Rule of Three

Blades in the Dark - Session 3
The Widow Weeps

The Court of Rooks decide to keep the pressure on the Dimmer Sisters, and seize on an opportunity brought to them by their Bluecoats contact, Laroze. (He also scolds them for their Ironhook break-in and the resulting heat.) The Dimmer Sisters are protected by the Red Sashes, a gang of Iruvian mercenaries and criminals – killers too skilled for even Les to take on. But the leader of the Red Sashes is a collector of fine art. She wants a painting by the master painter Rafello, called ‘The Widow Weeps’. The painting has been purchased by the mysterious Lord Scurlock, and is currently held in the vault of the Seven Keys Bank, waiting to be collected tomorrow by his men. If the Rooks can steal it first and hand it over, the Sashes may withdraw their support from the Sisters.

The next day, Sparrow and the Magpie sneak into the bank via a side door while Les and Patch come in the front. posing as wealthy nobles seeking to open an account. The infiltration isn’t as smooth as the Magpie would like – she just wants to be stealthy – but they came prepared with false papers showing them as Scurlock’s servants. They manage to bluff their way down into the vaults, while Les distracts the bank’s staff by being appalling rude to them.

Sparrow and the Magpie obtain the painting, which shows a disturbing scene of a weeping woman washing her hands in a river choked with human remains; they can both feel some kind of unnatural power clinging to the image. Meanwhile, the real team of Scurlock’s servants arrive! Patch manages to surreptitiously inject their leader with a euphoric drug, and the security staff scramble to control the scene as he freaks out.
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Still acting like bastard nobles, Patch and Les go down to the vault as Sparrow and the Magpie come out carrying the painting – they swap glances as they pass on the stairs, but stay in character. As a further distraction, Sparrow breaks the bank’s supernatural wards to allow angry spirits to enter, while the Magpie wraps the painting to hide it from onlookers; they leave the bank as all hell breaks loose in the foyer. Downstairs, Les and Patch sneer at the vaults, then storm out complaining about everything.

Later that night, the Rooks meet with the Red Sashes to hand over the painting. The Iruvians are happy with their prize – although the Magpie is greatly unnerved to see that her own face is now visible in the painting’s river of corpses. The gang agree to withdraw their protection from the Dimmer Sisters, leaving the witches vulnerable to the Rooks.

The crew is now in a prime position to take down their enemy – but in the tumult of the robbery, they didn’t think to steal any other valuables for themselves. Once again, they’re low on coin – and if Lord Scurlock learns who stole his prized painting, he will not be happy…

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Blades in the Dark - Session 2
Ironhook

It’s been weeks (almost feels like months) since the Court of Rooks dealt a major blow against the Dimmer Sisters, stealing a mystical relic and setting free many of their enslaved ghosts. The Dimmer Sisters are out for vengeance, and the Court have had to keep a low profile in case they’re attacked by ghosts or their secret lair is discovered.

With their coin running low, the Court decide they need to take on the Sisters – and they also need a way to make some money. They decide a possible way to do both is to take over the Sisters’ relationship with Mordis, a Nightmarket merchant known to fence stolen artifacts and relics on their behalf. They approach Mordis, who’s not immediately against the idea of changing allegiances – but he needs the Court to make it worth the risk. His price – they need to steal compromising journals and documents kept by Belindra, one of the senior jailors at Ironhook Prison.

It’s a jailbreak – in reverse.

As it happens, Les is a former Ironhook guard, and has had a romance with Belindra in the past, and he comes up with a plan.
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The next day, the Court enters Ironhook disguised as relief guards, having bribed some real guards to call in sick. To avoid suspicion, Les and Sparrow fulfil their relief duties, guarding the isolation cells in the prison yard, while Patch and the Magpie slip into the prison barracks to look for Belindra’s quarters.

But Belindra isn’t in her quarters – she’s inspecting the isolation cells!

It turns out that this was Les’ plan all along – when Belindra recognises him, he lures her into an empty cell, breaks off their occasional relationship once and for all, and then locks her inside the cell. He and Sparrow prepare to keep guard over the jailor, but the plan is disrupted by an alarm – there are intruders in the prison!

