Ending Blades in the Dark

The finale of my Blades campaign from a few years ago, saved from G+’s demise.

She protec
She attac
But most importantly
She bac

Deemo the Leech rejoins the Dead Setters after babies and basketball leagues in time to watch Duskwall burn in The Brightstone Riots Caper.

Endgame. The crew is Tier IV and Strong hold (modified to weak due to wartime), and is at war with the Bluecoats. Rook the Cutter and Ulf Ironborn (+3 status) rally the Skovlander Refugees throughout the city behind the dubious leadership of the Reconciled and Queen Tamar, the first and last Empress of Skovland.

Rook, who’s also a Skov, wants to strike against Imperial authority, but the Dead Setters have plans within plans. Richter the Spider wants to end the Bluecoats war by taking over the Bluecoats from the inside. The riot is the crew’s way into Brightstone so they can take down Commander Bowmore of the Watch and Magistrate Rolan Wott. If these notables are not there to organize a defense, there’s a chance the City Council might acquiesce to some of the mob’s demands, and between Richter and Teatime the Whisper’s social pull, the mob is convinced they want Mr. Falseworth (Richter’s fake identity) on the Council.

This score was played across two two-hour sessions. Last week, the crew led the Skovlanders and other blue-collar forces across Brightstone’s west twin bridges. A well-timed flashback involving the Setters’ cohort of pit fighters dealt with Bluecoat and military leadership, then Rook and Ulf assaulted one bridge while Raven the Hound and Teatime hit the other with sorcery. Brightstone became a war zone, with house-to-house combat, fleeing nobles, and military hulls resorting to indiscriminate grapeshot to maintain their hold on the blocks between the mob and Whitecrown.

Teatime was supposed to help Raven take down Rolan Wott, but ended up fighting heavy hulls instead. Tempest proved potent but stress-intensive, and at 3 Trauma, Teatime didn’t want go down fighting for peasants or anything foolish like that. He attempted an arcane boobytrap but it went horrible awry – the ghost bomb ripped the souls of his Skov protectors apart and left him amidst corpses while six military hulls bore down on him.

Rook, Ulf, and Richter used their Shadows’ ghost passages to bypass much of the fighting and enter Commander Bowmore’s estate unnoticed. From there, they rolled nothing but sixes. Bowmore’s personal guard were wiped out and the Commander himself killed when Richter threw dynamite at the remaining survivors. No witnesses.

During the chaos, Raven and her Reconciled friend, Nyryx, eliminated Rolan Wott’s bodyguards and his retainer whisper (who tried and sadly failed to turn Nyryx against Raven). We ended that session with Raven’s gun to Wott’s head as the magistrate begged for his life.

Come With Me If You Want to Not Die

This past session, Rook’s player couldn’t make it but Deemo’s player could! It had been a while since we had our Leech back, and because 1) Deemo’s current LTPs were building a hull body and 2) I was feeling that endgame feeling, we decided that Deemo was gone for so long because she was making herself into an immortal steampunk Terminator. I told them don’t worry about fitting into the riot – that’s why we have flashbacks.

Teatime weathered the hulls’ opening barrage, but at the cost of all his armor. 3 stress left and six hulls to contend with is textbook desperate situation. Luckily Deemo decided to spider-climb off a building wall and smash one of the ironclad-tachikoma legs clean off! She took a nasty hit in return (most of the rolls this session were 5s, not the previous foray’s streak of sixes), but hulls have integral armor. Beyond that, Deemo’s most powerful ability was perhaps the fact she was coming in with an open stress track and could feed Teatime assist dice and take protect actions. Deemo’ leapt into the fray and managed to sabotage one hull so it stumbled into its fellows, clumping them up for Teatime’s final desperate attempt. He pushed himself, took increased effect from Deemo’s setup action, and ripped the souls out of the hulls.

He got a five. Whoever made these automatons wasn’t going to leave military-grade war machines lying around dormant, so when their spirits stopped animating their bodies, the hulls detonated their powder magazines. Deemo took the protect action and snorted lethal harm for both her and Teatime. Between all her worn armor, plus Forged in the Fire, she didn’t come away too badly.

Meanwhile, Rolan Wott talked his way into serving the Dead Setters in their conspiracy to insinuate Richter into the Bluecoats. His legal expertise and council knowledge would serve his new masters well… at least until new, more powerful masters displaced them in turn.

Live Long Enough to Become the Villain

Here’s where we left the Dead Setters:

1. Richter Falseworth is Commander of the Watch, protected by a few cells of bluecoats loyal to him, the whim of the mob, and Rolan Wott’s legal webs.

2. Deemo is a hull. Destroy – Discover – Acquire. What will she create next?

3. Teatime explores Lord Scurlock’s “Dracula castle” out in the Deathlands and, with the help of Mr. Clicks, Scurlock’s former hull servant, discovers the missing secrets to becoming an immortal vampire. He holds off, though – he has time.

4. Teatime and Richter are invited to join the Circle of Flame. They’ve had some positions open up, and would rather offer peace in order to bring their missing Eye of Kotar back to the fold instead of fighting and possibly losing more artifacts.

As for Raven and Rook, and Duskwall itself, I’m hoping to have one final wrapup session where everyone can make it. I don’t think we’ll roll dice – just talk about what kind of endings everyone sees for their characters. I’m not coming back to Duskwall for a while, but if/when I do, it would be really neat to bring up a new crew with the old Dead Setters as the NPCs around the city.


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