and Nia goes to work. (Nia gets a ‘6’ on her Finesse roll to open the safe, but she takes a Devil’s Bargain – as she is working, she spots the glint of metal through the floorboards – there is something ‘shiny’ below)
  • Inside the safe are silver coins and valuables worth 8 Coin. The crew is pleased. Veretta is happy that his research has paid off.
  • The conversation turns to what might be on the lower level. In the distance, the crack of a whip suddenly breaks the silence. Something or someone is coming.
  • Nia slinks to the nearest window and peers carefully out – but can see nothing. (Fortune roll = ‘2’) There is silence once more and attention turns to the floorboards and what could be underneath. Leander suggests prying up a few of the floorboards to get a better look. Bas takes out a crowbar and gets to work.

Part 3 – The Lower Level (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn)

  • Bas puts his back into it and pries up two of the floorboards (Wreck = ‘3’) but doing so weakens the floor. With a groan and a terrible crash, the floor collapses under Bas, sending him into a deep hole. Bas takes Level 3 Harm, but he checks Armour (reducing to Level 2) and makes a Prowess resistance roll (a ‘5’) to reduce the Harm to Level 1 (Battered and Bruised).
  • Bas gives a thumbs up from the level below and calls out that he is okay. He brushes off the cobwebs (there are a lot of them) and goes over to the shiny object. It is a statue of a horse, made of precious metal with two gemstones for eyes. It is worth 1 Coin.
  • Behind him, a monstrous orb-spider moves deliberately towards him through the shadows. He is not alone in the basement.
  • The creature takes him by surprise and attempts to suck the life out of him. Bas makes a Resolve roll (a ‘4’). He breaks free and leaps back.
  • With her nightvision goggles, Nia is the only one who can see the creature clearly. She draws knives and leaps down on the creature while Leander fumbles for a pistol. With catlike grace, Nia lands on the massive body of the spider-thing (Skirmish – ‘3’) but she slides off the body and the creature quickly pins her down and begins draining her (for Level 3 Harm). She checks Armour (reducing to Level 2) and makes a Resolve roll to resist (a ‘5’), reducing the Harm to Level 1 (Drained).
  • Bas takes out one of his flasks of fire oil and primes it. He accepts a Devil’s Bargain that whatever happens, Nia will take Level 1 Harm from splashing, burning oil. He throws the fire oil (and gets a ‘5’ on his Skirmish). As such he does it – the monstrous nightmare catches fire – the fire consumes it very quickly, and it screams a high pitched scream as it dies horribly. However, Nia takes Level 1 Harm (Burned) which she promptly resists with Prowess (a ‘6’). Unfortunately, Bas takes Level 3 Harm as he is splashed by the burning oil. He resists with Prowess which reduces the harm to Level 2 (Burnt Arm).
  • The light from the fire illuminates the target but the creature goes up so quickly that Leander doesn’t even fire a shot. However, the shadows move – there is more than one of them in the basement.
  • Bas is in extreme pain as he tries to dowse the flames on his arm. He tersely tells Nia to get the loot otherwise this has all been for nothing. Nia does what she is told and she scoots here and there, grabbing 2 Coin worth of valuables that are scattered on the basement floor.
  • When she sees another monstrous creature moving in the shadows, starting to round the flaming corpse of the other spider, she grabs Bas and leads him in the direction of what she hopes is the nearest staircase. A Fortune roll (a ‘5’) results that she does find a nearby staircase and the crew is quickly reunited on the ground floor.

Part 4 – Escaping the Treasury (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn)

  • Shaken, they hurriedly consult the map. Luckily Veretta’s research of North Port includes a map of the treasury building itself. (He makes a Survey roll and gets a ‘5’). Worried that whoever is cracking a whip is likely to be out in the main street, Veretta finds the back entrance. They carefully make their way through the ruined corridor towards what is left of the back door.
  • Quellyn stays close to Veretta but then suddenly she lets go of his arm. (this is the consequence of the ‘5’). One of the monstrous spiders has her and is dragging her down one of the side corridors. Leander is closest to her – he sees her pleading eyes until the darkness swallows her up. Deeply frightened, Leander nonetheless acts. (He rolls a Skirmish, accepts a Devil’s Bargain that he will have nightmares of Old North Port for some time to come, and gets a ‘5’). Leander’s pistol goes off – it makes a very loud sound that will no doubt attract attention but he is sure that he hit the spider thing. (the consequence is that the shot only had reduced effect).
  • Veretta runs after Quellyn, trying to get her out of the thing’s grip. Quellyn takes Level 2 Harm as it sucks on her lifeforce. Catching up with the thing, Veretta blasts away with a pistol (he gets a ‘5’ on the Skirmish), killing the thing. The second gunshot is very loud in the confined space. It crashes to the ground, and thrashes in its death throws, spewing yellow ichor. Dragging a stunned Quellyn along with him, Veretta heads back to the others as he sees another monstrous spider coming down the corridor in hot pursuit (the consequence of getting the ‘5’ is that there is another creature to replace the one which has just been killed).
  • The crew flees out into the street. There is a thick mist here. The spider-thing stops at the exit and glares at them with its many bloodshot eyes – it clearly doesn’t want to follow them outside.

Part 5 – Escape from North Port (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn)

  • Out on the street, there are voices speaking Akorosi. There are many of them – how many, it’s hard to tell. The gunshots have been heard and they are alert that there are others here in North Port.
  • The Emporium crew is in no shape to take another gang, and they have a feeling that they could be outnumbered. Under the cover of the fog, Bas decides to prime a grenade to draw attention away their escape route. He uses an improvised timer to increase the delay. (Tinker = ‘3’) Bas finds setting this up very difficult with his badly burned arm. The explosion goes off too soon, and rather than drawing the other gang away from them, it has the opposite effect. There are shouts and gunshots. The other gang starts chasing the Emporium Crew.
  • At this point there are two 4-Clocks. One is for “Us”, representing our escape, and the other is “Them”, representing how close they are to catching us.
  • Leander tells Nia to lead the others to safety and he embarks upon a bold plan to divert pursuit. Firing shots, he tries to get their attention (Sway = ‘5’). He succeeds but is hit by a hail of gunfire as he flees. He takes Level 3 Harm, and checks armour to reduce to Level 2 (Shoulder Wound). He cannot make a Resistance roll without risking Trauma as he has only 1 stress slot left. The “Us” Clock is now 2 of 4, the “Them” Clock is 1 of 4.
  • Nia leads the others to safety and gets a ‘5’ on her Prowl roll – the consequence is Reduced Effect and an increment of the “Them” Clock. As such, the “Us” Clock is now 3 of 4, the “Them” Clock is 2 of 4.
  • There seem to be many of the enemy rovers in pursuit, and they fan out to catch him. Leander remains in a Desperate position. He tries another diversion to buy time for the others, attempting give his pursuers the impression that he went into the one of the spider-infested buildings (He rolls a ‘4’ on Sway) which might cause them to break off, or possibly even to run headlong into the buildings and get caught themselves. This plan works (the “Us” Clock is now 4 of 4), however Leander is shot in the back – Level 3 Harm. He has no Armour left to check, and only 1 Stress left. He could roll Resistance but anything but a 6 would result in Trauma (he actually has 3 dice on a Prowess Resistance, but that only gives him a 42% chance of success – not good odds at all).
  • Leander staggers around the side of the building and simply collapses. The mist offers him a little bit of concealment but it is only a matter of time before the spiders come down to get him – if the enemy gang doesn’t find him first.
  • Luck is with him. For whatever reason (he did get a success and the Clock is complete), they don’t find him. They somehow miss him. At the boundary of life and death, Leander is almost delusional. He swears that he hears screaming along the main road – as if people are being fed to the spider-things. The screams are brief and they fall quickly silent.

