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The Forgotten Word (TTB Campaign)


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My gaming group just started up a new Through the Breach campaign, so I thought that I'd record their exploits here as we played. The players are mostly new to Through the Breach and new-ish to Malifaux, so it will be a journey of discovery for them and their characters.


The cast (so far):

Felicia Ortega (Dabbler 2/Scrapper 1)

Felicia was unfortunately stolen away by Nephilim as a young child, so most of her childhood spent with humans in a blur. She was forced to learn to defend herself early on in order to survive among her new "family". As she got older, she learned how to draw upon Malifaux's natural magic, though her time spent among the Nephilim turned her hair from the glossy black possessed by most Ortega to a stark white. The Nephilim sent her back into Malifaux City once she had matured with instructions to infiltrate human society. She began the adventure uncertain whether to be excited to terrified to return to her native race, though she leaned a bit more towards the latter.

Destiny: "When the gears turn upon the story best forgotten, you will invite him in, and the page turned is empty of promises. The deaf man must hear the owl’s warning, and you will die."


Briana Delaney (Drudge 2/Scrapper 1)

Ever since she was young, Briana was stubborn and surprisingly charismatic, and her charming smile got her out of just as many fights as her fists got her into. This constant fighting drove her respectable family up a wall, and her teachers had more than a few harsh words about the rough-and-tumble girl. Upon becoming an adult, Briana left the poverty and boredom of Ireland behind her and traveled to Malifaux, hoping to make her fortune by getting her hands on one of its fabled Soulstones (or, failing that, one of its slightly-less-fabled showgirls).

Destiny: "Once your soul has been stained by silence, she is unknown to your divine, for the stars illuminate your path. He tightens the strings and tug at the rivets, and you will leave a twig to hold the sand."


Sadie Pitchbone (Graverobber 2)

One of a dozen children born to a less than wealthy Welsh family, Sadie seldom saw a full meal or clothing that wasn't handed down from her elder siblings. Death, however, was something she saw on a regular basis. Only three of her siblings survived into their teens, and her mother died giving birth to her youngest brother. Sadie left for England when her father began coughing up coal dust from the mines, where she found work as a nanny for a well-to-do mercantile family. Unfortunately, the child she was caring for came down with a fever and perished... as did every child she cared or cooked for over the next five years. The government eventually realized that she was a carrier for the fever and forbid her from working with children again, but Sadie had to make a living somehow, so she took on a false name and job in another town. Fourteen deaths later, the government caught up with her again and - in a moment of mercy for a girl who was just trying to live her life - shipped her off to Malifaux without informing the Guild of her sickness, reasoning that a position as a gravedigger would be safe enough.

Destiny: "Once your soul has been stained by silence, an idea will betray you, as you remember the mirror and shatter the stream. The other place beckons with the voice of oblivion, and you will fall."

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Session 1: Pilot

Felicia and Briana began the campaign in rough places: it was autumn, the nights were getting progressively colder, and their make-shift hovels in the slums weren't doing much to keep the warm (or safe). Briana was new to Malifaux, while Felicia had been skulking around in the shadows for a few days longer, trying to figure out just how to work her way back into human society.

As chance would have it, both found their attention piqued by a barker on the street who was shouting about a free demonstration on "the wonders of electricity." Upon merging with the crowd, the ladies found themselves in a large room containing two large, sparking electrical towers and a crowd that was growing progressively more agitated by the untamed electricity arcing overhead. Neither Felicia nor Briana were terribly amazed at the spectacle, but as the crowd grew more surly, the man giving the presentation - a scholarly gentleman in a suit and glasses - stepped forward and tried to calm the crowd down by explaining that they were perfectly safe.

The explanation didn't go so well, and the man's presentation was interrupted by two Guild Guards who entered the room and demanded that the "presentation" be shut down before anyone got hurt. The scholarly gentleman tried to argue with them, which is when the Guild guards attempted to force him to shut the machines down at gunpoint... and things got out of control.

As near as Felicia was able to determine, the man giving the presentation spontaneously manifested a magical power and summoned electrical gamin from the lightning jumping between the two sparking towers. The Guild Guard made shouts about him being an "Arcanist" as the crowd bolted for the door. Felicia and Briana stepped up and did their best to keep the sparking creatures from harming the crowd, fighting alongside the Guild as the panicked and confused scholar scrambled from the stage and ducked down behind some debris to avoid the bullets of the Guild guards.

