Friday, 22 May 2015

Iron Kingdoms Roleplay - Session Five

For those of you who haven't been keeping up you can find earlier sessions and background material in here. The stats of the player characters can be found here should you be interested and the rest of the 'Brotherhood of the Rail' mercenary companies NPC's backgrounds can be found here.

This weeks attendees would be Captain Sebastian LaCroix (Toms character), His Lieutenant Rafaldo Scorgiani (Steve's character), Martin's Priestess and 'Spiritual Advisor' character Danika Jansen, the Mechanik Bragg Halvard (Harry's character) and we'll be joined by new character Bradick Davalos (Andrew whose normally GMing's character) with my Ogrun 'Bosh' Skullsplitter temporarily moved to NPC status. Our GM for this one (and the next one) will be me...

Note - As I was GMing and obviously had notes and intro bits written down I've just pasted them into this article directly so they'll be in a 'reading to the group' style. This'll save me a lot of time writing out everything again and hopefully wont effect your reading enjoyment too much bouncing between the two styles of writing.

Mission Five - 'Another Missing Person'
The 'Brotherhood' is on it's way to Tarna...

'The train journey is uneventful and the newest recruits have integrated well with the rest of the company with the relative peace and quiet allowing time for some cross-training amongst the mercenaries and for the groups explorer to pass on some basic language skills in anticipation of the later stages of the journey. It's unlikely that any of them could teach a physics class or direct a light opera but they're picking up the basics of a number of common languages nicely. Additionally the arrival at Tarna is only slightly behind schedule with much of the time lost being made up on the way. On arrival the guards settle into their now fairly well practised routines. Krell manages the stations labourers with their cargo moving duties, the engineering staff bring the Laborjacks into readiness to move those items too large for mere flesh and blood to relocate and the rest of the guards ensuring the safety of both the disembarking passengers and making sure that the cargo goes were it's meant to.

Up until recently there was no rail link to Tarna with all cargo being moved overland via poorly maintained roads or the many small piers at the riverbank so the train has attracted some attention from the locals. The staff of the train not directly under the Brotherhood's control are going about their normal duties though copies of all the various manifests of passenger and cargo transfers have been handed over to Sebastian and his relevant officers in order to facilitate their guard duties as allocating resources is much simpler when you know who's important and what's valuable as well as hopefully avoiding recently issues such as missing passengers. A liaison has been appointed between the staff and guards named Aidan Corley.

Bosh has been despatched early to trade the salvaged items from the action against the bandits several days ago though Danika's insistence on giving him a sack of boots to trade also has not greatly endeared herself to him. Due to the relative newness of the station the normal Transcontinental Rail Companies facilities are yet to be completed so the guards will need to sleep in their quarters on the train rather than in the town itself. As most do this anyway this is little inconvenience...

Arriving back at the station conveniently after the bulk of the initial work has been done Bosh returns with a slightly terrified looking messenger in tow.

"This person was looking for you..."

The messenger hands over a note from the Transcontinental Rail Company and then removes himself as quickly as possible. The note reads as follows...'


I require you and some of your more flexible guards for a fairly simple but somewhat delicate mission. Six including yourself should be sufficient. 

You'll need an engineer and some-one with local knowledge as well. Our records show that one of your guards Bradick Davalos has some familiarity with the area so may fulfil the latter role.

A carriage will be sent to collect your team in an hour or so so please be prompt. 

Yours Sincerely,

Marcus Darling

Special Negotiations Division'

Editors Note - Well I needed to get the new character introduced to the team somehow. I also gave Andrew a copy of the section from the 'Kings, Nations and Gods' book on Tarna so he could role-play his character giving navigational advice and the like...

Sebastian gathered his 'usual suspects' as well as the recommended guard Bradick who turned out to have been an Alchemist before deciding that he needed to relocate suddenly and join the Brotherhood and so would hopefully add a new and unexpected set of skills to the group. Though he managed to annoy Bragg by requesting some space in the engineering carriage to set up his stuff. "As long as you don't get in the way..." was the considered response.

Act 1 - A New 'Friend' or Two...
'An unmarked and unremarkable carriage arrives at the appointed hour driven by a figure in a hooded cloak who makes no attempt to introduce himself merely pointing at the door to the carriage and returning his gaze forwards. The group embark and set off...

