This year Ross D. set up a campaign of Blades in the Dark, set in the city of Doskvol after a cataclysm has altered the world causing the gates of death to be broken and vengeful ghosts and demons to roam the lands. They are only kept at bay by electric towers fuelled by Leviathan blood!
Cult & Players
The “Phantom Menace” cult created by Wyrm and Flint to save ghosts (as they both had good experiences with ghosts in their pasts). They have set up the cult in an abandoned Squash Courts (Wyrm has a need to play the game often) in Dunslough.
Main cult tenants:
- Ghosts are good
- Electric ghost towers are bad (keep out the ghosts)
- Leviathan blood is bad (it fuels the ghost towers)
- Spirit Wardens are bad (they stop the ghosts being created)
- Spirit fire is bad (the Spirit Wardens use it to consume a body before a ghost can appear)
- Wyrm - Master of the clan (Whisper)
- “Flint” - Ex-military/bounty hunter (Hunter)
- Smook - Burglar/contractor (Lurk)
- Grog - “Likes to blow stuff up” (Cutter)
- “Other Dave” - Bent ex-cop (Spider)
- “Wren” - Secondment from the Wraiths (Leech)
- Marco - Manipulator (Slide)
Session 15th Jan - Sacrifice!
- Players: Wyrm, Flint, Smook
The players set the scene for the session by starting the cult of the Phantom Menace based on their past good experiences with ghosts. High priest Wyrm of the cult was granted a vision showing him a pyre and a ghost being let out, rather than destroyed by the bane fire used by the city enforcers.
So Wyrm, Flint the Sharpshooter, and Smook the Lurker tried to lure a nobleman to a fake legal dispute, and it all started to go wrong at that point! The nobleman knew something was up and tried to storm out, Smook managed to pickpocket a firearm from one of the body guards, but Wyrm’s attunement to the ghosts energy failed spectacularly and instead of freezing the arm of the other bodyguard he numbed his own!
What followed was a series of blunders - Flint got a flesh wound from a ricochet when Smook fired at the nobleman, and when Wyrm tried to attune again he managed to shoot himself by accidentally miscontrolling a bodyguard’s hand - but the team eventually managed to capture the noble before the guards arrived and stuck him on a bonfire to release the ghost! Next was an escape that involved high-tailing through the back streets, and nearly getting captured, as we made a complete ruckus trying to get through a family home to avoid the fire brigade.
An interesting first outing in an unusual Victorian-esque era setting (albeit with ghosts and demons!).
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Session 29th Jan - Dave!
- Players: Smook, Grog
A session with just a couple of members of the cult involving lots of Daves - Dave, Davey Jones and an acolyte that turns into “Other Dave” in a later session. It also entailed blowing things up - Grog“s speciality - and then a hasty retreat down the sewers to escape.
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Session 12th Feb - Found Out!
- Players: Wyrm, Flint
It continued this week with high priest/wizard Wyrm and hunter Flint. (Last time Smook and a new acolyte called Grog were on their own mis-adventure). It started with a note from the Grey Cloaks faction saying “We know what you did!” and asking to meet. So that they didn’t shop us to the city guard, we had to get a rival gang out of Six Towers and quickly.
We managed to find these rivals in Tower Four and tried a social visit to talk them into moving! Unfortunately, this nearly went wrong when Wyrm tried to impress them with a ghost that nearly turned vengeful. Eventually, we sort of convinced them to move if we could get the Wraiths (a band of silent assassins) to allow them into the Nightmarket. Wyrm was not happy at the outcome as he wanted them to join our cult, in fact he thought they would make great sacrifices! Flint came up with an ambush plan but needed to convince the rivals with a fake Wraith mask. Unfortunately, the Wraiths found out and made us do a job for them!
This was getting very messy! At this point Flint was trailing Wyrm who was carrying the package that the Wraiths wanted us to deliver and noticed an ambush was going to happen on poor Wyrm! This started a manic chase through the streets of Six Towers! Wyrm couldn’t run very well due to his bullet wound from last time, so after ducking down an alley, Flint pulled out his fine pistols and let rip, unfortunately killing one of the new gang following. This set off the usual tolling bell for the ghost crew!
The new gang tried to cut us off but Wyrm successfully caused the street electrics to spark to slow them down (without any damage to us!). So we managed to struggle into a waiting cabbie (horse drawn) only to see the new gang taking over one behind. Wyrm tried to throw an electroplasm vial but that bounced off the chasing horse and blew up a bystander! Flint nearly fell off climbing on top, but then shot at the following carriage that made it overturn - movie style. Unfortunately, it sort of back-fired as the gang driver was catapulted onto our carriage. A struggle ensued which was ended by the Wraiths turning up and dispatching the gang members. They thanked us for being bait - the bag was a decoy - and they even decided to let the rival gang of the Grey Cloaks move into Nightmarket! Wyrm and Flint managed to limp home worse for wear, but then discovered coins in the bag - so it wasn’t a complete fiasco after all…
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Session 26th Feb - Ghost Ship!
- Players: Wyrm, Smook, Grog, Flint, Other Dave, Wren
This session of Blades in the Dark saw six players jump into the campaign. It started with a weary and worn Master Wyrm and hunter Flint entering their cult squash court (long story) after their last adventure with the Wraiths to meet some new and old faces.
Smelling of the sewers, Smook and Grog had appeared after their adventure with Dave and the Other Dave. They brought the remains of Dave (a ghost in an arm) and not many explanations. Other Dave came with them and got promoted from an acolyte as he showed great promise! And another new member who had been an initiate of the Wraiths - Wren - lurked enigmatically in the corner being enigmatic.
