Actual Play – Ghost Train (7/31/2017)

GM: Sean Nittner
Players: Karen Twelves and Adrienne Mueller
System: Blades in the Dark

Note that applies to the next six months of Actual Play reports: I fell way behind on my AP reports so these are written many moons later based off my notes. The accuracy will likely vary greatly! Also, this is just transcribed from my notes. Things may be out of order!

Stromfass Family Reunion

Intrigued about the “Ghost Train” Elke and Hix decided to find out what the could about it, and Hix, coming from a family of Rail Jacks, figured she had an in…maybe.

She wanted to reach out her cousin Michter, but was afraid to do it directly, in case her mother’s word still had the Rail Jacks turned against her. It seemed like the Jacks in Ironhook took to her well enough, but she didn’t know what things were like in the land of the free.

She took a circuitous route (because of course she did) and found Old Jo, a family friend, in the Hooded Fox. Old Jo told her they missed her quite a bit, and that Hix should come back and make amends. Hix wasn’t ready for that yet, she just wanted to talk to Michter first. Could Old Jo set it up? Sure, but it gold Old Jo concerned enough to keep looking in on Hix and find out what she’s been up to [Devils Bargain].

Michter met Hix in the Devil’s Tooth, a speakeasy for psychonauts in Nightmarket. The Devil’s Tooth was filled with sparkcraft inventions (like the espresso machine) and ornamentation (like the electric lights, all running through glass tubes with brass fixtures to give the feel of a mix between a leviathan hunter ship and a sparkwrights laboratory. The whole building abutted an old lighting tower, and Hix wasn’t sure if that was just for atmosphere, or if they were siphoning power from them, or both.

Across the street, Elke was dining on the patio of the Hot Pot, a hipster tea house. She was keeping an eye in Hix, just in case word of Phin (Hix’s mother) meant trouble for her crewmate.

Michter (Rail Jack, charming, secretive, brash) showed up at the appointed time. My notes are a little blurry at this point, so here’s the bullet points I recorded form the meeting:

  • Michter hates ghosts and thinks Elke is a snob (Elke must have joined the convo!)
  • She couldn’t  to say what happened on the train, they never got a chance to look at it, Spirit Wardens swarmed in quickly. She did say there was a porter, Maroden Grell, who stumped into the car on accident and quickly backed out. He might know more.
  • The description of the train coming in thought reminded Hix of something, but she couldn’t quite make it out. It was right on the edge of her memory. Hix decided to Attune (to the Keeper of the Flame) to find out what part of her memory she was missing (from when she indulged in Servitude in a previous session).
  • Hix looked into herself and recalled the image but Michter, who was close to her was caught up it it’s rapture as well (Devil’s Bargain) and the Keeper of the Flame channeled through her and displayed a glorious visage, which would have destroyed the minds of everyone inside the Devil’s Tooth, if not for Elke rushing in from across the street and breaking Hix free of her connection to the Keeper (Protect action).
  • Though the people were protected, every Sparkcraft device in the Devil’s Tooth shorted out, overheated, or exploded and the were kicked out. Permanently!
  • Hix tried to explain to Michter that she was possessed, but it wasn’t enough, she was still terrified and felt betrayed.
  • Elke wanted to see what it was, and nearly was blinded by looking at the Keeper of the Flame, but was able to save herself through raw willpower, and was merely left with migraines.

Undeterred by all this they went to Gaddoc Rail station to learn more.

Gaddoc Rail

At Gaddoc they found the porter Maroden and convinced him to show them the rail car that came in. Hix felt a strong affinity for it and sneaked inside it. When she opened her mind and attuned she saw the emissary that the Keeper of the Flame had sent on the rail, down to the Imperial City. She saw the peace offering the Keeper was making to the Emperor. And then she saw his horrible wrath. Everything and everyone on the train was not just destroyed, but obliterated. Attuning to the source of that power, the Emperor’s wrath continued to travel through her and would have destroyed her, if she did not close the circuit and funnel his wrath directly to the Keeper himself. [The most desperate of attune rolls, partial success, resisting the Level 4 harm inflicted]

In that horrible moment the Keeper’s light was snuffed out, and his presence to all who worshiped him was cut off. The god was all but destroyed, the only thing that remained in him was the connection held by Hix. She became the Keeper’s vessel, and a “a little bit of a god [2d6]!”

Thoughts on this game

Wow, that was a lot more than I expected. I love everywhere it went, but like in other games where we were talking about wielding the most powerful forces in the setting, I’m concerned that I was getting too gonzo, tossing around things like the Emperor’s Wrath and the near-destruction of a god. What I realize now writing this, is that what I should have been doing for Hix  in all the sessions since then when she was fulfilling her servitude is to literally visit all the people and places the Keeper has touched and personally grant the god’s touch to them.


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