Briana threw herself into the fight, while Felicia hung back a bit more, making certain that the Guild officials were distracted and not looking her way before drawing upon her magic to teleport Briana halfway across the room and into melee with another electric gamin. In the end, theymanaged to hold the creatures back, but the creatures were able to knock Felicia and Briana unconscious, the latter just as the summoning spell was ending... literally the last attack from the creatures before they disappeared back to wherever gamin came from.


When they came to, a nurse was tending to their electrical burns as the Guild guards finished giving their report to their superior officer: Charles Hoffman. The Guild Guard had apparently believed that the electrical devices might be some sort of summoning machine, but Mr. Hoffman assured them that the machines were quite ordinary and that the man had likely manifested some sort of magical ability, which put him under the jurisdiction of Ms. Criid and her Witch Hunters.

During the conversation, Felicia developed a crush on the bald, polio-ridden Guild official, stammering and blushing out her thanks as Hoffman thanked the two of them for stepping up to protect the citizens of Malifaux when disaster loomed. He stomped off with his Guardian construct in tow, and Felicia and Briana decided that they made a pretty good team, despite almost being killed by the electrical creatures. Reasoning that they might have better luck working together and watching each others' backs, the two of them resolved to go hunting for gainful employment together.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Session 2: The Sound of Silence

(This episode focused on Sadie and Briana.)

Felicia and Briana have found employment as gravediggers! The session opened with the two of them being led to a graveyard as evening approached; the undertaker, a tall, gentlemanly individual by the name of Nicodem, had need of five new graves in time for morning services, and their task was to dig them. When they arrived at the graveyard - a depressing, isolated place that the townsfolk seemed to avoid - they found Nicodem's assistant Mortimer speaking with their fellow employee, Sadie Pitchbone. Since she had seniority over the two new recruits, Sadie was given the keys to the graveyard and warned that keeping the gates locked might be in their own best interests, whether from muggers, Resurrectionists, or the spontaneously animated dead. Being locked within the graveyard wouldn't help much with the latter, but it would at least keep the undead in one place after they had killed the three gravediggers. After some good-natured ribbing between Sadie and Mortimer, the latter left with Nicodem, leaving the three of them alone in the graveyard.

(Briana chose to remain a Drudge, while Felicia swapped to Scrapper. As she was on her first session, Sadie was still locked in to Graverobber.)

The three of them got right to work, with Sadie and Felicia making steady progress, but as Briana is digging her grave, her shovel strikes something hard. Further investigation reveals the object to be a shipping crate that had been buried in the ground! Working together, the three of them manage to dig around the edges of the crate and haul it to the surface to investigate. Both Felicia and Sadie notice the words "AMBROGI SHIPPING" stamped onto the side of the wooden crate.

Using her shovel, Sadie wedged the crate open to reveal a corpse wedges inside in a manner that didn't seem natural or comfortable. The corpse was clothed in a dirty maid's uniform, and her face was frozen in a silent, decaying scream. All at once, all three women felt as if they had been slugged in the gut, and the corpse began to whisper simultaneously in all three of their voices: "Alone... forever..." "Ambrogi... please, no..." "I'm sorry..."

More alarmingly, when they attempted to comment on the strange corpse, all three women found that their voices were gone! It was as if they had been rendered mute. Sadie and Briana were taken aback by the corpse and the loss of their voices, but Felicia only became angry and what she believed was some sort of undead creature. Using hand gestures, Sadie pointed out the name on the crate and suggested that they investigate, but not before making it clear that they should finish digging the rest of the graves; weird voice-stealing undead were one thing, but it wasn't anything that she or the other women wanted to lose their jobs over.

The women lifted the corpse out of the crate and moved it into some low shrubbery to hide it from sight, and as it shifted, Briana and Sadie both noticed a locket around her neck. It wasn't too expensive, but neither was it the sort of thing that thieves would leave behind. Sadie took the locket and opened it, showing the others the two small, black and white pictures inside: one of a moderately handsome man, and the other of a young child, perhaps two years oldest at the most. The photos revealed that the corpse was likely relatively recent and not from the days of the first Breach (photography was just not that advanced a hundred years earlier).

With the corpse tucked away out of sight, they finished digging the remaining two graves and then returned to the matter of getting their voices back. By drawing in the dirt, they managed to work out a crude plan: the crate had the Ambrogi name on it and clearly belonged to or was shipped by a company, and the only place they knew of that handled shipping was Malifaux Station. They hid the empty crate in an empty grave - they didn't want anyone stumbling across it or the corpse while they were gone - and started making their way toward Malifaux Station. Rather than walk - which would have taken all night - Briana and Sadie split the cost of a carriage. Since they couldn't talk to give directions, Sadie ended up hanging out the window and banging on the carriage's side whenever she wanted the driver to change direction.

