Blacksands

Session 03
Dirty Work

The party pressed forward through the sewer, eventually confronting and killing Captain Brannock himself. A portion of the sewers here had been collapsed and a small tunnel dug. The tunnel ended in a large room with a pit where the Watch had been cremating the bodies of the people that had been disappearing mysteriously. In the large room, Jean, Wallow, and Wrog encountered Brannock speaking in hushed tones with Radolf, the Wolf in the West. They found two orphan children, Misha and Cadgar, as well, who later revealed they were snatched up in the night by the Watch and intended as some sort of payment for a debt the Watch appeared to owe the Druids. A large iron door, barred and sealed from the inside revealed how the Druid assassin had been smuggled into the city, a hole in the Wall.

Wrog successfully managed to lead the party through the winding labyrinth of the Grey Ward’s back alleys and through the gate back to Esterfay. They sought the Hounds, and acquired guards for their suite, as they rested there with the orphans for safekeeping.

In the morning the group met with Zara, now Baroness Regent. A long look on her face confirmed what many had suspected. With Faren dead, the Barony had elected her as interim custodian of the Quarter. They had confirmed her powers to enforce the laws of the Quarter, but gave her no right to create new legislation in the Quarter or to collect taxes; a political death sentence that left no doubt that the Barony intended to replace her as soon as possible. Arneaux and Cait, armed to the teeth, were sent out beyond the walls to investigate the whereabouts of a package Faren had ordered from Silverest some time ago and Zara turned her full attention to the party.

The group compared notes and debriefed, concluding that it was almost definite that Baron Orrin Stork had to have been aware of Brannock’s plot, if not complicit in it as well. Mercer arrived, covered in fresh, grisly wounds and announced they had captured Marrowsnap at the Shrine of Marandriah in Elfhame, but strange plant creatures had assaulted the Hounds as they attempted to leave the meeting. They left two Hounds dead and Mercer injured before being put to the sword. The party called the meeting shortly thereafter, and bee-lined to Draelsgate Barrackhouse where the Hounds were keeping Marrowsnap.

A brief interrogation led nowhere initially, Marrowsnap refusing to speak until he was promised a Pardon or his sentence was commuted to Exile, anything that would get him out of the city. Jean managed to turn up the charm and let Marrowsnap’s irritation get the better of him, as he let several pieces of information he had planned on bargaining for his freedom with slip. Brannock was terrified of something called The Coming Storm and Marrowsnap was as well, though neither seemed to know much about what it entailed. Brannock had been trying to off the party and had promised Marrowsnap his freedom if he killed the adventurers. Brannock had given him a strange amulet that was of Druid make that seemed to make him invisible to the plant creatures that had been smuggled into the city by the corrupt Watch for the ambush. As Jean left the room, he had found Wallow had deputized Wrog as a Hound, and the party was faced with a decision to make about Marrowsnap’s future.

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Session 02
Farewell to a Friend

The party awoke to a new day but troubles had already begun stirring in the night. Jean Lafitte picked up on the fading traces of divination magic lining their master suite, and Wallow Tallshadow’s rest was punctuated by a strange vision, the replacement of his lucky coin, and a strange new spark in his soul — the ability to channel divine energy. The funeral for Lord Faren was scheduled for the early evening, leaving the party with some time to themselves in the morning. The city was locked down, patrols had doubled and all of the major and minor gates that normally stood open were sealed with security checkpoints.

Jean and Wrog cased the Grey Ward for more information on the Dirt Boys and to see if they could confirm their suspicions about corruption in the Grey Watch. After a cold reception at Ministers’ Publik House, Wrog found himself face to face with an old acquaintance, Alistair Croft, an enforcer for the Aduboix family. After a tense exchange, Croft mentioned to Wrog that the Watch had been moving in on Aduboix territory, a small storehouse at the edge of the Ward seemed to be drawing a lot of late night attention from the Watch.

Wallow spent they day getting in touch with his newfound ability to tap into the divine, as well as making the acquaintance of a few of the shopkeepers in the large coster market that was centrally located in Esterfay.

Meeting back up to get prepared for the funeral, the group was interrupted by a pair of Dirt Boys, desperate to get out of the city. They asked the group to meet with their leader, Marrowsnap, who was leading the push to get his gang out of town.

At the funeral, Jean managed to salvage an awkward, painfully long eulogy from Brother Porter, a priest of Acarus, turning the opportunity into an offer to play a two night set at Prim-O Nocta Corner Club, an entertainment venue in Corwick Quarter run by Nathaniel Raderick. While there, the group elected to pursue the activities of the Watch, and sent Mercer and a small detachment of Hounds to intercept Marrowsnap at the meeting and bring him in.