Part 6 – Rescuing Leander (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn)

  • Nia and the others get back to the North Port side of the Ancient Gate. Thirty minutes passes and Leander has not joined them. Telling them to stay put, Nia heads back to try to find him (Prowl = ‘5’ with Improved Effect).
  • At this point there are two new Clocks running. One is for Nia to “Find Leander”, and the other is called “Munchie Munchies”, representing that the spiders have found him. Both are 4 Clocks. The “Find Leander” Clock is currently 2 of 4 because of the Prowl result (above).
  • By the time Nia returns to North Port, everything is silent and there is no sign of the other gang. Nia tries to figure out where Leander might have gone using Survey (and gets a ‘2’). As such, the “Munchie Munchies” Clock is now 2 of 4.
  • Leander is struggling to move. He can feel the end is near, and it is only a matter of time before the creatures find him. He slowly loads his pistol, preparing for the likely possibility that a spider will find him and trying not to lose consciousness for the last time.
  • Nia continues to try to find him. She guesses that he probably tried to head toward the port. She makes soft mewing sounds which she hopes that he will hear and reply to – but Leander cannot hear them. The spiders in the buildings nearby seem quieter now – she doesn’t know why. She patiently continues to look for him (Survey = ‘6’) and finds that he has half-dragged himself into a small alcove away from the main street. He is in a bad way – there is blood everywhere – but he is alive.
  • The crew is now in a Risky position. They make it back to the Ancient Gate (Leander has to be assisted – he is in awful shape). It looks like some sort of large slimy creature has swum from the sea up this outlet into the rivers of Duskwall, but it is gone now. They chain and relock the gate. Veretta reseals it.
    *It takes them a very long and painful time before they are able to return to the Keep. They see no one hunting for them but they don’t know why (because Nyryx/Hal have ended the war and the Circle of Flame are not after them).

Score Results

  • Reputation: +4 (promoted to Tier 3, Strong – and words starts to get out that the Emporium Crew have been out in the Deathlands)
  • Heat: +2 (which makes them Wanted Level 1)
  • Entanglements – we rolled out that one of the +3 factions asks a favour that the Emporium crew would be inclined to accept. So that pretty much means that the Greycloaks will likely have a job for them (future score!)
  • Coin: +11 (divided up 2 each, and 1 for Quellyn)
  • Individual XP: Veretta (8xp), Leander (4xp), Bas (6xp), Hal (4xp), Nia (7xp) – a lot of this because of desperate actions
  • Crew XP: +3
  • Side Business Action: 0 Coin (there is a lot of disruption to the Emporium business after the War with the Circle of Flame)
  • Faction Adjustments: now -2 with Circle of Flame (improved from -3 War footing)
  • Active Clocks
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 3 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) - still 0 of 6
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 2 of 8
    – Find Bayer’s Gold - 4 of 4 (completed)
    – Acquiring Bayer’s Gold (new clock) – 3 of 12
    – The Spirit Wardens Find You - 0 of 4 (restarted clock)

Part 7 – Return to Duskwall (Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta, Quellyn, Hal, Nyryx)

  • Hal and Nyryx are relaxing in the half-destroyed common room when the crew comes in. They are bloodied, covered in mud. Leander looks half-dead.
  • Leander is actually in a very bad way and Bas is in no condition to administer medical treatment. Veretta asks if it’s safe to get Sawtooth and Hal quickly explains that the war with the Circle of Flame is over – they gave them the Heart of Kotar. At this, Leander passes out. Veretta helps Quellyn to a couch. Hal rushes to get Sawtooth, and Nyryx makes Leander comfortable until he arrives.
  • Bas recovers some burn salves to ease the pain in his arm. They try to keep Leander alive until the doctor arrives. Nyryx is clearly concerned but her hull body doesn’t show the full range of emotion that she must be feeling.
  • Sawtooth arrives quickly and goes to work on Leander before he can help with Bas. Seeing that the doctor has arrived, Nia drifts away to go and run a bath – she hates being filthy.
  • It takes considerable time (over a week) and 2 Coin before Leander is able to move around properly. He has taken serious damage (a Level 3 and a Level 2 Harm). Nyryx watches over him some of the time. They talk a little. Leander asks her why she handed over the Heart of Kotar and she tells him that he already has what he wanted – giving them the Heart of Kotar meant keeping the bargain that he made with them. Otherwise the war would have continued and people would have gotten hurt. When he sleeps, Leander has nightmares of North Port and being dragged into dark buildings to be eaten alive by giant spiders.
  • Bas’ burns are severe and take time to heal. He is wary of being away from his duties at Charterhall University for too long.
  • Quellyn is exhausted from her ordeal and she spends time with Veretta at the Keep as she regains her strength.
  • In the days that follow their return, Hal and Nia check on the Emporium shops and confirm that the Circle of Flame have held up their end of the bargain. However Nia’s cousin, Roslyn warns her that three of Clan Vulk (the wolflike Tycherosians who are her hated enemies) have been sighted in Duskwall. They are clearly here for her.
  • The crew talk about their next move. Clearly they were not well prepared for the Deathlands. They agree to hire some specialists (their Rover Cohort which they’ve had for 2-3 sessions but it didn’t make sense in narrative terms to introduce them). Hal goes on a recruitment drive and starts putting together a team. His first recruit is Ruskin, a fresh-faced ranger who looks too young to have experience in the Deathlands – but he clearly is both knowledgeable and capable. It’s a start.

Part 8 – At the Red Lamp (Hal, Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta)

  • When healed, the Emporium crew are asked to visit Lady Tesslyn at the Red Lamp. The entire crew goes along. Hal notes that there are Red Sashes protecting Lady Tesslyn – he notes with distaste that Mercy (his negative contact) is among them. Lady Tesslyn talks with Hal (she ignores Leander) – pleasantries are exchanged. She then asks about the Eye of Kotar.
  • Hal feigns ignorance but it quickly comes out that Hal was seen on the Iruvian cargo ship that was carrying the Eye of Kotar. Mercy saw him – so the Circle of Flame knows that they had the Eye. Tesslyn hopes that they still have it. As Hal and Veretta try to make excuses that they no longer have it, Tesslyn brushes them off and encourages them to recover this relic from whoever currently has it. She offers a considerable sum in Coin for it to be given to her. She assumes that either they still have it (they are lying) or they would know who they sold it to – she wants the Emporium Crew to get it back for her.
  • The Emporium Crew is allowed to leave (they still have -2 relationship with the Circle of Flame) but in return for normalisation of relationships with the Circle of Flame and a considerable amount of Coin, it is made clear that Tesslyn wants the Eye of Kotar.

