Actual Play – Ironhook Bound (1/17/2017)

GM: Sean Nittner
Players: Karen Twelves, Eric Fattig, and Adrienne Mueller
System: Blades in the Dark, Rules v.7.1

Crew Moving Up

As of last session the crew had an advance handy, and took the veteran move “Synchronized.” So many crits coming to dusky town near you.

They also had filled up the rep bar and had the coin to go up in tier. Having defended their charter, the Spectral Society’s name became better known on campus and off. The adepts crew grew as members of both the True Path and Elke’s cadre recruited more weirdos. Also, the School Patrol gang grew, now filled with members that were part-time students at best (read: thugs who stole, cajoled, or beat their way into getting school credentials).

Downtime

Elke finally finished her work studying possession (Long term clock finished) and learned several important facts about possession.

  1. Not all ghosts can possess humans, it is a skill they must learn, or be taught by another.
  2. Possession causes trauma over time [mechanically one trauma per week], however some ghosts, those who have reconciled their worldly concerns, do not traumatize their hosts.
  3. The speech patters of the possess falter in just such a way. After talking to them for some time, you can hear the ghost echo in their voice.

Hix, stressed out by the last job needed to find another place to indulge. Salia wanted nothing to do with her. She could get high at home but having Harland around made that awkward. He was an ascetic now and she wasn’t sure how he’d react to black lotus in his presence. So she followed her nose to the smell of sex and inebriation… of a sorts.

Long had she heard about the Church of the Ecstasy of the Flesh, and while she had been at many parties where it’s adherents indulged in all manner of worldly pleasures, she sought to find it’s source at the biggest church in the Dusk, the Sanctorium. It wasn’t easy getting there. Brightstone doesn’t take well to scoundrels like Hix staining the streets with their presence, but she managed to sidle past the Blue Coats that did see her with aplomb and flattering words [Risky Consort. Full success].

Though no service was being performed, there was a curate of the Sanctorium. Nelisanne was dressed in red robes that could not conceal his golden locks, cherubic face, and other lovely features. He first greeted Hix coldly, she did not look to belong here, but when they spoke, and she revealed her interest in the sanctity of the body, the destruction of the spirits, and the investigation into hidden secrets, and suddenly Nielisanne came to life telling her far more than he should about the history and current practices of the Ecstasy of the Flesh [Looks: Lovely. Goals: Love. Methods: Manipulation. Details: Cold, Secretive, and Careless.]

Hix returned again to observe a sermon, told Nelisanne about her connection to the Keeper of the Flame [Devil’s Bargain], and then the delighted curate allowed her behind the first veil to the chamber of earthly delights [Long term project to find a new vice purveyor complete].

In another part of the Dusk, Jadvyga returned to Dundridge and Sons with Elke to try on dresses and look into other sartorial interests.

Jadvyga was fitted with some of the finest clothes by Malcolm but also reminded that the fashion show she agreed to model in was happening soon. [Indulge Vice]. Elke however was only interested in what was needed to make shadow cloak. Malcolm told her that if she could provide him with the Irruvian shadow silk they were made of, he could fashion one for her [Long term project]

After that Elke visited Quellyn to find out what strange new curios she had obtained. Her friend was happy to show her new wares [Indulging vice] but also complained that her new neighbor Aslyn had started becoming troublesome by squabbling with other ghosts and picking fights [As a ghost Ashlyn had gained the traits Knowledgeable and Violent]

Jadvyga later hosted one of their famed trivia nights at the Cat and Candle. This time she invited several of the faculty (without them knowing the others were coming) and ended up with both Una Farros [Devils Bargain: Telling her than Hix would be there and was suffering from some kind of occult curse, which Una was sure she could use to find out more about her and Augus] and Yerial Danwood [Devils Bargain: Pitting the two of them against each other at trivia, and making the professors who were otherwise oblivious of each other into threats]. The end result, Una was so impressed with the triva questions and the political cunning of Jadvyga she offered to sponsor her as as student [Long Term project x 2, Complete!]

