Monday’s session was another quick foray into the Fragmented States of Aurelia. As Darryl wasn’t able to make it, the session was more of a set-up for our next game, which meant it was heavy on talking; I wasn’t about to throw a serious fight at Trev and Joe without their heavy hitter around!
In Attendance: Magnus Dwyte (Trev), Jebediah Underwood (Joe).
An’ naturally, I’ll be servin’ as the Lawman.
Last time, the group went back to the ruins of the old Dwyte home to recover a strange ceremonial knife that Dwyte Senior had promised to Jebediah. Oh, and they pissed off the local outlaw gang, The Red Brands, and their Apostle-gone-bad leader, Morgan.
We fluffed the reason for Darryl’s character not being around as him being angry with his brother, who had basically lied to him for years and allowed him to feel like the destruction of their home and the murder of their parents was his fault. Also, John had bumped into his ex-finance, and was spending time/desperately trying to get back with her; genteel conversation, afternoon tea, that sort of thing.
We opened with Joe’s preacher character being approached by the local priest. As a fellow man of the Lord, Jebediah was abusing his position somewhat and claiming free bed-and-board from his fellow clergyman. The local priest, Father Cavil (I panicked and, ironically, picked the name of an atheistic nihilist from BSG; I need a better method for naming NPCs, maybe something like “write that shit down in advance”) showed Joe a collection of strange metal shards that a local prospector had given him.
Apparently the prospector had found the shards a few days ago, and had held onto them, thinking they were valuable. However, the prospector had suffered from hideous nightmares while he’d had the shards on him, and had given them to Cavil, suspecting that they were cursed in some way. Cavil, himself quite a cloistered individual, had heard of Jeb’s travels around the Territories, and wondered if he might know anything.
Joe’s Academics check showed that no, no he didn’t. However, the duergar relic in his pocket seemed to know something; it spontaneously activated and started chiming when it came close to the shards. I also told Joe that being close to the shards made his Stigmata (the sign of his supernatural Apostolic powers) start to ache. So, we have some weird material that causes horrible nightmares, and reacts weirdly to Apostle powers and ancient technology.
Jeb convinces Cavil to let him take the shards, and says that the aelfar tribe that he’s friendly with may know something about them. He meets up with Magnus and tells him everything. Well, nearly everything.
“What’s that beeping noise?”
“Nothing. Hold these.” (passes the bag of demon-metal to Magnus)
They go and try and track down the prospector. They go into the local office of the Aurelian Mining Guild (Trev finally used his forgery kit and faked up a membership certificate), and the clerk tells them where they can find the prospector, who’s your standard crazy-hermit-panning-for-gold type. In one of the smaller saloons, they find the prospector who looks visibly shaken. They question him about the shards and where he found them, but he doesn’t want to talk about it.
At the mention of the nightmares, he goes quiet. Jeb then uses his small miracle ability to get a glimpse into the prospector’s mind and sees some vague images, the most enduring is that of duergar warriors fighting some kind of supernatural enemy; perhaps the same enemy that destroyed their civilisation. Jeb comforts the prospector and after plying him with a few drinks, the prospector tells them that he found the shards when scavenging downstream from a riverside warehouse out of town. The warehouse is owned by the Krupp family, who Magnus remembers from his youth as being small-time players.
Naturally, Joe and Trev draw the conclusion that the shards came from the warehouse; maybe a container got knocked into the river and the shards got washed downstream. Of course, they still don’t know what the shards are. Trev buys a chemistry kit with his poker money, and I let him and Joe pool their knowledge into running some sort of tests to try and determine what the shards are made of. The shards don’t dissolve or tarnish when exposed to different chemicals, confirming that they’re clearly of non-human origin; either duergar or something worse.
They decide to go and check out the Krupp warehouse. They find it easily, but see that there are Red Brand gang members there! But they’re not raiding the place; they’re offloading unmarked crates from nearby wagons and storing them inside. There are way too many Red Brands for the two of them to handle (and we were wrapping up anyway and in the mood for some DC Deckbuilder), so the plan was to go grab John and come back that night to investigate the warehouse more thoroughly.
Level Up! The guys have been 2nd level long enough. Everyone gets more HP! Jeb learns Eye for an Eye (supernatural ability that blasts someone who’s hurt him or an ally) and gains proficiency with volcano guns (okay..?), and Magnus learns Always Prepared (allows him to spontaneously produce small inexpensive items from his pockets at-will) and gains proficiency in Academics. I’m still waiting for Darryl to make his decision, but he’s thinking of Guts (extra action 1/day) and proficiency in Threaten.
The Reaper’s Tally: Remains the same! There wasn’t a single attack roll in this session. I’ll make up for that by having a big shoot-out next time.
Ongoing Quest: Sneak into the Krupp warehouse and try and find out more about the strange shards.