Solo Skald |||

Blades in the Dark Solo - The Pincers - Part 6

Time to clean up some consequences from last time.

Downtime

Talitha is walking around with a bad stab wound, and we need to deal with that right away. Should we:

  • Acquire an asset temporarily?
  • Hire a physicker as a cohort?
  • Create a new scoundrel?

We can do all three! Let’s hire somebody for now using acquire asset and work out who they are, how we relate to them, etc. Then if they work out, we can go further. Since we’re tier 0, 0d => 2, which would be quality -1 but we can’t go that low, so it’s just a tier 0 physicker. We’re not spending coin to upgrade - this is fine, right? (Spoiler: nope!)

This is just an independent street medic, not a credentialed doctor. Who is she?

Young, stout. I’m envisioning a short-haired, broad-shouldered woman who goes by Junker”. (Maybe she’s trans?) She seeks power via chaos, is somewhat shrewd & subtle, and is interested in the Church of Ecstasy of the Flesh (religious trauma?) She’s frequently impaired by her vice, drug and alcohol abuse. This is why she’s the lowest-end possible.

Anyway, we’ve tracked her down for some help. Word on the street is that she’s hard up for coin. Talitha’s stab wound is really slowing her down, so let’s do this.

We’ll recover with the physicker’s quality, so 0d => 3, one segment of healing. Junker’s bedside manner leaves something to be desired. Maybe we should have paid for someone more qualified. Now we’re spending coin for a third downtime, 0d => 1, 1 tick again. Junker’s just soaking us for this! Keep going, 0d => 3, 1 tick. We’re at 3/4 on the Healing clock and, if we take any more harm, we’ll reset the clock. So one more coin, then we’re not dealing with Junker again. 0d => 3, final tick.

Down to Level 1, Cut”. Damn, no vice indulging.

What’s Wicker doing? He doesn’t have enough stress to indulge. He kind of liked acting tough in the last job, so he’ll train in Resolve. Also, he’ll keep collaborating with Quellyn the witch - who we roll up and discover to be a delicate, young wisp of a girl, or at least appears to be so - on the masked vampire. Ask around, but take care not to look too interested. The Whisper community likes to do just that, after all! So consort, 2d => 5 gives us two more ticks on that clock, bringing it to 5/8. We’ve discovered the vampire’s stricture, Repelled” (they do not like spiritbane charms).

Score: Bloody Bricks

Time to think about another job. Talitha really drained her coin on Junker. (Lesson learned in the future, pay for better care!)

A ghost wants you to secure the rest of their collection of precious worldly things.

This ties back to that Reconciled! We need to know more about them. I’m going to use the Gaslamp Oracles from my friend Eskur.

  • Impression: Fierce
  • Personality: Stern, Witty
  • Action/Theme: Heal Chaos

The Reconciled see themselves as wise, just, rightful rulers. This one believes fervently in their mission. Their name is Kinclaith”, which is typically a family name but they have settled on using only this. Their interest: Path of Echoes. Maybe they’re the primary liaison there?

Who has Kinclaith’s stuff? That is, the target of this job. Turns out, it’s a fence. Somebody else stole and fenced Kinclaith’s stuff; getting it back is barely a crime!

Kinclaith just has a name to get us started: Bricks”.

☞ Engagement

Talitha asks around to gather information: who is this and where are they? She’ll consort with her general underworld contacts, and doesn’t lose effect because her wound doesn’t cause trouble on this. 1d => 5, standard information.

Weathered dude, who’s known to always be out hustling. Highly secretive. Operates out of a butchery in Crow’s Foot. Not far from the Crow’s Nest, so that’s something to manage. But also, this is close to The Leaky Bucket (where Talitha indulges her vice.)

Is there an underground approach? 2d (uncertain) => 6, yes! That’s the detail we need for a Stealth plan.

Adding up all the factors, we have 3d => 6, controlled to start.

☞ Score

A sluice in the floor drains blood and offal into the canals. Gross. but otherwise undefended. Workers trundle past. It’s noisy. Bricks has a little office in the back; everyone pretends like they don’t see it.

A butcher shop at Saint-Germain market.

