Blades in the Dark Campaign Session 1: 🎵 Con-tibia yourself - at home 🎵

Downtime

We just ran session 1 (after a session 0) of our Blades in the Dark game. Thanks to player H, who drafted the session summary for us! I’ve lightly edited it and interjected my own thoughts in italics.

Since the Ghost Bones’ first (I’m apprehensive about calling it successful, but) successful first score, the gang met back up at The Grotto (aka “The Bone Zone”) and began devising a new plan for reducing the Red Sashes’s suspicion. They know they’re walking the thin line between gaining Red Sashes’ trust while also working towards ultimately defeating them and gaining some level of control over Duskvol.

Settle down, let’s start with controlling Crow’s Foot or the Docks first! 😂 It’s worth noting that the crew is operating because Bazso Baz of the Lamplighters is allowing them to. Their “allegiance” to the Red Sashes is a betrayal in waiting.

Dick, Orlan, Weaver, and Vey spent their time since the last score working on creating new ties in their own circles. Dick fixed a fight with his boxer buddy Marlane (indulging his vice), but given he only had one Stress, he overindulged. It turns out the fix worked out and he made some cash, but then he bragged about it and the crew took two Heat. Dick also acquired an asset: a quality 1 special item hook-up with a sailor at the docks, perhaps someone who can help procure or transport some contraband.

Special imported item from a sailor at the Docks, quality 1.

Weaver initiated a long term project of expanding the map and exploring the eight other neighborhoods in central Duskvol. They want to be well-known, not just in Crow’s Foot, but everywhere. They want the best smuggling routes, and a bit of notoriety wouldn’t be bad either. Weaver explored 3 of the 8 neighborhoods and didn’t run up too much suspicion from the other gangs. Unfortunately, their attempt to consort with a drunken taxi driver who could help smuggle goods that are too cumbersome for bikes didn’t go so well. The taxi driver either didn’t remember the conversation and the agreement he made with Weaver, or was perhaps a ghost? Either way, Weaver isn’t putting too much stock in this relationship.

Cabbies transportation asset, quality 0.

Orlan spent his downtime crafting a quality 2 line thrower. Although he took some stress to create this item, his love (or compulsion for) tinkering and creating items meant he couldn’t help himself! He was also the only Ghost Bone to reduce the gang’s heat. He helped to successfully spread a rumor around Crow’s foot that the Lampblacks had caused the explosion near the docks (even though Orlan, himself, was definitely the one to blame). Hopefully this helps to keep the Red Sashes from discovering who the Ghost Bones are really playing for (themselves, duh).

Line thrower “A steam-powered pressurized launcher for a climbing line and grappling hook”, quality 2.

Vey, like Weaver, started a long term project. He wants to eventually hurt (undecided on physically or socially) his longtime nemesis and fellow Iruvian noble, Roslyn Kellis. He wants to be slow and sinister about this so starts by successfully spreading a rumor about her. What is the rumor? We aren’t sure. Something unbecoming but believable. Vey also spent some time training to Study, making a little bit of progress before the start of the next score.

I like to think that Vey has realized he needs to learn to manipulate the nobility and has to up his social skills, hence the Studying practice. We joked about him practicing conversation in the mirror.

Word on the Street

We moved into the Free Play phase where the gang picked up some intelligence from their network.

Ellyn at the Docks is being pestered by the Red Sashes. They want to know about this “new gang” and how they might be connected to the Lampblacks.

The Dockers are tight with the Red Sashes and Ellyn’s boss, Chief Helker, funnels information to Mylera Klev, leader of the Red Sashes. Dick tried to persuade Ellyn to let the issue go, but he didn’t provide a convincing answer (Sway roll) and so she went back up the chain with no good news. This increased the Red Sashes suspicion clock started last game.

Darmot the crooked Bluecoat gave some intel to Vey. Apparently lots of Iruvians in the consulate have been asking about Vey’s background. Vey decided to prowl in the Iruvian Consolate and not only did he hear who was gossiping about him, but he also got some juicy details about the consulate.

Vey got a critical on his Prowl to sneak around, yielding this extra intel.

Due to his skillful infiltration, Vey learned that there is a mysterious fence in Nightmarket trying to sell a leviathan map that details fertile hunting grounds that seem very promising this season.

I forgot the fence’s name during the game: it’s Mordis. This news was of great excitement to Cuffs, who also bets on leviathan blood hauls. It would be interesting to see him move from fixing fights to fixing the primary economy of Duskvol.

