The Whitehollow Express Score

Blades in the Dark

This is a continuation of my Blades in the Dark campaign on Roll20. We were down one player this session, so the crew had some gaps in their usual skill set.

Whilst the crew are debating whether to try a raid on the cult of the Shrouded Queen, and take over some territory at the Graveyard (which would provide them with an Offertory), Dominus is approached by his old contact Salia. She is an information broker, who cut off connections with Dominus for a while after getting picked up the blue coats one too many times. However, she has information on a potentially lucrative score, and is willing to cut them in.

She offers them information in return for a 30% cut, but Dominus argues her down to 20%. There is a noble gentleman in the city going by the name of Justin Johansson. He arrived by electro-rail a few days ago, and has been in discussion with the Doskvol Academy to sell some rare artefacts. However, the Academy has been playing hardball on price, and are currently expecting him to drop his asking price. Salia thinks he’s unlikely to, and given that he’s due to leave by train tomorrow morning, the Academy is planning on a last minute offer of the full price just before he leaves, to try and call his bluff.

However she has found out more information than the Academy has, and has discovered that he is actually a vampire by the name of Gerard Ustok. She doesn’t know where he is staying in the city, but he will be at Gaddoc Rail Station tomorrow morning. He will probably have heavy guard at that point, and there will be a lot of blue coats around the station, so it may be best to try to hit him on the train. If they could waylay the Academy’s messenger as well, to prevent an offer being made, then it’ll guarantee that he’ll leave on the train.

I decided to leave the details of the items he is trying to sell to the players, and they came up with the idea of a rune carved sacrificial bowl and an obsidian sacrificial dagger with runes carved into the hilt. There was also a collection of shrunken heads.

Spid calls on his newly trained gang of street kids to waylay the Academy, which happens successfully off-screen, leaving them free to get onto the train. Tamasi and Dominus put Spid into a crate, with a plan to have him put in the luggage carriage along with Ustok’s luggage, but too late they realise that the vampire has his own private carriage, and all of his luggage is going in there.

So Dominus has a flashback to perform a quick rearrange of some of the labelling and persuades the train guard that this is meant for Ustok and to have it taken along with the rest of his luggage. Obviously this is all unknown to Spid, who is by now hidden away in the crate. He also took a Devil’s Bargain, in that in the process the guard noticed that the lock on the crate was a bit loose, so tightened it.

Tamasi and Dominus get on the train, posing as Uncle and Niece, a traditional euphemism that isn’t known to some players. The train pulls away from the station, with a burst of electricity and smell of ozone. It passes out of the ghost field on its three day journey to Whitehollow.

Once the train is moving, Spid waits for things to go quiet and breaks out of the crate, though he has to make a bit more noise than he’d wanted to due to the improved lock. The two thugs below here something, but not enough to investigate. He seems to be in a small compartment on top of the carriage, with some stairs going down to the vampire’s private lounge where the two thugs seem to be playing cards.

Meanwhile, Tamasis tries to climb onto the roof of the carriage and make her way to the back where the vampire’s private carriage is. She doesn’t have much in the way of useful skills, but does have Finesse, which includes vehicle use, so I decide to allow her to use this for clambering along the roof of the train. To one side of her she can see the inky blackness of the sea, to the other are steep mountain cliffs, so she doesn’t want to fail this.

She rolls… but decides to take a Devil’s Bargain. I decide that since she’s out in the open in the death lands, she picks up a ghostly hitch-hiker. I intend to figure out what this hitch-hiker is and does later – it won’t cause trouble now, but someone after the score ends. With her Bargain she manages to get a 5, so gets across to the luggage compartment on top of the private carriage where Spid is.

The windows are barred from the inside, but the two are able to communicate and catch up on their plans. Before they can help each other though, Tamasis notices an electric glow in the distance, which is fast approaching. They are getting close to their first stop, and decided that she doesn’t want to be on top of the train when it passes through the lightning barrier, she hurries back along the train and inside.

Going through the boxes and crates here, Spid is able to locate the bowl and knife, as well as the mummified heads. Working quickly and quietly, he is able to work some of the wooden bars loose, getting a 6 but since this is a Tier 2 score he gets a limited effect meaning whilst there is now enough of a gap to pass things through, he can’t get out himself.

Once the train has left the station and is clear of the lightning field again, Tamasis climbs out once more. They are now passing through a region of ruined buildings that are barely visible in the darkness. She tries to work her way along again, using ropes this time to try and fasten herself to the roof, but she gets 2, so as she does so the train hits a serious bump, and she is thrown from the roof, saved by her armour as the ropes bring her crashing against the side window of the train. and breaking her arm.

Dominus rushes back along the train to try and get her in through the window, and tries to convince everyone in the carriage that it is all “just a test” and not to panic. With help from the Conductor, they get Tamasis inside and fortunately there is a Doctor on the train as well.

At that point one of the vampire’s bodyguards comes into the carriage, and Dominus gets a Critical in Swaying him that nothing unusual is going on. He takes a Devil’s Bargain whilst doing this though, going for getting a reputation as an ‘Uncle’ with a taste for young women. It’s probably worth it though, because at that point Spid makes some noise upstairs whilst trying to open the windows further and getting a 3 for failure. With his critical though, Dominus keeps the thug distracted.

As they pull into the next station, Spid deliberately makes a loud noise smashing open the windows, then hides in his crate. The thugs rush up, see the mess and assume that someone has broken in, then escaped out with the items. They both rush off to try and find the culprit, whilst Spid remains hidden.

Dominus and Tamasis get off the train and distract the one thug near the private carriage, allowing Spid an opportunity to sneak off the train with the items. Within the main part of the private carriage, there is a long crate, possibly a coffin of some type, which the vampire is possibly still sleeping in. Spending some gold, the three find somewhere in the town to meet up and hide for a few days whilst things quieten down.

It’s cost them a couple of Coin altogether in train fairs and bribes over the course of the score, and they will now have a Vampire looking for them. Though the thugs were taken in by the various misdirections, Gerard Ustok will probably be able to put enough together to know who to come looking for at some point.

The crew got the items though, as well as enough experience to buy a new advancement for their cult. It’s decided that we will handle downtime and the selling of the items next session when all the players are around.

Samuel Penn

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