We played Blades in the Dark. We made characters and ran two heists in 3:30. This is what happened.
The crew had two members. Amireh Goli, a Hound. Her best friend was Oman the assassin, and she spent her recreational free time studying and worshiping the Forgotten Gods. She had a big mastiff named Ace as her hunting companion.
July Pendryn, the Lurk, was friends with Darmot (a bluecoat.) He spent his time and treasure on opium, determined to catch that damn dragon.
Together they formed a crew. When they still worked for the Crows, their job was to manage blackmailing select members of the Dunwall Council (who still hate and resent them) to find out about smuggling shipments (which they would then rip off once they made it past customs.) Word got around that they were a brutal pair, to those who were not immediately obedient to the blackmail demands. They made the gondoliers rich through their efforts, and still have many close ties with that group. Also, Goli’s contributions over the years have made friends among worshipers of the Forgotten Gods. Aside from their many enemies on the Dunwall Council, they also irritated sailors to no small degree, as they preyed on those who made it back to the “safety” of town with cargo.
Their time managing sensitive information and figuring out who is who in investigations made them very difficult to entangle with surprise obligations or target with the law. They also cultivated a gang of rooks that helped with their blackmail business.
Their lair was the Karras House, a half-flooded noble town-house on the canal. It is walled off and pretty much forgotten, but in the upper floor they made a cozy secret nest for a base of operations, guarded by Ace most of the time. One reason they chose that location was because the noble had many fine blueprints of prominent city buildings conveniently organized for the use of rogues.
The First Mission: Rip Off the Red Sashes
They started on the roof of the building next door, by the pulley the drug den used to dry their laundry. The laundry was a squalid addition on the fourth floor. The rogues were ready to make their move.
Flashback. Pendryn cased the joint, watching from the rooftops for a time. He detected a basement entry that got lots of traffic from cloaked figures day and night. What the hell; he decided to toss on a cloak and blend in, check it out from inside. He could have escalated still further, to try to pretend he had a reason to be there, but instead he kept a low profile. He overheard conversation in the basement, for the “to go” drug orders, that suggested the safe was on the third floor.
Flashback. Goli trailed a prominent duelist who laired at the drug den, following at a discreet distance. Her target, Belinda Sliven, went into a tavern where the faction leaders of the Dockers hung out, and spotted Goli. Seeing her fine blade, Sliven assumed she wanted a duel; Goli obliged, and they went to the alley and had it out. Goli managed to score a victory against Sliven, even though her armor was badly scored, but in the process she skewered the duelist pretty painfully. Since Sliven’s vigilance inspired the duelists and kept them sharp and alert and organized, they are pretty lax while she’s having a long lie-down with a lot of wine to restore her lost blood. Half of them are high, and the overall situation should be less alert.
Pendryn took point with his specialized climbing gear, getting them across the pully and into the laundry. They stealthed down the stairs, past a drowsing opium-addled duelist. Only one of the rooms on this floor had bars on the windows, so they headed straight there, with Pendryn looking around carefully for traps with his night-vision goggles.
Unfortunately, as they slipped into the room, a magical defense activated; the bear-skin rug on the floor had runes flash in its eyes, and the door to the room slammed loudly behind them!
Flashback. Goli checked on the blueprints for this building, and also did some research into arcane possibilities. She purchased a sphere that was supposed to shatter and “EMP” any magical trap. This means she owes the local purveyor of magical goods a favor.
Goli hurled the sphere to the ground, where it cracked and crackled, but didn’t do much to stop the bear trap; she stamped at it until its eyes broke instead.
Meanwhile Pendryn was searching for the safe and its protections. He realized the safe was IN THE PICTURE of the duelist that took up much of the back wall. He had to reach INTO the painting to get at the safe, but of course it was trapped. He reached in to disarm the trap, yanking his hands out as the surface tried to cut them off, barely succeeding in a shower of blue sparks.
There was a stirring outside as the Red Sashes grew increasingly suspicious that there might be intruders, so now things were desperate. Pendryn reached in and worked feverishly at the safe as the back curtain in the painting shifted, revealing a shadow with glowing eyes, then glowing teeth! He managed to rip the safe open, plunge his hands in, and yank out two long lock-boxes, and it was time to go.
Goli bashed the door open, and the two rogues raced to the end of the hall and pounded out the window. They split up, with her drawing attention while he made the getaway with the goods.
He used his special climbing gear to get down, and almost broke his ankle, but hung in there grimly and shrugged it off. Pursued, he fled through the gate. He ran through the immediate neighborhood as the Red Sashes raised hue and cry, their allies the dockers pouring out of buildings to help catch the thieves. Pendryn headed for the rooftops, then the building was surrounded. He used his magical ink to disappear, rapidly switched clothes, and hefted the boxes out in a rucksack as they searched for the thief. They never saw his face.
Meanwhile, Goli was hard pressed by duelists at her heels. They cornered her, and she pivoted and shot one in the face, killing her instantly; that cooled their ardor somewhat.