Part 9 – Making Plans at the Keep (Hal, Leander, Nia, Bas, Veretta)

  • The crew return to the Keep, wondering what to do. Bas points out that it doesn’t sound urgent and they could ‘stall’. Bas is particularly interested in finding out what the Maw of the Void is up to. After all, Belloc-as-Becker was placed in a position by Lord Strangford who seems to be financing the Dean’s underwater experiments. Belloc-as-Becker has a lamprey-headed minder. Then there are the creatures in the catacombs that Nyryx has been fighting that have the same lamprey features. It’s also possible that Severin has gone further with his investigations into what was recovered from Becker’s safe.
  • Setarra – The Dean – Strangford – The Maw of the Void – it all seems connected somehow. They feel that they need to get some answers. They don’t know what these parties are up to but if they are working together, it can’t be good.

And that’s where we left Session 18. Next session will be Tuesday 20th April.

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Session 19 – The ‘Dealing with Devils’ Score
Also known as Season 2 Episode 7.

It’s hard to know what to call this session. There was no Engagement Roll, no real Score but a bunch of stuff was done and the Crew progressed a number of plots such as improving their relationship with the Circle of Flame, finding out what The Dean and Strangford are up to, and also dealing with Clan Vulk. There was something ‘for everyone’ in this session. A lot of setup for Session 20. This Season will end with Session 24, and it looks like the group wants to take a break before embarking on Season 3.

The player who plays Bas couldn’t attend this session, so he was ‘busy’ with The Dean until the very end of the session.

Part 1 – Information Gathering (Between Sessions)

  • Bas
    – When Bas returns to work, The Dean is very pleased to see him. Scooping him up, The Dean wants to hear everything about what Bas has in mind with his prosthetics project. The Dean listens but quickly steers to conversation towards mechanical augmentation. (Consort = ‘5’) He is wondering if some of the mechanical arms that have been created with specialist capabilities (drilling, heavy lift etc) could be added to some of selected members of his workforce.
    – As an offhand comment, The Dean does mention that Bas’ work on reviving the Leviathan Spawn has gained him a lot of attention ‘in the right circles’. The Dean is interested in seeing if this technique could be attempted on something ‘bigger’. He wants to know the amount of electroplasm that would be required to reanimate something larger.
    – Sub-basement 2 is a hive of activity. A lot of the workforce are human (including scientists from Charterhall University) but there are some non-humans (hybrids), and there are hulls being tested for underwater work. The hulls are clearly meant to operate in inky blackness / murky waters. Bas would note that one of the two submersibles is currently absent – it appears to have been moved. When he asks where it has gone, no one seems to know exactly. The people around him assume it has gone for some sort of ‘field testing’.
  • Hal
    – Hal heads out with Ruskin and the other Deathlands Rovers to check out North Port. (Gather Information = ‘4’) It takes considerable time to stake out North Port and find out what it is going on. The Deathlands Rovers are able to identify these creatures as Void Spiders, and they are unusually well fed, as if someone has been feeding them. The Void Spiders not only consume bodies but also spirits as well – that is why there are no ghosts here. Who is behind this and why remains unknown….
    – Talking with Nessa (Consort = ‘6’), it sounds like the Greycloaks’ vendetta against Lord Strangford is going slowly. Strangford himself is at sea on one of his Leviathan Hunters and isn’t due back for a few weeks. Two of his lieutenants (Dass, Horroway) went to Whitehollow a few days ago. She doesn’t know why. Her best lead at the moment is Belloc-as-Becker (who is based at Blackpier in the Docks area). Apparently he reports that Becker has recruited a number of sailors – effectively a special crew. It looks like some of those individuals have been turned into hybrids – a real freakshow. The carrot to be hybridised seems to be Coin – it makes them more effective Leviathan Hunters. She still doesn’t know how the Greycloaks are going to restore their old jobs and get even with Strangford. Killing Strangford isn’t going to necessarily help them get their old jobs back. She seems a bit sad.
    – It’s pretty clear to Hal that Nessa and the Greycloaks need help – either to find evidence to undo their convictions, or manufacture evidence. (This is the Entanglement that was rolled up at the end of last session). In talking to Nessa, he finds out the presiding magistrate for their trial was Lady Drake – whom he knows is a member of the Circle of Flame.
  • Veretta
    – Poor Quellyn is still recovering from her difficult time in the Deathlands. Veretta decides to seek counsel with Lord Scurlock. (Consort = ‘Critical’) It is a pleasant conversation. Veretta is even offered tea and biscuits (he can’t remember the last time that Scurlock was so welcoming) Veretta explains about the Circle of Flame and handing over the Heart of Kotar to them. He also explains a little of what has been discovered about Lord Strangford and the dwindling supplies of electroplasm across the empire. (He doesn’t mention The Dean or any of the activity going on at Charterhall University)
    – Lord Scurlock is aware of Kotar although he never met him. Kotar was a scholar/sorcerer who existed about the same time as when the world ‘broke’. When the end of the world was prophesied, there were a number of individuals who were exploring and experimenting with different forms of immortality. From what Scurlock understands, Kotar achieved immortality but there was a cost. He doesn’t know the circumstances but Kotar’s physical body was destroyed and only fragments remain. However, there are disciples of Kotar who believe that Kotar could be revived, and there are those who believe that Kotar’s secrets could be copied. The Heart is said to have the power to heal and revive. Scurlock is aware of the Circle of Flame – he thinks that they don’t understand what they are meddling with. Even the Heart in their possession is dangerous. He would prefer that it were recovered if possible (he tries to sound Veretta out as to whether he could recover it) but alternatively, he suggests joining the Circle of Flame (clearly Scurlock would appreciate an ‘inside man’)
    – Veretta mentions to Lord Scurlock that the Circle of Flame want the Eye of Kotar. Scurlock suggests that the relic to be given to him and he offers compensation. Veretta says that he’ll think on this.
    – In terms of the Hand of Kotar, Scurlock says that it cannot be reached. It is behind a door that cannot be opened in a place deep within the Deathlands. He does mention that there is a Key, but he doesn’t say who currently possesses it. (Veretta assumes that if Scurlock doesn’t have it then he probably knows who does)
    – In terms of Strangford, Scurlock refers to him as a very smart man, perhaps too smart. Strangford is ambitious and if the Leviathan Hunters are struggling to produce the amount of electroplasm that the Imperium needs, he would no doubt have a plan to take advantage of that situation. Scurlock would also mention that Strangford’s ‘star rose very quickly’, and that marks him as a dangerous man with powerful friends (and many enemies). Scurlock appears to be ambivalent regarding Strangford – he’s been useful to the Imperium so far. But Scurlock says that it will not take long for the Ministry of Preservation to figure out there is a problem (they do not currently appear to be aware). Strangford’s enemies will multiply when they do become aware. Scurlock gives Veretta the impression that what helped Strangford amass so much power so quickly could have ‘tainted him’ (suggesting that he may have been meddling with something arcane).
    – Lord Scurlock has heard that Veretta has recently been out in the Deathlands. He thinks that this is good for him, but tells him to stay away from North Port in future as it is a dangerous place. Scurlock reminds Veretta that he would like an artefact recovered from the Lost District. He can suggest other targets if this would be of interest.
  • Nia
    – Becker’s house is in Blackpier (at the Docks) which is incidentally adjacent to the wharf where Strangford’s ships berth when they come to Duskwall. Strangford’s flagship is currently at sea.
    – Nia decides to follow Belloc-as-Becker’s minder, and she successfully tracks his movements back to an ‘accommodation’ in Fishmarket (still in the Docks). (Prowl = ‘6’ – Improved Effect) There seem to be multiple hybrids here and she notes that they have access to the canals from this house – so they have freedom of movement using the waterways.
    – A figure cloaked in deep purple comes to the Fishmarket premises. Nia spots a glint of metal – possibly a bracelet. There is something unusual about the hood, suggesting that the individual could be Tycherosi or a hybrid. Nia is able to track this individual when he (she?) leaves. He travels on foot to a house in Foghollow (in Crow’s Foot). The figure seems to avoid crowds/groups of people. There are a couple of occasions where the figure seems to pause as if unsure as to whether he is being followed or not, but Nia is sure that she remains unseen. Nia wonders who this individual is – she didn’t get a glimpse of his (her?) face. Nia does realise that the townhouse that this individual went into looks out across towards Strangford’s manor house. Just as Nia is about to give up, The Dean of Charterhall University arrives. He stays for about an hour and then leaves.
  • Leander
    – Leander is still recovering from his ordeals in the Deathlands. He has terrible nightmares (as per the Devil’s Bargain that he took). Nyryx tries to comfort him as best she can (difficult given the hull body).
    – The highlight of Leander’s convalescence is when Nyryx brings him some takeaway food from a high quality establishment to cheer him up. (ie: indulging his vice)
  • Nyryx / Quellyn
    – Nyryx seems frustrated. She is no longer locked into the hull body but he doesn’t have an alternative. She goes to see Lady Tesslyn, trying to smooth things over between them but Tesslyn is frosty towards her (Fortune = ‘4’). Tesslyn is still angry with Nyryx for helping to abduct her (it’s a betrayal of trust given that they have been friends for a long time). On the way out, Nyryx talks with some of the Red Hand (Tesslyn’s personal ‘hit squad’) – apparently the creatures in the catacombs are a bit quieter for the moment, but they are continuing to increase in numbers. They would like to see her back on their side.
    – Meanwhile, Quellyn is still feeling exhausted/rattled by her encounter with a Void Spider. When Veretta leaves to go and see Lord Scurlock, Quellyn decides to ‘go home’ and Nyryx offers to make sure that she gets home safely. The two talk (they’re not friends and they don’t often talk).
    – When Quellyn arrives home, she discovers that her residence has been burgled (Fortune = Triple ‘1’). She bursts into tears – even her spirit jars are smashed and the spirit jar containing her mother is gone.

