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  1. So is the Iron Quill still happening? I thought the new directions for this months entry would be up by June 6th?
  2. So wyrd has been doing some pretty great stories. Many compliments. But there is so much left to go. The world has so many characters. Not all can get screen time. I hope you agree with me that name-dropping is about the coolest thing about wyrd fluff. The feeling of reading about walking amongst legends is what I love. Please keep doing that. So I leave this here because I want you all to post characters you would like to read more about. wyrd needs to see what you guys want. Let's see them.
  3. Closing Time A Short Story by Lord Byron Word Count: 1750 Elements used: The Pen is mightier than the sword, A broken Clock, the Guild Quarter Jacob looked into the windows of his shop and smiled. Looking back at him was a man who had been through a lot, black hair starting to grey above a set of wire rimmed spectacles in front of bright blue eyes. A cane in one hand held up a body that had slowly begun to feel the pains of being hunched over a work bench for hours every day, repairing the baubles and toys of the people of Malifaux. The gold lettering of the sign hanging above the store front proudly proclaimed to the denizens of the Guild Quarter that here was Master Jacob’s Fine Jewelry and Clock Repair. That sign had cost him almost a month’s worth of work, but it was worth it in Jacob’s opinion. It granted the store a certain prestige, and he had certainly been seeing a few more high class customers since he had put it up. Jacob turned away and to walk down the street to his home, just outside the gates into the prestigious center of Malifaux, but someone had appeared next to him and he knew he’d be staying a few extra hours tonight. The man spoke, “Master Jacob.” Looking at him from underneath the brim of a wide hat were a pair of green eyes, and little else. He wore a trenchcoat made from a dark leather, and across his back was a large pine box, he was a Death Marshall, one that Jacob had worked with before. Jacob sighed, “Hello Mr. Smith, how can I help you tonight?” “I have something I need you to fix, and it would be greatly appreciated if you could finish it tonight.” With that said the man held out a pocket watch. Jacob took the watch, “Very well Mr. Smith, you know my fee, and I assume the Guild will be paying in the usual manner?” Mr. Smith nodded, “There’s more to it, this one has….. abilities, that we would like restored as well.” Jacob’s curiosity was piqued, to have an enchantment in such a small piece would require a true master of the art. “You know the fee for that as well, and I assume your supervisors have agreed to that?” Another nod from Mr. Smith, and Jacob was satisfied, he turned and unlocked the door into his shop, stepping in he began to lock it behind him, but Mr. Smith had walked in behind. “Is there anything else?” This was highly unusual, most of the time Jacob was left to his work. “I have been ordered to watch over you while you repair this, certain parties have expressed an interest in this device and it’s protection has been deemed a priority.” “Very well…” with that Jacob locked the door behind Mr. Smith and walked to his workbench. Placing the watch in front of him he reached under his bench and pressed a button he had hidden when he first set up the shop. From the ceiling above his windows and door a fine wire mesh descended, and a slight hum filled the air. “Be careful Mr. Smith, don’t touch the wires or you’ll disrupt my protections, and yourself.” Mr. Smith nodded and turned to face out of the window, apparently satisfied to keep to himself. Placing the watch in front of him he began to assess the problem, the hands obviously weren’t moving, and apparently something was not working in a mystical sense. The back had a deep dent in it, and upon inspection Jacob believed it had been caused by a bullet. Opening it was easy enough, and the damage had severely bent all the gears and springs, they would all need to be replaced or repaired, an exceedingly tedious but simple task. However, within the frames of many of the gears, and at the center of the springs rested a tiny crystal. Reaching into his toolbox and pulling out his magnification glasses he carefully inspected each crystal. As he looked he realized that these were not quartz or a similar metal, but each and everyone was a soulstone, crystal clear, cut with a precision to rival the masters of the trade and set inside the watch with infinite care. This severely complicated manners, Jacob would have to remove and inspect each stone, make sure they were charged, replace any damaged ones, and even after he put it back together he had no idea what the device was supposed to do. With a great sigh he took out a piece of paper and carefully began uninstalling all the pieces, gridding out the paper and writing the dimensions and location of every piece and stone next to it as he set it down. After completing this he began the process of repair. Many of the items would not be salvageable, and he had to reach into his drawers of parts to replace and modify all the inner workings. Time seemed to stand still as he crafted each piece, and inspected each stone. Luckily the stones were all intact, and he was able to put each one back in place without having to go through the trouble of trying to find a similar stone for the device. Finally Jacob hammered out the back piece, and inspected the work for completeness, satisfied, he snapped it shut, and gave a yelp of surprise as it set itself to the proper time. Before he could do anything more he felt the cold metal of a blade pressed against his neck. Shortly thereafter he felt the blade removed, and let out a sigh of relief “My apologies Master Jacob, I wasn’t sure