Vigil

Scarlett has a soul
Abbie is evil? or good?

We killed a bunch of warehouse zombies, which were apparently controlled by brains that were somehow connected to Subtle’s parents. Then Subtle was able to talk to the Cornelia-skeleton-lady with his brain…

… yeah.

In the process, Ranger-dude got shit spewed in his face. We should probably look into that.

Going further, We couldn’t figure out how to save Abbie yet, so we went back to base and licked our wounds. We talked with Scarlett, and it turns out that she has a soul, and does NOT eat souls. She also un-bound Grandfather from this realm, and so he’s probably getting proverbially ass-raped by whatever might want to be proverbially ass-raping him.

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There is no place like home
Wishing we had a pair of ruby slippers

With three wagons full of ore the party ventured forth back to Dandy town. On the yellow brick road the party was confronted by four scarecrow like figures. Bing wasn’t feeling himself that night and so the battle was much harder than it should have been. Upon searching the debris of straw and sticks four names Bing, Harolde, Subtle, and Barduk were found written in cursive on pieces of paper tacked to one of the sticks that held up each scarecrow. Nobody knew the handwriting.

After licking their wounds at a local inn and side stepping a Sabrine distraction they found their way back to Flora. Some talking happened and some things were said. (Subtle, do you remember?)

Billy Blubaugh had the bar up and running with a pretty happening scene. It has yet to be seen if this is just the new hip joint or if he has the gumption to make it last. So far so good on the home front though. Times were busy so the party didn’t have a chance to stop by the orphanage to make sure Mrs. Oliver made it, besides Brooks had been neglected long enough.

The group meandered down to the docks, the last place they knew Brooks to be. A bar keep with a bribe spilled the beans on The Eye’s interest in Brooks, however the bar keep didn’t know where Brooks went. For some reason Subtle wanted to investigate a warehouse that supposedly had a giant brain inside (where do you come up with these things?).

With some investigation it was found that sick humans were visiting the warehouse. Harolde thought it would be best to scope the place out from the rooftop. The climb to the roof didn’t go unnoticed. Shortly after making it up there things started to move. Not liking the idea of being surrounded again Barduk climbed down with everyone following. As the group snuck away from the warehouse a man in a top hat came outside. Subtle being as persuasive as he could tried to talk the man down. Apparently the man had some ability to make Subtle fly! A fight with the zombie like creatures ensued. Eventually Subtle and Harolde found themselves behind shut door inside the warehouse surrounded by four zombies with an invisible top hat man some where!

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Miners beware
We freed the mine

…the 5 men come in and go into the basement. Harolde and Subtle sneak down to the first floor setting up an ambush. The basement turns dark. Bing casts light on a coin and gives it to Harolde. Subtle, Bing, and Malek walk into the basement, the stairs seemed to never end. Eventually they turn around to leave. As they attempt to walk out they get to the top stairs but not out of the basement, still in the darkness. Harolde getting impatient throws the coin of light into the darkness. It disappears. Barduk decides to go in looking for his friends. Harolde ties a rope around him and ties it to the house. Barduk hears a voice asking him why he is there. He says to find his friends. His friends hear a voice that sounds like Abby’s asking them to go back. They all end up in the basement with the coin of light and a body ripped into pieces all over the wall.

An angry mob appears outside the house. Harolde warns the folks down stairs. Who just run upstairs. They all climb through the chimney to the roof. Malek lit the house on fire to conceal any “evidence” of the corpse. Jumping from roof to roof they make their way out of the area. Subtle seemed to make lots of noise and got noticed. He ran and hid in some random nice ladies home.

Later after the mob had disappointed Subtle went into a random house nearby and talked with a handsome gentleman, Lowey. Lowey was very intrigued about the religious group and what Subtle might do about them. Lowey knew that the cultists of light numbers were 4 and that they spent most of their time lining the mine with explosives. Turns out he was the foreman of the mine and Subtle tasked him with building a map of the mines. Lowey claimed to have had a dream of Subtle’s appearance at his door.. odd.

Using Lowey’s map and his favor with the fellow non converted miners the plan was to have the miners guard the mine while the party snuck into the mine hunting the evil guys. Grabbing a lantern they sneaked deeper into the mine. Finding the spot on the map and they noticed barrels of gun powder. Not sure what to do Subtle put out the lantern and walked a little further listening for noises. Not hearing anything he lit the lantern to notice three of the bad guys standing further up ahead. Noticing the light they split up to flank the party. Turning the lantern back off Subtle engaged one of the creatures in conversation. This allowed Harolde to attempt to track his position for a sneaky backstab. Harolde swung at the darkness, missing by feet. Realizing this was a pointless endeavor Subtle lit the lamp and set it down but accidentally kicked it over.