Part 2 – Bas is Absent (Bas)

  • The session opens and we see Bas looking very harassed. His hair is stuck up. He hasn’t bathed in days. He is busy busy busy working for The Dean. He’s been given a larger leviathan spawn to work on (this one weighs over 3000 pounds) and his goal is to reanimate it as he did with Black Medusa. He knows that he can do it using electroplasm but the trick is to use just the right amount and the right concentration without side effects. The Dean is pushing him for success and he hasn’t slept in days. He is drinking a lot of klava to keep going and he hasn’t been allowed to go home.
  • We see Bas take a few minutes to scribble down some notes, figuring out how much candy is left in the Emporium inventories and how long it will last. Bas seems concerned that the Emporium will run out of stock. He satisfies himself that there will be enough for a few more days and he gets back to work. We see the size of thing and it is huge – like a Volkswagen Beetle with an armoured carapace. The viewers are left wondering why he is being asked to reanimate such a creature.

Part 3 – Regrouping at the Cat’s Cradle (Hal, Leander, Nia, Veretta)

  • Bas is conspicuously absent. No one has heard for him for a few days but no one is yet worried about him. Erik went to look for him but isn’t back yet. The Emporium business seems to be almost back to normal – the damage inflicted by the Circle of Flame has been almost repaired and the customers are coming back. (after all, they are addicted to the candy)
  • The Crew discusses what they have learned and what to do about the Circle of Flame. Do they hand over the Eye of Kotar, and what do they want in return? Also, what should they do about the Greycloaks?
  • Hal points out that there is no point finding out what The Dean is up to whilst Bas is working directly for him – it may put him danger.
  • A newcomer enters the Cat’s Cradle. It is Mercy. She looks uncomfortable but she orders a drink and waits for Hal to come over to talk to her. Mercy tries to talk to Hal, suggesting that the war is over and they should bury the hatchet but Hal isn’t interested. He tells her to get out and Mercy leaves, abandoning her drink. She is met outside by three other Red Sashes and they leave without incident.
  • The conversation returns to what to do about the Eye of Kotar, the Circle of Flame and the Greycloaks. Should they hand over the Eye, or keep it and use it? Should they involve the Spirit Wardens?
  • After a while, the group comes up with a list of what they would want from the Circle of Flame in order to part with the Eye. No one is interested in Coin – they want other things. Nia wants the Circle of Flame to use their influence to get rid of Clan Vulk. Hal wants a pardon for the Greycloaks from Lady Drake. Veretta sees value in making the Emporium Crew the ‘preferred supplier’ of arcane items for the Circle of Flame and improving relations between the groups. Leander points out that in order to pardon the Greycloaks, they’ll probably have to sacrifice Harvale Brogan, the last Umbra Hunter. If that happens, the Centuralia Club will need a new owner/manager. Leander wants to run the Centuralia Club, if that’s an option. The others point out that this will probably put him in danger but Leander isn’t dissuaded. He likes the idea of working towards an alliance with the Circle of Flame, starting with a normalisation of relationships between the groups.
  • At last, the crew decides to return to the Keep to discuss the matter further.

Part 4 – Nyryx’s New Disciple (Quellyn, Nyryx)

  • Quellyn wails as she surveys the damage to her apartment. Everything is either gone or has been destroyed. Who would do such a thing? She had kept her mother safe and secure (in a spirit jar) and now the jar is smashed and her mother’s spirit is out there somewhere. Nyryx tries to comfort her.
  • Quellyn’s cries alert one of the neighbours. The door opens and Malista walks in. (Last seen in Session 12, Malista was the chief priestess of the Shining One and it was she who organised for three of the possessor spirits to be summoned into the bodies of powerful hulls. She was last seen with a knife in her chest from where Leander had stabbed her.) Malista shows concern for Quellyn (they are friends, that’s why she was at the party in Session 12) and tries to comfort her, but her jaw drops when she sees Nyryx in her hull body. Nyryx was confused when she was first put into a hull body but she remembers Malista.
  • Nyryx draws a stiletto and prepares to use it. But Malista stuns Nyryx by dropping to her knees before her. Referring to her as ‘Lady Nyryx’, Malista says that she is Nyryx’s humble servant. Nyryx isn’t used to having anyone treat her this way and it takes her completely by surprise. She looks for some sort of guidance from Quellyn, who suggests with a sniff that she needs some help to clean up the place.
  • Between them, they start to clean up the mess. Tea is brewed. Malista explains that Babel left the Cult of the Shining One and joined another Cult. He took Balthazar (the dollmaker) with him as well as Velarum. So this leaves only Nyryx as one of the Shining One’s three ‘chosen’. Malista decides to stick with Nyryx as she believes this is what the Shining One would want.
  • Quellyn asks for help to find her mother’s spirit and the others agree.

