Our story continues…
The intrepid pair made their way into the tumbledown settlement, the streets strewn with corpses – a mix of bandits and Es’Vani rangers from Ulthar with signs of a gunfight all around. The bodies had been stripped of arms and ammunition, and further danger lay in wait deeper into the ruins.
Crispin, believing that all of this could be settled rationally, approached to discuss this misunderstanding with a friendly “Haloo”. Sadly there seemed to have been some breakdown in communication and the friendly greeting was met with a thundering retort from a scattergun; it seems that they had to move forward with a slightly different approach.
Diving in opposite directions, they sought cover. Hrun made his way through the ruins on the left side of the street while Crispin took aim at their attackers from behind a well. A quick shotgun blast from Hrun turned the lead brigand into meaty chunks, while their return fire chipped chunks of stonework from the ruins around him. Seizing his moment, the hulking Es’Vani charged down the street, and swung for the lead brigand, his cleaver neatly bisecting the assailant before they could bring their shotgun to bear.
Seeing their comrade fall, another bandit unloaded both barrels of her shotgun at Hrun, blasting him into the nearby wall. Her shotgun was fouled – probably poor workmanship and amid her confusion, Crispin put a bullet through her heart.
Thinking the Es’Vani to be far less of a threat after taking a shotgun blast, the final assailant charged. He had not reckoned on natural armour, as well as pure belligerence being able to see Hrun through. The melee was joined, if only briefly.
Crispin sought the high ground for a two-pronged attack. The Engine-Beast had to be somewhere. Catching glimpse of a red-coated figure making their way into an outbuilding while another fled into the Betwixt, he snapped a shot off, that glanced past the side of the scarlet villain’s head, and they staggered off into the building.
Our heroes caught their breath.
…and then the Engine Beast found them. It burst out of the outbuilding, sending dessiccated rubble in all directions, and the scarred scarlet scoundrel at its controls, seemingly having set it to ‘rampage’. Crispin lunged behind a nearby wall once again as their opponent seized the controls of one of the beast’s chaingun, and the barrels began to spin, followed by a roar of explosions as shells started carving the building up around him.
Running out from the dwindling cover, and taking advantage of the gunner’s enthusiasm, Hrun leapt onto the side of the Engine-Beast and began to climb. Crispin, drawing gossammer threads together to form a ghostly mirror in the air, took aim at their enemy and snapped off a shot that seemed to fell him, just as Hrun reached the top and reloaded his trusty carriage-gun, levelling it at the scarlet bastard and pulled the trigger.
He hit nothing but air.
His Stygian heritage revealed, the bandit leader had dissolved into a cloud of smoke and darkness, and reformed a few paces away, eyes ablaze. The Engine-Beast, now sans pilot, reared up and began to climb up the building, approaching Crispin.
Under normal circumstances, the situation would seem hopeless. Not to an ex-God of debauchery, whose unique insights allowed him to instictively know where the erogenous zones of any creature in eyeshot were. Then snap off a quick shot at them.
Pow! Just as the beast was about to stomp the Dead God into paste, it was overtaken by an urge to clutch its sensitive parts that had just blossommed into agony, keeling over to one side, falling on top of the Stygian and plastering him across one side of its superstructure.
With the aid of Tandi, the ever-faithful warswine, our heroes apprehended the remaining miscreant and lasso him, dragging his semi-conscious body aboard the now-pacified Engine-Beast. Interrogating him on the way back, they discovered that someone had hired a crew, him included, to steal the Engine-Beast and take it to the settlement to await a pick-up. They had gone through a few agents and fixers to cover their trail, but two noteable personalities could probably reveal more information: Notorious leader of the Memorialist cult, Praetor Skulmen, and Castellan Gleam, a Knight Gang boss in the lower wards.
The victorious protagonists let the talkative miscreant (by the name of Gallio Sands) go, on the understanding that he now owes them a favour, and proceeded to return to Dorian Hardmeier, their employer to report their findings and keep an important appointment at The Gin Palace. After all, it was Smackaron night, and time and discussing the current meta wait for no-one!
So, as is probably quite evident, this session involved working through combat, use of Talents, and balancing things out a bit – along with working out creative uses for the Dead Gods’ powerset.
Also, we managed to get some good use out of Roll20 for use as gaming table
Coming soon…What does all this mean?
While this may seem intriguing (please, say it is!), undoubtedly there are a bunch of elements that are unclear. In the next article, we plan to publish a quick glossary of a few terms that could be useful in making sense of these testing logs.