Testing Tales: One Of Our Engine-Beasts Is Missing…

The first part of (hopefully many) playtest sessions that will flesh out Crux as we go through it. This will also be accompanied by lore posts that will detail the less familiar elements as we meet them – so everyone has a frame of reference.

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About the best I could do for a picture of a powered handcart – the real one was far more steampunk.

New arrival on Crux, Crispin Mawganthorn-Mountboy, Dead God of Decadence and Fashion, and his trusty guide and manservant, Hrun, an affable yet imposing Es’Vani, find themselves in need of money to finance the lifestyle that Crispin wishes to be accustomed to.

Answering a want-ad from the Rail Barons, entitled “ONE OF OUR ENGINE-BEASTS IS MISSING”, they meet with Dorian Hardmeier, the fellow offering the contract, who fills them in on the situation (With some trepidation, I might add, their introduction to Hardmeier being preceded by the sounds of a screaming argument, a shotgun blast, and a lifeless body being blasted out of his office, to slide down the wall opposite).

Suitably briefed, they made their way down to the train station, on the new line bound for Hive Unity. Not wanting to muss his garb with perspiration, Crispin convinces one of the rail officials to loan them one of the new-fangled automated handcarts with a fulgurite power-cell. Pausing only to pick up the hamper they’d negotiated as an advance from their employer, brimming with pastries, cheese, wine and other luxuries, they board the automated handcart, click the throttle into action and trundle off into the desolate wastes of the Betwixt, sipping wine from delicate glasses as Tandi, Hrun’s trusty warswine trots merrily behind, heading off into the distance, the silence of the Betwixt occasionally broken by the indignant squeal of a pig that’s been denied vol-au-vents.

Arriving at the scene of the disappearance, the rail ending with shredded and distorted iron splayed out like a silver wave, and bodies strewn about the place, both the train crew and the raiders who made off with the Engine-Beast.

Upon further examination, the blast that tore up the rails and the ground around it formed a perfectly regular, even circle; clearly no mundane device was behind this…

Our protagonists stumble upon a fellow investigator in the area, one Agent Samiel Grey, who came down from Ulthar ahead of them. They (for Samiel’s gender was not clear) had deduced that the weapon that derailed the Engine Beast was a ferroclast bomb, a weapon normally only found in the Hivelands. Grey was to continue investigating the area for further evidence while our intrepid duo press on to a nearby settlement in search of the missing Engine-Beast.

 

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