Flashback. Of COURSE they would be fleeing on foot afterwards. So she arranged for a gondolier buddy to be waiting at a designated point. If she can get there, she can escape on the water.
She made it to the rooftops, where a gang of dockers almost saw her face; to avoid that, she dropped back down to street level, and as she was approaching the dock, a deadly duelist stood in her path. He swirled his pancho over his shoulder, ready to fight her, and she shot him dead bang and raced past his corpse, making it to the canal and the gondola, escaping into the night.
They fixed their armor, and both were fantastically lucky as they cleared all the stress from the mission by praying at lost shrines and chasing the dragon in its haze of breath.
Meanwhile, Pendryn had a problem. The thing in the painting was pursuing him, in his dreams and in any nearby paint (even the flaking paint on the tavern wall.) Out of money, he arranged for the gang to run a low-level bujo on a local Whisper, Valasia Surraliana, a blind grandmotherly woman. She painted sigils on his flesh that burned and itched. That took care of most of the problem, and furthermore, she took a shine to him.
For the rest, Goli made it her personal project, and used his fine spirit stone to help, along with supplications and rituals to the Forgotten Gods. Her efforts helped shake the attention of the Pursuer in Oils.
Unfortunately, as they were taking care of this various business, their good friend Privan, the Gondola Admiral, needed some help. Vylor, a Red Sash duelist, was beating and killing gondolier pilots. Privan was in no position to start something with the beligerant gang, so he would arrange to be drinking with them, along with some of his most prominent operators. During that time, he asked them to take care of Vylor, see to it he was in no position to hurt anyone else any more. He would not offer payment, not between friends, but Vylor’s dueling gear and jewelry were expensive and rare. Privan would fence it for them, no questions asked. Were they up for it?
Second Heist: Paint the Sashes Red
Goli started the heist on the second floor of a building across the canal from where Vylor was drinking that night. Pendryn started out in the alley by the tavern, nearby; once he was dead, they would need the jewels.
Flashback. Goli trailed him, a dangerous man, to find out where he would be tonight. She found out he would be drinking here, but his honed instincts detected a shadow, so he is cautious.
Vylor stepped out of the tavern, along with four of his best friends. Still, from across the canal, Goli shot him twice and killed him dead.
Flashback. How to get access to the body? Dress as a doctor, of course! So Pendryn brought that disguise with him.
Pendryn tried to get to the body, as a doctor, but the distraught friends rightly noted he was past all help. Pendryn did not push the issue, but faded back into the crowd of rubbernecks, then thought hard; the coroner wagon would come, to take the body to the Crematorium. He could break in en route! He raced off to find an appropriate rooftop to get on the carriage.
Meanwhile Goli approached the scene, and hailed a cab as the coroner wagon showed up and loaded the corpse into it. She followed at a discreet distance as Pendryn dropped onto the wagon, not quite as well positioned as he could hope, but close enough a short run got him in position.
Pendryn slid down to the back, and made short work of the lock with his tools; then he heard the muttering of a bluecoat inside! They put a police man in with the body! He was discouraged, not willing to kill a cop over the jewels, but unsure he could disable him quickly and get the goods. He climbed back on the roof of the cab.
Flashback. Pendryn found out who would be on the corpse cart duty that week from his bluecoat friend, and approached the guy. But the bluecoat was immediately suspicious, so Pendryn let it go, not making the offer to have him pull down a side street and look the other way. Oh well.
They made it to the crematorium, where the Spirit Wardens took charge of the body. Hidden atop the wagon, Pendryn noticed the body still had its expensive dueling blades and pistols, but not the necklace, rings, and other jewels. Now there were two potential targets; the suddenly wealthy bluecoat, or the body and its weapons.
Neither rogue had the stomach for raiding the Crematorium, so they focused on the bluecoats. As the rich bluecoat climbed up on the buckboard, he saw a shadow of Pendryn, and got down and searched; Pendryn hid under the carriage, pulling himself up, ignoring the pain. The bluecoats drove on, and Pendryn managed to climb around and back up to the side while it drove. He still did not want to kill a bluecoat.
Goli had no such qualms about killing. She pulled a gun on the cabbie, who left without a word, and raced the cab around to get ahead of the coroner wagon. Her positioning was not great, but she cut them off and ordered the bluecoats to stand and deliver. They didn’t look convinced, so she shot one through the arm. The bluecoat made a break for it, driving the wagon forward in a frenzy of panic and agony!
By this point the rogues had enough. Goli let them pass, and Pendryn dropped off the carriage. They headed home, dispirited and no wealthier.
Fortunately, some gifts came in from families of Vylor’s victims, so they weren’t totally empty handed. Without the extra coin to blow on the very best opium, Pendryn shrugged off some stress, but not much.
Goli spent some time working the streets, spreading rumors, hiding evidence, and generally pointing the law away from their recent efforts.
Meanwhile, her good friend the spy approached her to cash in one of the favors she owes him…
And that was the session!