Within the barracks, things are not going well. Patch and the Magpie found Belindra’s quarters, but not before attracting attention from a guard patrol. Patch uses alchemical glue to seal the door and keep out the guards, and the Magpie drops a silence potion vial to muffle the sound of their search, which eventually convinces the guards that their quarry has escaped. The search reveals a new problem – Les knew the hiding place where Belindra keeps her secrets, but the journals are missing. The Magpie extends her senses into the ghost field and discovers that the Dimmer Sisters sent a wraith to steal the journals first – and the dangerous wraith is still here!

Les and Sparrow leave the cells and go to help their friends in the barracks, sowing some confusion among the guards as they go. With the door sealed, Patch and the Magpie are trapped with the wraith – they try to fight it off but to no avail, and the Magpie is badly wounded by its claws. Patch finally manages to dissolve the glue, letting their allies in to rescue them, and Les uses a pair of electroplasmic knuckledusters to brawl with the wraith and take back the ledgers. With the wraith and the guards chasing them through the barracks, Patch blows a hole in the wall and the team jump out into space – to fall into the nearby canal, where a boat waits to speed them away.

In the aftermath of the raid, Mordis seals the deal with the Court, and fences those journals he doesn’t keep for himself. The story of the break-in cements the Court’s reputation as daring thieves, and Duskwall begins to take notice of these upstart rogues. But so too do the Bluecoats, Duskwall’s police force – and despite the bribes and payoffs they’ve made, there’s now a reward out for their arrest.

And the Dimmer Sisters aren’t done yet…

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One Last Job summary
The Freeport and the Furious

Two years after dying in the fight against Dr Mirablis and the Murder Circus, Peg-leg Pete is miraculously restored to life by Father Peligro, half-mad priest of the God of Pirates! Peligro has foreseen that Jawbone Jack, the ghoul pirate, has returned and will unleash an army of the dead upon Freeport. Jack discovered some kind of mystical power in the secret abandoned temple of the Murder Circus – and only Pete can overcome its wards and ghostly defenders to uncover Jack’s plan!

But Pete can’t do it alone. He sets out to find the crew of the Guiding Star, only to learn that they had a falling out and separated after his death. Estrella Kuro now brews unstable alchemical liquors for Freeport’s seedier bars; Erik and his pet chimp Muddles are part of the city’s illegal monkey street racing scene; Roger runs a refuge for apes and monkeys near the edge of the jungle; Jobu (who somehow managed to return from the dead under his own steam) hunts sea monsters on the Docks, and Farn left Freeport entirely for parts unknown. While Pete manages to bring them together for one last job, tensions amongst the former friends are high, and no-one will tell Pete why.

Following Peligro’s visions, the crew finds the secret temple of the Murder Circus – a Big Top tent built under the city streets. Directly under – the ‘tent’ is made of black iron and is upside-down, affixed to the roof of a cavern and suspended over a underground river. The temple is crawling with ghouls and angry ghosts, and the crew have to muster all of their tricks – bombs, spirit allies, trained monkeys and maddening poetry – to fight past these terrors and search the temple for clues. At last they find the temple library and discover what Jawbone Jack is after – the Skull of God, which is buried on… Ape Island. Of course. At which point the temple breaks free from its moorings and plummets into the river! Fortunately it floats like a ship – a ship heading for a vast waterfall. Pursued by the giant spectral head of Charlie Chuckles, the crew manage to rig an anchor chain and swing to safety just before the temple falls into a bottomless crevasse.
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To stop Jawbone Jack, the crew must get to Ape Island – but Pete learns that his friends fell out when The Travelling Lady was destroyed in a fire, in which Harcourt Horkel (its owner) also mysteriously died. Needing a fast boat to race Jack, they do something desperate – they steal the Sea Lord of Freeport’s own personal ship! Pursued by the Sea Lord’s Guard, they sail uncharted waters, taking supernatural shortcuts that pit them against ghoul sharks, unnatural storms and mermaid witches. Only Roger’s incredible steersman skills get them to Ape Island in one piece – but tensions mount along with the danger, as Erik and Roger clash over monkey ethics and Estrella reveals that she was the one that accidentally set The Travelling Lady on fire.