The fight continued until one of the guys yelled “kill them all” at which point a bunch of tentacles appeared and tried to grab everything in the room. Everyone but Barduk escaped the tentacles initial grasp. Barduk later escaped. After a little while the tentacles retreated into the ceiling. The water from the area began to rise up into the ceiling. Harolde sprinkled a keg worth of gun powder onto the water as it rose. Barduk shot a flaming arrow at the ceiling causing the creature to spark up in flames. Gathering the bones the party left the mine. Upon emerging at the entrance the party was met by Lowey. The next day Lowey’s crew had gathered enough ore for the party to debark.. if they wanted to!

Subtle’s Notes

Abby appeared to me in a dream, stating that she would answer any three questions I had and to make them good. I asked her the following questions:

Why is it that the many seemingly different organizations mounted against us (Child of Light, Cult of Locus, Dr. Nicely, etc.) seem to all use the same trademark spells: shifting mazes, inky darkness, et cetera; what relationships are in place?

I tell her everything I think I know about Cordelia, my parents and the thing that lives in the warehouse by the docks. Can she correct or clear up anything for me, is Brooks captured at the docks?

It is clear to me that you have aided us since leaving our company, first in dreaming the future to towns folk and then in the mine with the tenticles. What is the nature of your being, how and to what extent can you manipulate our plane, and do you intend to continue aiding us?

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Excursion to a Mine
Future site of Janetown
From the Subtle’s Notes

Three days north by foot we found ourselves in a mining community. I’d expected to find a road block, or a burnt down village but no just a bunch of lazy miners spending the daylight hours not in a hole somewhere. Upon further inspection Brother Gregory was there with two of his cultist buddies spreading religion to the masses. We discovered that nearly the entire town had completely changed their life perspective two to three houses at a time over the past six weeks and their new god has specific views on obsidian enriched ore, as it regards the mining and processing.

We managed to have a conversation with the woman of each of two houses which had not yet accepted The Child of Light into their hearts. The second house found us Mrs. Oliver whose husband was being kidnapped at that very moment. After a brief conversation with her we went to her husband’s forge and were shocked to find him kidnapped!

We went back to Mrs. Oliver and offered her a place to stay at the orphanage while we mopped up her district. She agreed and we escorted her out of the city expecting trouble. On the way out of the district she was stopped by Brother Redshirt and things escalated. In moments Mrs. Oliver had a pistol trained on the scrawny behemoth.

The tension was shattered when I heroically lept into action; with the courage and accuracy of a modern day drone strike I loosed an arrow with so much justice and honor that it literally exploded the head of the citizen I hit! Then in celebration, my compatriots killed some other citizens. Brother Whatshisface got so caught up in the excitement that he disarmed Mrs. Oliver and threatened to shoot her if we didn’t stand down. Now if you’ve been reading this you probably know that Spectres never do what bad guys tell us, not even to save the hostage. Luckily for her the firing mechanism on the pistol fouled mysteriously. Brother Skinnyguy, realizing that he had lost any leverage he might have had, decided to bolt. Like most enemies of the Spectres, Brother EtCetera’s feet were secretly also elevators that go the the roof of whatever is near by so he got away. That is he almost got away; Malek, who had been hiding in the cultist’s shoe, cut the feet off the guy before he could escape.

The interrogation wasn’t terribly useful so he died and we went on a hunt. After a day of sitting around polishing my Nobel Peace Prize, Harolde and Malek found Mrs. Blair, the woman from the first house, gagged and racked in her basement. It was extremely erotic, I mean terrible. Malek went to gather the party while Harolde and I waited.

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Malek
Subtle's notes on the events surrounding Malek's return.

A plan was devised, executed, and suddenly gunfire! Subtle shot in the shoulder and the Spectres scrambled out of Dandy Temple. A rumor would spread fast that Flora had lost her temper with her new allies and decided to kill them. Of course any Dandy who’s dealt with the Spectres and lived to tell the tale will attest to the little brats’ ability to escape. The next evening the Spectres were introduced to Dandy bosses under Cyril. The plan had gone off without a hitch but that’s when things got interesting…

Subtle’s notes on the events surrounding Malek’s return:

The boss was going over plans to attack Flora and nail her to a wall when Abby whispered the suggestion to tell these Dandies that Flora slept behind a bone door in the basement of Dandy Temple. I thought it was odd, since she had just got done telling us that she didn’t want people being put in there, but decided not to bring it up in front of the people we were going to be betraying soon anyway. So a plan was drawn up to funnel Cyril’s Dandies into the temple Basement.