The town of Tarna has an air of decay around it that's obvious to even the casual observer though whether this is merely an effect of the environment or an indicator of some darker issue is not immediately apparent. The population you observe on your journey are in the majority human though there seems to be a disproportionate amount of Gobbers. After a short journey the carriage stops by a small but by the areas standards solidly constructed set of warehouses and offices along the dockside where several signs have been recently removed leaving now indication of their original purpose. Your previously silent driver speaks for the first time...'

"Down that alley there's a door...knock, twice, then once, then twice again...I'll wait here..."

'Having little other option the team disembarked and then went in the direction indicated. The aforementioned door is solidly constructed and seems to have been recently reinforced. There's a small shuttered window in the centre and a heavy duty door knocker in the centre.

The shutter opens briefly and an individual with a heavily scarred face peers through it for a moment before closing it again suddenly. The unmistakable sound of heavy duty bolts can be heard and the door opens with a slight creak. Behind the door is a mostly unfurnished reception area containing a single chair presumably for the owner of the face you saw earlier. He escorts you up a flight of stairs to a well furnished reception area containing a number of chairs and settees of various sizes and a well stocked drinks cabinet. In addition to the doorway from which you entered there's a single door in the opposite right hand corner with a heavy oak desk near to it.'

"Wait here" he says somewhat unnecessarily.'

Bragg as a skilled engineer and with a seemingly innate need to examine every technical aspect of any situation they find them selves in pointed out that the room should probably be a lot larger than it is given it's location. After a short period of time during which Sebastian had decided to help himself to the drinks cabinet a tall, well dressed individual entered the room from the door in the corner of the room and introduced himself as Marcus Darling before addressing the mercenaries.

"You got here safely then I'll have to forgive my staff. This particular office is quite new and we're yet to transfer significant quantities of our more experienced individuals here and I've been forced to acquire some local talent...which is incidentally where you all come in"

"We're currently in the midst of some delicate negotiations that have become somewhat volatile and our most talented local negotiator (one Padri Lasca) has managed to disappear...the timing seems...convenient...or inconvenient depending on your point of view. Unfortunately if we as a company go throwing our weight about looking for him then certain relevant parties may see this as a sign of weakness which may undermine our position significantly. However if a group of former acquaintances were to make enquiries about his whereabouts at a few of his local known haunts then perhaps which I mean you...can locate him without undue attention..."

"I've created a variety of documentation identifying you as a group of potential investors taking advantage of the new rail line. Given our location a man of means, his 'companion' and a nautical advisor, engineer, guide and their bodyguard should draw little attention as the locals will be expecting such people to ask questions"

'He pauses briefly and seems to have a proper look at the group for the first time and realises that they are somewhat ill equipped for such a mission...'

"Of course you'll need some appropriate attire and equipment which we can of course supply you with" He leans under the desk, there's a click and one of the wall panels slides sideways to reveal a previously concealed room. "Change into something more appropriate, equip yourself as you see fit...I'll go and acquire you some expenses"

'The newly revealed room contains racks of clothes in a variety of currently fashionable styles and sizes together with appropriate accessories, racks of basic but concealable weaponry such as hold-out pistols, spring-blades and the like, a small mechaniks bench with a few bits and pieces scattered around it and a locked cabinet whose contents can't be seen from the doorway. A curtained off section is in the corner presumably as a kind of changing area...'

Editors Note - The group isn't really set up for these kind of missions so to save time I just gave them access to a room full of things they might need and described it vaguely enough so they could effectively equip themselves while role-playing their characters a bit. I'm fairly generous with basic equipment though 'fancy' gear I generally only make available via some kind of quest or mission as I find that players treat 'magic' or personal weapons and items better when they've had to work to acquire them.

