The Cast:

The Night Porters: The player group, a small (Tier 1) crew of thieves/spies.
Jacoby- Tactician and face
Matilda- A thief
Aver- The group's whisper
Briddan- The group's muscle

The Crows: A medium sized (Tier 2) gang that's currently undergoing instability since their boss disappeared.
Roric- The missing boss
Lyssa- The second in command, current acting boss
Bell- Third in command, now acting as second in command

The Throat Slashers: A tiny (Tier 0) group of wannabe assassins.
Ranulf-  Co-leader
Lady Stens- Co-Leader

What I've told the players:

Jacoby was contacted by Bell, third in command of The Crows. Roric, the previous boss of the gang, has disappeared and is presumed dead. Bell suspects that a tiny group of wannabe assassins- The Throat Slashers might have been involved. He's asked you to break into their lair and search for evidence if the Throat Slashers were involved.

Bell thinks they might have enough valuables on site to pad out the meager amount he's able to pay. Bell was also able to provide the location of the lair- a small ramshackle shack in The Docks District that used to belong to the Gondoliers along one of the tiny canals that snakes through the city.

PAY: 2 coin for getting Bell any evidence that proves the guilt/innocence of the Throat Slashers, plus whatever coin you can get for loot.

What Happened:

Lyssa was growing displeased with her position as second in command of the Crows, and felt that Roric's leadership wasn't aggressive enough. She contracted out Ranulf and Lady Stens to kill Roric, feeding them the information necessary to pull off the hit. Roric had poison slipped into his drink while he was at his favorite bar, and once he was incapacitated, Ranulf and Lady Stens posed as Crows concerned about his well-being. They took him to their hideout by the docks, where they dumped his unconscious body into the ocean, knowing that a nearby sea creature would eagerly dispose of the evidence.

Ranulf and Stens were both utilizing disguises during the plan, acquired from Lyssa. Witnesses at the bar can correctly recall that Roric was acting normally, until he was suddenly taken ill. No one questioned Ranulf or Stens- they looked the part and gave no indications that they had hostile intent against Roric.

The Hideout:

The hideout is a small shack in The Docks district. Originally belonging to the Gondoliers, who patrol the canals and fish out dead bodies, it was mostly abandoned after they relocated to a more advantageous location. Ranulf and Stens acquired the space and took pains to ensure the Gondoliers were okay with them doing so by paying a few bribes. Ranulf and Stens both have separate living accommodations, and neither use the hideout as their primary residence.

The hideout shack is comprised of a single room. In one corner is a small bed and night stand. In the opposite corner is a large table with two chairs. On the table is a small safe. Above the bed is a really awful painting of Duskvol. Strewn on the table are a few pistols, a disassembled rifle, and a few knives. A coin purse has about 1 coin worth of coins inside. The bed isn't made, and the end table is filled with Lady Stens personal effects- including two sets of fake identification.

Despite its appearance of being ramshackle, Ranulf and Stens are fairly paranoid about the security of the space.

  • The door is booby-trapped with a sparkcraft device that delivers a painful electrical shock to whoever attempts to open the door without disabling it first. (Level 1 Harm, scalded hand if tripped).
  • The shack is protected by a weak anti-ghost ward. (Quality 1)
  • In open display is a safe- it is also booby-trapped, and intentionally rigged to be easy to open. When opened, a dye canister is set to explode. (+1 heat if anyone is tagged with it.)
  • The actual safe they use for storing sensitive items and valuables is hidden behind a false wall panel, concealed by the crappy painting. They've invested a good amount of money in it, so the safe is Tier 2 Quality. (Offer devil's bargain: +1d, but the clock of Stens and Ranulf showing up advances 1 space).

The Wall safe is not trapped, and contains a gold bar worth 2 Coin, a letter from Lyssa placing a hit on Bell, a draft letter to Lyssa about the hit on Bell, paperwork about a few of their other jobs, and a few vials of the poison (Red Timber Tincture) used to incapacitate Roric. (1 Coin value if sold before it spoils.)