In my excitement at maybe getting Malek’s soul back from ’Samson’s Patrons’ I forgot to spare some of the Dandies for questioning about Cyril’s whereabouts. Let this be a lesson to my party mates: If it looks like I’m confused about the quest objective then remind me, because I may have switched to a different quest. Harolde was so angry about the whole situation that he went home. A few hours of crowd sourcing information about Cyril later and we had enough to deduce a healthy lead.

The Silent Gardens District is a place in the city where there had been a great accident. As a result the district exists in some kind of shattered timescape where the simple act of sneaking down the street does not only change ones spacial relationship to the environment but also ones temporal relationship with it as well. It’s as if all the districts past and future history had been condensed into pure light by an evil wizard and then stuffed into a giraffe’s vagina along with a kaleidoscope. Troubling in and of itself but the giraffe was then made to run rampant through the district spraying an impossibly complex geometric rainbow of jumbled history all over the place. When will those evil wizards learn? Using the powers of stick-to-it-iveness and guess-and-check we navigated the district to the manor, for which we have a Deed, and crashed a party from beyond the ages. Finally, we convinced someone to show us Cyril’s home.

He was surprised to see us. Rather than take his head we decided to set up a meeting with he and Flora to negociate financing of the Dandy military effort and repair of Dandy Town. The meeting was attended by Althea Evans in Cyril’s stead, a pretty older lady who seemed keen on one day screwing over Cyril.

Then we went back to talk with Harolde. When the topic of feeding 30 or so Dandies to the Bone Door came up Abby flipped out, not remembering inspiring and then being complicit in the act, and fled into the night. By the time we’d arrived there were 30 naked Dandies on the floor and a silver box with Malek’s soul.

It was a day or so later when Malek became conscious happy about being alive and having skin again he announced we would go liberate the mine to the north, as a practice run to see if he still knows how to operate a body, before freeing Abby and Killing Sabrine!

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A Couple Days Off

Subtle’s Notes:

As the cathedral calmed, the Spectre’s went to work building a pyre for the fallen while I discussed with Flora, our tenuous alliance. The stated goals of the Spectres is to support a regime of lawful and benevolent governance over Dandy Town. Flora gave us a list of tasks which must be completed to help the Dandies in this goal.

First, Flora tasked us with finding and neutralizing Cyril, the other contender for leadership of the Dandies.

Next, supplies of obsidian have stopped coming in from the north; since the enemy from Saintsbridge can only be harmed with obsidian enriched steel this supply line must be reopened.

Finally, no Dandy reconnaissance mission has ever returned from Saintsbridge District, Flora has asked us to map the district.

At the conclusion of this conversation, Flora, either out of respect for our budding friendship or out of hope that we might injure ourselves with whatever’s inside, gave us the location of the box that would be unlocked by Samson’s bone key.

We went as a group to examine this box, which in fact was more an altar of bones with a human sized door on it. Upon opening the door, inky darkness. I volunteered to go in immediately because I like places that are dark and quiet, but the rest of the team had to draw straws. Ultimately Barduk and I stepped into the door but only I, the holder of the key, arrived. In this place, described as a ‘pocket dimension’ by “Scarlet”, I met Samson’s Patrons.

“Did you kill Samson for the key?” Their first words to me in an unsettling disunity of voices.

“I killed Samson for my own reasons.” Was my reply.

Realizing immediately who I was dealing with I began to barter for Malek’s soul. Being flexible they gave me several payment options. They would return Malek’s soul for:

- The Soul of a Sera.

- Abby

- The Soul of a human who has suffered more in his life than Malek.

- Any twenty Souls of assorted humans (young, old, boy, girl, etc.).

Upon returning to the party and relaying the terms of payment, the Spectre’s couldn’t agree on which option would be ethically acceptable, so we tentatively agreed on option number five: Wait until we’re strong enough to drag those demons out of their hole and free all the souls at once.

The following days were spent relaxation, mending the wounds incurred saving Flora’s army from annihilation. We interviewed a boy called Billy from The House of Pillars to manage our bar and spent time with the other orphans.

We’d noticed the children’s admiration for us and excitement at having been asked to help with Samson. But what we’ve failed to recognize is the anti-Sabrine culture that has been cultivated amongst the occupants of the House of Pillars over the years since the arson. We were even regaled with a fishy sounding story of a girl who was thinking about working for Sabrine when she aged-out, her accidental fall off the roof, and the eventual lethality of her injuries.