Part 5 – Plans into Motion (Hal, Leander, Nia, Veretta)

  • Returning to the Keep, they find Erik waiting for them with pleading eyes. He begs some money from them, saying that he hasn’t eaten in ages. Hal gives him some money and Erik passes on the message that he’s seen Bas but that he simply can’t get away. He’s doing some stuff for The Dean. He passes across a handwritten note which is practically illegible but it gives clues to Veretta that what he is being asked to reanimate is really, really big and that Bas is having trouble calculating the right amount of electroplasm to inject in order to revive it. With additional money in his pocket, Erik leaves.
  • The conversation returns to how to get the best deal for the Eye of Kotar. To Leander’s surprise, Veretta and the others seem okay with selling the Eye, and making a play to Lady Drake to sell out Harvale Brogan, thus ensuring a pardon for the Greycloaks and potentially a chance to manage the Centuralia Club (and hence earn some serious Coin – Leander is very greedy). Leander is given the task of meeting with Lady Drake and making a deal.
  • The next day, Leander doesn’t have to hunt for Lady Drake. She sends two uniformed officers (Imperial military) to politely invite him to meet with her. He is escorted to Brightstone and meets her in one of court offices. He notes that she is younger than he thought she would be. She wears an eyepatch which appears to cover a severe injury. Lady Drake starts by pointing out the consequences of not handing over the Eye to her. Leander very quickly gets the impression that it’s not just a matter of handing over the Eye to the Circle of Flame, it’s important to figure out which of them should receive it. Leander listens to her and then offers to make a deal. (She’s heard about Leander and is distrustful of him)
  • Leander makes a Consort roll (and gets a ‘6’, pushing himself for Greater Effect). Lady Drake listens to what the Emporium Crew want – a pardon for the Greycloaks, action taken against Clan Vulk in Duskwall, preferred supplier to the Circle of Flame, control of the Centuralia Club and a normalisation of relations between the two groups. Lady Drake is willing to accept all of these terms but she says plainly that she doesn’t trust Leander and putting him in charge of the Centuralia Club would be valuable insurance for them. Being in charge of the Club doesn’t make him a part of the Circle of Flame. She warns him not to overrate his importance. However, she acknowledges that the Emporium Crew have been exceptionally skilled in locating two of the Relics of Kotar and improved relations between the groups could be valuable to both groups.
  • Lady Drake says that she can’t simply pardon the Greycloaks, however she does have some files that might help them prepare a case for a pardon, and if it were presented to her, she would be able to rule on it. She also makes it plain that she’s happy for Harvale Brogan to be eliminated (he has outlived his usefulness), but he knows too much and he must ‘not talk’. Lady Drake makes it clear that the Emporium Crew need to take Harvale Brogan out of the picture so that he doesn’t threaten either group in the future.
  • Leander gets the impression that Lady Drake wants the Eye very badly and she’ll play a straight deal for the time being. Even though she might be tempted to kill him, she won’t do it while the Emporium Crew is useful to them, especially if they can find the Hand of Kotar.
  • Leander leaves with the files that Lady Drake thought could be useful and an agreement that the Eye will be turned over to her.
  • Upon his return, the Crew discusses what was said and they agree that they should proceed. Hal tells Nessa about the deal, and then he approaches Inspector Severin with the paperwork provided by Lady Drake. He makes a Consort roll (a ‘5’, and takes a Devil’s Bargain that Severin will ask something in return in the near future). Severin takes the file and agrees to work on it, but says that a case like this may take a little time to prepare (this is the consequence).

Part 6 – Other Offers (Hal, Leander, Nia, Veretta)

  • Meanwhile, Veretta accepts an invitation from his Aunt for tea. Lady Penderyn is also a member of the Circle of Flame and she also makes an offer for the Eye of Kotar. She wants it delivered to her, and she says that she will be ‘quite miffed’ if Veretta to give it to another party. She offers to open her libraries to Veretta (tempting) and also to share what she learns about the Eye with Veretta (very tempting). Veretta makes a Consort roll (and gets a ‘5’) – as such, he is successful in convincing his Aunt that he will consider her offer, but the consequence is that she sends a servant to tail him. Fortunately for him, the servant fails to locate the Keep (Fortune = ‘6’).
  • Hal, Nia and Leander decide to go after Harvale Brogan. They stage an ambush and take him out, using their Akorosian goat-drawn carriage to conceal as they take him across town and deliver him to the Greycloaks. Harvale is never heard from again.
  • Severin files papers which argues that a miscarriage of justice has occurred and that Harvale Brogan and the Umbra Hunters committed crimes for which the Greycloaks were blamed. The Emporium Crew confirm that these papers have been delivered to Lady Drake for her deliberation.

Part 7 – Dealing with the Devil (Hal, Leander, Nia)

  • Hal goes with Leander when he travels with the Eye of Kotar to meet with Lady Drake and make the exchange. Nia follows along, making sure that they are not being trailed.
  • Lady Drake is very cool when she sees Leander. She comments that it’s good that Leander brought Hal with him as she’s heard that he is ‘the honest one’. She sent some military officers but wasn’t able to find him, so she had to settle for Leander. (Failed Fortune roll earlier). Drake asks Hal whether this deal is legit and whether he says any problem with it. Hal says that his word ‘is good’ and they want to ‘square this’.
  • Lady Drake asks to see the Eye and it is shown to her. She explains that she will honour her end of the bargain. She’ll organise the pardons, she notes that Harvale Brogan has gone ‘missing’ and there will be a need for a new manager at the Centuralia Club and this will go a long way to rebuilding the relationship between the two groups. She expresses surprise about the Emporium’s request to make Clan Vulk ‘unwelcome’ but she will do what she can.
  • The Eye is handed over to her, she coolly wishes them a good day and they depart.
  • They do not have to wait long. Lady Drake is as good as her word. She organises pardons for the Greycloaks. Nessa and the Greycloaks are stunned by this but they are overjoyed. Coin is spent for a big party. Only Nessa seems a little sanguine, pointing out to Hal that the pardon only covers them for crimes committed in the past, and she hasn’t finished committing crimes. She wants Strangford to pay for what he’s done.
  • A few days later, the three members of Clan Vulk who are in Duskwall are convicted of trumped-up charges of sedition and thrown into Ironhook prison. (Fortune roll = ‘Critical’) This makes Nia very happy indeed.
  • Quellyn returns to the Keep. With help, she’s been able to find her mother (Fortune roll = ‘5’) but it took a while and she is not quite as she was. She tells Leander that she has a surprise for him. Leander follows Quellyn and is surprised to meet Malista (whom he thought was dead) at the Cat’s Cradle. Malista calmly explains that Nyryx will be inhabiting her body from time to time until they can find another alternative. She understands that Nyryx has been finding it very hard in a hull body but the tether between hull and spirit has been weakened such that Nyryx can now leave the constraints of her that hull body. Malista then relaxes and Leander can tell that Nyryx has taken over. She takes his hand and smiles a familiar smile. Commenting that she hasn’t had ‘real food’ in a long time, she asks him to take her out for dinner, which he does.
  • Later still, Leander receives a letter inviting him to the Centuralia Club for a special event. There is he received as the new manager, replacing Harvale Brogan. Lady Tesslyn is there to welcome him – she is courteous towards him, but she makes it clear that the Circle of Flame will be watching him. She asks after Nyryx and Leander answers that she is well.

