Five bold scoundrels came together to form a crew that was eventually named The Spoilers by an enemy.
- Thena Farros. Lurk.
- Kavros “The Doctor.” Leech.
- Crawl “Whip” Slane. Cutter.
- Xander “Thril” Vale. Slide.
- Bricks “Skinner” Maradon. Hound.
They formed a crew of thieves skilled in working together in group actions, and proud to sponsor a gang of shadows led by a gangly Skovlander scarecrow named Pockets. The gang was adamant about not targeting Skovlanders, and it was savage, but the gang was also very loyal and able to operate independently with good decision making. They based their operations out of Adelaide Phroaig’s nearly empty mansion; the Phroaig family and the Vale family were both powerful once, and both fell on hard times; now it’s a grim satisfaction to loot the world as it crumbles around the aristocracy.
Mylera Klev called them in for a consult; she wanted to know where their allegiance lay, and they promised it to her instead of the Lampblacks. Very good! She gave them a box, and orders to put it in the coach with Baz. It would destroy him, and get his pathetic crew in trouble with the spirit wardens. They agreed. First they did some checking around.
- The Doctor checked to see how the box would be triggered and how it worked. He found it was tied to some biological material from Baz that was locked into the Ghost Field to interact with his proximity to open the box stuffed with mad spirits (“like the spirits of those he ruined” as Mylera put it so poetically.) He also saw the hallmarks of the work of Kymar Schmidt, a spiritworker who disappeared 6 months ago after being dragged from a spherical saferoom in one of the Dimmer Sisters’ properties. Maybe he didn’t want to know that.
- Skinner staked out the home base to see where the coach went; only two places, to the hagfish races and to the occasional noble party. Security in either place was pretty good, but not really THAT good.
After a little more investigation, the crew decided this heist was too easy for them. They assigned it to their gang of shadows, and Pockets carried it out easily. They decided to stage the explosive at the hagfish races carriage park rather than an aristocrat’s carriage park, so the Crows would be upset with the Red Sashes, but nothing unmanageable.
Later reports said Baz was blown up so badly by the box that his teeth were embedded all over the interior, and his ribs and spine had to be removed from the wood behind the cushions with a prybar. Bye Bye Baz! Factional infighting in the Lampblacks ran rampant, and the Spoilers got paid.
The Cleftbank Station Heist
Mylara was impressed enough to summon them back (and everyone went but Farros, who hung back in case someone needed to rescue the rest of the crew.) After a celebratory drink that was apparently just good wine, they got another job.
Lampblacks had a faction at the Cleftbank Station, where they used to refill coal wagons and store lamp oil. A treasury of stolen art from the Red Sash temple dojos is supposed to be hidden there; bring it back, and get paid in coin. They took the job.
- Skinner staked the place out and noted that there was between 15 and 30 people there at all times. The station had a makeshift clinic for battered Lampblacks, regular mealtimes for members and their families, a place for the local extortionists to drop off their daily take and rest a bit, and so on. Three stories tall, with dormer windows, to help the fumes disperse.
- Thril wanted a look inside, so he disguised himself as Laudius Strathmidt, important Lampblack from Coal Ridge. He fooled the leader, Two-Limp Switcher, who hobbled around with a crutch containing a single blast of gunfire and a concealed blade. Switcher ordered his thug to allow Thril to inspect the stash. They went behind the center tank, down a trap door, under a tank, up a ladder, through a trapdoor, into the tank where the paintings and statues were kept. Very good!
- The Doctor brewed up three vials of a knock-out gas, with chemicals in it that would cause long-term problems with bloody coughing and bone cancer because of his own amusement at sadistic health problems.
- The others found out the cabbies would be stealing a noble coach and driving it to the Cleftbank Station, where they pre-negotiated having some time and space to repaint and modify it to look like one of their coaches. The group decided that was their “in.”
Put Me In, Coach
The mighty coach was rolling along pulled by two surly war goats, and Whip (fortified by a potion to give him flesh like armor) pretended to be drunk in the street until he shot the driver. Moments later, the passenger on the buckboard was shot at long range by Skinner’s rifle. The crew waited until after the cabbies stole the cab, then they hit the cabbies.
With no instruction, the goats started getting ideas. Whip shucked his heavy demolitions gear and dashed up to the buckboard, barely taking control of the coach and driving away as whistling bluecoats closed in on the sound of gunfire. Skinner dropped from the roof and snatched the discarded tools, running for his life and staying out of bluecoat range.
He rendezvoused with the rest of the crew. Thril and Whip got on the buckboard dressed as cabbies, and Doc got inside with a heavy devilfish platter, a feast. Farros hid under the carriage, and Skinner headed to the site to get in sniping position outside–just in case.
Chaos in a Brick Box
They arrived, and Thril’s disguise was good enough that Switcher didn’t realize it was the same actor but a different role from Laudius, Lampblack big man. They were waved in to park in the corner. The coach was blue and orange with a seal of a Medusa head; it would be a relief to paint it black and modify it slightly.
Farros rolled out from underneath, snuck to the trapdoor, and got up in the tank to start moving all the art away from one side. Whip quietly moved the cutting torch over by the tank as Doc and Thril took the devilfish platter to a central location. Everyone gathered to marvel and get some of the food, clustering them tightly enough Doc’s knockout gas would work. Whip hurled it, but it landed a little short; only about half the crowd was knocked out, and hastily raised face masks saved Doc and Thril from passing out.
Previously, they posted Pockets and his crew on the roof. Now as the panicking Lampblacks looked for guidance, every leader that rose up caught a bullet from the snipers above, intensifying the chaos. Across the street, Skinner was poised to pick off high-initiative actors too.
As Doc cut through the wall of the tank, Farros finished moving the art. Time to pack it on the coach, to escape. While Farros expertly managed stacks of paintings, Whip struggled to move his; it seemed everything you could grab was greasy or an erogenous zone for the subject, no matter how fanciful. Why would anyone want this on display? Farros got some of the patina on her face and mouth accidentally, but resisted the numb effects. In the end, Whip triumphantly hauled out the final statue, muscles straining, and finished stuffing the coach with loot.
They drove out, the stolen coach swaying wildly, and raced to safety.
A new Lampblack faction leader emerged, named Clawhammer. He figured out who was behind the Cleftbank situation by interrogating people with a claw hammer. “Which end do you prefer?” Pockets, leader of their sneak gang, was draped on their doorstep disemboweled by a claw hammer. The crew frowned, paid for new members, and chose Quickstepper to lead the gang. Now the Lampblacks were officially at war with the Spoilers.
Doc started working on a project to make Lampblacks zombies, and to finish tweaking his long-term illness residues. The rest of the crew considered future alliances and enemies, and prepared for the next steps towards power.
Special thanks to my players, Kelsey, Josh, Joey, Nathan, and Jeff!