- The group split up in the gallery and spoke to a few others present, including the Watch Second Wencia Naldibar, and Osiris Knell, a resident wizard. Also in attendance were a few nobles they recognized, including a young man who has a beef with Kael over his interest a certain member of House Barens, and a woman they'd seen acting strangely at the Magnar City Social earlier in the year.
- When the hearing concluded, the group met up outside the gallery where they were approached by Heglan Foula, one of the nobles in opposition to Julius Nevarg's push for increased internal focus. He offered the party a substantial sum to "investigate" House Nevarg in search of conflicts-of-interest that might call into question the house's motivations.
- Meanwhile, Lily had been "called" back into the darkened gallery by a pixie who came to ask her about what she and her companions did up at the monestary at Saint Orvusk. He told her that their actions had had some effect on the ongoing corruption, but that it wouldn't be enough to prevent its worsening.
- The group then left the White Hall and headed back to the Baron's Tower to ask the innkeeper about who had given him the false message when they suddenly found themselves under attack...
- Having received multiple messages from Rory about the state of the case, the made arrangements to meet him for their payoff the next day. They finally managed to break on of the cases open. Inside they found 32 vials of some substance and an injector.
- Deciding to see what "Justin Mills" wanted in his message to Mario, the group headed over to the address at 3am. The location turned out to be an old Ullertech warehouse. The guards outside didn't know anything about "Justin". As they were leaving, a 12 foot monstrosity emerged from the shadows and began smashing its way into the facility.
- As the firefight began, the group retreated to a "safe" observing distance, where they happened upon a young woman videotaping the scene. Sara was able to assess that she was related to the media/press in some way.
- The creature did a lot of damage, took a lot of gunfire, and limped away. The group followed it an eventually found it collapsed and apparently dead in an alleyway much further into the Old Harbor district.
- The following day, the met with Rory to give him the untouched case, and told him they were gravely concerned about what was inside. He gave them their payoff, and they left.
- The group received a message on their ghost card indicating another time and passphrase, but the fact that it didn't seem to originate from their contact at the DCPD concerned them.
- V told the rest of the group that he suspects the whole thing to be the work of corrupt corporations - Proto-Nine, and the defunct Aethercorp that they suspect "Justin" is working for. His aim is to bring them all down somehow. And Sara tells them that she had received another message from the Watchful - the "resistance" group that seemed to have a similar aim...
- Isaac Clarke went to talk w/ the Major Caldwell about their contract and found out that Vostok's Hijackers had requested an override on the AFFS' decision to award part of the contract to Mjolnir's Wrath - citing their superior accomplishments. He tried to talk the major into sticking with his original decision, but Caldwell indicated that, even if he himself didn't like it, on paper, giving the job to the Hijackers seemed to make more sense. It was then that Fyodor Vostok joined the conversation and suggested a 'mech duel as a way to decide, the Major seemed to like this idea.
- The following morning, the gathering reconvened at the Northtown Military Base's training grounds, where Isaac and his Hatchetman faced off against Fyodor and his Quickdraw using virtual weaponry. The first few exchanges landed decidedly in Vostok's favor, and Isaac is now scrambling to turn the tables.
- Meanwhile, Thaddeus received a call from their ship's mate: one of their crew apparently left the ship about 20 minutes previous - with a pistol. Thaddeus found out where he was going and headed that way. When he arrived, he found one of the ship's techs pointing a gun at a patron at the bar...
- Kael and Ravina went to the Temple of the Golden Sun to report the situation at Saint Orvusk to the clergy there. The priest they spoke to was a little confused about their reports of Orvusk's grave being broken into because, he told them, Warult Orvusk was buried there in Rolessi.
- Lily returned to House Dyn'Talor to request they send a message to their members in Igveston about the growing orc problem, and they had a short conversation about the fey of the Charothi Forest.
- Later, the group received a message from Tyless Vallane requesting their presence at the ongoing hearings at the White Hall that night. The hearings were a part of the continuing debate between where enforcement resources should be allocated: within the city where violent crime was rising, or focused outward where reports of orc activity had people on-edge. When they met up with Tyless Vallane in the gallery, however, he told them he hadn't written the message and wondered what duplicitous entity wanted them at the White Hall...
Setting: Dark West, Northern New Mexico Territory, Town of Redwood
System: In The Cards (homebrew)
- Leanne [Sheri] :: The new postmistress
- Victor [Tim] :: Rancher coming to visit his sister
- Oliver [Dave] :: Company man come to find out why coal shipments have stopped
- Roxanna [Taylor] :: ???
- James [Tony] :: Traveler looking for a fresh start in a new place
- A group of travelers meet up on the road and camp together with a man called an old prospector a few hours outside the town of Redwood. They all shared dinner and had a nice chat about the area. Elijah, the prospector, told them that the area had been declining quite a bit since the coal mine closed and the trains stopped coming into town, but he was hopeful that the area would stick it out and survive.
- Late that night, the group was awakened to the sounds of Elijah hurriedly packing up his things in a near panic. They found the stagecoach driver and his two guards dead from apparent stab wounds, and Roxanna saw something moving outside the camp. Whatever it was, Elijah apparently caught sight of it too, and went screaming into the night in the opposite direction as Leanne swore she heard a distant train whistle. On edge but unwilling to risk the horses in the darkness, the group holed up in the camp until morning.
