Monday, June 1, 2015

Spark: Hellfire Empire Actual Play

Tonight we played Spark, using our Hellfire Empire setting. Since it's not terribly late, I think I'll do up the write-up.

We started off answering some PC and Faction related questions (oh, and Toasty named his character Adair Arkwright).


  • What favor did you do for another PC? I arranged to have an experimental piece of demonic tech stolen and delivered to Adair.
  • Why do you trust a PC with your life? I trust Brigid because I have blackmail material on her - she's trying to break up Agamemnon and Queen Mona because he is a pacifist. I want her to get with Karakesh, Agamemnon's cousin.
  • Why did you abandon a Faction? I abandoned the Artificer's Guild because I was sickened by their hypocrisy. 
  • How did a Faction help shape a Belief? The Backalley Runners taught me that even the most powerless have strength in numbers.
  • What common friend or foe do you share with a PC? Amelia Marx and I are both friendly with Garth Zelling. 
  • What do you hope to gain from a PC? Gaining Adair as a convert would be a coup. 
  • Why do you unfailingly obey a Faction? The Queen's Demons are my family.
  • Why have I vowed to destroy a Faction? The Beelzebub Club hates me.
  • How would you suffer if another PC came to harm? Brigid would be a martyr for her cause.
  • What personal sacrifice did you make for another PC? Protected Brigid from the Beelzebub Club. 
  • How did a Faction help shape a Belief? Article from the Backalley Runners alerted me to the dangers of demon-tech.
  • Why are you afraid of a Faction? I'm afraid of the Artificer's Guild because they wield too much influence and too many artifacts.
So with that done, we launch into the preludes. I gave them the Hellfire Engine as a Catalyst - the Engine is being used to power up a new intra-city train today, and Sally Graham (a dignitary) is taking a ride on it with her entourage. The characters do preludes: Brigid is with Sally on a dirigible, landing near the train station. Adair is leaping on rooftops toward said station, taking out guards with his steamtech. Amelia is the back alleys with the Runners, waiting to sabotage the train. 

Scene 1

Platform: Rooftops, guards stationed on them, watching the train station. 
Tilt: Ajax (a Queen's Demon lieutenant), is going rooftop to rooftop, checking in the with the guards.
Question: Can Ajax figure out who's plotting sabotage? 

Adair attaches ziplines with steam bursts to guards and takes them out, but as he gets to the last rooftop, Ajax catches him. Meanwhile, Amelia dispatches a Runner to plant a transmitter on the train near the engine. On the roof, Ajax strikes at Adair with a hammer on a big chain, but Adair boosts himself backwards off the roof, to safety. 

Answer: Ajax assumes that Adair is plotting to sabotage the train, when in fact it's Amelia. 

Scene 2

Platform: The train station, in the heart of the city, lots of crowds and background noise.
Tilt: An honor guard from the Queen, but including members of the Beelzebub Club, try to get Sally and the other human entourage members on the train, but exclude the demons. 
Question: Will the train depart with no further delay? 

A guard tries to shunt Brigid off to a later car on the train, but she employs her Demonic Magic and mentally manipulates him, forcing him to let her and the others pass. Meanwhile, Adair creeps aboard the roof of the train unnoticed and Amelia runs ahead to St. James Park. 

Answer: The train departs with no delay. 

Scene 3

Platform: The train in motion, coming to St. James Park. 
Tilt: The train approaches the point of sabotage!
Question: Can the receiver be removed in time to prevent the explosion?

Amelia lies in wait, and then channels her Angelic Magic toward the receiver. The mix of Angelic and Demonic magic causes an explosion, blowing the train over. 

Answer: Nope. 

Scene 4

Platform: St. James Park, immediately after the explosion. 
Tilt: Guards, Queen's Demons, and the Beelzebub Club rush in, either to help or attack. 
Question: Who died in the explosion? 

As the train exploded, Brigid tries to absorb the blast and save Sally. She succeeds in saving herself, but Sally is stabbed by shrapnel and killed. Members of the Beelzebub Club attack any demons they find, and the Queen's Demons retaliate. Some of the Beelzebub Club attack Brigid, but she releases a massive blast of magic and vaporizes them. Father Liam of the Beelzebub Club releases a massive burst of light, reminiscent of sunlight, but although it harms the demons it does not drive them away. Ajax appears behind Adair (who was not seriously injured in the crash) and runs him through with a blade, killing him. The Beelzebub Club, following Liam's outburst, are declared enemies of the state and routed. 

Answer: Sally Graham, Adair, and various other casualties. 

Scene 5

Platform: The Royal Garden, the day after the explosion; a minister is reading a prepared statement. 
Tilt: The Queen and Agamemnon are in attendance, but an unruly mob roils outside the gates.
Question: Who will win the PR war?

The minister tries his best to maintain order, but the people outside call on Queen Mona to reject the demons and truly lead her people. They shout "St. Adair!" and "Show us your Divine Right!" The hellfire torches fade, and the Queen and Agamemnon are forced inside. 

Answer: The people. 

Scene 6

Platform: A couple of days later, the protesters have not left the Park. 
Tilt: The first manifestation of St. Adair; he comes back claiming to have seen the sun. 
Question: How long will the protests remain peaceful?

The people continue to rattle the gates and scream for Mona to reject the demons. A ghostly manifestation of Adair appears, causing the hellfire lights to dim. He claims that he has seen the sun, but could not return it - it is up to the people to reclaim it. They storm the gates! Ajax steps out to confront them, but they drive him back and overpower him. 

Answer: Not long. 

Scene 7

Platform: Inside the castle; the Queen's audience chamber. The Queen, Agamemnon, and some of the Queen's Demons.
Tilt: The people teeter on the brink of open rebellion and regicide. 
Question: Can the breach the walls? 

Brigid wakes up the Royal Hospital, very confused. Amelia, outside with her people, again calls upon Mona to prove her Divine Right and cast out the demons. She does, telling Agamemnon to leave, and him being a pacifist, he doesn't resist. But his cousin, Karakesh, appears in a swirl of hellfire and throws black roses to the Queen, trying to court her. She resists, throws open the window, and publicly banishes the demons from her castle, and her ministers form a circle around her. The demons leave in disgrace, slinking back into the city, as the hellfire torches wink out. 

Answer: No need - the Queen has heard her people. 

Review on coming soon!