what you had done, I had to take precautions.” The apology from the Death Marshall hardly seemed adequate for the fear that coursed through Jacob’s veins. “Of course, of course, I was simply startled, the watch has set itself you see.” With that Jacob held the watch out for inspection. “I’m unsure what else it does though, I can’t vouch for the abilities you wished to have restored to it, but I’m positive that I have reassembled it exactly as it was.” “That’s all we ever ask for Master Jacob, your aid, and discretion, is appreciated as always.” With that the Marshall reached to take the watch. Mid-reach he stopped and spun around, and grabbed his pine box with one hand, whipping out his Peacebringer with the other. Before Jacob could say anything his windows exploded inwards, covering the store with shards of glass. A loud electric buzz filled the air, and sparks flew from the mesh that he had lowered into place. Jacob dived for the ground behind his counter, grunting in pain as his knee bounced off the hard wood, clutching the pocket watch close to his chest. He heard the report of the Marshall’s peacebringer and felt a sudden heat from the watch. Looking at the watch it had lit up with a bright green light, and he saw the hands come to a stop, at the same moment all the noise stopped. Thinking the battle must be over Jacob peered over the edge of his counter, and couldn’t believe what he saw. Everything was frozen in place, he saw the Marshall, stuck in place as he leaped over the counter, his box improbably in front of his outstretched arm, stuck mid-air with the door half open, sickly green flame oozing out. In front of the shop’s window was a small group of figures, half hidden in the light of the streets with long hooded robes draped across their frames, frozen in place as they attempted to duck out of sight. Jacob stood up, unsure of what he should do next, with time apparently frozen, he had no idea how to start it again, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to with what was unfolding in front of him. It seemed that he would have no choice though, the watch’s glow had start to fade, and almost imperceptibly he noticed things beginning to move again. In a panic he grabbed the nearest thing he could find, his pen, and lowered himself back behind his counter. Suddenly time was flowing normally again, and Jacob heard his mesh scream in protest, and saw the bright flash of light as he assumed the pine box had flown through it. And he jumped as the Marshall’s form dropped in front of him, changed completely as a ghostly fire had enveloped his frame and revealed the bare features of a human skull. The skull stared directly at Jacob, and he jumped as the jaw moved up and down, “Did it work?” Jacob couldn’t move, the terror of a talking skeleton in front of him was simply too much. “Damn it, I’ll have to do this the old fashioned way then.” With that said the Marshall stood back up and fired off another shot, instantly the watch glowed, and Jacob found himself in a frozen time once again. It dawned on Jacob then, the soulstone of the watch was feeding off the death of the marhsall’s foes! Jacob steeled himself, if he could move and they couldn’t, he could do something about this, he counted the people in front of his store and realized that there was no way he would survive if he didn’t do something. He gripped his pen and painfully walked forward, time slowly began moving, and just as it started to pick back up he slammed it into the eye of the man trying to come through his front door. The man’s remaining eye went wide with confusion and pain, and just as Jacob pulled the pen out a piece of pinkish grey meat stuck on the end, his remaining eye rolled back as he fell, and time froze again. Around him the others in the group had shifted their gaze at Jacob, shock in their eyes. Jacob tried not to look into those eyes, as he jabbed his pen into the throats of the others while time stood still. As time came back to speed, Jacob walked back into his store, the men in front collapsing as they grabbed at their throats to stop the blood. “It would appear your watch is operating again Mr. Smith.” Jacob said as he approached the shocked Marshall. “Thanks…. I’ll have to ask you to hand it over, and please don’t leave. I expect the guard shall be arriving shortly after that altercation.” The Marshall reached out, and Jacob gently placed it back in his hand……
  4. Ingredients- Character: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing Item: An Incomplete Deck of Cards Word Count- 1750 The Searchers The pattern of blood upon the snow was almost beautiful; as striking as it was revolting. Like a blossoming flower, scarlet streaks fanned out from a pristine epicenter. The man stooped in the eye of the flower lifted the crimson frost to his tongue and then broke the silence. "Within the past half of an hour." Crouching on his haunches, the burly man kept his grizzled, bearded face cast down, so that only the wolf pelt hat peered up at the rest of the party. His bulk was composed of layers of buckskins and unwashed flannel beneath the fur - there was not ladle full of lard spread across the gaunt outdoorsman's frame. "Hoarcats drag him off?" The Death Marshal asked. "Not likely." "Why not?" "Way the blood's spilt, 'e was et right here." "You sure 'bout that, wolf-hunter," the marshal asked, "I don't see no bones nor clothes." "Sure, I'm sure," the scout said, "gobbled 'em up, every last bit. Lupescar ain't never wrong." He cast a sparkling glance at the woman nervously fingering her Collier revolver just behind the lawman. "Waste not, want not, eh, my cherie?" Sorsha consciously drew her hand from her pistol and willfully suppressed the chill creeping up her spine. 