Hix visited her friend Frost in his home. He was in convalescence after trying to stop a shipment of the Grinder’s (the one Hix had told him about) and they shared matching arms in slings. The two of them, with as many usable arms drank and swapped stories. Hix ensured him that the Spectral Society was on the right patch and just a good student society trying to represent the university in the best way they could [Reduce Heat]. He pointed out that they were involved with a mass murder in the Irruvian sword school, that one of their members was charged with kidnapping the son of a ministry member, and that he had half a dozen other unsubstantiated by believable complaints about their occult endeavors. [Reminding her of their Wanted level].

Arquo, meanwhile was there when his father got home from the jail, beat and battered but with some information. The money that Steiner brought to bail him out was snatched up by the Blue Coat LaRose, and if Arquo wanted to get it back, he was the one to take it from. He tended for his dad and ensured him that he’d make things right [Indulging vice]

Hix, Elke, and Jadvyga all did the work they promised Oilweather and Danwood and began scribing and translating text for their book on Severosi history. Jadvyga ended up doing all the work. Elke never agreed to it and Hix had a bad arm. Plus, Danwood was just so dreamy… [working on Long Term Project]

Dundridge and Son’s Winter Fashion Show

For the show Malcolm wanted Jadvyga to appear exotic, to walk with inhuman grace… to look like a demon. Yes she had a forked tongue, but that didn’t stand out on the runway. She needed something more present, more piercing. So he fashioned her glass lenses to cover her eyes. Foggy and grey should could barely see through them, but they made her eyes appear filled with with black smoke and gave just the look he needed. However, wearing them for hours cut horrible scratches in her cornea, and when she finally removed them blood came out as well [Risky (to have great effect on the audience) Finesse. Partial Success. Harm 2: Scratched Cornea].

 

Turning herself in

Hix threw a part at her place. She invited all her friends, and celebrated Jadvyga’s admission into Charterhall and their other successes. The next morning she wasn’t there but it wasn’t for a day or two that anyone really took notice. She was always in and out. It was a folded note, the kind Harland left to remind her to do her laundry or to replace the mead that she had drunk, that told her friends she would miss them.

And as they looked up the camera panned out from their crappy apartment in Charter Wall and through the streets of the Dusk, and down to Duslough where an armored carriage drawn by stocky mountain goats carried Hix into Ironhook Prison. She had turned herself in.

(A tease for next session. Adrienne rolled to see how Hix fared inside the hook. Three 1s. She took her fourth trauma and her mind was prepared to ascend to mastery to the cult of the Keeper of the Flame. Her new vice has become Servitude!)

What Rocked

Holy crap, Hix in prison and with four Trauma. Wow! Good thing she doesn’t need her vice purveyor now. There are two scenes we still need to have. Frost trying (and apparently failing) to convince her not to turn herself in and her arrival. Something special planned for that! Can’t wait. Servitude!

These darn kids and their trivia nights. But then turning them into rivalries between professors. So good.

Elke, off to make a shadow cloak… but it’s really for Aqruo. So sweet.

It was just uncanny how much the Ecstasy of the Flesh and Hix’s ideology matched up. I mean, the place was kind of perfect for her.  Loves pleasure, hates ghosts, into secret cults. A match made in heaven…if there were such a thing. All the more sad that she lost it all going to the Hook.

Watching Ashlyn become more feral is good and going to get better. Elke’s beliefs will be tested and we’ll see if her iron will can win out as it has in the past.

I didn’t remember until the end of the session that I had rolled an entanglement from their last score: Unquiet Dead. Oh shit, here comes Vond again!

What could have improved

Though I loved the complication of working the fashion show, I really wish I had done more with it. It feels like it should have at least been an opportunity to schmooze with the upper crust, or to get more information about old man Dundridge. This still could be done in flashbacks but I feel bad that we glossed over it.

We need to retcon Elke’s learning about possession long term project. As of the V8 version (see next game) Ghost Mind gives her the ability to sense supernatural entities in her presence, so the coolest part of finishing that project is now redundant. We’ll find something good!