Just outside the shack, a sea creature known as Grabber lurks in the ocean water nearby. One of the eldritch creatures that showed up after the cataclysm that shook the world 800 years ago, Grabber is a large circular mouth leading to a long tubular body, with a large singular eye jutting out to one side, with 8 tentacles radiating from the circumference of the mouth. Ranulf and Stens fed Roric to Grabber, who happily swallowed the body whole. Grabber recognizes Ranulf and Stens, and has started to associate them with food.

Grabber is capable of reaching onto the docks with its tentacles, and has had long enough to digest Roric that it is hungry and might attempt to grab anyone who investigates the water. Grabber is not particularly hardy- if met with resistance while trying to eat someone it will attempt to flee. 

Some of what Roric had on him during his last day can be found on the sea floor- notably his signet ring. Roric's ghost is nearby, and might prove to be a valuable source of information and help should it learn that the players are investigating his death, or that Bell is potentially in trouble.

Stens and Ranulf might make an appearance at their hideout. (6 Clock, fortune rolls). They are more afraid of Lyssa than the players, but are aware that they are outnumbered, and will try to avoid violence if possible. They will lie and claim to call off any attempts on Bell- when really they will just report the new developments to Lyssa. Ranulf and Stens are good friends, and unlikely to turn on one another. 

Bell Assassination:

Ranulf and Stens are still in the initial planning stages of their attempt on Bell's life. Their letter to Lyssa is asking for Bell's routine and regular haunts. The players will have ample time to disrupt it if they wish.

The Crows Moving Forward:

Lyssa is trying to cement her new position as the boss of the Crows, and sees Bell as the only other person in the gang that could challenge her for the spot.

  • If Lyssa successfully assassinates Bell, she'll assume full control of the Crows and maintain friendly relations with the Players if they keep quiet about Roric's death. She might pay for them to take care of Roric's ghost.
  • If Bell learns of Lyssa's involvement in Roric's death, or that Lyssa is trying to have him killed, he will use this information to try and wrest control of the Crows from Lyssa, kicking off a civil war.
  • Lyssa might be convinced to call off the hit on Bell

Engagement Roll and Table:

The players are getting +1d for luck, +1d for information from Bell, -1d because of Grabber, and other modifiers do not apply for an Engagement Roll of 1d.

Crit: The wall safe is uncovered when the players enter.
6: A street vendor has parked his cart in a place that makes the entrance to the Shack harder to see.
4-5: Normal
1-3: Grabber is especially hungry and will attack the players when they arrive, even leaving the water to do so

Loot Summary:

1 Coin- purse out in plain view
2 Coin- Gold bar in Safe
1 Coin- Sell value of poison
1 Coin- Sell value of guns
1 Coin- Painting, if a buyer can be found (it's that awful)
2 Coin- Payment from Bell

Odds and Ends:

  • In the unlikely event players want to turn Grabber into a team pet and move him across town, a long (8 segment) long-term project might do. Simple acquire asset will do if they just want 1-time use of his disposal capabilities. (Start 4-segment Clock: Grabber moves somewhere else and/or gets killed.)
  • The paperwork from The Throat Slashers can be investigated and studied. (4-segment clock.) Interested parties might be willing to pay for the information.
  • Red Timber Tincture is a mixture of methanol and small amounts of ectoplasm. When ingested it causes intense inebriation, and larger doses can lead to unconsciousness, vision loss (oftentimes permanent), and comas. It has an extremely short shelf life unless stored in specially prepared vials and handled very carefully.
  • The Throat Slashers would be suitable as a Cohort, although the Night Porters are a ways away from being able to use upgrades to get Cohorts.
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Current Stimulus Package: $40
Next Update: Jul 13
Contributors: Strolen, Murometz

Round 1 completed May 10: 7 Weeks - $280 in Stimulus reserves. Since it was the first round, and the amount was enough to pass around, we decided everyone who took the time deserved something. So sayeth the Strolenati.

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6. Aramax - $10

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