'Blood, she was accustomed to, having spilled her fair share with her pistol, and even drawn some with her Brahk blade, but this? This was no way for a man to die. Granted, the slain muleteer was more beast than man. A pig, who was ever gazing on her with heavy lidded eyes, making suggestive comments. This mountain man, Lupescar, too, had the habit of licking his lips when he deigned to speak to her, like he was anticipating his next meal. Most of the time, he didn't bother to give her the time of day. That suited her just fine, and the Guildsmen treated her with decency, if not quite equality. There was also the girl from the wagon train to converse with, strange as she was. Underdressed for the season, Sorsha had given the young woman her own coat, while she had cut a hole in an extra wool blanket and tied it at the waist to form a poncho. Sorsha could not fail to notice that the men hadn't offered any polite solutions to keep the girl warm. "We women have to look out for each other," Sorsha told the girl as she wrapped her coat around her. The girl had stumbled into town several days ago, this lost teenager with pale skin, frightened, staring eyes and coatless to tell them all about the fate of the settlers who ventured into the Western reaches beyond the badlands. The tale she told was a familiar one, though no less dreadful for the repetition. The party was three days out of Fortune Falls when the first traveler vanished. The assumption was that they had turned back. On the following day, when an entire wagon carrying a family disappeared, the outriders backtracked to find it abandoned, with no sign of the occupants. A meeting was held on whether to turn back, but with three days left to go to reach their land claims, there was nothing for it, but to forge ahead. It was on the final night that the attack came, A massive assault by hordes of gibbering creatures from the darkness. In the confusion of the battle, the girl was separated from the party and found herself, two days later, on the trail back to town. In hopes of finding other survivors, Marshal Hancock gathered four guardsmen, a pathfinder, a muleteer to carry supplies, and a mercenary to round out the numbers; all that the town could spare. Truth was, nobody else was stupid enough, nor desperate enough, to go. Sorsha was determined that she wasn't going to suffer the same fate as the mule driver. "And you didn't see anything up ahead? Marshal Hancock regarded Lupescar through narrow eyes. "Didn't say that," the pathfinder said. "Saw plenty. Just no sign of what did this." "You shooting straight me, Lupescar?" "What might you mean, Marshal?" "I mean, are you leading us into a trap?" Sorsha expected a clever quip from the trapper, but he met Hancock's accusation with a silent scowl. "Fine," the Death Marshal said. "We'll continue on to the the site of the attack, but I want you in view at all times, Lupescar." He turned to Sorsha. "We can't afford to lose any more supplies. You guard the rear, Merc. And watch the girl." He regarded her for a moment. "Can you handle that, missy?" She wanted to tell him, "Hell no!" She wanted to head back to town, rather than end up dinner for whatever was out here. But her debt to the Guild hung over her like an executioner's axe, and she couldn't think of any other way. "I can handle it." He held her gaze for a moment, then turned back to the pathfinder. "I feel like I'm playing poker with half a deck. And it ain't the half with the face cards." Lupescar finally broke his silence. "I suppose that makes me the joker." "Could be," Hancock said. "Question is, which one?" Sorsha dreaded the idea of heading recklessly into peril, but what could she do? She owed the Guild money for bringing her through the Breach, to escape her abusive husband. Now she was beholden to the Guild and the Governor. Had her fate played out differently, she might have been one of those unfortunate women on the street, paying off the Guild by selling her favors to strangers. But being a fair shot with the pistol she took when she left her husband,she had opportunities open to her. And once you've shot one man, the rest are a good sight easier. Was she truly better off than the doxies one saw hanging from the windows of the bordellos back in Malifaux City? She'd be lying to herself if she said she was. Either way, she was splitting hairs, her fate was not her own. "They don't respect you." They had been traveling half a day, and the sun was pale and distant in the noon day sky. An aloof voyeur, remotely curious about the fate of those below. Sorsha was surprised; the girl hadn't spoken more than a handful of words since she first related her story two days back. "They treat you worse than the pack animals." "I could care less, so long as they pay me better." "You care. Anyone would." She gave Sorcha a smile that mimicked kindliness, but there was a vacancy behind it. "You'd have to have a heart of ice not to." "Listen kid..." "Tina." "Tina. Look. Everybody's got to make a buck. I'll put up with these cowboys only so long as I have to." "What if you didn't have to?" "What's that supposed to mean?" But the girl didn't respond, and Sorsha let it drop. They travelled on in silence. That night, when she went to relieve Guardsman Fletcher and serve the last watch before dawn, she found him asleep and snoring. "Hey, wake up," she hissed. "You're lucky I couldn't sleep." Fletcher grunted something in rude reply and roused himself to his feet, stumbling from the glow of the fire, to the darkness beyond where his bedroll waited. Sorsha laughed to herself as she heard him stumble and grunt, as he fell heavily to the ground. She listened as he clumsily pulled out some rations and slowly and noisily ate them. A disgusting wretch, to chew so loudly. He ignored her chastising shush and continued, steadily and belligerently. The tedious smack, smack, smack drove her to distraction until the sky grew grey