This took quite a while as giving Sebastian access to a room full of clothes was inevitably going to be a distraction but he didn't really need any concealable weaponry as he pretty much had two of everything anyway. He did however find a case with the logo of the Blackfeather Ironworks of Orven on it containing a collapsible pistol which he took. Rafaldo acquired a slightly better looking scabbard for his cutlass, Danika changed from her armour into some good quality travelling clothes despite Sebastian telling her she should probably wear a pretty dress and Bradick reluctantly left his extensive collection of grenades behind with the exception of a couple of the easier to conceal ones. As he was effectively playing the role of the engineer he already was Bragg altered his appearance very little. Bosh had grabbed a large coat to cover his armour but it was Trollkin size rather than Ogrun scale so ended up looking more like a tabard, a belt for his sword and a heavy duty his standards he now looks fairly presentable.

Editors Note - I think everyone got distracted by the clothes and weapons because they didn't ask about the locked cabinet at all. This wasn't a major issue but it did mean they missed out on some of the more interesting spy gear I'd put in it. I'll attempt to reintroduce some of it into a later mission as (imo at least) it was quite a cool selection of gear...

Marcus returned just as every-one finished equipping themselves.

' "Well that's a bit better I suppose" He stated before handing over the aforementioned documentation. It consists of a few letters of introduction, some official looking letterheads and receipts as well as a handful of invites to a smoking club together with an address for the same (it's on the border of the nicer parts of Tarna furthest from the river) which he informs everyone is a common haunt of Padri. He also hands over a printed picture that appears to be a copy of a family portrait in order to identify Padri should they locate him. He also gives a rough description of Padri's height and build. He's 5'8" and of slim build with brown hair and eyes. He also hands over a pouch of coins to cover expenses which the Captain passes to Rafaldo.

"You may continue to use my driver if you wish. He undoubtedly failed to introduce himself...his name is Fergus" "You may of course utilise one of your own team as a driver instead if he doesn't inspire confidence...he doesn't currently inspire much in me...and good luck..." 'Having decided that Fergus is actually exactly the sort of driver they want the group decides to keep him. Having their cover identities established, expenses provided and now being suitably equipped they set off to the smoking club.

Act 2 - The 'Smoking' Club
'You arrive at what appears at first glance to be a large warehouse though this initial impression is immediately dismissed by the number of expensive carriages coming and going and the fact that very few warehouses have door staff one of which is an Ogrun (an unusual sight for Tarna). There are also several human guards and a foppish gentlemen who appears to have the final decision on entry mill about by the entrance.'

After some chatting with the concierge who was apparently a kindred spirit of Captain LaCroix's in the areas of being condescending, delegating work and looking down on poor people they were allowed entry and escorted to a table.

'The inside of the warehouse bares little resemblance to the outside. A number of large tables fill the centre area with a long bar along the right-hand side, a number of waiters and waitresses are bringing a selection of foods, spirits and wines from several side entrances to a number of tables occupied by a variety of guests ranging from merchants, local dignitaries, what passes for nobles locally and rather surprisingly a table full of unusually well dressed Gobbers who must presumably have some local influence. For a smoking club there is remarkably little smoking going on.

At the rear is a staircase leading to a walkway running around the upper level of the room with several conspicuously armed guards at strategic locations around and a number of doors. The single staircase to this upper level is guarded by a second Ogrun and periodically a gentleman will make his way down from the upper level and another will be escorted up soon after...' 

Both Sebastian and Rafaldo immediately realise that the establishment apparently also has a thriving brothel in it. A waitress appeared at the table "What can I get you?"

After ordering a round of drinks and some cigars they went about the process of gathering some information on their missing person. Danika positioned herself at the bar and began to subtly make enquiries with the bar staff and the few patrons who were fetching their own drinks, Rafaldo and Bragg spoke with some of the other patrons and Sebastian made a show of being slightly drunk and discussing loudly about his business associate Padri who had once again missed a meeting, Bosh went to talk to the Ogrun security guard.

On returning to their table the waitress (Lacy) who had overheard Sebastian's drunken statements gave them some information on Mr Lasca's 'habits' after some flattery and a bit of bribery from Sebastian and Rafaldo respectively. They were told that rather than patronising the place for it's food, drink and tobacco Padri's real vice was the ladies of negotiable affection in general and one called 'Gillian' in particular. The lady in question would be having a break in a few hours but would be free for 'professional' services in half an hour or so. Believing time was of the essence (well that was his excuse at least) Captain LaCroix arranged to 'meet' with Gillian.