The ghostly gorilla guardian of Ape Island shows them what it has become – a maze of alleys and traps overrun by ghouls! Jack has uncovered the Grave of God, but it’s defended by an energy field projected by arcane pylons that must be activated within a brief time window. It’s time for Pete and Muddles to team up on a golem-powered monkey street race chariot! Erik directs them through the maze as the others hold off the ghouls, but emotions flare under the strain; Erik admits that the crew fell apart without Pete, especially once Farn ate Harcourt Horkel after the fire! Wrestling with feelings, Pete manages to activate the last pylon as Jawbone Jack leads his army into the fray – the field drops and a giant snake’s skull and skeleton, the size of a tower, emerges from its tomb!

As Roger, Estrella and an army of monkeys climb the skeleton of a primordial snake god, Jobu, Erik and Pete battle Jawbone Jack and his ghouls. Pete tears off Jack’s steel shark-jaw mask to reveal that he’s actually – Farn! As they fight, the former cabin boy declaims that after being rejected by the crew for his ghoulish ways, he became the new Jack to get revenge on the living. Pete doesn’t buy it, and pushes Farn’s emotional buttons until he admits that he just wants to feel accepted by his friends again, even if they’re all undead. The crew forgive Farn as Roger’s monkeys pull apart the Godskull, destroying the ghoul forces – and Jobu reveals himself to be a ghost, fading back into the ether as his crew is reunited in friendship. Electing Erik as their new captain, and putting old hurt behind them, they board their stolen ship and set off for new adventures.

With a hold full of monkeys…

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Blades in the Dark - Session 1
Court of Rooks

Gangs and factions rule the twilit streets of Duskwall, a city protected from the hungry dead by a wall of lightning. Now they’re joined by one more – the Court of Rooks, a small upstart band of thieves and spies operating out of a collapsing tower on the edge of the Charterhall district. They consist of:

  • Les, a former guard at Ironhook Prison
  • His half-brother Patch, a self-trained alchemist
  • Sparrow, a 12-year old Tycherosi ghost whisperer
  • The Magpie, an older Tycherosi and accomplished thief

The gang is offered a job from the cult of the Shrouded Queen to steal a relic – the iron skull of the cult’s first prophet – from the Dimmer Sisters, a notorious group of witches. The Magpie is reluctant to interfere with them, but Sparrow is enthusiastic and the money is good, so the Rooks takes the job. Sparrow learns more about the Sisters and their mansion from a ghost she knows, including that they have a private electroplasmic generator in their home that helps them trap and enslave ghosts; Patch figures this would be a useful thing to disrupt during the heist.

The Rooks use underground tunnels and canals to make their way through the Six Towers district to the Dimmer Sisters’ mansion, where they break in through a forgotten basement. They find the house patrolled by ghosts, but Sparrow guides the others past the guards to a dusty living room. Attuning to the ghost field, Sparrow senses the generator in the attic and the relic in the floor above. Patch and the Magpie scale the side of the mansion to reach the attic, while Sparrow and Les look for the relic.
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Although Patch and the Magpie reach the attic safely, they trigger a ward on the window, and the alarm is raised in the mansion! Ghosts come for them as Patch attempts to blow up the ancient generator, but he only manages to injure himself and the Magpie is hurt as she attempts to avoid and drive off the ghosts. Meanwhile, Sparrow and Les find the iron skull within a cage connected to the generator, and with two corpses next to it – one of which rises as a shambling hollow!

Les beats down the hollow and uses Swallow’s lightning hook to draw off the electroplasm, letting Swallow grab the skull. This disrupts the generator enough so that Patch can shut it down – at which point the ghosts escape the mansion, moaning in joy, and screams of witchy rage echo down the halls! The Rooks try to get away via the canals, but their gondola is late, so in the end they bust into a neighbouring house and escape via the underground tunnels.