with first light. It was a blessing that the sight that met her stole her breath away so she couldn't scream. There, hanging over a limb above the camp, was what remained of Fletcher's body, with its steady drip, drip, drip of blood hitting the rock below with a smack. Hancock debated sending anyone out in advance of the party, but finally acquiesced, sending Sorsha with Lupescar to scout ahead, conveniently ridding himself of both problems. Sorsha wasn't sure what she dreaded more, finding what was stalking them, or being alone with Lupescar. What she did know, was that she did not want to go. Hancock wanted her gone, though, after her careless watch the night before. Did it really matter though, when they were vulnerable anywhere? What puzzled her as she trailed behind the pathfinder was, why had the creature spared her? Lupescar stopped short and turned to her. "The tracks end here. " "Let's head back then." "What's the rush?" Lupescar loomed over her. "We can have some time together." "Stay clear of me, or I swear..." The sudden scream broke the tension. Both of them broke into a run. As they approached the camp, they found a swirling blizzard obscuring the search party. Screams and gunshots illustrated the action where dim figures moved in the blinding snow. Child-sized figures with oversized heads, translucent in the filtered light and dripping with icicles, leapt up in their path as they ran. The mist and snow diminished towards the epicenter of the battle to reveal Marshal Hancock, one foot propping open a coffin, one fist grabbing Tina by the hair. Around him, like the scattered playing cards of a bad hand, were the bodies of the remaining guardsmen. "Get in there you witch! "Hancock, what the blazes are you doing?" Lupescar cried. "Something that would have saved us a heap of trouble if I hadn't been such a damn fool," he grunted,"she's been behind this from the beginning!" Something huge, horned and terrible loomed over the mountain man. He bleated a plaintiff cry as it devoured him like a sheep being slaughtered. "Don't stand there gaping, you useless cow," Hancock shouted at Sorsha, "shoot the damn thing!" On reflection, Sorsha could never be sure what surprised her more, her lack of hesitation, or her lack of remorse, as she smoothly raised her pistol and fired, neatly placing a bullet between Hancock's eyes. The death marshal released the girl as his body tumbled over the coffin. After a moment's silence, the ice creatures turned away and shambled towards the hills. "Now, what am I going to do?" Sorsha said to herself. Tina walked over the bloody snow to the mercenary and handed back her coat. "You come with me," she said.
  5. Words: 1733 Theme: The Price of Progress, Item :Incomplete Deck of Cards Miner’s Bluff Rick looked down at the mismatched cards in his hand, and at the mix of cards layed out on the table. He had one pair of sixes, and from the looks in the eyes of his young opponents they thought they had something a lot better. Gazing at them he made eye contact with his one good eye, the other half of his bald skull was a dull steel that went down his side and replaced what had once been an arm as strong as his muscled right side, but was now only mix of steel and gears. He chuckled, his poker hand probably looked like him, a jumble of different cards slammed onto the original deck to fix the damage from blood spilled a year ago. Flexing his arm a little it made a series of clicks and a slight hiss. This always unnerved the younger members of the chapter house, they talked big about how tough they were and what they’d fight for, but the sight of the cost of standing up to the Guild to make life better always made them queasy. “I’ll Raise you two guilders,” Rick said, and threw in the chips with his good arm. He saw the hesitation in the others eyes, it was a steep bet for a greenhorn. He chuckled in his head, they had never known what it was like to not have anything. Before him and the boys had stood up and helped make the union, they were lucky to make as much money as was in that bet after six months of labor. They hadn’t been around long enough to deal with the guild, and Rick hoped they never would, but in his soul he knew that sooner or later they’d each have their own run ins with them. Two of the kids threw their cards in, sighing and leaning back in their chairs. The last one threw in two chips, “Call,” was all he said, and grinned at Rick. The smile reminded him of himself back before the riot, or “incident” as the guild preferred to call it, at this very same chapter house a year ago. He hadn’t believed the guild would ever show up, they had won the fight, the union was established. Their pumping station had just come on line and everyone was heady with the feeling of unity and power that they had shown to the guild. It had all been shattered in an instant. Rick watched the next card flip over, but his mind was elsewhere, remembering the door bursting in, he had been playing poke then too. No one had expected them, the red and black clothed guards filling the room by the door in an instant, leveling their pistols and ordering everyone to lay down. They claimed that the Union was hiding Arcanist rebels in the place, something completely ridiculous and trumped up as a reason to arrest everyone there. All of them had stood up and squared off against them, it didn’t matter that they weren’t hiding anyone, this wasn’t going to stand. “You gonna bet old man?” the kid asked, pulling Rick back to the present, he thought the kid’s name was Jackson or something. “Hold your horses, man’s gotta think things over.” Rick replied. After a moment all he did was knock on the table, signaling his check. The kid just grunted, knocking on the table as well, and flipped over the last card of the of the hand. Before either of them got a look at