Editors Note - I was expecting one of the group to either wait for Gillian's break or meet her under the cover of a professional meeting and then bribe her or similar. Tom instead decided to go down the 'James Bond' path of seduction followed by 'pillow talk' interrogation. Given his character this wasn't unreasonable though I had failed to consider it as an option. Regardless he rolled very high with his interrogation, oratory, etiquette and pretty much everything else rolls (including a 'Prowess' roll I made him make, lol) so the end result was much the same.

Between them all they gleaned the following information

Padri has been seen with a local businessman (and smuggler) named Drago Makarov. His legitimate business has a small office by the docks next to a moderate sized warehouse with a varying number of small cargo vessels outside though they're a bit vague about exactly where...and the docks are quite large. The business itself is called the Makarov River Trading and the office has a distinctive bright red sign with black lettering and is at the better end of the business section of town. He also runs a number of protection rackets. Drago has recently been expanding both his legitimate and criminal enterprises though no-one's quite sure where he's suddenly getting the additional resources for his sudden expansion from.

Interlude - 'Well you were told he wasn't very reliable'
'It's early evening when they leave the establishment and they discovered to every-ones irritation that their carriage is no longer outside where they left it and there is no sign of the driver. It looks like they're walking...Bradick informed them based on the location information they recently gathered that there is a direct route to Drago's office from where they are and a more indirect one that goes through less public areas should they wish to approach less conspicuously. They opted for the direct route.

Halfway there down a shadowy side street they see a carriage that looks suspiciously like the one they lost earlier. A figure is slumped against one side of the stationary carriage and if the intention was to hide the carriage then the attempt was a poor one...'

Every-one leapt to the 'Ambush' conclusion at about the same time. Danika attempted to use hew powers of 'True Sight' but was unpleasantly surprised to find that the abilities granted to her by her Morrowan faith had abandoned her.

Editors Note - Every-one thought this was a bit cruel but in my opinion when a Morrowan Priestess starts stealing peoples shoes (see last session) then that's more like Thamarite behaviour, lol. Don't worry though I'm soon to give her player an opportunity to redeem themselves...

But now they had to decide whether to spring it or ignore it or maybe they were just being paranoid. After some general discussion Bradick lobbed one of his more unpleasant gas grenades in the direction of the carriage but the cloud of gas quickly dispersed with minimum effect so if there was an ambush incoming there wasn't any-one in the carriage itself though it did confirm that the slumped figure was either unconscious or dead as he was right at the epicentre of the detonation and gave no reaction. As expected the next step was quite predictable...

"Bosh...go have a look..." He was very nearly at the carriage when pistol fire erupted from several windows and a side passage parallel to it. Fortunately none of the rounds penetrated his armour but he was now in a very vulnerable position and several more figures could now be seen moving from the side passage. Sebastian shouted at Bosh to see if he could move the carriage to block off the alleyway while Bradick threw a smoke grenade into the same area giving bosh some cover. With a bit of effort Bosh moved the carriage into the gap forcing the ambushers to climb over the top and through the carriage doors...

Sebastian targeted and killed three of the ambushers climbing over the carriage, while Bosh reached inside and snapped the neck of one of those clambering through the middle in order to slow down the ones behind. Rafaldo summoned a magical blast of energy that hurled back several of the attackers firing from the upstairs windows and the blast struck with such force that both were killed instantly. New recruit Bradick added to the covering fire while Danika waited for an opportunity to join in as she was somewhat vulnerable without her armour. Seemingly unwilling to take a path involving climbing past a neck breaking Ogrun the would be assassins continued their attempts to clamber over the top though a few had made their way through the building and were using the carriage as cover. Another round of shooting combined with a bit of close-up violence broke the resolve of the enemies and the remaining two made a break for it. A moving target in the close confines of an alley way was little challenge to Sebastian and he killed one and crippled another so he could be questioned.

Editors Note - There's a specific ability that allows you to turn a killing blow into an incapacitating one called 'Takedown' but Bosh is the only PC that has it meaning in order to merely wound an enemy Sebastian had to get creative. He has an ability called 'Virtuoso' which allows him to roll an extra die when attacking and damaging and he then discards one. Usually he'd discard the lowest but in this case on the damage roll he discarded a high one instead so as not to kill the target. This was quite clever so I was happy to call the result a leg shot....

