Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Blades in the Dark: Widdershins

Monday night was our first session of our new game (replacing Feng Shui): Blades in the Dark!

We talked about playing Unhallowed Metropolis and...something else vaguely Victorian and scary (can't remember now), but landed on Blades because it sounded intriguing to all of us and since it's PbtA based, it's meant to be low-prep. So, without further ado, the characters!

  • Una Daava, aka "One Eye," played by Megan. One Eye is the Leech of the group, and is also a physicker (medic). She's an orphaned refugee; her parents died in the Unity War. She's from Skovlan, but has worked diligently to lose her Skovic accent. She's an enthusiastic user of all drugs and intoxicants.
  • Zamira Obedin, aka "Copper," played by Michelle. Copper is the Cutter, and specializes in punching ghosts as well as people. She's a pugilist and spirit guard for hire, and her family were mercenaries. She's from Severos, and enjoys betting on hound races. 
  • Vond Helker, aka "Cage," played by Toasty. Cage is the Whisper, and is Tycherosi - he has onyx scales on his body. He used to be a Spirit Warden, but left the organization for reasons yet unrevealed. He kept the mask, though. 
  • Cyrene Daava, aka "Siren," played by Amanda. Siren grew up on a leviathan hunter boat, and would stand on the bow and sing. The crew believes this led the beasts to them, hence the nickname. She's from Akoros, and is a practiced marksman. 
The crew is called Widdershins, and they're a group of Smugglers with their own boat. They have a reputation for being strange, and taking spirit and supernatural-related smuggling jobs in and around their home turf of Nightmarket. Tonight would be no different.

As we open, the crew has been arrested. Occasionally the Bluecoats just round up the usual suspects, as it were, and throw them in a carriage (pulled by immense goats) and cart them around. Once they've been taken in circles for a while, the carriage stops, and they find themselves face to face with Captain Vale. 

Vale tells them to look off yonder, and they see a Gondolier boat - the Gondoliers are pulling a body out of the water. As they watch, the body twitches and spits up water. A hollow, then. Vale informs them that the Gondoliers have been pulling these bodies out of the canals for a while now, but they aren't involving the Bluecoats and the Spirit Wardens are staying well away. If someone were to bring Vale one of these bodies, they would be rewarded. 

One Eye haggles a bit, and manages to get some cash up front out of Vale, but Vale clearly makes a mental note to remember these folks (bringing some Heat). The scoundrels start looking for intel. 

Copper follows the Gondoliers back to their hideout, and watches as the corpse is taken into a closed building. She isn't sure what happens then, but sees Griggs, a high-ranking Gondolier and a whisper, talking to another member. Griggs glances over and Copper realizes there's a ghost present, but manages to dodge it before she's made.

One Eye hits the Veil, a nightclub where she partakes of all the drugs. Nyelle, a spirit trafficker known to the crew, hangs out there, and lo, she is there, drinking a very sweet new drug. One Eye stays and learns a few things - the bodies are indeed being pulled out of the canals in a particular pattern, and the pattern forms a rune across Doskovol, but Nyelle isn't familiar with what the rune means. She also tells One Eye that the Gondoliers were once the go-to folks for helping normal people out with spirit issues, but the Spirit Wardens have been assuming that role, and the Gondoliers aren't happy about it. Nyelle isn't sure what, if anything, the Spirit Wardens know about all this, but so far they're steering clear. One Eye stays and gets very drunk on all this. 

Siren, meanwhile, decides that meeting with Eliese, the leader of the Gondoliers, would be worthwhile. She arranges a messenger and sends him out, bearing a special invitation (on which she spends the advance money the crew was given). The messenger returns, possessed, and informs Siren that Eliese doesn't have time to meet with her right now. The ghost leaves the messenger, who of course remembers nothing. 

One Eye returns to the lair and shares what she knows with the group, drawing the rune from memory...and it explodes in her face, frazzling her a bit. Cage tries to decipher it, but can't (it's an old symbol, not one he's seen before). The crew does know, however, where the next corpse should appear, so they head into Crow's Foot to scope out the location. 

They note that this is right near the orphanage, and there are a bunch of scamps watching out for weirdness (not uncommon to use these kids as lookouts). They find the place that the body went in, and then plan out their escape route. And then it's time to begin the score. 

We open on that as they're pulling the body out, and it's fighting them. Copper punches the ghost in the body into submission and One Eye ties it up, while Cage gets the boat moving. Gondoliers are en route - the kids are blowing little whistles and summoning them. Cage summons a bunch of scary ghosts to drive the kids away, and the scoundrels pull away from Crow's Foot, into the canal between Coalridge and Charterhall. They see a bunch of Gondolier boats, as well as Spirit Wardens and Bluecoats, but they try and fade into the background. 

They get stopped in a bit by a Gondolier boat that asks what they're transporting, and Siren gives us a brief flashback to when she got some manifest documents from Rolan, the proprietor of the Veil. She got them, but they're old (Rolan didn't have another use for them), so the Gondolier calls them out. One Eye hits him with a trance dart, making him stoned, but his co-boater sends up a flare, summoning the other Gondoliers. Copper splashes him in the face with rage essences, driving him berserk, and throws him overboard to slow down the Gondoliers, and the scoundrels take off. 

Realizing that they're still being pursued, though, they slip under a bridge and work together to blow it up. The bridge crashes down and the scoundrels escape into Nightmarket's canals...and next time, we'll finish up the score and have some downtime.