it there was a bang on the door. “Guild, open up!” came a shout through the door, and a repeated blow came on the wood of the door. The kids all jumped up and reached for whatever weapon they had nearby. “Sit back down you idiots, do you want to end up like me?” Rick glared at them all, and they slowly sat back down. “It’s unlocked, you can come in any time officers.” He shouted back. The door clicked and in walked a memory a year old. There stood the same Officer who had walked in the first time and read them the charges leveled against them. It was the same bastard who had cost Rick his arm and part of his face. The memory came rushing back, as he read off the exact same charges. “You are all accused of conspiring to hide Arcanist rebels, and aid them in the downfall of society! Submit yourself for arrest, or suffer the consequences.” The Officer was reading from a scrap of paper held out in front of him, a giant red rams head emblazoned on the back. That had set the group in the house a year ago on fire, and they all had surged forward to pummel the guards into the ground. The first round of fire killed all the men in front, and Rick was in the next line, he leaped over the man in front of him as he fell and tackled the nearest guard before he had a chance to get his next shot off. They rolled on the floor for a brief moment before Rick got the upper hand by ending the roll with him on top. He had punched the man’s face until it turned bloody, and his eye was swelling shut, the man’s arms crossed in front of him in a futile attempt to fend off the blows. Suddenly Rick felt a horrible pain shoot through his left side, looking down he saw a sword poking through his shoulder, slick with blood. He grabbed at the blade, trying to push it out of him, but before he could reach it he felt a boot planted in his backside pushing him off. As he fell, he twisted around to get a look at his attacker saw the Officer smiling down at him, the rest of the fight had stopped, the miners had been defeated, only Rick had been left wailing on this guard. The officer sneered at him, and raised his pistol, “Scum” was all he said and the next thing Rick felt was a rush of warmth, followed by darkness and the cold. When he woke up, he was looking at the top of a ceiling that wasn’t his own, and he’d been given his new arm, a new face, and his deck of cards lay on his chest, ruined by his own blood that covered it. Snapping back to the present as the Officer read off the charges for the second time in a year, Rick stood up and stared at the man. Everyone in the room froze and looked at him, the kids hesitantly reaching for their weapons, the Officer stopping what he said, eyes slowly going wide with recognition as he saw Rick’s face. “You came here a year ago and said the same thing, you remember what happened that day, same as I.” Rick slowly spoke the words, trying through clenched teeth to hold his anger in check. His arm hissed and clicked as the his metal fist clicked open and shut in agitation. “We aren’t as helpless as we were back then, and we damn sure won’t let you beat us into the dirt this time. There’s still no Arcanists here, just like your last walkthrough, but if you try and make us submit again you won’t make it out of here.” While he said this he had slowly come around the table, stopping only a few feet from the Officer, the other guards alternating their aim from his chest and back to the others in the room. Slowly the other miners of the house lined up behind him, those who hadn’t been in the room before had come down when they heard all the noise. As the Officer looked around Rick could see him adding up the number of men present, and the realization that him and his men wouldn’t survive a second encounter. The Officer opened his mouth to speak, but Rick cut him off, “Go now, before you make a bad decision.” “We’ll be back Miner, and next time you and your kind won’t be able to hold us back!” With that the Officer slowly backed out of the door, and waved for his men to join him. As they left, Rick stepped forward and slammed the door shut behind them. Then he turned to the room full of friends, and his brothers in arms. “Well, time to get ready boys, send a message to the Pump Station, let them know we’re gearing up for a fight and there’ll be blood if Old Ramos can’t get the Guild to settle.” With that the room burst into action, men running to lockers to get their guns, others running to make sure the windows got boarded and to rig explosives. During all the hustle Rick walked over to the book case full of Union reports and forms on the wall behind the poker table. He stepped on a panel hidden in the bottom of the shelf, and gave a gentle push against a book, labeled Union vs. Guild, a Report on the Progress of the Common Man, in the Uncommon Malifaux. With that there was a click and the shelf swung back to reveal an opening into a tunnel headed down into the earth. The rest of the chapterhouse staunchly ignored what was happening and he went down the stairs dug out of the earth. Reaching the bottom he looked around at the small group sitting down there reading by candlelight, and nodded at each of them. “The guild seems to think we’ve got some Arcanists holed up here, where they got that idea I’ll never know. Either way, you had all better get ready for a fight if they find that shelf. I don’t think when they come back they’ll be particularly chatty after what me and the boys are gonna say to them.” He smiled as he said it, noticed a few of them smiling back, and then he headed back up the stairs. He heard some chanting and felt heat, cold and electricity fill the air as he shut the shelf behind him. There might not have been Arcanists here a year ago, but the Guild would be in for more than they bargained for if they decided to push the issue this time around.