Many of the Spectres have begun teaching at the orphanage to prepare the children of the House of Pillars to be the next generation of Spectres.

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THIS IS... FLORA!!!!!

WE got a visit from a “gaunt” individual while we spent a night at the orphanarium. The guy wanted Samson’s head – he called himself Brother Gregory. Apparently he’s all about some new god thing — “Do you have a moment to talk about The Child of Light?”.

We told him that we’d prefer not to discuss such things and realized, once he mentioned that he’s in some way interested in Abbie, that we should go rally the Dandies to help defend our borders from these screwballs.

We ran down there, people were really hideously dead, and things were very dark. Inside the cathedral, the Dandies were having a “meeting”, everyone wanted to vag-out and run away except Flora. 5 god-dudes came in and were all like “mwar, we’re gonna perform da ritual soze you can talk to da godzord!!”, to which Harolde replied with “shank”. That dude’s skin was then ripped off in shreds by his friends, and the room became dark.

Abbie crouched down to slow the ritual down, one of the guys wanted to kill her, but Subtle took him out. Bing took a sword off a dumb-founded Dandie and used it to not get killed barely by one of them Bardock saved Bing. All of them died, eventually, and Flora gave a “THIS IS SPARTA” speech.

Then Sarver went to bed.

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Vengeance
The death of Samson. 11:11

Subtle’s Notes:

This night began like any other night, five Spectres trying to decide how best to help this city. Our recent acquisition of a Deed to a Manor in the Silent Gardens District. Finding the district walled, gated, and seemingly devoid of life we decided to pursue a better understood goal: Dandy Town. The first pack of Dandies we came across had already done our job for us, but in true Dandy fashion they had mucked it up a bit by not leaving one of themselves alive for questioning. The wounds they had incurred seemed do have been delivered by beast rather than man. We arranged the bodies for a street level pyre. If Dandies were going to be dead before we got there, then we’d better find as many packs as possible tonight. The next pack of Dandies was much less dead and much more disciplined than the usual rabble. We followed them on what appeared to be a territory patrol. When we entered the Slums we arranged an ambush for them. The trap sprung, a flurry of dagger blows and a hail of arrow fire from the roof top. It became quickly apparent these weren’t our run of the mill Dandies, chain mail under their clothes, short swords instead of clubs and knives. Worse yet, the long bleating of a horn and a stir of commotion from the surroundings. Eleven Dandies properly armed and armored were already pushing our limits so the order was given to disperse and disappear. The escape was a simple maneuver for anyone on the winding streets and alley ways, less so for Barduk, trapped on the roof of a building, a sea of Dandies forming below. Abby and I doubled back to ensure our new recruit wasn’t left stranded at the mercy of the Dandies. By the time we’d helped the Ranger from his roof top to ours he had been riddled with bullet holes, complicating the escape plan. Our only option became the chimney. Inside the building we could hear the trademark cheering that accompanied Samson wherever he goes. Barduk’s wounds dressed and bound, we managed to hide his slowly recovering body in the house before Abby and I were discovered. Abby was rendered unconscious immediately by our brutish nemesis. I was forced to engage my weapon of last resort, my public persona, Verbal. With artful diplomacy I managed to negotiate the release of Abby pending the release of a prisoner of mine.

Knowing Samson as only I did, I appealed to him as a peer. Though we were enemies, we were principal entities of our respective domains, and I was one of the few people he could relate to, who saw the city as he saw it, as it was. Without giving him any information which would bring harm to the Spectres directly, I managed to glean much from our conversation. Samson confirmed my suspicion that the Silent Gardens District was indeed more dangerous than it looked from between locked iron gates. The war we overheard him discussing while rallying the Dandies some nights before, is against some monstrous creatures reaching out from Saintsbridge district. During the conversation he described Abby’s ‘parents’ as his patrons and let slip that they were in possession of Malek’s soul. Bingo.

After retrieving Flora, I agreed to the possibility of aligning the Spectres with the goals of the Dandies for mutual protection against the threat from Saintsbridge. I convinced he and his goons to wait in the Necropolis proper while I gathered Bing and Harolde, to hear his job offer and finish the transaction for the return of Abby. At home I was greeted by Abby who had feigned unconsciousness when Samson struck her and murdered the goons tasked with locking her up. I told the remaining Spectres that Samson was, relatively unguarded waiting for us in the cemetery with a job opportunity. The Spectres, at fuller power than previously anticipated saw this as an opportunity of a different kind…

The ambush was swift and merciless. Weapons poisoned with Abby’s blood ensured that the Dandies with Samson were incapacitated immediately. Eleven representatives of the The House of Pillars, eager to avenge the arson of years past, provided fire support from the hill. A handful of crossbow bolts, a myriad of carefully struck dagger wounds and four angry Spectres sealed Samson’s fate that night.