Part 8 – The Leviathan Spawn (Veretta, Bas)

  • Veretta is worried about Bas. He makes his way across Duskwall in the pouring rain to visit him, taking food with him.
  • Bas is pleased to see Veretta but he is clearly overworked and exhausted. Bas wolfs down the food and Veretta takes a look at the huge creature which Bas has been tasked to revive.
  • Curious, Veretta starts going through his notes and make some suggestions that Bas hadn’t considered. (Tinker = ‘4’, which is a success put it then puts Bas in a Risky position) Bas thinks about Veretta’s proposition. If it works, it will work really well but if it doesn’t, the creature could wake up and go berserk. Tiredly, Bas decides to put Veretta’s ideas into action. (Tinker – ‘Critical’) As such, it works perfectly, and the Leviathan Spawn is revived. Bas and Veretta are overjoyed by this success.
  • The Dean is quickly alerted to this and his eyes take on an almost insane gleam. He tells Bas to go and get some sleep – but he has done very well. Veretta finds The Dean’s smile most unnerving.

Part 9 – Behind the Veil (Nia)

  • Now that Clan Vulk are no longer operating freely in Duskwall, Nia decides to visit The Veil – the Tycherosi-run club in Nightmarket which is directly above the statue of the Night Queen where Bayer’s Gold is hidden.
  • Nia knows the reputation of this place. It is supposed to be discreet and friendly to Tycherosi. She greets the Iruvian guard on the door and asks to be admitted. (Consort = ‘Critical’ – ie: they recognise her as Lady Farros and give her every courtesy) They wave the admission fee and she is quickly introduced to Isiah, the floor manager who reports to Volaris, the proprietor. Isiah has large bulbous eyes and chameleonic skin. She is led through the premises, past many gossamer veils that seem to magically muffle conversation. She smells food and pleasant scents that reminds her of home.
  • Nia (Lady Farros) is introduced to Volaris. He appears human but she has heard that his lower body is serpentine. He conceals whatever his true form is under a desk. He has a gaunt face, a small amount of slicked back hair and he speaks in whispered tones). He greets Lady Farros warmly and says that he is at her disposal. After pleasantries are exchanged, she explains that she would like access to his basement for a ‘project’ for an indeterminate period of time and would appreciate his discretion in this matter. Volaris happily agrees to this and suggests that she enjoy a meal at his club.
  • She enjoys the meal. One of the servants does a double-take when he sees her, suggesting some recognition, but she pays it little mind.
  • The ‘Acquiring Bayer’s Gold’ is now 8 of 12 (thanks to Nia’s Critical Success).

Part 11 – Discerning The Dean’s Motives (Veretta, Bas)

  • Returning to work at Charterhall University in the Subbasement, Veretta and Bas start trying to figure out what all of this equipment and research is for. (This is a 6-segment Clock) Veretta attempts to Study all of what is happening here to make a deduction. He gets a ‘6’, putting 3 segments on the Clock. He figures out that all of this equipment would not be much use on the Void Sea – it wouldn’t be rugged enough. Leviathans are big and powerful, and the submersibles that he has seen wouldn’t be practical at anything but a very shallow depth.
  • Bas decides to simply ask The Dean what is going on. He hopes that The Dean likes his work so much that he’ll simply confide in him. Bas accepts a Devil’s Bargain that The Dean will want Bas on the expedition for when this equipment is used ‘for real’. He then rolls a ‘Critical’ on Consort, so The Dean tells him everything. The Dean thinks Bas is wonderful – he offers him a glass of wine and tells him his Master Plan. (ie: the villain ‘monologues’.)
  • The Dean explains that Strangford is finding it harder and harder to find the Leviathans in the Void Sea, so they hatched a plan to revive one. A long time ago a Leviathan was slain in shallow waters off the coast of Whitehollow, and its bones have made a very strange reef. That one is almost certainly dead-dead, but there was another incursion about ten years ago – a second Leviathan (nobody knows why) attacked Whitehollow but was slain before it destroyed the city. That Leviathan limped out and beyond the reef and sank in waters that are still relatively shallow. The Delvers’ Guild in Whitehollow say that it’s not dead-dead. There are still signs of life as if it is slowly regenerating. The Dean and Strangford have the idea of ‘giving it a bit of a kick’ so that it is possible to increase the rate of regeneration without bringing it completely back. That way, Strangford can routinely harvest something that isn’t going anywhere. Pump something in, take more out.
  • Then the Dean points out, laughing maniacally, that if their calculations are off that the Leviathan will probably be completely restored and will try to destroy Whitehollow again. Bas is left with the impression that this may actually be The Dean’s goal.
  • The Dean then changes the topic and asks if Bas would like to be hybridised. Then he could ‘water breathe’ under the Void Sea and see for himself. Bas says that he’ll think on it.

Part 12 – The Purple Robed Emissary (Nia, Hal)

  • Nia and Hal decide to follow the purple-robed figure who seems to be operating as a go-between The Dean and Strangford. After a successful Group Survey (‘6’) and a Group Prowl (‘6’), they trace this figure from one point to another and confirm that the purple-robed figure is entering Charterhall University and the sub-basement where Bas works (even though the entrances are secret, Hal has escorted Bas there in the past)
  • They decide to break into the house in Foghollow where the purple-robed figure has been observing the Strangford residence. Hal surveys from outside (he gets a ‘5’, placing Nia in a Risky situation) and believes it to be clear. Nia then tries to pick the lock. (Finesse = ‘3’) As such, she manages the pick the lock but Hal was wrong – there is another of the 7-foot tall Lamprey-headed creatures inside. As such, Nia makes a resistance roll (due to one of her special abilities ‘Shadow’ which she makes) and she avoids the consequence. She abandons the break-in and then just slips away into the night (Prowl = ‘6’), leaving the creature wondering who may have been trying to break into their house.

And that’s where we left Session 19. Next session will be Thursday 6th May.

Session (not Score) Results

  • Turf: They managed to acquire access to (and management responsibilities for) the Centuralia Club which is a Vice Den. Hence ticking this on the Crew Sheet.
  • Reputation: +2
  • Heat: +2 (for the abduction of Harvale Brogan) = total 4 (reduced to 3 because of Crew Special Ability)
  • Coin: 0, however the gemstones that they received in payment for the Heart of Kotar (worth 16 Coin) were pawned, enabling them to give 3 Coin to each of the Emporium Crew and retain 1 Coin in the kitty.
  • Individual XP: Veretta (3xp), Leander (2xp), Bas (2xp), Hal (3xp), Nia (5xp)
  • Crew XP: +2
  • Side Business Action (The Centuralia Club): 0 Coin (because Leander has only just started there)
  • Side Business Action (The Emporium business): 0 Coin (mostly because they are still getting back on their feet)
  • Faction Adjustments: now 0 with Circle of Flame (improved from -2 Hostile footing)
  • Active Clocks
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 5 of 8 (up 2 ticks)
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) - still 0 of 6
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 5 of 8 (up 3 ticks)
    – Acquiring Bayer’s Gold (new clock) – 8 of 12 (up 5 ticks)
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Here are the cards for the leaders of the Circle of Flame. Harvale Brogan has now been eliminated, so there are six of them left:

The Tycherosi members of House/Clan Vulk who are now incarcerated in Ironhook:

Finally, a sneak peak of some of the villains of Season 2 (one of whom hasn’t been revealed yet):

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Session 20 – The Bayer’s Gold Score
Also known as Season 2 Episode 8.

This stub was taken from Andrew Shields’ “Blades in the Dark Heist Deck, Print and Play” which can be found on drivethrurpg:

“Bayer was a rail jack who was fired for being drunk. Over years he built a crew with one mission in mind – robbing a train.