  6. Malifaux Summer Campaign - Battle Report 1. Liason at the Mercer Inn. This is the 1st of 4 battle reports from a summer campaign I’m doing with a friend. The battle report (and the campaign itself) is very narrative driven, and each battle report to follow will have an increasing amount of narrative to go with it. The main plot-line is planned out, but the outcome of the games changes the who and how. That way the Scraps themselves are determining the story. It’s also worth noting that we are using some of the M2E Beta rules such as Strategy & Schemes, pre-measuring & soulstones, but not the individual character stats. As well as that, we are using the campaign rules found in Wyrd Chronicles v5, which includes injuries and upgrades. This means that the heroes (or villains) will return, if they survive! Finally, there are some hidden meanings or easter eggs dropped in here and there. If you spot them, leave a comment. Enjoy! Chapter 1 Under orders directly from the Governor’s Secretary, Lady Justice has been sent to meet with a Guild agent at the Mercer Inn in Downtown Malifaux. The agent has information regarding the location of a Resurrectionist lab in the Quarantine Zone, home to the once famous magician, psychic and telepathic Berren Down. Berren was a huge attraction, performing at most of the major establishments throughout Malifaux. He shocked and awed audiences, yet always retreated into secrecy at the end of the evening. No-one could work out the secrets behind his acts, nor put a personality to the performer. That is, until a Saturday night audience including the Judge and 3 seasoned Death Marshals let the cat out of the bag. Berren’s ‘trick’ was manipulating spirits & communicating with the dead on stage. The Marshals wasted no time, letting lead fly and storming the stage to apprehend Berren mid-performance, but Berren was always prepared. Clouds of thick green gas surged from hidden vents amongst the props and containers, leaving those in the theatre bewildered and nauseous. As the gas cleared, Berren was gone. Lady Justice has been sent to meet with the agent and establish the whereabouts of Berren’s hidden lab. At this point, it would seem like a simple liaison for the crew, but the Neverborn are after Berren as well... 25ss Scrap. Guild vs. Neverborn. Strategy: Turf War (centre point being the agent) Guild Scheme: Bodyguard (Judge) Neverborn Scheme: Outflank Deployment: Standard Guild Crew: Neverborn Crew: Lady Justice Lilith Judge Lelu 2 x Death Marshals Lilitu 2 x Guild Riflemen 3 x Terror Tots 6ss Cache 6ss Cache ******************************************************************************************************* The fog encroaching on Downtown Malifaux was beginning to clear. Warm light beaming from the windows of the Mercer Inn and the gentle murmur of diners & drinkers was a welcoming sanctuary from the sinister surroundings of the evening. This was where Lucius said his agent would meet with Lady Justice and her crew, to reveal information regarding the whereabouts of the wanted Resurrectionist Berren Down’s lab in the Quarantine Zone. “Judge, take Doherty and Cogburn, secure the perimeter”. “Yes, my Lady”. ******************************************************************************************************* The Mercer Inn was certainly one of the nicer establishments to be found in the city. A warm hearth, oak tables, clean floors & real ale. The barman greeted the trio with a fleeting nod upon entering, respectful and reserved; they were here on business, and he knew it. A few customers were at the bar, another dining alone over documents and reports. In an upper-market establishment such as this, customers understood the value of privacy. A final customer occupied a table in the corner, motioning to the empty chair across from him. The agent. Marshal Regan took a seat at the bar whilst Marshal Thadius rested against the windowsill. “Lady Justice, an honor. I must say I’m mildly surprised to be meeting with you directly. A drink perhaps?” “As surprised as me. Now tell me what I need to know,” she replied. ******************************************************************************************************* Riflemen Doherty scanned the fog through his scope. A quiet night. He was one of the many new Guardsmen being brought through the Breach to bolster numbers in the Guilds ranks. Ever since the Governor General declared Martial Law, recruits were flooding through. “Tell me, why is it that we get the dirty work, standing out here in the cold, whilst Lady Wonderful and the Crazy Gang get to sit in the warm with a steak and an ale?” he muttered under his breath to no-one in particular. From across the street, the Judge’s gaze seemed to clear the fog itself. “Watch your tongue whelp, or I’ll have it out.” “Yes, Sir” said a flushed face Doherty. “Be thankful I am more forgiving than Our Lady. Now back to work”. The streets were quiet bar the odd couple heading about their evening business. None paid any mind to the armed presence of the