Malifaux Station proved to be relatively slow this late at night, but there were still some porters unloading train cars, as well as a bored-looking woman in a long duster who was leaned up against a support beam reading a penny dreadful. A hunched, cloaked figure prowled near her, sniffing at the crates and boxes as they were unloaded from the cargo cars. Felicia hung back, wary of the Witch Hunter, as Sadie and Briana flagged down a porter and did their best to ask him about the name Ambrogi, which mostly involved writing the name in dust and looking inquisitive. The porter said that he hadn't seen any Ambrogi crates come through the station in a few years, and that he didn't think the company was in business anymore. He didn't recognize any of the pictures in the locket and told the ladies that he had to get back to work... but not before mentioning that "old Man Ambrogi" lived down in the Riverfront district and could probably answer any questions they had about his company.

With a thumbs-up from Felicia, they took another carriage down to the Riverfront District. After an hour of "asking" around - consisting mostly of showing people a scrap of paper with their question scrawled upon it - they eventually found a drunk who was able to point them toward Ambrogi's home. When the drunk placed a hand on Briana's bottom and suggested that they buy him a drink for his kindness, she slapped him across the face... with her pneumatic arm. None of the ladies bothered to look back as they left the handsy drunkard bleeding in the street behind them.

Ambrogi's home was a large, three-story Victorian home set back from the road and surrounded with an iron fence. There was a light in one of the windows, which brought relief to the three women, but the gate was locked and nobody had lockpicks (or any real skill at lockpicking, for that matter). Felicia and Briana just climbed over the fence, and after a moment of hesitation, Sadie followed after them. Unfortunately, that meant that they had traded a locked gate for a locked mansion door, and their lockpick situation hadn't improved. 

Briana peeked in the windows, confirming that the place seemed occupied, and Sadie motioned to the lit window, indicating that Briana should give her a boost. She did so, and peeking into the window, Sadie witnessed a man in his late forties abusing a young maid... one wearing a uniform similar to that on the corpse they had found. Climbing back down, she relayed the information to the other two via hand-gestures and motioned that they should find a quiet way to get inside. Briana, however, just dispassionately smashed her pneumatic arm into a window, shattering the glass and allowing them all to climb into a dark library.

The noise drew the attention of the people upstairs, and the women could hear rapid footsteps overhead. Briana and Felicia took up positions to either side of the library door, while Sadie grabbed the nearest object at hand and readied herself to throw it at the man as he came through the door. Following some disastrous Notice flips, the door opened and Sadie threw an antique globe at the figure in the doorway... which turned out to be the maid she had seen earlier. It struck the woman in the head as Briana grabbed her and pulled her out of the way, revealing that the old man was on the stairway and armed with a gun; he had forced the maid to go ahead of him!

The man fired, barely grazing Briana's fleshy arm with the bullet, but Felicia was already in motion. Drawing upon the magic taught to her by the Neverborn, Felicia teleported across the room and punched the man with fists wreathed in supernatural cold, freezing him beneath a layer of ice. He managed to break free, but not before she punched him again, this time flipped the red joker on damage to slam her fist right into his groin and freeze him beneath a thick layer of ice (critical hit to paralyze him until all damage was healed). Sadie also attempted to contribute to the fight by once again throwing the antique globe at an enemy, but it ended up just bouncing harmlessly off Felicia's head instead.

Briana managed to calm the maid down, and using some stationary and a pen, they told the maid about the corpse they had found and showed her the locket. The maid recognized the locket as belonging to one of her former coworkers, Amelina Zientek, who disappeared three years ago on her way home from work. She explained that they thought that the Red Chapel Killer had gotten her, and that her husband Gabriel, who was a guard, threw everything he had into trying to catch that serial killer, only to get shot and wounded when he succeeded in tracking the madman down. While he was recovering from receiving the prosthetic arm the Guild replaced his injured one with, their two-year-old son went missing or was stolen or something. The loss destroyed Gabriel, who was apparently still working as a guard.

More importantly, they learned that Amelina had apparently been a mute in life. Putting two and two together, they reasoned that she must have been killed by Ambrogi, who stashed her in a shipping container and hid her body in the cemetery. The maid confirmed their suspicions about Ambrogi being a bad person, and after a few pats on the hand from a sympathetic Sadie, the maid decided to head home to her husband, promising the three women that if anyone asked, she would say that she hadn't seen anything out of the ordinary.

