Actual Play – Oskarr Ascending (4/13/2016)

blades_overlay_bloodletters_titleGM: John Harper
Players: Stras Acimovic, Adam Koebel, and Sean Nittner
System: Blades in the Dark, Quickset Rules v.6


After a kind introduction (“these filthy scoundrels and hackers”) we recapped the last session of our meeting with Baszo and the complications that ensued.

Scope and Genre

Before the game began proper, John introduced the question of where we wanted to go with the introduction of Setarra. He pointed out that if we dive into this supernatural well, there would be a good chance that it would change the nature of our game form a the story of drug dealers to the story of folks contenting with demons. We spoke about a few ways it could go and settled on allowing Setarra to come into the story as a strong presence, but to become part of the drama, rather than to change the nature of it completely.

Endcap to the last session

Flashing back a bit, we showed the scene of all of us leaving and Baszo pulling Canter aside to tell him that the man he killed, the other one, left two boys behind it and it would go a long way if Canter could make that right. Haig’s first reaction was that of “Fuck you, that’s just the business” but after seeing Bazso’s icy glare, he agreed on is own terms, “Yeah, I’ll see what I can do” and as casually as he could passed an actual imperial gold coin, the kind that is hardly in use and more, and worth considerable wealth to the senior scoundrel.

While the glint of gold caught everyone’s eye in the room, Arcy was drawn to the dynamic between the two men. How did Baszo get Canter to bend, even a little bit? She tried to find out surreptitiously, but just made them all look weak. Canter overheard, and Baszo covered for him, indicating that he just did it out of the goodness of his own heart.

Deathseeker Crows, a new target

As we walked back to the our headquarters, Oskarr noticed an albino Deathseeker crow that came flying from somewhere in the district, probably from the rookery, to meet up with the other crows coming from Bellwether, and ostensibly heading towards the bodies that canter left in the alley.

When the albino crow met up with the others though, it twitched and faltered, as though it had forgotten how to fly for a moment. After a brief spasm, it awkwardly resumed its flight but changed direction and began flying toward the bridge we were crossing.

Oskarr donned his spirit mask to observe the ghost field and it appears as the the ancient magic that guided the crows had been tampered with by some hackneyed ritual cobbled together by a contemporary arcanist. You know, the kind of sloppy work that someone in the last millennium would put together. Oskarr, both wanting to prevent the crow from getting to and wanting to send a message back to whoever was controlling it not to fuck with us, compelled the spirit driving the crow follow his order instead…and that order was “bleed”.

As Canter and Nix were bullshitting about how someone giving her shit backed right the fuck down when he found out she was with the Bloodletters, she abruptly cut herself off and pulled Canter out of the way as a dead crow came falling to the ground and splattered right in front of them. Event dead, the blood seemed to keep oozing through it’s skin, as though something was pumping it out from the inside. Meanwhile Oskarr felt a resounding echo of his own command, as though he had yelled into a belltower and it painfully responded in kind. He began bleeding from the ears but then he gritted his teeth and fought back against the command to “bleed” himself.

With the blood the seeped out of his ears and burst through the capillaries under his fingernails, Oskarr wrote a warning on the large stones that supported the bridge. I SEE YOU. I KNOW YOU.

Canter meanwhile pointed at the creepy bird and told everyone to look at this wicked shit!

Oskarr’s Crew

After this display, Arcy noticed that many of the crew were impressed by Oskarr, but a few of the them were specifically intrigued. Oskarr wasn’t used to that kind of attention. “Every gang needs to fight wars on all battlefield…. this is the war that I need to keep us safe from.” He acted like he didn’t want the attention, but when it was just those with him, he did begin to absently-minded show them a few things.

Arcy watched for a moment and then called one of them out, Cricket, to attend to Oskcarr’s needs from here on out.


Much needed downtime! Worth noting that during war, you lose hold (so we’re going to drop from Tier 2 to Tier 1).


  • Going back to Quellen to drain the void sea blood out of his hand. Okscarr gives Quellen an ingredient list to make a bath for his hand. [Healed 6/8 ticks]. Dice aren’t cooperating because it’s a spiritual wound and it burns in the aether!
  • Indulging his vice with the Reconciled. Going a date…but one that ghosts, and demons, and vampires frequent. This is a seance party, where old ghosts, who have somehow held onto their sanity possess people to answer questions. The adherents of the Path of Echo totally nerd out on this stuff! [Stress down to 0]
  • Continues his binding to Setarra by adding the pool beneath the tattoo parlor to her demesne. On his way, he spotted Bazso Baz in the parlor getting a tattoo, with the good stuff. When he descends into the basement it is empty, apparently prepared for him. When setarra comes she does not bother with her human guise or her feigns playful nature. Instead she appears as she is…a dead eyed predator. AND SHE IS BOUND! [8/8 ticks]. The sink down together into the black waters.