While they’re paid for their work, the Rooks are now in trouble with the law. Worse, the Dimmer Sisters declare all-out war on the thieves that broke into their sanctum, Patch has a falling out with his fence, the Magpie needs to recovery from her ghost-inflicted injuries – and Sparrow goes missing after overindulging in Tycherosi nightroot…

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Cthulhu Dark - Session 4
The Black Drop (part 4)

The travellers recover their wits in the howling darkness, drenched in the viscera of the dead Ménager women and utterly lost as to what’s going on, and regroup in the Ménager household. Pekovic finds Adele’s journal, but it’s filled with unintelligible angular marks. Albright recognises it as similar to the markings on the black altar they found; Pekovic recognises it from his dreams. They also investigate Léon Ménager’s workshop to find silversmithing tools and a large collection of those strange crystal shards, and Helen is haunted by a faint ringing sound.

They still have Adele’s baby. None of them can remember its name.

The night passes fitfully, and Helen wakes from awful dreams of suffocation and being buried alive. They recover what supplies they can, but the dynamite has destroyed most of what was stored in the shearing shed. Rather than wait a week for the Austral to return, they decide to find the Germans and leave the islands on their ship, the Tenerife – but how to reach their camp at Betsy Cove, many miles away? They need a boat, but the best they have at the colony is a tiny dinghy with a hole in it. Perhaps, if they can find the missing German and his boat…

Albright patches the dinghy as best he can, they drag it down to the beach, and – after a frightening encounter with an elephant seal – make it across the inlet before the boat falls apart. There they find a battered dory boat with a damaged mast, a canvas tent flapping in the wind, and a passed-out-drunk German covered in his own filth, surrounded by empty bottles of schnapps.

They clean off and revive the German with Arctic waters, and confirm he is Ulrich Buschner, the runaway meteorologist of the German expedition. He tells them that the ‘Black Drop Society’ are a group of madmen, a suicide cult bent on killing themselves on Mt Lyall to prevent some great evil from rising – and he’s changed his mind about being part of their death pact. He has booze, a boat and the Society’s precious oversized headpiece of strange design, made of silver and a wealth of crystals – he’s not going back!
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The travellers refuse to indulge Buschner’s madness, and load up the dory; the drunk meteorologist comes with them, begging them not to take him back but terrified of being alone. They hug the coastline of the islands, sailing through choppy waters throughout the day, until reaching Betsy Cove before dusk. The cove was home to multiple 19th century settlements; now it’s a wasteland of decaying buildings and rusting trash, surrounded by the graves of dead whale-hunters. There is a fresh grave on the beach, and Schneider, Müller and Faber stand around it as the boat docks. Faber pulls Buschner from the dory and seems ready to shoot him dead, but cooler heads prevail.

Schneider welcomes the travellers, but tells them that they cannot leave the islands now – perhaps not ever. The Black God is coming, he tells them – and the only thing they can do to stop it is to die.

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Cthulhu Dark - Session 3
The Black Drop (part 3)

The travellers make their way to the inlet to find a beach strewn with the bones of elephant seals – and a slab of black basalt jutting out of the sand, a dozen metres wide and covered in grooves and nicks. Albright calculates that it weighs at least a ton – and while investigating it, he finds a torn-out and scribbled page from an astronomical almanac, stuffed into a seal’s skull and covered in sand. The page shows a list of past occultations and permutations of Venus, with the next due to occur this week – and a handwritten scribble from ‘PP’ saying he must reach Mt Lyall (one of the island’s smaller mountains) before ‘they’ do.
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Mulling over this latest mystery, the travellers walk back up the beach to Port Corveaux, where they’re greeted by a ship’s horn! Is the Austral back? No – it’s the Tenerife pulling to the jetty and disgorging a trip of Germans, one of whom wears an SS uniform. The Germans are quickly ushered into the shearing shed for tea and biscuits, and the travellers meet weary, elderly Dr Walter Schneider, young and nervous Ludwig Müller, and sneering Unterstumbannfuher Thomas Faber – all of whom ask if anyone has seen their expedition-mate Ulrich Buschner, who has gone missing. They give little away about their reason for being in the islands, and in truth the travellers do not press them for information. Pekovic mentions seeing a small boat probably heading into the inlet in the night; the Germans consider investigating, but the late hour and the shallow water make that impractical, so they return to their base (after advising the travellers to leave). Helen chooses this time to show Claudette her sketch of the dead man, who becomes hysterical on realising that her husband, Pierre Petit, is dead.