- The next day they headed into Redwood. While Leanne and Victor delivered the mail to the town hall and spoke to the marshall about what had happened, Oliver, James, and Roxanna went to the Bucksaw Saloon for some breakfast and an early drink to calm their nerves. They spoke to the bartender about the previous night's events, and James asked if there were any local natives that might have stories about "things" roaming the wilderness. He told them he could only think of one natve that lived in town - the widow of a miner by the name of Caleb Solomon. One of the barhands seemed to be listening to the conversation and seemed, for some reason, to be growing very angry because of it.
- It was then that another man appeared in the saloon entrance. He wore a nice, grey suit and was looking at a gold pocketwatch. The already quiet saloon fell completely silent. As he looked up, he smiled and said in a low voice "Can you hear that train, a-comin'?"...
GM's Note: The idea for this game came out of a conversation a month or so ago when someone suggested we do some kind of horror one-shot on halloween. I kicked around a few ideas while putting it together, but pretty quickly decided this would be a great opportunity to finish the idea I had for a western-themed game system that used only cards and poker chips - no dice or even character sheets. Over the course of a week or so, I fleshed out the basic ideas and put together a creepy, Dark West game to run with it. It didn't take super long to explain, seemed to run quite well, and everyone really loved the feel of it. I may make further tweaks, but I'm quite happy with how it came out. Of course, I cannot "one-shot" a "one-shot", so we only made it through about 1/3 of the scenario, but everyone liked it enough that we decided we would try to get together soon to see if we couldn't continue it.
- After a brief conversation with the captain of the military caravan, the party contined back to Rolessi. There, they split up and made reports about the gathering orc horde to Kael's contact at the House Vallane Adventurer's Guild, the Watch Prime, as well as Mayor Dale and Lord Magnar. Overall their reports seemed to be believed, but questions remained...
- Deciding it was their best shot at getting access to the upper laboratories, V used his neural link to venture into the Proto-Nine computer system, heading for the security area. Once past the System Sentries, he found a panel full of door lock indicators and releases - the only problem was, he could only override them for a few seconds.
- The rest of the group made their way up to floor 82 and slipped through the door after V opened it. They found the labs on this level to be in a state of complete disarray. Sara located the case they had come to grab without too much trouble, and headed down and out of the building with it - playing off an encounter with Bluestar Security using some fast-talk and her psionic empathy.
- Kendra and Mario, meanwhile, grabbed another case and decided to check out some of the upper levels. V told them that the upper floors were all VIP/CEO penthouses and executive meeting spaces, but when the two arrived, they found the place completely abandoned.
- Returning to meet up with V who escaped from the VR system only after a tangle with one of the Sys-Ents, the three were able to convince Bluestar that they were legit and exit the building as well.
- The group met back up at Kendra's shop. They tried to open one of the cases, but only managed to scratch up the exterior. Meanwhile, Mario went to talk to some doctors about plastic surgery to repair his scarred face and on the way back stopped at one of the city's PostTerms where he found a message containing only an address and a time from Justin Mills...
- The group descended to the fleeing caravan and engaged the orcs and monstrous wolves attacking it. They were just starting to gain the advantage when one of the orcs, apparently a druid, turned into a massive bear and toppled one of the wagons. The group managed to fight off the bear and the remaining orcs, allowing the remaining wagon to continue toward Rolessi.
- The following morning, the group had left Igveston and was travelling toward Rolessi when they spotted smoke rising some distances to the south. Knowing they were seeking signs of the orcs they'd been told were massing in the region, they decided to detour and investigate.
- Upon reaching the locale, they found a massive orcish encampment on the borders of the Charothi Forest, spilling onto the western Cyrran Plains some miles east of the village of Etteseph. Among the orcs they found ogres, monstrous vultures, and signs of seige weapon construction. Perhaps most interestingly, they found that the horde seemed to be commanded by a group of hobgoblins who themselves were lead by a human. Using his ethereal ability, Kael entered the commander's tent and saw a dwarf there he recognized from the Magnar City Social some weeks previous.
- Having attainted this intelligence, the group left for Rolessi. Travelling eastward across the plains, they came upon a small detachment of the Reaches Military being harassed by orcs and monstrous wolves...
New Characters: Patrick & Roland
- As Isaac and Thaddeus began their conversation about which contracts to opt into, Fyodor Vostok, the commander of Vostok's Hijackers, approached and attempted to convince Isaac to sell Mjolnir's Wrath to him for 50M. The offer was arguably low, and Isaac still had higher hopes for his budding company, so he declined - visibly irritating Vostok.
- Dresden and Nathaniel arrived and joined the conversation. The group tried to get more info out of the Major and Hollaster about the recon mission they'd been tipped to, but had only limited success.
- They were later approached by Samuel Gallager, head of Gallager's Minutemen, who suggested they work together on one of the offered Search-And-Destroy missions. He seemed interested in their company, and insisted Isaac tell the story of how he'd once single-handedly taken out a Battlemaster in his Hatchetman. After some further internal discussion, they decided they'd take him up on it.
- It was a while later that they noticed the blue confirmation light on their mission slot revert to a "pending" white as Fyodor placed his bid on the previously-full mission...