Valentina’s Score

Blades in the Dark

This session was plagued by a couple of us losing repeatably losing internet connectivity, so we cut the session short and left downtime for next week.

The crew are visited by a young woman who is obviously of high status. She is wearing high quality clothes with a drab grey cloak wrapped around her to possibly try to disguise herself. She is flanked by a couple of large thugs.

Saya greets her, and she responds by seemingly talking to Saya’s stuffed rabbit “Mr Bunny”.

She introduces herself as Valentina Ivonova, and she has heard that the crew can maybe provide her with some help. In a couple of nights there will be a Masked Ball hosted by Count Giles Spinecca, a rich noble living in Brightstone who’s family has made its money in glass.

She is seeking his hand in marriage, but has a couple of principle rivals to her claim. The Ball will be an excellent opportunity to make her move, but she needs to ensure that her two rivals don’t also get to make use of the opportunity.

Both are noble women, the most favoured (at least by his mother) is Georgina Venetta, who comes from old money. There is also Isabella Harsok, a younger girl who he has his eye on.

She doesn’t want anything bad done to them – after all, they are noble women and she doesn’t want to start a trend. She just wants them distracted from using the ball as an opportunity to improve their relations with the count. It’s important that Isabella attend the ball, since she has a shy young friend – Anna Rubeck – who the Count’s mother tends to dote on. If she attends, then his mother will probably be distracted talking to Anna. If Isabella doesn’t attend, then Anna most probably won’t either.

She hands Dominus a small sack of coin, which he passes to Skarlett without counting and agreeing to help. Valentina is also able to provide a spare invitation that she has, which allows one person and a guest to attend. Everyone else will have to find their own way in.

The crew are able to find out where Georgina is having her dress made, at a tailors in Brightstone, so Dominus goes along to scout the place out. He makes a Survey check, taking a devil’s bargain that someone here will see him later at the party and recognise him, and get’s a 6 on his rolls.

He makes a good impression on the tailor, using a cover name of Lord Patrick of Green Isle, correctly identifying which suits are good quality and which aren’t. He doesn’t buy anything, because he doesn’t have the money, but gets a good view of the shop, including the basement where a lot of the cloth is stored. Dominus begins to get second thoughts about ruining the content of the shop, since the clothes here are such good quality.

That evening Rue goes down into the sewers and sticks some pipes up into the basement of the shop to try and spray raw sewage up there. I determine that it’s a Controlled action, since there’s not much that can go wrong… and she gets a 3 on her Tinker – the pipes she’s using don’t fit. Trying again at a Risky action she finally manages to make everything fit, though gets a 4 so there’s a complication – she gets sprayed with sewage herself and it’s going to take several days to get the smell out of her hair.

With the contents of the shop ruined, or at least stinking of sewage, Georgina doesn’t get her new dress, so doesn’t go to the ball.

Thurston calls on his friendly contact, Roslyn Kellis, to see if she can provide any help. I leave it up to Thurston’s player to come up with the background for Roslyn, and she determines that she’s a bit of a black sheep of her family, but since she’s their only daughter they are trying desperately to keep on on the straight and narrow so they don’t have to disown her.

With that in mind, I decide that she’s been invited as well, though is going with another gentlemen who Roslyn considers a bit of a bore. She’s quite happy to swipe his invitation and go with Thurston instead. That gives all the crew an invite to allow them to get into the Ball.

So it’s time for the Engagement roll, and they get a 4. They get in okay, though the complication is that Rue still has an aroma about her, so she’s going to be shunned somewhat during the party.

Masked Ball

The Count’s house is a huge mansion overlooking the main park of Brightstone. Above the grand hall hang huge glass birds, lit from within by glowing electric plasma which fills the room with a bright, shimmering glow.

Off from the grand hall is a garden, lit by electric lights and consisting of many paths and secluded spots. Overlooking both the harden and the hall is a balcony where a few couples wander, keeping an eye on the festivities but also providing some privacy. There also seems to be a private lounge area where some servants are keeping an eye on who goes in.

I had come up with a series of locations within the mansion, which the crew could explore if they wanted to, including getting into the kitchens, cellars, library and other parts of the house. These could have provided opportunity to cause some mischief (or simply gain items of worth), but as it happens no-one thought to try exploring.

When Isabella Harsok arrives, along with her friend Anna, she is immediately met by several young gentlemen all trying to get her attention for a dance. Dominus, now going by the name of Lord Patrick of Green Isle, pushes through them all and manages to get Isabella’s hand for a dance.

However, one of the younger gents, a Sir Graydol, is offended by this and challenges him to a duel. They retire to the garden, where Dominus (Lord Patrick) offers up some insults which enrage the man. It is a fight to first blood, and a couple of swords are offered up (the household is obviously used to this sort of thing). I decide to make it a 4-clock, and Dominus has three attempts to complete it before he loses the duel. I gave him two ticks in advance though because of the successful insults – Sir Graydol is telegraphing his attacks so badly due to not thinking straight, he’s going to be easier to defeat.

With a couple of clashes Dominus cuts across his Sir Graydol’s leg, almost slicing through his belt and taking his trousers down. The fight is over, with Dominus the victor. His alter-ego, Lord Patrick, is definitely going to be known now though, and his face may be recognised in the future in these parts.

Whilst this was going on, and Isabella was watching with interest (along with a number of other nobles), Rue sneaks up behind her and sticks a syringe into her. Given the distractions I make this a Controlled attempt, and Rue gets 6 on her Prowl, and Isabella goes down asleep, everyone suspecting that she’s just feinted.

As they all retire from the garden, they notice Valentina Ivonova on the balcony along with Count Spinecca. Their mission a success, they (especially Dominus) stays for the rest of the party.

The score is completed without much fuss, but with the internet being somewhere intermittent on us and repeatably losing both Roll20 and Hangouts connections, we decide to finish there.

We do have a very quick chat about how to do downtime – one problem we’ve noticed is that downtime seems to happen after a score, but there are things you need to do during downtime to prepare for a score. So if the next score is decided after downtime, there is no time to gather allies, prepare rituals or perform other actions which may be wanted for the score. So what we’re going to try is to decide on what the next score is, before we complete downtime.

We’ll see how that works next week.

Samuel Penn

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