As night fell, the group approached the house in the Grey Ward, finding their way inside easily. The interior was clearly a front for something, mismatched and forged paperwork giving away the game easily. A secret door revealed a long corridor that seemed to pass down into the bowels of the city and under the Wall that seperated the Ward from Southash Quarter and eventually dumped them out into an industrial area of the sewers carrying slag and runoff from the large furnaces of Southash to the sea.

Catching the Watch here unawares, the party pushed forward through long hallways and eventually overcoming several guards, but not before they had mentioned the names of Captain Brannock and Radolf, intimating the latter had potentially betrayed the former.

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Session 01
Pray For Rain

Wrog Uvenk, Jean Lafitte, and Wallow Tallshadow arrive in Blacksands on the evening before Faren’s inauguration, led through the gates of the city into Esterfay Quarter by Torry Tosscobble, Lord Faren’s chauffeur and personal assistant. The mood in the city is festive, Faren is a popular Lord and a hopeful view of many in the city is that, “one of their own,” is being elected to a prestigious position of power.

One of the largest parties is occuring in and around The Roc & Oliphant, an upscale inn and tavern near the well-to-do Waterfront District in the Quarter. There the adventurers meet with Zara and several Hounds and are informed that they will be staying for the week at no cost in the Master Suite at the Roc & Oliphant, and any need they have will be taken care of while they are in town. After some carousing, they retire for the evening.

In the morning, the heroes head for the steps of the Baron’s Manor House just outside the Manor Stalls Coster Market, the largest open-air market in the city. A throng of people have gathered, as word seems to have gotten out about Faren’s arrival here. Upon his approach, Faren is viciously cut down by an assassin hidden amongst the crowd as Wallow and the heroes give chase. Wrog and Jean attempt to cut the assassin off at the pass, fearing he is fleeing to the bridge to the Grey Ward, whose lax policing would make it easier to go to ground. The assassin is caught and before he can attempt to swallow a seed and presumably take his own life, he is wrestled into submission by Wrog. A brief interrogation leads nowhere, the rambling druid yelling over and over about a Coming Storm. A search of his belongings turns up the scraps of a letter mentioning the Hooded Lantern, a tabloid-style smear rag run by the Dirt Boys, rabble-rousers predominantly occupying Endalmeet Cemetery and the Grey Ward.

HoodedLantern1.jpg

After a quick debriefing with Vekel, he suggests they start at MInisters’ Publik House, a real greasy spoon in the Grey Ward frequented by the Dirt Boys. Wallow meets with an ‘independent contractor’ of the Patrons, a homeless, elderly drunk named Ellim who’s been observing the Ward for some time. He confirms Wallow’s suspicions, stating he had seen a man matching the assassin’s description leave the tavern early that morning. Inside, Wrog and Jean get into a tense negotiation with Brynn Dyrbj√∂rn, the proprietor of the establishment as Wallow manages to slip around the back entrance to MInisters’, uncovering the undead remains of Edgird, Brynn’s husband, chained to a wall in the basement. Rejoining the party, the group manages to leverage the location of Edgird for information from Brynn. Finding the Dirt Boys distasteful, and clinging to the last remaining vestige of her husband, Brynn acquiesces and tells the party where to find the Dirt Boys.

Approaching the warehouse, the party battles its way through the Dirt Boys standing watch by the entrance, but not before one of the lookouts manages to escape inside. The cacophonous noise that guided the heroes to the warehouse is found to be coming from large clockwork and steam-driven presses, and a battle breaks out between the Dirt Boys desperately attempting to hold the warehouse and the heroes. After dispatching the last of the Dirt Boys in the room, the party notices in the presses, the issue of the Hooded Lantern being printed off is about Faren’s assassination, however there is no way enough time had passed for this to be on the up and up. Discovering a door in the warehouse that had been disguised to resemble a wall, Jean and the party stumble upon a former office converted into an alchemical laboratory, with a strange plant creature of humanoid shape laying dead on a granite table. Notes here seem to indicate it was provided to one “Bloodknuckle”, to thank him for his hospitality. Further investigation of the warehouse leads the party to the main office in the back of the building where they find Bloodknuckle, lying in a heap behind an overturned desk, a go-bag laying open next to him on the floor, surrounded by shattered vials and the stains of potions. Transforming into a giant raging berserker, the party tires the lumbering Bloodknuckle out before subduing him. All is not well, as the Grey Watch arrives suspiciously mere moments after the beast falls, taking the surviving Dirt Boys into custody and removing the heroes from the area.

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