When Iruvia completed negotiations with Akoros to buy an unprecedented mass of leviathan blood to pour into industrialisation, Bayer’s crew hit the train carrying the payment, sabotaging a bridge.

Rescuers found the train in the canyon, but no gold – an impossible feat. Bayer’s crew vanished."

That was 45 years ago.

Part 1 – What has gone before

  • The PCs met Bridger, the last ‘surviving’ member of Bayer’s Crew (he is dead and is now a ghost). Bridger convinced the Emporium Crew that he knew where the rest of Bayer’s Gold is and even showed them where a single bar of gold could be found (in the “Darkness in the Catacombs” score). In return, Bridger wanted a ‘share’ of the gold for his family.
  • The Emporium Crew helped put Bridger into a body (a new employee’s body, someone vetted by Bas) and Bridger has been happily working for the Emporium Crew in one of their shops. He has been patient with them and has been passing coin anonymously back to his family.
  • In “The North Port” score, Bridger finally showed the Crew where the rest of Bayer’s gold is hidden. It’s in a massive statue of the Night Queen which is in the undercity below Nightmarket. The Night Queen statue is large enough that it appears to be holding up the street above. The statue of the Night Queen is tended day and night by acolytes, and the undercity level of Nightmarket is now bustling around the clock. It would be difficult to access at any time of day or night.
  • Nia has found a way in – the Veil is a Tycherosi-run club which prides itself on its discretion. She has access to the basement and the blessing of the proprietor (she got a Critical on her Consort roll in Session 19). The Veil is thought to be directly above the Night Queen statue.
  • Now, the Emporium Crew is going for the gold.
  • They know that 200 bars of gold were stolen. They currently have 1 bar, so that leaves 199 bars within the statue. Each one weighs 12.5kg (about 27.5 lbs) and is about 25cm x 8cm x 4cm in dimensions. The problem is not the space, it’s the weight, how difficult they will be to retrieve and convert into usable Coin, and the fact that if word gets out they’ll be the target of pretty much everyone in the city.
  • If they can get a number of bars out and launder them, this will set them up for life. (At least 50 stash per person – ie: Tier 5 retirement)
  • Leander is an experienced jeweller. He knows how to smelt gold, but only small quantities. To smelt/launder that quantity of gold into something saleable will require a minor miracle. They need smelting facilities, silver and other metals to mix with the gold, they need coin templates if they want to make money, and so on, and so on.
  • The Emporium Crew does not have a Vault hence they have no suitable, secure place to store such a large amount of gold. (The weight of the gold would have to be distributed as the floorboards aren’t built to take a 2500kg concentration)
  • They are going for it…. and the Acquiring Bayer’s Gold (clock) is starting at 8 of 12!

Part 2 – Gathering Information (Veretta, Hal, Nia, Bas, Leander)

  • Only the five core members of the Emporium Crew know that they are going after the gold. Nyryx, Quellyn, Bridger and Nessa do not. Occasionally one of Emporium Crew suggests bringing someone else into the group for their expertise but Hal and Leander veto this. Bridger seems to be oblivious to the fact that the Emporium Crew are actively moving to liberate the long lost gold.
  • The Crew spends time watching Nightmarket, trying to figure out whether they will have to dig from the Veil’s basement into the head and upper assembly of the Night Queen statue or whether there is another way to approach this. They aren’t absolutely sure as to whether digging down from the basement will lead directly into statue, or open a hole in the ceiling of the undercity. Veretta tries to get a closer look (Survey) but the acolytes around the Night Queen take a disliking to him and shoo him away. When they threaten him, he slips out of their grasp.
  • From a vantage point, Hal then decides to peer into the ghost field (Attune = ‘5’) and is surprised to see that the Night Queen is animated in the ghost field. The statue is bright but what is within the statue is very dark, almost pitch black inside. Hal stares, transfixed as the Night Queen turns her gaze towards him. He drops to his knees and starts praying to the Lady. A new clock begins – Cursed Gold – 1 of 6.
  • Hal is very creeped out what he saw. There is something ghostly or at least weird which is possessing the Night Queen statue. Could it even be the spirit of the Forgotten God itself? They watch Nightmarket for a while longer and Leander decides to try to figure out whether they can dig down and reach the statue from the basement of the Veil. With Hal supporting (distracting the acolytes). Leander gets a ‘5’ on his Survey – he is pretty confident that the basement is directly above the top of the statue, and that the statue is part of the structural support holding up the roof. He guesses that they’ll have to dig at least a metre from the Veil basement before they hit the top of the statue. The Clock “Cursed Gold” is now at 2 of 6, and the clock “Acquiring Bayer’s Gold” is now at 9 of 12.

Part 3 – Preparing to Dig (Veretta, Hal, Nia, Bas, Leander)

  • The crew sets up in the basement of the Veil. Their explanation to Volaris, the proprietor is that they will be storing some of their ‘special candies’ in the basement and he is okay with this (thanks to the Critical, last session). The Engagement roll is a ‘3’, putting them in a Desperate situation when the action begins. They are all set up in the basement, with digging equipment. They have pried up the cobblestones which make up the flooring of the basement. Leander and Hal are taking turns digging through the soil, and generally making a terrible mess.
  • Veretta is very uncomfortable. He talks about bringing Nyryx into the group as at least she could take a peek in her ghostly form. He doesn’t like what Hal saw in the ghost field. But Leander doesn’t want Nyryx involved (probably because he’s afraid that she wouldn’t approve of this).
  • When they have dug down a fair way, Veretta steels himself and asks Leander and Hal to step out of the pit so that he can take a look through the ghost field. Using Ghost Mind, he peers below (Attune = ‘6’) and he sees a number of angry ghosts swirling below, locked within the body of the statue. “Acquiring Bayer’s Gold” is now at 11 of 12.
  • At this point Veretta exercises a flashback and has a conversation with Bridger. He asks Bridger about Bayer’s Crew – it seems there were an even dozen in the crew, six who Bridger considers to be part of ‘core’ group and the other six were ‘additions’ who were brought onboard just for the job. With this information, Veretta packs an additional six spirit jars, guessing that the ‘core’ of Bayer’s crew killed the ‘additions’ and dumped the bodies in the statues along with the gold. (a 0 cost flashback as it sounds reasonable that such a conversation would have occurred)

Part 4 – Angry Ghosts (Veretta, Hal, Nia, Bas, Leander)

  • Leander keeps digging and he soon reaches a large piece of stone that caps the statue. He begins leveraging that up (Finesse = ‘5’) As such, he does it, pulling the top off and exposing the dusty metal support girders which go horizontally and then extend down into the statue itself. The statue itself seems to be filled by debris but there is also the faint glint of metal. “Acquiring Bayer’s Gold” is now a completed clock - 12 of 12 as they have reached the gold.
  • At this point, Leander is attacked by a horde of angry ghosts which spew out of the hole into the statue. He takes Level 3 Harm, which is reduced to Level 2 Harm (by checking Armour) and then to Level 1 with a Resistance roll. The spirits are angry – they sense that the Crew is there to take the gold and they want to possess the Crew and take it for themselves.
  • With the ghosts boiling around them, Hal goes to work grabbing and restraining them (he has the Ghost Fighter ability), stuffing them into Veretta’s spirit jars one by one. He gets a ‘6’ and pushes himself for Greater Effect, taking them all on and dealing with them all.
  • When all is said and done, the crew is back in Risky situation and Leander is breathing heavily from yet another brush with possessor ghosts (he hates ghosts).