Unfortunately when Bosh investigated the wounded attacker he was quite dead indeed and some kind of noxious foam was coming from his mouth. Apparently he'd taken poison rather than be captured. Bradick identified the poison as a particular virulent combination of acidic and deadly chemicals that some-one would have to be very desperate or afraid to use for suicide...

Both of the attempted escapees had tattoos on their right wrists which Danika identified as being the symbol of a particular Thamarite Scion named Delesle, Scion Delesle was a patron of necromancy and rebellion who desecrated graveyards in order to attack their Menite enemies. They also shielded Morrowan communities from Menite Scrutators but as Danika pointed out that was a very long time ago...

With no more information to be gleaned the group moved on before the scene of destruction was investigated by the authorities. They decided that the now blood-stained and corpse filled carriage should probably also be left behind...

Act 3 - The Office
'The office is set back from the river area and is amongst an area mainly consisting of businesses servicing the warehouses and dock workers. As it's growing late most of these businesses are closed for the evening though there's a few still showing some signs of activity and the occasional passer by but no significant presence to speak of. Just as your entering the higher quality area containing the newer or just better maintained businesses you spy a distinctive red sign. The front door is secured with a heavy duty bar and several padlocks though the building itself has an alleyway running down one side that may lead to a more accessible entry point.'

On investigating the alleyway they discovered a less secure side door which and had what seemed to be a far more pick-able lock or could be kicked down fairly easily though this would obviously be noisy. Rafaldo noted a small window next to it that some careless individual has left unlocked. An athletic individual, female or gobber could probably fit through with a bit of help and after a very brief look at the viable candidates Bosh gave Damika a boost and after a bit of wriggling made her way through. Inside by the door was a small bunch of keys on a hook one of which opened the door and the rest entered though it was a bit of a struggle for the Ogrun to make it through the distinctly human scaled door.

'Inside there is a small area with a few opened and empty crates in a corner, a somewhat out of place rug in the opposite corner over which was a block and unusual site in an office space such as well as a door which seems to lead into an office of some kind. Through the window you see that it contains nothing more than a desk, an empty shelf and a couple of distinctly cheap looking chairs.'

On further inspection of the rug they discovered that there's a blood-stain on it that appears to be soaking from underneath. Those experienced in the arts of interrogation concluded that it was insufficient blood to bring about the victims death but more than enough to indicate a quite severe beating. Then they moved onto the office to investigate the desk which had three draws in it. Being somewhat paranoid of ambush at this point the desk was extensively investigated using the combined mechanical, alchemical and explosives expertise of the entire group before the task of opening the draws was delegated to Bragg.

The first draw was empty, the second one contained a blood stained letter and a receipt, while the third had a petty cash tin inside containing a small pouch of fifteen gold crowns which Bragg surreptitiously pocketed.

The letter read as follows...


We have supported your operation with resources and protection from the authorities for a significant period of time now and part of that has been allowing you to also engage in your own personal sidelines. However we expressly told you which of those operations we would condone and which we quite clearly did not. Given the current political situation your activities involving the relocation of Khadorian weapons and armour down river will cause us significant issues should they be discovered and we insist you cease them immediately. I will generously put this down to some lingering loyalty to your homeland despite the fact that you haven't been there for thirty years...

That matter is however of minor importance compared to the far more sinister rumours I am now hearing. I will be attending to this matter personally before deciding whether to recommend that our relationship comes to an end so rumours had better be all they are for your own sake. I will be inspecting your premises myself and I had better be satisfied with what I discover.


The receipt was for a mundane selection of common supplies though it did have a delivery address scrawled on the back for the Makarov River Trading Company, warehouse fifty three, third dock district. Bradick informed them that it should take less than half an hour to reach from where they were currently. They decided that it might be a good idea to report in first though and retrieve their more deadly weaponry and equipment before going to a warehouse that could potentially be full of smugglers and Thamarites.