Picket, Baszo Baz’s number two, had two pieces of information for the gang:

I love how instantly the gang despised the Fog Hounds. They are now known disparagingly as “The Fog Dogs”.

The Score

The Ghost Bones agree to take a job from the Red Sashes to further establish trust and work down the suspicion clock, procuring Black Salt from the Nightmarket for Naria - the owner of The Black Tree and Red Sashes member. The Black Tree has been experiencing hauntings and brutal eviscerations by ghosts, but Naria would rather deal with the problem herself rather than draw attention to the Black Tree’s questionable activities by calling in authorities. Black Salt is used to banish spirits, but is heavily municipally regulated. Naria provides the gang with a slip for payment and a contact at the Nightmarket.

Plan type: Transport. Detail: by bicycle from Nightmarket through Six Towers, Charterhall, Crow’s Foot, to the Black Tree in the Docks.

The score begins when a crone, peddling small wares off a side street sells the GB’s a potato-sack sized bag of Black Salt - not exactly subtle. The gang splits the salt into each of their bags to minimize suspicion and starts to head back to the Black Tree. They are riding their signature armored safety bikes.

They cruise over the bridge, minimizing their time in Six Towers and taking a route through Charterhall. But there’s a festival taking place in Charterhall - it’s for the Church of the Ecstasy of the Flesh (don’t tell Weaver). Crowds stop-up the streets for blocks, and there are large floats, and burning ghost effigies everywhere. With streets clogged and Bluecoats everywhere looking for any shady figures, criminals or off-color activity - it seems unwise to continue riding. The gang dismounts, and wonders: do we get off our bikes and push through the crowds? Do we divert off our route? Do we split up?

Weaver and Vey decide to walk their bikes through the crowd and are immediately spotted by the Bluecoats - without costumes or festival garb they stick out like a sore thumb. Plus they are pushing bikes. Who does that? The Bluecoats pursue the two of them so Weaver and Vey decide to throw them off the scent by approaching them directly and asking for help getting out of the crowd. No dice. The Bluecoats are very suspicious and one pushes Weaver up against the wall, causing a bruised rib. The other officer rummages through the bike bags looking for contraband.

FLASHBACK: Vey is packing the bags, rolling his eyes as his companions argue about what route they will take home. Amateurs. He safely tucks the Black Salt into the false bottom of everyone’s bike bag and covers the pockets with mundane packages and potatoes.

When the officers dig around in Vey and Weaver’s bags, they discover no more than mail and potatoes and begrudgingly let the two move along.

Meanwhile, Dick and Orlan are in Charterhall biking along the streets, when a goat-pulled carriage pulls alongside them. The window shutter flutters open and an old lady with grey bun atop her head and small spectacles on her nose peers out at them beckoning them to come closer. Orlan asks who she is and she introduces herself. “My name is Goldie. I hear you’re the new smugglers in town. What’s in your bags?” She glances knowingly at their bags. How does she know who they are and what they’re smuggling?

Dick and Orlan play dumb, but she finally explains she works for the Fog Hounds. Cuffs explodes, trying to intimidate her, “How dare you step onto our turf!” Goldie stops smiling, glancing quickly into the carriage at an unseen passenger and they ride off ahead of Cuffs. He knows they’ll probably come back with reinforcements if they don’t do anything. They furiously try and catch-up with the carriage but the goats are too fast for the rickety safety bikes! Dick is able to see, right before toppling off his bike, a man peering through the rear window. It’s Bear, another Fog Hound, a tough fighter who hates Marlane and by extension, Dick too.

They avoided direct conflict with the Fog Hounds for now…

The Gang meets at the Black Tree and give Naria the Black Salt and take their 6 coin, minus the 1 coin tithe to the Red Sashes for their patronage.

After the Score

Hi, Sam again. We did the post-score activity up to Downtime. The gang decided to sacrifice 7 Rep (owch!) to keep the job quiet. They took a little bit of Heat, but it was a pretty low-exposure job. They managed to avoid any entanglements - they aren’t connected enough to cause trouble yet. I forgot this during the session, but they take +1 faction status with the Red Sashes, -1 with the Hive (who is that, they may wonder?), and reduce their suspicion clock by 2.

They’ve got the Red Sashes pretty well satisfied, but are they keeping up their end of the arrangement with the Lampblacks? What are the Fog Hounds up to? Will the Crows start throwing their weight around a bit more? We’ll find out next time!

FIN.

Header image: J. O. Lose of Patterson, N. J. One-wheeled vehicle. N° 325,548. Patented September 1, 1885. Published in Cycling art, energy and locomotion. Scott, Robert Pittis. Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1889.