Guild. It was quite a common site nowadays, especially Downtown, where an image of control and power was paramount. “Its too quiet, sir” said Riflemen Cogburn. A veteran of the force, Cogburn came through the breach early on. Life Earthside wasn’t anything special for a widowed army veteran like himself. Kids he never spoke to, grandchildren he’d never seen, all that was left for him was his work, and he sure as hell knew how to do that. An experienced and loyal soldier, his strength of character often saw him assigned to Marshal duties. With a thick mustache, greying hair and a voice that had tangled with a few scotches over its time, he was quite the opposite to the fresh faced Doherty. “Be vigilant then gentlemen”. The Judge withdrew to the rear. “Hey Cogburn, check out the talent, 10 o’clock!” said Doherty. “Can it, newboy”. “Ah don’t be like that! You must be dying for a little female attention at your age! Lets just go talk to her, the gals love a man in uniform. Everything is fine here anyway.” “Return to your post, Riflemen,” said Cogburn, making no attempt at masking his growing impatience. Casually swinging his rifle over his shoulder, Doherty approached the lady through the fog. “Excuse me miss, can I have a minute?” As Doherty drew nearer, the figure grew. Tall and imposing, Doherty was transfixed. He was being lured... The crack of Cogburn’s rifle tore him away from Lilitu’s spell. Her head snapped back, recoiling from the critical hit Cogburn had placed right on her temple. A brief moment passed where Doherty shook himself free of the spell, when a nightmare erupted from behind a crate of barrels. Ambush. The beast before him bellowed as it charged towards him, his thick red muscles barreling forward like a ram. Lelu crashed into Doherty, battering him off his feet and sinking his fangs deep into the rifleman’s neck before he had time to hit the ground. Cogburn reloaded and sighted Lelu. The monster turned from his prey, crimson dripping from his chin as he scanned for a new challenge. From behind him, his sibling Lilitu rose once again, her barbed whip whirling over her head, graceful and poised where Lelu was brutish and violent. With a shot to the temple, Lilitu should have been out for good. Cogburn exhaled deeply. This was going to be a tough night. He trained his crosshairs over her heart. Time slowed. This was what he lived for, his bread and butter. That millisecond between the faintest pressure on his hair trigger, to the impact of lead on flesh. He let fly. The bullet struck home for a second time, searing straight through Lilitu’s chest and into the Nephilim Tot behind her. With that, Lilitu was down for good. ******************************************************************************************************* The crack of gunfire drew everyone’s attention inside the inn. Everyone silently exchanged glances before Regan approached the window that overlooked the street outside. “Neverborn”. “Barmen, get everyone in the cellar now” ordered Justice. Without any disagreement, the room was cleared leaving Justice, the Agent, Regan and Thadius. “Regan, cover the windows facing the street. Thadius, barricade the front door”. Turning to the agent, she said, “The location. Now.” “Sector 7d of the Quarantine Zone. By the old Aqueduct, there are ruins where a fort of some kind once stood. Within these ruins lies a small wooden shelter. Your man has been using this to keep his head down. Here, I’ve marked it on a map”. Justice turned to Thadius, who hadn’t moved from the windowsill since he had entered the inn. His body was trembling. Schooled in Necromancy to better fight the Undead, Marshals showed no fear. This was something else. Suddenly he lurched, wretching a sickening thick black ichor upon the floor. The floor hissed and smoke rose from the mess. His knuckles were white against the windowsill, and a guttural groan escaped his lips. He turned to face Justice, revealing himself. Horns had protruded from his head, his eyes gone a glossy black. Fangs hung over the bottom of his mouth, his gums bleeding from the fresh growth. Justice drew her sword in an instant, but Thadius leapt through the window with a speed not-human. Justice grabbed the map and ran for the rear door. Crashing through into the night, she found Judge with his bloodied blade dripping onto the cobbled street. Around him were the bodies of 3 dismembered Nephilim Tots. Justice traced the line of carnage. Across the street lay Riflemen Cogburn. He was badly wounded, but alive. “We were attacked My Lady,” said the Judge. “Neverborn. I suspect there are more, but they withdrew, the Red Beast with them”. “It seems that they have what they came for. Thadius. He is one of them.” “What?!” “Quite. Horns and all. We move on Berren. Now.” “J, would it not be best to wait for reinforcements? We don’t know how large this brood is.” “No questions, Judge. Now Thadius knows where Berren is, he will be leading them there. I don’t know what the Neverborn want from him, but Berren is mine.” “Yes My