Well there was no respite, as Dave’s arm was restless and needed to be bound to an urn but that needed a witch. So we headed down to the docks where crews get talismans and blessings for their journey. We found a witch who would only do it after we had retrieved an artifact that was on an empty ship. Unfortunately, that’s how it had returned to port and no one liked going on it, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t guarded!
We needed a distraction to get on to the ship. Grog got told to make one, so he blew up the neighbouring ship that still had people on! Bits of burning mast then fell on to the ghost ship and so dressed as firemen, we managed to bundle on to the ship past the guards. Flint, Wren and Wyrm went to the Captain’s Cabin. When rifling through there for loot, Wren found and read the Ship’s log which told a strange tale of the crew going missing and the Captain descending into madness - saying he stored a strange object collected from a Leviathan in the hold.
Smook, Other Dave and Grog went below decks and after finding some crates they couldn’t lift or open they were going blow one open when the feeling of the hold closing in got them spooked. But when they tried to get out of the hold the stairs had shrunk and the hatch was only big enough for a finger! Wyrm and team came out of the to see Grog standing near the top of the stairs with his finger in the air! Flint tried to pull him out of the hold but Grog was just stuck.
Suddenly the ship folded in on its self and swallowed the whole team. We were all stuck in a ship that seemed to be shrinking and the flaming mast came with us - it was huge, we seemed tiny and getting smaller. Something needed to be done, so Grog decided to make us an exit by blowing a hole in the prow of the ship, an inner door blew off its hinges straight towards us, but upon hitting Grog it was the size of an envelope!
We quickly scrambled towards the hole in the ship to give us breathing room from the sensation of shrinking, but we still needed to find the artifact. Wyrm and Smook attuned and found the ship surrounded by ghosts all bound by some force. They also found the ghost of Captain Quest and got him to tell us where the artifact was hidden. So Other Dave and Grog went back into the weirdness, found and only mildly blew up the chest containing the evil artifact - the golden pyramid. Pocketing some coins that happened to spill out of the chest, Other Dave and Grog brought back the golden pyramid. When they got half way, an “eye” etched into each side of the pyramid appeared and the device got too hot to handle. Grog dropped it and then tried to kick it across the deck, but a line appeared under the eye on one side which had clamped down on his shoe leather. Wren came in and threw his cloak over the thing, which seemed to calm it down. In fact, suddenly the hold wasn’t shrinking anymore, and the gang could see escape back up the stairs.
Unfortunately, the ship was crawling with real firemen and guards, but Other Dave used his time in the force to bluster our way through, pretending we had found some sick crew members hidden on the ship that needed aid. We hadn’t got very far before suspicions were raised. Luckily Grog had a flashback to when he set up some timed explosive for a secondary diversion and just then it went off! We hustled further along the docks with Wyrm making more distractions - arcing the lights and plunging things into darkness. We made it back to the witch’s place and handed over the goods, and we got back an urn with Dave’s hand duly bound to it.
The cult members are really warming up to each other and I can feel there are more outings to be had…
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Session 11th Mar - Possession!
- Players: Flint, Marco
This time saw Sean J. take a turn at leading the session. Wyrm had a job for Flint and Marco (the new acoloyte) - to investigate a possible ghost possession and “sort it out”. So with little more than that to go on, Flint and Marco made their way to the house in Barrowcleft.
On reaching the house, a desperate man led them into the basement to find a young child tied to a chair, he claimed she was possessed, and so with little knowledge of speaking to ghosts between them this started a bit of a trip round the city to find someone to help (as Wyrm wanted nothing to do with it).
The first person we tried (a spiritualist masseuse!) couldn’t help and nearly went mad - but at least told them it wasn’t a ghost. Then we managed to locate a demonologist - Demon Dave - but he said he needed some items to contain the demon - ghost jars, a spirit doll, a holy scroll, and a demon bane charm. Marco and Flint managed to track down the first two by speaking to the witch from the ghost ship encounter, but the charm and scroll were a little more tricky.
We followed a holy man in the Nightmarket, which we had been tipped off was a bit of a fraud, but might have some genuine scripture. Marco convinced him we were really interested in joining his following and we went with him. Just as we were going to jump him in an alleyway, his associates jumped us! A skirmish ensued where the holy man was knocked out, one of his dodgy band was wounded in the neck by a accidental knife throw from Flint, but Marco had grabbed the holy scripture. We just managed to get out of there before the city watch arrived.
The charm proved a bit more elusive, but in the end we heard some rumours of a noble man living in Silkshore who had purchased an ancient demons bane artifact recently. On arriving at the house it looked deserted, but then a commotion upstairs saw Flint run out the front to incapacitate a Grey Cloak (that we had seen in the Nightmarket) after he jumped from the first floor. He was babbling about seeing someone in the house and clutching the bane, but Marco having checked upstairs found no-one. We wrapped the charm carefully up and went back to Demon Dave.
Demon Dave was amazed at the demon bane, as it was a lost ancient artifact, but he said it would indeed help with the necessary ritual. We left Dave to it and waited upstairs, after some time we heard screaming and saw red light coming from the basement. So, Marco and Flint slowly ventured into the basement to find that the doll had turned into a large sarcophagus, the demon bane artifact was lying on the floor, the girl was still tied to the chair - though she looked better, but there was no sign of Demon Dave.
After carefully pocketing the demon bane, and sorting out some payment from the father, we quickly scarpered our job done…!
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