Blades in the Dark Campaign Session 2: So Long, Fog Hounds

Downtime

Vey hoped to acquire an intoxicant to make her rival Kellis act irrationally and ruin her own reputation, but unfortunately such an intoxicant does not exist. Fortunately, he was able to follow Kellis around for a few days and learn her routines and thee location of her palatial home in Whitecrown. Weaver surveyed and found one new smuggling route. They also indulged in their vice: after obtaining some human blood from Orlan (no questions asked), Weaver took a literal blood bath and cleared four stress. Cuffs trained in Prowess (sparring and gymnastics mostly) to prepare for fighting Bear (and thank goodness he did!). He reduced heat by asking Marlane to tell people he’s laying low. Orlan trained in Prowess as well, but given that he is of a more mature constitution he did simple chair calisthenics and morning tai chi. He also crafted two quality II flash bombs.

Goings on about town

A letter from the Hive
A letter from the Hive

After showing the gang, Cuffs recognizes the honey bee icon from his trading days. The Hive is a gang of merchants who traffic illicit substances (but isn’t everyone?). They’re asking the Ghost Bones to get off their turf. The gang to -1 faction status with them last game due to smuggling black salt across the city.

Gather information on the Fog Hounds

After the run in with Goldie in Chaterhall last session, the gang is anxious to do something about the Fog Hounds, the smuggling crew who are also courting the Lampblacks for support.

The gang’s first question to Gather Information about is: where is their hideout? Orlan goes to hunt for it with Cuffs’ help. Things go badly. Bear beats Orlan up after noticing them following him back to the hideout. Orlan suffers several broken bones, which he resists by talking sense into him, arguing that he is just here to learn more about the gang and potentially broker cooperation. Orlan’s player rolls a 6 and therefore suffers no harm or stress, thankfully. Luckily, the two were able to find one entrance to the Fog Hounds’ lair. It’s two to three sublevels under the main city in the sewers, and the entrance requires one to dive under sewer water to get inside. The sewers are complex and there must be another way in. Perhaps a waterway access route? The gang keeps this in mind.

The BGs’ second question Gather Information question is: are the Fog Hounds interested in forming an alliance? Weaver consorts with her information broker friend Salia to find out. Weaver pushes themselves and gets excellent details, but pays for it. The Fog Hounds are open to an alliance, but only insofar as it allows them to become the top gang eventually. They want to be the main smugglers for the Lampblacks and have even started smuggling non-drug/gambling related goods for them: we’re talking refugees and prisoners.

The Score

After some debate, the gang decides to cooperate with the Fog Hounds for now, even though it’s obvious to both sides only one gang will survive in the long run. Baszo says there’s a cargo drop off happening outside the lightning barrier at the Old North Port It’ll be dropped off and then a transfer will happen from the Fog Hounds to the Ghost Bones to get the cargo to the Lampblack HQ in Crow’s Foot.

Plan type: transportation. Detail: explained below

Baszo explains the plan in more detail: the Ghost Bones will join the Fog Hounds on their steamboat, the Fog Hound and head out of the city to the Old North Port, pick up the cargo, and head back to the city, where the Ghost Bones will take it to the Lampblacks by bike. This smuggling job pays 10 coin. The Ghost Bones are unsatisfied. They want a better cut because they are doing more work. They arrange a meeting where Cuffs and Vey meet with the Fog Hounds to speak to their leader, Margaret Vale about negotiating a bigger cut. Margaret shows up wearing a captain’s hat with a dog pin and some pistols on her belt. Cuffs leans towards Vey and whispers, “check out the pistols.” Cuffs takes a Devil’s Bargain to Command Margaret. The Bargain is that people overhear him at the gambling den, and the gang takes +2 Heat. A complication occurs. They negotiate a 70/30 split for the Ghost Bones, but the Fog Hounds aren’t going to help with the land transportation portion. Deal.

Engagement roll: 6

The Old North Port

The scene starts out at a foggy port on outside of Duskvoll. The lightning barrier is visible, as are some moldering old cargo ships. There are spectral figures visible in the distance between patches of fog. Everyone aboard the Fog Hound get the creepy sense that people are watching them. Goldie is navigating, with Margaret commanding. There are laborers about the ship helping out. Bear is running security and visibly unhappy that the Ghost Bones are there (remember, he hates Marlane and Cuffs)

There’s a big crane lowering down an iron cage onto the center of the ship. Inside of the cage there are three people (a man, a woman, a child), all red haired and of fair complexion. They look dirty and ragged. They start asking/pleading for help. “We aren’t doing anything, we were trying to get into the city. Why are we here and in a cage?” It’s obvious they are Skovlanders, refugees of the Unity War.

