Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Blades in the Dark: On a Boat (Smugglin')

Not "snugglin.'" That'd be a very different game.

Anyway, last time the crew robbed a train. This time, out and about in Duskwall, they wind up getting some job offers.

Cage, in talking with Lord Penderyn, notes various objets d'arte in Penderyn's possession. Perderyn says he's got some others he'd like to sell (or rather, fence), but it's a shame that Widdershins doesn't have anyone who can handle the high-end stuff. He'd love to kick more business their way.

Copper is gambling at the local den, and notices that it's kinda falling apart. Ulf Ironborn's crew isn't putting the same effort in, and Petyr, the guy running the place for Ulf, can't really be bothered. Copper figures that between the gambling den and the Ruby the crew could have a nice little thing going.

Siren is down by the docks and chats with an associate of hers named Myre. Myre says that he scored a couple of crates of Tycherosi demon bags out on the high seas, but he doesn't know anyone who could fence them. Demon bags are kind of like spirit bottles, but are outlawed in Duskwall (probably because the city has no official way to sell them, but folks get their palms greased buying and selling Iruvian spirit bottles). Myre says that he's happy to help the crew get them off the boat, he just wants a percentage of the sales.

And then One-Eye wakes up in a carriage (this happens a lot). The driver introduces himself as Grull, a fellow that talked to Copper once upon a time about a little job involving deathseeker crow eggs. That contract is still open (no one's really happy to take it on, evidently), but Grull has another option. There's a Spirit Warden named Bakoros who lectures at the University, and Grull knows his next lecture date and time. He wants the crew to pick the guy up and deliver him right down the road to Six Towers. One-Eye is cautious - pissing off the Wardens is iffy, since they kinda already don't like the crew.

The crew meets and talks about their options. Cage brings up that Cricket, the fence that they were considering bringing under their influence at one point, would be able to handle the stuff from Penderyn, and that's a potential moneymaker. Copper notes that the demon bag job or the kidnapping job are both time-sensitive, and Siren leans toward the former (it's very much in the crew's idiom, plus she's helping out a fellow Leviathan Hunter). The crew decides that makes the most sense, so Siren contacts Myre again and he lays out the facts: the bags are in two crates in the cargo hold of his ship, but the quartermaster, Naria, is a real hardass and won't allow anything off or on. Plus, the bags aren't cargo, they're contraband, they're just in among the cargo for now, but in a day or so all the cargo will clear customs and be unloaded and tallied. The crew has to sneak in and get it off the boat, and they have to do it soon. Stealth job, then.

They pull their boat up alongside the massive Hunter ship and sneak in through a porthole using climbing gear. They nearly get nicked when they open a door to the barracks, but Siren barks orders at the crew to go back to sleep and they move on. They sneak down onto the deck and note that while in Siren's old ship the tanks containing the demon blood were below decks, here they're on the decks and there are a bunch of people watching over them...including some with rifles to shoot parasitic scavenger birds. Siren tosses a bottle over to the other side of the deck to cause a distraction and Copper tosses a rat to the birds to distract them, and the crew sneaks below decks.

They are initially followed by a horde of rats, made creepy and hissy by demon blood, and it takes an embarrassing number of rolls to kill one. They finally do make it to the cargo hold where they find Naria, looking over stuff. She can't see them clearly, though, and Siren identifies herself as Rya, a crew member (flashback to talking with Myre and getting some crew names for exactly this purpose). She tells them to sod off, and One-Eye tries to run up and dart her.

Trouble is, Naria to perceptive. The dart misses and Naria pulls her gun and shoots One-Eye and then Copper, though their armor absorbs the worst of it. Cage runs up and pounds her on the head, downing her, but Siren is pretty sure there will be company coming. They split up and find the crates, which are bulky, though not heavy. Copper, from her days as a trader, remembers that demon bags react strangely to spirit shenanigans, and warns Cage to be careful. Siren's forehead tickles, and the crew decides probably she shouldn't be carrying these boxes.

They go back up to the deck at a different point on the ship, away from the area that's being searched but also a good long way from their ship. Copper pushes herself and runs the length of the docks, jumps off the ship and slides down the rope to their boat, nearly losing the crates but righting herself at the last minute. The others creep through the boat quickly until the reach the general area where the rope is, and then start climbing down with their own gear...but they've been spotted.

Siren takes a bullet, but her armor absorbs it and she slides down the rope. One-Eye tries and falls, but Copper pushes herself and catches her. Problem is, One-Eye exhales heavily upon landing and she now breathes black lotus poison. Copper stays awake, but it's a near thing.

Cage starts climbing down, but takes a bullet (armor saves him) and falls. Siren catches his hand, saving him but wrenching her shoulder. The crew lands on the ship and One-Eye drives it away. They sail through the poorer areas of Duskwall to Nightmarket and sell one crate of the bags to Nyelle, and the other to Flint a little further inland (both spirit traffickers). They take their Coin and head home.

This job bolsters their rep quite a bit, though it does annoy the Leviathan Hunters, which damages that relationship slightly. They're now Tier 1 with strong hold. Myre gets dragged in for questioning and doesn't hold up very well, which increases their Heat. But the crew itself is doing well - they all indulge their vices, Siren has One-Eye heal her up, Copper trains, One-Eye hires Cricket as an asset, and Cage finishes his project (tracking Gargoyle's movements). The crew feels they might be ready to move on the Red Sashes.