A quick search of Ambrogi's mansion uncovered some large sacks that they stuffed his frozen but still conscious body into, and the next few hours were spent skulking around in the darkness and dodging Guild patrols as they carried him back to the cemetery. Reasoning that a poetic end would be best, they shoved Ambrogi into the shipping crate he had used to bury Amelina and buried him alive beneath one of the already-dug graves, with a few inches of dirt on top of the crate to keep up the illusion. When the grave's actual resident was buried in a few hours, they'd end up buried right atop Ambrogi, which seemed like a fitting punishment as far as everyone was concerned.

When the final handful of dirt was tossed onto the shipping crate, the women felt their voices return to them. Sadie promised to speak with Nicodem in the morning to get a proper burial for poor Amelina, reasoning that he probably wouldn't ask too many questions that she couldn't answer. Felicia was just happy to have her voice back, while Briana was excited about her minor bullet wound, as it meant that she had an excuse to visit the cute nurse that had helped her out back at the electrical demonstration.



Sadie and Briana both completed a step of their destiny! Briana chose to increase her Resilience, while Sadie developed a manifested power allowing her to steal peoples' voices but shushing them.


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  • 1 month later...
clear.gifclear.gifclear.gifSession 3: Dead Air

(This episode focused on Felicia)

The episode began with Felicia walking home in the morning after a long, thankless day of digging graves with her fellow gravediggers and now cohorts in murder. As she reached her shack, however, a bearded man in a rumpled suit called out to her, asking if she was "the Ortega girl" that lived her. The question set off warning bells in Felicia's mind, but her suspicion quieted as he explained that his name was Sean DeWitt and that he wanted to hire her to find and kill the Neverborn creature that killed his family two nights previously.

Felicia asked how he knew where to find her, and Mr. DeWitt revealed that he had been asking for an Ortega at the Guild Enclave and had been directed her way by a gentleman with a British accent, which Felicia assumed must have been Charles Hoffman. Mr. DeWitt was running late for work, so he scrawled his address down on a business card and handed it to her, asking her to meet him at his house at 3 o' clock that afternoon. A glance at the card revealed that he worked at Mammon Savings and Trust.

(Sadie chose to remain a Graverobber, while Felicia went back to Dabbler and Briana ventured into new territory by becoming a Scrapper.)

Once the opening credits sequence finished playing, the episode opened proper as Felicia, Sadie, and Briana outside DeWitt's home on the western side of the Downtown district. There was a new member in their little group, however; Briana had apparently returned to the nurse that had patched her up after the "wonders of electricity" demonstration and seduced her (i.e., she took the Sycophant Talent). Reasoning that they might need a trained medical professional to help them deal with a Neverborn monster, Briana had brought her along, and after some awkward introductions they learned that her name was Katherine Goddard.

Once they were all acquainted with each other, the Fated knocked on DeWitt's door, but received no response. After a few minutes, however, Felicia caught sight of him hurrying down the street toward them, briefcase in hand. After being introduced to Felicia's "assistants," he led them into the house, apologizing that he couldn't leave work earlier, and explained what had happened to his family.

Two days ago, DeWitt arrived home from work a little after five o' clock to find his wife and son dead in their sitting room. His hands trembled as he described the terrible looks on their faces, as if they had died of terror, and was in turn comforted by an awkward Felicia and even more awkward Sadie. DeWitt went on to describe how the Guild Guard searched the house, found their maid hiding in a linen closet with a knife, and arrested her for the crime. DeWitt is certain that she didn't kill his family - neither had any knife wounds - but when he complained to the Guild, they claimed that the case was closed. In desperation, he turned to Felicia to find the real killer (which, in his mind, could only have been some Neverborn horror).

The Fated asked about the maid, thinking that it might be wise to speak with her and get her account of what happened, and DeWitt revealed that she had been transferred to the Blackwood Home for Mental Healing. He tried to speak with her himself, but the staff refused to let him see her, thinking that he intended to kill the poor girl to avenge his family.

This only made the Fated more interested to speak with the maid, but they decided to investigate the crime scene first. The sitting room featured two couches, one facing a large window that looks out onto the street with a coffee table resting in front of it, and the other angled toward an Aethervox on the other side of the town. There was a teapot and two cups of cold tea on the table in front of this second couch, after after a quick taste-test of the cold tea, Sadie determined that the tea wasn't poisoned. From his position just outside the room, DeWitt told them how he found his wife slumped over the couch and his son on the floor on the other side of the table.