Goldie is navigating the ship out of the dock. The paddle starts moving the boat towards the city.

An Interrogation and A Jail Break

Cuffs wants to talk to Bear about what’s going on and who these people are. He gets in Bear’s face to get info. If he doesn’t hear what he wants, Bear will go overboard. Cuffs pushes himself and grabs him by the collar hanging him 45 degrees over the railing of the boat (like a algebraic badass). He earns one segment on Bear’s revenge clock for the threats. Bear pleads: “Listen dude, stay cool, we don’t know who or what or why we transport what we do. We just do the job. And this isn’t the first shipment of Skovlander prisoners. We drop them off at the Lampblack’s lair via their underground entrance at the catacombs under the coal warehouse, and we never see them again.”

Orlan is immediately upset to find fellow Skovlanders imprisoned. He tinkers with the boat crane. Hoping that it malfunctions when delivering the cage to the dock so that the prisoners get free and the Fog Hounds are to blame. Unfortunately, there is a complication. One of the laborers (a Fog Hound or a day laborer, it isn’t clear which), comes over and says “what are you doing to the cage?” Orlan quickly lies, “the stress on this equipment is awful! I need to fix it!” the laborer wants Orlan to stop immediately, “This is how we get paid! Just leave it be!” Vey tries to convince the laborer to keep this to himself, but before he has time to try and sway him, there’s a bright flash of green light shooting out from the coast. It shoots through the laborer and back to the coast. The laborer becomes ashen, eyes black, and he keels over onto the deck. The crew yells, “SPIRITS! Batten down the hatches! Get the electroplasm! Prepare for further assault!”

Weaver flashes back to the black salt smuggling and remembers skimming a potato-sized portion of black salt that thye skimmed and packed for this score, not telling anyone. The Red Sashes suspicion clock gets one tick because Naria (proprietor of the Black Tree) noticed, but didn’t mention anything to save her own neck.

Vengeful Spirits

Ghostly figures emerge on the shore and come swooping onto the boat. The Fog Hounds are securing themselves inside the boat. Cuffs pushes Bear into the path of one of the ghosts, yelling, “You guys planned this the whole time!” Bear survives this ghostly attack, but only just. He’s found rocking on the deck in the fetal position, terrified. Unfortunately, the ghost also went through Cuffs (level 3 harm “haunted”) which Cuffs attempts to resist and does so successfully, lowering it to a level 2 harm, “shocked.”

Orlan attempts to release the Skovlan prisoners. The Fog Hounds notice that Orlan is sabotaging them. From the bridge, Goldie is heard yelling, “I told you we shouldn’t have worked with these bastards, they’re trying to release the cargo! Get em!” Bullets are heard hitting the deck. The refugees are at great risk of being attacked by the ghosts and the Fog Hounds’ gunfire. Weaver helps by protecting the group with the secreted black salt, now belching dark smoke, burned as incense. Orlan gives up on subtlety, smashes the lock, and releases refugees successfully.

An Old-fashioned Ghost Shootout

Cuffs takes the lead in a group action to fight the Fog Hounds. Orlan is worn out, Weaver and Vey aren’t great fighters, so Cuffs goes in 110% and becomes traumatized. His player will pick the trauma next session. He was writing checks his gang could not cash. With his leadership, however, the Ghost Bones won the fight. It came at a cost, however: everyone took severe level 3 harm (broken bones, gunshot wounds). Both Vey and Weaver resist and took level 2 harm instead (a graze bullet wound and a broken wrist).

The Fog Hound is near to the lightning barrier. The group (with Orlan driving the boat) makes a quick decision about freeing the refugees (3:1 yes) and destroying the boat (3:1 yes). Orlan blows up the boat with a grenade in the engine and pushes himself to ensure it looks like an accident, causing him to also suffer trauma! We’ll find out what kind next session. The gang takes 2 Heat for the massive explosion.

The gang, refugees, and a few of the hired laborers are seen cheering from the shore, safely behind the lightning barrier, dripping wet. The scene fades to black.

We’ll explore the repercussions of this massive gong show next session!

FIN.