Marcus was no longer at their initial meeting place though the heavily scarred individual they'd encountered earlier was. After a bit of discussion they relayed the importance of the situation to him and Harlan (as he subsequently introduced himself as) rather surprisingly knew how to open the equipment room. Sebastian also broached the subject of a replacement carriage and Harlan said he's see what he could do. Every-one changed back into their armour and retrieved their weaponry, Sebastian took a lock-picking kit and Rafaldo acquired a rope and grappling hook just in case. Danika also raised the concern that her shiny metal armour wasn't very useful for any need for stealthiness that they may encounter but fortunately amongst the work benches various tools was some dark substances that could be used to darken the armour temporarily.

Harlan returned a short time later with a carriage though it was somewhat different to the usual ones that the Transcontinental Rail Company normally provided them was entirely possible that he'd just gone and stolen them a carriage. As prepared as possible they took the newly acquired carriage to the address they'd discovered earlier while Harlan expressed his intention to locate Marcus for them.

Act 4 - The Warehouse
'The Makarov River Trading Company matches the description you received almost exactly and consists of a rectangular building with a small dock at the front currently containing three river going cargo vessels. Between the dock and the main building a group of what are presumably company labourers stand around a small fire in an old metal storage container though occasionally one of them takes a brief walk around the buildings perimeter before returning to the comfort of the fire. From your current vantage point you can't see much of the area in which they are standing though there is a set of stairs at the rear that head up into the darkness.'

After a stealthy closer look they also observed several guards spread out along the front of the dock area and there was also enough miscellaneous cover so with a little effort it might be possible to eliminate them quietly before the group of workers around the fire noticed and after some discussion a plan was decided upon.

Sebastian would attempt to silently assassinate the three guards one at a time using the aforementioned cover to mask his approach, Bradick was to then incapacitate the group outside with a gas grenade either when the last guard dropped or as an emergency measure should Sebastian be discovered. Bosh and Danika waited just out of sight ready to assault the front entrance of the warehouse should the first part of the plan fail while Rafaldo and Bragg attempted to gain entry via the rear staircase that they discovered led to a door on an upper level of the warehouse where Danika would join them if as long as she wasn't needed at the front entrance There was a large padlock on the outside of the rear door which Bragg assured them he could remove fairly quickly and easily though not necessarily quietly. With the plan of action decided upon it was time to begin...

Sebastian's approach to the first guard was very simple indeed and a Springblade strike to the neck took him out instantly, a quick sprint across a small stretch of open ground and the second was dealt with also. The third unfortunately was more alert than his fellow guards and it took a while before he relaxed enough to be approached covertly. As the final guard was taken out the signal was given to Bradick who hurled his grenade at the group surrounding their makeshift fire which rendered four of them unconscious. Unfortunately two of them were made of sterner stuff and Bosh was forced to charge in and finish them off in a more conventional manner. Observing that Bosh needed little help too take out two lightly armed and un-armoured workers she sprinted around to join Bragg and Rafaldo just as Bragg removed the lock with a surprising level of stealth.

The first teams progress was then slightly inconvenienced by a large metal shutter raised and lowered via a heavy duty chain as there was a padlock threaded through it that they hadn't observed earlier. However this was a minor inconvenience for a group with a set of lock-picks and a gigantic Ogrun and both teams entered the building at about the same time though Bosh was slightly behind as he'd been given the task of opening the heavy shutter.

'The warehouse is surprisingly devoid of the sort of equipment you'd expect in a shipping operation of this size and the stock seems to consist of only about half a dozen large crates. Instead of sections for storage there are a number of small, caged areas that uncomfortably remind you of prison cells. Before you can consider this however there is a far more urgent situation requiring your attention...

Hanging from the ceiling is a block and tackle and hanging from this is a rather unfortunate gentlemen matching the description you were given of Padri. He is badly beaten and bloody but appears to be still breathing but how much longer this will last is debatable as a man is currently continuing what judging from the victims condition has been a prolonged session of torture. A group of cloaked men and women are standing around him in a loose circle and candles of a variety of sizes and shapes are on virtually every flat surface and from somewhere else the smell of incense is wafting. The torturer then pulls a large wavy bladed dagger from his belt and lines it up with the victims heart...'

