Actual Play – Demon pits, Warships and Spies, oh my! (3/6/2017)

blades_overlay_bloodletters_titleGM: John Harper
Players: Stras Acimovic, Adam Koebel, and Sean Nittner
System: Blades in the Dark

Two games less than a month apart? Impossible! But we’ve done it anyway. With a mixture of schedule-fu and a burning desire to play more of this game, we made it happen. Gotta catch up to that Last Word!

We started with a jovial reminder of the Adam/Canter and Sean/Arcy twitter discourse from a few days back. Good times over here.


What we found in the back of the Butcher shop

Coin: 8 (2 of that given to Erin, along with product to get her started)
Rep: 2
Heat: 5
Entanglement: Haunted Butcher shop contaminated by Setarra. Blood barnicles grew over everything. A black cloud of miasma is swirling around the area. Old Cobb the junkman left his cart in front of the shop, and nobody has seen him for a week. Oskarr said he’d take care of it!

A few questions before we started our downtime proper:

  • Who owns Local Graft? The Bluecoats. Damn… well, let’s think about that some and come back it.
  • Who are we going to hit next? The Grinders. Let’s give The Crows no leg to stand on.


Arcy left a note at Keel manor for her husband Julian to meet her at the bridge between Charterhall and Crows Foot.  We weren’t sure where Julian stood with her. Last time he had made it clear that he didn’t want her in his life, but that sex with no other strings attached was still on the table. This time John rolled to determine if he still felt the pull towards Arcy and it turned out, he very much does! [Julian Sexy Time (Fortune Roll): 6]

She took him to her new apartment home on the bridge between Crows Foot and Charterhall [Thanks Lifestyle: 2], showed him the place and offered it up to him as a place they could all move in together [Working on the Long Term Project to win Julian back] and then took him to her bed [Indulge Vice].

Canter decided he needed to start looking the part of a warlord, a man to be feared. Violence fashion forward! He visited a library to look up old Akorosi operas and once he had found the one with the most possible killing visited Revka to ask her to dress him the part. Here eyes widened and she took him to see the costume she had made for an the Evil Count Necromancer in an opera. One Gothic armored arm with a high collar. A giant cape. A hairdo and eye makeup to go along with it as well! [Indulge Vice]

One thing we realized is that Canter believes everything that is good is big and larger than life. Canter sees himself as larger than life, as a character in an opera himself! As such he’s become interested in the grand history of the empire, ala bad asses who have killed other bad asses. In this moment we saw he looks like the bust on a coin.

Oskarr visited a noble house for a seance as Oskarr Scurlock himself. He demure that he had none of the Scurlock legacy but was fascinated by these noble game of passing small tokens around and trying to peer into the ghost field to determine which one belonged to whom. The nobles were disappointing that that he was less grandiose and mysterious than his legendary uncle, but of course he then scared them senseless by channeling spectral energy in front of them! [Indulge Vice].

After that, he went about buying the property that the Billhooks butcher shop used to be on, and began a project with fellow nobles to rebuild on top of it and put an orphange there. Before construction could begin though, he contained Setarra’s miasma so that it wouldn’t seep too much into the building. [Long Term Project. Attune result: Crit. 5/8].

“The Canter Haig home for soon to be wicked badasses?”

“Ummm… we’ll workshop it.”

(Arcy was not in this conversation)

Spin-off game: Arcy, Canter, and Oskarr taking over as headmasters of the orphanage!

During the process Setarra herself arrived in her black scales and shark form. A few bodies were beneath the black water near her. As she rose up she saw Oskarr and awaited his sorcerer’s command. This revelation, that Setarra was not his friend, but his servant, broke young Oskarr’s heart! He didn’t realize that binding her has severed her friendship with him.

Gaining control of Local Graft

What can we trade them for their extortion rackets? A simple question, but one with far reaching implications, as their extortion rackets that act as all of their retirement funds!

To find his way toward leverage over them, Oskcarr started with a meeting with Rolan Wott, the dilettante of crime! Arcy went with him to tell Rolan that the Billhooks “won’t be a problem any more”. Rolan was titillated for a moment until Canter blurted out the blunt out the violence they actually did.

Oskarr tried to just do business with him but he was too enticed by Arcy and Canter’s bravado. Oskarr had to regain his attention but appearing dangerous himself and leeching the heat out of the surroundings as though a ghost has come dear. Once he had the magistrates attention, he asked for a legally binding document that would show that if Oskarr Scurlock died, it was the Irruvian’s fault! Rolan told him this document would be even more effective if it included legal summons to all parties involved, living or dead! [Acquire Asset: Tier 2 Will]

Where is Flint?

“That fucker stole our shit” – Canter’s eventual reason for going along with Oskarr who wanted to hunt him down.