We need a group prowl to get up through the gate to his office. We’re starting off Controlled, and this can have Standard effect, with Wicker leading (Talitha’s stress will be an issue through this whole thing.)

  • Talitha: 2d => 5
  • Wicker: 2d => 4

Success with a consequence means we’ll start a 6-clock (it’s noisy), Worker Alarm”, and put two ticks on it.

  • Worker Alarm: 2/6

But we’re at the door to the office. Is Bricks here?

FLASHBACK: Talitha asked a friend at the Leaky Bucket to have drinks with Bricks so he wouldn’t be here. This sounds like consort, Controlled (they’re just talking quietly in a bar) but Standard (if it works, it works). 1d => 2, nah.

So is he here then? It could be… 1d => 3, yes. This isn’t great.

Wicker checks to see if there are ghosts nearby and gathers information by attuning, which includes an extra die from his Ghost Mind, so we’ll roll 3d => 6, great information! This is the most haunted district in the city, so let’s roll 3d => 4, yes, there are plenty, but they’re angry and crave blood.

We’re in a butchery. Lots of blood here! Talitha throws a knife, angling to make a side of meat fall and hit someone without noticing her action. That makes this finesse and feels kinda Risky, with Standard effect (reduced to Limited because of her injury). She takes a Devil’s Bargain: +1d but the ghost will lash out, bringing this to 3d => 4, so it happens but we’ll add two more ticks to our clock.

  • Worker Alarm: 4/6

This causes enough of a disturbance that Bricks comes storming out, yelling at somebody. Talitha steals inside to find the stuff while Wicker keeps watch. This requires her to prowl, and it’s Risky if somebody finds her there. The effect is reduced to Limited (again, that wound is slowing her down), and she’ll take a Devil’s Bargain. She’ll accidentally leave something behind (a stylish shawl) that suggests she was there, for 3d => 5. She gets it, but a worker sees her and the alarm is sounded!

Wicker steps in to protect and resist the consequence, distracting the worker with Prowess (making noise elsewhere to redirect the attention) 2d => 3, so he takes three stress and reduces the consequence a bit to 1 tick.

  • Worker Alarm: 5/6

Time to get out. Again, our usual group prowl, but there’s a lot going on here so it’s at Desperate / Standard. Talitha leads since she can only handle 1 stress without taking a full trauma. After all, if they both fail, it’s going to be bad anyway.

  • Talitha: 2d => 3
  • Wicker: 2d => 6

Indeed, she takes that 1 stress, but they succeed. They get out, although Talitha’s almost seen (“why did the gate move?” rats, prolly”). That was a close call.

Payoff, etc

We’ll treat the fence as tier I, given his setup and assets, so that’s 3 Rep. The crew’s coin is full, so from the 6 coin, 1 goes to the Unseen, 3 to Talitha (she’s almost broke from paying Junker) and 2 to Wicker.

Our heat would be 0, but Talitha’s shawl is known (especially in this neighborhood). So that makes this standard, 2 Heat, which bumps us up to Wanted 2, 2d => 4, which on 0 Heat means either Rivals or Unquiet Dead. Given all our proclivities, we’ll take that latter one.

Downtime

Talitha really needs a drink, and so she goes to indulge her vice but only clears 1d => 2 stress. Keep em coming… yes, she’s still hurt… 1d => 5. Much better, but since she’s focused on this, that wound is still slowing her down.

Wicker will also indulge his vice by attending cult rituals, which clears 2d => 2 stress. He’s still got 4 left and doing this again could lead to overindulgence. Instead, he’ll work with Quellyn on finding this vampire (which should be the Unquiet Dead link), which will require an attune. With her help, that’s 3d => 5, 2 segments, taking us to 7/8.

Only 1 remaining tick? Pay 1 coin and finish this! We’ll deal with answering the questions (and the Entanglement) next time.

Any advancements? Well yes, the crew gets one, Patron, who’s Kinclaith, obviously (and +2 Stash to both crew members). Also, Wicker gets a dot in Command.

Up next Blades in the Dark Solo - The Pincers - Part 5 Blades in the Dark Solo - The Pincers - Part 7
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