Part 5 – Arguments over Gold (Veretta, Hal, Nia, Bas, Leander)

  • Flustered, Leander nonetheless goes back to the pit and starts probing around in the top-part of the statue. The statue is hollow but it has been filled by debris, dirt and … gold bars. Leander presses on but Hal waves him aside and uses brute force to break through some of the larger pieces of debris and reach what it is underneath (Wreck = ‘4’). The result is that he is able to bring up two bars of dirty, filthy gold – however it makes noise. A new clock “Acolytes Alerted” is begin – now 1 of 4.
  • Leander is enthused by the gold and he wants more. Veretta starts suggesting a limit on what they take (he suggests no more than ten bars) which irritates Leander. An argument ensues. They only have two bars but they start arguing about how much they should take. This argument goes on for some time – Leander is adamant that they should take as much as they can, even if that means running the carriage back and forth as a shuttle service. Hal leans towards agreeing with Leander but Veretta is opposed – he thinks that they should take no more than two bars each because they haven’t figured out a method for converting it yet.
  • Nia decides to employ a 1-point flashback and she has brought equipment with her to allow them to replace the cobblestone floor pieces on top of a temporary floor without having to fill in the entire hole that they have dug. The large pile of dirt that is in the basement from the excavation will still need to be removed carefully without anyone noticing. For that she has brought a number of wooden boxes marked with the Emporium label. Some hold sweets and others are empty so that they can be filled with dirt from the hole being dug. The plan is to use the boxes to maintain their cover that they are using the Veil’s basement for storage purposes.
  • The dig continues. Hal takes over and digs further. Taking a deep breath, he peers into the ghost field (Attune = ‘6’) and tries to find more of the gold given that the gold has a ‘memory’ in the ghost field. He is successful and brings up two more bars of gold (new total = 4 bars). The clock “Cursed Gold” remains at 2 of 6. The group is back in a Controlled position.

Part 6 – Going for Gold (Veretta, Hal, Nia, Bas, Leander)

  • Leander takes over and digs further (using Finesse to dig carefully and gets a ‘4’). As such, the “Cursed Gold” clock moves to 3 of 6. He acquires another two bars of gold, bringing the tally to 6. The more Leander handles the gold, the more he feels that many people died for this – it gives him the creeps.
  • Hal takes over and keeps digging down. They are still in the head section of the statue – it’s hard work getting through the dirt and rubble and working around the iron pillar that is at the centre of the statue. Hal acquires another 2 bars of gold, bringing the tally to 8. The “Cursed Gold” clock moves to 4 of 6.
  • The night is wearing on. Leander takes over and digs further, working down into the upper neck section where it is narrower. He pulls out another 2 bars of gold for a total of 10 bars. The “Cursed Gold” clock moves to 5 of 6.
  • At this point, Veretta feels that they have pushed their luck far enough and should get out while they can. He convinces the others that they should stop, but Leander convinces Hal to stall a little while he tries to go just a little further. While Hal keeps them talking, Leander keeps looking and finds a cluster of gold bars that are close together (Finesse = ‘Critical’, and pushed for Greater Effect). Calling out from the pit, he convinces the others that they should bring these up to. An additional 5 bars are brought up, bringing the total to 15.

Part 7 – The Clean Up (Veretta, Hal, Nia, Bas, Leander)

  • Leander climbs out of the pit. He is even filthier than Hal is. He considers arguing with Veretta that they should press on but Veretta seems to have convinced everyone else that it is time to go. All of the boxes that arrived empty are now filled with dirt and there is no more storage space – if they keep going they have no way to conceal the evidence. So they cover the hole and carefully start replacing the flooring so that it looks undisturbed. The Emporium Crew is a ‘professional’ crew (that’s their Reputation) so they take their time cleaning up (many hours). Leander makes a Sway roll (for the deception) and gets a ‘6’ so they are able to achieve this. If Volaris or one of his people come into the basement, it is unlikely that they will figure out what the Crew has been up to unless they start opening boxes of sweets.
  • The gold itself is carried out by the crew in a series of satchels where it is loaded onto the carriage that has been waiting for them. Every member of the crew is tired – they’ve been digging and filling boxes with dirt for hours – but they are half-expecting to be ambushed on their return to the Keep.
  • A Fortune roll is made and it is a ‘6’. The Crew get back to the Keep without incident. They unload the gold (15 bars = 187.5kg or 412.5lbs) – the floor boards creak but no more so than usual. Bas and Veretta decide that he doesn’t like the ghost ‘smell’ of the gold so they go to work on a ritual to clean the gold. The thought has occurred to all of them that there might be people in Duskwall who might be able to sniff out this gold through the ‘ghost field’. The suggestion is that it might have been protected within the statue of the Night Queen, but no longer. A hasty ritual is organised (Group Attune = Critical) and the group expunges the taint, which also wipes out the “Cursed Gold” clock.

Part 8 – Tea and Plans (Veretta, Hal, Nia, Bas, Leander)

  • Leander tiredly makes tea and Veretta finds some cakes that are still reasonably fresh. Hal isn’t terribly impressed by tea and finds a bottle of brandy that he has stashed. He offers some to Bas and Bas accepts it gratefully. The Crew is fatigued but still keen to talk about what next.
  • Leander knows how to smelt gold but converting 15 bars of gold will take a very long time with the equipment that he has. They talk about finding a suitable smelter, possibly even appropriating the one in North Port for the purpose. Veretta mentions that Lord Scurlock wanted them to keep away from North Port as he has some interests there and hence the conversation turns to doing a favour for Lord Scurlock (he wanted them to recover an artefact from the Lost District) in return for giving them access to the smelter. Leander points out that it’s not just a matter of accessing the smelter – they need quantities of other metals such as silver to be able to launder the gold. Hal points out bluntly that they sold the gemstones that they got for selling the Eye of Kotar to the Circle of Flame – perhaps those funds could be used to buy silver.

So the Lost District becomes the target of the next score – we are going to the Lost District in order to bargain with Lord Scurlock to give us access to the smelter in North Port. The next session will be held on Tuesday 18th May 2021.

Score Results

  • Reputation: +0 (because it was so quiet)
  • Heat: +0 (however there was an Entanglement – Flint was picked up and he grassed on Veretta, hence +2 Heat) = total 5 (reduced to 4 because of Crew Special Ability)
  • Coin: 0 (but they got a 15 bars of gold that could be turned into Coin)
  • Individual XP: Veretta (4xp), Leander (2xp), Bas (2xp), Hal (4xp), Nia (2xp)
  • Crew XP: +3
  • Side Business Action (The Centuralia Club): TBD Coin (I need to figure this out based on Downtime actions which may affect Heat level)
  • Side Business Action (The Emporium business): TBD Coin (I need to figure this out based on Downtime actions which may affect Heat level)
  • Faction Adjustments: None
    – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend - 5 of 8
    – Bodies in the Canals (Gondoliers) - still 0 of 6
    – Avenge their Expulsion (Greycloaks) - 5 of 8

Correction to last session’s writeup:

It was Hal’s idea to stall the others for a bit while Leander had a dig for more gold. Both Leander and Hal went a little gold crazy and Hal was exercising his Reckless trait at that point.

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.


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.

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.