Sebastian immediately opened fire on the torturer but armour beneath his robe saved him from the opening salvo though it was more than sufficient to distract him from his murderous purpose. Rafaldo, Bragg and Danika found themselves upon a walkway around the outer rim of the upper warehouse level with ladders leading down to the ground level so both Bragg and Danika slid down the closest pair of ladders to them and lashed out at a cultist each both scoring a kill. Rafaldo noted that several of the Thamarites seemed to be more heavily armoured than the others so summoned his magical abilities and blasted one of the apparent guards into two of his fellow cultists. The guard survived but the individuals he slammed into were knocked to the ground severely injured.

Editors Note - I took a few liberties with movement allowances and allowable actions at this point as the idea of an armoured knight and a troll sliding down a ladder before clubbing some-one to death at the bottom was a fun idea as far as I was concerned.

As with all such battles the carefully worked out plan quickly degenerated into a chaotic mess as every combatant fought for their own survival. Sebastian and Bradick carefully picked off prime targets from the doorway with their ranged weapons, Bosh and Danika cleaved and clubbed their way through any viable target in range while Rafaldo blasted away any cult member foolish enough to attempt to reach him on the higher level. Bragg moved amongst the melee using his pickaxe to finish off any wounded by Rafaldo's magical blasts that attempted to gain their footing and soon there were few threats left. The remaining pair decided that retreat was the best idea but were brutally gunned down before they could reach the door. At some point during the combat one or more of the candles had overturned and several areas of the building were now on fire. The group had moments to act before the place became a raging inferno...

Bradick braved the fire to check that the areas that looked like cells were devoid of victims before heading to the exit while Sebastian cut down Padri and carried him to safety and as he left he shouted at Bosh to grab one of the crates from the corner and as the first one seemed quite light he grabbed another and dragged it out. The others had just enough time to grab another pair of crates as they left before the building became uninhabitable. Just as they left the building a large explosion and several smaller sounds like gunfire came from the direction that the last pair of crates had been stored in...

Having little desire to deal with the authorities they quickly loaded the crates on to the carriage, embarked and made their escape...

Rather disappointingly only one of the crates contained anything of value and even that was somewhat difficult to convert into actual money being a Khadoran Man-O-War Axe Cannon and a matching Shield Cannon. The others contained military rations, winter clothing and a selection of chains, shackles and rope. As a thank-you for their help and the return of his negotiator Padri, Marcus Darling generously bought the rations, clothes and other bits and pieces on behalf of the Transcontinental Rail Company despite them having little need for them and the group split the profits gaining twenty five gold crowns each. As for most of them this was over a weeks pay for a nights work (a fair proportion of which was spent drinking in a club) the result wasn't a bad one.

Unfortunately the Khadoran weapons had little resale value in an area with significant anti-Khadoran feeling. The group would have to decide what to do with those later.

Editors Note - There were six crates so I let each person who grabbed one roll a die on a table to see what they acquired. They unfortunately missed out on a crate of Vislovski carbines and a couple of Mortars with ammunition for both though they would probably be less bothered if they discovered that they also missed out on a container of printed Khadoran propaganda leaflets...

Another concern was that Padri's associate and probable kidnapper Drago Makarov was still at large and there was no way to be certain that the Thamarite's they killed were the complete cult membership. This was apparently far from over...

Back to Reality.
I haven't GM'd for a while so I was a bit rusty but the session pretty much went how I expected. The 'trail of breadcrumbs' was followed by the group very well and to be fair their plan for taking the warehouse made the whole thing somewhat simpler for them than I was hoping it would be. I'll try to make the next session more of a challenge combatively speaking, lol.

From a personal point of view there were a few issues worth noting. When I planned the session Andrew had stated he was using one of the ordinary NPC's as his character so I'd planned the combat encounters with that in mind so the fact that I suddenly had a grenade equipped alchemist to deal with meant I had to tweak a few of the counters as we went along so 'I throw grenades at them' didn't become the easy solution to every problem.

People seemed to do a bit more actual role-playing of their characters this session than during the previous few so hopefully that will continue. I'll sort out every-ones advancements over the weekend and update the player character page soon.

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

The majority of the pictures used are from Privateer Presses various publications and the rest were freely available from the internet. Should you see a picture that you believe requires attributing to a specific source then let me know and I'll be happy to do so.

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