Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Blades in the Dark: An Arrow to the Knee

Last night was Blades. You know the drill.

Last time, we left the scoundrels on their boat, with hostiles on the buildings of Six Towers around them, with a wriggly corpse on the end of a hook. It's a weird night.

Bolts carrying ropes thud into the boat, and Cage lays about with a blade and slices them. He hears bodies fall into the water (ziplines, you see) and then feels a crossbow bolt rip through his cloak, but it gets tangled and doesn't hit his body. One-Eye grabs the ring and puts it in a pocket of her cloak, but nudges the rudder in the process and sends the boat heading for the canal wall. Copper gets it under control, and Siren shoots one of the enemies off a building. The boat scrapes up against the wall and the scoundrels see the enemies taking cover, ready to shoot. Siren lets loose a volley of suppressive fire, and One-Eye throws a smoke bomb. Copper leaps out of the boat, yells "meet you back at the clubhouse!" and runs off into the night.

Cage flings a knife at one of them and kills him, and the others take "well, fuck this" sort of approach and run. They do chase Copper, of course, and corner her nearby.

They demand the ring. She blithely responds "what ring?" whereupon the leader of the other gang orders her shot in the kneecap. She finally admits she doesn't have it, and tries to negotiate. The gang - the Lampblacks - say that this is just business; they want the ring or else Widdershins can kill a couple of their enemies, since they have no problem planting a goddamn knife in someone's head. Copper offers to go make that proposal, and the Lampblacks consider it, but then decide they don't trust her even a little, bag her head, and take her away.

The others get back to the lair and talk things out. They figure out who the other gang was by an insignia that Cage ripped off the one he killed, but they don't know too much about the Lampblacks other than they were the former lamplighters guild before Duskwall went "electric." The citizenry, especially in Crow's Foot, like the Lampblacks, and so One-Eye isn't keen to start a war with them. That said, they figure they'd better go get paid for this ring while they getting is good.

They head to Charterhall and ask around about the Foundation, and get directions to an innocuous but orate building. There, they're shown into a big, cold, stone room, and a man in an apron gives them money in exchange for the ring. One-Eye makes a point of mentioning that they're available for smuggling jobs, and the man says he'll remember that.

From there, they head to Crow's Foot and wind up at a brothel catering to clients who like young men, the Rookery. They stomp in and ask about Copper, and the Lampblacks join them shortly. The negotiations are terse and the point - the gang killed a Lampblack and the Lampblacks have Copper, so they figure Widdershins owes them two lives (or the ring, or the cash for the ring, but One-Eye outright refuses to give up the payday). The Lampblacks know who they want dead: Two members of the Red Sashes, a rival gang. The targets are Mylera Klev, the gang's leader, and a mysterious figure called "Gargoyle", their lookout. The Lampblacks inform the gang that the Red Sashes are known to be expert swordsmen, and that some of them are children of Iruvian diplomats and nobles. "Be careful who you kill."

With that all agreed, the Lampblacks produce Copper, and everyone heads back to the lair. The gang decides that they need to rest up and plan, which is going to mean passing on the spirit bottle job, but that's life. One-Eye patches up Copper, and Copper devotes some time to training Button. One-Eye, for her part, works more on her alchemical eye. Siren spends the time at the club, singing to relieve stress, and Cage is kidnapped one night and inducted into the Path of Echoes as an initiate.

The scoundrels ponder their options. They have an assassination job, which isn't really their forte, and it's not going to pay well (or anything). Other options present themselves, though - what if they join up with the Red Sashes to take down the Lampblacks? What if they play both gangs against each other? What if they try and build up their own turf so they can stand up to the Lampblacks?

Next time, we'll find out which way they go.