Wolfram and Aldo met with their fence, Amancio, who told them he couldn’t work with them anymore. He had a wrist in a cast. He also let slip that he was being threatened by the Crows, and they had his daughter Lana captive. His new “business partner” was Melbek, an underboss with the Crows who managed the Selvin Street Protection enterprise of legbreakers. Melbek was apparently upset that Aldo and Wolfram interfered with Jettilyn, a famous whisper.
Furious, Aldo and Wolfram checked into Melbek’s reputation. He ran the enterprise, and had a thing for whispers; he had a wall with sandals from whispers nailed up on it, and perhaps pervier expressions of interest. He was paranoid about his inner circle of toughs, making them get tattoos, testing their loyalty constantly, and only recruiting family members of whispers. Aldo found out one of his lieutenants, Shilwise, was ex military and grouchy about serving such a nut job. Melbek and his people could generally be found in the Three Whiskers tavern by the docks.
They considered various ways to rain down ruin upon him and his, and decided instead to pay him off with a small fortune. Mollified, he allowed Amancio to resume working with them, and released the fence’s daughter.
With that out of the way, Wolfram resumed his search for the trickle of illegal leviathan blood into the Crow’s Foot neighborhood. He discovered the Sorvale Crypt was involved. Using Aldo’s people skills, they bluffed in to the hall of records and reviewed the crypt design from three hundred years ago when it was built.
Then they collected their adepts and headed out to the cemetery. The enchanted doors opened for Wolfram because he had once been covered in leviathan blood. Once inside, they discovered the statue in the plans was much less creepy than the actual statue; inlaid with plasm, the statue was of an octopus-headed thing on a humanoid body, its eight tentacles each touching the head of eight kneeling people.
Wolfram recognized one of the Forgotten Gods, the God of Sacred Dreaming, and he got in under the statue and pulled a lever, revealing a secret door. The stammering adept gang negotiated for combat pay, then reluctantly followed Aldo down Wolfram’s trail.
They found a chamber with some supplies, with clay walls that were fired as in a kiln. There were prayers written all along the walls. The adepts warned not to say the prayers aloud, as they promised body and soul and more to the God of Sacred Dreaming–more than they cared to pay. Freaked out, they followed the passage.
It continued for two and a half miles, quarter miles marked with symbols on the wall, walking prayers the whole way. On the other end, they came out in a shack’s basement.
They pushed up through the snow and found themselves by a standing stone that was inlaid with plasm, with topographical subterranean patterns and warding glyphs, the strength of the earth against the dead in the air. A lighthouse on Innocence Point moved slowly, disrupted by the clamoring dead, but they could not get past the line of standing stones. Ahead was the village of Carrow, a fishing village perched by the cliffs overlooking the inky swells below.
The crew moved into the ramshackle town, into the public building, seeing signs of disease and madness and inbreeding. The nervous adepts pointed out there were a number of whispers present. The village elder entered, fancy with a bear skin coat and antlerered staff and helm, demanded their business.
They played coy, and Headman Valin demanded they be captured to be sacrificed; Wolfram snatched a hostage and demanded the conversation continue. The crew offered to manage the leviathan blood trade. The Headman said they swore to work with the Red Sashes, Dr. Everecht, working in the Baldric St. Emporium. Aldo and Wolfram smiled; if something happened to the doctor and the emporium, the limmers of Carrow would need a new contact in the city. Wolfram was confident his crew could do the job.
Battle in the Basement
Posing as members of the Crimson Petals, a gang working for the Red Sashes, Aldo and Wolfram tried to infiltrate the basement complex of the Emporium. They were accosted by three prostitutes who were desperate for a fix of their drugs of choice.
Using the prostitutes as part of their cover, they bluffed to get down to where the doctor was laired. He suspected them, and Aldo’s fast talking convinced him somewhat. The doctor ordered them to kill the prostitutes.
Bluffing, Wolfram said there was a fascinating growth on one of the prostitutes. He piqued the doctor’s curiosity, then in a vulnerable moment Wolfram attacked the guards, clearing the way for Aldo to lunge with his rapier, trying to spit the doctor. Instead he killed a prostitute and injured the doctor, who tried to escape as Wolfram battled the reinforcements who gushed into take the intruders down.
The prostitutes finished the doctor off, pouncing on him and stabbing him. They got the key to the drug cage, and as Wolfram fought off incredible odds against the duelists, Aldo got in and snatched up some sensitive papers and expensive supplies. The prostitutes grabbed a lot of their favorite drugs, then Aldo tipped over explosive reagents, and everyone ran past Wolfram’s victims and out to the street as plumes of flame licked up through the ruins.
Wolfram and Aldo bluffed that they saw someone kill the doctor as they saw other guards running to the scene, then they escaped.
Aldo cleared off some heat while Wolfram set up the new enterprise with the Carrow Limmers (2). They still had too much stress, so they spent some hard earned coin to finish off their stress (and pay the gang of adepts their hazard pay.)
For now, things are quiet. The Red Sashes are angry but weak, a new business is cycling up, and they’ve got some payback to plan for Melbek.
A bit more detail.