Games Report

Last night’s game dipped into more pulp and espionage elements after the side trip taken the last couple of weeks. A long-bubbling subplot regarding a missing artificer and artificially produced narcotics came into focus with a bit of a bang.

The session started gently with the identification and sale of various treasures recently recovered. This allowed them to have a bit of a shopping spree to update some of their equipment, and so everyone’s mood was high.

The courtesan Belle, last met in the Undercroft on the arm of Lord Harm, arranged to meet Valenia at The Brazen Hydra, the tavern just down the street from the group’s home.

Valenia brought everyone along, so they were all there when Belle revealed herself to actually be Sobrein d’Phiarlan, an Agent of House Phiarlan who specialise in entertainment and information brokerage. The House was concerned about the potential damage the drug could cause and so wanted to help point the group in the right direction.

Before they could move somewhere private to discuss it further, an assassin launched a fireball from an alley across the street, and struck Sobrein down. Iron Ryan, who has become Kerne’s companion, stayed to stabilise the fallen Bard while the group raced in pursuit.

It wasn’t destined to be a long chase, as Caeluma and Kerne both discharged spells in response. Caeluma’s eldritch blast clipped the fleeing assassin, but Kerne’s spell melted him into little more than a pile of gloop, much to the alarm of bystanders and a local guard patrol. Sobrein suggested that he might have been an agent of House Thuranni, bitter rivals of her house in spycraft.

Eventually they were able to get Sobrein to their house and complete their discussions. She was able to describe a conflict between the lowlives of the Dhaask gangs and the extensively connected Boromar Clan in the city of Sharn. House Phiarlan was concerned that if either group was successful they would wreak havoc in different parts of society and so wanted it taken out of both their hands.

The clue that she could offer was that Lord Kemsler had been to a meeting with someone at Casino Tanja. If they could find out who it had been with they would find it easier to track where the artificer had gone.

And that’s where we left the session. It’s probably just a coincidence that House Phiarlan’s symbol is a hydra.

Short Story: Parachuting

The Union Jack design on the parachute was a little ostentatious, he had to admit later. It wasn’t entirely his fault: it had been in the locker when he was sorting out his escape route, but there had been plain designs there too.

He looked up at its canopy above him and decided not to worry about the bullet holes. The fabric was holding, nothing was on fire, and there didn’t seem to be anything else being launched after or in pursuit. For now the strident colours fluttered boldly and as thrillingly as they ever had.

Now all he had to do was not steer into the side of the mountain, or get tangled with the cable car, or get shot – that last one was very important. They’d kept drumming that one into him over and over. This could all go very sideways, but his first duty was to not get shot. It was why he’d ended up taking the leap over the cliff in the first place rather than try and barrel through the guard post.

With deft twitches on the guide ropes, the parachute was safely guided around an unexpected rock ridge and a clump of fir trees. His feet nearly brushed the tips of more foliage, so he pulled his legs up a bit and banked away for clearer space.

Somewhere below, he could hear engine motors and excited shouting as more guards joined the chase, tracking him by the flag’s progress. He concentrated on his landing. It wouldn’t do to end all this with a broken limb. If you’re going to do such things, it should be with style, not a whimper.

He landed safely in a closing circle of guards. They ordered him to remove his helmet, and under their watchful eyes and aimed weapons he did so. The intake of breath when they saw his face was gratifying.

“”Who the hell are you?” Their leader shouted.

“I’m the decoy.” He replied. And high in the mountain behind them, something went bang.