Felicia noticed that the Aethervox was still turned on but silent, and that the dial was turned to the far end of the frequency band. Meanwhile, Sadie found a printed pamplet tucked a bit under the sitting couch, with lists the times and frequencies of the various official Guild broadcasts and other light shows. What was odd, however, was that a few other times and frequencies have been penciled into the margins.

As the Fated wondered what might have happened, the Aethervox crackled to life, bringing garbled static that gradually gave way to the voice of a crying woman. "Please... help me...," the voice pleaded. "I killed him... please... I don't want to die. Is anyone there...? I don't want to be alone... any more. Please, help... it hurts... it hurts..." The transmission became garbled for a moment, and when it resumed, the woman's voice was much louder and more distinct. "It's cold... no one's coming... why didn't you come for me? I've waited... so long.. alone in the dark. No matter what happens... I can't... forgive you..."

As the creepy broadcast concluded, the spectral form of a woman in a dirty, torn, and blood-stained white dress slowly manifested in front of the Aethervox. Her hair hunger over half her features, revealing a single, clouded eye, and shriveled skin clung tightly to her bones. The Fated panicked at the appearance of the spirit, and Sadie reached out with her magic, burying the spirit for a few moments and then lunging at the Aethervox and turning the dial toward the middle. Briana yelled at the nurse to go outside where it was safe, but the spirit never reappeared, much to the surprise of everyone (especially Sadie).

As they discussed the spirit's appearance once they realized that the spirit wasn't coming back, the group managed to convince DeWitt that his house was haunted and that it was the spirit that had killed his wife. He claimed that he was already thinking about giving the house up - too many bad memories - and the part about it being haunted sealed the deal. He told the Fated they could have it, if they wanted - they seemed equipped to deal with spirits, and DeWitt wouldn't be able to forgive himself if another family moved in after him - and they took him up on his offer with surprising quickness.

With a better understanding of what was going on, the group hailed a carriage and traveled to the Blackwater Home for Mental Healing to speak with DeWitt's maid. It was a large and imposing building with bars on the windows and a cramped lawn that was dominated by warped trees that seemed to be suffering from some sort of wasting sickness, so right off the bat, everyone's spirits were dampened. When Sadie mentioned that the place was pretty depressing, Katherine commented that it was still better than Smedley's Asylum, which was little more than a slaughterhouse.

Felicia name-dropped her Ortega surname to get a meeting with the maid, and soon the Fated were meeting with Shanae Boon in a small, cell-like room with a mirror adorning one wall. The Fated cut right to business, asking her what happened to DeWitt's family, but Shanae was reluctant to say anything, on account of the staff hitting her and spraying her with cold water whenever she claimed that she didn't kill them. Fortunately, Briana was her usual charming self and a big smile and a thumbs up convinced Shanae that they could help her.

Leaning forward and whispering, Shanae told them how Ms. DeWitt and her boy liked to listen to Arcanist broadcasts sometimes, the one talking about the rights of people with magical powers and how they needed to band together to take down the Guild. Shanae didn't think she was an Arcanist and only listened to them because they were more interesting than the boring Guild programs. The boy was fiddling with the Aethervox when she left to put the roast in the over, and a few minutes later Ms. DeWitt screamed and she ran back into the room and found them both dead. She grabbed a knife and ran upstairs, where the Guild found her. She said that, despite it being crazy, she's certain that the Aethervox killed them, probably some sort of magic signal the Arcanists sent out over the waves.

The group felt sorry for the poor maid and promised Shanae that they would find some way to get her out of the asylum. They discussed the matter as they returned to DeWitt's house, eventually deciding to visit Mr. Hoffman in the morning, in the hopes that he would be able to pull some strings to get her released. After a long night of camping out DeWitt's sitting room with no sign of the ghost, the women talked it over and theorized that the spirit might only appear at a certain time when the aethervox is tuned to a certain frequency, which meant that they had until mid-afternoon to test their theory.

In the meantime, Felicia and Briana headed to the Guild Enclave to speak with Hoffman while Sadie went to go talk to Mortimer to come up with a lie about why they didn't show up for work last night. The lie ended up being a claim of stomach sickness, which was reinforced by Sadie forcing herself to throw up at Mortimer's feet. Not wanting to get sick himself, he shooed her away, telling her that none of them were to come in until they stopped throwing up all over the place.