Much later, everyone is asleep, Helen curled up with Claudette to comfort her. She wakes with a start to a noise – to find Claudette dead, stabbed through the chest with a carving knife! Over the bed, barely visible, stands Adéle le Gallodec, another knife in one hand and her baby in the other. Helen is made of stern stuff, and grapples both weapon and baby from the erratic woman. She holds Adéle at knifepoint and demands answers – to which Adéle says ‘death is his meat and blood is his drink’, lunges forth to impale herself on the blade, and orgasms grotesquely as she dies.

As this goes on, Albright is roused from sleep by Pamela, who says his telescope is in danger in the shearing shed. When he enters to investigate, she throws in a lit stick of dynamite from the de la Rue’s stores, and Albrights dashes out into the darkness to avoid the explosion! Pekovic wakes at this and arms himself with his service revolver to find Léone Ménager on the porch, urging him to come out. Too suspicious to fall for a trap, Pekovic and Helen defend themselves against the murderous women, and immobilise Pamela with a couple of shots to the leg. Helen threatens the baby, but Pamela instead demands she follow through and kill the infant as Albright fumbles his way back to them. ‘God is hungry,’ she says, ‘and death is his meat.’

As the travellers debate what to do, Léone returns, shrouded in a blanket – that she throws off as she comes near, revealing multiple lit sticks of dynamite. They scatter as the explosion consumes both Ménager women, leaving them confused, terrified and lost in the howling darkness of the night…

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Cthulhu Dark - Session 2
The Black Drop (part 2)

The three travellers enjoy a simple but well-cooked dinner of mutton and vegetables with their hosts in the settlement’s shearing shed, the only building in Port Courveux large enough to hold all of them. Surrounded by rusting equipment and the pervasive stink of seal oil, they talk about current events, such as Germany’s increasing belligerence. Claudette is pleasant, Pamela a little overbearing, Léone shy; Adéle talks incoherently about God, darkness and the Book of Revelations, but the other women largely ignore her. Albright inspects Léone’s bracelet and its unusual crystal, which is very finely cut; Pamela explains that her husband Léon, an amateur jeweller, made the pieces in his workshop, and that the crystals are found around the Islands.

In the night, Pekovic wakes from bad dreams and hears the slap of water against something solid over the noise of the constant wind. He sees a spot of light out in the water, moving south along the shore – a boat carrying a lantern?

Come morning, the three set out to explore the island a little more; Claudette gives them supplies and says they may run into the men of the colony, who are out herding the sheep. The visitors make their way down a worn track and into the lichen- and moss-covered plains of the island. After a few hours’ walking they come across a camp, but no sign of the shepherds; they also spot the birds they saw yesterday, flying around a cliff a couple of miles away, and decide to investigate further.

At the foot of the cliff they find the body of a man broken upon the rocks, his eyes pecked out by birds! Even more disturbing, Pekovic realises that the man was still alive when he fell – and when the birds attacked him. Everyone is horrified and unsettled by the awful discovery. Helen steels herself and climbs up to the clifftop while Pekovic and Albright check the corpse for clues; they find little, and wonder if he might be one of the Germans from the Tenerife, but decide that he’s probably one of the shepherds.
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At the top of the cliff Helen finds the herd of sheep – all dead, slaughtered with knives over a period of hours, their bodies arranged into a large circle and their blood drenching the stones and moss. Albright is even more perturbed by this, but Helen keeps her cool and examines the scene, finding a finger-length crystal near one of the mutilated sheep – a crystal that seems to make the faintest of sounds as the wind rushes over it, like the last tone produced by a tuning fork as it ceases to vibrate.

