Last time, the envoys had sent the frat brothers from Delta Tau Delta back to their ranch. Darnell, in coming down with the van to drive the lads back, also brought Edward (the elusive envoy who'd been out for a few months, because his player was...out for a few months).
The envoys headed for the steam plant, but stopped outside to talk this through. They knew that the steam plant was probably significant, but weren't sure what was waiting for them. Edward used the Premonition discipline and saw them rounding a corner in the plant, seeing the incinerators, and then a man stepped out and shot BB. Edward warned them that someone was in there and he was armed, which changed the game plan a little. Edward used the Clairvoyance discipline to scout the area he'd just seen in the vision, and saw an older man (not Doug, the frat-boy arsonist) waiting back the incinerators with a gun in his pocket. He also saw, between the incinerators, blackness, darkness that just seemed to stop all of the light. That was new.
Dylan, fearing for BB's life, used Blessing on him...and botched. Dylan felt like he'd been kicked in the stomach (sudden WPR loss can be unpleasant), and felt run over by a truck. He warned the others that he wasn't sure how much strength he had left.
They decided to go in the front door and set a trap of sorts. They slipped in the front, unnoticed (it was getting dark), and Jordan drew part of a circle (Line of Defense). Then they activated the PA and started making noise, and waited.
Sure enough, the older fellow they'd seen entered the room. BB tried to tackle him, but felt uncoordinated and drunk, and could barely make his body work. Jordan used Disrupt on the old guy, which snapped him out of whatever he was under. Dee took his gun and then handed it off to Edward (who knows how to use a firearm), but then Doug appeared in the doorway...literally just appeared. He wasn't armed with a gun, fortunately, but was carrying a big chunk of wood, which he liberally applied to the side of Dylan's head. Dylan fell back, and Jordan completed the circle.
This, of course, stuck a still-afflicted BB, the old fella, and Doug inside the circle. Jordan reached in and Disrupted BB, allowing him to get out of the circle without damaging it. Meanwhile, Edward and Dee stepped out of the room and saw someone down the hall take a shot at them. They ducked back in and Edward reported another armed assailant.
At this point Doug was still violent and Influenced. Dylan used Mental Shield to protect himself and the old guy, so the old guy was free...but then Doug raised his chunk of wood and bashed the old guy's head in. The envoys all wound up with some Trauma (Dylan especially, and he was now very much overwhelmed and fell back into the corner, shaking). Doug lashed out with the club, but couldn't cross the barrier. Dee, figuring that this wasn't going to get any better unless they could incapacitate Doug, stabbed him in the back of the knee with a letter opener.
Doug collapsed, and Jordon got the hell to work stabilizing the old guy. She also called 911, knowing it was the only way to save him. Edward peeked out into the hall and saw a woman's head with entrails dangling from it float across the hall (Edward, you might remember if you've got a really good memory, is hunted by such a creature).
The police arrived and everybody got arrested for trespassing. BB, Jordan, and Dee kept their stories straight and didn't seem suspicious, and were released that evening. Dee called her lawyer and sent her down to take care of Dylan and Edward. Edward had done pretty well staying cool, but Dylan, traumatized and tired, was on the verge of signing whatever the police put in front of him before Annie Crawford, attorney at law, showed up. She managed to get them out, but the charge was going to stick and they were going to wind up paying a fine. Nothing too serious.
Except, of course, that this creature, whatever it was, was still in the steam plant, and the envoys weren't sure about that "blackness" thing. They did some research and found that it was unlikely to actually be a penanggalan - that creature more closely resembled a vampire, not whatever the hell this was. The envoys knew it could speak to people from a distance, apparently possess or influence them, perhaps change form or create illusions, and then there was the blackness. Research indicated it might be a ghost, but it might also be some creature that just wanted to create havoc (the word "rakshasa" came up in studies).
The next day, Dee talked to Joey (one of the frat boys) and learned that he'd heard the voice whispering to him, but had never lost time or been controlled. Dee also talked to Greg Abless, the older fellow who worked at the plant, and learned that the creature had moved in only recently and had mind-controlled him. He still heard its voice sometimes, telling him that was useless and he should just die. He'd also heard a name: xaxog.
The envoys regrouped, armed themselves, and conned their way into the steam plant during the day...but the blackness was gone. They checked the burned-out frat house, the Gym Tower, and (after BB pointed out that it might have followed them back to the ranch), their own HQ. Nothing. They'd lost the xaxog, or driven it away, which might be considered a victory. Dylan ended the session with Trauma, meaning he'll be working off a Drawback next time.
Being a SAVE envoy is hard work, y'all.
Blades in the Dark
And then last night, we played Blades for the first time in a goddamn month, and we were still down a player because Michelle was sick.
So last time, the scoundrels expanded their turf, taking control of a brothel called Ruby. This time, with Copper off doing training with her doggie, they decided to start looking into the Red Sashes and how they might make this assassination dealie work.
Cage went into Crow's Foot and looked for some ghosts, and found the echoes of a gang fight between the Red Sashes, the Lampblacks, and the Crows. He talked to one ghost who said that since the death of Roric, leader of the Crows, things had been pretty chaotic. With regards to Gargoyle, he said that the scout never came below a certain altitude and received and sent messages to folks on the ground.
Siren and One-Eye, meanwhile, headed for the Docks and into a higher-end drug den (One-Eye, you'll recall, is what Hunter S. Thompson would have called a "drug person"). They got high and tried to look important, but someone recognized Siren and asked what she was doing there with a Skovlander. Since that approach wasn't working, they started fighting to get taken before whoever was in charge, and that worked. They got dragged (while very, very high) before Sethla, and parlayed a bit. Turns out Sethla was willing to set up some distribution outside the Red Sashes' usual channels, and that was what One-Eye was hoping for - a way to bring in some money as well as find a wedge into the Sashes (surely someone else wants Mylera Klev dead). Sethla gave them a little sampler box of drugs to get people at Ruby interested, and sent them on their way.
Back at Ruby, they handed some drugs around, and Siren met Lash, an artist working on a canvas with some charcoal. He asked her if Widdershins could transport him to Charterhall - he needed a quick ride but wouldn't travel over water (water terrifies him). Siren agreed, and One-Eye traded some drugs to a carriage driver for his services for a while.
This was the score, then, getting Lash across town. We pick up on a bridge between Nightmarket and Charterhall, when two plumes of red smoke erupted and stunned the goats pulling the carriage, and two guys crawled up from the bridge and advanced on the rear of the carriage. Cage went to shoot on, but a dagger thunked into the carriage next to him. He grabbed it and threw it back at the guy, burying it in his stomach. Meanwhile, Lash panicked and tried to run, and Siren grabbed him before he fell in the water. One-Eye threw some trance powder at the goats to calm them, but wound up getting the driver too stoned to drive, so she took the reins and got the goats moving.
The other assailant grappled with Cage. He ducked and Siren fell off trying to get at him, but then shot the guy off the carriage. A Bluecoat carriage rolled up behind her and ran over her foot, breaking her ankle, but fortunately One-Eye had papers showing who the carriage belonged to and the Bluecoats didn't bother them. They took Lash to the university (he swore that he didn't know the people who'd attacked them, but did make vague references to "things being strange" for him right now). He was greeted there at the university by none other than Lord Penderyn.
The scoundrels fell back to their hideout with their winnings, and did their downtime. Siren spent the whole time resting her ankle, One-Eye did some drugs and trained, and Cage visited Lord Penderyn and started a project to find more information about Gargoyle's comings and goings.
Just another exciting day in Doskovol.