Sadie headed to the Guild Enclave to meet up with the others, who had managed to get arrange for a meeting with Hoffman, cutting ahead of a man who was waiting outside Hoffman's office with a strange, box-like contraption. He got pushed to the side as Felicia reconnected with Hoffman and - while blushing furiously - told him all about their haunted Aethervox. Intrigued, Hoffman sent them off to retrieve the device, and when they returned, he had a Witch Hunter and a Death Marshal on hand to examine the Aethervox. Despite their best efforts, however, they were unable to find anything strange about the device and were forced to conclude that it wasn't haunted.

When Felicia mentioned that the ghost only appeared at a certain time each day when the Aethervox was turned to a specific frequency, however, Hoffman pointed out that the issue wasn't with a haunted Aethervox, it was with a haunted broadcast. He snatched up a clipboard with the pincer claws of his mechanical harness and filled out a requisition order for signal trackers that the Guild had developed to triangulate the broadcast signals of the Arcanists. With paperwork in hand, the group returned to the front desk, where they traded their requisition form for three large, cumbersome backpack-like devices with spinning antennae, control widgits, and hand-held dish-like devices. As he handed them over, the Guild agent informed the ladies that the devices were delicate and very expensive, and that they should be careful with them.

Now properly armed for tracking radio signals, the Fated turned their devices to the appropriate frequency and split up to put some distance between them, with Nurse Goddard lingering near Briana in case she needed her assistance. At 3:42 pm, all three of their devices started picking up the same broadcast as before. They started moving toward the source of the signal, but as the broadcast ended, the spirit from before manifested next to each of them! All three of them took off running toward the source of the signal, outpacing the spirit, but Sadie (flipped the black joker and) tripped on a cobblestone, falling over and smashing her signal tracker into pieces. She rolled over to find the spirit hovering over her, but as it reached down to end Sadie's life, the last of the receptors in the signal tracker died out, cutting off the mysterious signal and forcing the spirit to disappear.

Meanwhile, Felicia, Briana, and the nurse succeeded in tracking the signal to a small building on the eastern side of the Quarantine Zone. It looked rundown and boarded up, but the door wouldn't give so Briana just yanked it off its hinges, revealing that it had been padlocked from within by a surprisingly good lock. The interior of the house was dusty, as if nobody had lived in it for years, but as they explored the first floor Felicia found some black and white photographs of murdered women that had been hung from a rack-like device and a kitchen sink full of dusty scalpels that still bore traces of dried blood. An investigation of the basement - Briana smashed the lock in her pneumatic fist - revealed a shovel, some blood-stained rags, and eight disturbingly human-sized mounts rising up from the packed dirt floor.

Somewhat dreading what they might find upstairs, the three slowly climbed the steps and found a room containing the rack from the photographs, as well as two corpses that had been dead for some time. The first was a man, sprawled across the floor with a scalpel protruding from his eye socket. A tray of similar knives was scattered across the floor, covered with a thin layer of dust. The second corpse was female and near the door, as if she had been crawling toward it. Her hand was clutched around the microphone from an Aethervox transmitter that was held up to her open mouth, and the cord trailed back to the transmitter, which appeared to have been pulled from the same table that had once held the tray of knives. A dull light on the transmitter indicated that it was still broadcasting.

Growing sick to her stomach at the scene in front of her, Katherine excused herself from the room and stepped outside to look for Sadie. Felicia shut off the Aethervox transmitter and carefully removed the microphone from the woman's hands, stating that she believed that they wouldn't have any further problems with the Aethervox ghost. When Katherine returned with Sadie, they all commiserated with her over the sad state of her signal tracker: the antennae were bent, pieces were hanging from the main housing, and all the lights were dark.

After explaining the situation to Sadie, they spent a few moments talking about what they should do with the bodies, whether it would be best to inform the Guild of the situation or just bury them in the basement and keep the house for themselves. In the end, it was decided that they had a better chance of freeing Shanae from the asylum if they could point at another cause for the DeWitt family's murder and sent for the Guard.


Felicia completed a step of her destiny - "When the gears turn upon the story best forgotten" - and chose to develop a Manifested Power!

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  • 2 months later...
10 minutes ago, MiracleM4x said:

Any chance of this continuing or being updated? I'm loving your interpretation of the fate steps!


I've got one more session to post once I have the time.  We took a short break so that everyone could tend to School Things, but we'll be starting up again next month.