Looking out across the island from the clifftop with Pekovic’s binoculars, Helen sees a large black shape on an inlet beach a couple of miles to the south-east. She also just makes out a tent a few miles further south and across the waters of the inlet, its orange-grey colour standing out against the blacks and greens of the island. The three decide to investigate the shape on the beach, and then to return to Port Corveaux to break the news to the women waiting for their husbands to come home…

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Cthulhu Dark - Session 1
The Black Drop (part 1)

It’s 1938, and the tramp freighter Austral sails from Madagascar to the windswept Kerguelen Islands, perhaps the most desolate place humans have ever colonised. Its mission: to collect the remaining members of the Islands’ failed French outpost and return them to civilisation as the island fades into history. The ship’s passengers:

  • Helena Heath, a French journalist looking to write a story about the outpost’s failure and the death of Gallic colonialism
  • Clive Albright, an English astronomer keen to examine the Islands’ 19th-century observatory and monitor the upcoming occultation of Regulus
  • Jeremiah Pekovic, a Serbian doctor desperately searching for his missing son, who saw the Kerguelens in strange and terrifying dreams
  • Edgar and Andrée de la Rue, a husband-and-wife team of geologists who regularly visit the Islands to unearth fossils and take basalt samples.

The trip to the islands is uneventful, marked only by bad dreams for Dr Pekovic and Andree’s occasional transgressive flirting with/at Helena. A day away from the Islands, though, the ship picks up German transmissions from a nearby boat. Helena translates it to learn that the Tenerife, a fishing schooner, is also bound for the Kerguelens, and that its crew are sending farewell messages to loved ones and military commanders back at home. That evening, the passengers wonder about the message; Andrée coaxes Helena down to the cargo hold, where they fuck among crates full of dynamite; Dr Pekovic dreams of bones strewn across volcanic hillsides; and Professor Albright drinks a lot of tea.
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The next day, the Austral arrive at the Kerguelens – a bleak yet beautiful collection of volcanic islands near the Antarctic, where harsh winds constantly scream across glaciers and cliffs. It docks at Port Courveux, unloading supplies for the three families that make up the failed sheep station/outpost; it then heads off to restock at the Crozet Islands before returning to collect everyone in two weeks. The de la Rues embrace the women of the outpost before trudging inland on their expedition, and the others meet their hosts – bossy Pamela Ménager and her teenage daughter Léone, matronly Claudette Petit and the emotionally unstable Adéle le Gallodec.

The passengers settle as best they can – Helena with the Petits, Albright with the Ménagers and Pekovic with the Gallodecs. Albright and Pekovic both notice the jewellery worn by their hostesses – slightly crude silver pendants and bracelets that house unusual yellow-green crystals. With time to kill before dinner, the three go for a walk, trudging across mossy plateaus to Cape Kerraint to discover a cairn of stones left by the first French settlers of the Islands. Albright spots birds wheeling around something inland, but rather than risk unplanned explorations, they head back to the tiny settlement before night falls…

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The Sprawl - session 3
The Octagon Job (part 3)

It’s 3am, and the team converge on the Grasshopper Factory, a glass-steel enclosure the size of a football field in an increasingly skeezy part of the Sprawl. Inside they can see a variety of buildings, some of them dimly lit, dominated by enormous nesting pylons for grasshoppers – and the air hums with the dull, low-octave rasp of millions of grasshopper legs rubbing together. Even though the Factory has been abandoned, swarms of mutant grasshoppers have survived and continue breeding. There’s another sound, too – the whopwhopwhop of a Breach Stormcloud helicopter drone, the size of a bear, circling the Factory, the stolen Breach rocket launcher mounted on its underside.

Working from schematics that 3dgelord pulled up, the team single out a few locations where the hijackers and the transport van could be, most likely in the sub-basements of the complex. Tanno lies in hiding, the others approach the glass-steel wall away from the shuttered main entrance, and Maddox blows a massive hole in it with his explosive cannon! They run in and dive for cover as the drone swoops in, but Tanno shoots out a rotor from hiding, and Maddox destroys it while it spins out of control.