  • Comes out of a similar looking pool, to greet Julian Keel in his bath. With access to Keel manor, she was now coming to indulge her vice, by having sex with all the wrong people, in this case her husband. Her moves were being watched by Flint, Oskarr’s rival [Devil’s Bargain]. Winning Julian over [0/8 Ticks]
  • Recovering. Stab wound healed [8/8]
  • With the help of Anya and our new high society connection, Arcy rounded up a number of rich, young bravos who are eager to test their mettle against the Red Sashes, some of the best duelists in the city. They are lead by a pompous young bravo named Rothe Kinclaith. A total prick dressed all in immaculate white. His hair is dyed silver and a ponytail in a silver ring. A little coin, in the form of a purse put on his match, excited Rothe enough to join and bring his allies.


  • A scene of Canter wearing the same outfit that Rothe was wearing, and then saying “Nooooope”. Canter spent time throwing money after clothes.  Canter branches out beyond hats and coats and doing the full outfits.
  • After being suited for normal street attire, Canter asked for more fancy clothes. You got any marriage clothes. The sons stepped back and Dundritch came out to measure Canter himself. Dressed in a masterfully made and well worn shirt. Without speaking, he sized Canter up and then was quick to produce the clothes of Canter’s dreams. He pushed too far though, and was rude in the face of Dundritch, thinking he didn’t respect Canter enough, and make a huge scene out of it. One where he had to be shown the door. [Overindulging in vice and being cut off from the purveyor]

Choosing a target and method of attack

First what do we want to hit, and how will we hit them? Looking at our claims sheet we compared what claims they had and which ones were on our playsheet, we gravitated quickly toward taking a cover operation…and after some discussion decided to go right for the throat and take over their dueling school (aka their headquarters).

But how we would get there is a whole other story. Could Oskarr lead us all there through a ghost door? Not if Arcy has anything to say about it! She doesn’t trust any of this. So she’s just going to need a demonstration.

Oskarr took her to a door, opened it with his ghost key, and there was Setarra waiting for them…

Blades on Air

What Rocked

It was beautiful seeing Arcy first support Oskarr and assign people to him, and then later be challenged by him…for the first time.

I loved watching Canter explode in Dundritch and Sons.

Arcy’s denial has officially ended. She’s been pretending this whole time that she’s not really involved with demons or their blood, and now she sees it, Oskarr has been consorting with and now bound a demon. That should make some exciting times for next session!

The discussion we had at the beginning of the game regarding how Setarra’s presence will change the nature of our game was a really good one. I’m excited to see her in the game without dominating every aspect of it.

What could have improved

This is just me, trying to make Arcy more human, and wondering where she stands with the fact that they are drug dealers selling leviathan blood and corrupting people with their blood. First off, as of the last scene scene she can’t be in denial. But more importantly I need to decide what she’ll do. My first reaction is violent opposition. But then what has she learned? I mean, this happened to her before. She stood up against her captain consorting with a demon…and she lost her husband, her family, her job, her status, and her freedom (as a wanted criminal). So what to do now? Try to knock down the tower with a hammer?


“You guys are weak. You’ve always been.”  – John, describing our hold. Of course our hold.

“She doesn’t like you. You’re going to control a thing.” – John, talking about binding Setarra.

“Bite the hand that binds you.” – A line no one said, but we should have during the ritual with Setarra.

“I’m with the Bloodletters now. Prepare to die.” – Dumb young bravos.

“He’s a serial killer and this is his method. He gets people to challenge him to a duel so he can kill him. He’s a monster.” – About Rothe Kinclaith.

“The first two pistols were fine, but the third one….” Canter, speaking about the cut sir’s coat when drawing sir’s weapons.

“You got any marriage coats. Any marriage hats? Any ceremonial marriage pistols?” Canter, talking to Dundritch and Sons.

“This is garbage, that is garbage. This whole place is garbage. That’s it. I’m done.” Canter, walking out of Dundritch and Sons.

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