Knowing that our only lead on Flint was Picket, and that if we talked to her she would tell us to get fucked, Oskarr and Canter sent out to hunt her down and find out where she’s meeting, on in this case, leaving dead drops for Flint.

And thus the appearance of Canter’s fine hunting pet! [Like a wizards familiar that suddenly appears when a perception check is needed]. A long eared cat with a hyena-like coat. The cat is of course wearing not one, but two, but three collars!

They followed Picket around as she did the normal pickups for the Lampblacks in Silkshore, all the usual stuff, until they noticed that she made a pattern of passing by a certain house above a store for ladies accountants, and look as though she is expecting something, but nothing is happened.

Canter kicked in the door (kicked it a lot in fact, spraining his ankle), they pilfered through the place and found under the bed and under a false board a spirit warden’s mask and uniform as well as ticket stubs in the bin that indicated Flint had been had been taking rail to Ilysia.

Finding a Carrot

In the meantime Arcy went down to the docks to cavort with sailors and find out what she could about warships. Specifically who captains them and how possible it would be to steal one. All with the intent of giving the Grinders enough rope to hang themselves.

There is only one warship that docks in Doskvol, the Paragon! John read right out of the book, oh boy!

Imperial Military (vi): The armed forces of the Imperium stationed in Doskvol. Garrisons are posted at Gaddoc Rail Station, aboard the naval destroyer Paragon, and at the Lord Governor’s stronghold (about 250 troops in total).

So, about, eh, half that on the Paragon. Canter, from a distance, had fantasies of being Commodore Haig, ready for duty! We all knew it was stationed at Doskvol, and that only the Lord Governor or the Emperor can give him orders. No easy targets there. She asked around, drunk with some sailors, punched some sailors [Devil’s Bargain that the sailors hate us 2/4]. Arcy, spreading some coin around, found two opportunities:

  1. Some sailors are saying that you get special tattoos that make you unkillable. They move on your body and they will close your wounds, make you breathe under water, and could take anything!
  2. The Paragon, after it’s last engagement in Lockport is back in Doskvol without any powder or ammo. They are awaiting a delivery of ammunition. Normally they would send these in small parcels, but because folks are worried that the ship is defenseless, some government official opted to send int all in one go!

Pick all the debris out of my rib cage

Quellyn was sent to the task of taking care of the whiny, bitchy, ungrateful Canter, and after a few days she healed him up completely [Recovery: Crit!]

Reducing Heat

By beating up people that would snitch on us! [Reducing Heat]

Talking to Elstera and Choosing sides

Arcy reached out to Elstera and they agreed to meet at the Kinclaith Dueling Academy (our cover). Arcy stood with Roethe on the balcony, speaking off screen, and waited twenty minutes until she realized that Elstera had disguised herself as a student. She looked much younger, had changed her hair, and otherwise looked like a very different person.

Elstera, in veiled conversation revealed to Arcy that her house (Anixis) wanted to secure control of the Irruvian Leviathan Hunters in one of the two houses that currently divide them (Ankhayat and Ankhuset). Arcy asked which house she favored but Elstera turned the question around and asked Arcy who she would support. The demon blooded cutter aided with Ankhayat. She had little connection with Lenaya, but it was something at least, and she seemed like the kind of person Arcy could side with.

Elstera thought Arcy was foolish to back someone based on personal biases, but was more interested in action than opinion. If Arcy could secure her hold over the fleet, it would serve Elstera’s purposes just the same.

Blades on Air

What Rocked

That demon pit? So terrible and awesome. Oskarr’s solution? Even worse!

Finally, some information on Flint! He’s only been stalking us for 14 sessions!

I had a lot of fun with Arcy’s history. Bringing Julian to her apartment, cavorting with sailors, and talking to Elstera. I’m really interested in following all of these threads!

There are so many open threads and I want to follow all of them! I want to hunt down Flint. I want to consume the Grinders! I want to rob a train. I want to commandeer a warship. I want to start a war between two Iruvian families! So many things to do, so few downtime actions (read: times all four of us can get together) to do them!

There were three  moments when Canter has this epiphany like the world would be his oyster: When being garbed as a necromancer prince, when Oskarr considered naming the orphanage after him, and when he though Arcy might steel a warship for him. So good!

Arcy was so outclassed by Elstera, it was pretty amazing. And my terrible rolls backed it up. She’s really got Arcy by the short hairs with the war looming. Can’t wait to turn that around!

What could have improved

Re-watching the video I see that we probably could get more done in our sessions by sorting out things like payoff, plans for the next score, and other small details in advance. However, none of us have that much time, and there are great moments in some of those discussions that do come out. So, much as I would have loved to get a score in on top of the downtime, this was still really good stuff.

Too bad that Arcy didn’t impress Elstera, but she’s got more chances to do it!

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