While Maddox and Sokolov keep watch, Snow and 3dgelord make for one of the buildings so that they can access the Factory’s secure matrix. They find an office – and two armed hijackers! Snow manages to fast-talk them and tell them that the threat is outside, so they charge out into darkness and a whirling storm of angry grasshoppers. The insect swarm confuses Maddox’s optics, and before he can take out the guards they shoot him – his heavy body armour saves his life, but a bullet to the face blasts out one of his cybereyes! Sokolov rescues him and shoots the hijackers, but the team is on the back foot.
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3dgelord hacks into the Factory matrix and finds the rest of the hijackers – four armed gunmen, the hacker Redpill and Breach agent Rogers, all in a sub-basement near the generators. Rogers orders two of his men to investigate the comms chatter; they come up the elevator to the main building as Sokolov, Tanno and Maddox try to get there to box them in. Tanno gets there first but gets shot, and the gunmen recognise Maddox as he lays down cover fire. The team manage to take out the two hijackers, but Tanno is hurt and Rogers is preparing to evac with the Octagon.

Sokolov puts the bodies in the elevator and rigs them with a flashbang grenade; the team then head down the emergency stairs to the sub-basement as 3dgelord remotely sends the elevator back down. When it arrives, the last two gunmen investigate – and as the flashbang goes off, 3dgelord seals the elevator, sends it back up and locks it between floors! The team burst out of the stairwell, and Maddox shoots the assault rifle from Rogers’ hands as Tanno gets close; the Breach agent gets off a shot with a pistol just as Tanno fires, and the investigator is critically wounded even as he kills the enemy!

Surrounded and outgunned, Redpill immediately surrenders, telling the team that Rogers was working an authorised mission; Breach and NBN are cooperating to steal the Octagon from ümi, and an NBN transport is on its way to collect the van. 3dgelord and Redpill combine efforts to hack the van’s defences, and finally unlock the back section to reveal the Octagon – a sad-eyed cloned octopus, its body riddled with circuitry, floating in a tank of cloudy water.

The team peel out, collecting Snow and 3dgelord on the way, and meet up with their contact Darling at the beach of the bay, just before dawn. A team of techs swarm over the van and the Octagon,Darling pays their fee in full for delivery, and the team head back to the city.

NBN and Breach have it out for them, the Dead Eyes have been decimated, Tanno and Maddox need medical care, ümi knows too much about them and everyone feels bad about that poor sad octopus – but payday is payday, and that’s all that matters right now.

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The Sprawl - session 2
The Octagon Job (part 2)

3dgel0rd drills down further into the freeway systems and sees that additional footage has been scrubbed, hiding the van’s movements after the attack. She also finds signs that a hacker named Redpill, who she worked with during her brief time with NBN, was responsible.

The team meet up virtually in their cyberspace communications centre, which is a virtual Hungry Jacks, and compare notes. 3dgel0rd and Tanno enhance and examine the footage of the attack, determining that the van headed towards Essendon and the western Sprawl, that the damage from the attack exposed external data ports – and that at least some of the attackers were in fact cops.

Maddox tells the team about Jeremy Rogers going rogue, and Sokolov checks in with the Chessmaster, an information broker. The Chessmaster tells him that Rogers had debts he needed to clear – and that Sokolov and his team are persona non grata in town, due to various megacorps being pissed with them. Sokolov gets what info he can, but the Chessmaster starts spreading the word that the team is looking for Rogers.
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Snow sends her privacy cultists, the Dead Eyes, out to find information, but things quickly go south – the hijackers are cleaning up loose ends, and two cultists, plus Snow’s contact Jemima, are gunned down in the Northland car park.

As Tanno pieces together the data around the van’s possible movements, he and Maddox head to a cop bar in the city, where Maddox tries to bully info from some of his former colleagues. He gets the shit kicked out of him in an alley for his trouble, and Tanno gets nothing either. But he does manage to work out the rough vicinity that the van must be in, and Snow gets the Dead Eyes to start scouting the area.

It takes a couple of hours, but it pays off – sort of. Snow is contacted by a terrified cultist, being hunted by a heavily armed drone through the Sprawl! Before he’s blown to bits, he says that he found something near the Grasshopper Factory – the local name for a Comintel cicada-protein agriplex in the Sprawl, which has been disused and closed for nearly a year.

With a solid lead and time running out, the team grab their gear and head for the Factory…

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