Lady”. “And Judge? I want Thadius’ head on a plate before dawn.” ******************************************************************************************************* The end, for now The game was set up with a large 2 storey building in the centre of the board that was the Mercer Inn. In this building was the agent who was our Turf War objective. As you gain 1 VP for every turn that you hold the objective, it translates really well to ‘questioning’ time, so the more VPs you get, the more information you get. We found it quite amusing thinking about how the Neverborn ‘questioning’ would go, something along the lines of “TELL ME WHERE HE IS BEFORE I PULL YOUR ARMS OFF!” I sent Justice and the 2 Marshals into the building to secure the objective, then set up the Riflemen to cover an entrance, shooting anything that came close. Judge was an inch or two behind for a counter-attack if anything threatened the Riflemen. My opponent sent Lelu, Lilitu and 3 tots towards the Riflemen, Lilith headed towards the building for some Master of Malifaux trickery to come! Lilitu then did an epic Lure on one of my Riflemen, moving him 12” toward the brood! That was Doherty blindly wandering off to pick up a bird! Lelu was now in range. He pounced and wiped the rifleman out no sweat. Ouch! The other rifleman did MILES better! 2 shots at Lilitu, first was resisted, second got through with a cheatable damage flip. Here’s the best part, I had a red joker in my hand! Boom! Severe and weak damage! That was Cogburn’s head shot. But it doesn't end there! Turn 2, I drew the red joker again! This time played it on the duel, getting through and finishing off Lilitu. I added a mask to the duel (from the joker) and damaged a Tot behind her too. Top man! Inside the building I secured the objective & started adding VPs. Lilith sneaked about a bit and did her attack through walls trick (the worst rule I’ve EVER heard of in any table top game! So pleased its not on the M2E beta!). Also made a lot worse by her wicked ability meaning she can damage disengaging models, so there’s literally nothing I could do but wait it out! She killed one Death Marshall through a wall (Marshal Thadius), but more on that at the end! With Lilitu now dead, my rifleman got one shot on Lelu so my opponent withdrew him fearing the damage he would take with Lilitu gone. He pushed his tots forward, who swarmed Rifleman Cogburn and took him down (boo!), but the Judge counter-attack worked a treat. He wiped them out in return. I had also revealed the Bodyguard (Judge) scheme by this point too, so it was a deliberate “come get me” set-up! For the final turn my opponent spread out to secure the edges of the table for the outflank Scheme, I remained in the building for the Strategy VP. The game finished 7 VPs to 2 VPs. Victory for the Guild! Now as we were playing a campaign, we had to flip on the injury chart for any models killed but not wiped-out. Marshal Thadius (who was killed by Lilith), flipped the worst card possible. The BLACK JOKER! Which is the TRAITOR CARD! My opponent gains this model for his crew for the REST OF THE CAMPAIGN! Wow! So I took a bit of writers liberty when working that one out! Rather than trying to bend physics (i.e. Lilith being able to attack through walls. Pffft.), I wrote it as Thadius had turned to the Neverborn, Tuco-style, and was a mole in the crew. Over-hearing Justice and the agent, he revealed himself and is now leading Lilith & the brood to Berren’s location. Pretty cool hey?! How the game dictated that for the story, its mental! Great stuff! Hope you enjoyed it! This is my first go at battle reports and writing a narrative, so comments appreciated! Gotta say its made playing Malifaux so much more fun (not that it wasn’t fun in the first place ), so I will definitely be posting the next 3 once they are done. The length of narrative will probably increase proportionally as well, as its going to get grander! Thanks for reading. Chapter 2 is now up: http://www.wyrd-games.net/showthread.php?46004-Lady-J-vs-Lilith-August-Narrative-B-R-The-Disappearing-Act
  7. Well, Malifaux is inspiring to me. I've actually never written fanfiction or for a pre-prepared world before deciding to do something for Malifaux just the other day. But writing for something already established is a unique challenge. It's perhaps not so bad when not a lot has yet been established in cannon, but wondering what liberties are allowable (and won't piss off fans) is certainly a question in a writer's mind when tackling something with a fanbase. Thing is, I'm actually interested in tackling this challenge. I'm almost completely new to the game, but already find myself involved and invested. Still- I feel that I'd like to probe a bit before continuing: what do the fans think? Should I pursue a viewpoint involving original characters in the Malifaux setting with occasional known characters popping in, or should I stick with what's established regarding characters and liberties?
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