A startling tinge of guilt at my deception of our nemesis to his demise. It took the words of Abby and Bing to remind me that I’m not Verbal. Cordiality and comity are my weapons, I am Subtle. I watched Malek die, provided my mentor with what little comfort I could in his final moments. With this deception my oath of vengeance is sated, but our duty to Malek is only partially fulfilled. Malek’s Skull in our hands and now the location of his soul in our minds.

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To Shank, or not to Shank

After saving the universe, we decided we should go murder some Dandies.

We did.

One of them told us that he was just a lackey to some guy whose name I forget because, honestly, who cares. He told us where we could find the guy, so we smacked him on his head and left him in the sewers. He didn’t like that idea, and apparently, he got snatched up by something while he was down there.

Subtle’s note: The name of the boss was Bradford.

Oh well, he probably deserved it.

Anyway, we went to the place that he told us to go, and on day 1, a hooker killed a guy (and ate him), some guy read a book through the whole night, another guy got upset at a meeting, and … the end.

On Day 2, Bing decided to see what the insides of the place looked like. Dandies fuckin’ everywhere. One wanted to see my D, so I got out of there. They chased me, but I am the night. Samson showed up later, and then we snuck in to the 2nd floor to poke around. Money, deeds, and guns. Then the house burned down. It was arson, and the Dandies ran out like idiots. I MOCK THEM.

Subtle’s Note: The arson was committed by a mysterious third party, possibly committed so as to implicate the Spectres, who years ago lived a similar event the night Malek died and Abby was sold to her parents.

Bing stayed back to scout out the hooker-room and the book-reading-guy-rooms, but Samson ended up coming upstairs and telling himself to shut up so that he could think. Then he walked into the room where we stole stuff, and he chuckled.

To shank, or not to shank?
That was the question.
Whether tis’ more worthwhile to suffer another day
of knowing that Samson is still living,
Or to take Arms against him and his Sea of troubles,
and by opposing him, To die, to sleep —

… oh wait, that’s right. If I die here, demons will torture my soul eternally. No sleep there.

Bing dove out the window.

We got out, but didn’t find out who torched the compound. Also, Bing didn’t look into read-man’s room. THE SHAME!

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Mad Scientist

We met Indigo outside the infested Sera complex. She explained that one of their own had built a machine making Abbie’s bug explode. She took a few moments to compose herself and then asked for our assistance shutting down the machine inside the complex. We decided to assist her with hopes she would reciprocate.

Indigo let us into the complex. After a close encounter with some big bug we made our way up to the second floor of the facility. A dying Sera talked to Bing and … loaned… him a ring. Making our way to the third floor we found a sarcophagus. Subtle and Barduk held off some beasts at the entrance while Harolde and Bing searched the place. Bing single-handedly proved that the spectres weren’t completely worthless — it’s been a while — by finding some potions hidden inside a treacherously trapped desk, and Harolde found some notebooks. Bing decided to try to dismantle the device in the room and succeeded handedly.

Upon Bing’s success we found ourselves in a dark room with Abbie. After a little bit of a discussion and amazing reflex saves we found ourselves back in the laboratory. Abbie made the guys in the hallway turn into black vapor and she absorbed it. Bing and Harolde were reluctant to trust Abbie but Subtle per his history was all for running off with her. Bing is continuously haunted by the terror that she may be becoming. Subtle talked Bing into giving Harolde a potion so they could escape for no real reason whatsoever – it was a complete waste of resources (he apparently made a good use of the waste, though… CONTINUE READING!)

Barduk and party started sneaking out of the complex but met up with Indigo. Indigo took some memories from Subtle so he wouldn’t remember the… … the …. (insert images of magical octopus and giant tower in the sky to which many people might end up praying to) anymore and the party went home.

Harolde quaffed the potion given to him by Bing, which turned him invisible. Figuring that his invisibility shouldn’t go to waste he searched the room some more taking a couple notebooks. Climbing out the window he made his way through town. Since nobody seemed to be able to notice him he went to Samson’s old place. Samson wasn’t there but he set a deadly trap for him. Still under the cloak of invisibility, he decided to make a visit to the ol Cromwell place which has been boarded up. Shortly later the invisibility wore off and Harolde went home. Harolde talked to Abbie about trying to decipher one of the notebooks.

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