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Session 4: The Contract

(The episode focused on Briana)

The episode began with Briana, Felicia, and Sadie all waiting in the office of a Guild lawyer. Mortimer had forced them to work two days of double-shifts in the graveyard to make up for their sick days, and they had spent a not insignificant portion of their time answering questions for the Death Marshals and Witch Hunters who kept dropping by the graveyard to ask questions about what happened at the abandoned house. Needless to say, neither of their "secretly Resurrectionist" bosses had been too pleased by that.

Fortunately, they had uncovered enough evidence from the house - combined with Sean DeWitt's testimony about seeing a specter - to exonerate Shanae Boon. Now they only needed to speak with the lawyer handling that process - Izabelle de Leon - to work through the paperwork of Boon's release.

Izabella de Leon proved to be an attractive Spanish woman with an unexpected intensity about her. She took one look at Sadie and sent her away ("You look like a corpse - if this ends up coming back to trial, you'll be tackled by a Death Marshal before I can finish my opening statement") and then did the same with Felicia once she learned that she was an Ortega ("The asylum is still upset after 'Papa' Loco blew a hole in the side of their building using smuggled explosives... if they see an Ortega name on this, they'll dig in and fight out out sheer principle").

That left Briana to deal with the lawyers and her mountain of paperwork. (Insert scene of Briana holding her arms up in the air and shouting "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!")

As it turned out, the Guild wasn't willing to specifically state on paper that Shanae Boon didn't commit the murders... but they were willing to classify it as a case of temporary insanity and release her from the asylum, provided that someone (i.e., Briana) assumed legal responsibility for her.

The amount of legal paperwork involved was staggering, and Briana's complete lack of knowledge when it came to bureaucracy or legalese meant that her eyes were glazing over as the lawyer explained the first of the two hundred and seventy six forms she needed to fill out. She was hesitant to just follow the lawyer's advice and power through them... at least until the lawyer informed her that in forty eight minutes, she would pass into billable hours. Plus, Izabella noted, if they finished by five o' clock, they she and Briana would have time to go get drinks at a local tavern.

Faced with the opportunity to possibly get on the good side of an attractive lawyer, Briana signed the papers as quickly as she could... including the contract that Izabella had slipped in there that gave ownership of Briana's soul to her. Briana - who had been worrying about just that very thing - mentally kicked herself as the lawyer gave her a business card containing her home address.

"Why don't you go home," she said, tucking the business card into Briana's shirt, "gather up all your valuables and cash, then go buy a top-end corset and come around to me home after dinner?"

Head hung low is resignation, Briana shuffled out of the lawyer's office as Izabella watched with a smirk.


(Briana and Felicia both choose to be Scrappers for this session - both wanting to punch a lawyer, apparently - while Sadie stuck with her tried and true Gravedigger.)


Once the opening credits sequence had finished playing, the episode opened proper on the group's new home - the former DeWitt residence - as Briana returned home. Felicia and Sadie were discussing their need for better jobs so that they could afford furniture.

As Briana shuffled upstairs to claim a room, Felicia clapped her hands in surprise as the machinery in front of her flickered to life; she had successfully repaired the damaged radio equipment that Sadie had fallen on top of during her escape from the ghost last episode. Not only would they not have to sell themselves into servitude to repay the Guild, but it also gave Felicia hope that she might one day become skilled enough at machines to impress Charles Hoffman.

When Briana came back downstairs, she explained that she had made a mistake and signed something by accident, and that the lawyer wanted her body. Seeing the odd look that Sadie was giving her, Briana clarified that the lawyer wanted her living body and not just body parts for undead or whatever, which cleared up the confusion and got everyone on the same page.

Upon further discussion - during which time Felicia chided her about signing any sort of paperwork that mentioned souls - they took a few minutes to mull things over. When Briana mentioned that she was supposed to go purchase a corset but wasn't sure how to pick out the right kind, Sadie just stared at her in surprise and asked how it was that she didn't own a corset. Felicia pointed out that she didn't own one either, at which point Sadie just grabbed them both and hauled them downtown to purchase some "proper, ladylike" undergarments.

While the poor saleswoman struggled to find proper fits for an unenthusiastic Briana and an equally nonplussed Felicia, Sadie happily tried on black hats, musing that now that she owned a house, it might be time for own a proper funeral hat. When Felicia - who had been squeezed into a corset that made her look even skinnier than usual - asked why it was necessary, Sadie pointed out that it was because humans were "sinful, unfinished creatures," which kicked off a long theological discussion between the very religious Graverobber and the girl who had been raised by Neverborn and had never heard of a lick of preaching in her life.

Briana slipped away from the religious debate and made her way to the stately, two-story manor home of the lawyer, which proved to be filled with other people who had fallen into the same trap as Briana and now served Izabella as unpaid slave labor. When Briana realized just how serious things were and tried to leave, she found herself unable to do so and asked the servants how that was possible. They revealed that they had all signed contracts like hers, and that Izabella de Leon had some sort of magic reinforcing their agreements.

With no way to escape her fate, Briana stormed upstairs to confront Izabella, who was sprawled out on her bed, listening to music and being fed grapes by a resigned servant. Briana tried to attack her, only to find herself unable to raise a hand against the lawyer who had entrapped her. She demanded to know what sort of demon de Leon was to have that sort of power over her, but Izabella just laughed and had Briana escorted to her new room.

When Briana didn't show up for gravedigging the next morning - Mortimer was growing very impatient with the whole lot of them and their constant absenteeism - Felicia and Briana returned to their home to see if she had come back sick, when they ran into Katherine, Briana's nurse sycophant.

Katherine was super worried about where Briana had gotten off to, as she didn't return home the night before, so they all decided to go check out the lawyer's home. After a moment of panic - the servant thought that all three of them had been trapped in one of Izabella's contracts - Briana walked by the door in a maid's uniform, caught sight of her friends, and explained the entire situation to them, how the lawyer had her soul and the soul of everyone else in the house trapped in a contract.

Katherine was less than pleased about the entire situation, but after a bit of discussion, Sadie and Felicia decided that the contracts were probably back in the lawyer's office.

Leaving Briana behind - with a stern glare from Katherine - the rest of the group traveled to the lawyer's office and debated just how they were going to find the contracts and what to do with them. Felicia walked into the office and asked the secretary if she could talk with Ms. de Leon, but the secretary claimed that she was in a meeting but would have an opening after lunch. Felicia just said that she would reschedule and exited the office, rejoining her friends as they waited for the lawyer to take her lunch break.

After Izabella left the office, Felicia teleported inside, slammed the secretary's head against the desk (and her tuna salad) to knock her unconscious, and then let Sadie and Katherine inside to search the office for the soul contracts. Fortunately, de Leon was an organized woman and everything was kept in neat folders, allowing them to find Briana's contract. With that in hand, they started looking through the cabinet for other soul contracts, but the amount of legalese was staggering. Eventually, Sadie and Felicia just sort of shrugged their shoulders, put the files back in the cabinet, and tossed a lit match into it.

As the contracts went up in flame, Sadie and Felicia dragged the unconscious secretary out into the street and then hurried away with Katherine on their heels.


Meanwhile, halfway across town, Briana felt herself growing warm as her paperwork governing caught fire and burned to ashes in a cabinet, and though she was unharmed, some of that flame stayed insider her, waiting to be tapped in the heat of battle.


Briana completed a step of her destiny - "she is unknown to your divine" - and developed a Manifested Power!


Pugilism Trigger: 

:tome Flaming Punch: After damaging, the target gains Burning +1 for every :tome in the final duel total.

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I love the way you incorporate the story into the new Manifested Powers, it's very cool and serves to both reward players and remind them of past adventures. I must say I'm a little unclear on how this fulfills "she is unknown to your divine". That's a tricky one to begin with, so would either you or Briana be interested in explaining it a bit?

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1 hour ago, MiracleM4x said:

I love the way you incorporate the story into the new Manifested Powers, it's very cool and serves to both reward players and remind them of past adventures. I must say I'm a little unclear on how this fulfills "she is unknown to your divine". That's a tricky one to begin with, so would either you or Briana be interested in explaining it a bit?

It's a weird destiny step, and a hard one to resolve.

In our game, it mostly came about through Briana frequently asking the Izabella "what are you?!" and then asking the servants the same question about her as well. She ended up being an interesting mystery, and by the end of it, she still hadn't quite figured out just who "Izabella de Leon" actually was. Human spellcaster? Neverborn monster? Something else entirely?

During her initial talk with the lawyer, Briana also told a nice story about Morrigan, which added an unintended "old Irish gods" element to the rest of the adventure that doesn't come through all that well in synopsis. That ended up reinforced a bit by the unexpected religious discussion between Sadie and Felicia, so there was an interesting "divine" element to the dialogue this time around.

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